Difficulties and Hurdles of Marriage
By: Ali Akbar Mazaheri
Whenever it is said to a youth “Marry”, he instantly presents the problems, difficulties, and hurdles of marriage and the first difficulty that he discusses is the economical and financial matters. He then counts the other problems one by one. It is a fact that there are really lots of difficulties on the way to marriage, which cannot be neglected. In this chapter, by the will of Allah, we shall consider these difficulties, impediments and obstacles and contemplate the solutions to them.
Difficulties: Real or Artificial?
Alas, our society still remains a far distance from the true and pure Mohammadan Islam. Ah! Still its face is hidden behind the curtain of many problems. And the curtains of ignorance, false habits and customs, selfishness polytheism and egoism have hindered the radiant sun of Islam, depriving society of its life-giving glare.
Had Islam been the standard and criterion in marriage and spouse choosing, most or all of these difficulties would not have existed. But which Islam? According to Imam Khomeini (r.a) pure Mohammadan Islam, not American Islam.
Pure Islam is the same as the Prophet (S) originated. Have we not read and heard about the glorious Prophet (S)? That he executed all the stages of marriage, i.e .engagement, fixation of dowry, and recitation of marriage service, in the span of a few minutes, and handed the husband and wife to each other and sent them to their home?
These are not myths, not even miracles. Still the pure Mohammadan Islam is the same and has the same strength and quality, but it is we who are not pure Muslims (all our shortcomings are due to “our” Muslimhood, not to Islam).
What To Do Now?
In any case, difficulties and hindrances do exist, and their solutions and remedies must be found. These remedies and solutions are of two kinds: one is long term and the other is short term. The long term ones are mostly related to the intelligentsia, the rulers, reformers, think tanks and the trainers of the nation and society, who should seek solutions for the entire society and its welfare. And the short term ones are mostly connected to the youth and their parents themselves, who must seek the immediate solution as to what must be done in these circumstances and conditions.
At the moment, we are not going to talk about the long term solutions. They may be discussed independently at another time. Our main discussion pertains to the short term planning, i.e. what might be done right now? So now we take up the real and actual difficulties.
First Difficulty: Economic and Monetary Difficulty
The major part of this difficulty is formed from the intricacies created by society, which is not the actual difficulty of marriage. Had our life been based upon the foundations of Islam and human nature, these external difficulties would not have existed, or would have been extremely minimized, and there would have been no youth who could not marry due to such things. Anyway, these things presently exist and our society has brought them into being, and a solution must be sought for them.
1. Allah's Supports
Allah and the leaders of Islam have given a lot of good news and hope in this regard, which can be very hopeful and trusting supports for the youth. It is obligatory and binding upon us to have complete satisfaction about these promises and news. Their promises and commitments are true. There could be no more hope - giving and enthusiasm - creating thing than this support for the youth who intend to marry but find the economical difficulties a hurdle and hindrance on their way. Faith in this support brings about a great courage and valour in a man. Now we consider a few of those.
Allah promises: “And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, knowing. (24:32)”
This is a clear, distinct and conspicuous promise of Allah; and which promise can be more trusting than Allah's?
Young brother and sister, be satisfied and absolutely sure about this promises of Allah, then you will see the definite and bright result of it, Insha’Allah.
I have personally seen and observed and touched this in many cases among my friends and acquaintances who did not have a house or wealth at the time of their marriage, but later on became house owners and wealthy. Very rarely have I seen people possessing a house and material sources before marriage.
I know only two of these cases where some people were provided with a house and money before marriage, but interestingly, they too were confronted with a cold, spiritless, and purposeless life due to them putting off and delaying their marriage for the procurement of house and money; since they wasted the spring of marriage that is the valuable period of youth till the “autumn of life” appeared.
The Good News Given By The Leaders of Islam
The Prophet (S) who is the trustee of Allah's mysteries and secrets spoke about Allah’s help to the youth as follows: “Give spouse to your single ones, because Allah makes their morality better (improves it) (under the shadow of marriage)
and expands their sustenance and increases their generosity (human values).” 1
Yet again he says: “The one who forsakes and drops marriage for fear of poverty and adversity, indeed he has a bad (negative) opinion and thought about Allah. Verily Allah said: 'If they are poor, Allah will turn them needless by His grace.'“ 2
Again that magnanimous one says to the youth: “Get spouses, as that increases your sustenance.” 3
“Sustenance is with wives and family.” 4
A Beautiful Example
A young man who was extremely poor and penniless came into the presence of the holy Prophet (S) and complained to him about his poverty and adversity, and requested his guidance, saying: “Oh Prophet of Allah, what must I do to get out of this condition of extreme poverty and apprehension?”
The Prophet said: “Do marry!”
The young man was surprised and said to himself, “How can I, who do not have enough means to run my own life's expenses, marry and shoulder the responsibility and expenses of wife an myself together?”
However, since he was completely sure about the correctness of the saying of the Muhammad (S) and believed in its truth, did get married and his life gradually and economically improved. he came out of the state of poverty and misery.
Deep attention to this good news and true promises projects sureness about Allah's aid and help in the human heart, so that one marries and is not afraid of the difficulties, hardships and hindrances.
And it is taken for granted that when a youth marries for the pleasure of Allah, implementation of His command and remaining safe and secure from the corruptions and spiritual and physical ailments, and also for the sake of progress, completion and prosperity, Allah's beneficence and kindness would overwhelm him, and His help would come to make him reach his sacred aim.
2. New Horizons
After marriage, new horizons and vistas open up before one, which did not exist before; since the individual, as a result of marriage, feels more responsibility and sees oneself responsible to manage the new life, to procure the livelihood and save the family's honour. Thereby, he utilizes all his potential capabilities and hidden talents: fresh spring sprouts up from his interior; talents that he was unaware of rise up and premarital sleeping energies gush out. He finds a new and energetic personality inside himself. His dependence and trust upon Allah increases. And all of a sudden “new broad horizons” open up and are made apparent before his intellect, mind and soul.
On the other side, under the shadow of marriage and resting beside a kind, intimate and sympathetic life partner, all the problems, pressures, agonies of single life, loneliness, feelings of scornfulness and shortcomings are forgotten, and as a consequences, the human soul blossoms and the keenness and eagerness towards progress and completion blooms in him, and man flies up towards the height of completion and prosperity.
What a large number of people have been seen who, after marrying a suitable spouse , have found for themselves new personalities, become new persons, and their journey towards all ends picked up acceleration and speed.
This progress and development of new horizons contains and consists of economic affairs as well and the youth explores new ways and means of livelihood and procuring income. He becomes brave and dauntless in his economical matters, expansion of his job and business. As a result, his income is boosted and increases by these activities. Economical problems and hardships are removed one by one.
Every success has many other successes following it and every new victory brings other victories.
3. Job Facilities and Allowances
In a lot of organizations, job institutions and offices married employees are given such facilities, allowances and benefits, which are not given to the unmarried. For example, when teachers get married, they are provided with plots, loans and other benefits and allowances that have a great effect upon the betterment of their economical conditions.
