Needs for a Happy and Prosperous Family
By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Hussain Madhahiri
Our discussion now is on the needs that a husband and a wife have to fulfil for each other. Today’s discussion is about the finances of the family and is an important one.
Condemning Stinginess in Material Needs
The first need which both the husband and wife have to take care of is the material needs of each other. The husband must make all possible efforts to provide material comforts to his family, but if he is miserly not only does he fail to fulfil that which is obligatory on him but also becomes the target of those verses of the Holy Quran which condemn miserliness. The Holy Book says that the miserly person should not think that stinginess is a virtue, it is an undesirable trait. On the Day of Judgement, the money that he refused to spend due to his stinginess will be hung from his neck in the form of a heavy chain, and he will be brought to the Grounds of Reckoning in this shameful state!
And let not those who hoard up that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of his bounty think that it is better for them. Nay, it is worse for them. That which they hoard will be their collar on the Day of Resurrection… Sura Ale Imran: 180
The persons who, in their stinginess, don’t spend on their families, on the society, on the poor and the needy and don’t spend in the way of Allah, will find their stinginess hung in the form of a collar around their necks. A stingy man is detested. Miserliness is one of the negative traits in men. In fact, the miserly man himself condemns it. The proof of this fact is that when someone reminds such a person that he is stingy, he doesn’t like the remark! Stinginess is one of the things that extinguish love, whether it is in the society or in the house. If a man can afford to keep his family in comfort but refuses to do so his family will never respect him or love him. A man should, to the best of his capabilities, fulfil the needs of his family. He should, at least fulfil their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, and if possible get them married and settled. It is the man’s duty to arrange for his daughters marriage and give her some dowry. It is his duty to educate his children, and choose a good wife for his son. Being miserly and not fulfilling these needs leads to many difficulties if their material needs are not met, some children resort to theft and robbery, the woman starts robbing from her own house. Initially she picks her husbands pocket, then she begins to shoplift! All these calamities are the result of miserliness; hence one should not be miserly.
Similarly the wife too should attend to the material needs of the husband. She must ensure that the husband gets good food at home. She must prefer him over herself and the children. If there is food, fruit, etc in the house, but the wife denies these to her husband, she is not only stingy, but also 'laeem'. Laeem persons are worse than misers. A miser is one who does not spend his own money on others, but a laeem is one who cannot bear another eating even what does not belong to the laeem. They stop you from spending your own money (not theirs) on the deserving and the poor, too. They justify their act by saying that when you do not spend on your own family and self, why should you spend on others! By saying such things they weaken your resolve to help the poor. The extreme case of a laeem person is one who envies others using their own money. Some people neither spend themselves, nor do they allow others to spend, neither do they allow others to help the needy and the poor. These persons are degraded and low. Laeem is that lady whose husband gets good food and fruits for the house, but she deprives him of these. One cannot expect love from such women.
In one of my previous talks I have mentioned some men who expect too much from their wives. To use a proverb, they don’t get meat, but want to eat kebab! But there are other families where the poor husband does bring the meat, but the wife serves the kebab to the children and the guests, but not to the husband! Such thoughtless women will be brought to the Grounds of Judgement in the form of the most degraded of the wild beasts. She will be asked why she denied the husband what belonged to him. The wife who metes out such treatment to her husband should not expect any love from him. And if the husband decides to marry again, the wife should not cry and grumble. Similarly, if a husband does not fulfil the needs of the family, inspite of having the means to, should not expect any love from them. It is very important that the husband and wife take good care of each other. If the husband has meagre means, the wife should not embarrass him by making demands on him. She should be patient and encourage him. The husband, too, should give preference to fulfilling the needs of the family to other things. "First, one should light the lamp in his home, then in the mosque!” If a person’s wife and children are not properly provided for, how can he help others? His first duty is towards his home - to fulfil the needs of his family. It is narrated that a person died and left everything he had in the way of Allah. The Prophet of Allah (s) attended his burial. The companions met the Prophet (s) in the evening and said, “The dead man's children are hungry! He was well-off, but at the time of his death he gave away everything he had in charity.” The Prophet (s) said, “If I was told about this earlier, I would not have offered the dead person’s funeral prayer! The husband should have first taken care of his wife and children before giving any charity.”
