The Tenth Talk
In the previous talk we discussed the advantages of forming families. One very significant advantage for the partners to establish a family is the natural satisfaction of the sex instinct. The other, and very important, advantage is providing virtuous and healthy progeny to the society. The enemies of humanity always devise stratagems to ensure that virtuous members are not there in the societies. This is the reason that the institution of the ‘family’ is attacked by them. This is also the reason for making immodesty so common. It is your duty to give importance to the family so that a healthy progeny is turned over to society. This will help to control the effects of Western Culture.
Today's topic of discussion is about the fact that a decent man and wife are the source of comfort and contentment for each other. This is reflected in one of the verses of the Holy Quran:
وَ مِنْ ءَايَتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكمُ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَجًا لِّتَسْكُنُواْ إِلَيْهَا
And of his signs is this: He created for you helpmates from yourselves that ye might find rest in them..... (Sura ar-Rum, 30: 21)
One of the signs from Allah is that he has created man for woman and the woman for man! If we analyse the human nature we find that a man without a woman remains incomplete. Similarly a spinster woman is incomplete without a man. In fact a man and a woman combine to form a complete identity i.e. each one is dependant on the other. In the view of the Holy Quran man is the support for woman, and similarly the woman is a support for man. In this world everyone needs a confidante. If we consider human nature, and the guidance given by the Holy Quran, the best source of comfort for a person in difficult times is his or her wife or husband! Wa ja-ala bainakum mawadda wa rahmat -Allah has created wife and husband as well-wishers of each other. By nature, man and wife love each other.
If we don't destroy this abode of peace, then man and wife are always a source of comfort and peace for each other. Pity on the home which offers no peace to the man or wife ! These people are like the insomniacs who don’t get sleep. Look at a person who doesn't get sleep. How restless such a person is! He cannot think properly. His body becomes sick. According to the Holy Quran sleep is the cause of comfort for the living creatures. Similarly the Holy Quran says that man and woman are the cause of comfort for each other. Therefore a man who remains single has no means of comfort. A woman who is a spinster is like a person who is suffering from insomnia. Man and wife are a source of comfort for each other. It is our duty to protect and promote the institution of marriage and formation of families!
According to the Holy Quran, man and wife are not only the source of mutual comfort, but are like ornaments for each other. The Holy Book says:
هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَ أَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُن
They are raiment for you and ye are raiment for them. ..... (Sura al Baqarah, 2: 187)
There are two or three meanings of the word 'raiment' in the verse. One meaning is that the wife is an ornament for the husband just as a good raiment is an ornamentation for him. The Holy Quran itself is witness to this fact that it says:
يَبَنىِ ءَادَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكمُْ عِندَ كلُِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَ كُلُواْ وَ اشرَْبُواْ وَ لَا تُسرِْفُواْ إِنَّهُ لَا يحُِبُّ الْمُسرِْفِين
O Children of Adam! Put on your adornment on every occasion of prayer, and eat and drink, but do not waste; indeed Allah does not like the wasteful. ( Sura al-A’raaf 7:31)
This means that when you plan to go out anywhere - to the mosque or to a meeting - dress properly and decently. Here the term 'raiment' connotes ornamentation and the meaning of the words hunna libasun lakum wa antum libasun lahun is that women are their husbands' ornamentation and they are the ornaments for their wives. The other meaning of the word 'raiment' here is that a wife is the protection for the man and prevents him from going astray. The man too performs this task for his wife. The third meaning of the word 'raiment' is that man and wife are satar or coverings for each other. A man who is single is devoid of the cover that a wife provides and similarly a spinster too is devoid of this cover or protection in the absence of a mate. In a nutshell, the verse says that the man and wife are adornments and covers for each other. We should therefore take care of our adornments and coverings.
