True Concept of Piety
The literal infinitive and root of the abstract Arabic noun TAQWA, which has the most beautiful and original meaning, is "WQY". WAQAYA means self-control, being fearful and protecting one's self from all divinely prohibited actions. Actually the word WAQAYA means the spirit, power and ability attained by the practice of giving up sinning, by practicing abstinence and by self-restraint against committing sins. keeping the soul's control over sin and forbidden pleasures.
Trying to be pious and acquire the spirit of self-control in the face of sin is the best step to be taken in life; and amongst all actions is the action most approved of. Trying to acquire piety is actually the practice of worshipping God: the worship which God has instructed humankind to perform. This kind of worship includes a program which will undoubtedly please God.5.
The philosophy behind physical, financial and moral worship is the cognition of piety by a true believer. Any type of worship, movement or action which does not result in piety is not to be considered worshipping at all.
A society is a combination of thousands of families and one family consists of one wife, one husband and a number of offspring. Actually the building blocks of the family and society are individuals. If each and every individual has developed the spirit of piety, we shall have healthy families and a superior society. The family will be an environment in which internal peace and safety from the external world govern. In this type of family there is room enough for the individuals to fully develop. As a result we shall have a society in which all individuals are sources of benefit for each other and everyone is safe from others’ mischief and harm.
The pious people are loved by God and are divinely favored by the Prophets and religious leaders (the Imams): they are practically generous and productive beings. The pious ones are people of fine character and heavenly morality having angel-like faces, and lack evil spirits.
The individual's, the family's and the society's reputations depend on the existence of saintly piety, and no individual, family or society is more worthy to God than the pious one. The harm caused by wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, children and society's individuals to each other is the direct result of irreligiousness. The terrible fear that people in families and societies have of each other is the bitter fruit of ungodliness. The ample damage done to the affairs of people's lives results from the lack of piety.Actually, it is a divine necessity for husbands and wives to be beautified with piety so as to have a healthy society. And it is also necessary that the parents pass on this beneficial, divine desire to their offspring. From the very beginning of training their children, parents must make sure to develop the basic environment for piety.
How praiseworthy it is to pay attention to the abundant benefits of the Quranic verses and religious traditions on piety; and then begin to evaluate their benefits! Look at the truth of the matter in this way: if all young women and men were God-fearing, and made arrangements of marriage with an angelic capital of piety, what wonderful families and societies would be established!
Piety and Its Praiseworthy Degrees
The enlightened ones and those who according to the Quran show insight and have made spiritual journeys mention three degrees of piety.
I - Outstanding Piety
II - Especial Piety
III - Ordinary Piety
In a very notable tradition Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) explained these three degrees in the following manner:
I - Outstanding Piety
The first degree of piety is being completely absorbed by Allah and consists of the individual abstaining from religiously lawful things and actions, much more the religiously doubtful things and actions.
II - Especial Piety (In Awe of Allah)
The second degree of piety is "In Awe of Allah" meaning the individual abstains from all religiously doubtful things and actions, much more the prohibited ones.
III - Ordinary Piety
The third degree of piety results from fear of Hell's punishment and God's painful Wrath. This degree consists of abstaining from all sins and forbidden things and actions. [Mava'ez al-’Addadiyi, p.180].
Of course, the meaning of abstaining from religiously lawful things and actions expressed in Imam Sadiq's statement has the following meaning: those having this type of piety do not pursue many of the religiously lawful affairs since they feel they do not require them. And concerning the lawful necessities they require for subsistence, they observe the utmost frugality.
The power to be contented is practicable for everyone, and if anyone denies it, the excuse will not be accepted. Being contented with what is religiously lawful and limiting the materialistic affairs of life are moral actions and approved of programs providing the environment for the realization of angelic piety in all affairs.
Hajji Sabzevary and Moderation
In order to preach Islam I traveled to the town of Sabzevar (Iran) in 1983 where I inquired about whereabouts of the family of the Great Sage and Noble mystic Hajji Mulla-Hady Sabzevary. I was told that one of his great grandchildren lives in this town. He was wise, knowledgeable, knew philosophy and had interpreted the Quran twice for the people of the mosque of which he is the Imam.6
I rushed to visit him and his appearance, morality, style of living and his encounters with others displayed a perspective of Hajji 's pure life. I asked him about his noble great-grandfather. He described amazing issues about his plans and life conditions and said that Hajji was respected by all scholarly, political personages. He said people would rush to him from far away places to benefit from his knowledge, but he lived in real moderation concerning his food, clothing and housing. Sometimes, observing cleanliness, he would wear his clothes for nearly ten years patching them when necessary as this is the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and that of God's Saints.
