This book was first printed on the 10th day of Bahman, 1342 (January 30, 1964). In response to overwhelming requests for the book by the public, the second printing soon got underway. In addition to revealing many important truths to fathers and children, the book was also revised and republished in Mordad of 1343 (August 1964). Minor revisions were made in the third and fourth editions. The present work, the ninth edition, is being published by the Daftar-e-Nashr-e Farhang-e-Islami, Tehran.
The topics presented in this book are a series of discussions on responsibilities of fathers and mothers towards their children and vice versa. During these discussions, the parent's sincerity and love for their children as well as their mutual hopes and expectations are portrayed. There is no doubt that such topics are very important. Not only are they not to be ignored, but should be considered as top priorities by the caring head of every family.
The fact that youth are caught between the new and old schools of thought (the so called generation gap) on the one hand, and that parents are helplessly confronted with their children's new ways of thinking on the other, are not matters to be dealt with lightly. Both generations are troubled by these perplexities and thus ways and means by which to find an equitable solution are greatly needed. Towards fulfilling this important task, the present work attempts to point out the mutual compatibilities that do exist.
The subjects discussed in this book are brought out through a series of dialogues. The fictitious characters of father and child carry on conversations in such a frank and lively fashion that they will undoubtedly touch the hearts of everyone. Current events and everyday situations have been taken under consideration in this book as much as possible. In each instance, the father and his child are engaged in truly frank heart-to-heart discussion and exchange their thoughts quite freely.exchange their thoughts quite freely.
The author's aim, through the writing of this book, is to help parents and their children enjoy the best of relationships, which is also in accordance with the divine guidance of Islam. This relationship would be free of unpleasant encounters, there would be a recognition and respect of mutual rights, and above all, there would be mutual love and fulfillment of divine responsibilities. The author's aim, through the writing of this book, is to help parents and their children enjoy the best of relationships, which is also in accordance with the divine guidance of Islam. This relationship would be free of unpleasant encounters, there would be a recognition and respect of mutual rights, and above all, there would be mutual love and fulfillment of divine responsibilities.
Generally speaking, where do differences originate? Why are relations sometimes strained between parent and child? Why should each has his own separate ways unconcerned with the other's feelings? And finally, if one of them is following a righteous straight path, why not the other one joins him? Is such a mistrust brought about because of influence of the poisonous thoughts? Or is the environment to be blamed?
How about the differences of opinion and differences between the old and new ideas due to misunderstandings by the former? Finally, what has created such a wide Generation Gap? The answer is probably that any one of more of the above causes could be responsible for child deviation and friction with his father. But, in any case our job here is first to identify the cause and then to offer the remedy leading to a better understanding between them.
On the subject matter of the responsibilities of fathers and children towards each other, child rearing. Guidance in case of deviations, and the remedy of the differences of opinion between them, the topics are countless. Considering different parameters, we may expand the dimensions of our discussion and may enlarge the scope of research, especially in the present circumstances when the sun of Islam is slowly rising upon the horizon. In the same manner that his shining glory brightened the land of the Arabian Peninsula, and later spread to all distant corners of the earth, its glistening rays have engulfed our country.
The signs of blasphemy are being rid of one after another. The Islamic culture has come once again, out of the closet1 and is being accepted heartily by masses of the people. The suppressed and the underdog, as well as the oppressed and the poor, have found a new hope for the vindication of their natural rights. In such an environment, in addition to religious and moral questions, we are confronted with political and social ones, each of which is worthy of research and deliberation.
Thank Allah that the policies and the course of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran are becoming progressively clearer and the clouds of doubt are vanishing from them. However this does not mean that we should no longer investigate and research any problem to which we may encounter. Of course, a detailed comprehensive discussion regarding all the problems is out of the scope of such a brief book. Here, I have tried to address some of the problems to the extent it was possible to do so. Thank Allah that the policies and the course of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran are becoming progressively clearer and the clouds of doubt are vanishing from them. However this does not mean that we should no longer investigate and research any problem to which we may encounter. Of course, a detailed comprehensive discussion regarding all the problems is out of the scope of such a brief book. Here, I have tried to address some of the problems to the extent it was possible to do so.
