Table of Contents

Chapter 2: Heredity

2.1: Blood is Contagious

51. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Look into what the origin of the womb is that you are going to put your child in, as indeed blood1 is contagious.”2

52. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “People are [like] minerals; and blood is contagious and having bad manners is like a bad origin.”3

53. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Marry from a righteous family because indeed blood is contagious.”4

54. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Choose [the womb] for your sperm, for indeed women bear children that are similar to their brothers and sisters.”5

55. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said: “Beware of marrying a fool, for her companionship is disaster and her children are a loss.”6

56. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “There are three things incumbent on the father for the child: to choose a good mother for him, to give him a good name, and to do his best in training him.”7

العِرْقُ دَسَّاسٌ‏

51. رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله‏ انظُر في أيّ نِصابٍ‏ تَضَعُ وَلَدَكَ؛ فَإِنَّ العِرقَ دَسَّاسٌ‏ .

52. عنه صلى الله عليه وآله: النّاسُ مَعادِنُ، وَ العِرقُ دَسّاسٌ، وأدَبُ السّوءِ كَعِرقِ السّوءِ.

53. عنه صلى الله عليه وآله: تَزَوَّجُوا في الحِجرِ الصّالِحِ؛ فَإِنَّ العِرقَ دَسّاسٌ.

54. عنه صلى الله عليه وآله: تَخَيَّروا لِنُطَفِكُم؛ فَإِنَّ النِّساءَ يَلِدنَ أشباهَ إخوانِهِنَّ وأخَواتِهِنَّ.

55. الإمام عليّ عليه السلام: إيّاكُم و تَزويجَ الحَمقاءِ؛ فَإِنَّ صُحبَتَها بَلاءٌ، و وُلدَها ضَياعٌ.

56. الإمام الصادق عليه السلام: تَجِبُ لِلوَلَدِ عَلى‏ والِدِهِ ثَلاثُ خِصالٍ: اختِيارُهُ لِوالِدَتِهِ، و تَحسينُ اسمِهِ، وَ المُبالَغَةُ في تَأديبِهِ.

2.2: The Role of Heredity in the Creation of a Child

57. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said: “A man from the Ansar came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and said: “O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.)! This is my uncle’s daughter, and I am so and so, son of so and so –until he mentioned up to ten of his forefathers-, and she is so and so, daughter of so and so –also mentioning up to ten of her forefathers-, and there is no black person in my ancestors nor in her ancestors, but she has given birth to a black child!”

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) cast down his head for a long while, and then he raised his head and said: “Verily, you have ninety nine blood-veins [genes] and she also has ninety nine blood-veins. When you copulate with her, the blood-veins will move and every blood-vein asks Allah Almighty for the child should be similar to it. Stand up, as it is indeed your child and it did not come other than from either a blood-vein from you or from her.” He [Imam ‘Ali] (a.s.) said: “The man stood up and took the hand of his wife and his happiness with his wife and child increased.”8

58. Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said: “One of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) came to him and said: “This is my uncle’s daughter and my wife. I know nothing but good about her. She has given birth to a child from me and is extremely black with large nostrils, fuzzy hair and a flat nose. I know similar to him neither among my uncles nor my ancestors.

He (s.a.w.) asked the man’s wife: “What do you have to say?” She answered: “No, by He who has appointed you as a prophet in truth, I have never been with anyone else since he has taken me.”

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) cast down his head for a long while then he looked up at the sky, and then he turned to the man and said: “O man! There is no one that does not have between him and Adam ninety nine blood-veins [genes], and all of them effect in the descendents. When the sperm arrives into the womb, the blood-veins start to move, and they ask Allah that the child be similar to them. Therefore, this is one of the roots that neither your ancestors nor the ancestors of your ancestors have conceived. Take your child.’

