Aspects of Virtue, Material Issues, Principles of Spirituality in the Family
By: Hojjat al-Islam Shaykh Husain Ansariyan
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Whoever marries and visits his relatives for the sake of
God, God shall attend to him by placing a crown like that of the angels on his
head. [Vasa'il, v.20, p.51, Al-i-Bayt Press]
The Sincerity of One's Intentions
These wise and important words have been reported on the authority of the Prophet (Pbuh): Whoever marries to please Allah and establish a family, God will adorn his head with the crown of angels. Marriage produces numerous benefits: the loving-kindness of a wife and a husband; relief from loneliness; increase in one's daily sustenance; the happiness of two families; maintaining half of one's religion; attaining God's satisfaction; sexual pleasure; having children in one's life and finding support in life, etc. In addition to all these benefits, if one marries for the sake of God and with the best of intentions, then due to his good intentions he has engaged in a great act of worship. Marriage will make him equal in worth to angels and a crown like that of the angels will adorn his head. Why not act in such a way that God's acceptance illuminates it and places a highmost value on it?
From the very beginning, let's base the foundation of marriage and the establishment of a new life upon sincerity. Our men and women must give their total attention to this matter so that both the worldly and spiritual aspects of their lives will enjoy the attention, mercy and acceptance of Allah. Imam Ali (Pbuh) has been narrated as having said that none of our acts is of a higher value than the ones accepted by God. This has been narrated in the book Mava’ez al-’Addadiyi.
The Peak of Sincere Intention
Considering this matter, pay especial attention to this very amazing story told by the Prophet Moses (Pbuh) (Musa ibn Umran).
One day Moses (Pbuh) watered the Prophet Jethro's flocks of sheep and then in return Jethro (Pbuh) invited him to come home with him. Moses entered that great Prophet's house where the table was already spread for dinner. Jethro requested the young man to sit down for dinner. Moses replied that he could not partake of the food, so Jethro asked Moses if he was hungry. Moses replied he was hungry, but was afraid that the dinner before him was in recompense for his previous good deed. He said we are of a family who will not even exchange a bit of our good deeds for the Hereafter, even an earth full of pure gold. Jethro said: "O, young man! I swear to God that this was not what I had in mind when inviting you to dinner. I didn't intend to recompense your divine deed with food from my table. It is my father's and my custom to entertain guests and serve them food. After this discussion, Moses sat down at the table to eat. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.13, p.21]
Really, it is very astonishing that Moses had left Egypt some time ago and been wandering around in the wilderness, but during that time was not able to find any suitable food. He had eaten the sweet plants of the desert and upon entering Jethro's house he saw a prepared and pleasant table of food. Even though he was terribly hungry, he would not partake of the food because he thought that this deed only for God's sake (watering the sheep) might possibly be lessened in the sight of Allah. However, when Jethro insured Moses that he also intended to please God and had sincere intentions in entertaining his guest, then Moses sat down to eat. Jethro's sincerity was the reason why Moses became Jethro's shepherd for the next eight years. And Moses sincerity was the reason why the Prophet Jethro (Pbuh) became Moses's father-in-law.
The Material Issues of the House and the Family
O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow
the footsteps of the Evil One, for he is to you an avowed enemy. [Holy
Quran: Baqara 2:168]
The Virtues and Vices of Wealth
A man's need for property and wealth to manage his life's affairs, and especially with the burdensome responsibility of managing a family, is a completely natural need. Wealth and property, business and commerce are not in any way connected with virtue or vice when they are not related to man. For example, iron is a type of property and may be molded into many shapes. Many tools are made from it, but until man gains control over it, it is simply a material having no benefits and no evilness. Iron is beneficial when managed by a polite, dignified and noble believer. When iron falls into the hands of a rude, forgetful, lustful rogue, it becomes an evil material.
When Ibn Muljam had a sword, he could kill the Imam of the Lovers- Imam Ali (Pbuh) in the mosque. Thus, he became the worst of all people and this can be traced back to his bad spirit: And this damage is irreplaceable. When Imam Ali (Pbuh) had a sword he established and spread guidance: the reward of one time of stabbing as the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) says is superior to the all of the worship of the genie and Adam. One stroke of the sword on the day of the Battle of Khandag is superior to all the worship of the Quran and the Prophet's Household.
For those adorned with divine etiquette and the Lovers of God, money and commercial goods act as a take-off platform towards Heaven and a means for acquiring His Mercy and Blessings and attaining an eternal and great reward. Truly, wealth is the commerce for heavenly trade for believers who are noble, kind, generous, compassionate and have divine ethics. For such people, wealth serves as a vehicle driving them towards God's eternal blessings. And it is a means to obtain the good of this world and the Hereafter.That is why God has called the property of one who has died "his good leftovers" in the blessed chapter of the Quran entitled Baqara. God considers the wealth and property of a believer to be a manifestation of the belief of that believer, his nobility, generosity, mercy and passion. One-third must be spent in a good way according to his will and the remaining two-thirds are to be distributed amongst his inheritors according to the Quranic verses. Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) has said the following in interpretation of a verse in the Quranic chapter Baqara. "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter..." (verse 201) The good in the Hereafter is God's Pleasure and Heaven, and the good in this life is a good temper and bountiful daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.71, p.383]
Thus, we can conclude that the believers wealth and property are similar to a factory in which God's Pleasure and a musk-scented Heaven are produced. Believers earn their income through legitimate business transactions, abiding by the law and avoiding unlawful transactions. In short, they earn money through continuous lawful transactions and by obeying God. They spend their income for the expenses of their household, paying the alms-tax and the one-fifth levy. They spend the rest to help the deprived, the oppressed, the weak and to aid relatives and friends. Spending legitimately earned income in these ways is natural and lawful and is in fact considered to be worship and obedience: Or as the Holy Quran has said - It is the good of this world and the Hereafter.
