Man and woman are the two basic pillars of a family, but since men are endowed with special qualities by the order of creation, and because their power of logic is stronger than women's, they are regarded as the guardians of their families.
The Almighty Allah regards men as the guardians of their families and states in the Holy Qur'an that: “Men are the maintainers of women, because Allah has made some of them to excel others..” (4:34).
Therefore, men have a greater and more difficult responsibility in supporting their families.
It is the man who can, through his wisdom, support his family and prepare the grounds for their happiness and it is he who can turn the house into a paradise and his wife to act as an angel.
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'Man is the guardian of his family and every guardian has responsibilities towards those under his guardianship'."
A man, who is supporting his family, should know that a woman is also a human being like a man. She also has desires and the rights of freedom and life. Marrying a woman is not hiring a servant, but it is a selection of a partner and a friend who would be able to live with for the rest of one's life. Man has to care for her and her desires. Man is not the owner of his wife and in fact a woman has certain rights upon her husband.
Allah states in the Holy Qur'an: "... And women have rights similar to the rights of men in a just manner, and the men have a degree (of advantage) over them...” (2:228).
 Mustadrak, vol 2, p 550.
Taking Care of your Wife
The secret to a family's prosperity is the way in which one takes care of one's wife, and this is, like the duty of a woman towards her husband which is regarded to be at the same level as Jihad, is also regarded as a man's best and most valuable act. But a married man must learn how to treat his wife in a way that she turns into an angel-like character.
For this, a man must find out about his wife's behaviour and her desires. He must program his life according to her wishes and righteous requests. He can, through his own manners and attitude, influence her in a way that interests her in both him and his house.
This is a subject which needs more explanation and detailed discussion will be presented later in this book.
Be Loving towards Her
A woman is a center of kindness and a being who is Completely emotional. Her existence depends on compassion and affection. She longs to be loved by others and the more the better. She sacrifices herself a great deal in order to seek popularity. This character is so strong in her that if she realizes nobody loves her, then she regards herself as a failure. She becomes disappointed in herself and feels dejected. Therefore, certainly one can claim that the secret of a successful man in a happy marital life is his expression of love towards his wife.
Dear Sir! your wife before marrying you, was enjoying her parents' love and kindness. Now that she has entered into marriage agreement with you and now that she has chosen to live with you for the rest of her life, she expects you to fulfill her desires for love and affection. She expects you to show more love to her than she received from her parents and friends. She has trusted you extremely and that is why she has entrusted you with her existence.
The secret to a happy marriage is the expression of your affection to your wife.
If you want to conquer her heart, if you want to make her obedient with regard to your demands, if you want to strengthen your marriage, make her love you and remain faithful to you, or..., then you must always show your affection to her and express your love.
If you deprive your wife of kindness, then she would lose interest in her house, children and, above all, in you. Your house would always be in a messy condition. She would not be prepared to make efforts for a person who does not love her .
A house in which there is no affection, resembles a burning hell, even though it may be very tidy and full of luxurious goods.
Your wife may become ill or have a nervous breakdown. She may seek popularity with others if she is not satisfied with you. She may grow so cold towards you and the house that she may even seek for a divorce.
You are responsible for all this because you have failed to keep her content. It is certainly true that some divorce procedures take place as a result of unkindliness.
Your attention is drawn to the following statistics. The psychological requirement of affection, the carelessness of husbands with regard to their wives' wishes and the overlooking of the importance of the mental status of women, have been responsible for many divorce cases.
"In the year 1969, out of a total of 10372 separations, 1203 women expressed the reason for their divorce as losing heart in life, feeling worthless, and the lack of care of their husband with regard to their wives' desires and emotional feelings. "
"A woman said in court that 'She was prepared to abandon her dowry and even pay her husband a sum of money to make him agree to a divorce. She said her husband was more interested in his parrots and that was why she did not want to live with him any longer'."