The woman said: “O Messenger of Allah! You have solved my problem!”9

59. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “Verily Allah has created four containers for the womb. Whatever [sperm] comes into the first container is for the father, whatever comes into the second is for the mother, whatever comes into the third is for paternal uncles, and whatever comes into the fourth is for the maternal uncles.”10

60. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “When Allah the Exalted, the High, wishes to create someone, He gathers all the features between that person and up to [the time of] Adam, then He creates him on the feature of one of them. Therefore, no one should say about their child: “This child is neither similar to me or to any of my ancestors.”11

دَوْرُ الوِرَاثَةِ في خَلقِ المَولودِ

57. الإمام عليّ عليه السلام: أقبَلَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الأنصارِ إلى‏ رَسولِ الله صلى الله عليه وآله فَقالَ: يا رَسولَ اللهِ، هذِهِ بِنتُ عَمِّي، و أَنَا فُلانُ ابنُ فُلانٍ، حَتّى‏ عَدَّ عَشَرَةَ آباءٍ، و هِيَ فُلانَةُ بِنتُ فُلانٍ حَتّى‏ عَدَّ عَشَرَةَ آباءٍ، لَيسَ في حَسَبي ولا حَسَبِها حَبَشِيٌّ، و إنَّها وَضَعَت هذَا الحَبَشِيَّ!

فَأطرَقَ رَسولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله طَويلًا، ثُمَّ رَفَعَ رَأسَهُ فَقالَ: إنَّ لَكَ تِسعَةً وَ تِسعينَ عِرقاً، و لَها تِسعَةً وَ تِسعينَ عِرقاً، فَإِذَا اشتَمَلتَ اضطَرَبَتِ العُروقُ، و سَألَ اللهَ عزوجل كُلُّ عِرقٍ مِنها أن يُذهِبَ الشَّبَهَ إلَيهِ، قُم فَإِنَّهُ وَلَدُكَ، و لَم يَأتِكَ إلّا مِن عِرقٍ مِنكَ أو عِرقٍ مِنها.

قالَ: فَقامَ الرَّجُلُ و أخَذَ بِيَدِ امرَأَتِهِ، و ازدادَ بِها و بِوَلَدِها عُجباً.

58. الإمام الباقر عليه السلام: أتى‏ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الأنصارِ رَسولَ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وآله، فَقالَ: هذهِ ابنَةُ عَمِّي وامرَأتي لا أعلَمُ إلّا خَيراً، وَ قَد أتَتني بِوَلَدٍ شَديدِ السَّوادِ، مُنتَشِرِ المِنخِرَينِ، جَعدٍ، قَطَطٍ، أفطَسِ‏ الأنفِ، لا أعرِفُ شِبهَهُ في أخوالي ولا في أجدادي!

قال: فَنَكَسَ رَسولُ اللهِ بِرَأسِهِ مَلِيّاً، ثُمَّ رَفَعَ بَصَرَهُ إلَى السَّماءِ، ثُمَّ أقبَلَ عَلَى الرَّجُلِ فَقالَ: يا هذا، إنَّهُ لَيسَ مِن أحَدٍ إلّا بَينَهُ و بَينَ آدمَ تِسعَةٌ و تِسعونَ عِرقاً، كُلُّها تَضرِبُ فِي النَّسَبِ، فَإِذا وَقَعَتِ النُّطفَةُ فِي الرَّحِمِ اضطَربَت تِلكَ العُروقُ؛ تَسأَلُ اللهَ الشُّبهَةَ لَها، فَهذا مِن تِلكَ العُروقِ الَّتي لَم يُدرِكها أجدادُكَ و لا أجدادُ أجدادِكَ، خُذ إلَيكَ ابنَكَ. فَقالَتِ المَرأَةُ: فَرَّجتَ عَنّي يا رَسُولَ اللهِ.

59. الإمام الصادق عليه السلام: إنَّ اللهَ عزوجل خَلَقَ لِلرَّحِمِ أربَعَةَ أوعِيَةٍ، فَما كانَ فِي الأوَّلِ فَلِلأبِ، وما كانَ فِي الثّاني فَلِلُامِّ، و ما كانَ فِي الثّالِثِ فَلِلعُمومَةِ، وَ ما كانَ فِي الرّابِعِ فَلِلخُؤُولَةِ.