It is for this reason that wealth and property has been interpreted to be good and blessed in God's Book. Earning and spending it is considered to be worship for the believers and a cause of great reward and infinite divine gifts. It is interesting to hear the viewpoint of the Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali) about wealth in the hands of irreligious, lustful people: Property is the material of lust, is subject to catastrophes, strengthens aspirations and entertains the inheritors. Wealth will raise the status of the owner in this world and lower it in the Hereafter. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.9, pp.277-78]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Gold and silver destroyed those before you and will destroy you, too. [Ibid]
He also said: For each nation there is a calf and for this nation the calf is silver and gold. [Ibid] (the calf refers to the golden calf idol made by the Israelites). Truly, wealth enslaves those of weak faith with illegitimate lusts and excitement of their aspirations. They become base in this world and in the Hereafter, and as the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) has commented: people began to worship the calf in the form of the worship of wealth.
The Forbidden and the Unforbidden
Undoubtedly, whatever a person earns from working and from his business affairs is lawful. Concerning lawful earnings, God has issued many orders and the Prophet's Household has completely described the religiously legal ways to earn money. Any money gained in illegal ways such as bribery, usurpation, theft, deceit, looting and usury is illegal. Whoever tries to make lawful money is worshipping God and God will reward him. Whoever tries to illegally make money is sinning and God will punish and curse him. If one makes money illegally and does not listen to anybody's advice saying God has desired so, then he has insulted God, speaks satanically and has lied.
There are many Quranic verses stating God has provided lawful daily bread for everyone. The Quran invites everyone to make a lawful daily living and has given no illegal earnings to anyone, since thinking in the wrong way causes one to make illegal money. Saying that God allows forbidden actions is an insult and a great sin which will cause one to be punished on the Day of Judgment.
Man's intellect dictates that it is illogical to say God gives illegal provisions to man, but rather He has placed emphasis on benefiting from lawful and completely legally earned money. It is paradoxical for God to give illegal earnings to man and there are no paradoxes concerning God. Stupid people foolishly and ignorantly insult God. Imam Baqir (Pbuh) has stated: God has ordered all men to make a lawful living. This money will cause man to be healthy. It is not God's fault that some make an illegal living: The forbidden way to earn a living is not the Right Way. Satan is the designer of the forbidden ways to make money. If one illegally makes money, his lawful daily bread will be lessened to the same extent. If we consider lawful and legal means of earning money, God respects us a lot. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.5, p.147]
Don't Deprive Yourself of the Lawful Things
Imam Ali (Pbuh) entered the mosque and told a man to keep an eye on his camel. The man stole the camel's bit in Imam Ali's (Pbuh) absence. When Imam Ali (Pbuh) came out of the mosque to pay the man two Durham's (coins), he saw his camel without the bit. He gave the money to his servant and asked him to go and buy a bit. The servant went and bought the same bit from the thief without knowing who he was and took it to the Imam (Pbuh). When he saw the bit the Imam said that a servant deprives himself of lawful daily bread due to his impatience, but he does not get more than is determined for him by God. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.4, p.123]
Provide Your Family's Needs Through Lawful Means
There is a sequence of outward and inward effects for using lawful or unlawfully obtained property, and no one can avoid them. Lawful goods result in the pleasure of God, spirituality, energy to worship, pacification of the heart and the curing of illnesses. However, the opposite holds true for the unlawful goods. The necessity of providing for the family by the man of the house is one of the most important issues in Islamic jurisprudence and is extensively discussed in the Holy Quran and traditions of the Prophet's Household. As much as possible, a man is religiously bound to provide housing, food, clothing and transportation for his wife and children.
In addition to this, the man is required to obtain his family's expenses through lawful means. The man of the house should whole-heartedly thank God for these two requirements. By attending to the needs of the family, moral realities will blossom. By working to obtain lawful income which is similar to a Holy War (Jihad) in God's way, man can get a lot of divine rewards. The heavenly and positive effects of using lawfully obtained goods will appear in the family, and this will substantially aid mental and spiritual peace and security for the family.
The Prophet of Islam and Lawfully Obtained Food
Consider the following tradition. A man came to the Prophet (Pbuh) with a bowl of milk and asked him to break his fast with the milk. The Prophet (Pbuh) asked him who had sent the milk. The man said it was a gift from a woman and the Prophet (Pbuh) told him to return with the milk and ask her where she had got it from. So the man went to the woman’s house to ask her. The woman said she had obtained it from her own sheep. The man returned to the Prophet (Pbuh ) to tell him. He was told to return and ask her where she had got the sheep from. He returned to ask her and she replied she had bought the sheep by working hard. The man returned to the Prophet (Pbuh ) and explained. Then the Prophet (Pbuh ) said he would break his fast with the milk. The following day the owner of the milk came to him and asked the reason for returning the milk several times. He said God the Almighty had ordered the Prophets to partake of only lawfully obtained food. This must be a lesson for all Muslim people to pay enough attention to the issue of what is lawful and unlawful, so that they do not pick up a burden which is either too difficult or impossible to bear. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Seeking the lawful is obligatory for each Muslim man and woman [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.719; Mizan-al-Hikmat, v.4, p.119]
Seeking the lawful is obligatory for each Muslim. [Ibid]
Seeking the lawful is a form of Jihad (Holy War). [Ibid]
The gates of Heaven are open to anyone who obtains lawful food through hard work, and he can enter Heaven from any gate he wishes.[Ibid]
There are ten parts to worship. One is seeking the lawful.[Ibid]
Imam Reza (Pbuh) said: The reward of one who seeks his daily bread from God's Grace to provide for his family's needs is greater than that of the one who fights in God's way. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.78, p.339]
Imam Baqir (Pbuh) said: Whoever seeks worldly goods to protect his family, and to be kind to his neighbors will meet God in Heaven with his face shining like a full moon. [Vasa'il al-Shiaa,v.12, p.11]
The sixth Imam (Pbuh) said: There is no good in one who is not interested in saving money to protect his honor and pay back his debts. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.7]
The Prophet (Pbuh ) said: The one who falls asleep at night being tired from hard work because of seeking the lawful, is forgiven his sins by God. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.2]
God likes to see His servant working hard to seek the lawful. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.4, p.119]
In the traditions it is stated the increase or decrease in one's daily bread is simply a test for God's servants to obtain a holy rank from God. The woman who is patient in the face of shortage of her daily bread, does not commit any sins to obtain more, and is grateful for the increase of her daily bread has successfully passed the test. [Nahj-ul-Balaghah, Sermon 91].
