Modest Covering and Woman’s Chasteness and Security
By: Hojjat al-Islam Shaykh Husain Ansariyan
Thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not
display their beauty except... [Holy Quran: Nur 24:31]
Veiling, or covering woman's beauty and protecting her from the evil eyes of the rude, lustfully corrupt and satanic men is a Quranic decree, a holy law, human duty and a moral affair. Islamic veiling, whose best form, is the long veil or chador being a reminder of that spring of chasteness Fatimah Zahra (Pbuh). The veil is not a block to acquiring knowledge and perfection for a woman. Rather, the veil protects her from many dangers and traps that animal-like people have placed before the beautiful ones, the young girls and women. The veil protects her innocence, chasteness and modesty for her husband, or if she is not married for her future husband. Whenever the precious, beautiful and costly jewel - woman- goes into the divine trunk called covering, she is safe from the thefts of the thieves, the looters and those corrupted by sin. When the young beautiful ones are not seen and their innocent faces are not displayed before men, the flames of lust and tendency towards disobeying; cannot burn a nation and destroy the foundations of a country's spirituality: burning instincts are not aroused.
If the young men do not see the attractive beauties of the young women and women in public places, they will not look at them lustfully, chase girls and attack women. Then there will be no mental sluggishness, nervous breakdowns, premature adulthood, masturbation, fornication, gay-like acts, sorrows and worries, lack of concentration, not being in the mood to study, love affairs, psychotic illnesses, or impotency. Based upon this, it must be said that the modest covering is a necessary matter for women and is strongly required. Without any doubt, one who denies this matter-knowing that it is necessary in Islam is an unbeliever according to the decrees of God in the Quran; he is not a Muslim. If a young man believes so, he cannot marry a Muslim girl since the marriage would be nullified. The marriage between these two would be worthless and their relationship would be illegal based on Islam and their children would be illegitimate; their intercourse would be considered adultery, too. A girl who denies the matter of covering cannot be the wife of a young Muslim man since the same applies to her as does to the unbelieving man.
The covering protects a woman's dignity, nobility and grandeur and protects her beauty and her benefits for her husband. Being modestly covered, she may continue her education and attain perfection and virtues. It is satanic to think that women are prevented from progressing by the veil. It is a wrong idea publicized by the looting Imperialists and the thieves of women's chastity, and the rogues of Eastern and Western countries.
All the following are related to the covering of a country's women: the warmth of the home, the strength of the relationship between a wife and a husband, the peace of mind of men, the proof of love of men for their lawful wives. All of these are based upon the home and the family and the trust of the man in his wife. They also require that men should not see the beauties of women other than their own wives. If men have easy access to women in all the scenes of society, there will be no guarantee that they will maintain their love and attachment to their own wives. The excitement of men's lustful instincts will cause them to lose interest in their mutual life and this in itself will destroy the warmth of the family center. It is impossible to assess the amount of damage done by unveiling women and the misuse of the veil and the practice of letting women on the loose as done in the West.
Up until now, the unveiling of women has caused millions of men to deviate from the straight path, many others to commit sins, the appearance of the monster called "divorce" in the families, men falling in love with married women, and illegitimate sexual relationships. The unveiling has also caused many to leave the angelic expanse of Islam and religion, just as Judaism and Christianity have wanted. The establishers of the practice of unveiling have really become frustrated themselves and recognize that the destructive influences of their action are among the evil phenomenon of this century.
The family system in Iran is a strong system based on modesty, chasteness, nobility, politeness, faith, piety and no divorces except in rare cases. However, the family and the home have experienced different times since the Reza Khan Pahlavy looted the veil from the heads of many of Iran's women. This was actually done by the western imperialists who put that rogue, base illiterate traitor, and dirty country-seller into power. At the end of his rule, the divorce rates sky rocketed so much so that the dirty dynasty had between six to seven thousand requests made to its courts for divorce every month. Thus, the young married men became womanless, and the married women became divorced. These two groups freed of their marital obligations joined the society and spread corruption at an alarming rate throughout it.
The supreme Islamic jurisprudent -the late Ayatullah Shah Abady has been quoted as saying- without any fear of the government of the time- the following after the removal of the veil by the government in public and private places and on the pulpit: "By looting the Quran's veil and killing the protesters against unveiling in the Gohar Shad. Mosque beside Imam Reza's shrine guarded by angels, Reza Khan made the 124,000 Prophets of God cry". O yes! That insightful mystic in love, who was an able, enlightened, peerless jurisprudent in Islamic matters, wisdom and philosophy, considered the unveiling of women and the misuses of the veil to be an affair that made the Prophets cry!!!
