Having discussed the family status in the capitalist societies, we now continue our discussion about the family structure in socialist societies. The socialist system is primarily affected by the West; and most major problems are common to both East and West. Here we deal mainly with points in which they differ.
According to statistics Eastern socialist countries also possess similar figure, in regards to the degree of corruption, the main reason being that the basis of their thinking is the denial of a divine ideology and the rejection of any metaphysical existence. It is natural that mere reliance on knowledge and experience limits man to certain tangible discoveries. Through religion and the oneness of God, man can gain a much wider understanding.
The Views of the Forerunners-Before the appearance of family sociology and until the time of Pruden and August Kent, the philosophical views and thoughts of Plato, who considered the family to be the symbol of love and fairness, were held. In the second half of the 19th century the subject of the family was studied by people such as Morgan, Engels and Backhofen.
They considered the family to be a socio-historical institution with responsibilities and makeup determined by the rate of growth of the whole society. Research plans concerning the family and marriage is a serious problem which is under investigation by both eastern and western sociologists.
One of those sociologists, Anatol Kharchov, introduces a particular method in studying the family structure. He states:
1. "Society is a logical struct ure of social classes, groups and individuals inside which exists differences related to the classes of people, their interaction and influence on each other."
2. "The family is a part of the said discipline. It is a social unit while at the same time it possesses the particularities of an institution or a group. Also, through it other phenomena within the society and internal phenomena are curbed and complemented."
3. "The appearance and development of the family that at the same time depends on the growth and expansion of the individual and the growth of mankind have a twofold effect; necessary material factors which effect directly and mental and spiritual factors which affect indirectly."
Marxists believe that marriage throughout history has gone through three phases. The first phase is complete sexual freedom, when man was freer than animals in his sexual relationships. The second phase is group marriages in which any woman could have sexual relations with any man. Gradually, as private ownership was strengthened, the family was imposed on man as a symbol of exploitation and growth bringing about the third phase.
They foresaw that in the period of returning to socialism, public ownership that rule' over all private ownership will yet again collapse the families returning them to the first period or complete sexual freedom during which marriage would be a kind of sexual anarchy and the babies born out of this relationship would belong to everyone in society.
The management and custody of these children become the responsibility of the government, which is obliged to establish public centers and nurseries to look after these children. In this way, contact between child and parent is severed each continuing his life separately. Family relations are limited to the relationship of the couple. They also suffer from infidelity on both sides. No firm basis or foundation is left for a shared family life between father, of her and child.
This cycle continues and children, upon reaching puberty, become involved in sexual relationships free of any moral or legal obligations and follow in their parents' footsteps. When communism took over Russia, one of its first steps was to disperse the family and utilize its entire means in doing so.
Its logic was the "family" as a structured discipline, has been an ancient base for exploitation and breeds exploiters. Even in the second congress of Russia in the year 1919 in the confirnmation and legalization of this act, they included a chapter in their resolution encouraging people to break their family relations and support the establishment or public organisations to look after their lonely children.
Of course after a while they realized what a disgraceful act this was and that the family deserves more than this. On the other hand the separation of the youth from their collapsed families drove them into creating a kind of corruption in moral complexities. This resolution has since been cancelled.
But even today when they have given up the Marxist theory concerning the family, unfortunately, they are struck by another disease which is imported from, the West. Western style corruption has spread to the Eastern Bloc countries and is haunting family stability. In this way, the East also suffers from a type of westernization and will have to face the grave consequences.
Of course what could be said about Kharchov's viewpoints is that it is all very well that the family is a unit such as other units of society, but the effect it has on that society is never similar nor comparable to the effects of other institutions like schools. The positive values that are accepted by the members of a family will directly or indirectly affect the whole network of society.
If value and importance is given to the growth and well-being of the family and the quality of its spiritual health, the wellbeing of society in turn is preserved, as the family creates the first and lasting impression in the innocent mind of a child engraving the first images on the clean page of a young mind. No society can be considered healthy if the families which makeup that society are suffering from difficulties and instability.
The family is the basic unit and fundamental element of the society by means of which disciplined forces of the socialist community are planned within the society. (Fredrick Luple)
The contract of marriage is the indication of the first stage of legal jurisdiction in society. The mental and spiritual union of man and woman form an organism whose parts complete one another, the aim of this organism is to bring about justice, and to create civilization. (Pruden)
The fact that the family has been accepted as a basic unit of society is a correct and logical matter and that both men and women after marriage complement each other is also undoubtedly true. As to what results can be deduced from the above facts, there is room for debate.
