Chapter 8: On the Adab of marriage and children

1. In al-Khisal: In his narration from ‘Ali (as) who said: Get married, for verily marriage is a sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) and he would say: “Whoever likes to follow my sunnah (should marry) for marriage is from my sunnah.”1

2. In al-Kafi: Narrated from Ma’mar ibn Khallad who said: I heard ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Rid’a (as) saying: Three things are from the sunnah of the messengers: Perfume, removal of (excess) hair from the body and increased intimate relations with their wives.2

Note: al-Saduq, al-Tusi and others have mentioned similar narrations with numerous chains of narrators.3

3. From al-Murtad’a in Risalat al-Muhkam wal-Mutashabih: In his narrative from Tafsir al-Nu’mani from ‘Ali (as) who said: A group of companions had deprived themselves of intimacy with their wives, eating during the day and sleeping at night. Umm Salamah informed the Noble Prophet (S) about this so he came to his companions and said: “Do you abstain from relations with your wives whereas I come to my wives and eat during the day and sleep at night? Therefore, the one who does not follow my sunnah is not from me.”4

Note: Similar narrations have been mentioned in other books with different chains of narrators.5

4. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) said: From the akhlaq of the prophets (as) is love for women.6

5. Also, narrated from Bakkar ibn Kurdam, without one narrator, from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) said: The light of my eyes was found in salah and my delight (found) in the women.7

Note: A similar narration can be found with other chains of narrators.

6. In al-Faqih he said: When the Noble Prophet (S) wanted to marry a lady, he would send someone to look at her (first).8

7. In Tafsir al-Ayyashi: From al-Hasan ibn Bint Ilyas who said: I heard Aba al-Hasan al-Rid’a (as) saying: Allah (SwT) made the night (source of) tranquility and He made the women (source of) tranquility. It is from the sunnah to marry at night and serve food to the people (on the occasion of marriage).9

8. In al-Faqih: In his narration from Harun ibn Muslim who said: I wrote to Sahib al-Dar (as): A child was born to me, then I cut his hair and weighed it against dirhams and gave to charity. He (S) said: It is not permissible to weigh it except against gold or silver, and this is the sunnah.10

9. In al-Khisal: In his narration from ‘Ali (as) who said: On the seventh day, perform the ‘aqiqah11 for your children and give the equivalent of the weight of their hair in silver as charity to a Muslim. This is what the Holy Prophet (S) did for al-Hasan and al-Husayn (as) and all of his other children.12

Addendum to this Chapter

1. In al-Faqih: The Holy Prophet (S) said: Verily the best from among you is the one who is good to his wives, and I am the best from among you (in being good) to my wives.13

2. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Ibn Mahbub, without one narrator, from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Noble Prophet (S) said: (Prophet) Ibrahim (as) was protective of his honor and I am more protective of my honor than he was.14

Note: This has been narrated by al-Saduq in al-Faqih and al-Tabarsi in al-Makarim.15

3. In al-Da’aim: From Ja’far ibn Muhammad (as) – in the story of Prophet Musa (as): Musa said (to the daughter of Shu’aib (as)): “Walk behind me and show me the way, for surely we (the prophets) do not look at the backs of women.”16

4. In al-Faqih: Bakr ibn Muhammad narrated from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) saying: I asked him about the temporary marriage. He (S) said: “I would not like for a person that he should leave this world while not having performed an action that was performed by the Holy Prophet (S).”17

5. In al-Makarim: From Abi Qiladah that when the Holy Prophet (S) married a virgin he would remain with her for seven days and when he married a widow he would remain with her for three days.18

6. In al-Mahasin: From al-Hasan al-Washa’ from Abi al-Hasan al-Rid’a (as): al-Najjashi sought Umm Habiba Aminah bint Abi Sufyan’s hand in marriage for the Noble Prophet (S) and when he married her, he invited (the people) for food saying: “Verily it is from the sunnah of the prophets to invite (people) for food during the marriage.”19

