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Monday 23rd of May 2022
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The Relationship between Hope and Success in the Family


  Everyone looks ahead towards his/her future life either by planning or by day dreaming about what can happen. Human beings live with hope and struggle with hope. A mother feeds her baby with hope. A farmer plants seeds with hope. A young man marries with hope of a happy and prosperous future and independence from his family. A patient who places himself in the hands of a surgeon and takes bitter medicine lives with hope. In short, success and joy in material and intellectual matters is due to hope for the future, because human nature is based on hope. This nature changes when the human deviates from his original path and becomes hopeless and disappointed.
Family is the smallest social unit and is the first center for shaping and training the individuals and social personalities under the light of success and hope. It is such that with hope one can have happy and active children and educate them based on true and proven scientific methods and prepare them for a shinning future. Without doubt, a baby learns family’s methods of deciphering aims and goals, struggling, and these are all accompanied by hope. On the hand, impeding education, delinquency, narcissism, , emptiness and not being purposeful are the results of wrong methods of training and destroy a child’s hope.
It is necessary to mention that hope is a motivation and a key to success when it is accompanied by will power and careful planning. Otherwise, life becomes nothing more than a mirage.
Negative and weak willed human beings not only cannot benefit from fruitful positions but also always disturb others and use their inner power to prevent work and progress. They always use words such as “impossible” and “cannot” and sit silent and motionless in a corner and disappoint others.
Even though Napoleon cannot exactly be called a role model for us, he can be used as an example of someone who made great advances towards achieving his goals. Napoleon said: “The word “Impossible” must is obliterated from the dictionary of life.” He was always upset at hearing words such as, ‘impossible’. ‘I cannot’, and ‘I don’t know’ and said: “If you want it, it’s possible.” 1
Have you ever observed how fathers’ and mothers’ negative or positive dispositions and suggestions have influence on their children’s deeds and mentality and what kinds of results they obtain? They weaken a child’s will by destroying his/her hope. Then they darken the future of adolescents and young people by speaking ill of society and country leaders. As a result young people lose their life’s purpose and their Islamic and spiritual values decrease.

  Difference between Hoping and Wishing
Hope is a suitable desire that is attainable in the future, and therefore because of it’s possibility is based on reality. So hope is a mental phenomenon such that the more it is based on reality and truth the more suitable and efficient it is.
A wish on the contrary refers to something, which is unobtainable, and there is no hope or indication that it may happen in the future. A wish is expressed through phrases such as: “I wish it was ....”, “I wish something like that happens...”.
Therefore, human beings with far reaching wishes are forced to waste his mental energy in formulating reasons, reforming what he perceives as reality, and eliminating illogical selections of the truth. 2 In this expression wishing is a kind of want that is unobtainable. So it might become the source of negative effects in the future and shortcomings in duties related to the present.
Imam Sajjad (AS) said: “O Allah! I take refuge in you from prayer that becomes a veil for me and also from an unreal hope.” 3 Far-reaching and unrealistic wishes distances the human from Allah, and destroys his education and training. Allah said to Prophet Musa (AS): “O Musa do not have far reaching wishes in this world because you will become hard-hearted.” 4

Constructive Hope
Hope and good opinion towards Allah is the secret of many individual, social, moral and material successes. This word holds an important place in the dictionary of Islamic education, and the verses of the Holy Qur’an encourage hope in Allah and reproach hopelessness in Allah’s grace. Allah wants the sinners to return to Him with hope in His grace and to repent. It is the only way to restrain deviation and direct man to the right path.
Allah in the Qur’an says: “Say: O my servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah;...” (39:53)
In this verse, Allah speaks to the sinners using the word “My slaves”, and this shows how He is merciful and compassionate to his servants. Sometimes you encounter people that say, “Despite being optimist and hopeful I never embrace success in my life”. I want to be virtuous and a believer, I want to be unselfish and helpful, I want to study and be good humored but I don’t know how I can achieve such goals. I don’t know what the obstacle in my way is? And how I can succeed?

