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Wednesday 19th of January 2022
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Course of Action for Strengthening Family Ties

One of the most sacred and biggest undertakings and the one with the most serious effect on the lives of nations and individuals, is the formation of what is called “The family establishment”, the outcome of which -and over the extended centuries-is the thriving of thousands of human generations which might be the product of a single marriage, like the billions of people who had lived on the face of earth as a blessing of the first marriage between our parents Adam and Eve. In addition, how often the decaying of the relationship between a specific couple-and the consequent deficient upbringing-had resulted in the corruption of a completely human generation, which necessitated some of the historical disasters, and how often history has recorded some of these disasters! Hence, it is not heretical that we propagandize the necessity of establishing of specialized -read or heard-courses to learn the riddles of this sacred and in the same time complex, relationship. And it is known that the secrets of the marriage of two dissimilar souls are not realized except by scrupulous observation, which the couple might not be aware of until after it is too late and after things are out of control, by the decaying of the relationship between the couple on one side and between them and the children on the other. Hence, it is necessary to transfer the wrong and the right experiences in addition to what is learned from the Tradition to fortify the bonds of that noble life…And to the owners of that “Happy establishment”, I present these points.

1. The reality of marriage

It must be taken into consideration that marriage in fact is the intermarriage of the souls, not just the bodies. For the Quranic verse deduces that the goal is the “Reposing” and what is “Set” is the “Love and mercy”, and it does not discuss the physical relationship in a direct way, although the satisfying of the instinctive (sexual) side is also a cause of reposing. From this it becomes known that the spiritual intermarriage needs a special kind of maturity, and not attaining the stage of spiritual majority and maturity in this connection might be a cause of the relapsing of the marital life even when committed to some of the external indications of the Shariah, because the conventional religious commitment may not inevitably accompany the stage of majority and awareness of the details of marital life. And the books that deal with the Tradition have devoted large sections to discussing the value of ! the mind, which is the resource for majority and maturity, in man’s nearness to Allah and even his success in this world and the hereafter.

2- The wife is needed for many things

The wife is usually needed for many things like having sexual pleasure, housekeeping, reproduction and the company and relaxation. And it is known that the vigour of the first decreases with age and the gradual “setting” of beauty or the man’s finding of another woman, other than his wife, whom he can have pleasure with. As for the second, other people can do it, and as for the third, it has a time span which ends by menopause or the husband’s abandonment of reproduction. And as for the fourth, it may lose its glitter through repetition and monotony, for “Every new thing looks fair”. Hence, a new element must be added, like feeling the responsibility towards the subjects and that Allah has entrusted the husband for the wife and that he is responsible for her till the end of life, rather till the Day of Judgement when one is called upon {And halt them to be questioned}. And it is related that the! Prophet (S.A.W.) had said “The one who will be seated nearest to me on the Day of Resurrection, is the most courteous between you, and I am the most courteous amongst you to my family”.

3. Eternity of the marital life

It must be firmly believed that for the believer, the marital life does not end by the ending of the lifetime, rather, the righteous woman joins the husband with her children (if they are righteous too) in Paradise and that is according to Allah’s saying:{Gardens of Eden which they shall enter; and those who were righteous of their fathers and their wives, and their seed}, and also:{Those who believed, and their seed followed them in belief, we shall join their seed with them}. This sense of continuity, even eternity of the marital life with its prerequisites, generously allots to the marital life a bond that does not break with the progression of time and years.

4.Allah’s blessing to the marital life

One of the most important factors in the spiritual attraction between the couple-in additions to their endeavour to bring about reasons for that attraction-is Allah’s blessing to their relationship. That is why Allah attributes the composing of the differences to Himself when both of the couple have the desire to set things right, as in His saying: {And if they desire to set things right, Allah will compose their differences}. For this reason, the practical straightness in daily life-inside the marital house and outside it-necessitates Allah’s mercy upon them with what it entails of intimacy and stability of the marital life.

5.The faith, not the person

It is necessary that each one of the couple looks on to the faith, not the person in the other because the absence of the human watcher inside the house and being alone most of the time, prepares the ground for assault and exceeding of the limits, for the awareness of the divine watching necessitates the adherence to the limits and restrictions even if the human watcher is absent, and Allah has emphasized this state of watching by saying: {And Allah hears the two of you conversing together}.

6. Restricting the woman’s movements

It is better-even obligatory in some cases-to restricts the woman’s activities, especially if they require suspicious interaction with men, as she might lose her dedication to what is more important and closer to her, the husband’s and children’s affairs. And in some cases she might even lose her femininity through constant close contact with men, which we clearly see in some mixed environments, especially with the weakness of the religious deterrent. And we should not forget that “Necessities have their own laws” except that they should not be overestimated.