7. In Majma’ al-Bayan: From Abi Qilabah: The Holy Prophet (S) would divide (equally) among his wives saying: “O Allah! This is my division of what I have so please do not blame me for what you have and I don’t have.”20

8. In al-Tusi’s Amali: From Umm Salamah, wife of the Holy Prophet (S), that she said: The Prophet (S) performed his last Hajj (Hajjatul-Wida’) along with his wives and he would come to one wife every day and night, wanting to be fair to all of them.21

9. In al-Majma’: When the Holy Prophet (S) completed his morning prayer, he would visit his all wives one by one.22

10. In al-Ja’fariyat: In his narration from ‘Ali (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) said: All pastimes are futile except for three: archery practice, training your horse and playing with your family, as this is from the sunnah.23

11. In Majma’ al-Bayan: From Ja’far al-Sadiq from his fathers (as) that even when the Noble Prophet (S) was sick, he would ask to be taken to the house of the wife whose turn it was (to be with him).24

12. In al-Faqih: From al-Halabi, from Abi ‘Abdillah from his father (as): Maymuna (wife of the Holy Prophet (S)) used to say: “When I had my monthly periods, the Holy Prophet (S) used to tell me to tie a cloth and cover myself and come to sleep with him on the bed.”25

13. In al-Kafi: From Hammad ibn ‘Isa from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: My father said: The Noble Prophet (S) never assigned more than twelve ‘awqiyyah’ and one ‘nash’ for the dowry of his daughters and wives. An ‘awqiyyah’ and a ‘nash’ being the equivalent to forty and twenty dirhams respectively.26

Note: al-Kulayni has mentioned similar narrations with other chains of narrators and this has also been narrated by al-Saduq in al-Ma’ani, al-Tusi in al-Tahdhib and Ibn Shahr ashib in al-Manaqib.27

14. In al-Makarim: He (S) would supplicate:

أَللٌّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ وَلَدٍ يَكُونُ عَلَيَّ رَبًّا وَ مِنْ مَالٍ يَكُونُ عَلَيَّ ضَـيَاعاً وَ مِنْ زَوْجَةٍ تُشَـيِّـبَنِي قَبْلَ أَوَانَ مَشِيـبَتِي.

“O Allah! I seek refuge with You from an offspring who would rule over me, and from the wealth that would be the cause of my destruction and from the wife who would make me old before my time.”28

Note: Another similar narration has been mentioned by al-Kulayni from al-Sakuni from Abi ‘Abdillah (as)29

15. In ‘Uddat al-Da’i: al-Rid’a (as) said: “Whenever a son was born to us we would name him Muhammad and after seven days we would change his name if we wished otherwise we would leave it as it is.”30

16. Also: In the mornings, the Holy Prophet (S) would caress the heads of his children and his grandchildren.31

17. al-Sayyid Hashim al-Tawbali in Madinat al-Ma’ajiz from the book Musnad Fatima (as) in his narration from ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdillah from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: When Fatima (as) moved to the house of ‘Ali (as) on the first night of their marriage, Jibra’il, Mika’il and Israfil descended and Jibra’il gave a cry of takbir and so did Mika’il and Israfil followed by all the (other) angels and it became a sunnah (to recite takbir) on the first night, until the Day of Reckoning.32

Note: A similar narration can be found in al-Faqih and in the Amali of Shaykh Tusi. In some sources (it has been narrated thus): ...and the Muslims recited takbir and it was the first time takbir was recited on the first night of marriage so it became the sunnah (from then on).