Success and Lack of Success
Success is attaining that which man wills for, both moral and material affairs. Of course success is not due to the mere talent of the person but it is related to his/her efforts and endeavors. In this way a virtuous person with strong will power and control over the things which enters his heart and mind and his selfish needs, will succeed. Man uses all his mental, psychological and physical powers in order to succeed. A successful family always controls their child’s activities and behavior and supervises him/her with full efforts and spends their time and money to train their children, so that they are protected from deviation and error at the hands of friends and become the manifestation of both human and Islamic values.
One, who in addition to familiarity with the rights of spouses, takes them into consideration and is thankful to his/her spouse, leads a good life. A man came to Allah’s Messenger (SAW) and said: “I have a wife who welcomes me when I go home, and when I leave home she escorts me. When she sees me sad and dejected, she asks me why I am worried? She tells me if your are worried about your income, Allah will feed us and if it is for the hereafter, I hope Allah will add to your grief.
The Prophet (SAW) told him: “Allah has agents and delegates and this woman is one of Allah’s agents. She benefits half of a martyr’s reward.” 6
This woman’s success is due to her strong will in doing her duties towards his husband and that amazed the Prophet (SAW). One who has strong will, a pure intention and is hard working is able to achieve his goals.
In the Persian language there is a poem, which says:
There are a lot of dangers in the way to Leyla’s house.
The condition for the first step towards her is being Majnoon.
You must know that life is like a chessboard, and time is the player opposite you. So, if you don’t move fast, are not aware of the dangers and don’t rearrange your pieces, they will disappear from the chessboard one by one. You compete with one who doesn’t accept delay or being undecided.

Characteristics of a Hopeless Person
One of the characteristics of a hopeless person is that they always say: “I will come to nothing.” “I won’t have a shinning future.” “I do not lead a good life.” “Allah doesn’t accept my repentance,” etc. Being pessimistic, by destroying hope in themselves, they become a vertical dead body, which sits and looks forward at his/her dark and vague future. They always make pretexts and make statements like:
“If I didn’t have spouse and child....”
“If I was healthy enough....”
“If conditions were favorable....”
“If I were young....”
“If I had somebody to help me....”
“If my family understood me....”
“If I could make decisions....”
“If I Were lucky ........
”If I had bravery and courage enough to know my reality, and if I realized my defects and were able to correct them…”.
We know that they are all pretexts. Despite having spouse and children, many men and women succeed in their lives. There are many persons who progressed and improved their condition without being healthy or young.

The Remedy for Hopelessness and Mental Anxiety
You may have understood that the reason behind most physical illnesses is psychosomatic and has its root in depression and hopelessness.
Physical and mental fatigue is the result of factors such as anger, a feeling of ungratefulness from others, reproach, extreme solitude, haste and anxiety which decreases man’s activities and makes him/her prone to unknown illnesses.
Anxiety can cause inflamed arthritis, heart and stomach disease. One the well-known specialists in arthritis holds that: “Factors for arthritis are disappointment in marriage, financial problems, grief, anxiety, and continuous hesitation”. 7
What can be done? How can one free himself/herself from this crisis and its effects? How can one become an active, cheerful, and hopeful person?
To relieve hopelessness and decrease mental pressures the following are suggested:
1- Reliance on Allah
One who calculates everything according to material criteria and neglects Allah’s grace will fall into depression and hopelessness. But hope in God’s all encompassing power and constant attention to His servants and that Allah wants for His servants nothing but a good and fruitful life and to reinforce hope is important in their spirit, While using material means one should trust in Allah and empower his/her soul to start and complete his/her duties. The ideology of the one who places his trust in Allah is that: “The increase and decrease of my livelihood, what I lack, need and benefit from are all under Your control not the control of others”. 8
The Glorious Qur’an states:
“Surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts at rest”.9
Turning away from and forgetting Allah cause mental insecurity. Allah in this regard says:
“And whoever turns away from My reminder, his shall surely be a straitened life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind”. 10
In fact, a difficult life, feelings of hopelessness and futility are the results of mental deficiencies, lack of spiritual wealth and assurances of the future, fear of loosing available conveniences and possibilities and clinging to the material world. The case is more dreadful in the societies that have forgotten Allah; the societies that in spite of surprising progress in industry and having all life’s conveniences, live in worry and anxiety. They are all afraid of each other and relying on others. Their relationships and communications are only based on individual gains.
Dr. Billy Graham writes: “Today’s youth are more literate, have better taste and are more intelligent compared to adults of the past generation. But it is not clear why they always feel insecure sad and unhappy, what do they actually want? This is the question raised in all world countries.”
This writer under the subject “Belief and Strong Faith”, writes: Today’s youth do not have belief and strong faith which is the biggest factor leading to their grievances, hopelessness and misdemeanors. Then he says: “We must confess that we have neglected to train our adolescent in belief and faith.” 11
We can preserve our mental stability by using correct methods, strong belief and relying on Allah at sensitive stages of individual and social problems.
1) If you are able, reveal your worries and problems to reliable and accepted persons and ask for their guidance and advise. Although they may not be able to help you — that is the most urgent remedy to anxiety and worries.
2) Be satisfied and appreciative of what you have such as wealth, vocation, spouse and children. Think about their values and righteousness. Never compare your life with the well-to-do life of another, but compare it with persons who are less fortunate than yourself. Because the latter will make you reassured, content and satisfied with your blessings granted by Allah.
Salman Farsi the great follower of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) says: “...The Prophet (SAW) advised me to consider seven points in any case: The first one is to look at the people who lead a life lower than mine and not to the people who are higher than me. The other is to love the oppressed and accompany them.....12
3). Treat your heart by reciting Qur’an and supplications. Especially the 15th prayer of Imam Sajjad the forth Imam of Ahl -ul Bait (AS), which is available in Mafatih al-Jinan and think about their meanings and concepts.
Footnotes:
1. The Secret of Victory of Great Men, Sobhani, J., p. 99
2. Sharh (explanation) Nahjul-Balagha, Ja’fary, M. T., vol. 9, p. 275
3. Bihar ul-Anwar, vol. 9, p. 156
4. Usul-e Kafi, vol. 2, p. 329
5. The Holy Qura’n, (39:53)
6. Wasail ash Shi’a, vol. 14, p. 17
7. The Best Way to Win Worries and Hopelessness, p. 40
8. Sha’bania Supplication
9. The Holy Qura’n, 13:28
10. The Holy Qura’n, 20:124
11. Reasons for the Progress of Islam and Decline of the Muslim, Qorbani, Z., p. 53
12. Wasail ash Shi’a, vol. 6, p. 309