7.The lasting and the changing in happiness

It ought to be emphasized that the lasting and the effective factors in the couple’s happiness is the religious commitment and the morals, for they are the two moving elements in regulating the relation between the couple, rather they are the two reviving elements which are not marked as obsolete or old. As for beauty, it is a relative matter, the eyes get used to its varying degrees. Hence, what is needed is an acceptable degree of harmony in the outside appearance, and there is no doubt that going after marriage on religious basis is what necessitates Allah’s blessing to that sacred union, as it is observed in different experiences.

8.The good-looking woman and the beautiful woman

It ought to be differentiated between the internal attractiveness (which has equations not clearly known) and the external attractiveness. That is why they differentiate between the beautiful and the good-looking woman. And it is known that the first is a kind of charm based on the internal qualities which, if thoroughly present in someone, Allah the Almighty would cast his or her love in others’ hearts, as witnessed by the psychic forces.

9. Analogy of education

There is no objection to the marriage if the couple were exactly or nearly the same age with some analogy in education and knowledge, for it is noted that the wide difference in the education and knowledge levels of the couple is of the things which induce disturbance in the marital life because of the absence of a common language between them, which deepens the gap with the tiniest provocative in the marital life.

10.“The ruins’ green crop”

It is necessary to consider the expression “The ruins’ green crop” present in the Tradition (by the Prophet), which means; The good-looking woman in the bad medium, because the family medium plays a vital role in the woman’s conduct before marriage and after it as the unconscious influence of the parents in children’s lives is undeniable even during the very early years, just imagine how much more it is during adolescence and adulthood!

11.Choosing the generation’s tutor

“Choose (a suitable bearer) for your sperm-drops because blood will tell”. Therefore, for the welfare of the generations that will come out of the marriage, it is necessary to precisely choose the woman who is the tutor for the coming generations. Accordingly, it is necessary to look on to the wife as the tutor of one’s own blood. And the husband’s love for his descendants-which is a genuine instinctive matter-necessitates the right selection of the woman who will raise this progeny, which is considered a kind of an ongoing almsgiving after death.

12.The guardianship of the husband

The guardianship of the husband does not mean the unrestricted monopoly and arbitrariness in running of the family’s affairs, for the absolute rule is for Allah The Almighty and whomsoever He appoints. Therefore, the husband must-as an authorized custodian but not as an absolute ruler-use, that authority within the vision of the Shariah as it is presented in the jurisprudence books, which is to the couple’s advantage that they refer to.

13.Transfer of genetic qualities

Some of the moral qualities are transferred in a compulsory way exactly as the physical qualities do. Hence, paying attention to this point makes one careful in choosing a good plantation in which there is a few of these negative hereditary qualities, and it is said that drinking alcohol for example, has an effect on generations to come.

14.Reasons of early divorce

Some of the qualities that speed up the occurrence of marital problems and divorce are: Hot temperament, hasty judgment, not feeling the necessity for ritual worshipping, not being content with what Allah has apportioned and envy and desiring what others own.

15.The capability not the wealth

What is important in a husband is his capability and competence to earn a living. And beyond that, the actual wealth is not important because The Almighty Allah has guarantied, among other things, enriching the couple, and that is in His saying:{If they are poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty}.

16.Keeping away from sources of tension

Social relationships ought to be kept clear of blemishes especially regarding relatives of the couple and that is because of the natural presence-in some cases-of the grounds for disagreements, as sometimes seen between the husband’s relatives on one side and the wife on the other, for these tense relations are a source of constant disturbance in the marital life, and how often it lead to dismantling of the marital establishment, especially with the fighting and the nervousness.

17.Avoiding the time of rage

One of the times in which Satan overpowers the couple is the time of rage. In this situation-which is not uncommon in a marriage-the couple should avoid taking any decision, making any action or statement that deepens the flaw between them causing grudge and hatred even if they become reconciled with one another afterwards.

18.Effects of divorce

Threatening to divorce, when the crisis between the couple aggravates, should never be thought of let alone said by one of the parties. For seeing divorce as the only way out, is not consented to by the mind or the Shariah, and it has seldom yielded rest and relief of distress, especially when the consequences of this state are reflected upon the children, in addition to the aggravation of the psychological state of the couple even after divorce because this long history of intimacy-with all its happiness and sadness-is something that is not omitted by two words said in front of two equitable witnesses (of divorce).

19.Avoidance of public disagreement

Disputing and showing of private marital disagreements in the family medium, whether it was in the presence of the relatives or the children, must be avoided, because the perception, by the children, of the lack of stability in their parents’ lives, is one of the things that shake the sense of security in the future. Add to that the pervasion of the unconscious reaction to the complications of these disputes in the their lives in the future. As also the showing of the disagreements in front of relatives, is something that necessitates some humility to either of them, one that is not consoled even by apologizing.

20.Dispute takes away the concentration

The preoccupation of the mind with the worries and family disputes robs the mind of the state of concentration on other vital issues like serving the believers, guiding the ignorant, following up the children’s school performance and ritual worshipping and doing what will be the provision in his long and lonely journey which has always troubled the minds of men possessed of minds, for endearing to Allah needs an environment devoid of blemishes and troubles, especially those which drive the couple into committing vices like backbiting, slander and obscene language.