In the very useful book entitled “Are We Muslims”? Quttab stated :
"Based on the documents I have seen, one of the Popes invited all the cardinals and the priests in the Vatican and asked them to comment on how to destroy Islam and eliminate the illuminating light of religion in a way that does not cost Christianity and the Vatican too much. Committees were formed and several views were expressed. Among these, the view that was accepted by all the priests, the cardinals and Pope himself was that the cheapest plan and the strongest weapon to destroy Islam was to unveil Muslim girls and women and make them freely available to young boys and men in the allies, the markets, the parks, the public places, the offices, the theaters, commercial and social centers." This plan was carried out by the traitors and was reinforced by the lustfulness of unfaithful girls and women who added to the flames burning the religion and the family.
The situation became so bad in Islamic countries and Iran that the product of the efforts of the Prophets, the Imams, the scholars and the wise being God's religion, was about to be abolished. And the light of guidance was about to be extinguished. However, God's hand extended out through a man from the descendants of the Prophets and the Imams in Iran. Khomeini, the idol-breaker, appeared on the scene and saved the religion from the evil ones. He re-established the practice of the Quran's veil.
It is incumbent upon the Islamic nation to protect the Revolution of that divine individual as well as the values of that great divine movement. The people must not let the injured enemy decrease or extinguish the light of the movement and return the Iranian nation to its previous state. The nation must assertedly export the culture of the Revolution and bring the rest of the nations from outside the circle of Islam back into the orbit. Considering what has just been said, we can understand the value of that enlightened martyr's words who stated several times in his speeches: "The veil is a protection, not a limitation."
O' yes! The veil is a protection from thousands of dangers for a woman, her husband, her family, the society, and especially the youth and those who have not married. It protects everyone from corruption and prevents the warmth of the family center from getting cold. Researchers have stated that the issue of covering has been presented in fourteen Quranic verses and some believe that close to twenty-five verses make use of the meaning of the concept called "veiling".
The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said to Imam Mujtaba and in reality all people: Truly adhere to the restrictions regarding veiling near those who are forbidden to see each other, as this will safeguard you- and all women you are not allowed to see from thinking about or falling into sin. And if you can, try not to let your women know any man other than you yourself. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.214]
A narrator has stated that one rainy day he was sitting in Baq'ih Cemetery with the Prophet (Pbuh). A woman riding a donkey passed by us, when its foot got caught in hole and the woman fell off the animal. The Prophet (Pbuh) turned his face and I told him she was wearing pants. The Prophet (Pbuh) asked God for forgiveness of such women three times and said: "O 'people! Put on such clothes as they are the best covering for the body and women should wear such clothes when they leave the house." [Mizan al-Hikmat,v.2, p.259]
The short veil, the scarf, the long cloak are the various titles which are used in the Quranic verses and Prophetic traditions for a woman's modest covering. A woman must consider herself a slave of God, and must be grateful to God. Being grateful means to consider His grandeur, the Hereafter and the Trial. She must pay strict attention to the fact entitled the Resurrection Day and the Last Judgment. She must wholeheartedly obey the decrees of her God in the Quran, on the tongues of the Prophets and Imams, so that she may protect herself, her family and society from the harmful effects of not veiling properly or at all.
And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the Garden. [Holy Quran: Nazi'at:40-41]
Sorrowfully, it must be said that some girls and women living today in various parts of the world follow the school of lust and sinning. They have freed their lusts and sexual desires and spread corruption in every corner of the world which is unprecedented in history. And it must also be sorrowfully stated that some females in Islamic countries who belong to the nation of the Prophet (Pbuh) are imitating those deviant Westerners. The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said the following regarding such women: "Near the end of time when we are approaching the Hereafter, there will be women with such characteristics: Lacking any modest covering and nearly naked; showing off their private beauties outside the house in the streets and the markets; irreligious; malicious; inclined to lust; accelerating towards pleasures; considering divinely forbidden acts as legitimate: such women with these characteristics will abide in Hell forever. [Vasa'il, v.14, p.19]
A Surprising Fact
In one of the issues of the newspaper Kayhan having a high circulation, I read (I cannot remember which issue): "There was a young woman who was an example of those women noted in the afore-mentioned tradition of the Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh). She fell in love with a youth even though she had a three year-old daughter, because she was free as the Western women's style to come and go as she liked and because her husband's friends visited the house freely. She did not cover herself Islamically and exposed her body to them. She would attend frequent parties where men and women were mixed.