Need for Satisfying the Sex Instinct
The sex instinct in the humans has to be satisfied. Just as other desires are satisfied, this desire, too, must be fulfilled. It is necessary and obligatory on both the husband and the wife to satisfy each others sexual instinct. If any couple neglect this important aspect of their lives, they are committing a grave sin.
The Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) has said,
“If a husband goes to bed and calls his wife, and she evades till the husband falls asleep, then the angels curse her till the morning! This is the natural right of the husband and the wife over each other!”
Similarly, the Prophet (s) has also said, “If a man neglects to satisfy his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife indulges in adultery, then the retribution will be as much for the husband as it is for the wife!”
If a wife is tardy about giving attention to the needs of the husband, and he falls into sin, that is, he views namahram women with passion, then she is as much liable for Allah’s punishment as him. This sin will be entered in the account of the husband as well as the wife! On the day of Judgement, when her account of deeds will be given to her, it will show that she had gazed at namahrams seductively. The wife will plead with Allah that she never looked at a namahram! She will be told that, “Your husband had done that, but it was because of you. You should have prevented it. You should have satisfied him sexually, whether it was before the act by adorning yourself or the actual act itself. If a man keeps more than one wife and doesn’t satisfy them or give them equitable treatment, and if one of them gets fed-up and sighs, this sigh is sometimes back breaking, and is enough to uproot a person.
Need for Sympathy
The third need is that of sympathy and consideration. This distinguishes a human being from a brute. The human beings are not inanimate objects or trees. Even the domesticated animals expect some sympathy from their masters. When you see a kitten or a lamb or a puppy going near its mother to feed, the mother views it with warmth. In addition to satisfying the physical needs of the little one, the mother satisfies its emotional needs too. She does this by licking the little one, and rubbing her head on his body. If beasts require warmth and affection, humans require it the more. Even a dog knows that in addition to nutrition, its puppy needs love and sympathy. Man should know that expressing love and affection for each other is food for the soul. Food for the soul is more important than food for the body. God forbid that husband or wife should have less love for the spouse.
Islam exhorts people to take special care of the orphans and the Holy Quran says that a society that doesn’t care for the orphans is not a Muslim society.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the MERCIFUL Hast thou observed him who belieth religion? That is he who repelleth the orphan. Sura Maauun: 1-3
'O my Prophet! Should I show you the person who is not a Muslim, who has no faith in religion? He is the person who has abandoned the orphans.' Those who do not care about the orphans are not true Muslims. Why does Islam stress so much on helping and showing affection to the orphans? We read in the traditions that when an orphan came to the Prophet (s), he used to make the orphan sit on his lap and stroked the head of the child with affection. He always gave special care to the orphans. Even Ameer al Mu'mineen cared for orphans a lot.
The families of the martyrs are blessed to have the opportunity to raise orphans. There are ladies whose husbands have died or have been martyred, and they are raising their orphaned children. These ladies are earning a great reward. It is narrated in traditions that if someone caresses the head of an orphan with affection, good deeds equal to the number of the hair his hand has touched, will be entered in his account of deeds. He gets a great reward. Dealing with orphans with love and affection fetches so much reward because they have lost their father. But the orphan still needs sympathy. Allah wants to fill this void from other sources. If their emotional needs are not fulfilled, they will become rebellious. A youth, boy or girl, who has been deprived of love and affection, might prove to be very dangerous for the society. A society where there is dearth of affection turns into a society of criminals. A society lacking in affection will comprise of gloomy individuals. If a woman is depressed at heart, she cannot be expected to care for her husband. She will not be able to care for the house or be a good mother to her children. Similarly a man who is depressed at heart cannot be a part of the society; he remains cut off from the society. When does a person become depressed? When he is deprived of love and affection at home. Right from the beginning of life, the child has a lot of needs. Some are dormant. For example his need for sex is there, but it is dormant. His love for money is dormant. However there are some needs he can understand. For example, he knows when he is hungry or thirsty and when he is satiated. He knows that when he is hungry, he should suck at his mother's breast. One instinct is that of love. When the mother nurses her child, she fondly caresses him. The mother caressing her child with love is more important than the nursing itself. Similarly, when the father smiles at the child, it is more important than the mother's milk. A father who fulfils the physical needs of his children but ignores their emotional needs, is a father only in name. He is an ignorant, uneducated father. Some fathers are so busy with their work that they have no time for their children. When the father leaves home for work in the morning, the child is sleeping. When the father arrives home late after the days work, the child is sleeping. The father should play with the children, seat them on his lap, and caress their head lovingly. A father's smile for his child is very important and valuable. Similarly his smile for his wife and his love towards his wife is very important, because human beings crave love.
