Islam's Emphasis on Marriage

The institution of marriage has been given tremendous importance in Islam. Generally, in the terms of jurisprudence it is highly recommended, but in many cases due to extraordinary circumstances, it becomes obligatory and a religious duty. For instance, marriage becoming obligatory when there is a chance of adultery or any other similar sin. Thus, the Holy Quran commands:

“And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and female slaves. If they are needy, Allah will make them needless out of His Grace ...” (Noor 24:32)

For one's life to be pleasurable and successful, animal instincts play a very important and vital role. This instinct, due to its severity, is considered to be very strong and powerful. If not directed properly it can create a tremendous turmoil among both men and women. The institution of marriage is such that it leads to immediate attraction and both the spouses try to gain utmost pleasure from each other. With their close relationship they extinguish the flames of passion which keeps burning within them.

From the beginning of humanity till date, the issue of husband and wife and their physical relationship has been a matter of debate. In the congregations of the theologians as well as the knowledgeable, extreme and moderate views have been presented.

Some philosophies viewed sexual relationship with jaundiced eyes and considered it to be something abhorrable and detestable. They even initiated movements to crush the institution of marriage. Sigmund Freud and his followers were among those who were highly critical of restrictions in matters related to sex. In this brief treatise, we do not intend to condemn these extreme views rather our aim is to present a pure Islamic concept of sex and sexual relationship for the benefit of our readers.

It should be known that leading among those who held the moderate opinion in this regard were the Divine Prophets (peace be upon them). While on one hand, they advised their followers to get married and lead a normal sexual life, on the other hand they refrained them from indulging in immoral sexual indulgences which would be destructible for them as well as the society. They informed them of the evils of an immoral society.

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon them) paid considerable attention to the basic instinct of the human being. He admonished his followers to lead a good married life and warned them of the dire consequences of remaining a bachelor. Hence, on one occasion he proclaimed.

“Whoever loves my nature, will follow my traditions and among my traditions is marriage.” (Makaaremul Akhlaq by Sheikh Tabarsi).

On yet another occasion, he said, “The best people of my Ummat are those who get married and have chosen their wives and the worst people of my nations are those who have kept away from marriage and our passing their lives as bachelor.” (Mustadrakul Wasail by Muhaddith Noori, Vol. 2, Pg. 531).

To achieve a successful material life, Islam has prescribed for both men and women to lead a normal married life and to satisfy each others physical, sensual and spiritual desires. All these are to be achieved by staying within the framework of laws as provided by Islam. But, at the same time, they dissuaded them from any deviation from the natural path. Anyone, who treads this path after being aware of it is now called as a transgressor and a sinner before the Almighty. As the Holy Quran states:

“And whoever goes beyond this limit than (indeed) they are the transgressors.”

Interestingly, the Holy Quran and traditions have dealt with the institution of marriage from various aspects and for each aspect some verses and narrations have been put forward. To maintain the brevity of this treatise, we shall discuss only a few of these verses and tradition.

To continue the process of reproduction and protection and continuation of humanity; the institution of marriage is the natural instinctive demand of each individual.

The families which come into existence due to the union of these two individuals and their offsprings are considered to be pure and clean. These offsprings also fill the void which is caused by the passing away of the earlier generation.

Thus humanity is protected from extinction due to this great institution. The Holy Quran states:

“Your women are your fields. Then go unto your fields as you wish.”(2:223)

In another verse, Allah the Almighty says: “And Allah has made spouses for you from among yourself and from your spouses he creates offsprings and beloveds for you.”

In both these verses, the institution of marriage is viewed from the angle of protection of humanity and its saviour from extinction. In the first verse, the semen of man is likened to a seed which has the ability to make things grow while the women is likened to a field which possesses the capability to let seeds be sown in it. In the next verse, reproduction is hinted as a consequence of the world of creation in which offsprings are produced due to the sexual relationship between man and his wife.