Luxury-Loving and Wastefulness
According to Allah, these two acts are satanic and due to one's selfish and carnal desires. What prohibits man from abiding by God's limits for life? More specifically, if man were more content he would have an easier life, less stress and insecurity. Once man's physical needs can be met with a reasonable house, a normal vehicle and sufficient food and clothing, we should avoid keeping up with the Joneses. We should get used to normal expenditures, and avoid extra expenditures and obtaining what is considered luxurious and fashionable. We should not use the West as a model for our life-style. They themselves are plagued with many errors. Industry and technology should not make us think that whatever they say and write is correct and that their lifestyle is in accordance with reality.
What is important in the Islamic religion is the well-being of the soul and body, the neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions. What is paid attention to in this culture considering material, spiritual and personal affairs, and social faith and ethics is for the good of man in this world and the Hereafter.
The pure Islamic culture and school for refining human beings scorns wastefulness, luxury-loving, making heavy expenditures, ornamenting the outward appearance of one's life without considering moderation and economizing on expenses. This even applies to the matter of building a mosque being the Muslims' place of worship. Mosques must be adorned with the utmost spirituality inwardly, and be ornamented outwardly in the simplest way so that hearts may not be tempted and souls not be separated from Allah.
Provide yourself with simple clothing, however, observe the etiquette for wearing it. Attain your essential foodstuffs but observe the good manners of eating. One may buy an appropriate vehicle of transportation according to his/her social status but the driving regulations should not be ignored. Purchase a house for yourself, but not one which will enslave your soul. All of the above are the results of piety, abstinence and paying attention to God. The Jewish and Christian lifestyles - considering housing and furnishings, transportation vehicles, clothing, foodstuffs and other luxuries - are entangled in wastefulness. The Christian churches and Jewish synagogues are adorned with gold, jewels and other ornaments as well as devices, instruments, statues, antiques, tableaux and couches costing millions of dollars. The lifestyles of the Jewish rabbis and Christian clergymen, even that of their leader the Pope is entangled in wastefulness and extravagant expenditures causing one's eyes to pop out. If the personal hat and clothing of the Pope were sold, millions of starving people could be saved from hunger.
Amassing great amounts of wealth, usury, great robberies even in broad daylight and a thousand other notoriously disgraceful plans are the deeds of God's enemies. God's friends must accustom themselves to God's consent and protect themselves from extravagant expenditures and wastefulness. All these facts are generated and maintained by piety.
A home decorated with piety and a pious couple could actually possess a divine treasure and heavenly capital. Their life is richly blessed with happiness, peace and friendliness as well as comfort, security, health, righteousness, justice, nobility, benevolence and truth. One's home and place of worship must be such that one can feel at peace and be secure; and it should be a place to get closer to God. In short, we must establish our lives based on piety and moderation - considering God and the Hereafter - so as to please God and obtain the good of the Hereafter.
Even today one can live on a meager income if one is pious and content. Of course, in case a problem should arise and the believer could not handle it on his low income, it is the duty of the believers to assist their brother immediately and save him from suffering any hardships.
Let's Invite Each Other to Piety
Considering that not all men and women can attain the first two degrees of piety being (1) outstanding and (2) especial piety, we should not invite the general public to these two stages of piety as these degrees of piety belong only to the Prophets, the Imams and God's especial Saints. However, it is feasible for all men and women to attain ordinary or the general type of piety; that is to abstain from the religiously forbidden ethical, carnal and financial affairs.
Therefore, it is everyone's duty to politely invite others to piety and to encourage each other to abstain from various forbidden acts, so that divine virtues may encompass man's life including individuals and families and thus the society can benefit from it.
It is divinely obligatory for all people in all ranks to attain piety, especially a husband and wife who should teach piety to their children. The righteous say children are God-given responsibilities and their hearts, and souls are pure and void of any corruption like blank tableaux. This blank tableau can accept any design. If a child is taught good deeds, words and ethics at home and if he/she is guided to learn the truth, he/she will attain the prosperity of this world and the Hereafter. The parents who cause this to happen shall share in the reward as do the teachers who have participated in his/her training.