Just as it has been previously stated, 90% of my friend and acquaintances became house owners and wealthy after being married. Most of them were teachers and preceptors who, when married, even after their simple engagement, acquired access to pieces of land and loans, constructed houses, and even their marriage expenses were met by the same money. Of course, we must be attentive to the fact that in all these cases “Allah's help” is effective.
4. Attaining Status and More Reverence
In society, married people are usually more respected and given higher status than single ones. The banks and financial institutions that provide loans, and the businessmen and institutions providing commodities on installments trust and value married people more. This trust and economical honour has its effect upon removing the financial hardships of life and improving its elegance and splendour.
5. Special Marriage Loans
Special funds and bank loans for this essential matter must be established everywhere. This seems to be one of the long-term solutions we have decided not to discuss. We, at present, do not have any concern with the long term ones, but the youth themselves and the residents of each street can perform it, and the mosques are suitable places for this work. It may not necessarily be a large one; it can be a small unit in each street and area, and can announce that everyone can bring in any amount of money and give it as a loan for marriage expenditures and expenses for Allah's pleasure.
Unfortunately, some of the loan funds, which at the beginning were meant for meeting the needs of needy people, have now turned into 'business shops'. Anyone who has more money or works more with the fund gets more loans! (Glory be to the Creator! Is this the meaning of a loan?
We are not concerned with such funds. Of course, there are some funds concordant with their preliminary aims and objectives and young men can, by trusting in Allah and with their high morale, courage, fortitude and the help of sincere and pious men raise and establish special marriage funds.
6. Decreasing the Ceremonies and Additional Expenses
Most of the ceremonies regarding marriage are against Islam, reason and human nature.
We must again regret that our society has become so immersed in habits, rites and customs of ignorance. A lot has been said and is being said over this topic. Reformers admonish. Writers write. The religious scholars and clergymen describe the traditions and the mode of life and morale of the infallibles. But alas, it has a little effect upon hardened hearts, which are contaminated with the customs of ignorance.
Why have we become so? Why have we, who claim piety ad culture, flung ourselves far from piety and civilization and the lofty Islamic culture?
Why do we bind ourselves by such chains of imprisonment? Why is our society moving fast towards decline, retro gradation and retrogression and the fall of moral values? Why is it that after the revolution it was expected that the mean rites of ignorance would go, but actually we see them on the increase? This is most certainly not the fault of the revolution, it is ours.
The dower sums and wedding gifts are going up each day. Dowries are increasing. The expenses and expenditures are swelling. Ceremonies are boosting up in number. Emulation and rivalry is increasing and avarice and jealousy is intensifying.
O Allah! What has gone wrong with us?
Oh dear fathers and mothers, be mindful not to sacrifice your children upon your greed and avarice. Be mindful not to destroy their prosperity. Do you know that if you hinder the marriage of your son with a suitable spouse, its harm and loss will reach you before and more than everybody else? Take lesson from all the corruption that has taken place due to delays in marriages for the sake of ceremonies and rites.
If your dear daughter becomes corrupt, you will lose your honour, which will make you bow down your head.
If you receive the news that your daughter has made friends with indecent boys, and God forbid, she has become immodest and immoral, then this stain will remain upon your face forever.
If, God forbid, your son becomes immoral, characterless, and corrupt and involved in feeding his eyes with prohibited sights, sexual deviation, indulgence, and dirty sexual activities, this would bring a black spot of eternal disgrace to you.
If your son or daughter is confronted with depression, apprehension or physical and spiritual disease due to sexual strains, solitude and loneliness, or masturbation and sexual deviations, their loss, apprehension and grief will also be shared by you.
Why have we become negligent and heedless to the facts? Did the Muhammad (S) not say the daughter who id not married in time is like a fruit that is not plucked in time and becomes rotten and stale? Did Islam not reveal
: “If the marriage of the son is delayed due to the parents ad he is deviated (with sin), that sin will be shared by the father and the mother as well”?
Even if we are not Muslims, why must we not take lesson from the experiences of society?
Oh dear father and mother, oh sisters and brothers, do for sure that most difficulties are our own creations, and we have ourselves loaded these problems ad nuisances upon ourselves.
When the parents, and even the boys and girls, are talked to and guided about decreasing and diminishing the expenditures ad ceremonies, and an ample number of arguments are given in this connection, they reply
: “All that you say is correct, but, we have honour and prestige It would be stepping down from the height of honour if we do not take such and such an amount as dower sum, have simple ceremonies, the girls' dowry may not containing a colour TV, furniture, freezer and carpet, certain types of jewellery may not be there, and the right milk price may not be received. We are honourable and must remain honourable and respectable and raise our head (with honour) among both families.”5
The answer is
: Is our honour and reverence more than that of the Muhammad (S), Ali (a.s) and Fatima (s.a).
If holding simple marriage ceremonies, short of rites, is a disgrace and causes dishonour, then how come these great personalities did that? All of us know that they were the most honourable of humanity in the whole of the universe. And no one reaches their status in connection with honour, respect, nobility and position.
Nevertheless, all of us are aware that the marriage of Hazrat Zahra (s.a) and Hazrat Ali (a.s) was held in the simplest form, and that all the expenditure of the dower sum, dowry and household effects and marriage expenses were procured from the sale of Hazrat Ali's armoured jacket. The total expenses totalled nearly thirty thousand Tomans today (nearly 60 dollars)!!!
Yes, it is true that we do not have the strength to lead a life similar to those magnanimous ones. But at least we must resemble them and our life style should have some resemblance with theirs; otherwise, what does following and taking example mean? If we claim to be their followers, but our life conduct ad morality does not have any resemblance with theirs, then the claim would be a lie and it is a form of hypocrisy.
And likewise, it is true that the form and pattern of life has changed and the standards of living have gone up and the age has changed. But the Islamic and human standards and values have definitely not changed at all and will never change. That is to say, not spending extravagantly, simplicity in life, not having rivalry and the invalidity of fables and ceremonies shall always stand; let the society go to any height of standards.
“All that Muhammad (S) made lawful shall be lawful to the resurrection day, and all that Muhammad (S) declared unlawful and illegal shall remain so to the resurrection day.”
Regretfully, these false ceremonies and wrong rites are a social and cultural disease, which has affected all of us; and we all are responsible for it.
O' fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers! We must believe for sure that the rites and ceremonies are like the spider's web, the more they grow, the more we would become entangled in them, to the extent that they suffocate, choke and destroy us. The lesser their number, the more comfortable and at ease would man be.
A Beautiful Specimen of Simple Living
Once in the era of Salman's (r.a) governorship and rule in Madayen, a flood came and the water gushed into people's house, so they rushed to the mountains and the height to seek shelter and refuge. Those who had more luggage to carry were faced with a lot of trouble in taking them up the height; so that a few even lost their lives carrying their household effects.
Hazrat Salman's (r.a) personal effects were small, including a volume of the Qur’an, a sword, a water pot, and a goat skin which was his carpet. He took them and climbed up the hiss without any difficulty. Then he said: “Suck is the way that those who are light gain salvation and those with a heavy load (of sin) are annihilated and perish.”