Pruden considers the growth and completion of the couple is fulfilled by reaching civilization, material progress and comfort. The argument is illogical that after every completion and end i.e upon reaching comfort, doom and destruction should follow. If the growth and completion of a couple inside a family after having reached comfort and civilization should end in death and doom, it is not very valuable.
Religion, on the other hand, argues that the completion and progress of the couple is true and correct only when the result of their union is the appearance of and growth of children and younger families whose thoughts and moralities are superior to their parents" is only then that the couple will reach spiritual comfort and peace of mind through which they are able to travel the road of true prosperity and reach ul timate satisfaction and comfort.
Another of this school of thought, pointing out the influence of society on the family says, "The family has always been in the process of development from an inferior to a more superior form. This change has been in accordance with the growth and progress of society, technology and economy."
Of course, Engels has also approved this historical trend that: In the begi nning there were no obstacles in the way of free sexual relationships and any woman could belong to any man and visa versa. Strangely enough he adds,"This kind of marriage did not essentially lead to anarchy because individual marriages had not been rejected then." Engels considers this to be the starting point of the appearance of different forms of the family.
Another opinion states, "In the Stone Age economy was based on hunting gathering nuts and fruit and catching fish. Man learned to live within a community so certainly in addition to a family consisting of a husband and wife a kind of social organisations in the shape of a tribe or clan existed." (Gordon Child) Therefore the formation of a family, in particular the role of men and women in the Stone Age, depended merely on the level of technology.
The factor behind the reformation of social units and their trend towards perfection is man. The fact that after many years this trend of communal living is concentrated within a unit called 'family' raises the question. If no factor other than man plays a part in the completion and quality of history, how is it that all men have arrived at the same conclusion, i. e the family and the act or marriage?
If we agree with the idea or the rejection of any kind of effectivity by unmaterial factors in the activities and qualitative growth of man proposed by the socialist ideology, yet again the same question lingers. It is here that we conclude another fact, i.e the innate nature of marriage and the satisfaction of internal desires in a correct and secure manner. This argument is tantamount to the acceptance of man that he is affected by one who is unaffected that is, God.
One God no other creator and diety exists other than Him. He is free of all imperfections. What could be said about the generality of marriage and family is that marriage is an act which originates from man's innate feelings and is not limited to one particular class of humans. The relative equality of the number of men and women all over the world is the relative equality of the number of men and women and is indicative of how sexual relations should be.
Truly this is one of the miracles of creation and a strong reason in proving the government of the Creator and the mindful disciples of the whole being. The relative equality of the number of the two sexes reveals a plan and not a haphazard accident. All of the Islamic teachings in regards to the family and the rights of married couples are based on the equality of their relationship.
In this matter, Engels is influenced by Morgan. He sets a seal of approval on Morgan's theory and while condemning one partner families expresses his opinions on the history and the stages of family development. Here is a brief outline of his writings in order to become familiar with his ideas.
Up around 1860 a theory of family structure did not exist. In this field the historical sciences were influenced by the five books of Moses (a.s.), the most widely accepted theory being that there existed a period of mixed sexual relations. He adds that the first recorded facts pertaining to the subject of family was in 1861 in a book called The Rights of Motherhood by Backhofen.
In his book the author expressed his views about the stages of family development. He first viewed medieval man as having a mixed sexual relationship and believed that such mixing caused the separation of father and child.
Therefore only the relationship between mother and child were known and the paternal parent remained unknown. In this way the family structure and its security demanded that the family circle have more background of the mother's family, which led to a matriarchal family.
Referring to the period of ignorance (or as he calls it the period of savagery), women and young girls were often killed, which caused an inbalance between men and women causing marriage between one woman and several men. Thus matriarchy has its mots in the period of ignorance and savagery.
Of course it should be pointed out that Engels has obtained all of his ideas from Backofen and Morgan and plays a major role in the spread of such thinking. Such opinions, despite their rejection by facts in history unfortunately have followers in countries like England. Dividing history into three stages of savagery, barbarism and civilization, he explains them as such:
Man put behind him three periods:
a) The Era of Savagery whose primary phase lasted one thousand years during which man lived with animals used the wild crops to prepare food and drink and ate the roots of the trees. The intermediate stage of this era was from the time man started catching fish and migrating to different parts of the earth and discovering hunting and its methods and the last stage of this era led to the discovery of the bow and arrow and other hand made instruments, hunting tools and also knitting.
b) The Era of Barbarism whose primary stage began with the making of pottery, domestication of animals, farming and cultivating. Its intermed iate phase consisted of the training of animals for domestic use, construction and the eating of meat became popular and the last stage began with the melting and purification of iron and the inception of the alphabet.
c) The Era of Civilization begins with an industrial revolution and the development of industrializat ion, production and consumption. According to this book man is still in this stage.