The young, lustful, irreligious man was excited sexually even more by the young married woman and told her the child was an obstacle in their way and must be eliminated. They argued over this matter for nearly four months, and finally lust and the inclination to make love with others overcame the mother who was created to be a center of love and affection. She took her innocent, beautiful blonde girl to the bath and choked her to eliminate the obstacle to her lust and to let the married woman and the strange man reach a few moments of carnal desire.
She became corrupted forever and left her poor husband with a devastating state of life." If the husband of this woman had shown some manliness and prevented his young beautiful wife from freely being seen by others and being attractive to men around, then a sinless child would have been left for the unfortunate father and a married woman would not have spoiled her chasteness forever. A youth was thus made to experience a terrible misfortune and the warm, family center of another youth who had just married was completely wrecked. O 'yes! The modest covering is a protection not a limitation.
The View of Some Eminent Westerners in Regards to the Situation of Western Society
Disraeli, one of the Prime Ministers of Britain, a country leading in corruption and its spread, wrote in an article:
"I am at the verge of committing insane acts, but always try to avoid one being a love affair with a woman in the street and say this is my ideal woman!" Under the guise of freedom, the unwise took the Creation's valuable and chaste jewel out of the guard for chastity being the veil and let her totally free in any program deemed necessary by lust. Then they discarded her with the excuse of escaping from a love affair, since this valuable jewel has now lost its worth and is with someone else at each moment. And she is in bed with others at different times constantly delving into immoral, inhumane acts.
Miss Alzeemary, a Swedish writer and poet, has stated the following regarding the European society in an important article in the Daily Express: "The men know nothing about loyalty and trick girls and women". She must be told that men lost their loyalty, to their wife, home and the family when you guided the women towards unchastity, bad covering or no covering of the body at all. And men turned her into an unconditional slave of man's lust and inclination so that men could easily see her half-naked while being tempting, whenever they desired. It was then that the men turned into tricky people.
The side-effects of poor veiling, or no veiling at all and the woman's freedom to have a relationship with whomever she desires are not few in number. And the sour results of this issue are unnumerable. When the men saw these scenes, they left their spouses; in other words, they quit the responsibility to support their family. They went to the free market to satisfy themselves. When the young men realized how cheap it was to satisfy their lusts, they rejected establishing a mutual married life and pursued their lusts. It was in this way that the family structure in the West and those Eastern countries which followed it, fell apart and a situation similar to a jungle was the result.
Miss Alzeemary added in her paper that there are many young beautiful girls who hope to find a husband, but are forced into sexual relations with men. Verily they are awaiting a husband but none is to be found, since young men have access to women in whatever form they desire and see no need to marry. Even many married men separate from their wives to be able to satisfy their lusts freely. She adds that she recommends that young girls have no relations with any men before they get married. Her request is very important but this is not practical given the current state of women in the world and the loose behavior of men in the Western society.
If the world decides to approach an appropriate state it must put the legitimate, natural and humane Islamic regulations into practice. First and foremost, they must return the veil and proper covering to women: They must return chastity and shyness to her. Otherwise, there exists no cure for all the corruption which destroys the family order.
The oppression against women in the West is unprecedented in man's history. They have guided women's intent, will and effort towards appearance in public places for corruption and seduction of men. They have turned her into sexual goods to be used for gaining wealth and pleasing their lust.