A believer does not become base in the face of shortage of his daily bread, and does not get drunk when his daily bread increases. He is content with the low amount of his daily bread; and when his daily bread increases, he eats, feeds others and rushes to pay the necessary dues.
How to Increase One's Daily Bread
There are some ways in the Holy Quran and the Prophetic traditions to increase one's daily bread, which will also improve people's morality and affection in the family and the society. The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said: Good temper is the treasure of daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.389]
To be too strict spoils your temper, and to go easy on others increases your daily bread. [Mizan AI-Hikmah, v.4, p.117]
Co-operation and helping your Muslim brothers increases your daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.74, p.395]
Being trustworthy increases one's daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.75, p.172]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: One who treats his wife and children kindly will get an increase in his daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.69, p.407]
Good deeds increase one's daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.74, p.81]
Good temper increase one's daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.71, p.396]
Imam Ali (Pbuh) said: Attract your daily bread to yourself through charity to others. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.78, p.60]
Imam Baqir (Pbuh) said: Pray for your brothers and this act will bring in your daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.76, p.60]
The Fifth Imam (Pbuh) said: Giving alms will increase your daily bread. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.66, p.15]
The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said: The daily bread of one with good intentions will be increased. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.21]
The Prophet (Pbuh ) said: God said, If one does not care how and where he gets his money from, I do not care by which gate I will let him enter into Hell in the Hereafter. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.11]
God will make the one who earns unlawful money poor. Whatever one earns unlawfully becomes provisions for the Hell Fire. Wealth from which religious dues are not paid is considered to be property containing unlawful property. Its use is not allowable and giving it to the family or others is another wrong act. The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said: The worst property is that from which God's dues have not been paid. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.9, p.308]
Imam Baqir (Pbuh) said: There are people who shall leave their graves with their hands tied to their necks, lacking any power to get anything - even as much as an ant can. They are seriously blamed by the angels saying: These are people upon whom God bestowed wealth but they did not pay God's dues. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.7, p.197]
Imam Hassan Mujtaba (Pbuh) said: One of the signs of generosity is to legally earn your property. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.6]
O' dear brothers who are responsible for the financial expenses of your family and their spiritual training, and also you who shall marry later: your wife and children only deserve their rightful dues. However, they are not responsible for your job or business, and will not accept the responsibility for unlawful property which you brought home and they knew nothing about. The punishment in Hell for unlawful property is for the one who earns it. There are two punishments: one for earning unlawful property and the other is for giving it to others. Then be content with lawful property given by God, and be careful about how you earn your income. Avoid obtaining unlawful property and pay the lawful dues, so that you can prosper in this world and in the Hereafter.
One Who Repents is Loved by God
During a visit to Mashhad, I met a man one night at the time of the call to prayers. It seemed he had known me for many years. He asked me to accompany him to his residence, so after a few minutes of talking I accepted his invitation even though that was the first time I had met him. Then I found out that he was one of the people who had attended my lectures during the mourning ceremonies in the months of Muharram and Saffar. He knew me but I did not know him. I asked who he was from one who had accompanied him when he left us for a few minutes. I recognized him when the man told me his name. When he was younger, he was a man who was strong and brutish, so much so that the strongest men of Tehran were afraid of him. His activities included taking bribes from the casinos and banks, smuggling and distributing wine. No one in Tehran could confront him. He had earned a lot of wealth unlawfully.
God guided him and his conscience bothered him. His pure nature and his intellect brought him down from his previous position. He then converted all his property into cash and put it all in a suitcase. Immediately he went to Qum to meet the Grand Ayatullah Boroojerdy. The noble Shiite authority kindly accepted him when he was informed about that man’s past. The man told the Ayatullah that what was in the suitcase was all absolutely unlawfully earned. He said he could not bear the reckoning on the Day of Judgment and asked the Ayatullah to relieve him of this heavy burden. The Ayatullah told him that if he really wanted to repent he should take off his outer garments and return to Tehran wearing just his pajamas. The man took off his clothes, and the Shiite authority was really impressed.
Boroojerdy found his repentance to be a serious one, returned his clothes, paid him five thousand Tumans from his personal property, and gave him the good news of a brilliant future. The repenter returned to Tehran with that lawfully earned money. He quit all his past deeds and started to work with his new capital. He settled down, really changed, and guided his wife and children towards the Right Path. He then founded one of the most fruitful religious meetings in Tehran.
At the end of his life in 1992A.D., he talked to Imam Husayn (Pbuh) while he was crying one Friday night a few minutes before he died. He said: I spent most of my life in your service, and now I hope I can gain your favor. His wife and children said that suddenly he stared at the corner of the room, respectfully greeted Imam Husayn (Pbuh) and passed away with a smile on his face.
Thus everyone can repent. Repentance will purify one's soul, illuminate one's heart, improve one's temper, cleanse one's wealth and all aspects of life of impurity. Why not benefit by repenting and spend the rest of your life moving from darkness into light? Let's repent since God loves those who repent and it is not worth the whole world to stay sinful.
For God loves those who turn to him constantly...[Holy Quran: Baqara 2:222]
The Prophet (Pbuh ) said: There is nothing dearer to God than a believing man or woman who repents. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.1, pp.540-541]
I swear to God, God is more pleased with one who repents than a man who is pleased when he gets his food. [Ibid]
God is more pleased with the repentance of his servants, than an infertile man who becomes a father, or one who has lost something and finds it, and one whose thirst is quenched by water. [Ibid]
One who repents is just like one who has never committed any sin. [Ibid]
Repenting will purify the soul and wash away the sins. [Ibid]
Repentance actually has consequences which the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh ) has pointed out. One can be sure of the acceptance of his repentance if these consequences are manifested. If not one must repent again. If the consequences of repentance do not show up, then the repentance is not accepted. The consequences of repentance include gaining the satisfaction of those involved; performing undone prayers; humbleness with people; protecting the soul against lust; and losing weight through fasting. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.6, pp.35-36]
The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said: Repentance holds the uppermost place in Heaven, and consists of six parts:
1- Regretting the past
2- Determination to stop sinning in the future
3- Returning people's rights to them
4- Performing undone duties
5- Losing all the weight gained during the period of sinning
6- Exposing the body to the trouble of worship, and asking for God's forgiveness [Ibid]
A Surprising Example of Sincerity
For many years I had been a friend of one of the sincere men of the cloth in love with the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and his Household. His morality and behavior had taught me some good lessons. He told me that when he had left Tehran for Qum so as to become educated in theology, Ayatullah Al'Uzma Hajj Sheik Abdulkarim Haeri" . Abdulkarim was the head of the Qum Seminary. After some time, I was introduced to the Ayatullah as having an especial zeal for and way of reciting the tragedies of the Household of the Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh). I was requested to recite those tragedies for him at specified times. Gradually, I became renown for this type of recital and I was honored to be in the line of the professional reciters of the elegies for Imam Husayn (Pbuh).