For the sake of God, what is the difference if you own a rug instead of a precious and expensive carpet? What difference would it make if your house does not have decorations? What stops us from having a simple meal instead of various costly foods? If honour is in these formalities, then these personalities are artificial, unimpressive and worthless.
Compare the simple mud house of Ali (who is the chief of the believers and leader of all human beings - a universal personality) and Fatima (the chief of the free and honourable women of human history). A house where Hassan (a.s), Hussain (a.s) and Zainab Kubra (s.a) were brought up, to the green palace of Moawiyah (Allah's curse be upon him). Which one do you love more?
And compare the various and numerous palaces of the shah of Iran (Allah's curse be upon him) with the simple, small, rented house of Imam Khomeini (r.a) (Allah bless him). Which one is dearer, worthier and more sublime in your view?
“Refer to your souls and address them.” 6
Economic difficulties are decreasing the formalities and ceremonies, rites and additional expenditures.
“Oh Allah, help the youth in this important matter.”
Second Difficulty: Continuation of Education
It is quite fortunate that the majorities of our youth wish to continue their studies and do not content themselves with a low level education. But it should be borne in mind that this positive and lovely practice may not be followed by negative, disagreeable and displeasing point.
Unfortunately, this nice and pleasing practice has raised disagreeable, damaging and sometimes tragic problems in our society. This is not due to the actual matter -that is, continuing education - but it is the consequence and result of our own faults and wrong styles. It is we ourselves that have deviated from the useful and sublime phenomenon of science and education.
The Real Problem
To reach higher education, it is necessary for boys and girls to seek education up to the age of 25 or even beyond. Receiving an education is considered a constraint to marriage and accepting marital responsibility and thus is impracticable.
Contemplating This Difficulty
Like most of the other hindrance on the way to marriage, this difficulty or hurdle is also not a real one, rather, it is artificial and man- made. And it can very easily be removed by proper planning and working in a calculated manner. Furthermore, marriage can be turned into stairs and ladders to reach the aim of getting a higher education and touching the loftier grades of knowledge.
Just as we described in the preface, men and women are the complements of each other. There has been a capable woman beside every successful man, and every prosperous woman has had a talented man beside her.
This principle applies to education as well. Many scholars and wise men achieved success reaching the higher level of education on account of the sacrifices, co-operation and co-working of their spouses.
The Muhammad (S) visited the house of Ali (a.s) and Fatima (s.a) after they were married. He congratulated the bride and the bridegroom. Then he addressed Ali (a.s) and said: “How did you find your wife?” The bridegroom lowered his head and replied with an innocent modesty: “My wife is a good companion and helper on the way to Allah's obedience.”
Then he (a.s) asked Fatima (s.a) the same question; and she too gave the same answer, which her husband had given. (Allah's blessing and peace be upon this noble family).
Getting an education is among the noblest duties and serviced of Allah in which spouses can help an assist each other and provoke, stimulate and extend the warmth of hopefulness and can even be, as the student of theology say, discussion partners of each other!
A peace, tranquillity, spiritual and mental balance is materialized in the shadow of marriage, which has a positive effect in achieving success in getting an education.
Some students say: 'Let us be patient till the time we reach somewhere in our studies and get our degree. Then we can work to become wealthy and put our life on track before we marry”. They must take into view this important point - that they may face spiritual and physical inconveniences, and after crossing over all those phases, may not have the health, freshness and fortitude to organise and establish a prosperous life and enjoy it.
The students of Islamic teachings face this difficulty to a lesser extent. Most students, although their economical condition is usually lower than other students, marry nearly on time and continue their studies as well.
The solution to this difficulty, like the economical problem has two ways: long term and short term. The long-term solution does not concern us now; thus let's turn to the short term one.
Solutions to This Problem
1- To Drive The Thought Out Of One's Mind That Education Is Not Harmonious With Marriage.
Thought is followed by practice. Thinking that marriage is not possible whilst continuing education is our fundamental and basic problem in this regard; before anything else, this wrong notion must be driven out of our minds. If we do that, only then would a suitable solution come to our mind, and the ground for the solution of this problem be provided.
There does not exist any logical reason or argument to support the fact that getting education is not concordant with marriage. Instead, if a correct and right marriage takes place and an equal, matching and suitable spouse is selected, then it would be a good support for the continuation of studies, which could help one reach one's educational aims. We have observed and experienced this in the lives of many students of theology and a few others.
Yes, if the spouse of the student (of both sexes, and in all fields of knowledge) is not equal and well matched, and mental and spiritual co-ordination does not exist between them, and they do not go well together so to speak, undoubtedly, difficulties will come into existence.
This problem, too, can be solved by minute attentiveness in the selection of a spouse and observance of its standards and terms, which shall be described later on.
2- The Religious and Lawful Engagement
Boy and girl student can, through simple preludes, few ceremonies and less expenditure, lawfully, legally and officially become the spouse of each other, delaying the ceremonial marriage. They can have mutual visits and social contacts, and at the same time, continue their studies and then marry at a suitable time and unite their lives.
In this way, they should remain safe and secure from the deviations and losses of being single, and also benefit from the peace, comfort amid merits of marital life.
Some people say that when a boy and a girl get engaged, their minds become distracted and their attention are diverted from their studies. This is merely an error.
Instead, if they are engaged, their minds would be more focused, since the scattered and deviated thoughts would leave their minds. Their minds and hearts and eyes would be detached and separated from other places and concentrate and focus upon each other.
On the other side, the enhancement of responsibility about their future life would make them study better and set up their lives swiftly and shape and independent life. Of course, we assert and emphasize that the preliminaries of engagement and marriage must not be very expense incurring, so as to create a headache. Even if a celebration is to be held, it must be simple and short of great expense.
Fathers and mothers and elder must be the helpers of the youth, and try to set the life of the dear ones on track. They should try not to load their shoulders with any burden and not create hurdles on their way , on the pretext and with the label of “rites and ceremonies”.
3- Parents Help To the Son and the Daughter
Fathers and mothers can play a major role in the marriage of students. They should help their sons and daughters not only in getting an education, but also in getting married and in achieving the merits and profits of the blessing of marriage, thereby remaining safe and secure from the demerits, loss, damage and risks and corruption of single life. In this way, parents must thing sagaciously and put it this way “What difference does it make if we, who are bearing the expenses of our son and daughter, also bear the expenditure of their spouses for a few years more until the time they complete their education , settle down and start an independent, separate, self sufficient life?
It would be better. So our dear children would not be lonely and spouseless and become deprived of the spring of youth and marriage or God forbid, become involved in deviation, corruption and spiritual and physical diseases.”
If the parents think this way, they would certainly reach the required result.
Any damage and loss faced by the children would directly affect the parents who would be responsible for it. And any of their success, fortune and happiness would be shared by parents. So how nice would it be for them to help them out in this important matter for the sake of Allah's pleasure and their children's prosperity and well-being that is also their own.
Mothers and fathers and elders of the boys and girls should sit and talk and reach a common decision by mutual agreement and understanding and provide a simple respectful life for their children, thus helping and assisting them to live together and simultaneously continue their education. So great reward does this have, that it cannot be put in black and white.
4- Birth Control
One of the difficulties of marrying during the age of education is the bearing of children and looking after them.