If, however, the parents be corrupted and ungodly drawing satanic designs on the child's heart, life and soul, then the child will become corrupted and be raised like an animal just following his lusts and carnal desires. The child will be spoiled and the responsibility will undoubtedly lie with his parents or teacher.
Save yourselves and your families from a Fire.[Holy Quran: Tahrim 66:6]
Why do parents usually protect their children from fire and prevent them from approaching danger? Should they not also protect their children from the flames of God's Wrath in the Hereafter resulting from lack of piety, evil acts, no morality, faith and good deeds. The practical approach to protect children from punishment in the Hereafter is for the parents to be pious and to teach them piety. To train their children parents must be benevolent teachers, persuasive preachers and sympathetic inviters to good deeds. They must first ornament themselves with piety, faith and good deeds. Then they must train their children, teach them principles of morality and protect them from bad friends and wicked teachers.
They must try to raise the child in such a way that he/she does not become deeply fond of wealth, luxury and wastefulness as well as excessive ornaments. Thus, he/she would not turn into a wasteful, greedy, looting, lustful and stubborn individual in the future. If the society consists of ungodly individuals, it will be like a building constructed from low grade materials. It will collapse and living in it will become difficult for everyone.
There would be no need for prisons, police, courts and the extensive judicial system, if all homes were based on piety and couples were virtuous and taught their children piety. If so, large amounts of money spent on preventing robbery, corruption and looting would be saved and could be spent for the public's well-being.
Signs of the Pious
Using the Quranic verses and religious traditions, religious authorities consider the following to be signs of the pious:
a)Learning enough of the religious sciences necessary for his actions, morality, business deals and relations with family members and the society
b)Protecting his body's health by using hygienic measures and observing good etiquette while eating and drinking
c)Resorting to one's intellect in daily affairs and being honest in all aspects of life
d)Having modesty, not lying as well as maintaining good temper and not being wicked
e)Not being a hypocrite and hating extra material goods
f)Not being deceitful, making excuses or committing treason
g)Honoring the virtuous and the wise
h)Carrying out one's religious duties, including the obligatory and supererogatory acts.
i)Following divine scholars since they teach man what is forbidden and what is allowed in God's relogion, and only except man's progress
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) stated the following concerning the fact that one must follow the divine scholars:
A sign of a liar is that he informs you of issues in the Heavens and the Earth, but when asked about the religiously lawful and forbidden, he has no answer to give. [Usul al-Kafi, v.2. p.340; Muhjat ul-Biyza, v.5, p.140]
Some other signs of the pious ones are:
1)Patience in the face of terrible events
2)Observing the Islamic customs and principles of morality in all affairs
3)Diligence in making supplications
4)Perseverance in intellectual affairs
The pious should have sincere intentions and be pure in soul. They should progress to the stage of knowledge of certainty, then to the stage of reality of certainty, and then to the truth of certainty.
A Pious Man and Wife
A pious man never uses any means, except the lawful ones, and never accepts any unlawfully made money, in order to earn his living.
Thus, he respects the rights of all with whom he deals, and no one is harmed by his activities outside the home. He does not get involved in what is religiously unlawful due to his piety and does not lose the treasure of purity of his soul and contentment. When a pious man has finished working and returns home, he leaves all his tiredness at the door-step and enters the house in a cheerful, delightful state. He smiles kindly at his wife and tells her to relax after working all day at cleaning, cooking and caring for the children. He praises her and faces her with kindness, paying respect to each one according to his/her position in the family.
Once in a while, a pious man reminds his family members about the religiously lawful and forbidden, virtue and vice, good and evil deeds and does not let them forget religious issues.
A pious man does not spend all his time outside of home, and does not limit his happiness and laughter just to his circle of friends. Also he does not excessively attend the mosque and religious ceremonies.
A pious man notes that Islam has instructed us to be moderate and consider economy in all aspects of life, even in worship. Islam has even prohibited us from usurping the rights of our wife and children under the pretext of visiting our friends or attending ceremonies. At this point, I must remind my respectable colleagues who are in charge of mosques and religious ceremonies to shorten the duration of religious programs. A congregation prayer and an hour of preaching should suffice, as this was the practice of the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Noble Imams. They raised great men and women in a short time and with brief sermons.