One Thursday night I was taken to the home of one of the great clergymen who lived in the poorer parts of town and was asked to make a speech where I spoke for a few minutes about death referring to some lines from the book Nahj ul-Balaghah (The Peak of Eloquence).
The house owner sobbed too much and even continued doing so until the end of the meeting. I was invited to go again next Thursday night and was instructed to speak about a lighter and more down to earth subject. Whenever the distinguished house owner remembered the sermon subject from the week before, he sobbed his heart out.
Then I was told a surprising story about that man's sincerity. He was single, but our insistence upon his marrying was to no avail. After a while he accepted to get married, so a young, unmarried woman was suggested to him to be his suitable match. According to the principles of Islamic law he saw her one time, but he rejected the marriage. Later on I heard that the man had married a dark-complexioned, ugly widow having three offspring. I was really surprised to hear the news, so I asked him why he had done so. He replied that he had seen the first lady who was a virgin and accepted to marry her, but as much as he tried to do so out of sincere intentions and for the sake of Allah he found it to be impossible. So he decided to forsake the marriage. Then he said he saw the second woman whose husband had died and therefore had no one to bring in the daily bread. She was left with three orphans so no one was ready to marry her. He noted that he had found the field of sincerity of intentions and married for the sake of Allah. He also mentioned that the real benefits of this good deal would be bestowed upon him on the Day of Judgment. The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) stated: Blessed is the one whose actions, knowledge, kindness, revenge, taking and not taking things, speaking and not speaking all stem from his sincerity for Allah. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.3, pp.56-58]
He also said: Sincerity is the most honorable ending. [Ibid]
Hazrat Ali (Pbuh) said: Freedom is found in sincerity. [Ibid]
And he said: Sincerity is the support for the worship of Allah. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Blessed are the sincere ones. They are the lights on the path of guidance and are free from any wickedness. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.3, pp.59-62]
Imam Hassan Askari (Pbuh) said the following about the very impressive value of the sincere ones: If I reduced the whole world into a bite of food and fed it to the one who worships God out of sincerity, then I would still think I had not done right by him. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated: Do all your actions out of sincerity for God. God will not accept those actions except the ones done out of sincerity for Him. [Ibid]
Imam Ali (Pbuh) said: The one whose goal is other than God has been ruined. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated: Sincerity means to avoid all divinely forbidden things and actions. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.3, p.63]
The flower of sincerity in each action would blossom from the garden of the spirit and its scent would fill all spheres of life, if passion, lust, the instincts, keeping up with the Joneses, attachment to material affairs over and above the lawful limits and forgetfulness in one's affairs did not rule over us. O' how pleasant is the life of a man and his wife who have based their marriage on sincerity and during the course of life continue to be sincere even in the face of limitations. Say:
Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for God, the Cherisher of the Worlds: [Holy Quran: An'am 6:162]
Hypocrisy and showing off in the performance of the obligatory acts would void them and hypocrisy and showing off in the lawful acts would reduce their value.
Piety and Justice
A woman and her husband must observe the divine matters and Islamic decrees when interacting with each other. Enacting these truths in life is impossible unless one puts piety and justice to work in his life. Piety means avoiding evil deeds, bad-temperedness and unacceptable behavior. Justice means to avoid going to extremes in one's daily affairs. Oppression of a woman by a man and vice versa to whatever degree it may be is shameful, even though some may not think it is important. A woman does not have great physical strength and at times is not in good spirits. In his encounters with his wife a man must consider the various aspects of her creation, just as God has taken into consideration a woman's abilities and powers and exempted her from carrying out some duties. Woman's weaknesses must be compensated for by the graceful encounters of the man with her. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Whoever gets married for the sake of God and observe the relations of the womb, then God will crown him with the angels' crown.
The Manifestations of Virtue in the Family
She is not in a position for man to fight with her and turn the house into a field for combat and struggle. Consider the following two excellent traditions in this regard: The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) has mentioned various detailed and important issues including the nature of woman's creation in his letter to Imam Hassan Mujtaba (Pbuh): Truly, a woman is like a bunch of scented flowers, not a source of physical power. [Vasa'il al-Shiia, v.20, p.168]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: Most residents of Heaven are from amongst the oppressed. God was aware of their weakness, so that is why He was merciful to them. Then it is incumbent upon men to obey Allah and treat women with kindness, patience, love and affection. In encounters with them, men must consider their physical and spiritual states to be a similar to bunch of scented flowers. Men should avoid going to extremes in oppressing women in any way since God who is the Creator of women has ordered men to fear Him in their dealings with women. And man must entertain God's maid in his house with all possible material and spiritual benefits. This delicate interpretation about women which shows God's especial mercy and consideration for woman has come in a very important tradition regarding the marriage of Adam and Eve in Vasa'il al-Shiia. [v.20, p.13, Al-Bayt Publications].
However, a woman must remember that a man has to suffer many hardships to run the affairs of the house. He has to worry about providing for proper housing, clothing and food for the comfort of his wife and children; things which cannot be provided for except by suffering many hardships, working, traveling and encountering various people. Thus, when the man comes home the woman should kindly receive him, take care of him with pleasant conduct and give in to his natural desires. She should welcome her life partner and fill the atmosphere of the house with the good scent of her proper behavior and smile at him thanking him for his hard work. She should attract his love. Then justice, piety, good conduct, a proper attitude, smiling, showing satisfaction, maintaining the peace, and proper entertaining are all considered to be good acts. These must be mutually embarked upon by both sexes so that their joint life is filled with these blessings. The proper treatment of a husband by his wife and that of a husband for his household constitutes a very important section of Shiite traditions being amazingly large in number.