It is quite easy to solve this problem. One can put constraints upon bearing a child until the end of one's educational life with the other's consent. There are many easy methods within the scope of religion and law to stop it. So this cannot also be a hindrance in marriage.
“Contentment is an unending treasure”7and a strong support for all the people, especially married students.
Students and the learned and educated ones who strive and fight to free themselves and others from the prison and bonds of ignorance and fables and receive an education must not themselves be entangled and involved in fables, rites, ceremonies, and senseless customs of ignorance.
Brother and sister, study the lives of the learned and successful person and see that most of them have been leading simple, contented, and unceremonious, informal lives. It is not really possible that one who is involved in extravagance, overspending and formalities make progress in the fields of knowledge, science, research and industry. Since, as it has been already said, formalities and rites are like the spider's web, which entangles man and restrain his progress and success.
Take it easy.
When both the husband and the wife are students, they must perform the housework together, to allowing it to be a burden on one person's shoulder. Allah has declared a big prize and reward for the husband and wife who help each other in life's affairs. The co-working enhances mutual love and warmth of relations. Of course, the husband and the wife busy receiving an education and knowledge can even help each other in that field.
How sweet, enjoyable and progressive it can be when two members of a common life, two partners who have uniformity of aim, objective and direction, are discussion partners of each other in their studies as well.
A Word with Parents in this Regard
It has become a fashion these days that when there is a talk about engagement and marriage, the parents (particularly those of the girl) say: “Our child is still studying, her time for marriage has not yet come!”
Dear parents, this is anti-Islamic and against intellect and even against the internal desire and wishes of your children. Did you forget the time of your own youth? Did you not desire and wish for a spouse when you were their age?
Principally, you should not have forgotten. So, now why do you oppose the marriage of these young ones?
Are you aware that any damage done to them will directly hurt you? Beware and bear in mind that our children, particularly the girls, are shy to say “We want a spouse”.
They might even apparently refuse it and give negative answer, but inside them is a wild turmoil.
Do not put so many hindrances in their path. Do not make all these excuses. Do not sacrifices them for your own desires. They hold you in reverence and may say nothing, but this strictness and excuses annoy them and cause them to pick up a grudge against you. Help them so that they can marry when young and can achieve and reap the benefit of the spring of their age and simultaneously study.
Third Difficulty: Difficulty in Spouse Selection
One of the difficulties on the way of youth marriage is the difficulty in selecting a spouse. That is to say, the girl and a boy do not know whom to select and with what kind of standards, virtues, and peculiarities.
This is a real and actual difficulty and is not an invented and false one. It is a big problem being faced by the youth, and, as has been said in the preface, they must be helped in this connection. If minute care is not exercised in this regard, many difficulties will come into existence in their future lives, some of which would be irreparable and without remedy.
Brother and sister, do not worry, do not be apprehensive, since we will elaborately discuss this topic in the next chapter. Insha’Allah you will find the solution to it.
Mostly, the aim and objective of these discussions is studying and seeking solutions to this very difficulty. The real and actual stimulant of our proposing these discussions is to solve this problem.
Fourth Difficulty: Hurdles and Hindrances of the Elders and Friends
The respect for parents and obedience to them is obligatory for and binding upon children. It is one of the biggest obligations of Allah. Annoying, molesting and showing disrespect or disobeying parents is prohibited; especially in relation to the big prohibitions.
Parents have ample and plenty of experience and wish and desire the goodness and betterment of their children. Whatever they say about their offspring and whichever decision they take or whatever step they take, it is based on the same well-wishing, discernment, experience and sympathy. No one is more well-wishing and sympathetic towards children than parents.
It is obligatory for the young son and daughters to pay attention to the well-wishing, sympathy, discernment and opinions of the parents and to take advantage of and benefit from their experience. Possibly, what sagacious parents see in a brick, young children may not see in a mirror. This fact stands valid at its place.
In a few cases, there are unfortunately, fathers and mothers and some friends who due selfishness, egoistic desires or ignorance and foolishness axe the roots of their young children and create hurdles on the way. They do this with their inexperience, illogic and untrue excuses and by exercising wrong views and undue interventions, becoming the cause of their children's misery and destruction.
Such persons bring about abundant and ample difficulties for the youth in the matter of “marriage and spouse selection” and sometimes happen to cause misfortune and misery for a long life to them. For instance, they impose their own wrong views upon their children and compel them to marry someone whom they have selected, though the children may not be pleased or approve it.
They judge and consider marriage candidates according to their own set of standards and tastes without any attention even to the view and opinion of their children and so they approve or reject whomever they please.
When a proper and suitable spouse is proposed, they hinder and stop the relationship taking shape with excuses, conditions, and undue and illegal expectations.
A Gloomy and Sad Example for Your Attention
Sometime back, I went to one of the cities cultural and propagation matters. I was talking to a family, of whom I was a guest, about their life style and conditions, problems and difficulties.
When it came to the matters and affairs pertaining to their children, we talked about each of them one by one.
So then I turned to a daughter of their who was 23, and still unmarried. I asked them surprisingly: “Why Has She Not Married Till Now?”
They said: “It is the fate which has not yet approve it.”
I said: “What do you mean by that? Has someone not yet turned up to ask for her hand in marriage?”
They replied: “Yes that's it! A person whom we can approve has yet to come.”
I said: Is it you who did not approve or the girl has not approved and liked the suitor?
Before they could give the answer, the girl who had heard our conversation came rushing from the next room, bitterly weeping.
She said: “Sir, it is not as they say, instead, a number of suitable and good candidates have come so far to ask my hand in marriage. This father, mother and brother of mine rejected them without even discussing it with me or even without me being aware of it. I was informed later on. Then the girl named a number of candidates who had come to ask her hand.
I personally knew one of them who is a nice young man. I addressed the parents and the brother, saying “At least I know one of these men, who is a good and suitable one. On what ground did you reject him? Why did you not ask your daughter's opinion when you wanted to reject him?”
They lowered their heads and said: 'All that you say is true, but it was not approved by destiny!”
I was very sorry. But nothing could be done, since that boy had married another girl.
This girl has now been confronted with problems like depression and nervous, psychological, and physical disease. She has also lost many of her youthful characteristics and specifications. No more candidates like that young man seek her hand in marriage, since not only she much older, but she is also suffering from certain ailments and has lost her attraction and peculiarities.
Really, it is those parents and the brother who have exercised that cruelty upon her. What shall such parents and elders say to Allah? Those who play with the fate and destiny of the young ones and make them face such damages and loss, how will they satisfy their own consciences?
O Allah! Such oppressed youth do not have a shelter and refuge except you. Help them!
A Curious and Strange Example
I was waiting for a taxi on street, when a beautiful late model car pulled up nearby and I was invited to get in.
I was amazed, since very rarely do those having such late model cars pick someone up and drop him at his destination.
Anyhow, I got in the car. The driver was a youth of approximately 27 to 28 years of age.