Worshipping in excess, especially in regards to the supererogatory acts, and drawing on and on the meetings, will bore the listeners. Gradually this will cause a psychological complex in the listener concerning religious programs. The only result of this is the harm done to the mosque and religious clubs as well as to the people, especially those with a low tolerance. Anyway, a pious man will observe the proper etiquette in all aspects of life. In this way, he will help to establish a fine family and attract his family's kindness to himself.
The pious wife protects her chastity, innocence and purity and eagerly does the housework. She prepares the means for her husband's comfort and helps him to relax as he is tired from work outside the home. She cares for her children in the most honorable way and behaves with her husband and children within the limits of Islamic morality. She does not forget to worship God daily and makes the home the center of love, kindness, eagerness and delight.
The pious woman, by relying on the divine Islamic principles, follows her husband's orders. She avoids getting angry and encounters her husband's kinsmen with kindness and Islamic morality. When her husband comes from his work, she is at the door to welcome him. When he leaves for work, she sees him off and requests him to bring home only the lawful goods. She says that she will be content with the lawful goods, even if they are meager, and will not accept the responsibility of unlawful goods. Do not exceed the limits set by God to obtain unlawful wealth under the pretext of being married or having children and a lot of expenses.
The pious woman does not try to keep up with the Joneses causing her husband to be embarrassed because she wants the same things his kin have or hers does. Such a pious couple are approved of by God, are a source of goodness and a good example of divine human beings. In the shade of this couple, the kind of family which God likes, is created. In any case, the husband and wife take care of each other in all of life affairs based on the Islamic wisdom and laws, just as God's Saints did.
My maternal grandfather told me that once he and his friends traveled from the Khansar region near Isfahan to visit the holy shrine of Imam Reza (Pbuh). This happened in the old days when people used to travel on quadrupeds.
He was in charge of shopping in Damghan city. Early in the morning, he entered a shop to buy some goods. Since he was a pilgrim, the shopkeeper invited him in and started serving him. At the same time someone entered the shop to purchase goods and intended to buy a lot.
The shopkeeper asked him to cross the street and purchase from the store opposite his shop, so the man left the store. My grandfather said he got surprised and asked the shopkeeper the reason. He replied that earlier that morning he had seen the other shopkeeper in a sad mood. When questioned why he was so sad, he stated that he had a debt to be repaid on that day, but business was bad. The shopkeeper said he could not remain indifferent, so he sent his customer to shop from that poor man's store. Possibly in this way he could pay back his debt.
Believers should support each other. Everyone should support his/her friends. Especially, a husband should support his wife and a wife should support her husband so that their life is established on the basis of divine and humane principles yielding noble children.
spray scent in your house at the time of morning prayer by reading the Quran. Your heavenly recital of the Holy Quran will affect your wife and children, and they will become better acquainted with worship services and God willing the true message of the Quran and will become benevolent and pious.
The Lofty Goals behind Marriage in Islam
God doth wish to lighten your (difficulties). [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:28]
An Honorable Household
If a young adult or an adult man or woman does not marry, it seems to be rather impossible to remain chaste and free of corruption. It is a difficult problem to find a young adult out of millions, not married, yet be chaste and sinless. If we find a youth who is truly chaste and not married, then we may say she/he is one of God's Saints. Avoiding commitment of sins, remaining immune from corruption, being safe from the outburst of the instincts, and not being married at the same time is something only the Prophet Joseph could do.
A house in which an unmarried man and a woman live is not safe from corruption. If the man has no wife and the woman no husband, and their sexual instincts are alive with the pressure of lust, then those two have various mental, family and social problems and live in corruption. Marriage is a natural and divine law. It makes some problems easier to solve which are concerned with keeping the youth chaste and pious.
The establishment of a household in society must be founded on a healthy and peaceful basis. The couple live together by marrying and respecting each other's rights. Wherever a Muslim household is established it must be based on God's revelation and in the remembrance of Him day and night.