A Relationship of Mutual Love

Although the flames of lust are extinguished by the physical relationship between a husband and a wife yet if there exists a relationship of mutual love and understanding which is quite natural if they care for each other than a new kind of warmth will be created between the two. Both of them will enjoy their lives to the hilt, basking under the rays of attachment and care.

The Holy Quran has drawn attention to this emotional relationship which exists between husband and wife as it clearly states: “And among his signs is that he has created spouses from among yourself so that you may rest in them and initiate love and mercy among all of you.”

As one matures physically, sexual desires make their way in the individual and gradually both girls and boys start getting attracted to each other which slowly develops into some sort of psychological pressure.

This natural and undirected emotion gradually seeks solace in whatever possible form. Unfortunately more often than not it results in the youngsters deviating from the right path and indulging in some unwanted and undesired habits. Before becoming victims of ill-directed lust it is better for them to get married and settle down.

Therefore, the leaders of Islam have advised their followers to follow this most important Sunnah. As the Holy Prophet (S) states: “O youths, whosoever among you can marry he should do so because marriage protects your eyes (from indulging in sin by looking lustly at others) and privacy.” (Makaaremul Akhlaq).

Imam as-Sadiq (as) narrates that one day the Holy Prophet (S) went on the pulpit and said, “O people, Jibraeel has brought unto me a divine command stating that girls are like fruits from a tree. If they are not plucked in time then they get rotten by the rays of the sun and a slight blow of the wind will result in their falling down from the tree.

Similarly, when girls attain maturity, then like other women they develop emotions related to sex and there is no cure for it except her husband. If they are not married, prevention of character corruption becomes a remote possibility because after all they are human beings and no human is free from vice.” (Furoo-e-Kafi, Vol. 5, Pg. 337).

The Holy Quran has talked about the chastity and fidelity of both the husband and wife in the following verse: “They (your wives) are dress for you and you are dress for them.”(2:187)

A dress conceals ones defect and hides the private parts of a person. Moreover, it also acts as a protector from various infections which can arise due to the body being uncovered. The Holy Prophet (S) says , “Whoever desires that he should meet his Lord in a pure and clean state, he should seek for himself a legal wife and make provisions of chastity and modesty for himself.”

To sum it up, the leaders of Islam on one hand dissuade their followers from indulging in adultery and other extremities related to sex. On the other hand, they admonish them and emphasise to get married and settle down in life. They have even gone to the extent of stating that marriage is one of the best divine traditions. This concept has been explained very clearly in the following tradition of the Holy Prophet (S): “No foundation of Islam is as beloved and as mighty as the foundation and institution of marriage.” (Mustadrak, Vol. 2, Pg. 531).

In yet another tradition from Mustadrakul Wasail it is narrated that “When a youngster marries early in his youth Shaitaan cries out of desperation and says, Alas! this person has protected one third of his religion , now he will protect the remaining two thirds also.”

A person named Akkaaf came to the Holy Prophet (S), who asked him, “Do you have a wife”, he replied, “No, O Messenger of God.” The Holy Prophet (S) enquired again, “Do you want to improve the safety of your body and increase your wealth”, he replied, “Certainly”. Then the Holy Prophet (S) admonished him to get married and made him fear the consequences of not doing so.

Later he (S) proclaimed, “O Akkaaf! woe unto you, get married, get married because now you are enumerated among the sinners. Get married, otherwise you will be counted among the strayed ones. Get married, otherwise you will be listed among the Christian priests. Get married, otherwise you will be named among the brethren of Shaitaan.” (Mustadrak, Vol. 2, Pg. 531).

Imam ar-Ridha’ (as) narrates that a lady asserted before Imam al-Baqir (as) that, “I am a Mutabattela.” Imam al-Baqir (as) asked her, “What do you mean by that?”. She answered, “I have decided that I will never marry.” Imam enquired from her the reason for her decision. She replied, “To go higher in the stages and levels of perfection.” Imam al-Baqir (as) retorted, “Take your decision with justice. If remaining a spinster was a matter of greatness than Hazrat Zahra’ (sa) deserved it much more than you. There is no lady who can exceed her in any of the excellencies.”