After greeting him and asking his welfare, he said, “I have a difficulty which I want to discuss with you.” I said “Carry on.” He said, “As you can see, I'm not very young, but am still a bachelor. So far, I have taken into new a number of girls and discussed them, but my family confronted and opposed my marriage on different pretexts and excuses. Recently, I have selected a good girl whom I consider suitable for myself from all aspects. But this time too my family opposed me, making a very absurd and ugly excuse, which is laughable. what is my religious obligation in this case?
I have upheld their respect and reverence to this moment and have obeyed them, but this time I can no more do that, since not only is the girl good, but the excuse is a bad one.”
I said: “Explain it, let me see what their excuse is and what are the distinctions and qualities of the girl.”
He replied: I have recently completed my education and become an engineer. I am fully prepared for marriage from each and every aspect, in fact, I feel a strong urge for it. The girl that I have taken into consideration for marriage is a very nice and suitable one. She too is an educated girl and we like each other from all aspects. There is no real and actual difficulty and hindrance on our way to marriage, except for a narrow arched street which is the obstacle to the marriage!!”
I said: “What do you mean? I do not understand.”
He reflected: “Our house is situated in a beautiful spot and our door opens onto a big park. (He named the street and the park). but the house of that girl is located in a narrow and arched street. Our family holds 'It is inadequate and bad for us to be visiting that street. It is downgrading for us to make our friends, relatives and guests visit that street and house'.”
I was very surprised and could not make myself believe that such people can be found in this world.
I said to the young man: “You mean to say that your family and elders are such person? Does your family wish to purchase the house of the girl's family that they object to their street? I had never at all seen or heard such and excuse!”
He said: “Yes, that is that. Now that you have seen and heard, what is my obligation, and what must I do with them?”
I said: “If it be so and this is their excuse which you say, then never at all submit to their invalid and irreligious, ridiculous and funny views. Here it is not obligatory for you to obey your parents in this case> As for the other family members and elders, their obedience too is not obligatory for you. If you are satisfied that the girl is suitable, good and both of you are equal and harmonious, then do not let her go at any cost.”
Then other matters wee described which will soon be discussed in the “solutions to problems” section.
An Agonistic Letter
Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini presented the letter of a girl in his book “Spouse Selection” which is being narrated exactly hereby.
The girl wrote: “I am a student and have reached an age where many chances of marriage came forth for me, but both my mother and father hindered my marriage in one way or another... Of course, do not think that the marriage candidates had any fault and shortcoming. On the contrary, they present such arguments that I think I would never be able to marry. The boys are faithful, religious and socially good. As a matter of fact, o sooner do they turn up with a proposal, than they are given a negative reply, without even being asked any question.
And they (my parents) have made it a routine, and do not even seek my opinion. I look forward to the time when at least they would ask my view and permit me to take a decision regarding my future. I must say I am very annoyed and unhappy with them form the core of my heart, since I can clearly and distinctly see how they have obscured my future. And sometimes I feel that I do not like them because I think that some people who do not have a role in my future life are deciding my future.
What to Do Now?
The duties and obligations of sons and daughters towards wise, sagacious, sympathetic, and expedient parents, of whom we have Insha’Allah many, are quite clear and explicit. As has been described, it is obligatory to uphold their regard and respect and attend and yield to their admonitions and opinions, and benefit from their experiences. But what is the duty of sons and daughters in connection with fathers, mothers, elders and friends who are unwise, selfish, excuse makers, and problem -creating (whose number is high)? How must they act so that both their marriage is not delayed, and they get married to their wanted and desired spouse and simultaneously avoid the hurdles and hindrances and not letting a conflicting situation rise or minimize it?”
This difficulty too, just like some other marriage problems, has two kinds of solutions. One is long term solution and the other a 'short term' one.
As far as the long term ones are concerned, the Islamic society must be reformed. The reformers, thinkers, and teachers should reform and rectify the ideas, thoughts, beliefs and morality of the society, that everybody learns his duty and responsibility and practice. These problems should be discussed and researched.
However, at present the discussion is related to the short-term solutions which are discussed here.
1. Direct Negotiations With The Hurdle-Creators And Fault -Finders
If the youth happen to face such hurdles, excuse-makers and unjustified interceptors and they are sure that they are incorrect and wrong, they must firstly talk to the excuse-makers. They must set aside shame and shyness, and tell them very respectfully and humbly: “We want to marry and we ask you, who are our elders and seniors, to help us and not hinder our prosperity. Respect to you is binding and obligatory for us and we observe that. But simultaneously it is also obligatory for you to help us out at this sensitive juncture, so that we can set our lives upon correct and right foundations. Unfortunately and regretfully, such and such objection that you have raised is not correct.9 These criteria, standards, rites and ceremonies, which you have put forward are against Islamic and intellectual standards. Please do not do something that might compel us to act against your opinion and order.”
Such conversations, if done with respect and reverence to elders, do positively produce a good result and effect in improving matters.
2- Appointing A Mediator
If direct negotiation does not work (or you were shy and could not talk face to face with them) and they still wish to impose their incorrect versions, then the next stage arrives. That is, you appoint someone as a mediator who has influence upon your elders. you discuss your entire views with them and request that they talk to those hurdle-raisers so as to stop them from opposition and stubbornness. This act can have a lot of effect.
A Specimen for Your Attention
A girl came to the Muhammad (S) and said: “O, Prophet of Allah (S), my father wants to compel me to marry his nephew (my cousin) and I am against it and do not want to marry this person.”
The Muhammad (S) at first admonished the girl to uphold and observe the respect of her father, and said, “If you can do it, accept the proposal presented by your father.”
The girl replied “O' Prophet of Allah (S), I do not have any inclination and liking for my cousin and can not select him as my husband.”
The Muhammad (S) said “The discretion (choice) is yours, accept it if you like, and if you do not like, do not accept.”
Then the girl said, “Oh Muhammad (S), now that this has happened, I am prepared to marry my cousin. But I wanted my father and others to know, by this act of mine, that they do not have th right to compel and force their daughters to marry someone towards whom they are not inclined.” (Bravo to this brave, intelligent girl
You can appoint these mediators from among relatives such as uncles, grand fathers, mothers, aunts, the clergy, your teachers, and principals and so on.
Look at another Example
One of our friends, for whom we have selected the fictitious name of “Hussain”, was confronted with some obstacles created by his father in his with to marry. He left no stone unturned to make him give up his stubbornness and obstinacy, but to no gain.
The son contacted a wise, pious religious jurist who was an expert and authority in marriage problems and marital and social matters and whom Hussain's father too held in reverence and love, and whose opinion was an authority for him He discussed the problems with him.
That jurist summoned and talked to the father. When the father returned after visiting the jurist, his eyes was tearful; he faced Hussain, who was waiting outside the room for the result, and said “Oh my son, forgive me. I now understand ho wring I was about your marriage and how I nearly put you in a state of misery..”
Another Interesting Example
An interesting matter was printed in the newspaper 'Risalat', serial No 1991, Saturday, 7th of Azar, 1371 (L.H) under the column entitled 'A page from the notebook of life' by Mr. Abdullah Parhizgar, which is presented exactly.
“A page from the notebook of life”
This week: “Cousin!”
The information section of the newspaper informed me that a gentleman wanted to see me. I went to the ground floor an the information clerk showed me a man. After introduction and greeting, I guided him to my room. We were alone in the room. I observed a strange agony on the face of that man and so I discovered that he had some difficulty.