_______________

Anger and the Family

 

Du'as for Virtuous children
رَبِّي هَبْ لِي مَنْ لَدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً اِنَّكَ سَمِيْعُ الدُّعَاءِ
My Lord! grant me from You good offspring, surely You are the hearer of prayers. (3:38)
وَ اَصْلِحْ لِي فِي ذُرَّيَّتِي اِنِّي تُبْتُ اِلَيْكَ وَ اِنِّي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ
And do good to me in respect to my children, Surely I turn to You and I am one of those who submit. (46:15)
وَالَّذِيْنَ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ اَزْوَاجِنَا وَ ذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ اَعْيُنٍ وَ اجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِّيْنَ اِمَامًا
And those who say: "Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Pious. (25:74)
رَبِّي اجْعَلْ لِي مُقِيْمَ الصَّلوةِ وَ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي رَبَّنَا وَ تَقَبَّلْ دُعَاء
O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salât and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation. (14:40)

Anger in Islam
Anger is a difficult emotion to control. That is why one of the signs of a strong character is the ability to control anger and remain patient. In describing the qualities of the believers, Allah says: . . and those who restrain their anger, and forgive people (3:133) and also and those who . . . whenever they are angry, they forgive. (42:37)
Many Hadith also talk about the dangers of anger. The Masumeen (a) have said:
1. Beware of anger, for its beginning is madness and its end is regret.
2. Whoever controls his anger when he can vent it, Allah will fill his hear with peace and faith on the Day of Judgement.
3. Among the habits of the ignorant, is to get angry all the time.
4. The person most capable of reason and wisdom is the one who does not get angry.
5. The strongest of men is he who can overcome his anger with his patience

Anger and the Family
Anger is one of the most commonly reported problems in families today. It surfaces in a variety of forms, and can be found in all the relationships within the family. Anger that is left unresolved, and that erupts often, can cause a lot of damage to loving relationships. A home that has continuous anger and conflict is not warm and welcoming for its members. Children in such a home live in fear and tension, not knowing when the next incident would cause the parents to blow up. Such an atmosphere is not healthy for the mental and emotional progress of children.
Anger in inevitable sometimes, even necessary at certain times. Imam Khomeini in his commentary on Forty Hadith, writes: It should be known that the power of anger is one of the biggest favors of God conferred upon His creatures by means of which they are able to pursue activities constructive to their world and Hereafter, are assured of the continuity of species, as well as the safety and survival of the individual and the family. It also plays a great role in the establishment and maintenance of social order and civic life. If this noble faculty were not ingrained in the animal's nature, it would .. . have been defenseless against the dangers of destruction and extinction. So anger is a necessary quality. It is only anger that goes out of control, and is not appropriate, that si condemned. Without anger, children could not be disciplined, or taught to stay away from what is wrong.
Mothers need to be able to use the power of anger discriminately in order to discipline their children. They should use it to establish firm rules, and consequences of breaking rules. They should use it to reprimand the child for wrong actions, so that the child does not repeat them. But sometimes their anger becomes more than what they had intended. Mothers become horrified with themselves when they find themselves getting extremely angry with their children. They wonder how they can get so angry with those whom they love so much. Women who are usually calm and patient, and are seen by the outside world as gentle and understanding, become unrecognizable when they are angry with their children. This is because the strong love a mother feels for her child evokes strong emotions. Unmet expectations, frustrations, and resentment, are some of the reasons why mothers get so angry.