21.Arbitrating the Shariah

The couple ought to make the Shariah the judge regarding the disagreement between them, they do not have the choice afterwards, and this is the meaning of The Almighty’s saying: {Until they make Thee the arbitrator between them}. Moreover, it is well known that the lack of this arbitration makes the couple live in an unending whirlpool, because if they do not accept the Shariah as the arbitrator, what is then?!

22.The husband’s securing of the cost of living.

The wife has to take into account the fact that the husband’s duty is to secure the expenses of the marital house and this in turn necessitates on many occasions entering the life’s battleground and bearing the worries of making a living with its disturbances and agonies. Therefore, the wife must take into account that this effort must be rewarded through respect and preparation of a happy environment, and also the husband must take into account that the wife alone carries the burden of pregnancy and giving birth to the child who belongs to both of both.

23.The woman’s making up for the man

The making up of the woman to the husband, and mastering of her marital duties, is one of the elements which attract the husband towards what Allah Has made permissible and hence keeping him away from the forbidden alternatives, and the same applies to the husband who usually does not see himself obliged to make up for the wife, as if that is exclusive to women.

24.Discussion of issues

It is recommended to specify a day or a night time to discuss family issues in a quite and objective way, away from tension and imposing of opinions, for the wife has an opinion as does the husband and it is better to reconcile the differing opinions when it is possible to keep away from the negatives of the imposing of opinion.

25.The husband’s role in guidance

The husband has an important role in bidding unto good conduct and forbidding unto bad conduct because of his distinctive place inside the family. Moreover, he must not forget this role, which the Quran urges to practice through Allah’s saying: {And bid thy family to pray, and be thou patient in it}.

26.Discipline is for the benefit of the couple

Adherence of the couple to the codes of Shariah concerning looking at and talking to other women, and also the wife’s adherence to avoidance of exciting behaviour to other men, enforces the integrity of marriage. For how many times the freeing of oneself from the religious restraints, on both sides, necessitated falling into sins which is equivalent to dealing a fatal blow to the marital life.

27.Not expecting idealism

The husband must not expect the wife to be ideal and the reverse applies, because no one knows everything except Allah and just as the husband did not marry the ideal wife, likewise the wife did not marry the ideal husband. Hence, one of them might meet, in the course of his or her life someone who is better for himself(or herself), but that does not at all mean that one desires what is not meant for him.

28.Rules of conduct before and after marriage

It is recommended that the couple observe the rules of conduct stated in the Shariah before intercourse, during coitus and after conception, at delivery and even during nursing, because these rules have major effects on the future ethical upbringing of the newborn.

29.The wife’s providence

The wife’s good management of the house’s needs, will spare the husband a lot of financial consequences, add to that the avoiding of extravagance and squandering which have afflicted affluent societies, both of which are among the major causes of the deprivation of blessings.

30.Not delaying apology

The human being is a frequent maker of mistakes, not impeccable by nature, male and female alike. Therefore, what is important in a couple’s relationship is that each one of them hurries to make the suitable apology when an intended or an unintended offence is done, and there is no doubt that the divine forgiveness follows clearing of the injustices done to others, as also hurting the creature-in some cases-hurts The Creator, which results in Allah’s cursing in this world and in the hereafter.

31.Not admonishing while in a state of anger

Admonishing and guiding while in a state of anger is futile, rather it might make the admonished more ferocious and headstrong. Hence, there is no meaning in admonishing during the state of anger and rage, of either or both of the couple. Furthermore, some of the passages (from the Tradition) have excepted from forbidding unto bad conduct in front of the scourge-holder.

32.Presentation is a commendable norm

Presentation deepens the state of love and intimacy between the couple. For how nice it is for either of them to present the other with something that suits the specific occasion! Moreover, there is no doubt that looking at that present-especially if it is kept as a memory for them-renews the feelings that surrounded that occasion and that presentation.

33.Spending on accessories

Some wives developed a habit of spending a significant amount of the husband’s money on what is considered accessories of clothing and furniture and what is not considered a necessity of life. Conflict may start if the wife insists on having something the husband objects to. Is it logical then for the couple to disturb their lives for the sake of an accessory or an ornament of life? Hence, what is suitable is the acceptable amount of ornament in different affairs of life.

34.Content with what Allah Has apportioned

The wife’s aspiration to a standard of living, which is higher than her class and beyond her husband’s capabilities, prevents her from living the state of gratitude for the blessings she is enjoying. Hence, the couple who fear for themselves the pervasion of the state of ingratitude in their being, must avoid associating with those whose friendship necessitate that state, let alone keeping away from those whose friendship leads to the spoiling of the religious commitment and demoralization, and how often a single relation has brought woes to a marriage which ended in nothing but separation.