Family love and friendship is more precious than anything else and that is why Allah has regarded it as one of the signs of power and a great blessing which mankind has been endowed with, Holy Qur'an says: “..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.” (30:21)
"Imam Sadiq (AS) stated: 'Whoever is our friend, expresses his kindness to his spouse more'."
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'The more one becomes faithful the more one expresses kindness to his spouse'."
"Imam Sadiq (AS) stated: 'One of the characteristics of the prophets of Allah is that they are all kind towards their wives', "
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'The words of a man who tells his wife, 'I love you truly', should never leave her heart'."
Love and affection must of course be genuine to appeal to another's heart, but even so loving for someone is not enough, as it is vital to express one's affection. By showing your feelings through your words and actions, the love you have shown will be returned to you and your hearts will strengthen their bonds of love.
Be frank and do not be discrete in expressing your love towards your wife. In her absence or presence, you should make compliments for her. Write to her while traveling and inform her that you miss her. Occasionally buy something for her. Phone her when you are at work and ask how she is.
One of the important things on a woman's mind is these kinds of expressions of love.
"Mrs... while shedding tears of grief said: 'I married my husband on an autumn night. We lived together in peace for a while. I regarded myself as the luckiest woman in this world. I lived in his little house for six years. I felt a hundred times happier when I found out that I was pregnant. When I informed my husband he wept tears of joy while embracing me in his arms. He cried so much that he nearly lost control over himself. He then went out and bought me a diamond necklace with his savings. He gave the necklace and said: 'I am giving this to the best woman that I have ever seen in the world'. But it was not long before he was killed in a driving accident'."[l52]
 Ittela’at, 15th Azar, 1350 Solar Hijri.
 Ibid, 6th Bahman, 1350 Solar Hijri.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol 103, p 227.
 Ibid, p 228.
 Ibid, p 236.
 Shafi, vol 2, p 138.
 Ittela’at, 6th Bahman, 1348 Solar Hijri.
Respect Your Wife
A woman is proud of herself just the same as a man would be. She likes to be respected by others. She would get hurt if she were to be insulted or belittled. She feels good when respected and would hate those who try to degrade her .
Dear Sir! your wife surely expects you to respect her more than others. She has every right to expect her life partner and best friend to care for her.
She works for you and your children's comfort and thus expects you to value her efforts and to respect her. Honouring her would not belittle you but it would indeed go to prove your love and affection towards her. Therefore, respect her more than others and talk to her politely. Do not interrupt her or shout at her. Call her by respectful and virtuous names. Show your respect when she wants to sit down. When you enter the house, if she forgets to say' Salam' (greetings), then you should say ' Salam' to her.
Say 'Good-bye' when leaving your house. Do not lose contact with her when travelling or away from home. Write to her.
Show your respect for her when in gatherings. Seriously avoid all insults and humiliation. Do not abuse or even jokingly tease her. Do not think that because you are close to her she would not mind you making fun of her. On the contrary she will dislike such an attitude but may not express it.
"A dignified woman, around 35 years of age, says about her divorce request: 'It is twelve years that I have been married. My husband is a good man and there are many characteristics of a good and amiable person in him. But he has never wanted to realize that I am his wife and the mother of both his children. He thinks he is a fitting person for get togethers, but he performs his show by teasing and humiliating me. You cannot believe how much I have been hurt. My nerves have been affected so much that I have to go to a psychiatrist for treatment. I have talked to my husband about it many times. I have begged him not to treat me in this way. I have reminded him of my position as 'his wife' and my age and that it is not proper for him to joke with me in front of others so that they have a laugh or a good time. I feel embarrassed in front of everybody and because I have not ever been a witty person, I cannot compete with him. Since my demands are not being met by my husband, I prefer to separate from him. I know I will not be happy on my own, but I cannot live with a man who constantly degrades me'."
All women expect their husbands to respect them and all of them hate insults If some women keep silent before their husbands' humiliations, it is not the proof of their satisfaction.