We read in the traditions that when Pharaoh was killing the male children, Hadhrat Musa (a.s.) received his upbringing under the roof of that very tyrant, in the lap of Asiya, the wife of the Pharoah! Allah put love for Musa (a.s.) in the heart of Pharoah. And he looked after Prophet Musa like a father. Allah says in the Holy Quran that Musa (a.s.) was raised in His own care! In addition to this, Musa (a.s.) was kept under the care of Hadhrat Shoaib (a.s.) for ten years. Under the care of the Prophet of Allah, he reached perfection and achieved that stage where he had the privilege of conversing with Allah. When he was ordained a Prophet Musa (a.s.) was commanded by Allah to make Haroon (a.s) his vicegerent, so that they could together frighten the Pharoah! Still Allah instructed them to treat the Pharoah with consideration.
Go, both of you, unto Pharoah. Lo he hath transgressed (the bounds). And speak unto him a gentle word, that peradventure he may heed or fear. Sura Taha: 43-44
These verses indicate to us that a human being, whoever he might be, is thirsty for love and affection. Therefore Islam directs us to kill tyrants, but does not give us the right to abuse or insult them. It gives us permission to put the noose around his neck, but stops us from insulting him. The Judge can punish the person who insults others.
Therefore, the wife expects love from the husband more than anything else. Similarly the husband too wants love from his wife before anything else. Your son, your daughter and your wife all expect love from you. When a man enters his house, he should at least say "salaamun 'alaykum". If he does not do this, he should at least meet his family with a smile. He should not come home with a long face, because it is a big calamity for the house. Sometimes husbands and wives hurt each other a lot. If the husband is ill-tempered, he goes to the extent of beating his wife. This sin will attract grave retribution. There are some husbands who neither verbally abuse nor beat their wives, but are always angry and sullen at home. The wife might have preferred to bear a hundred lashes from the husband than his glum demeanour. Similarly there are many wives who neither nag the husbands nor fight with them but they always wear belligerent expressions and look angry. They even refuse to speak to their husbands and are always sullen. This attitude is worst than lashing the husband a hundred times. This attitude may lead the husband to get fed-up with his wife. A husband should not assume that if he has a good tempered wife, she will remain so forever. If there is a decrease in love from your side, she can become bad. Similarly if there is a decrease in love for your son or daughter, it will inevitably lead to disaster. One has always to bear in mind that for a human being love is a prime need. If the ladies at home become paragons of love, they will be the most successful homemakers. If a woman is devoid of feelings of love and compassion for others, if she doesn’t love her husband or children, then she is a demon! Women, by nature, are more loving than men. It is the duty of both husbands and wives to maintain an atmosphere of love and affection in their homes. May Allah help us succeed in these endeavours! Aameen!
Spiritual and Intellectual Needs
Today’s discussion is about the fourth need - the spiritual need. Just as a person needs to be physically satisfied, he needs spiritual satisfaction. This is the main difference between human beings and the animals. Animals only have instincts and physical needs. At the most they need love and sympathy. But man has both the physical as well as the spiritual aspects in his nature. This spiritual aspect has been endowed to him from the Aalam e Malkoot! The human being is so spiritually developed that Allah has made a special reference to him highlighting his felicity.