(Lit is such a Light) In houses, which God Hath permitted to be raised to honor; for the celebration, In them, of His name: in them is He glorified in the mornings and In the evenings, (again and again), [Holy Quran: Nur 24:36]
In such a house, with such attributes, one finds a household of believers in which worshipping God flourishes. God has ordered a marriage to take place there and the couple obeys all divine, humane laws. The Glorious Quran orders that marriage should take place so that a man and a woman's problems are solved through the realization of this tradition and they - being the future teachers of some children - will remain incorruptible.
A man and his wife establish a mutual life. Being in harmony with each other they make a home for God's remembrance. In such a house, the couple are real servants of God and their offspring are the fruits of virtue. Their behavior and morality are signs of divine etiquette and the traditions of the Prophets. When a believing couple get married, they both feel responsible to follow the divine laws. They find each other to be a helper to the other. They are two loving friends, two intimate companions, two sources of faith and two pillars of love and kindness. Thus they protect life from difficulties. If a difficulty should arise, they solve it easily and confront it with the arms of patience and fortitude.
The Worst People
Living in seclusion and not having a companion leads to many difficulties. It causes depression, despondency, nervous disorders and all types of mental and physical disorders. Being alone causes one to enter the world of imagination and vain thoughts and succumb to mental and moral illnesses. The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
Most of the People of the Fire on the Day of Judgment are those who refused to marry and start a family."[Marriage in Islam, p.26]
Also the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
The worst of your dead ones are the celibates. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.100, pp.220-221]
In another tradition he mentioned:
The most ignoble of your dead ones are the celibates. [Ibid]
In a wise speech he said:
The most Satanic ones amongst you are the celibates. Celibacy is the brother of Satan.[Ibid]
In some heavenly words he said:
The best of my nation are the married ones and the worst are the celibates.[Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) also said:
If the dead celibates return to this world, they will surely marry. [Marriage in Islam, p.27]
And in another tradition the Prophet (Pbuh) said:
God curses the man who refuses to take a wife. [Ibid]
Why does the Noble Prophet of Islam interpret the celibates to be dwellers of the Fire, ignoble ones, brothers of Satan, the wicked, the seditious, and the cursed? This is because those who do not marry are forced into corruption, sedition, sin and make problems for their society and the family. In all aspects of life, they cause a lot of trouble.
According to the Quranic verses and Prophetic traditions, marriage endows humans with nobleness and respectfulness. Marriage keeps man safe from wickedness and God's punishment. It protects him from falling into the clutches of Satan. Marriage protects man from becoming a source of vice and corruption and he will be safe from God’s Wrath. All of this results in his comfort, peace and safety, righteousness and piety making life easier. This is why in the Holy Quran the lawful, Islamic marriage has been pointed out.
God doth wish to lighten your (difficulties) [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:28]
The Blooming of Talents
If a young man and woman marry based upon their nature and follow God's commandment and the divine Prophets' ways, undoubtedly the way for the blossoming of hidden talents will be opened up and the tree of life will bear excellent fruits. They will be saved from the peak of God’s Wrath, a seditious nature, the dangerous clutches of Satan and God's curse - all being the consequences of being celibate. Marrying results in the following: peace of mind; an inner feeling of security; overcoming the problems of celibacy; arriving at a heavenly, angelic environment; the proper background for correct ways of thinking; and control of the outburst of the instincts and lust.
Many of the distinguished men of letters, Islamic scholars whose names have been recorded in the history of the world, have practically made progress of 100 years in only one night. In general, these individuals have attained lofty positions in science and knowledge in the shade of marriage which brings peace of mind. Their names are on the tip of everyone's tongue due to their knowledge, piety, chastity, nobleness, service to others and servitude to God.
In the book entitled “Zendegany Ayatullah Boroojerdy”7, we read: " In 1935 at the age of twenty-two, he received a letter from his father asking him to return to Boroojerd. He thought that his father wanted to send him to Najaf - the largest Shiite seminary existed- to continue his education. However, upon his return and after visiting his father and other relatives contrary to his expectations, he observed that they had arranged for his marriage. However, he became sad. In reply to his father who noticed his sadness and asked him about the reason for it, he answered that he had been studiously acquiring knowledge with peace of mind. But now he noted that marriage would hold him up.
So his father told him that if he followed his orders, there would be hope that God would grant him an opportunity to reach his lofty goals. His father told him to beware of not marrying, because it was probable he would not get anywhere no matter how studious he was. This removed all his doubts. After marrying and staying there a while, he returned to Isfahan where he continued his studies and tutorials for another five years.