If you respect your wife, she will do the same to you and thus your relationship will grow stronger. You would also earn more respect from others. If you maltreat her and she retaliates, it is again your fault and not hers.
Dear Sir! marrying is not equal to getting a slave. You cannot treat a free person as a slave. Your wife has married you in order to live with you and to share her life with a man whom she loves. She expects the same things from you as you do from her. Therefore treat her in a manner in which you would like to be treated.
"Imam Sadiq (AS), quoting his father, stated: 'Whoever marries, must respect his wife'."
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'Whoever respects a Muslim, Allah would pay him his own respect'."
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah also stated: 'None would respect women except the magnanimous ones, and none would insult them except the ignoble ones.' In addition, the Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'Whoever insults his family, would lose happiness in his life'."
 Ibid, 8th Esfand, 1350 Solar Hijri.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol 103, p 224.
 Ibid, vol 74, p 303.
 Mawa iz al-Adadiyyah, p 151.
The world takes its path according to a regular pattern. Events happen and show themselves one after another. Our small existence in this vast universe is like a small particle which moves and impinges on other particles at every instant of time. The running of this world is not in our hands and the events of this world do not occur according to our will. From the moment that one sets foot outside his house in the morning until the time he returns home in the evening, one may be confronted with hundreds of unpleasant circumstances.
One comes across a great many difficulties in the arena of life. You might be insulted by someone, have an unfriendly colleague, have to wait for the bus too long, have been accused of something at work, have lost some money, have been robbed, or have come across anyone of a number of similar events that could happen to anybody anywhere.
You might be so frustrated with the usual everyday events of your life that you resemble a time bomb which could explode any time.
Well you may think that you cannot blame other people or the world for your mishaps, so when you come home, you try to vent your anger out on your wife and children. You enter your house and it is as if 'Izrail (the angel of death) has arrived. The children disperse like little mice in front of you. God forbid that you should find something to pick up fault. with! The food may be salty or saltless, your cup of tea may not be ready, the house may be untidy, or the children make a noise. and it gives you a good excuse to blow your top in your own house.
You then become furious and shout at every body, abuse them, hit the children, and so on. You will have then turned a house of affection and friendship into a burning hell in which you and the rest of your family would have to suffer.
If the children are able to run away from home into the streets, they would do so, and if they cannot do that, then they count the seconds until you leave the house.
It is patently obvious what an apathetic and horrific atmosphere is dominant in families of this kind. There are always rows and arguments. Their house is always in a mess. The wife hates to see her husband's face.
How can a woman live happily with a grim and bad- tempered man?
Worse than all is the fate of children who are to grow up in such an environment. The parents' quarrels would certainly leave a scar on their sensitive souls and hearts. Children who experience this kind of hardship, tend to become furious, aggressive, depressed, and pessimistic type of people in their adulthood. They become disheartened in their family and go astray. They might fall into the traps of corrupt people and turn to crimes of different kinds. They might even become so complexed and mentally disturbed that they might even endanger other lives and commit murder or even suicide.
The reader is recommended to conduct research into the backgrounds of criminals. Statistics and the daily news of criminal events all reflect this fact.
Responsibilities of all these lie with the guardian of the family who has not been able to control his temper and who has mistreated his family. Such a person can never find peace in this world and would be punished in the next.
Dear Sir! we are not in a position and cannot control the affairs of this world. Mishaps, hardships, and sorrowful events are all inseparable parts of this life. Everybody experiences difficulties at different times. As a matter of fact, one can reach maturity through hardship. One must confront them with strength and must try to find solutions to them.
Human beings have the ability to meet with hundreds of small and large difficulties and not to give in under the strain of misfortune.
Worldly events are not the only reason for our being upset, but rather it is our nervous system which becomes affected by such events and causes us to experience discomfort. Therefore, if one could control himself when faced with the unhappy events of life, one would not become annoyed or angry.
Suppose that you have experienced an unpleasant event. This event is either an inseparable part of daily events with which we cannot interfere or that we cannot help. Or it might be an event in which we can thrust our own decision.