Hazrat Ali (Pbuh) has said in Nahj ul-Balaghah: The animals strive for food; the beasts strive for animosity with others; and the women strive for adoration of life and corruption in the world. It is believing men and women who submit to God, fear God, are kind and benevolent. [Nahj ul-Balaghah, Ibn Abi al-Hadid, v.9, Chapter 153, p.160]
A Case from Imam Husayn’s Life (Pbuh)
It has been narrated that before going to fight the enemies, Imam Husayn (Pbuh) told Hazrat Zaynab (Pbuh) to gather all the women's jewelry and throw it in front of the tents after Imam Husayn got martyred and the enemies attacked the tents. Then their poor materialist enemies, who were unaware and attached to this world would get busy gathering them, and the women would get a chance to find a secure corner safe from the eyes of the strange men. It has been said that when Yazeed was hitting Imam Husayn's chopped off head's lips and teeth, one of his maids dreamt of Hazrat Zahra (Pbuh) being sad and upset, and complaining of what Yazeed was doing. Then she woke up and got so afraid that she rushed out yelling into Yazeed's court without a scarf and veil. Yazeed who saw her in this state covered her up with his own cloak and shouted: “Why did you appear in front of strange men without the proper head and face covering?” How strange it is that this atheist, alcoholic, dog and monkey-keeper Yazeed could not bear to see his maid without any modest covering and covered her with his own cloak and sent her out of the meeting where there were strange men; but there are men who are so careless about their women and let them appear everywhere in public with their hair and face made up and without any cover. The Prophet (Pbuh) said regarding the sense of honor A sense of honor is due to man's belief in God and the Hereafter. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.7, pp.357-358]
Verily God is religiously zealous, and loves any one with a sense of honor. It is due to His sense of honor that He has forbidden the exposure of private parts. [Ibid]
Veil and Dirty Looks in the View of the Quran
Lack of veiling or poor veiling are extremely bad and lead to a lot of corruption. It is God's intent to forbid lack of veiling and poor veiling: Blessed are those who follow God and protect their women by enforcing veiling. As men and women have to engage in various social, educational, etc. activities and have to appear in public places, the Quran has issued a decree that is obligatory for both to follow to maintain their mental, psychological and spiritual health.
And for women: O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And God is Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful. [Holy Quran: Ahzab 33:59]
And for men and women:
Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and God is well acquainted with all that they do. [Holy Quran: Nur 24:30] And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof.[Holy Quran: Nur 24:31]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: Jesus told his companions "Avoid dirty looks, since they will plant the desire to do forbidden acts in the heart, and it will cause sedition for the one who looks. Blessed be the one who has placed his eyes in his heart and uses his physical eyes only for what is necessary to see. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.78, p.284]
The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said: There is no part of the body less grateful than the eyes. If you just deprive it of what pleases it, it will make you forget God, the Almighty. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.104, p.36]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: In fornication, each part of the body is partly responsible. That of the eye is forbidden from gazing at a strange woman. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.104, p.36]
When, as stated in the Quran, Shoeib's daughter told her father about Moses: O' my father. Please hire him since he is truly the most powerful and honest man you can hire. He told her: O' my daughter. Yes, he is indeed a strong man. You recognized his strength from his putting the rock aside. But how do you recognize his honesty? She said: O' father. I was coming home walking ahead of him. He told me that he would walk ahead and I should warn him when he goes the wrong way. He said he is not from among the people who look at women from behind. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.13, p.32]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Whoever keeps looking at forbidden scenes, God will fill his eyes with fire in the Hereafter, unless he repents and stops his evil deeds. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.10, p.77]
The Prophet (Pbuh) narrates God: A forbidden look is similar to a poisonous dart from Satan. Whoever fears me and avoids looking at strange women (who are forbidden to look at), I shall reward him with a faith with its sweetness to be felt in his heart. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.10, p.78]
Who Can See Women as Stated by the Quran
Those relatives who are close enough to see a women without a veil are introduced in a Quranic verse, being the Book of Guidance; the source of prosperity; the developer of one's personality; and the origin of good of this world and the Hereafter for people. Thus, it is made clear for any woman whom she is free not to cover herself in front of against, and in front of whom she must cover her beauties and ornaments.
And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye believers! Turn ye all together towards God, that ye may attain bliss. [Holy Quran: Nur 24:31]
Muslim believing women- daughters of the nation of Muhammad (Pbuh)- please obey the wise decrees of God for the good of this world and the Hereafter. Noble young men guard your women against the attacks of the lustful with Islamic covering and the Quranic veil. Let your wife be just your wife, and not show her face, body, ornaments and beauties to please others, since this is against morality, ethics, nobility and conscience.
Security in Life
Whatever good, (O man
happens to thee, is from God; But whatever evil
happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. [Holy Quran: Nisaa 4:79]
The Good and the Bad
Man is a creature consisting of the intellect, the heart, the soul and the body. Good and bad aspects exist for each part of man's being; all the good ones originate in God and all the bad ones originate in man himself. Nothing but benefits, goodness, mercy and blessings come from the Sacred Existence, God, Who is mentioned in the Glorious Quran as having the following attributes: the All-Benevolent; the All-Merciful; the Lord; the All-Loving; the All-Forgiving; the Generous; the All-Subtle; the Compassionate; the Creator; the Shaper; the Holy and the All-Mighty.