60. عنه عليه السلام: إنَّ اللهَ تبارَكَ وتعالى‏ إذا أرادَ أن يَخلُقَ خَلقاً جَمَعَ كُلَّ صورَةٍ بَينَهُ و بَينَ آدَمَ، ثُمَّ خَلَقَهُ عَلى‏ صُورَةِ إحداهُنَّ، فَلا يَقولَنَّ أحَدٌ لِوَلَدِهِ: هذا لا يُشبِهُني ولا يُشبِهُ شَيئاً مِن آبائي. فَقالَ لِامرَأَتِهِ: ما تَقولينَ؟ قالَت: لا وَ الّذي بَعَثَكَ بِالحَقِّ نَبِيّاً، ما أقعَدتُ مَقعَدَهُ مِنّي مُنذُ مَلَكَني أحَداً غَيرَهُ.

2.3: The Role of Heredity in the Behaviour of a Child

61. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said: “Good morals is an indication of the nobility of the blood-veins.”12

62. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said: “When the origin of a person is noble, his behaviour is noble in both his absence or in his presence.”13

63. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said: “Seek your needs from noble people who have good principles, as your needs will be better fulfilled by them and doing so is more pleasant for you.”14

64. Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) said: “Seek your needs from people who are noble and have principles. It is with them that the need is fulfilled promptly and without obligation.”15

65. Muruj al-Dhahab, in mentioning Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah in the crisis of the Battle of the Camel when he stood there facing the spears and arrows: “Then Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) came towards him and hit him with the sheath of his sword and said: “A blood from your mother has affected you [your fear is from your mother’s side].”16

66. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, in Ziyarah al-Arba’in17: “May my father and my mother be sacrificed for you, O son of the Messenger of Allah! I bear witness that you were a light in the noble loins and pure wombs. Never did the impurities of the Age of Ignorance pollute you, and never did it cover you with its contaminations.”18

67. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said: “The Prophet of Allah delivered a sermon in which he said: “O people! Beware of a nice plant growing in waste.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah! What is a nice plant growing in waste?” He answered: “A beautiful woman brought up in a bad family.”19

دَوْرُ الوِرَاثَةِ في خُلُقِ المَوْلودِ

61. الإمام عليّ عليه السلام: حُسنُ الأخلاقِ بُرهانُ كَرَمِ الأَعراقِ.

62. عنه عليه السلام: إذا كَرُمَ أصلُ الرَّجُلِ كَرُمَ مَغيبُهُ و مَحضَرُهُ.

63. عنه عليه السلام: عَلَيكُم في طَلَبِ الحَوائِجِ بِشِرافِ النُّفوسِ، ذَوي الاصولِ الطَّيِّبَةِ؛ فَإِنَّها عِندَهُم أقضَى‏، و هِيَ لَدَيكُم أَزْكى‏.

64. عنه عليه السلام: عَلَيكُم في قَضاءِ حَوائِجِكُم بِكِرامِ الأنفُسِ و الاصولِ، تُنجَح لَكُم عِندَهُم مِن غَيرِ مِطالٍ و لا مَنٍّ.

65. مروج الذهب- في ذِكرِ مُحَمَّدِ بنِ الحَنَفِيَّةِ في أزمَةِ حَربِ الجَمَلِ لَمّا وَقَفَ حينَ واجَهَتهُ الرِّماحُ والنُّشّابُ-: فَأَتاهُ عَلِيٌ عليه السلام: فَضَرَبَهُ بِقائِمِ سَيفِهِ وقالَ: أَدرَكَكَ عِرقٌ مِن امِّكَ.

66. الإمام الصادق عليه السلام- في زِيارَةِ الأَربَعينَ‏ بِأَبي أنتَ و امِّي يَا ابنَ رَسولِ اللهِ، أشهَدُ أنَّكَ كُنتَ نُوراً فِي الأصلابِ الشّامِخَةِ وَ الأرحامِ الطّاهِرَةِ، لَم تُنَجِّسكَ الجاهِلِيَّةُ بِأنجاسِها، و لَم تُلبِسكَ المُدلَهِمَّاتِ‏ مِن ثِيابِها.