Once some companions of Holy Prophet (S) had forsaken sexual relationships, eating food during the day-time and sleeping at night and considered them as forbidden for themselves, to attain purification of soul, spiritual heights and divine satisfaction. When Ummul Momeneen Umm Salma (sa) was informed of this strange attitude, she in turn informed the Holy Prophet (S), who went to them and asked, ”Have you left your wives and turned your faces away from them? I am your prophet. I go near my wives, eat during the day, sleep during the night and whoever turns away from my Sunnah, he is not from me.”

To get a good, modest and chaste wife is among the good fortunes and good luck of a person according to the leaders of Islam and is also considered as one of the sources by which the religion of a person can be protected. They have conveyed this message quite often that the worship of a married person is much more significant and important before Allah than that of a bachelor or a spinster.

The Holy Prophet (S) says: “Among the good fortunes of a man is to have a good wife.” (Furoo-e-Kafi, Vol. 5, Pg. 327).

Imam as-Sadiq (as) narrates from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said, “Those believers who marry, protect half of their religion from danger.” In yet another tradition, Imam as-Sadiq (as) says, “Two rakaats of a married person is better than seventy rakaats of an unmarried one.” (Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 1)

The Holy Prophet (S) once said, “Whoever marries, protects half of his religion, then for the remaining half he must only fear God.” (La'alil Akhbar).

The sixth Imam, Imam as-Sadiq (as) says, “A sleeping married man is better than a fasting unmarried man.” (La'alil Akhbar).

The Messenger of Islam (S) said, “Do not marry a woman for the following four reasons: Wealth, beauty, ancestry and lust. It is obligatory upon you to marry a woman on account of her religion.” (Jaame ul Akhbar).

In yet another tradition, the Messenger of Islam (S) has prohibited his followers from marrying a beautiful woman from a disgraceful background.” (Bihar ul Anwar, Vol. 23, Pg. 54).

Imam as-Sadiq (as) narrates from the Holy Prophet (S), “Refrain from marrying foolish women for surely their company is a calamity and their offsprings are imbeciles.” (Jafariyat, Pg. 9).

A man named, Husain ibn Bushar -e- Wasiti, once wrote to the eighth Imam, Imam ar-Ridha’ (as) that “one lady from my clan intends to marry me but is very ill-behaved”, Imam (as) replied, “If she is really ill-behaved, then never marry her.” (Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 10).

In one tradition the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) has said, “Never give your daughter to a drunkard when he intends to marry.” (Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 9).

This problem (of not giving daughters to drunkards) was considered so important by Ahlul Bayt (as) that Imam as-Sadiq (as) declared, “A woman who beds with a drunkard husband, has committed sins equal to the number of stars in the sky and any child born out of this unison is unclean. Allah will not accept any of her acts be they obligatory or a recommended until and unless her husband dies or releases her from the bond of this marriage.” (La'alil Akhbar.)

Conjugal Rights

The sacred contract of marriage, which according to the laws of nature is the most pleasurable, has not absolved men and women of their responsibilities in this holy relationship. It has tied man and his wife in the chain of conjugal rights. It scrapped all those laws prevalent in the period of ignorance and found in extremes in other civilisation by which a woman would become a pawn in her husband's hands. Islam advised them to take their marriage seriously, fulfill their responsibilities and pay appropriate attention to each others' rights. So that their offsprings would be saved from destruction in the cesspool of corruption.

A Woman's Rights over Her Husband

The principle duty of a man is to provide food, clothing, shelter and all other basic needs of his wife according to his ability and capacity. All this should be done with love and kindness by which their relationship will glow and become stronger. He should always support his wife with courage and bravery so that she may feel a sense of security. Also he must guard her chastity and modesty, while overlooking her minor faults and errors which are inevitable.