35.Immigration to the countries of infidelity

Immigrating to the countries of infidelity is not permitted when it is not deemed necessary. It might even be forbidden if it necessitates a deviation in belief or actions, equally so for couple or their children, and there is no doubt that the generation which will be brought up in these corrupt environments, is in danger of relinquishing religion itself let alone the deviation in conduct, and we have heard about some dynasties which relinquished Islam because of making the wrong decision regarding choosing the home country, in a wish to obtain the vanities of this world.

36.Recreating the wife

The consuming of the wife’s time in the management of home affairs, confined to four walls, makes her a little bit bored and feeling annoyed and uneasy, contrary to the husband who has a large space to move within. Hence, it is just treatment that the husband introduces a sense of change and recreation to his wife as for example in travelling to one of the sacred places or making a short but aiming journey free from ill consequences and vices.

37.Self-Education

The availability of an audio library and the like of useful books and magazines, provides a good opportunity for educating the couple-by themselves-during spare time, especially with the failure of the public media to secure useful education, or even-in some cases-their contribution to the dismantling of a marriage by showing what leads the couple to a sinful world that is suitable for each one of them.

38.Watching family visits

Restraints of the Shariah must be observed during family visits. Suspicious mixing and the notorious interaction between teenagers must be prevented, especially with the presence of the opposite sex, because these are the best times for the planting of seeds of corruption in all its dimensions.

39.Keeping the marital secrets

The couple has to safeguard the secrets of their marital life during the height of their dispute and breach. For many of the negatives exposed by one of the couple cause degradation to both or one of them, something to which Allah does not consent regarding His servants, and it is known that the feelings which result from such a degradation and insult may stand in the way of reconciliation and harmony.

40.Jealousy and distrust

One of the constant causes of troubles between the couple is the unjustified- except by being possessed by delusions, which avail nought against truth-jealousy and the unnecessary distrust on either side, and what is important first and last in this field is the arbitrating of the Shariah regarding what it permitted and what it forbade, even if it differs from the inclination of either or both of them. For the one who holds the rein of power in His hands regarding forbidding and permitting, is The Owner of this existence, and is there anyone who has the ability to dispute with Allah regarding His power and rule?!
A supplication O Allah, we ask You by Your most beloved Names and Creatures:- To cast in our hearts love and mercy.- Not to give Satan an authority over us or our descendants.- To apportion to us of your awe what stands between us and committing vices.- To make us content with what You apportioned to us of livelihood.- And to deliver us from misguiding trials, the outward and the inward.

Islam and the Family

While the warp of society is the individual person and the woof is social order, the unit of the design is the family. Families in which mutual understanding, sincerity and tenderness reign, form details of a harmonious pattern. But a family in confusion and disarray distorts and mars the pattern.

The instinct for survival is innate in human beings. Producing children is the expression of one urge of this instinct, for a child seems like an extension of one's own personality, and a guarantee of the continuance of the same life-force. The primary origin of the urge to found families is sought by many thinkers in this instinct for survival.

The need to feed and support a family incites a man to industrial productivity.
Other thinkers hold that the primary urge towards family-founding was merely the sex instinct; others favors the gregarious instinct; others regard wedlock as a mere commercial transaction between families entered into for the profit of both.
In fact, communal living in society requires families as its units of construction. To degrade the pure love between husband and wife merely to sex, profit or protection, is to deny human nature at its highest.
Some say that, since in the inchoate days of human living the woman as a weaker being could not exist except under a man's protection, family life is merely a feminine institution imposed on man. This is manifest nonsense: for it ignores a man's need of woman, which may be different from woman's need of man, but is just as deeply and inextricably a part of his nature. True, man has to be the breadwinner in most cases. But he needs his mate as a partner in happiness, in joy and in sound living. In marriage is the end of loneliness. Each sex needs the other. This is why " He made them male and female ."

God implanted the sex instinct. God created sex differences. He created the survival instinct, the security instinct and the society instinct of gregariousness. All these were part of His providence in preparing mankind to be His joyful family Sociologists give each instinct its due weight in the scheme. They say that the exact role of each instinct varies with the changes in social structure. In primitive society the need to find food and housing is of primary importance. In the ancient agricultural community the need for children became paramount since many hands make light work. Today the sex urge has come very much to the fore, since humanity has devised means to achieve adequate food, satisfactory housing and machines to do the work. But over and above the instincts, the urge to love and the need to be loved are amongst the highest attributes of human nature.

Islam answers the call of nature affirmatively, with its insistence on the family as the best safeguard of public virtue, and its asseveration that it is the only right and legitimate way. It is written in the Sura XVI: Nahl-

"The Bee" verse 72: "God has made mates for you of your own nature and made for you of them children and grandchildren and posterity, and provided for you sustenance of the best. Are they then going to believe in vain things and not be grateful for God's favours?"