In Isfahan his loyal and well-matched spouse provided the means for his peace, progress, comfort and security, as she was a kind friend, a sympathetic assistant and a calm servant. He was so busy studying that sometimes he would study until dawn. He had stated several times he would attempt to memorize the Holy Quran when not busy at other tasks. And during this period in Isfahan he memorized Chapter 9 entitled Baraat (Immunity) which he remembered his whole life and continued to recite.
The late scholar Tabataba-ey, the author of the Holy Quran's interpretation named Al-Mizan acknowledges that part of his scientific and spiritual progress was due to his noble wife. Marriage is a source of peace and security and it provides a background for the development of talents and the realization of perfection.
Striving for the Well-Being of the Household and Home
In addition to positive worldly gains, marriage and maintaining a spouse and attending to the children have serious spiritual benefits. Working and striving to provide sustenance for the wife and children are considered to be a wonderful form of worship being equal to engaging in war in the way of God. The following has been narrated from the Immaculate Imams:
One who works really hard to provide for his family's sustenance from what is lawful is similar to one who fights in a war in the way of God. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.101, p.72]
It is very difficult to obey God's order instructing the mother to respect her children's rights, the wife to respect her husband's rights, or the husband to respect those of his family and provide for their spiritual needs. This too is considered to be worship and deserves the rewards of the Hereafter. Raising a good generation with children who are good-doers and excellent offspring is essential and satisfies God. It is of utmost importance to keep the household safe from corruption and to provide the means for growth, education and development of the family. This is the best type of worship of God.
The Fourth Imam (Pbuh) has wisely stated:
Whoever provides the best means for the spiritual and material needs of his wife and children is closer than others to attaining God's gratitude.[Bihar al-Anwar, v.101, p.73]
Anyhow, the society is the product of the family. All people who serve a nation, whether it be the president, minister, or a Member of Parliament have their roots in the house and the family. The home and those who manage it are the main factors in their education and development. Home is like a piece of land which if separated from the truth will be like a salt desert with no flowers blossoming. And if connected to the truth, it is logical to expect flowers in bloom.
Man's success or failure is primarily originated from parent’s conduct. If they strive for their children's success, they have performed a major act of worship and will eternally benefit from marriage. If, however, they are the cause of their offspring's failure, they have not only benefited from the holy tree of marriage but they have practically prepared the means for their own loss. It is for this reason that the Prophet (Pbuh) stated the following in different Islamic traditions:
The roots of anyone's failure exist within their mother, and so does their blessed fortune. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.5, p.157.]
And as the great poet Kalim Kashany said: The only thing that comes out of the jug is what's inside it.
Now it is up to the parents to fill the hearts, the minds and the brains of their children with whatever they have.
Establish the Loftiest Goal for Marriage
One's goal for marriage should be spiritual, holy and pure. One must marry in order to obey God's order and the Prophets' manner and to provide for the prosperity of his/her spouse as well as divinely raising children.
Both men and women should prepare themselves for engaging in a great act of worship when they marry. They should consider God's approval of their union and they should realize that through their loin and uterus, they carry God's loan. They must know that the child is only God's trust which is the guest of the father's loin for a short time and then is the guest of the mother's uterus for nearly six to nine months. During this time, the child with no option absorbs his/her father's characteristics and traits through a God-given property. It has been narrated that the Prophet (Pbuh) would sometimes let pregnant women come and watch the wars against God's enemies. They would witness the glorious scenes of the Holy War and sword-fighting in God's way, and hear the warriors shouting divine slogans.
All this was for the development of the fetus in the uterus through what he/she heard and saw, and thus a well-bred, brave, ambitious child hearing divine sounds in the womb would develop.
Have you not heard that God ordered forty days of fasting for the Prophet (Pbuh) before the formation of the existence of his daughter Fatimah (Pbuh) in his loin. Then he ate heavenly foods for the meal on the last night of fasting. The sperm was then transferred to the mother's womb.
Do not let your eyes be the judge for marriage. Do not let lust be the matchmaker for marriage. Do not let the goal for marriage be getting wealthy by either family. Do not let the goal of marriage be seeing a beautiful face or a deceiving look. It has been proven that if these are the goals for marriage, such marriages do not have a good ending and bear little or no fruit.