The method of marriage in these three periods was: group, polygamy and monogamy respectively.
With the increase in man's awareness he discovered the corruption of group marriages and so one partner marriages became common every where. As the relationships in these kinds of families were limited to a couple and their lawful children, peace and quiet followed and gradually became a social custom among all tribes and nations.
Of course the one partner marriage is not something made by one particular group, but a method which embodies coherence and morality of humankind and is recommended by religion, especially Islam. In such families, one man and one woman, after completing the stages of introduction and legalization, start their common life and they share the responsibility of their children.
These children have no such relationship with any other family or individual. In this kind of family discipline where legal relations, sharing of interests and mutual respect are seen amongst its individuals, women are no longer a play thing in the hands of men and are no longer an inactive and uneffective element of the society. Each is endowed with respect and love. Through marriage this love and respect is further increased.
Engels has considered the beginning of the period of one-partnership equal to the downfall or women value and the collapse of the rights of motherhood and matriarchy and a global defeat to the female sex.
With the emergence of one-partner families, the governing of the family was placed on the man's shoulders and the woman was dropped from her position , becoming a slave in the hands of her husband, a mere device for the production of children.
It was his desire to destroy the one-partnership marriage and change private ownership to public. In conclusion he said."If the family is the product of a social structure and the progress and expansion or society is reflected by it, then family is a social and changing phenomenon. Until now it has changed four times, and it is now presently changing.
As a result of the way society is moving, the family will also continue its development and it could be accepted that the family deserves to reach a state of perfection, meaning that it should bear the equality of men and women." On how this equity among sexes could be reached he suggests, "The formation of special places to look after child ren so t hat children are given general public training and women are given the opportunity to take part in society. Through this act the proposed equity could be reached."
With these words, we again return to the Western discipline which, in the name of equality between men and women, evacuated the homes dispersing the women and children and disrupting the structure and network of the family. Under the pretext of letting women take part in the turning of the wheels of socicy and economy they reached their aims, which is not hi ng but the spread of anarchy.
The world of socialism also mentions this hypothesis and throughout its historical discussion and division of history, puts men into three stages of savagery and barbarism and has managed co eventually inject their poisonous ideas into the minds of men and women and spread the disease of corruption.
A system that claims to support women and give them a position of respect, in real life by condemning one partnership marriages and dispersing them from their homes, has severely insulted women. Today the East is also suffering from the same problem. Economist magazine, printed in London, quot ing from a Russian magazi ne called Semna states the following statistics:
"In one of Russia's towns called Perm, an European city whose population is barely one million, 70% of the young girls who become pregnant for the first time are not married. Nearly 27% of them choose abortion as a legal way to rid themselves of this undesirable pregnancy. Another 27.5%, after marriage, deliver the babies who belong to their previous boyfriends.
These women, in order to keep their dignity after they are forced into marriage, or in order to cover up their corrupt actions, give in to marriage. It is very obvious that such marriages never become very stable. It is similar to building a large fortress on top of a damp and old foundation. It may protect one for a while, but eventually it will collapse.
In any case, the intention of a person in doing something is important too. If a person undertake a marriage contract because a short-lived fantasy or for advantageous purposes, his or her marriage will not last very long.
The foundations or marriage have become so shaky in the West that according to statisties 40% of the children do not meet their fathers with in their family environment and are denied a father for their entire lives. In other cases they are separated from both parents and never see either one.
This is the state of the Russians and that of the Westerners and Europeans who constantly compete with each other in this race towards corruption. Man is to choose his way from either the East or West which ultimately ends up the same.
One can choose Islam's way, which respects the woman's personality and the family rights. Islam makes its utmost effort to protect the wellbeing and stability of the family and raise pious children. This is achieved through the contract or marriages, 95% of which are monogamous and the rest polygamous.
Now that the subject or family and the rights of men and women has been discussed within Eastern and Western disciplines we shall investigate the matter through the eyes of Islam.