Nothing but evil and damage are the products of ignorance, rancor, envy, spite, short-temperedness, greed and laziness. An individual must strive to attain enough wisdom, knowledge and insight so as to make a living; to thoroughly illuminate one's worldy life and spiritual life; to manage the affairs of his wife and children; and to acquire the correct outlook on Existence and the world, as much as his personal and social duties requires.
Learning about the basic matters such as belief in God and the Day of Judgment, knowledge about the Prophethood and the leadership of the Imams, is a necessary affair and one's personal duty. One is duty-bound to learn the matters related to jurisprudence and the worldly sciences as much as he needs to. God has bestowed upon man the beneficial elements of science and knowledge, wisdom and insight as powerful goods and benefits along with the necessary success in growth, perfection of the intellect and the power to understand. Whenever the intellect, itself being one of God's blessings, accompanies other blessings like success and insight, then a sea of light appears in the individual's spiritual domain. This illumination and good will guarantee a part of the security of man's spiritual domain. Naturally, this security will be passed on from a man to his wife and children, and they too will benefit from peace with him. As a result, life will to some extent be illuminated by the light of peace and quiet.
In the first stage, it is essential for the head of the household, who is responsible for managing life's affairs to have enough knowledge of religion as required by his personal duty and, as much as is necessary of religious jurisprudence knowledge: this means to be informed of the religiously lawful and forbidden actions and things. He must have as much as necessary of worldly knowledge in order to run life. In the next stage and under the support of the man of the house who provides the necessities of the family, the wife and the children can live as a small nation in the small country of the home. They can live together with knowledge, wisdom, insight and awareness, and be secure from the evils of ignorance, illiteracy, jealousy and foolishness. Verily knowledge provides security and ignorance and illiteracy will result in loss.
Ignorance and Illiteracy
In a very important statement made by members of the Prophet's family, ignorance is considered to be a kind of spiritual death and to be more detrimental to one's life than a harmful meal. Ignorance is an illness, some sort of suffering, a source of deviation bringing on ever-lasting misfortune. It ruins one's future life, is a mine of evil and a dangerous enemy. Ignorance is the cause of unbelief and deviation, and prevents sermons and advice from being accepted. It also is the cause of excesses in life. The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (Pbuh) said: Ignorance is death; ignorance is destruction; ignorance is an incurable disease; ignorance is a cause of man's slippage; ignorance ruins the Hereafter; ignorance is the source of all evils; and ignorance is the main stock of evil. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.2, p.154]
The Prophet (Pbuh) was asked about the signs of the ignorant. He answered as follows: An ignorant will trouble you if you socialize with him. He will blame you if you stay away from him; he will mention it if he grants you something; he will be ungrateful if you grants him something; and if you trust him with your secrets, he will misuse your trust. [Tuhaf ul-Uqool, p.28]
Consider the following matter for yourself. If the head of the household is ignorant, does not consider spiritual and doctrinal matters to be important and has no worldly plans in mind, then he will be a great source of stress, insecurity, trouble, suffering and torment in and outside of the home. Wealth and property, the home and life, the wife and children, are faced with danger and damage, and loss and insecurity in the presence of an ignorant individual. Islam stresses that one must acquire wisdom and insight in worldly and spiritual affairs as much as necessary, so that security is created in the individual's spiritual and worldly life. Islam wants an individual's innocent wife and children to live in peace with him, and not suffer any physical blows, loss and damages at his hands. It does not want his family's worldly and future lives to suffer any loss and the distressful monsters of war to be at their throats.
In Islamic literary traditions, it is written that Jesus (Pbuh) was wholeheartedly on the run. A friend of his asked him why this was so. Jesusf (Pbuh) replied he was fleeing from the ignorant. O' yes, one must be wholeheartedly on the run from ignorance and the ignorant, and follow the Prophets' way so as to secure one's prosperity in this world and the Hereafter. Even if the ignorant has the elixir of life, he is poor, but the informed and the wise is rich beside poverty.