As soon as this book was published and reached in the hands of its readers, many of them conveyed their thanks to the author through their encouraging letters. More than anything else, the clarity and simplicity of the subjects implied in this book were appreciated. And as far as I know, these small efforts have not been ineffective as there are individuals who have been guided by them. And therewith, many fathers and children have replaced hard feelings and disagreements with peace and reconciliation between themselves, returning to a pleasant normal life.
Such is the story of one of the brothers in Islam who came one day to my house with his old father. He then explained about their difficulties and the fact that reading the book “How to bridge The Generation Gap?” has awakened him to this mistake and that he had expressed his apologies to his father and asked for forgiveness and reconciliation from him. has awakened him to this mistake and that he had expressed his apologies to his father and asked for forgiveness and reconciliation from him.
The Islamic Culture from the standpoints of social, ethical, daily family affairs, and human relations is a very rich one. Also, it has contributed significantly for enrichment of other cultures in the world. Besides the Glorious Holy Qur'an,1 such masterpieces as Nahjul-Balaghah,2 Al-Sahifah Al-Sajjadiyyah,3 and other authentic narrations Haddiths have for long offered us assistance and guidance in finding ways to an ideal society.
In fact, they act as if they have silent, but existing, teachers hidden between every other line throughout their pages. You shall notice a few samples in the following pages. They are all written in the Arabic language. It is with regret that not all of us are familiar with Arabic to be able to take advantage of these vast Islamic treasures. One cannot help but wonder why, in spite of all these, we are still seeking help from non-Islamic sources.
Of course, some authors have already translated some of these works and have offered them to the public. I am hoping that those of our learned and knowledgeable authors who have mastered the Arabic language, and who I am certain are well versed in these excellent culture sources; will fulfill their responsibilities to Islam through translating them not only into Persian but also into other languages. By doing so they may discharge their due obligations towards dear Islam and its ideal rich culture. Of course, some authors have already translated some of these works and have offered them to the public. I am hoping that those of our learned and knowledgeable authors who have mastered the Arabic language, and who I am certain are well versed in these excellent culture sources; will fulfill their responsibilities to Islam through translating them not only into Persian but also into other languages. By doing so they may discharge their due obligations towards dear Islam and its ideal rich culture.
Some of our readers may complain that why, in spite of such a rich Islamic Culture and able Muslim writers, we are relying on foreign sources. In response, I have to mention that unfortunately, due to the extensive Western propaganda in the past, they have created a sort of Westoxicated mentality, especially among our youth. This has made them strongly attracted towards the Western literary works.
Therefore, it was in this background that references were made to the quotations of some famous Western writers to attract the attention of the West-toxicated youths. Also to bring to their attention that the learned Western scholars have already acknowledged the greatness of the work done by the Islamic authors and have bowed their heads in front of the excellence of the rich Islamic culture.
However, thanks to Almighty Allah that, with the victory of Islamic Revolution, now the Muslim youth have gone through a deep internal intellectual revolution of their own throughout the world. A strong faith in the teachings of Islam is apparent in them. And in short, they have fallen in love with the Islamic Culture. However, thanks to Almighty Allah that, with the victory of Islamic Revolution, now the Muslim youth have gone through a deep internal intellectual revolution of their own throughout the world. A strong faith in the teachings of Islam is apparent in them. And in short, they have fallen in love with the Islamic Culture.
If at times, in order to prove a point of truth, we rely on someone's words, it does not necessarily mean that we always approve of all his words or deeds. We sometimes even quote our enemies. For instance, they say that Muawiyyah had said the following about Imam ‘Ali (a.s):
لوملك بيتا من تبروبيتا من تبن لا نفد تبره قبل تبنه
“If ‘Ali had two houses, one filled with gold and the other with straw, he would donate in the way of Allah, the former the later.” 4
Also, they say that Marwan has said the following about Imam Hassan (a.s):
يوازن حلمه الجبال
“Imam Hassan's clemency equates mountains.” 5
The author expects all the fathers and the children who wish to solve their problems and misunderstandings by reading this book to do so thoroughly and in an unbiased manner. And the, for the final decision, rely on their own intuitional judgement.
I hope and pray that through the blessings of the concealed facts beneath the words in this book and of the spirit of its sentences, and of the heart of its subject matters; each and every one of the readers will find the truth leading him?
Her to experience an internal spiritual revolution. May then, they be able to identify their wrongdoings they may have committed by depriving a person of his or her rights. And thereby, to offer their apologies and to make up for their past ill deeds. And, in case of they have been conducting themselves in a pleasing way, to keep up the good work.
