Question: My brother and his wife work in some offices. Their three children are brought up by a foreign maid in their home. She is very fanatic. She sticks to her own habits and traditions. I have another elder brother who sends his children to an Indian school, which is thought to be a suspicious missionary school. My family has objected to the actions of both of my brothers and explained to them the dangers of these matters, but they do not change their situations. One claims that English lessons will bring a good future, and the other says that his salary will not meet their needs if his wife remains at home without a job. This state of my brother reminds me of a wise saying I once heard in one of your lectures, ‘How ignorant man is! He spends his health to get money and then he spends his money to get health!’
The answer: This problem has specific causes and consequences. As for the causes, they are:
1. The foreign cultures and values that have replaced our Islamic culture and values; your brother and his wife, as an example, have taken those cultures and values from school, university, and the media, which are supported by big companies and centers of finance and trade in general and which determine the way of living for people everywhere.
2. The absence of the goal of the afterlife from the lives of such people; they do not care with which face they will meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection.
3. The preference of material interests to moral and religious interests.
As for the consequences, they will result in a bad education of the children. A child who grows up away from morals will be as a curse on his parents who will ultimately spend all their wealth, which they have exerted themselves to collect, on his problems and troubles. It will suffice for such people to read about the horrible accidents published in newspapers and magazines everyday. Such accidents are not committed by religious persons who are educated by religious families.
The dangerous influence of a foreign governess on the future of the growing generation is like the influence of the satellite stations that play with the minds of parents and children according to the will of their managers, who are away from Allah.
“I wonder how our children will be in this century! Will the satellite stations control them? Or will the networks of the internet direct their conducts? Will our children learn morals and values from those shining satellites?
We fathers have been busy away from them either in looking for a job to increase our incomes or in building a new house, whereas mothers also have become busy running here and there to meet the unending requirements of schools from the kindergarten until the university.
If the father and mother are busy…it is not an excuse. Where is the role of the grandfather and grandmother in teaching our children our true morals and habits?
Where is the role of the mosque and the public meetings in planting values and completing the role of the home?
Where is the role of the teacher and the educationist? I think his name alone is “teacher” while his role is limited to just giving lectures, and thanks to the programs of the Ministry of Education and the modern methods of teaching…!
Yes! We have been in a merry-go-round that does not stop at all! Is it the rule of life? Or it is we who have made this our way of life?
A cry from the heart of a father to every father and everyone in charge: Save our children!”
This is the disease and with it is the call! But as for the solution, it lies in a harmonious expedition to find the Islamic understanding with its active spirit and attractive method for the man of this age. The responsibility of this expedition falls upon all due to the call of the Prophet (S): “Each one of you is a guardian and each one of you is responsible for his subjects”.
The government with all its bodies must set about to undertake the great task of deliverance. Clergymen, speakers, imams of the mosques, teachers of schools and universities, and officials of the media also have great roles in this task.
The task begins by inviting the experts and specialists of each one of these classes to a meeting where this subject will be discussed thoroughly, and then the meeting should present its reports to executive authorities in the government, in the centers of teaching and education, and in the religious establishments.
All the factors that make people desist from religion must be avoided, such as unjustifiable disagreements, manifestations of underdevelopment, and presentations of the religion in old methods; otherwise, the disaster will sit heavily on every family. A poet says,
“Let him whose neighbor’s beard is shaved
pour water on his beard.”
It is related that Imam Ali (a.s.) has said, ‘How many are the examples, but how little is the taking of lessons from them!’
I would like to invite these two brothers and those like them to know the real value of children, to know the role of intellect and culture in determining their futures, and to know how much love and kindness children need from their parents to live straightforwardly and confidently. If they know the real value of their children, they will not leave them with those who will inject poisons into them. Their example is like the one who draws in darkness and then laughs at his drawing when he looks at it in the light. Except, I fear he will cry bitterly instead of laughing at himself!
It is reported that once a man came with his son to the Prophet (S) and asked him, ‘What is the right of my son on me?’
O Muslims, have you named your children with good names, brought them up righteously, and educated them well?
 In Safar, 1421 AH.
 Wassa'il ash-Shia, vol. 15 p.124.