Islam sets out to protect young people from being led astray by the strength of the God-implanted sexual urge in the years before their character and conscience have matured and their will is governed by discretion. That is why it lays on parents the responsibility of I admonishing youth, and of imparting rules of. life and guidelines of prudence which will lead to godliness and the natural use of the power of procreation. It also holds parents responsible for arranging early I marriages for those who are mature enough to wed. Young people not yet I economically capable of supporting a family may find the thrust of the sex urge so strong that, without the guiding hand of their parents on the 1 reins, the horses of nature may run away with them and carry them into danger or into the trap of illicit sex. Parents must steer the life-force into I its God-given legitimate channels where peace of mind and calm of conscience accompany the happiness of a shared life.

The Prophet is reported to have preached thus from the pulpit of the mosque: "O Muslim community! Your daughters are like ripe fruit on a tree. Fruit must be picked at its optimum moment; otherwise the sun or other agencies will rot or spoil it. You must likewise give your daughters in marriage at the moment when they are ripe, and neither later nor sooner. If you leave them hanging about too long, their inevitable , corruption will be your fault. They are human, and their human needs must be met."

Ali bin Asbat wrote a reply to a letter which he had received from the 5th Imam, thus: "I find no young men who are suitable and fitted to be husbands for my daughters. What then is my duty?" In answer the Imam wrote: "Do not wait until you find young men who are exactly to your liking in all respects. For our Holy Prophet said: 'If you do not find young people to wed your daughters who correspond with your personal desires, have regard only to their character, especially their morals and their religion, and let the qualifications you require in husbands for your daughters be faith and morals alone, since with these a young man makes a satisfactory husband; and if you choose someone without these qualifications you are personally responsible for misleading and perverting your young people."

Thus Islam not only does not put obstacles in the way of matrimony, but turns this force of nature to the advantage of society and of the individual for his physical wellbeing, mental health, calm of spirit and contentment of heart. Islam regards marriage as a sacred union of hearts, a source of serenity and security for both partners. To fulfill this function it needs the qualities of purity, loving-kindness, humanity, gentleness, goodness and faith in the depths of the heart. As it is written in Sura XXX:

"Rome" verse 21: "Amongst God's signs for you is this that He created mates for you from among yourselves for you to dwell with in tranquility. It is He who put love and compassion between you. Verily in these are signs for those who reflect."

Islam lays down clear rules to govern the relationships within the family. Sura IV Nisa'a -
"The Women" calls marriage "the firm bond" and is concerned throughout the first 42 verses with the practical details of the contract of marriage and its fulfillment.

The sense of belonging together is nourished. Fairness governs the share each partner gives and takes in the compact. Each gives according to their ability and each takes according to their need. As Sura 11: Baqara -"The Heifer" affirms in verse 228

: "Wife and husband, women and men, have reciprocal and commensurable rights according to what is equitable."

Islam pays the closest and most meticulous attention to the capacities of each sex with regard to their occupation, profession and work. The man has the duty of being the breadwinner and providing for material needs and the production of things. The woman is the housekeeper with the duty of providing for the family's needs and for the production of new people, for nursing the new generation and caring for the upbringing of posterity. Islam recognizes the natural consequences of the way a woman is made, and will not allow her to be demeaned or degraded in any way; but preserves her from the wickedness of those who would lead her astray into corruption, and confers upon her a dignity, both at home and out of doors, which is worthy of her calling. It is of course possible that in an emergency a woman may be called to undertake tasks outside her home. But Islam seeks to avoid the kind of contacts between the sexes in the course of their employment which could turn fellowship into familiarity and comradeship into concupiscence. Therefore women must not dress in a provocative or enticing fashion nor titillate men's sexual lusts so that the madness which leads to promiscuity of intercourse is aroused.

Like any other institution, the family and its home need a responsible head. Without a firm hand at the helm a family can drift in confusion. Either the wife or the husband must therefore take the lead, and nature shows that in general it is more fitting for the man to steer, even if in exceptional cases the woman must take command.

The man, in accepting the responsibility of the household, its livelihood, its wellbeing, its children and their care, merits the authority of a head, because his greater strength, perseverance and endurance make him more fitted than the woman to carry the heavy burden of safeguarding the family from collapse and confusion. Further, woman is a creature of emotion, and quicker to be swayed by feelings. Woman is more ruled by her heart and man more by his head. So Islam gives the prime responsibility to the person of reason, precisely as Article 213 of the most recent constitution of France does. At the same time, Islam lays down that teamwork, partnership, consultation and joint planning is to be the rule. The man is on no account to be left free to pursue his self-willed desires regardless. He must definitely never tyrannies over his wife or abuse or bully her. It is written in Sura IV Nisa'a -"The Women'. verse 19:

"Believers! You may not take over a brother's widow without her consent. You may not treat your wives harshly. You may not goad wife into suing you for a khula' (divorce) by which she has to a part of the dower which you gave her - save only if she be guilty of forfeit lewd conduct. Nay! live with your wives in kindness and equity. Should you dislike them for something, that very thing may be a point through which God will bring much blessing."