The contents of these divine traditions are also amazing. The oppression of anyone of any other, even in the slightest amount, is not justified and the oppressor must know a terrible punishment awaits him. A man does not own his wife so that he can implement any plan he desires. And a woman in respect to her husband is not free to do as she wishes. Allah, the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) and the Infallible Imams have designated duties for every woman and her husband. The couple may only interact with each other within that framework of duties. It is oppressive to act outside the divine limits and human, moral responsibilities and such actions have reactions in this world and the Hereafter.
A very important tradition on the authority of the Prophet (Pbuh) concerns a wife oppressing her husband and vice-versa which are satanic acts not associated with nobility. It is really important to pay close attention to it. "Neither the prayers nor any of the good deeds of a woman who bothers her husband will be accepted by God, unless she changes her ways, becomes an assistant to him and pleases him. That annoying woman should know that in case she continues to bother him, she shall be the first person to enter Hell even though she spends her entire life fasting, saying night prayers and frees slaves in the way of God. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Such punishment exists for a man if he bothers his wife or oppresses her [Vasa'il, v.20, p.160, Al-i-Bayt Press]. Such men or women should know that God has announced his hatred of oppressors in the Holy Quran and has expelled them from his circle of love. But God loveth not those who do wrong.[Al-i-Imran 3:57]
Men and women should note that oppression is not just physical, but mean looks, paying no attention and not giving in to one’s spouse, bad behavior, being vulgar, swearing and belittling are all cases of oppression, too. The woman who oppresses her husband and the man who oppresses his wife are not true Muslims. They have left the circle of guidance and are wading in the marsh of deviation.
Nay, but the transgressors are in manifest error.[Holy Quran: Luqman 31:11]
The Prophet (Pbuh) stated: There are seven mountain passes between Heaven and a servant of Allah: The easiest one is death. Annas asked the Prophet (Pbuh) which was the most difficult for the servant. He replied: Standing in front of Allah (on the Day of Judgment) while the oppressed ones are clinging to the oppressor's collar. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.5, p.596]
The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) said: The evil provisions for the Hereafter consist of oppressing God's servants. Oppression unsteadies one's steps, deprives one of blessings and wipes out whole nations. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.5, pp.595-6]
I swear to Allah that if seven countries were given to me so that I would commit a sin by taking the husk of a barley seed from an ant's mouth, I would not do so. The Prophet (Pbuh) has prohibited men from eating whatever is being transported by the mouth and feet of an ant. [Ibid]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Avoid oppression: Verily it is the darkness on the Day of Judgment. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.5, p.599-600]
A man said to the Prophet (Pbuh) that he would like to among the guided ones on the Day of Judgment. Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: Any type of oppression is infidelity and he who beats his innocent servant is an unbeliever. [Ibid]
A Virtuous Countenance
Believing men and women have especial characteristics which are manifested in their lives, cause enjoyment in life and the appearance of a new, pure generation. These characteristics cause them to be prosperous in the Hereafter.
The believers, men and women, are the protectors, one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy: for God is Exalted in power, Wise.[Holy Quran: Tauba 9:71]
From many verses about believers, I think this one alone is enough to learn about their physical and spiritual attributes. Once such men and women establish a joint life, their mutual life will be filled with light, sincerity, goodness, blessings, truth and honesty. In this type of life, the man is an ideal man and the woman is an ideal woman, too. Also their life is a good life, and they are prosperous in this world and the Hereafter. The late Majlesi said: There were people whose wife and children would tell them to avoid earning illegal property when they left the house to go to work. We can tolerate hunger and difficulty but cannot tolerate the punishment of the Resurrection Day.
Truly, what virtue is greater than patience and tolerating hardships so as to protect one's self against the punishment on the Last Day. I, myself, saw a great man who sometimes would prohibit his family from buying the things they wanted in a convincing tone. He would promise to fulfill their needs at a later date when business was good. His wife and children would submit to his request and did not bother him. Family life abounded with peace and quiet, divinity and enlightenment. Khadijah the Great (the Prophet's wife) was a woman who patiently bore the hardships during her noble husband's times of difficulty. She shared in his sufferings and sorrows, and lived with the Prophet (Pbuh) in such a way that after her death he would ask God to be merciful to her whenever he remembered her and tears would flow from his eyes. At the beginning of their marriage, she devoted her great and rare wealth of those days to the Prophet's movement. The Prophet (Pbuh) gradually spent that wealth to relieve the problem of the needy and to aid God's movement: finally nothing remained of the wealth. Near the end of her life she lived with her husband in a humble house without too many furnishings. She lived in hardship and the only thing she said to her husband in those difficult days was during the last moments of her life. With tears in her eyes she asked him if God was satisfied with her. The angel entrusted with revelations descended from Heaven and asked the Prophet (Pbuh) to give his best regards to Khadijah and announce God's satisfaction with her. Khadijah became really happy and said to the Prophet (Pbuh) that life and death were now very sweet for her. Fatimah Zahra was only four years old at the time. When she felt the absence of her mother at home, she asked her kind father where her mother was, and the Prophet (Pbuh) answered that she was with the angels. Verily, a believing woman whose faith is manifested in her actions and behavior is an angel-like creature and a source of satisfaction for God and a spring of virtues and perfection.
An Instructive Story
My maternal grandmother and grandfather lived with each other for almost seventy years in peace and quiet, honesty and with faith and morality. Till the end of their lives, they never forgot the following: to lovingly perform the obligatory and recommended Islamic duties; to perform the night prayers; to recite the Quran; to make pilgrimages to the Saints; to hold religious meetings; to entertain guests; to solve others' problems; to visit relatives and to attend the congregational prayers.
My paternal grandfather and grandmother lived with each other in the same way (maybe even more devotedly) for more than fifty years. As is inevitable for everyone, my grandmother passed away near the midday call to prayers early in Muharram, the month of mourning for the Master of the Oppressed Imam Husayn while my grandfather was in perfect health. The children and the relatives were about to write announcements for her mourning ceremonies after burying her. But my grandfather told them not to do so since he was going to pass away the next night after the Isha (night) prayer. He asked them to wait until then and hold just one mourning ceremony. Everybody got worried but he pacified them.