Knowledge and Wisdom
According to the decree of the Glorious Quran, the wise and the foolish are in no way equal: Say:
Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?[Holy Quran: Zumar 39:9]
And as the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) has said: A day in which I acquire no knowledge or science which would help me approach God is not a blessed day for me. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.6, p.449]
He also said: A heart without any wisdom is like a ruin. So learn, teach and understand and do not pass away as an ignorant. Verily God will not accept the excuse of the ignorant in the Hereafter. [Ibid]
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (Pbuh) described knowledge and wisdom, and their attributes in the magnificent book entitled “Ghurar al-Hikam” as follows: Knowledge brings forth success and is a dam against catastrophes and calamities. Wisdom is the highest degree of self-sufficiency. Knowledge is the light of the intellect; a good reason; the best guidance; obvious beauty; the best companion; the most worthy measure; the believer's lost one; the guide to patience; the most beneficial treasure and the most excellent truth. In one sentence, the Prophet (Pbuh), expressed all the realities in this world and the Hereafter resulting from knowledge and wisdom: Knowledge, insight and wisdom are the source of all goodness. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.175]
Hazrat Ali (Pbuh) recognizes that there are seven basic differences between material wealth and knowledge. - Knowledge and insight are the legacy of the Prophets. Wealth and property are the legacy of the Pharaohs. Knowledge will not decrease once taught, but wealth once spent will. Wealth requires a guard, while knowledge guards an individual. Knowledge accompanies an individual all the way to his future life, while wealth remains in this world. Acquiring wealth is feasible for everyone, but knowledge, wisdom and insight belong to the believers. Concerning the affairs of religion, all people are in need of a wise man but do not need a wealthy one. Knowledge will help one pass over the bridge to the Hereafter, but wealth will prevent one from rendering one’s accounts. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.77, p.185]
An empty ship will face many dangers such as terribly bad weather, strong winds, wreckage or getting lost while sailing at sea, while a full ship will move on safe and secure to approach its destination. This is similar to an ignorant man versus a wise, knowledgeable one. How does the person behave whose spiritual life is enlightened by the light of monotheism; whose heart is sure of the truth and whose soul is pledged to the Resurrection Day; and who knows that the day is the Day when:
Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it. [Holy Quran: Zilzal 99: 7-8]
How does the person behave who knows himself to be only a traveler in this world and who knows the future life to be the everlasting home for life in the Hereafter? The one who considers all blessings to be entrusted to him by God; the one who considers himself responsible for every blessing; the one who knows that God gave him a wife, children, a house, a factory, wealth and property, etc. In short, how does a person behave whose relationship with everything is determined by wisdom? This sort of person's behavior is actually wisdom itself; his actions are just like enlightenment; his movements are pure truth; and his interactions with everyone and everything- especially his wife and children- are based upon peace, straight forwardness, compassion, mercy, genuineness and generosity. A Lot of security and tranquillity are expected from such a person at home, with the family and outside the home. Everyone who comes into contact with him lives in security, at ease and in peace and quiet along with having trust in him. Islam wants the man of the house, the spouse of a lady and the father of children to be exactly like the man described above.
The Heart is the Source of Truth
In Islamic works there are various, surprising explanations about the heart:
The territory of God[Bihar al-Anwar, v.70, p.25]
A spring [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.8, p.212]
An Imam (leader) [Bihar al-Anwar, v.70, p.53]
A monarch [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.8, pp.216-218]
Other attributes have been ascribed to the heart (soul) such as: health, illness, innocence, mischief-making, soft-heartedness, harshness, enlightenment, blindness, destruction, prosperity, misfortune, life, death, courage, termination, calmness, deviation and hard-heartedness. These interpretations of the heart are mentioned in the Glorious Quran and other books like Usul al-Kafi, Shafi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vasa'il al-Shiia, Mustadrak al-Vasa'il, Tuhaf ul-Uqool, Ruzat al-Vaizin and Muhjat ul-Biyza, with various words given a meaning. Really, the heart is a container and what an amazing one it is!
If room in it is made for faith in God and the Resurrection Day, innocence, enlightenment, life, fear of punishment, fear of God, sincerity, and in short-sympathy, compassion, loving-kindness and love- then the owners of this heart will enjoy peace, security, health and tranquillity. Everyone who comes into contact with such a person will be secure, healthy and at ease. If this container, however, is a place for greediness, stinginess, avarice, envy, spite, hypocrisy, unbelief, polytheism, hard-heartedness, suspicion and the like, the owner of a such heart is a dangerous, harmful, corrupt, base and oppressive creature: no one will be safe at his hands.
The following must be mentioned to the youth who have still not gotten married. If you recognize that your heart has been polluted by these hideous qualities, then try and reform it and then get married. This is so because the woman who marries you, who comes to your house with thousands of desires and has abandoned her home, neighborhood or city, and loving bosoms of her parents, and after a time gets pregnant by you, will then feel secure and have some peace and quiet. She can then properly perform her marital and domestic duties and raise your children. An insecure home and a person who destroys security is Hell and the punishment of Hell. Woe unto the man whose wife and children are not safe with him, and continually live in bitterness and trouble.