Let spirituality, God and worshipping Him, striving to respect your spouse's rights, raising good children and attaining God's pleasure be your goals in marriage so that it bears eternal fruits. Let lawful lust, consent and leisure be subject to these lofty and divine goals so that you can gain complete pleasure and rewards of the Hereafter, too. If two individuals are divinely joined, their marriage will last forever since divine marriage never ends in divorce. One who marries for God's sake, wholeheartedly respects his/her spouse's rights and does not impose the least harm upon the spouse.
It is a religiously lawful requirement to protect the spouse's honor in front of the children and their relatives. And it is divinely forbidden to belittle one's spouse. Muslim men and women must consider the marriage of the Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) and Hazrat Fatimah Zahrah (Pbuh) as their model. This lofty marriage, which was contracted for God's sake, was based on heavenly goals and resulted in immaculate and divine offspring. The following verses have been interpreted to refer to this marriage in Shiite traditions:
He combined the two seas between which there is a distance. They do not exceed each other's limits (mingle) and pearls and coral come from these two seas." [Holy Quran: Rahman 55:19-23]
What is meant by the two seas is the Commander of the Faithful and Hazrat Fatimah Zahrah being two seas of wisdom, patience, faith and insight. What is meant by distance is the Noble Prophet of Islam Muhammad (Pbuh); and what is meant by pearls and coral are their offspring the Imams Hassan and Husayn (Pbuh). [Nur al-Thaqalayn, v.5, p.191, tradition 19]
The family structure must be purely divine and Islamic so that it can attract and absorb God's benevolence. If undesirable and ungodly customs, Satanic conditions or that part of the culture of the Age of Ignorance which the Prophet (Pbuh) had ordered to be abolished be not avoided in marriage, then evil will appear in the marriage and this tree will bear sour fruits. The Prophet (Pbuh) ordered: Everything should be abolished from the Age of Ignorance except the Islamic traditions. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, ch.6, p.128, tradition 32.]
The Family Structure in the West
The family structure in Europe and America lacks any foundation or content and is a faulty structure. Following the example of the family structure in the West is incorrect and it paves the way to ruin one's life.
The Westerners do not have pure and holy goals in marriage. Lust and satisfaction of the instincts is the reason why they marry. Noble and pure men and women are few in number there, so that is why corruption is overwhelming in Europe and America.
Most men and many women in the West marry after periods of unlawful sexual relationships and usually put their offspring in day care centers. Then they take them from the nursery school void of paternal and maternal love and pure emotions and they let them join in any type of corruption. They send them to the schools so that they apparently learn good behavior and become familiar with a few words. Then at the age of eighteen, they force them out of the home and leave them up to the environment and the society.
The ethics that they teach at home or school is how to be a gentleman, how to earn money and know about economics. They pay no attention to the inner facts and inner roots. Westerners are unable to raise human beings.
Is this not obvious from the fact that when they establish a society or a government, the society is a source of corruption and the government is the primary means of exploitation and colonization of the oppressed people on earth. The crimes committed by the graduates from Western schools and universities cannot be compensated for until the Day of Judgment.
If they are polite and calm for a while, it is because they have not yet found anything to capture. Their story is like that of the man who told his friend about his polite cat which held a lit candle and guided guests to their seats at a table full of delicious foods. The friend said one cannot trust the cat's politeness. He added that he is ready to prove it. When in practice, the cat was seen with a candle light guiding the guests and not greedy for the food on the table, the friend took a mouse out of his pocket and freed it in the middle of the table. The cat dropped the candle and jumped on the table on a wild mouse chase destroying all the food and ruining the party. The policy of the Westerners is similar to that of the cat. As long as they do not see their desired food, they are calm and polite. But once they see the oil, gold or other mines of the weaker nations, they drop the torch of politeness and jump like voracious animals to devour all material and spiritual goods and start a blood bath for material gain.
The abundance of corruption, unlawful lust, murder and looting, prostitution and other evil deeds in the West is a direct result of the loose family structure there. If the houses in Europe or in the United States were filled with knowledge and God's remembrance and worship, then their products would have been noble humans with heavenly principles of morality. But since these homes are void of truth and God, their fruits are sour, stinking or tasteless. One cannot use such a system as a model, and those who do so will become even worse than the Westerners.