So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him. Sura al Hijr: 29
Allah ordered the angels to prostrate when He blew His spirit into him. This privilege is endowed only to man. When we consider the material aspect of life, we find that animals have very well defined and strong instincts and needs, which are easily satisfied. Therefore, we can say that the superiority of man lies in his spiritual aspect. Man has two aspects, thus he requires two types of nourishment. One is the material nourishment required for the maintenance of the physical existence. Similarly spiritual nourishment is necessary for him. If both the spiritual and material wants are not satisfied, man perishes! The difference between the two aspects is that when a person dies physically, it is not so important. But if he dies spiritually, according to the Holy Quran, he is worse than the lowliest of the animals and is headed straight for Hell:
Already have We urged unto Hell many of the jinn and humankind, having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle---nay, but they are worse!! These are the neglectful. Sura A’raaf: 179
Allah says that if man doesn’t get spiritual nourishment, then his destiny is Hell. Such men have eyes, but they don’t see. They don’t distinguish between good and evil. They have ears, but they don’t pay any heed to what they hear. They have tongues, but they speak not. They have hearts, but they don’t think aright! Then Allah adds that such men are worse than the animals. They are like the silk-worms that produce the silk thread, wind it around their bodies and perish in the process!
These, according to Allah, are the neglectful men. If someone has not received spiritual nourishment, his soul is dead. Such people should cry day and night, because of what the Holy Quran says about them. In another Verse the Holy Quran is more forceful:
Lo! The worst of beasts in Allah’s sight are the deaf, the dumb, who have no sense. Sura Anfaal: 22
People with dead souls are worst than animals: they have brains, but do not think, they have the ability, but do not ponder. There are many such verses in the Holy Quran. The Prophet (s) has said:
There are two blessings for men—welfare and peace.
Truly, these are great blessings for men. When a man is ill, he loses interest in everything. Sometimes a person is physically well, but his spirit is ill, as the Quran says, their hearts are sick. This according to the Quran is a most dangerous state of affairs. When the heart is sick, the person rises against the Quran, the Prophet (s) and his vicegerents (a.s). He starts to interpret the verses of the Quran to suit himself; he distorts their meaning to suit himself. In the beginning of the Sura Aale Imran there are certain verses indicating that in the Quran there are Muhkam (definitive) verses and others that are Mutashabih (Ambiguous).
Such men pick up ambiguous verses and try to interpret them to suit their selfish ends. From somewhere they get a tradition and explain it to suit themselves. They invent the speech of revered people, and distort it to suit themselves. When the spirit is ill, it is not like physical illness. This illness has special characteristics. The spiritually ill person is at war with the Holy Quran. Therefore, the Quran says it is a cure, but for the spiritually ill, there is nothing but loss, and more loss!
But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical (ambiguous) seeking( to cause) dissensions by seeking to explain it … Sura Aale Imran 7
Allah’s mercy is nothing save loss for the oppressors and the spiritually ill. For example, melons and guava are very good fruits. But they are very harmful to one ailing from inflammation of the intestines. Eating these will further aggravate the pain or even lead to bleeding from the digestive system. The verses of the Holy Quran are very useful. But for the spiritually sick person, they result in losses. This reaction is somewhat like the effect of the melon on one suffering from intestinal inflammation! A person whose spirit is dead is harmful not only to himself, but also to others in his environment. He is like a cancer in the society. He will be a source of trouble for his own wife and children. Therefore, we must give special attention to spiritual needs of our families. Both the husband and wife should pave the way for the spiritual progress of each other. Both the mother and the father should look after the spiritual needs of their children, so that they can make spiritual progress. If parents cater only to the physical needs of the children and ignore their spiritual needs or give less importance to their spiritual growth, it is as if they are raising dogs and beasts. It is as if these parents are raising a cancer for the society. What is the nourishment of the spirit? It is salah (prayer), fasting, recitation of the Holy Quran, remembrance of Allah and remaining awake in the night for prayers, and communicating with Allah. If a woman doesn’t offer salah, or offers it incorrectly, then her home and her husband are to be pitied. The Holy Quran says:
O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from the fire whose fuel shall be men and stones … Sura Tahrim: 6
If a man has strong faith, he will succeed in saving himself and his family from the Hellfire. This verse indicates that the men and women should be regular at offering salah. They must establish a strong rapport with Allah. They must recite the Holy Quran at home. They must supplicate. They must offer salatul layl (late night prayers). They should pray as soon as the time for salah sets in. If they fail to offer their salah as soon as the time for salah arrives, they will gradually become spiritually dead. If a person does not nourish his soul, his spiritual condition will be just like the physical condition of a person who has not eaten for a few days! A person who starves himself might die physically after a few days of starvation! If the spirit of a person is deprived of its nourishment, it might die too after some time! The spiritual needs are not like the material, emotional and sexual needs of human beings. It is for the fulfilment of this need that a hundred and twenty four thousand Prophets (a.s.) came into this world with their books. It is for the spiritual progress of man that the Prophets (a.s.) and their vicegerents (a.s.) bore untold hardships.