No one could believe him, but the next night after finishing his prayer he spoke to God saying: O' God, you have promised to attend to the call of the needy and now that I am traveling to the Hereafter, please help me since I am in need. Then he recited some holy words and passed away next to his prayer mat. They buried both of my grandparents in the same grave. I saw him in a dream one night and asked him where they were. He said that he and his wife stayed where they were buried for three days, and then they were taken to the Master of the Martyrs Husayn (Pbuh). Then he said they now have a pleasant life in the divine atmosphere of Purgatory.
An Amazing Event
I became really fond of religious life, the mosques and religious ceremonies during my childhood and adolescence after witnessing my father's religious states of mind and his encounters with men of letters, mosques and religious ceremonies. During the era of the ungodly rule (the Shah's regime), a percentage of the people, especially the youth, were corrupt. Going to religious centers and my interaction with clergymen was very beneficial for me and the development of my spirit. Based on the background that I received from the family, the mosque and the religious clergy, I was attracted towards the religious centers in Qum at the age of sixteen in the year 1963 AD. There, I naturally had more encounters with religious knowledge and the men of the cloth. I had the opportunity to visit with many outstanding successful men during my studies of Islamic sciences.
I do not remember whom I heard this amazing story from, but the story is very interesting and educational showing the mental and spiritual states of a woman when her existence is combined with faith, good deeds and morality. That noble man told me: The Gohar Shad. Mosque next to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (Pbuh) is one of the most widely frequented mosques on the earth where thousands of prayers and pilgrimages are performed each day. And tens of classes for teaching Islamic sciences and training religious clergy are held there. The founder of this mosque was an educated, wise, chaste and noble woman. Before building the mosque, she ordered the architect and those in charge to place water and hay along the path of the animals who were to carry the building materials to the mosque. This was so that none of the animals would have to carry any load while hungry or thirsty, since it is not accepted by God and one's conscience. And their owners did not have the right to beat the animals.
The work schedule had to be clearly defined, the workers had to be treated with compassion and kindness and their wages had to be paid according to their efforts. When they needed to be admonished, it had to be done so in a gentle tone and no one's feelings were to be hurt. The surrounding houses had to be purchased according to their current market prices, since a place of worship was to be built and a center for pilgrimage as well as a school for the discussion of divine sciences. The lady admonished everyone not to oppress any man or animal in the least amount, since that would lessen the value of the work done.
The Commander of the Faithful Ali (Pbuh) said in Nahj ul-Balaghah: Truly, you are all responsible for pieces of land and the animals.
Lady Gohar Shad used to visit the mosque to check the progress of the work and issue the necessary orders. Gohar Shad was the wife of Shahrukh Mirza and the daughter-in-law of Taymor Gurkany. By chance, during one of these visits one of the workers saw her face and fell in love with her, but he did not dare express his feelings since the condition seemed dangerous. This affection was a ridiculous affair, but that naive worker did not understand these things and fell ill. From the daily mosque work report Lady Gohar Shad became informed of his illness: he lived with his mother in a half-ruined house. She went to visit him. In a weak state, the poor man was pale and waning out of his love for her. After she asked about his health and insisted on finding out the reason for his illness, his mother, who was even more naive then the son, divulged the secret.
Lady Gohar Shad complained to the mother about the young worker without getting angry or using her high social status. Then she told his mother that she was ready to marry him after having separated from her husband, but he must first give her nuptial gift being forty days and nights of worshipping God and prayer in the prayer niche of the semi-built mosque. She was aware of the result of such an effort, but the young fellow accepted her proposal and out of his love and excitement he prayed there for a few d days. However, his state of mind changed with God's favor and Imam Reza's attention. After the forty days had passed, Gohar Shad sent a messenger to him to inquire about his health. He told the messenger that if he only knew the pleasure of abstaining from pleasure, he would never call carnal desires pleasure. I heard a passer-by say that wine will get pure when it stays in glasses for forty days. (A poem)
By profitting from belief in God, paying attention to the Hereafter, having good attitudes and proper behavior, we can make our home a place for the manifestation of humane, divine and spiritual virtues. This is not too difficult, and if God helps one he can easily walk on this path, although it may be most difficult for others.
The Principles of Spirituality in the Family
Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one
another in sin and rancour: Fear God: [Holy Quran: Maida 5:3]
Many blessings have been bestowed upon man by God to live a pure life, and only God knows the value of these blessings. Some of these blessings left for us are the intellect, the Quran, Prophethood, Imamat, religious scholars and the literature on practical, moral and religious issues. We will briefly discuss the meaning of each of these blessings for the readers' information.