I said to him, “I am ready to listen to your problem.”
He said, “Look sir, mine is a queer and strange difficulty”. i said, “What is your problem about?”
He replied “My father has a brother who is well-off and has only one daughter who is studying in the fourth year of high school now. My father and uncle have agreed that I will marry my cousin. And both of them are of the opinion that the wealth and property of my uncle must not be transferred to strangers. But I do not like my cousin and cannot accept her as my wife. Now I am wondering what to do.”
Q: “What is your qualification and job?”
A: I have a junior diploma in electronics and work in one of the governmental organisations. One of my friends who is a reader of your newspaper organisations. One of my friends who is a reader of your newspaper advised me to see you. Now I have come to find out what you can do for me.”
“Dear friend, thank you for the confidence you have in us. But I would like to know why you do not like your cousin?”
“Look, Mr Parhizgar, as a matter of fact, my uncle's family, and to some extent my father too, measure everything upon monetary and material standards. But in contrast and contrary to their ideology, I do not believe in this thing. I do not want to turn my uncle and cousin, and although I know I would become considerably rich through I know become considerably rich through this marriage, I am not ready to sacrifice my beliefs for their illogical and irrational wishes and inclinations.”
The young man was talking about the superb and lofty humane values. He was not prepared to sell himself out and undergo an imposed marriage. He wanted to marry a girl based on his own choice and inclination, short of material provocations, stimulant and attraction. His ideas were praiseworthy. One could hope that there are still many people to be found who do not consider their humanity, spiritualism and purity comparable to any material criteria or standards.
I said to him: “Dear friend, I commend and praise you for having such ideas and the best way to go is that you do not undergo this imposed marriage, under any circumstances.”
“What must I so then about the pressure my father is exerting upon me?”
“You must reveal all the problems and your ideas to your father without any concealment and conservativeness. You should make your father see that marriage is optional matter of taste and nobody must be and can be forced to such a work. Because forced marriage case which are presented and riled in the courts exhibit and indicate the agonies, catastrophes, and afflictions faced by the husband, the wife and their relatives.”
“Mr. Parhizgar, I feel shy about talking so frankly and openly to my father!”
“There is nothing to be shy about, and besides, you do not have another way out, since nobody else can explain and make them understand what goes on in your heart better than you. Moreover, You can seek the help of others, especially the older ones in your family.”
“Mr. Parhizgar, I wish to ask you a favour!”
“Please carry on!'
'The difficulty which I have is that I do not want this problem to be propagated among the family and that is the reason I wanted to request that you talk to my father.”
'I will be glad to help you out. I can welcome you and your father right here.
'I am very grateful. Now I beg your leave and will return with my father in a few days.
The young man gladly departed, saying goodbye.
It is really a matter of sorrow that there are a few families to be found who overlook and ignore the logical and rightful wishes and desires of their children. Their stubbornness and persistence can place their youth in horrible conditions.
The youth left to return with his father. I look forward that he might be able to contend him and I might no longer be needed. Anyhow, I am waiting for them to come.
After four weeks, the same newspaper dated 5th of Day, 1371 (L.H) reported the return of the father and the son, through the same column and page, as follows: “A leaf from the notebook of life”
This week: “The father came!”
The information desk of the newspaper informed that two people had come to see me. I asked to be connected to one of them on the phone.
“I am the same person who was supposed to go and bring my father along, so that you might have a talk with him.”
“Yes I remember, please come along!”
Finally, the father and his son came. The son was here, so that I may bring his father round not to compel him to marry his cousin. The father's coming was an indication that he was still insisting upon his son's marrying his cousin to prevent the wealth slipping out of the family.
I was still thinking how to deal with this father when they showed up. After the usual greetings, we sat across a table to talk.
“Dear father, you're most welcome. Your coming here makes realise that you are interested in your son's future. I hope that this affiliation of yours will continue, and remain persistent.”
“Thank you my son. As I am interested in my son's future, I asked him to marry his cousin. She is a very good, chaste, pure and educated girl. My brother's financial position too is quite sound and he does not allow them (his family) to face any hardship in these times of difficulties.”
“Do you think money can be a security of their property?”
“If they possess wealth, life becomes easier for them. Is it bad that they own a house, some saving and briefly speaking, all that is necessary in such expensive, inflationary times?”
“But what if they do not like each other and there is no love and association between them and they live like two enemies, always having disputed and quarrelling? Would you then not face agony? Do you not feel sorry as to why you are compelling you son into a forcible and imposed marriage?”
“In my opinion if they are financially comfortable, definitely they will have less nervous strains and inconveniences so they will have less argument and conflicts.”
“Respected sir! When there is no love, affiliation and deep sentimental attachment between a man and a woman, then all the wealth and riches of the world cannot bring about liking. I would like you to be a bit more logical in your thinking.”
The father had become helpless, and did not have a word to say. I inferred from his conversation that his 'logic' was that of money and he wanted to forcibly make his son marry. When he said, “What must I do?” I understood that he was on the retreat and it was my turn now.
I addressed him “Dear father! You must think logically and rationally. Allow your son to marry a girl of his own liking. If you compel him to undergo an imposed marriage, then definitely they would not have a happy future. And when they have conflicts and differences due to lack of love and affiliation, you family as well as that of your brother's will face agony and anguish. So why do you do such a thing which will bring you repentance. You must allow your son to take a decision with a peaceful and comfortable mind and not in an atmosphere of compulsion and threats.”
“As a matter of fact, if my son does not marry my niece, my brother will be annoyed with me and our brotherhood would shatter!”
It is better that your brotherhood shatters right now that at a time when they divorce each other and the complication increases. You must sit together with your brother and talk and you should convince him that your son and daughter should select their spouses themselves.”
The young man was happily listening to the conversation between his father and me. I could see the flash of happiness and joy in his eye. His father was in agreement and was contented and the youth was about to become free from an imposed marriage.
I addressed his father.
“Be satisfied, and discuss all the problems with your brother. Explain the facts of life to him. He too may agree, and a dispute and conflict may not arise between you. My last word to you is to think about the future and prosperity of your son. This young man does not hold any value in the wealth of his uncle. He wants to stand upon his own feet. He does not even have the need for your wealth. He thinks about his future and prosperity and you too must help and assist him.”
The father's eyes were full of tears and the youth was smiling. The father's face showed contentment. He extended his hand and caught hold of his son's hands.
The father and the son hugged and embraced each other and started weeping bitterly. The room was filled with the sound of their fervent and enthusiastic weeping. It was proof to me that the father had abandoned his stubbornness and persistence. I poured tea for them and asked them to relax.
The youth and I sighed with relief. The joy of the youth knew no bounds, as he saw his future guaranteed...
There exist other solutions and examples as well, but since it is possible that stating these might become the cause of “misunderstanding” or “misuse” or “wrong inference, we will avoid describing the. When it comes to a deadlock, then the youth must refer to “wise and sagacious” people and ask them to guide them.
We once again assert and stress that the young must be attentive to the fact that making excuses, creating a hindrance and hurdles by the elders, we mean the excuses, wishes, and opinions against religion and reason, not the opinions and views based upon reason, well-wishing and sympathy.