The husband, in shouldering the burden of external affairs for the support of the family has full control of everything relevant to his task. But inside the walls Of the home the wife is in full control, and hers is the duty of arranging the details of daily living, the disposition of the household effects and the upbringing of the children. The Prophet said: "The man is the breadwinner responsible for the family, while the wife has the responsibility for the house and for her husband and for the children.-' (Majmoo'é wa ram p.6/ Collections and Remains.)
Modern disrespect for the bond of marriage is due to the negligence of this high conception of wedlock. Instead it has been degraded by a mass of petty dreams and twisted imaginations. Men's thinking about marriage was in ruins before their families began to fall apart. Too many have entered on the married state without a thought for the importance of harmony of mind and spirit between man and wife. Fortune hunters, Casanovas, women-chasers prizing a pretty face above all else, have pushed the spiritual values out of sight and trodden their own best interests underfoot.

The prevalence of such badly founded families forebodes a tragic future. The deep incompatibility of thought between man and wife sets them as far apart as the poles. The gap between them gapes wider daily. Contentment and peace of heart flee from them. They get on each other's nerves. The harmony which ethical values, unselfishness and human affection bring, as both sides do all they can to strengthen the spiritual life of each other, departs. A family must be founded firmly on due consideration of the environmental conditions, the proper setting for the wife, and the compatibility of the partners' ways of thinking and of their moral standards. Marriage must be thought of as holy and basic. Only from this correct viewpoint can the inevitable difficulties of living together be satisfactorily settled.
Islam has paid due attention to all the deleterious consequences of wrongly based marriage, its divisions and unhappiness. It therefore founds the family not on fortune or passion or outward beauty or any material things, but on faith and virtue, and chastity and purity and spiritual qualities and affections, and piety both in the man and ID the woman.

The Prophet is reported to have said:

"Whosoever takes a wife merely because of her beauty will never find what he sought in her. Whose takes a wife solely for her fortune, the Lord will abandon him. Seek therefore a wife whose beauty is that of faith and whose fortune is purity of living." (Vassa'el, Vol. 3, p.6.)

In the book "Man la yahdhur" (p.209), "There is no institution more beloved than marriage" is stated as Islam's policy for matrimony. Persons who seek to avoid founding a family on unreasonable or false grounds are sternly rebuked, and condemned for every form of pretext to which they resort for perverting the God-given force of sex from its proper use. In the book "Safeene al-Bahar" (Vol. 1, p.561), we read: "Wedlock and matrimony belong to my religion. Whosoever protests against this way of life excludes himself from my religion and is not one of mine." Similarly Islam is against the wedding of people who lack the qualities of personality and the excellences of spirit which are required: and against wedding into families which do not profit from religious upbringing in moral standards. As is written in the "Vassa'el" - chapter 7 of the .'Book of Wedlock" "the Prophet in a sermon said: Avoid beautiful plants and flowers which grow by the side of filthy and polluted waters.' The Prophet was asked: 'O Prophet of Allah! what is a plant by a stagnant pool?' He replied: A beautiful woman brought up in a perverse family that has not known the restraints of instruction'."

It is natural that consorts who are not brought up on absolute moral standards and religious laws can never be sure of true family happiness and blessedness. The fruit of such marriages can only be delinquent children, rough, violent, without serenity or security of spirit. Therefore Islam, to ensure the happiness of both parties, lays particular stress on matters of morals and of mentality. It is to guard against the production of a generation that is corrupt and perverted that Islam seeks to avoid matrimony with members of families that are polluted and degraded.

If young people, at the moment when they have to choose their life's partner, would do so in accordance with Islamic rules and regulations instead of only looking at externals, and weigh the realities which are vital to happiness, setting aside false thinking inspired by polluted passions that so swiftly pass, there is no doubt that the unhappiness and family disasters brought on family life by the devotees of sexual freedom and permissiveness would all very rapidly disappear into thin air. Yet some of today's youth have been taught that a trial-marriage, to see if a couple suit each other in intercourse, is the right way and the ideal preparation for happy life-partnership. How can they think that a brief experience of a fleeting pleasure of two bodies can plumb the depths of the spiritual qualities, mental abilities, moral gifts and personality-traits of another soul? To expect to found an eternal relationship on a few moments of pleasure is a nonsensical piece of illogic. That should be enough to condemn it out of hand, quite apart from all the moral and spiritual damage which such temporary liaisons cannot fail to cause. The inner qualities of a personality only appear in a long period of a shared life. It is the ever-changing scene and stage of their living together which reveals the truth of two partners' inward nature to each other. Patience, forbearance, equanimity, steadiness, contentment, selflessness, self-sacrifice are discovered when life's pressures crowd in on the soul. How can brief moments of rest and fun and trips a deux penetrate to the deep ethical characteristics? Can a visit to the cinema or some other place of entertainment reveal their true selves to a couple? Indeed, in trial-marriages both partners try to conceal their bad sides and put on a good mask to fool each other.