Intellect means the power to understand, to theoretically distinguish between right and wrong and practically understand the difference between good and evil, and profit and loss. This unique blessing is equipped with the outer senses by which it can recognize the appearance of things. It is also equipped with spiritual senses by which it recognizes spiritual affairs such as will, love, hatred, hope and fear. And it uses each accordingly. In theoretical issues the intellect makes practical decisions. The illuminating activities of the intellect continue as long as it is the outstanding force in man; other forces being subject to it. However, should another force within man overpower the intellect, it becomes weak and man will deviate from the right path going to either extreme. This deviation towards either extreme in our life is the result of lust, anger, or greed overpowering the intellect. Letting loose the instincts and following lust, meeting with the sinful ones and disregarding realities are all factors which weaken and disable the heavenly force and angelic light of the intellect. Once the intellect is disabled, it is either too difficult or impossible to distinguish between right and wrong, and recognize spiritual realities. Then man deserves to be at a loss in this world and suffer retribution in the Hereafter, even if he mischievously gains a lot of financial property, or remains secure from apparent losses. [Adopted from an article in Al-Mizan, v.2, pp.447-450]
The directors of Hell say to those there: Didn't a Prophet come to you to inform you about your present situation? The inhabitants of Hell will say: Yes, but we denied him and God's laws. Then they will tell the directors of Hell: If we had listened to the call of God in the world and the invitation of the Prophet (Pbuh) and had thought about what we were doing in all daily affairs, then today we would not be the inhabitants of Hell: It is impossible to reason if there is no other power holding first place in one's being. If lust and satisfaction of one's lust does all the talking in you, the intellect will not be empowered to guide man. It was asked of Hazrat Sadiq: What is the intellect? He answered: It is something with which God is worshipped and heaven attained! [Bihar al-Anwar, v.1, p.131]
It was asked what did Muaviyah have? He said he had cunningness, wickedness and something which resembled the intellect but was not the intellect. What great blessings are bestowed upon the true servant of God and make him a buyer of Heaven? Amir al-Mumineen Ali (Pbuh) said: The will and high ambition of the intellect manifests itself in man through the abandoning of sins and reforming the apparent and hidden mistakes. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.6, p.419]
The enlightenment of these blessings is so great that Ali (Pbuh) said: Had God, the Almighty not forbade us from doing the unlawful acts, the intellect would forbid us from doing them. [Ibid]
Imam Ali's (Pbuh) opinion is that this spiritual faculty, the intellect, possesses great powers of understanding. In the noble book entitled Ghorar al-Hikam the Commander of the Faithful has been quoted as saying the following about the intellect: The intelligent person is one who can overcome his lust; not trade in the Hereafter for this world; rebel sagainst his carnal desires; obeys the Lord; and is in full command of himself at times of anger. The ethics of the intelligent ones is to have little lust and little ignorance. [Ghorar al-Hikam, Chapter on the intellect]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: All good is attained via the intellect and one who lacks intelligence lacks religion. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.158]
In many important traditions we can read that man's prosperity or punishment in the Hereafter depends upon his/her intelligence as it is the intellect which is the measure for responsibility and duties. It is incumbent upon man to use his intellect in order to face reality and recognize the difference between good and evil, and truth and falsehood. It is an unforgivable sin to not use the intellect. As the intellect is the lantern of truth, a divine prophet within and the essential element to distinguish truth from falsehood, and good from evil, it is incumbent upon the head of the household to protect the intellect from the inrush of lust, desires, instincts and corruption. He should use his intelligence and not let his intellect or that of his family become enslaved by carnal desires and excessive lust, since the loss of the intellect's control will pull man down from his rank as a human to the rank of an animal.
Therefore you should not associate with corrupt people, but rather associate with the lofty Islamic principles.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: The disciples asked Jesus whom they should associate with. Jesus replied: The ones whose encounter shall remind you of God, whose speech shall add to your knowledge and whose actions shall attract you to the Hereafter. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.147]
The fourth Imam said: Association with good-doers attracts man towards good deeds. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.78, p.141]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Association with credible, wise men shall direct you from five states to five other states:
1) from doubt to certainty; 2) from hypocrisy to sincerity ;3) from undue excitement to fear ;4) from haughtiness to humbleness ;5) from wickedness to benevolence [Bihar al-Anwar, v.74, p.189]
The Commander of the Faithful said: The gatherings of the evil-doers are not safe from catastrophes. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.2, p.63]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Avoid associating with the dead. They asked him who are the dead? He replied any rich person whose wealth has caused him to rebel. [Ibid]
Imam Ali (Pbuh) said: Avoid the evil-doers and associate with good people .[Ibid]
Guard yourselves and the family against lust and association with the evil-doers if you want your intellect to rule over you. Two of the widespread evils of today are the corrupt films and videos of the satellite channels. Watching such programs will corrupt the intellect, destroy morality, and wipe out humanity.
The Quran is a divine book, being the light of guidance and the cure for the soul of moral evils; a guide towards better life; a remembrance of God; and an interpreter of realities and an organizers of the affairs. It is a source of guidance and a producer of knowledge and wisdom; a cure for hard-heartedness; the straight path; the criteria to distinguish truth from falsehood; the statement of high moral issues and the manifestation of the life of the good and the pure; and God's final say in this world and the Hereafter. Both men and women are equally responsible and duty-bound to this unique divine blessing. This duty is to learn the Quran and acting accordingly in all facets of life.
Indifference to God's book is a great sin. The Quran is God's letter to his servants : The servants are obliged to respond to this letter by being adorned by the right belief through their hearts, enacting out their morals via their souls and turning to good deeds via their bodies. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Seek refuge in the Quran when you are attacked by vices as the darkness of the night attacks you. And repel the attack by enacting out the orders of the Quran in your life and do not let your lives be darkened by the rule of wickedness. The Quran is a mediation whose mediation is accepted at God's threshold and whose complaint is also accepted. Whoever lets the Quran lead him or her shall attain Heaven through its blessing. And whoever is indifferent to God's book is heading towards Hell. The Quran is the reason for and a guide towards the best path. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.92, p.17]
The Commander of the Faithful said: The Quran is the best remembrance, and courage and spiritual enlightenment are attained with it. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.8, pp.67-69]
Imam Sadiq said: Whose does not recognize the truth from the Holy Quran, does not avoid sedition. [Ibid]
Ali (Pbuh) said: In fact, the book of God the Glorious, and the Almighty contains the best stories in the most fluent speech and the most beneficial admonishment. [Ibid]
In fact, the remedy for the worst ailments being unbelief, hypocrisy, and deviation is in the Quran. [Nahj ul-Balaghah, Sermon 176]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: The Quran is wealth and there is no wealth other than it and there is no poverty after it. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.92, p.19]
Imam Sadiq said: A believer deserves not to die until he learns the Quran and teaches it. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.92, p.189]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: The best of you is one who learns the Quran and teaches it. Thus, considering these very important traditions, one can more clearly see the heavy responsibility of the head of the household. He must learn the Quran, and provide the means for his family members to learn it. Then they can all act according to it. Their living atmosphere will be cleansed from impurities and be adorned with good deeds and characters. And the house and the family will be a sample of Heaven. It will be a house in which there is no oppression or animosity; one filled with piety and purity; an atmosphere of security and comfort, truth and honesty, righteousness and trust. A house whose members are followers of the Quran will attain mental and intellectual development from the blessings of the Quran. An intellect which follows the Holy Quran is an angelic intellect; it is the essential ingredient for Heaven and the Hereafter, and its profit is the worship of God and the achievement of the eternal Heaven.