Imam Jafar e Sadiq (a.s.) has said that the husband is like a necklace for the wife. As the necklace is an ornament for a woman, a husband too is an ornament for the wife. Then the Imam (a.s.) observed that one should take care what type of woman one chooses for a spouse. The Imam (a.s.) further added that if one has a virtuous wife, then he has a big blessing. A good wife is an invaluable possession. She is worth more than any amount of gold and silver. If the wife is not good, she is worthless, even less than a handful of sand! The same is true for a husband. If he is modest and his wife is pleased with him then it is a great blessing. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says that if husband and wife are compatible and are ornamentation for each other, then definitely this is a great blessing.
In addition to being a source of comfort and protection for each other, the home is a place of amusement for the man and wife. This is definitely so if the home is as has been defined and ordained by Islam. If the wife fits into the definition of a spouse as given by Islam and the husband fits into the standard fixed for him, then the best place for amusement is the home itself! It is possible that at this meeting there are present many husbands whose hearts are with their wives at home! They would love to reach the comfort of the home after a full day of toil and hard work! Also it is possible that in the gathering there are ladies who are eagerly looking forward to their husbands returning home after performing their duties and business. They look forward to the husband's familiar knock at the door to welcome him and dispel all his cares and tiredness with a smile of welcome! The Prophet of Islam (s) has observed thus on the subject:
There is no greater blessing for a Muslim man after Islam than a Muslim wife who causes him joy when he looks at her. (Wasail alShia, Vol 14, page 23)
The smile of a man and wife, for each other, is a source of joy and pleasure. It is mentioned in the traditions that the value of a good wife is far more than that of gold and silver. In fact if there is anything that is most valuable after the faith of Islam, it is a good spouse for a person! The most pleasurable thing for a wife is to converse happily with her husband. Men should take care to make their wives happy and the women too should strive towards the same end.
A man came to the Prophet of Allah (s) and said, "O Prophet of Allah! My wife is so thoughtful that when I reach home, she herself comes to open the door and receives me with a smile. She gives me attention and converses with me. Whenever I am unhappy and tired, she humors me to dispel my unhappiness and tiredness!" The Prophet (s) said, “This woman is a servant of Allah! She is an angel and will get the same rewards for her actions as the angels get! Her actions are most valuable!"
Men too can be like that. They should know that it is only their wives who can provide them comfort. The wife's smile and her talk provide comfort to the husband. If there is no love and care in a home, the atmosphere there becomes very unpleasant. Such atmosphere is not only harmful to the husband and wife, but it badly affects the children as well. You will notice that children from homes where the atmosphere is not good have inferior abilities and poor memories when compared with other children. Remember, the shortcomings in the children are due to the mistakes of the parents. When there is no atmosphere of love and affection at home, the man becomes a victim of psychological ailments. The home then becomes a prison for him.
It happens sometimes that a husband prefers to sitting at the wayside cafe till late in the night rather than going home. In certain homes the wife doesn't bother to find out about her husband. It is our own fault that we have destroyed these abodes of comfort and peace by using harsh words. This happens even after they have become old or are materially very well off. Beauty is not just in dressing well but actual beauty is in the way the eyes if the other person perceives you
Perhaps the fable of Laila and Majnoon is only a fiction. But there are very good lessons in such stories. It is said that the story of the love of Laila and Majnoon reached the ears of the king of that time. The king called both of them. When they reached the court, he was surprised to see that Laila was a bedouin girl, ugly and dark with thick lips! In surprise he asked Majnoon, “How could you fall in love with this ugly girl?" Majnoon recited a couplet in reply:
"If you had seen Laila with Majnoon's eyes, you would have seen nothing but beauty in her!"
People used to tell Majnoon that he was running after a dark, ugly looking girl. He would reply that darker the musk, the more fragrant it would be!
If a wife loves her husband she will not dwell on his shortcomings. If someone tells a woman that her husband has some failings, she stands up in his defence. She does this, even if the complainant is her own mother or father! If the husband loves his wife, he too will come to her defence. She may not be very good looking, but for him she is the fairest of the fair! It is not necessary that women approach sorcerers to gain the love of their husbands. This is a big sin.