Can a young man in the heat of passion make a decision which is the most fateful of his life? Can a trial-marriage ensure that there is no difference in spirit and no weak point in their relationship? And how can a young person ruled by the conditions of his years when the inclination to satisfy sexual instincts is so strong. weigh the essential conditions for a sound marriage dispassionately and detachedly? How can he be sure that quarrels and differences will not arise in the future?

It is for this reason that Islam recommends that, before the final signing of a marriage contract, the young people should meet each other and talk; but also, and far more important, they should get an assessment of their proposed partner's character and tastes and traits and capacities from independent observers who are able to judge from long acquaintance.

Or, since the family happiness depends in the first place on the equality of the relations between man and wife in their shared life, the firmer the spiritual and ethical bonds the surer the happiness of the household and the greater its ability to stand the shocks of life in selfless self-sacrifice and union. This is why the Prophet said. ."'Best of my people is the man who shows his family not harshness but perfect kindness and goodness." (Moral Excellence. p.247 "Makarem-ul-Akhlaq".) And again ("Man la yahdhur" p.625): "Best amongst you is he who treats his family well: and I am kindest of all to my own family." Similarly the wife should treat her husband with kindness, and this is called her ."Sacred Jehad" (Tafseer-ad-Dorr al-manthoor ."Gems of Wisdom").

One of the sad obstacles to early marriages today is the difficulty which finance poses for young people. Provision of the marriage portion, expensive ceremonies, the high cost of houses, and a dozen other extravagant charges are too much for the average youth. Islam insists that the state should take steps to enable these difficulties to be overcome in the interests of the institution of matrimony. The book "Gems of  Wisdom" reports the Prophet of Islam as saying: "It is an auspicious and beneficent act that the bride's family should make their demands for dowry and terms of the marriage contract mild and lenient."

Excessive demands may reveal not only that the bride's family but possibly also the bride herself is grasping and hard. The chapter on marriage portions in the book '"Vassa'el" tells the following story. One day the Apostle of God was seated with the assembly of his companions when a young woman rushed in and after the customary courteous salutations said: "O Apostle of God I want a young husband." The Prophet turned to all those present and asked: "Has anyone an inclination to take this woman to wife?" One man said he was willing. I The Prophet asked what dowry he would give. He replied: "I have nothing I can give." So the Prophet said. "No!" The woman returned on a later occasion and requested to be married. No one replied. Finally the same young man who had no fortune or property at his disposition made a sign, and the Prophet addressed him thus: "Do you know the Qur'an?" He said: "Sure!" The gracious Apostle then decreed: "I will marry you to this woman at the price of the dowry which will consist in your teaching her a portion of the Qur'an every day."

Islam therefore refuses to recognise that financial difficulties may put obstacles in the way of young people's matrimony. It allows indigent and needy persons to found families by law. Islam regards fear of poverty and of involvement as false excuses for avoiding the divine law of life in wedlock, and says that Providence knows a family's needs and will not let them fall into deprivation.

It is written in Sura XXIV: Nur-"Light", verse 32: "Provide the means by which worthy and fitting persons who have no spouse may marry. If they are poor and indigent God out of His gracious care will supply their needs."

Of course hard work and industry is the way in which a man should supply his needs. When a man undertakes the responsibilities of matrimony, in order to make both ends meet he must increase his activities and his hard work. This is one of the functions of marriage in raising the standard of living for the whole of society

The relationship between faith and love in a Muslim family

The relationship between faith and love in a Muslim family

    Family is the holiest social structure as well as the initial core that establishes the human society. The establishment of a safe social relationship on the basis of mutual respect, protection of rights and duties of its members, consideration of morality and generosity, plays a key role in safeguarding its consolidation, fluency and stability. This structure at the same time being the primary social unit of human relations proclaims a high position in customs, laws, human social and historical traditions worth regard to all the differences they may have had or still have. The basic members of the family including father, mother and children (boys and girls) and at the next level grandfather and  grandmother, uncles and aunts benefit from written or non-written rights and duties, in society’s customs and traditions whether tribal or ancient in the modern or advanced world. Each of the various sciences such as sociology, psychology, and socio-psychology; as well as, law, literature, poetry, art, tribal myths or even as is seen in recent conventions that are held by different civil organizations especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reflect the man’s susceptibility and his emphasis on the family. Among the above mentioned, the semantic religions which are the great messenger of morality, truth, friendship, and respect have faced this matter with creativity which springs from their feeling of responsibility. This can be easily proven with a quick glance at the history, literature, religious texts and the written or non-written heritage that is left by our ancestors.

    Islam, the last Divine religion whose holy text, the Holy Qur’an, is still unchanged and safe from distortion and from which the richest historical and traditional (Ravaee) documents have remained untouched, has studied this subject more than any other religion and culture and has emphasized on its importance. At this point, it would be beneficial to mention the following documents in order to make clear the Islamic principles and values concerning family and its rights and duties:

1.      The Holy Qur’an many of whose verses relate to the family system and the rights of its members as well as about the rights of father, mother (parents), child, old people, girls, women even about the servants who live at their home.