I ask Allah to grant all fathers, mothers and their children sincerity, health and happiness.
Sayyid Mohammad Taqi Hakim
15th Rabiul Thani 1403
10th Bahman 1361
30th January 1982
- 1. Very recently, Radio Moscow (Russia) broadcasted a programme Face of Islam, announcing that the words of the Holy Qur'an are the words of an ever-living God for all the places and for all the times, and are not limited to the period of the prophet Mohammad (p.b. u. h.). Moscow is the capital of former USSR, where they waged war against God for last seventy years. Also, most recently in Holland a Muslim soldier in a ceremony for taking the Oath of Allegiance, refused to be sworn in the name of the Queen of Holland. He was able to get exceptional constitutional permission to take his oath in the name of Allah (Key han sept 26 1994)
- 2. Nahjul-Balagah: The Path of Eloquence is a book containing sermon, letters, orders and some of the sayings of the Commander of the Faithful Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) as compiled by Syed Razi. These sermons and preaching of Imam ‘Ali (as) were so highly valued and venerated in the Islamic world that within a century of his death they were taught and read as the last word on the philosophy of Monotheism, as the best lectures of character building, as exalted sources of inspiration, as persuasive sermons towards piety and as guiding beacons towards truth and justice. They present the marvellous eulogies of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Qur'an. These sermons are the most convincing discourse on the spiritual values of Islam, and contain the most awe inspiring discussions about the attributes of Allah.
The Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) was the first perfect exemplar of the teachings of the Most Noble Messenger (S.) 'Ali was raised by him from early childhood and followed him like a shadow until the very end of the latter's life. He was like a moth before the prophetic flame; the final moment when he was separated from the Most Noble Messenger (S.) was when he embraced his corpse and laid it to rest.
'‘Ali (as) was the first person after the Most Noble Messenger (S.) to approach spiritual realities in the manner of philosophical reflection, that is, by free exercise of reason. He used many technical terms and laid out and organized the rules of Arabic grammar in order to protect the Holy Qur'an from copyists’' error. The exact scholarship, spiritual culture, and consideration of ethical, social, political, and even mathematical Problems shown in ‘Ali's (as) discourses, letters, and other documents that have reached us are astonishing.
The wealth of these documents makes ‘Ali (as) the best known individual among Muslims to have a full realization of the sublime goals of the Holy Qur'an and the critical and practical concepts of Islam as they should be realized. They testify to the soundness of the Prophetic saying, I am the city of knowledge, and ‘Ali is its gate.
انَا مَدِينةٌ العِلم, و علَيٌّ بَابُهِا
Furthermore, he combined this knowledge with action. In short, Ali's outstanding character is beyond description, and is virtues are innumerable. Never in history has someone's character drawn the attention of the world's scholars and thinkers to such an extent.
- 3. Al Sahifah Al-Sajjadiyyah: includes certain supplications quoted from Imam Zain al-Abidin Ali b. Husain b. Ali ibn Abi Talib. (as) He is one of the Imams belonging to the household of the Prophet whom Allah has kept pure and free of defilement. The Imam was the fourth in line of the Imams of the Prophet's household. Imam Ali ibn Al-Husain (as), was born in the year 38 A.H or, perhaps as is conjucted, a little before that and lived for a period of 57 years.
Imam al-Shafi considered Imam “Ali ibn al-Husain (as) as the most supreme jurist of all the people of Medina” Abd al-Malik bin Marwan said to him, “In the area of religious sciences, in devotion and piety, you have been granted that which no one before you has had other than your ancestors”. Further Umar bin Abd al-Aziz said, The light of this life, the beauty of Islam is Zain al-Abidin” Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah represents and stands out as a profound social work of the time and a reflection of a supreme endeavor to meet the exigencies of spiritual ordeals facing the society at the time of the Imam. But beyond this it is a profound collection of supplications in the divine tradition, a unique compilation which will remain throughout the ages as a gift to mankind, a work of moral inspiration for worldly conduct and a torch of guidance. Human beings will constantly remain in need of this heavenly souvenir; and the need increases whenever Satan comes to increase the allurements of the world for people and by its fascination to keep them in bondage.
- 4. Nahjul Balagah ibn Abi Al-Hadith Vol. 1.p.22
- 5. Maqatul-Altalibeen p.49.