One woman came to the Prophet of Islam (s) and said, "O Prophet of Allah! I have committed a sin. I tried to win the love of my husband through sorcery." The Prophet (s) was furious and said, “You have turned the sky into earth, and the earth to sky! You have rendered your world dark! Pity on you!" The woman was very penitent and busied herself in perpetual prayer. The Prophet (s) learned about this activity and said, “Allah will not pardon her! He will not pardon her!" The meaning of the Prophet's observation is that the real repentance for the woman should have been in going home to serve her husband and home i.e. not to abandon the world while being fully engrossed only in worship. According to the Holy Prophet (s) if a lady desires the attention of her husband and wants him to be happy with her, then she should look after her husband, their house and the children well. He will automatically love her even if she is not good looking. Similarly if a husband desires to have the love and affection of his wife, he should treat her with respect and it is imperative that he does not use foul language. Foul language is a major cause of termination of love and affection between people. When he enters home, he should not vent his anger on his wife. The problems outside have come on him and his wife should not have to bear the brunt of his problems Upon entering the house do not complain and wail in front of children nor fight with your wife as these are great sins that cause Fishare Qabr (the squuzing of the grave) when the person dies!
One of the close companions of the Prophet (s) died. The Prophet (s) himself attended his burial. The people said that the person was lucky that he was interred in his grave by the Holy Prophet (s). The Prophet (s) observed, "The grave has given him so much fishar that the bones of his ribs have shattered!" The companions asked, “O Prophet of Allah (s)! He was a good man! Why did he suffer this hardship?" The Prophet (s) replied, “He was a good person but he always fought with his wife and behaved badly at home!"
A Muslim should not be foul mouthed. If someone uses abusive language, he is not a Muslim. God forbid! If someone beats his wife! If he does that, he is a shameless person, he is not a Muslim. However much learned or “forward-minded” the person might be, he will taste the hardship of Fishare Qabr when he dies. Such persons are not the friends of Allah, the Prophet (s), and the Imams (a.s.). The Prophet of Islam (s) used to say that on The Day of Judgment two groups will have such long tongues that they would be touching the ground and others will trample their tongues! The companions asked, “Who these people will be?" The Prophet (s) replied, "The first group will be of the persons who backbite about others and are always finding faults in others. The other group will consist of women who misbehaved with their husbands, and the men who verbally abused their wives!"
Some persons deceptively look very respectable but, in fact, they are so immature that in the presence of their impressionable children they use abusive language. For example they address their children as: “the son of a dog!" or "son of a donkey!". Such people are in fact using foul language to address themselves; they should realize that the father of a dog is also a dog. If a person becomes foul-mouthed at home and irritable, this becomes his habit. His dog-like behavior is clear to others, but he himself is unaware of his own bad habit. If he had insight, he would have realized his dog-like behavior.
The persons who call their sons dogs in a rage of anger and use abusive language against their wives, themselves develop the traits of dogs. If someone had the vision and insight of Allama Majlisi or Sadr al Muta'aleheen, he would have seen himself as a dog! Ladies should not get angry. You may be known in the society for your looks or your youthfulness, but the angels see you as nothing more than a she-dog. Perhaps you have a very imposing personality and the society views you with respect, but because of your foul-mouth you may render yourself into a virtual dog! When the angels in the skies look at you, you appear like a dog to them. It has come in the narratives that the misbehavior at home and use of abusive language or beatings change the status of a person. When this person dies, his spirit goes to Allah and from there it proceeds to Heaven or Hell. On the way it passes through all the stages, and when the spirit of this ill-mannered person reaches the seventh sky, the inhabitants say that a dog has arrived! Are people with such bad manners desirous of going to Allah in the form of a dog!
If you heed today's talk, then your home will be a place of peace and comfort. If a husband and wife become a source of support and comfort for each other and if they become a beautification for each other, then when they die, the angels praise them. Allah will be happy with such persons and, certainly, they will be destined for the Heaven!
O Allah! For the sake of the children of Abi Abdallah al Husayn, make our homes, our spouses and our children sources of comfort. O Allah! Give good wives and husbands to our sons and daughters who bring joy in their lives!