67. عنه عليه السلام: قامَ رَسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وآله خَطيباً فَقالَ: أيُّهَا النّاسُ، إيّاكُم و خَضراءَ الدِّمَنِ. قيلَ: يا رَسولَ اللهِ، و ما خَضراءُ الدِّمَنِ؟ قالَ: المَرأَةُ الحَسناءُ في مَنبَتِ السَّوءِ.

2.4: The Role of Marrying Relatives

68. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Marry those foreign to your family [non- relatives] so that you do not give birth to weak children.”20

69. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Do not marry close relatives, as the child will come out weak.”21

دوْرُ زَواجِ الأقارِبِ‏

68. رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: اغتَرِبوا؛ لا تُضووا .

69. عنه صلى الله عليه وآله: لا تَنكِحُوا القَرابَةَ القَريبَةَ؛ فَإِنَّ الوَلَدَ يُخلَقُ ضاوِياً.

  • 1. . The Arabic word ‘irq literally means a blood-vein, but in these traditions it refers to the genetical influence. In the modern context it could be known as genes. [Ed.].
  • 2. . Musnad al-Shihab, vol. 1, p. 371, h. 638. Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 15, p. 855, h. 43400, narrating from al-Dailami. Both narrating from Ibn ‘Umar.
  • 3. . Shu’ab al-Iman, vol. 7, p. 455, h. 10974. al-Firdaws, vol. 4, p. 299, h. 6878. Both narrating from Ibn ‘Abbas. Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 3, p. 442, h. 7360.
  • 4. . al-Firdaws, vol. 2, p. 51, 2291 & Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 16, p. 296, h. 44559. Makarim al-Akhlaq, vol. 1, p. 432, h. 1474, narrating from Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.).
  • 5. . Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 52, p. 362, h. 11068, narrating from ‘A’ishah. Kashf al-Khafa’, vol. 2, p. 339, h. 2917.
  • 6. . al-Kafi, vol. 5, p. 353, h. 1. Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 7, p. 406, h. 31. Both narrating from al-Sakuni from Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.).
  • 7. . Tuhaf al-’Uqul, p. 322. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 78, p. 236, h. 67.
  • 8. . Ja’fariyat, p. 90. al-Nawadir, p. 178, h. 297. Both narrating from Imam al-Kazim (a.s.) from his forefathers (a.s.).
  • 9. . al-Kafi, vol. 5, p. 561, h. 23.’Awali al-La’ali, vol. 3, p. 418, h. 21.
  • 10. . al-Kafi, vol. 6, p. 17, h. 2. ‘Awali al-La’ali, vol. 3, p. 419, h. 22. Both narrating from Muhammad ibn Hamran.
  • 11. . Kitab Man la Yahdarhu al-Faqih, vol. 3, p. 484, h. 4709. ‘Ilal al-Shara’i’, p. 103, h. 1.
  • 12. . Ghurar al-Hikam, h. 4855. ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz, p. 228, h. 4397.
  • 13. . Ghurar al-Hikam, h. 4163. ‘Uyun al-Hikam wa al-Mawa’iz, p. 131, h. 2958, with ‘family’ instead of ‘origin’.
  • 14. . Ghurar al-Hikam, h. 6162.
  • 15. . Ghurar al-Hikam, h. 6158.
  • 16. . Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 375. Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 1, p. 243.
  • 17. . The visitation recited on the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a.s.) (20th of Safar). [Ed.].
  • 18. . Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 6, p. 114, h. 201, narrating from Safwan ibn Mahran al-Jammal.
  • 19. . al-Kafi, vol. 5, p. 332, h. 4. Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 7, p. 403, h. 160. Both narrating from al-Sakuni. Kitab Man la Yahdarhu al-Faqih, vol. 3, p. 391, h. 4377. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 103, p. 232, h. 10, narrating from Ma’ani al-Akhbar from Muhammad ibn Abu Talhah.
  • 20. . al-Mujazat al-Nabawiyah, p. 92, h. 59.
  • 21. . al-Mahajjah al-Bayda, vol. 3, p. 94.