As Mullah Mohsin Faiz Kashani in his book “Al-Waafi” in the chapter of “A Woman's right over her husband” writes that it is narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that some people enquired from him regarding the rights of a wife over her husband. He (S) answered, “He should overlook her minor faults and if she commits a major mistake then he should forgive her.”

We all know that human life is not confined to food and drinks. Rather love, affection and sacrifice are the emotions which take humanity to great heights and form the core of its civilisation and culture. A woman who is emotions personified along with her other necessities expects to see the smiling face of her husband when he returns to his house. This is one of her basic rights which has not been overlooked due to its importance by the religion of Islam and therefore it is enumerated as one her rights over her husband.

Shahab Abdo Rabbeh relates that I asked Imam as-Sadiq (as) concerning the rights of a woman over her husband. He (as) answered, “He should fulfil all her basic necessities and must not terrrorise her by becoming angry time and again. If he does this i.e. after fulfilling her needs, is kind and affectionate towards her, then I swear by God, he has fulfilled his wife's rights. (Kafi).

Among the other rights which a women enjoys over her husband is that he should sleep with her. This matter has been dealt in detail in the books of jurisprudence. Those who are interested can refer to Al-Kafi, Wasailush Shia, Mustadrak and other similar books.

The importance of these rights can be gauged from the basic expectation of the fairer sex that her husband treat her kindly and respectfully. He must give due importance to her rights and observe them. The Holy Prophet (S) himself has endorsed this view by saying, “The best among you is the one who observes the rights of his wife in the best possible way and I am the best among you to observe the rights of my wives.” (Mun la Yahzorohul Faqeeh).

The Importance of Helping One's Wife in Domestic Works

One day the Holy Prophet (S) paid a visit to the house of Ali (as) and Fatimah (sa). He saw that Ali (as) is sieving the pulses and Fatimah (sa) is busy cooking. On observing this the Holy Prophet (S) remarked, “O Ali, I do not speak except what is revealed unto me. Anyone who helps his wife in her domestic affairs obtains a reward of one year of worship equal to the amount of hair on his body. This year of worship will be as if he has fasted during it's day and prayed during it's night. Allah will reward him equal to the reward of all the patient ones, Hazrat Dawood (as) and Hazrat Esa (as). (Jami us Sadaat, Vol. 2, Pg. 142).

In the same reference another tradition from the Holy Prophet (S) is recorded where he says, “O Ali, whoever helps his wife and children in their domestic affairs and does not consider it as an obligation upon them, Allah will enumerate him among the martyrs. The reward of one thousand martyrs is written in his book of deeds (by the angels) each day and night. His one step bears the reward of one Hajj and one Umrah and he gets cities in paradise equal to the number of veins in his body.”

Again in Jami us Sadaat, the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said, “One who stays in his house and helps his family members in their domestic affairs, his reward is better than the one who has worshipped God for one thousand years, performed one thousand Hajj, one thousand Umrah, released one thousand slaves, participated in one thousand battles along with the Holy Prophet (S), visited one thousand patients, worshipped on one thousand Fridays, participated in one thousand funeral processions, fed one thousand hungry people, clothed one thousand beggars, distributed one thousand horses in the way of God, gave one thousand Dinars (gold coin) to the poor, recited one thousand times each the Taurat, the Injeel and the Quran, freed one thousand prisoners and donated one thousand sheep to the poor. And the one who helps his family members in their house affairs, sees his place in paradise before departing from this world.”

Ibn Abi Zar-e-Naraaqi narrates a tradition from the Messenger of Islam (S) that he said, “ To serve one's family members helps in erasing the capital crimes (Gunnahane Kabeera) and cools down the divine wrath. It acts as a dowry paid to the Huris, increases one's good deeds and raises one in stages. [Jaame us-Sadaat].