I draw your attention to the Ziarat of Aba Abdallah al Hussain (a.s.) that reads:
I bear witness that you established prayer (salah) and gave the zakat and practiced commanding good (amr bil ma'roof) and forbidding evil (nahy anil munkar).
When, on the day of Ashura, most of Imam Hussain (a.s.)’s companions were already martyred, it was the time for Zuhr Prayer. One of his companions said, “O son of the Prophet! The time for Zuhr has arrived. We wish to offer it behind you!” The Imam (a.s.) smiled and said, “May Allah place you in the ranks of those who offer prayers!” The arrows kept raining from the columns of the enemy but the Imam (a.s.) stood steadfast in the middle of the ground offering salah along with his companions. God forbid that any house should be without salah; such a house is filled with animals, not humans. The inhabitants of such houses may be good looking, but believe me, they are beasts and are destined for dark places.
The Holy Quran says:
Now there hath succeeded them a later generation who have ruined worship and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception. Sura Maryam: 59
Those who recite salah but recite it incorrectly, those who are enslaved by sensual pleasures, desires and passions - these are surely the misguided ones. 'Ghay' in Arabic means misguidance. 'Sawfa yalqawna ghayyaa' means that they are definitely misguided. These are the men who have gone astray from the right path. Their final destination is Hell. Ghay is also the name of a well in Hell. If we disregard salah, if someone recites salah but at the very end of the prescribed time, or recites it in a hurry, he is also misguided and does not have the shade of the mercy of the Lord over his head. If one is deprived of the shelter of the Lords’ mercy, he becomes entangled in all sorts of deviation.
Mulla Fakhruddin Raazi has quoted a tradition to explain Sura al Asr. This tradition is very enlightening. He writes that a woman came to the Prophet (s) in a very disturbed state of mind. She said, “O Prophet of Allah! I have committed a major sin. I am a married woman. Even then I was involved in adultery and gave birth to a baby. To hide my sin I put the baby in a cauldron of vinegar. I have already sold that tainted vinegar to people."
Imagine what a grave sin the woman had committed. Truly, if a person does not have Allah’s mercy and grace, he can get totally deviated. He gets entangled in all sorts of troubles. The Prophet (s) told the woman, “I think that you have stopped reciting the Asr prayers. All this happened because the shelter of Allah’s mercy was no longer over you, which was the result of your neglecting salah!” If we become regular at our prayers, and offer salah at the beginning of its appointed time, we will be safe from becoming entangled in such calamities. If you want to become noble, pray regularly at the beginning of the time for prayer, along with the after-prayer supplications (Ta'qibaat), in congregation, while observing the etiquette of salah. Women should pray at a spot in the home earmarked for this purpose. These are the acts of the truly blessed people!
If there is no atmosphere of spirituality in a house, it will be a troubled place. Its condition will be like that of a spirit suffering from an ailment. What makes the soul ill? It is sin! The Holy Quran, in some places, terms sin as an ailment. This is because sins render a person’s heart black, make the heart ill and taint the heart with 'rust'. When a person’s heart becomes sick, the first symptom is that he is unable to derive pleasure from worship. On the contrary it derives pleasure from sinning. If there is anyone in this audience who doesn’t enjoy prayers but enjoys sinning, let him know that he is spiritually ill. He must get himself treated otherwise his heart will turn black! The Holy Quran pities the person whose heart has turned black on account of sinning! Sometimes the heart has turned black, but to a lesser extent. Sometimes the entire heart becomes pitch black. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that such persons will not get deliverance. The Holy Quran says:
Is he whose bosom Allah hath expanded for the Surrender (unto Him), so that he followeth a light from His Lord,(as he who disbelieveth)? Then woe unto those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah. Such are in plain error. Sura Zumar: 22
Fortunate is the heart that has illumined itself with Allah’s remembrance. Radiant is the heart that is glowing with the felicity of prayer and fasting. Shame on the heart that has turned black with sin. Sins have turned this heart into stone. The Holy Quran says that the sinning hearts are hardened. Beware of the hardening of the heart. Sin, however small it may be, plays a major role in hardening the heart. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that when a person commits a sin, a small dark spot appears on his heart. If he does not repent, the spot increases in size. This process goes on till the entire heart darkens. Then the person cannot be reformed. Can you comprehend where those families have reached who listen to music, where the husband and wife backbite, accuse others falsely, oppress others and keep a lookout for faults in others? Their hearts are black; their hearts are brimming with the prohibited. But worse than sinning is the presence of negative qualities in people.
Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that sins are more harmful for the heart than piercing a knife in someone’s stomach. But negative traits are even more dangerous than sins. These traits are present in every one of us and are difficult to eliminate. One may have to struggle for twenty years to uproot the tree of negative traits from his heart. After twenty to thirty years of strenuous efforts one might be able to plant the sapling of virtue in the same heart and make it flourish to bear fruit! None can claim that he is totally free of negative traits. It is our responsibility to fight and vanquish these traits. We have to ensure that they don’t assume stormy proportions. What happens to towns and cities when they are flooded? The same thing happens to man when he is flooded with negative qualities – It completely destroys his spirituality. When a fire is small, it can be extinguished with some effort. But when it turns into an inferno, then it goes beyond control. When the negative traits become like an inferno, it is impossible to combat it. From the very childhood, children should be trained to combat these negative traits. Men should exercise total control over their tongues. Their talk with their wives and the children should be polite and morally upright.
The ladies must know that jealousy is a very harmful trait. When a person turns jealous, she starts the Battle of Jamal inspite of knowing the truth.. Who was the cause of this battle? It was a person with a jealous heart. When she was informed that Uthman was assassinated, she said, “Praise be to Allah, that Na’thal is dead!” When later on she heard that Imam Ali (a.s.) has become the Caliph, she said, "How I wish I had died before getting this news. If the skies had fallen on me, it would have been better than hearing this news!” Thus the seeds were sown for the Battle of Jamal. To quench the fires of this jealousy about a thousand lives were lost.
Do you know Ali (a.s.)? Who was he? Talha and Zubair knew him better than you and I. These two men knew that Ali (a.s.) had grown up in the lap of the Prophet (s). In the Holy Quran more than a hundred verses have been revealed concerning him. These two persons asked Ali (a.s.) to give them money from the public treasury. Ali (a.s.) refused. They asked him to give them positions of power in the government. Imam Ali (a.s.) did not consider them deserving of this either. They went away disappointed and started propaganda that became the cause of the Battle of Jamal. The Muslims had to bear much hardship because of this battle. What hardships were inflicted on the Muslims because of this battle? If some one asked you about the causes of the Battle of Jamal, your reply should be - the twin causes were jealousy and greed!
When the accursed Ibne Muljim martyred Imam Ali (a.s.) he was under the illusion that he was doing it to attain nearness to Allah! If you are asked who martyred Imam Ali (a.s.), you should reply that it was a stubborn person who committed the heinous act. Imam Ali’s personality was such, that all knew him. When this same Ibne Muljim was sitting near the pulpit of the Prophet(s), the Prophet (s) declared, “O Ali! You and your Shias will emerge successful on the Day of Judgement! O Ali! Only you and your Shias will be victorious!” Ibne Muljim was sitting nearby when the Prophet (s) said, “If your Faith and the Faith of all the men, the angels and the Jinn is compared, your Faith will surmount that of all of them put together!” The accursed person, even after hearing all this, martyred the great Imam (a.s.)!
Ladies and gentlemen! Abstain from stubbornness otherwise you too will end up like this. If you don’t accept criticism and always insist on only your own point of view, then you refuse to listen to anyone but your own desires. You will reach a stage when you will act only on Satan’s instigation. I appeal to every one to take care of the spiritual needs of your homes. In many situations the man is able to meet the material needs of the family. He toils to provide comfort for his family, but his wife becomes his enemy, because his love for her has decreased. He does not fulfil the spiritual needs of the family. Because of the paucity of a spiritual atmosphere in their homes, they turn into dungeons. These homes, in terms of the Quran, have turned dark.
Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness … Sura Nur: 40
The actions of infidels are compared here with the darkness of the deep seas where wave after wave covers the bottom and makes it dark!