And woe unto the woman whose husband and children are bothered by her and live in suffering. Woe unto her who without fear of God, changes the peaceful home environment into one of terror and stress. And woe unto those children whose mother and father are not at ease due to their offspring’s trouble-making. Amir al-Mumeneen (The Commander of the Faithful) (Pbuh) believes that if a person's heart is not linked up to God and his heart is not full of faith, the love and kindness of God, then amazing catastrophes will befall him. If he becomes attached to the baseness of greediness and is polluted by the excitement of it, then avarice will attack and destroy him. And if he becomes cold-hearted, sorrow will kill him. In the case he is subject to someone's anger, he gets angry and the fire of anger will blaze. If he gets too involved in happiness, he will lose control of himself. If he becomes fearful, his life will be wasted in abstention. If he finds security, his existence will be devastated by pride. If he is struck with a misfortune, he will go crazy and disgraced. If he attains some wealth, wealth and riches will make him rebel. If poverty attacks him, calamities and troubles will entertain him. If hunger presses down upon him, weakness will make him bedridden. If extravagance in anything attacks him, gluttony will prevent him from breathing.
Whatever is given to such a man in small amounts is harmful to him, and whatever is given in excess causes corruption in him. These astonishing words of the Prophet, Muhammad (Pbuh) concern the health and the illness of the heart: There is a piece of meat in our body which when healthy guarantees that the rest of our body is healthy and when sick, the rest of our body gets sick. This is nothing else but the heart! [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.8, pp.216-218]
The Prophet (Pbuh) also said: There are containers on the Earth for God the Almighty. Know that those containers are hearts. The most beloved of those hearts is the kindest, most pure and the strongest: The kindest towards the believing brethren, the most pure from sins, and the strongest in attachment to the Lord. The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (Pbuh), stated a very important tradition concerning the health of the heart: Your heart will not be healthy for you unless you prefer for the believers whatever you prefer for yourself. What an amazing way has been suggested for the heart to be healthy!
What an enlightened and wise saying has been quoted from one of the Saints and Lovers of God!
O 'yes, if a person wants for others what he wants for himself, the heart will gradually be freed of all vices and corruption, and changed into a healthy heart. At this moment, the expanse of the heart will be overfilled with faith, love, compassion, mercy, nobility and sincerity. All those coming into contact with such a person, especially the wife and the children, will benefit from goodness in this life and the Hereafter. If a youth has still not married and if he finds some imperfections in his heart, he should try to reform it. If he does not do so, his future wife and children will be oppressed. If married men find some dark defects in their hearts, they must strive to correct these problems. If they do not do so, their wives and offspring will not be safe at their hands.
Everyone must know the following fact: A great punishment awaits those men whose wife and children are endangered with being corrupted by their husband’s ill-temperedness and bad actions. If the intellect is fed with knowledge and one's behavior is endowed with divinity, then the soul is enlightened and all of one's actions become heavenly. An individual is changed into a source of goodness and a spring of virtues who insures the security of others. Concerning this matter, pay close attention to the following Quranic verse from the Book of God:
It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong- that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance. [Holy Quran: An'am 6:82]
O 'yes, just as has been mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, all goodness comes from God and all evil from man himself. One can acquire all the virtues and wipe out all the evil from his being by turning to God, following the Prophets, the Quran, the Imams and by utilizing one’s worldly and spiritual power. Once an individual has acquired virtues, it is his duty to relay them, as much as is within his power to others, especially his wife and children. If one is indifferent in this area it is considered a great sin causing God's punishment. Our Imams (leaders) have stated that we must be a model for others in our words and actions, so that whenever anyone sees goodness and the soul's beauty in someone else, he desires to acquire such virtues. The man of the house must be a proof of God for his family and the symbol of goodness at home. He must be a model of spiritual, moral and practical goodness at home. The man of the house will not be such unless his intellect, heart, soul and body -as much as is within his power- are fed with knowledge, morality, pleasantness, innocence, piety, honesty, and good acts. This is so because his house and his household must be a branch of the Household of the Prophet (Pbuh) and a manifestation of the Saints of God. At this point, it is felt necessary to participate in useful, religious meetings and to go to the mosques and to have discussions with clergymen and jurisprudents about religion and the spiritual world. If one avoids these actions, it is the source of increasing one's ignorance, the appearance of mental illness and deviation in the soul and practical affairs. There shall be no excuse for anyone in front of God, in this world, the Purgatory or the Hereafter given the manifestation of revelations in the Quran, the effects of the Prophethood of the Prophets and the leadership of the Imams in valuable authentic books; all these mosques and religious ceremonies; the availability of clergymen to help one walk on God's path, reach perfection and acquire the good of this world and the Hereafter.