In the book Makaaremul Akhlaq, one tradition is quoted from Imam as-Sadiq (as) on the authority of Ishaq Ibn Ammar who says, I asked him (as),”What is the right of a woman over her husband?” He (as) replied, “To feed her, to clothe her and if she commits some silly mistake or error he must forgive her.”

Dailami in his book, Irshadul Qulub writes that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Whoever beats his wife unnecessarily, I will be his enemy on the Day of Judgement.” Therefore one should never torture one's wife physically or otherwise because whoever does so has violated the norms set by the Almighty and His Messenger.

The great traditionist of the sixth century, Abdul Wahid- e-Amudi in his book Gurar al-Hikam, narrates a tradition on the authority of Ameerul Momeneen Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) who said, “Certainly a woman is like a toy, whoever takes her (marries her), should advise her.”

Sheikh Hurr al-Amili in Wasailush Shia narrates a tradition from Imam Zainul Abedeen (as) that he said, “Whoever makes the lives of his family members more comfortable and provides them more rest he is worthy of maximum divine pleasure.” In the same reference Imam ar-Ridha’ (as) says, “Every man should strive to make his wife and children comfortable according to his capacity for if he is strict and unkind to them and because their rights are being deprived they will desire his death.”

The author of Makaaremul Akhlaq narrates a tradition from Holy Prophet (S) on the authority of Ibn Abbas that “Whoever brings some gifts from the market for his family members enjoys the same status before God as the one who has helped the oppressed.” Then further explaining the method of distribution he (S) says, “First he should give to his daughters then to his sons. Whoever keeps his daughter happy will get a reward equal to the one who has freed a slave from the progeny of Hazrat-e- Ismail (as) and whoever keeps his sons happy his reward is like the one who has cried due to the fear of God and the reward of the one who cries due to the fear of God is a Paradise full of bounties.

Muhaddith-e-Noori, the great traditionalist of the last century narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S) in is book Mustadrakul Wasail, “Anyone who has been provided with bounties but is strict and miserly with his wife and children is not from us.”

Consequence of ill-Behavious With the Family Members

When Saad ibn Maaz, the great companion of the Holy Prophet (S) expired, he (S) himself participated in the funeral procession and shouldered his bier quite a few times with considerable respect. Then he laid it in the grave and buried him with his own hands.

On seeing the zeal of the Prophet (S) in performing the last rites of her son, the mother of Saad cried, “Congratulations, O my son on gaining paradise.” On hearing this the Messenger of Islam retorted, “Wait, do not haste in divine affairs. Your son is in great agony and anguish at the moment.” When the people enquired about the reason for this condition he (S) replied, “He behaved very badly with his family members.”

Husband's Rights Over His Wife

The rights of a husband over his wife are numerous. The most important among them is related to having physical relationship with her. The duty of a wife is to submit herself physically before her husband. This right of the husband i.e. of having a physical relationship with his wife as and when he wants is obviously a reciprocation of her feelings. In absence of her husband the duties of the wife include the protection of his rights, status, wealth and respect. She must not spend his wealth without his permission nor must she reveal his secrets. Rather she should be his closest confidante.

She must not let anybody inside the house without his permission in his absence. For, doing so would lead to a lot of misunderstandings which would have drastic repercussions on the sacred contract of marriage. She must value his ideas, plans and provisions that he has prepared for her and other family members and obey him under all circumstances. She must not disobey him come what may nor must she do any such thing which detracts him. Rather she must try her best to attract his attention towards herself by which both of them can lead a life of great harmony.

Let us glance through a very important tradition from our fifth Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) in this regard. One day a lady enquired from the Holy Prophet (S) regarding the rights a husband enjoys over his wife. He (S) answered, “First and foremost is that she should obey him and refrain from disobedience. She must not donate anything from the house without his permission nor can she keep recommended fasts without his approval. She must never deny him his physical rights nor deprive him of it's pleasures. If she steps out of the house without his permission, the angels of the heaven and the earth, of wrath and mercy, curse her till she returns to her house. [Makaaremul Akhlaq]

The Importance of Obeying One's Husband

The sixth Imam, Imam as-Sadiq (as) says a group of people paid a visit to the Messenger of Islam and said, “O Prophet of God, we have seen such people who prostrate before each other.” The Holy Prophet (S) answered, “If at all I could permit prostration before any creature except God, the Creator, I would have ordered the wives to prostrate before their husbands.” [Makaaremul Akhlaq].