It is obvious that in the former case, our annoyance would not help in anyway. We would be wrong to become angry or bad-tempered. We must remember that we were not responsible for its occurrence and even try to welcome it with a smiling face. But if our bad experience is of the latter type, then we can seek a suitable solution for it.
If we do not lose heart when faced with hardships and try to control ourselves, we can, through prudence, overcome our difficulties. In this way we would not resort to anger which may itself add to our problems. Therefore, a wise person is the one who is not affected by hardships.
We have the ability to overcome all difficulties through patience and wisdom. Is it not a pity that We lose control over matters resulting from inevitable events of life?
Moreover, why should you blame your wife and children for your misfortunes?
Your wife is performing her share of duty. She has to take care of the house and the children. She has to do the washing, cooking, ironing, cleaning, etc. You should encourage her in the way you treat her.
Your children are also doing their own work. They too wait for their father to make themselves happy. Teach them the right things and encourage them in their studies.
Is it fair that you confront your family with a grim and angry face?
They expect you to fulfill their righteous desires. They expect kindness from you and want you to talk to them gently and behave pleasantly.
They would hate you for ignoring their feelings and for turning the house into a dark place in which there is not a glimpse of happiness.
Do you know how much they could suffer from your unpleasant and harsh manners?
Even if you do not take your family very seriously, at least have mercy upon yourself. You can be sure that you would damage your own health by being. bad-tempered.
How can you continue to work and how can you achieve anything successfully? Why should you turn your house into a hell?
Is it not better for you to always be happy and confront your problems with prudence and not anger?
Would you not prefer to believe that anger would not solve your problems, but rather it would add to them. Would you not agree that, while being at home, you should rest and regain your strength in order to find a suitable solution to your problem with a clear mind? You should meet your family with a smile on your face. You should joke with them in a nice manner and try to create a happy atmosphere at home. You should eat and drink with them and take rest. In this way you and your family would enjoy life and you would overcome your problems easily.
That is why the holy religion of Islam regards good behaviour as a part of religion and a sign of the utmost level of faith.
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'Whoever is more well-behaved is more complete in his faith. The best among you (the people) is one who does good to his family'."'
"The Prophet (SA) also stated: 'There is no deed better than good behaviour'."[l58]
"Imam Sadiq (AS) stated: 'Doing good to the people and behaving properly with them makes the cities populous and increases the age (of the citizens)'."[I59]
"Imam Sadiq (AS) also stated: ' An immoral person remains involved in torture and anguish'." '
"Wise Luqman stated: ' A sagacious man must act like a child when with his family, and leave his manly behaviour for when out of his house'."
The prophet (SA) of Allah stated: 'There is no joy better than good behaviour'."
"The Prophet (SA) also stated: 'Good behaviour is half the religion (of Islam)'."
"It has been reported that when Sa'ad ibn Ma'adh, one of the great companions of the Holy Prophet (SA) died, the Holy Prophet (SA) took part in his funeral with bare feet, as if he had lost someone from among his own family.
The Prophet (SA) placed the dead body in the grave with his pious hands and then covered it. The mother of Sa'ad who was observing the Holy Prophet's (SA) respect for her son, addressed Sa'ad and said: 'O Sa'ad! enjoy Paradise.' The Prophet (SA) of Allah told her: 'O mother of Sa'ad, do not say that, because Sa'ad has just experienced Daghtat al-Qabr* (torment by way of compression in the grave etc). Later, when the Prophet (SA) was asked about the reason for Sa'ad's Dagh!at al-Qabr, the Prophet (SA) replied: 'it was because he (Sa'ad) was maltreating his family'."
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol 103, p 226.
 Shafi, vol 1, p 166.
 Ibid, p 176.
 Mahajjat al-Bayda, vol 2, p 54.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol 71, p 389.
 Ibid, p 385.
 Ibid, vol 73, p 298.