Torture in the Expanse of the Hereafter
The fire of Hell is burning because of ignorance, corruption of the heart and deviation. It is not God the Compassionate who has willed punishment to be necessary for anyone he decides to punish. It is sin, evilness and moral vice that appear in the form of punishment and fire, and imprison the beings of the sinners. If there were no sinning, denial of God and unbelief, and disobeyance of God, there would also be no punishment in Purgatory and on the Day of Judgment. It is stated in the Supplication of Kumayl: I know for sure that if it was not for Your decree to punish the rejecters and opponents everlasting in Hell, You would have cooled down all the Fire, and made it healthy, and there was no room for punishment for anyone. But You have sworn that You shall fill Hell with the pagans, and those who are ungrateful.
Therefore, there are some people who pollute themselves with sin and thereby create their own punishment. It is God the Merciful and Forgiving who has created everything needed to adorn His servants with goodness resulting in security in this world and the next. Men and women try to bring about an acceptable amount of security in their lives for themselves, their children, relatives and others, with the help of faith, morality, good deeds, sincerity, fidelity, honesty and patience. Thus, these people will enjoy peace and security on the Day of Judgment due to the security they created in this world. According to the Prophet (Pbuh): This world is the field of cultivation for the Hereafter. And according to Imam Baqir (Pbuh): Truly this world is a good home for the pious ones. The pious ones make supplies for the Hereafter out of all the activities of this world. Out of their own world, they establish their own Hereafter. They are happier in their own world and the Hereafter. Abdullah ibn Ya'fur who ranks among the eminent Islamic personalities stated: "I said to Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) that I was in love with this world. He asked what I did in the world. I said I used it to marry, go on pilgrimage to Mecca, earn the living expenses for my wife and children, attend to the needs of my needy brothers in their affairs and pay charity. Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: These affairs are not of this world but of the Hereafter. You can see that the faithful and pious run business, farms and have income. They marry, manage the home and life in the best manner, help others, go on pilgrimages and pay alms.
In short, they spend their time in this world in a healthy way with security, faith and a good temper, and then benefit in a better way from the Hereafter. I wish that all the homes would be filled with security and healthiness. I wish that faith, morality and good deeds would govern over all homes and that all men and women were adorned with goodness and lacked any vices, so that no one would have any problems. I wish that all would live together in a healthy way and in peace, and enjoy God's blessings. The sixth Imam (Pbuh) introduces the real believers in an important tradition, a part of which goes: All the people are in comfort because of the believers, and the believer is put to some trouble due to creating this security and comfort. [Bihar Al-Anwar, V.78, P.37]
Good Mothers and Fathers
A wife and husband who are adorned with goodness and cleansed of vices are a source of peace and security for each other. They are a source of development, perfection and peace and quiet for their children. They are never indifferent to their offsprings’ needs: the parents kindly and politely answer the request of their children for kindness, material expenses, education, visiting, recreation and marriage. If they cannot answer positively to some of their children requests, the parents persuade the children with good manners and patience. And the dignified children accept their parent's answers and explanations. Enlightened and good children refuse to do evil if their parents sometimes invite them to do so due to not paying attention to the children. They refuse their parents request respectfully and politely and do not deviate from the right way. At the time of the Prophet (Pbuh) there was a mother who did not like her children becoming Muslim and even she refused to eat any food. But when she heard that God approved of her child becoming a Muslim and did not value her disapproval, she broke her fast and remained silent before her children.
O’ parents, the Prophet (Pbuh) pays strict attention to your aborted fetus; so much so that he stated when the fetus is told to enter heaven; it will answer in the negative saying: I will not enter until my parents enter heaven before me. [Vasa'il Al-Shiia, V.20, P.14, Al-i-Bayt Press]
Why don't you take especial care of your honorable offspring who are God's blessing and goodness. Taking care of offspring and paying good attention to them and their human needs is an affair that is very beneficial here and in the Hereafter.'