2.      The words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who has taught his apostles and companions about these important issues.

3.      The words of the Prophet’s (SAW) companions inspired from the Prophet’s (SAW) words.

4.      The words of the members of his household and the successors of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) who had been the trustees of his knowledge. It is possible to study these statements in Nahjul-Balagha, which is written by Imam Ali, Amir-al-mu’omenin (AS) and other traditional (Hadith) books.

5.      The Prophet’s (SAW) behavior, the generous companions and Imams (AS) of the Prophet’s household who are the merited examples for Muslims to be followed, as relates to their relationships with their fathers, mothers, other family members and Muslims. Such behavior can be widely found throughout the historical books

6.      The prayers that have been left by the great religious men. These prayers are very rich sources and are also filled with Islamic training about family rights.

7.      And finally, one of the very valuable and rich sources that can be used is Imam Saj’jad’s (AS), treatise (Resa’la) of Imam Ali ibn al Hussain (AS) that is called “Resa’lat ul Hoquq”. This treatise is a valuable and exact explanation of the Imam’s opinion of rights in Islam.

    Imam Saj’jad (AS) mentioned 50 important rights concerning individual and social responsibilities in relation to Allah and one. These rights include the rights of mothers, fathers, children, brothers and other relatives. This treatise (resa’la) is worth reading and learning from.

The importance of cultural and social backgrounds in the interpretation of family rights in Islamic texts:

    A study of the Islamic texts concerning family rights, and it’s comparison to customs and habits of the Prophet’s (SAW) era in the Arabian Peninsula and other areas around it such as Rome and Iran, and even a comparison of the rules of the non-Islamic societies during the centuries following shows how advanced and just these rules are.

    In a society in which children particularly daughters were buried alive, women were considered second class citizens and were even used as blood-money at tribal disputes, the mention of kindness, love and respect for the personality, social and political rights of women was like a dream. Moreover, recommendations concerning a child’s right to fostering, nurturing and education was considered as idealistic but all of these are realities in Islamic culture.

The philosophy of family rights in Islam:

    From an Islamic viewpoint, the fundamental principles and basic values in establishing a family are as follows:

1.      Mutual love between a wife and a husband.

2.      Coordination between faith and religion.

3.      Consideration of the common cultural and economical background.

4.      The holy agreement between a man and a woman.

5.      Mutual respect and moral dominance.

6.      Being responsible for/towards children.

    The above principles, that will be explained briefly, not only are the basis of a common safe and sound life, but also cause its stability and continuity.

1.      Mutual love between a wife and a husband:

    “And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.” (ar-Rum, 21).

    In this Holy A’yah in addition to emphasis on the most important principle of a matrimony life (love and peace), they are also considered to be the kindnesses and favors of Allah, which He has created.

2.      Coordination between the faith and religion of man and woman:

    Man’s matrimonial life cannot stabilize and continue on the basis of conflict and contradiction. Love cannot be continued if it is established solely on feelings of affection. This type of love is nothing but passion (Hawa). In an Islamic family the important thing is common belief, deep and holy love. So, a woman and a man who are Muslims and share the same religion are true mates. If this common idea is incorporated with “love” and “responsibility”, it will form the foundation of a good family life.

       3. Common cultural and economical background:

    This principle is a form of social advice of Islam to the families that similarity in cultural, social and economical status should be considered in matrimonial life. But of course this is not a general principle. There are several cases among the Prophet’s (SAW) apostles who were encouraged by the great Prophet (SAW) to marry a girl from a wealthy family, with her assent, to a faithful and honest boy of lesser means.    But it is experienced that such marriages must have strong religious and cultural support. In general, it is better to consider the suitability of education, economics, beauty, and professional position in the society.

3.      The Holy agreement between a man and a woman:

    It is very simple. Two brief sentences that express this concept are the acceptance of mutual love and the responsibility as regard to rights and duties. And what mentioned above is necessary for a heaven life that is formed in the earth. This agreement destroys the possibility of chaos in the relationship between a man and a woman; more over it makes this relationship legal and divine.

4.      Mutual respect and moral dominance:

    Even though, in Islam like all other legal systems, rules that compose the rights and duties of family members are dominant in the relationship, consideration of morality, forgiveness, generosity and devotion hold a high position. Living under the protection of morality offers such a special serenity and spirituality that a formal life under the control of law is not able to provide. This only becomes possible if there is bilateral forgiveness and generosity.

    All the Divine religions like Islam are interested in making morality and mutual respect dominate over all fields of society, but the sweet taste of this principle is more manifest in family life.

5.      Being responsible towards children:

    Children as members of the family are the result of human sexual instincts and his need to procreate. Parents and children have mutual rights. There is a right for each duty and in contrast, a duty for each right that is stressed in Islamic verses and traditions (Rawaya’t). The safe haven, which exists in the family and results in the improvement and promotion of man, can be established by considering these rights and duties.

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