Just as we have previously described, there are many fathers, mothers and elders who have more experience than the youth and want the goodness and beneficence of the youth. They might have a difference of opinion in a few matters pertaining to marriage and spouse selection, which are concordant with reason, religion, logic and experience. And in this case, their experiences be benefited from as well as their admonition be attended to.
So be careful that problems do not get mixed up and that difficulties are not enhanced. If a difference of opinion arises in a matter and you are perplexed and unable to distinguish whether your opinion is correct or theirs, contact wise, sagacious, intelligent persons and consult them. In chapter 6, we will discuss consultation, seeking advice and the specification and qualities of a consultant and adviser. Insha’Allah!
Fifth Difficulty: Military Service
This difficulty and constraint does not include girls. And it does not include many of boys as well. For those who continue their studies following the intermediate level, it is not essential for them to proceed to it. Instead, they can perform it after completing their education and joining the service. So no gap is created in their lives.
Furthermore, if someone studies certain specified subjects, for instance, the students of teacher training centers, and he does not even intend to continue his education after the intermediate level, then there is no conventional soldiering for him.10
After these cases, we are left with those young men who must go for the usual and routine two years performing this scared duty. What is the solution to their marriage problem?
Solutions: Long Term Solution
Government officials must arrange and organize the law of military service in a manner that it does not hinder and bring difficulty for those who wish to marry. And such an amount of salary should also be provisioned that it would suffice their expenditure along with that of their wives.
Short Term Solution
1- Religious and Legal Engagement
Engagement during military service is very sweet and beautiful. The engaged couple can correspond throughout and write hope-giving and inspiring things to each other. During the level periods, they see and visit each other.
The facts described about 'engagement during education' apply to this period as well.
2- Staying in the House of One's In-laws
It they have already married, the wife can, during the military service of her husband, stay at the residence of the parents of the boy, so that she does not remain alone and the boy can perform his duty wholeheartedly and peacefully, Whenever he comes back home on lave, they can be with each other.
3- Parents Help
As to the expenditure of the woman and other matters, the same facts stand valid here which have been described in the chapter pertaining to “continuing education” solution no3 (parents' help).
Sixth Difficulty: Presence of Older Brothers and Sisters
Sometime ago, I was with some nice brothers, the students of “Lamerd.” All of them were bachelors.
According to my routine of encouraging the youth to marry, I recommended them to marry. Mr. Badiyee, who happens to be a good, efficient student of “Lamerd”, said, “The greatest hindrance an difficulty to my marriage is the presence of (unmarried) elder brothers, because it is customary in our region for younger brothers and sisters not to marry before elder ones!”
I said to him, “I will discuss this difficulty and constraint, as your memorial, in my classes and the book, which I'm writing on this topic.”
Solution to This Problem
This difficulty and belief does not have any religious or intellectual basis and foundation. If an elder brother or sister has not yet married, for any reason, it does not become necessary and essential for the younger one, who is mature enough for marriage, to delay and postpone their marriage.
Definitely, no heed should be paid to this difficulty. it is necessary for the youth to break such wrong traditions and not suffer misery and misfortune for the sake of wrong customs and traditions.
Seventh Difficulty: Dwelling
Although the problem of residence refers back to financial difficulties, because of its speciality and peculiarity, we will discuss it separately.
Again, a long term and a short term one.
It is necessary that extensive schemes and plans, which overwhelm and cover the whole of society, be made so that this major crisis and problem is solved. We are not at the moment going to discuss it.
Short Term Solutions
1- Temporarily Staying At the Parents' Home
If it is possible and feasible, the bride and bridegroom may stay for a period in the house of one of their parents, until they can provide a house for themselves. But they must be attentive and conscious that if this becomes the reason of conflict, insults, and belittlement and disrespect, then it is not, in any way advisable to stay or remain in that house.
2- Renting a House
Renting house is routine and customary all over the world. In many societies and foreign countries, tenancy is practiced more than in our country.
The youth may rent out a cheap house and bear the difficulties of tenancy until they, Insha’Allah, own a house.
All the facts discussed in difficulty no.1 (financial problems) and the solutions described are true and stand valid here too, particularly in relation to “divine help”.
Eight Difficulty: Inability of the Youth to Manage and Run Their Life
Consideration of this difficulty and its solution have discussed in the second chapter under the heading “Discussion with a friend”. Please refer to it.
Ninth Difficulty: Natural Difficulties
Following the consideration and solution to all the problems and constraints that have been described, again some difficulties remain. How do we tackle these?
It is absurd and impossible that no form of difficulty exists in this world and in family life and in all the rest of matters pertaining to society. Some difficulties are the result of a probing and searching life moving on the way to completion.
The Philosophy of These Difficulties and Hardships
Natural difficulties, hardships, and odds of life are similar to dynamite, deriving and expelling the hidden and concealed ores out of the mines of human life.
There are potential talents, capabilities, sources and energies in man's interior, which do not show up and emerge until man is confronted with hardship and difficulties. Man utilizes and organise all his intellectual, meditational and physical powers and energies while facing these odds and finds the solution to his problems and opens the ways and passages. His total existence probes into immense search, struggle, strife and mortification to reach a goal. As a result, the potential and sleeping capabilities are awakened and the essence and merits of his life glaze and become shiny.
If we observe human societies minutely and deeply, we will discover that those whose affairs are going smoothly and lead comfortable lives and do not find it necessary to bother and put themselves to inconvenience, usually become slow moving, lazy, inefficient an irresolute. Very rarely can such persons become the source of any change, revolution or completion in a society.
The prophets, reformers, scholars and all those who have had effect upon society's advancement, progress, and elevation and had a part to play in accelerating the speed of the human caravan's journey, had been men who combated and strove against hardships.
It is an inevitable and unfailing law that one must strive and struggle against hardships and odds, by putting one's life at stake to achieve big objectives: the bigger the objectives, the more the hardship to reach it.
The Commander of the believers, Hazrat Ali (a.s) said: “The best practices are the most difficult ones.”
If man accepts the fact that life is accompanied by difficulties and hardships, and then he prepares himself to face those and does not become hopeless, dismayed, and upset. In marriage and raising a family, which is one of the great aims and objectives and has an important role to play in the achievement of the prosperity of the world and the Hereafter, one must necessarily bear difficulties and hardships.
We accept that marriage raising a family brings some responsibilities for man and has its troubles, yet its benefits, progress, advancements, and completion, which come together with it, must also be taken into view.
On the other hand, we may compare the difficulties and responsibilities of marriage with the losses demerits and consequences of living as a bachelor: whether one should remain single and tolerate and bear all those hardships, spiritual and physical agonies and strains or, should we marry and accept its natural responsibilities and consequently, enjoy all its spiritual, physical and personality benefits?
Admittedly, any sound mind, which is free from bias, prejudices, superstitions and stubbornness, prefers marriage, besides having the fruits and benefits that have been described in connection with accepting the responsibilities and natural difficulties; it also has very great reward in the hereafter.