Anger because of unreasonable expectations
Some parents would like their children to behave totally like adults. They don't want them to run around, to play, to talk loudly, even to touch things around the house. What they should understand is that all these activities are part of growing up. To be a healthy adult, children need to have passed through various stages, each of which is a building block in his character.
In Hadithe Mufazzal, our sixth Imam describes the wisdom behind the childish behavior which some adults dislike. He says:
There would not have been, if they had been born with mature intellect, that sweetness, nor that consideration for infants in the minds of the adults which comes from fondling the untutored children. Their artlessness creates a particular attraction. As such he is born into the world without an understanding for anything, quite unaware of the world and what lies therein. He views all these things with his undeveloped brain and inadequate understanding, and so does not feel perplexed. His intellect and understanding develop by degrees, slowly from time to time, little by little. This introduces him gradually to the things around him and accustoms his brain accordingly.
The child lives in a world quite different from that of the parent. Parents sometimes view the life of the child from an adult perspective, and forget that to the child his little world is very important. Although they must be kept away from harmful and dangerous things, a child should be allowed to explore things that arouse his curiosity. Let him meddle with things that he is interested in, if the consequences are not very destructive. The house should not be a prison for him, with constant orders to sit down and be quiet.
Allow the child to have a little independence, especially in things that are not greatly significant. The small mistakes that he may make will teach him to do different next time. There is a difference between issues of grave importance that cannot be compromised, and issues in which some flexibility can be allowed. Life should not be so serious that every small thing should be treated like a major issue.
Some parents also make the mistake of expecting too many achievements from their children. A parent should know his child, and his strengths and weaknesses. If a child is not too bright, it is enough to encourage him to work hard and achieve according to his potential. To expect that he must bring perfect grades, and then show disappointment when he cannot, hurts the child and lowers his self-esteem. This is the same for all expectations the parents has from the child. They must be proportionate to the age and ability of the child.

Controlling Anger
One of the most effective ways of controlling anger is to stop it in its initial stages. According to Imam Khomeini in the above mentioned article, one should withhold the self in the initial stages of anger. This is because the more one gives in to anger, the more intense it becomes. The escalation of anger is like a furnace that starts burning and soon the flames become violent and furious. It is then difficult to control. It covers the mind and the person becomes quite unreasonable.
Some practical methods for controlling anger recommended by Islam include:
1. Leave the place where anger may be provoked further.
2. Change posture, so if the person is seated he should stand up, or sit down if he wa standing.
3. Engage in the remembrance of God. Remember the Qur'anic ayats and Hadith on anger, and how Allah is merciful to those who control their anger on others. The Holy Prophet used to tell Imam Ali (a): O Ali, do not get angry. And if you do get angry, sit and think of the power of your Lord over His servants, and His forbearance with them.
4. Busy oneself in another activity.
5. Do wudhu, for water cools the fire of anger.
The following hadith show some practical ways of controlling anger:
1. Surely anger is a spark ignited by the Devil in the human heart. Indeed when anyone of you gets angry, his eyes become red, the veins of his neck become swollen, and Satan enters them. Therefore whoever among you is concerned about himself on account of it, he should lie down for a while so that the filth of Satan may be removed from him at that time. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a)
2. Whoever is angry with someone, let him sit down at once if he is standing, for indeed, it would repel from him the uncleanliness of Satan. And whoever gets angry with his kinsmen, let him approach him and pat him, for the feeling of consanguinity, when stimulated by touch induces calmness. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a)

Ways of decreasing anger and conflict with children
1. Make known your expectations - sometimes people assume that others know what is expected of them. This is not always true. Almighty Allah has blessed us with the power to express our feelings and communicate with others. We need to make use of this great ability granted by God. A mother must tell her child what she expects of them, and even show them how exactly it can be done. If a child is told to keep a clean room, he must be told what that means. A mother and child may have very different understandings of what is a clean room. That can create conflict if it is not sorted out.
2. Be careful not to express anger when enraged - sometimes offensive things are said in anger which are later regretted. After the conflict is over, the memories of hurtful things often linger. A mother may say some awful things which she does not really mean, because the tongue is a very dangerous weapon. If she feels her anger is rising very high, it is better that she deal with the conflict later.
3. Be just - children should be dealt with fairly. If the mother makes a mistake, she should be able to admit it and explain to her child that she has made a mistake and apologize for it. The child would learn an important lesson that even adults sometimes make mistakes, and are not too ashamed to apologize for it.
4. Discern Patterns of Conflict - If there is continual tension between the mother and child, it is necessary to ask what causes it. The mother should try to avoid certain circumstances that cause conflict. Although it may be impossible to avoid it completely, foresight and planning may be able to decrease the number of conflicts that occur.

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