In another tradition the Messenger of Islam (S) said, “A wife who serves her husband for seven days, Allah will seal for her the seven gates of hell and open for her the seven gates of paradise so the she may enter paradise from whichever gate she pleases.” [Irshadul Qulub].

In the same reference the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said, “A wife who gives her husband water to drink attains a reward of one year of worship, a year whose nights were passed in prayers and days in fasting. In exchange of one drop of water which she provides for her husband one city is built in paradise for her and sins of sixty years are forgiven.”

The author of Makaaremul Akhlaq narrates on the authority of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as), “Certainly, Allah has made Jehaad (Holy War) obligatory on both men and women. The Jehaad of men is to protect the boundaries of Islam and Islamic states with their blood and wealth so that they may be killed in the way of Allah but the Jehaad of women is to be patient while facing the difficulties of life with their husbands.”

The same concept has been voiced in the following words, “The Jehaad of women is to take proper care of her husband.” The Holy Prophet (S) once remarked, “O Women! Whosoever among you is busy in arranging the domestic affairs, God willing, she will get the reward of Islam's soldiers and Mujahedeen.” [Nahjul Fasaahah].

In yet another tradition the Holy Prophet (S) said, “A woman who goes out of her house without the permission of her husband becomes the target of divine curse till she returns to her house or her husband is satisfied with her.” [Nahjul Fasaahah].

“Any wife who does not converse with her husband with kindness and softly and demands from him something which he cannot fulfill, her fate will be such that no good deed will be accepted from her and Allah will express His wrath on her on the Day of Judgement.”

Strictures against Foul Language

The Holy Prophet (S) of Islam has said, “Any women who converses indignantly with her husband, thereby hurting his sentiments, none of her deeds either obligatory or recommended will be accepted from her until and unless her husband does not express his satisfaction with her. Even if this women fasts during the days, prays during the nights, frees slaves or donates the best of horses in the way of Allah, she will be first to enter the fire of hell. Similar will be the fate of the husband who usurps the rights of his wife. [Makaaremul Akhlaq].

Imam as-Sadiq (as) said, “A woman who says to her husband, I have not seen any goodness from you till date all her actions will be rendered null and void.” [Makaaremul Akhlaq].

Lastly, to end this chapter, let us see the fate of that wife who does not sleep with her husband. The Messenger of Islam (S) is reported to have said, “Any woman who sleeps at a distance from her husband (i.e. is not next to him during the night) is cursed by the angels till morning sets in.” [Nahjul Fasaahah, Pg. 36].

Rights of Children

Among the most important factors of training of children is the factor of love through which the elders of the family can attract the youngsters and command respect from them. For, the motivating factor for any association or relationship is love. Just as food is a necessity for the growth of body, love and affection are necessary for the growth of a family and training one's children culturally and spiritually.

Therefore, one should not neglect the importance and limits of love in the children's upbringing. If one does not eat at all or indulges in excessive intake of food, then in either case he is bound to be affected by some physical problem or the other.

Similarly, depriving children of love or loving them beyond limits (i.e. no caring what is good or bad for them and fulfilling all the demands), both are equally harmful and destructive for the training and upbringing of the children. As a result, some unexpected habits develop in them which breaks them down psychologically.

Those children who are showered with excessive and unregulated love will inevitably become self-centred and egoistic, while those who are deprived of parental love will suffer from an inferiority complex and a feeling of being left unprotected.

Consequently, misfortune becomes their destiny and that is why the Holy Prophet (S) remarked, “Love the children and be kind and merciful unto them.” Imam as-Sadiq (as) says, “Whoever loves his children will be worthy of special divine mercy.”