Islam considers the man who struggle for the procurement of the sustenance and management for his family as a mujahid (fighter in war): “The one endeavoring for his family is like a mujahid (warrior) on Allah's way.”
This is a great blessing of which the hardships along the way, if perceived by us, would become sweeter than honey; just as a crusade in the way of Allah is sweeter than honey to the real and true crusaders.
Islam holds: 'Services has then parts, and nine parts of it are hidden in the struggle and endeavour of securing the lawful sustenance for one's family'.
What problem does it make if a man faces a bit of difficulty for the sake of Allah's pleasure, remaining pure from contamination, defending his honour ad personality, enjoying lawful and legal pleasures, and attaining a spiritual peace and tranquillity and all those rewards of the hereafter? Is it not that 'heaven is given for its price and not on excuse?'11
Is it not that 'paradise is surrounded by hardships and the fire (hell) is encompassed by lustful desires? That is to say, one must cross the hardships to reach the paradise, prosperity, and honour. And being sunk into lustful desires, passions, laziness and luxury-seeking drags a man towards hell.
Dear young sister and brother! Be dauntless and courageous and not be harassed by difficulties. Do not ever think, “I can not face the responsibilities of marriage, a spouse and a joint life.” Just wish it and you can do it.
Hardships are the salt (taste) of life. If there is none, life becomes tasteless and tiring, and the joys and enjoyment lose their colour and flavour. If there is no difficulty in one's life, one cannot properly sense the sweet taste of joys, felicities, comforts and delight. If you do not travel in night, you will be able to reach anywhere in the daytime!
One of the interesting results I have reached by studying and evaluating the lives of many youths, is that youths who have everything for themselves, whose parents and elders manage all their affairs, arrange a spouse for them and bear their total expenditures, as well as taking their responsibilities upon their problems, or not permitting them to face any kind of difficulty or hardship, usually do not grow up to be successful men. Rather, they are brought up to become worthless ad good for nothing. And when they lose their parents' backing, they become impoverished and run-down.
On the contrary, those who shoulder the responsibilities of their lives and solve their problems by deliberation and contemplation and endeavour, usually become successful, capable, talented and energetic, forceful persons.
Of course, this topic has been discussed among the problems of psychology, training and ethics. But it is more attractive to be observed and perceived practically by man himself.
The fact described above is different form the assistance and guidance that is 'logical' and 'necessary' and which parents and elders should exercise with regard to the youth. they mst definitely help an guide, but the 'decision making', 'selection' and 'responsibility of administering matters' and doing the work must be left the sons.
Finally we present the message containing words of the Prophet (S) who said: “Oh youths: You must certainly marry.”
Do marry, depending upon Allah, short of fear from hardships, odds and difficulties. Allah be your helper.
A Word With The Elders
When the youth talked to about marriage and are being encouraged in connection with this important issue and the solution to the difficulties and hindrances and constraints to it, they say: “These problems can be discussed with our parents and seniors so that they may help us out and pave the way for the achievement of the solution; but anyhow, we are ready to marry”.
Therefore, it is necessary to have a word with the parents, elders and the authorities and all those who can take steps towards the marriage of youths, and with those who may be effective in materializing this matter, desirable to Allah.
Taking steps and being a mediator for marriage and providing the preliminaries and the means of family raising of the youth is one of the best services and activities which wins Allah's pleasure.
Allah says to the elders, “Marry your unmarrieds.”12 Nevertheless, youths, if there is no obstacle on their way, are ready to marry.
The Muhammad (S) said: “The one who takes a step for the marriage of others, Allah bestows upon him a reward, for each step he takes or each word he says, equal to one year's service, in which he might have been fasting during the days and offering prayers in the nights.”13
It is interesting that this great reward is for the one who takes steps in this connection, whether the marriage takes shape or not. This trade with Allah does not have any loss, it is all profit.
For Allah's sake imagine what a huge reward and prosperity awaits a person who puts in effort to bring about and arrange the marriage of others. Usually and normally all of us have the vigour and means to take part and share in this way of blessing, and to help the youth set up a simple life.
We can help the marriage financially (although a small help, either in the form of a loan or freely), through mediation (or talking to the parents to soften their hearts), or in laying the foundation of a fund, institution, etc. Or we may endeavour to reform the culture of our society by cultural programmes, publications and propagation of book on this topic, arranging and organising meeting, seminars and classes to talk and admonish on this matter. All this matter. All these activities are extremely worthy and valuable.
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.s) says: “The person who provides a wife for a bachelor, Allah will look at him on the justice day (with beneficence and kindness).”
What beneficence and blessing can be over and above Allah's mercy?
Again the same magnanimous one says: “The best of mediations is to become a mediator between two person for marriage until Allah unites them together.”
As a matter of fact, the one who takes a step on this way is the agent and representative of Allah in this sacred matter.
Imam Musa Kazim (a.s) said: “The one who provides a spouse for a bachelor (whether a boy or a girl), will stay secure and peaceful in the shade of Allah's throne on the day of justice.”
A Social Disease
Yet another social, dogmatic disease on our society, which has overwhelmed the entire body of it in the name of religion, Islam, Imams, and progeny of the Prophet (S), is that large amounts of money are spent on ceremonies and rituals, which do not have ay root ad origin in Islam. For instance, some parties and strange dinner tables like the table of 'Haft Seen' (containing seven different foods starting with the letter 's').
This is celebrated on the day of Nowruz -the first day of the new year- with a lot of extravagance and so much waste it is certainly religiously unlawful. Or some other food distribution like preparing 'Aash' (a kind of soup) at great expense and with great ceremony are anti-Islamic.
Regarding the 'youth marriage' for which all these Qur’anic verses and Hadiths have reached us, we take fewer steps, and those benevolent ones who spend all these amounts are least prepared to spend upon this important matter. Is it not according to what the Commander of the believers (a.s) said?
“Islam has been put on like an inverted goatskin.” 14
Of course, charitable food distributions and rituals, which are according to the laws of Islam and do not have anything forbidden and unlawful do bring reward from Allah.
Here it would not be out of place to praise, appreciate, and thank the 'Imam Khomeini's Committee of Help' which is proceeding on this way of Allah and the Prophet's Sunnah and has arranged and managed the marriages of thousands of youths.
1. Nawadir al-Rawandi, p 36.
2. Wasail al-Shia, Vol 3,p5.
3. Wasail al-Shia, Vol.3 p7
4. Noor al-Thaqalain, Vol. 3 p 599.
5. Milk price is a certain amount of money taken from the bridegroom on behalf of the mother's feeding milk to her daughter (bride) during the bride's infancy.
6. Imam Hussain (a.s).
7. Nahjul Balagha, Sobhi Saleh, Wisdom 57.
8. “Spouse selection”, page 156-157, pub: the Islamic Propagation Organization, First Edition.
9. We again reiterate and emphasize that the youth must make sure about wrongfulness of those oppositions.
10. The students are trained for teaching in primary school and cam a salary to suffice a simple life.
11. A sentence commonly known from martyr Dr.Ayatollah Beheshti.
12. Surah of Noor, verse 32.
13. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 14.p77.
14. Nahjul Balagha; Subhi Saleh, sermon 108 (last sentence of the sermon.)