The Prophets are guides for men towards the straight path, invitors to the unity of God, and the expressors of physical and spiritual reality. They invite us to worship God, and they admonish us not to worship the ungodly. They show men the way to live a good life, to be adorned with virtue and to be cleansed from iniquity. The invitation of the Prophets is inviting us to God. Accepting their invitation will result in the revival of spiritual life. Regarding the Prophethood of the honorable Prophet, Ali (Pbuh) has said: He came to guide the servants of God away from the worship of idols to God's worship, and away from obeying Satan to obeying God. [Nahj ul-Balaghah, Sermon 147]
The Prophet (Pbuh) was appointed to recite the verses of God for the development of the people, the cleansing of their souls from impurities, and for teaching the Quran and wisdom. He uprose to take the people out of darkness, and to help them enter a region of light. He came into the arena of life to command us to do good deeds. Admonish us against evil acts; to allow us to use lawful and clean goods; to forbid evilness; and to lift off the burden of forced cultures; and to open the satanic neckbands. Those who believe in him, respect and honor him, help him and obey His Quran shall prosper.[A Summary of Verses on Prophethood in the Holy Quran]
The Prophets came to bring God's final say so that tomorrow on the Day of Judgment the deviated ones could not say that if they had a Prophet, they would not have been deviated. God the Kind has made the acts, the statements and the morality of the Prophets necessary for all the people. And has made the Prophets a model to follow. Among the behaviors of the Prophets, we can mention the use of perfume, having a happy face, cleanliness, liking women, establishing prayer, uprising for the rights of the believers, kindness and generosity. The Prophets have invited the people to piety, purity, trustworthiness, honesty, bravery, loyalty, righteousness, truth, kindness, mercy and good deeds; and have admonished them against committing any evil acts and having a bad temper. In the Hereafter they are the criteria for action. The condition of the people will be measured based upon their condition. If there is sufficient coordination between them and the Prophets, they will be saved, else they deserve punishment.
In order to complete His blessing, and perfect His religion, God appointed the Commander of the Faithful and the twelve Imams who followed him to their posts. This was done so that the people would stay on the Straight Path of their Prophet by following the Quran and the members of the Prophet’s Household, and never face deviation. Even though the noble Imams themselves suffered from the ungodly government and the deviated people, they never stopped expressing what was right, ordering the people to do good deeds, admonishing them against iniquities, and praying for what was divinely guided to help man's spiritual development. They fully delivered God's religion to the people with their actions, conduct, sayings and martyrdom. On the Day of Judgment the Imams are also the criteria like the Prophets are. If the people's lives are in accordance with theirs, then they shall be saved or else they will be condemned to divine punishment.
The Prophets and the Imams are Allah’s authority for the people: Likewise are the jurisprudents, the experts of divine knowledge and those familiar with the traditions and the Holy Quran. It is incumbent upon the people to follow such religious scholars after the Prophets and the Imams. Such obeyance is like following the Imams and the Prophets and a cause for prosperity. The head of the household should allocate some time to make his family familiar with the Quran, the Prophethood, the leadership and the following of the jurisprudents. As this theoretical and practical supplication should cause good in this world and the Hereafter. Disregarding the intellect and separation from the Quran, ignoring the Prophethood, the leadership and the scholars is harmful. The family must help the father in this regard, should thank him for this beneficial program and become reasonably acquainted with divine facts.
If the head of the household is not strong in these areas, then the family members should encourage him to do so. They should ask him to provide the necessary means for this. If he disagrees, they should politely disobey him and, they themselves should try to learn about the Quran. the Prophet, the Immaculate Imams, and the religious scholars so that they may prosper. The head of the household should fill the atmosphere of the house with the recital of the Quran, prayers, supplications, and God's remembrance. Thus, he can combine this world and the Hereafter, and will create a blessed ending for all members of the family.
It is not obligatory for the head of the household to only say his prayers. He is also responsible to gently direct the members of his family by advising and encouraging them.
Enjoin prayer on the people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We provide it for thee. But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for Righteousness. [Holy Quran: Ta-Ha: 20:132]
We read in the Quran that one of the attributes of Abraham was that he invited his wife and children to prayer.
It is We Who will inherit the earth, and all beings thereon: to Us will they all be returned. [Holy Quran: Maryam 19:40]
And we also read in the Quran that Abraham requested God that he himself and his progeny establish prayer till the Day of Judgment.
O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring [Holy Quran: Abraham 14:40]
In many traditions the Prophet (Pbuh) has called prayer the apple of his eye. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.77]
The Sixth Imam stated: There is nothing other than prayer which can be compared to knowledge. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.69, p.206]
Imam Ali said: I instruct you to say your prayers which is the best act and the pillar of religion. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.72, p.209]
The Glorious Quran recognizes the prayer to be what keeps man from evil inwardly and outwardly.
For prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; [Holy Quran: Ankabut: 29:45]
Hazrat Baqir said: The first affair of a human which will be judged on the Day of Judgment is prayer. If his prayers are accepted, the rest of his actions will be accepted.
Negligence of prayers, or quitting to perform this great worship will cause us to lose the possibility of the mediation of the Prophet (Pbuh) on our behalf; It will also be a cause of bankruptcy in the Hereafter; losing the possibility of benefiting from God's Mercy. and never being allowed to enter Heaven.[Bihar al-Anwar, v.83, pp.9-19]
They will say:
We were not of those who prayed. [Holy Quran, Muddaththir 74:43]
Do not forget about your prayers and that of your family members, so that on the Day of Judgment you do not have to answer to the complaints against you made by your family members. They may tell God that if we were called to say our prayers, we would have accepted. The fact that our file is void of prayers is at first the fault of our husband and father, then it is our own fault. Since he was indifferent to us, we neglected our prayers. O' God, please take our revenge, damn him and let him suffer double our torture. Children are wonderful imitators. They mimic the states, actions and behavior of adults. If we pray, they pray. If we fast, they fast. If we recite the Quran, and are pleasant, kind and polite, then they follow us in all these respects, and after a while get used to doing so.
It has been stated in a very important tradition that Jesus passed by a grave in which the person who buried there was being tortured. The next year he passed by the same grave. He noticed that the person was no longer being tortured, so he asked God the reason for this. Then a revelation came down to Jesus that the man had a good child who had reconstructed a road and had provided shelter for an orphan. For the good deeds of his offspring, We forgave him. [Vasa'il, Al-i-Bayt Press, v.16. p.338]
Raising good children who are religious and do good deeds is good for this world and beneficial for the Hereafter. Try to benefit from this fact.