In yet another tradition from the Holy Prophet (S) it is said, “ Whoever kisses his children, Allah the Almighty writes one goodness in his records. Whoever makes his children happy Allah the Almighty will write one goodness in his records and will make him happy and joyous on the day of judgement.”

Ibn Abbas says, that the Holy Prophet (S) once remarked, “Whoever makes his daughter happy is like the one who has freed one slave from the progeny of Hazrat Ismail (as) and whoever makes his son happy is like the one who has cried due to fear of God.”

One of the most vital task in the training of children is to render justice among them. It is necessary for the parents to deal with all the children with justice and equity and see to it that no feeling of oppression creeps in them because if they feel oppressed and tortured they will develop an inferiority complex which will be very difficult to delete from their systems.

A person came to pay a visit to Holy Prophet (S) along with his two sons. He kissed one and neglected the other. On seeing this unjust behaviour, the Holy Prophet (S) remarked, “Do you not treat your children with equity? Deal justly and equally among your children as you expect them to be just to you.”

Assaulting Children

Recent psychological studies have proved that beating the children to inculcate some habit in them will not only make them obstinate and rigid in their approach but it will also hamper their overall development. Islam, right from the beginning has prohibited it's followers from physical assault on their children. Apart from the traditions which are found in this regard we see that this topic has been among the discussions of our jurisprudents who have issued edicts and formulated guidelines. For instance, according to many Mujtahids, if anyone slaps his children and they get a mark on their cheeks, then the parents have to pay a hefty amount of compensation for this undesired deed.

Allama Majlisi in Biharul Anwar narrates a tradition, “A person came to Imam ar-Ridha’ (as) and complained regarding his son. Imam (as) replied, do not beat him, only stop talking to him and that too should not be for a long time.” From the above stated tradition we observe that Imam (as) has prohibited his followers from assaulting the children and if anybody does so he will be disobeying the commands of the Ahlul Bayt (as).

According to the Holy Prophet (S) a child enjoys three rights over his father:-

(1) He must select a good name for his child,

(2) Educate him,

(3) When he matures, the father should make provisions for his marriage.

The same idea has been voiced by our sixth Imam, Imam as-Sadiq (as) when he said, “Select good names for your self, because you will be called on the day of judgement by these names.”

The Eighth Imam, Ali ibn Moosa ar-Ridha’ (as) says, “Poverty shall never enter that house whose inhabitants bear the names of Muhammad, Ahmad, Ali, Hasan, Husein, Talib, Jaffar or Abdullah (among men) and Fatimah among the women.” [Anwarun No'maniyah].

Some Fiqhi Laws, A Discussion

Imam al-Baqir (as) says, “Refrain from having sexual intercourse in places where an understanding child can see you and follows your action to such an extent that he can narrate to others what he has seen.”

The author of Wasailush Shia narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S) that, “I swear by God if an aware child sees a couple having sexual intercourse or listens to their talk or even hears their breathing sounds then such a child can never succeed in his life. Whether the child is a male or a female it will get involved in adultery at one stage or the other in his or her life.”

The Messenger of Islam (S) says, ”When a girl reaches the age of six, she should not be kissed by any male. Similarly women should not kiss those boy who have crossed the age of seven.”

Imam ar-Ridha’ (as) even goes to the extent of saying that when a girl crosses the age of six then no Na-Mehram should make her sit in his lap. [Wasailush Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 29].

The Holy Prophet of Islam (S) admonished his followers to make their children sleep in different beds when they reach the age of understanding. He says, “When your children reach the age of seven, make them sleep in different beds. [Biharul Anwar, Vol. 23, pg. 114].

Some Important Reminders

As stated earlier a wife must devote her life for the well being and development of her husband. She must provide him both physical as well as emotional support. Thus, if she makes herself up or wears good clothes it should be solely for her husband and none else otherwise she will be subjected to divine curses and hell fire.

In this regard the Holy Prophet (S) said to Fatimah Zahra’ (sa), “O Fatimah when a women makes herself up, wears good clothes and steps out of her house to attract the attention of other men, the angels of seven heavens and seven earths curse her and she becomes close to the fire of Hell to such an extent that when she dies she will be straight away thrown in the Hell fire.”

Imam as-Sadiq (as) says, “If a women perfumes herself to attract the attention of other men, her prayers will not be accepted until and unless she washes herself of this perfume and this washing will be like that of Janabat (the ritual both after an intercourse).”

On reading this tradition one can comprehend the intensity of the matter and realise the amount of corruption that will spread in the society if a women adorns herself for other men. This is one of the primary reason of the sexual mayhem and chaos found in the world and the increasing number of rape cases reported, particularly from Western countries.

The Incident of Mi’raj

The chief of the faithfuls Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) says, “One day I and Fatima paid a visit to Holy Prophet (as) who began crying. I asked, “O Messenger of God (as) may my father and mother be sacrificed for you, what is the reason for your crying?”

He (S) replied, “O Ali the night on which I went to Mi’raj (ascension) I saw some women of my ummat facing severe chastisement and I am crying for them. One was being hung by her hair and her head was boiling. The second one was eating the flesh of her own body and fire was burning beneath her. The third was being hung with her chest clenched. The fourth women's legs were tied with her hands and snakes and pythons were making a feast out of her.

The fifth one was deaf, dumb and blind and she was laid in a fire-case. Her brains were burning and melting through her nose and her body was being torn apart by leprosy and other similar diseases. Another women had her legs burned by the hellfire. The seventh one I saw had her flesh being cut into pieces with scissors of fire. The eighth one's face and hands were being burnt and she was eating her own burnt skin. Yet another women had her face like a pig and her body like a donkey and she was subjected to thousands of different chastisements. The tenth one had her face like a bitch. Fire was being inducted from her rectum and extracted from her mouth and angels were constantly beating her on her head and face with sticks of fire.”

Janabe Fatimah Zahra’ (sa) enquired , “O beloved father please inform us about the misdeeds or sins of these women for which they were subjected to such severe chastisement by the Almighty? The Holy Prophet (S) answered, “O Fatimah, the woman who was being hung by her hair was the one who did not veil herself from the Non-mahram men. The one who was being hung by her tongue was rude to her husband and tortured him by her talks. The one who was being hung by her chest was depriving her husband of his sexual rights and pleasures.

The one who was being hung by her legs was stepping out of her house without her husband's permission. The one who was eating her own flesh made her self up for other men. one whose hands and legs were tied together never purified her body and clothes. She never took the spiritual bath after her menstruation cycles or sexual intercourse and considered Salat (prayer) to be insignificant.

The one who was deaf, dumb and blind produced children out of adultery and claimed them to be of her husband. The one whose flesh was being cut with scissors of fire use to come before men in such a way that they be attracted towards her. The one whose face and body were being burnt and who was eating her burnt flesh was the source of meeting of Non-mahram boys and girls. The one whose face was like a pig and body like a donkey always lied and talked ill about others. [Biharul Anwar, Vol. 18, Pg. 45.]

It is important to stress here that in today’s times our sisters should define their aims in life within the Islamic framework and should not attempt to transgress the laws of the Almighty. They must not out of short sightedness exchange this transient world for the everlasting hereafter.

If they ever step out of their houses it should be with the sole intention of working in the way of the Lord and serving the religion of Islam. For, it is Islam that provides the real pleasures to this otherwise static and monotonous life and takes human being beyond the narrow paths of this world into the wide valleys of spirituality and God fearing nature.

Thus, the Islamic women of today should not confine herself be her individuality but consider herself to be responsible of tomorrows up and coming society. As George Bernard Shaw says, “If you train a man, you train a man but if you train a woman, you train a family.”

And the last call is this, “All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”