18. In al-Khisal from ‘Ali (as) who said: Sweeten the mouths of your newborn children with dates, and this is what the Holy Prophet (S) did with al-Hasan and al-Husayn (as).33

Note: This is also narrated by al-Tabarsi in al-Makarim and Ibn Sha’bah in Tuhf al-’Uqul34

19. In al-Makarim: al-Sadiq (as) said: There are seven actions that are sunnah to perform when a son is born. First he is to be named. Second, his head is shaved. Third, charity is given out in the amount equal to the weight of his hair in silver or gold if possible. Fourth, the ‘aqiqah is performed. Fifth, his head is smeared with saffron. Sixth, he is purified by circumcision. Seventh, the neighbors are provided with the meat from his ‘aqiqah.35

20. Also: From the Noble Prophet (S): Circumcision is a sunnah for men and an honor for women.36

21. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Mus’adah ibn Sadaqah from Abi ‘Abdillah (As) who said: Piercing the ear of a boy is from the sunnah and circumcision after seven days is (also) from the sunnah.37

Note: al-Kulayni narrated this with another chain of narrators and al-Tabarsi mentions a similar narration in al-Makarim.38

22. In Ikmal al-Din: From Abi Ahmad Muhammad ibn Ziyad al-Azadi: When al-Rid’a (as) was born, I heard Aba al-Hasan Musa ibn Ja’far (as) saying: This son of mine was born circumcised, pure and purified, and all the Imams were born circumcised, pure and purified, but I will still pass over him with a razor in order to fulfill the sunnah and follow the rite of al-Hanafiyya.39

Note: A similar narration is mentioned in al-Makarim.40

23. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Ma’mar ibn Khathim in a hadith from Abi Ja’far (as): We give appellations to our children when they are small lest they be given undesirable appellatives later.41

24. In al-Kafi: In his narration from al-Sakuni from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: “It is sunnah and virtuous for a man to use an appellation with his father’s name.” And in some copies: “with his son’s name.”42

25. Also: In his narration from al-Halabi from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: We instruct our sons to pray when they reach the age of five, so instruct your sons to pray when they reach the age of seven. We tell our sons to fast when they become seven years old - for as much of the day as they are able to – be it for half of the daytime or more than that or less, and if they are overcome by thirst they would break their fast, until they make it a habit and gain the ability to fast for the whole day. So when your sons become nine years old, instruct them to fast for as much of the day as they are able to, and if they are overcome by thirst, let them break their fast.43

Note: This has also been narrated by al-Saduq in al-Faqih.44

26. In Majmu’at Warram: It is narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that when his family was struck by poverty or misfortune he said: “Stand for prayer.” And he would say: “This is what my Lord has ordered me to do.” Allah (SwT) has said: “And bid your family to prayer and be steadfast in its maintenance. We do not ask any provision of you. It is we who provide for you, and the outcome will be in favor of God wariness.”45

27. In al-Muqni’: When the Holy Prophet (S) wanted to marry a woman he would send (a lady) to her saying: “Smell the base of her neck, for if her neck smells good so does her perspiration, and if her ankles are fleshy, she has greater libido.”46

28. From al-Durr al-Manthur: From al-Mughira ibn Shu’bah who said: Sa’d ibn ‘Ibadah said: “If I were to see a man with my wife I would strike him with my sword.” The Noble Prophet (S) was informed about this so he said: “Are you surprised about the sense of honor of Sa’d? By Allah I have a greater sense of honor than Sa’d and Allah has a greater sense of honor than me, and it is because of this that he has prohibited indecent acts, both open and hidden, and none is more honorable than Allah.”47

29. Khadijah (as) was the first person to believe in Allah (SwT) and His Prophet and she accepted what he brought from Allah and assisted him in his mission and by her, Allah lightened the burden of the Holy Prophet (S). He (S) would really become frustrated when people turned a deaf ear or tried to belie him and this would make him very sad. Allah (SwT) relieved him by her. When he would return home to her, she would support him, comfort him and ease away the tension of the people - until she passed away, may Allah have mercy on her.48

30. Whenever he (S) remembered Khadijah (as), he would never get tired of praising her and seeking forgiveness for her.49

31. Nawadir al-Rawandi: The Holy Prophet (S) said: We, the Ahl al-Bayt, have been blessed with seven traits that none before us had nor will anyone after us have: gracefulness, eloquence, generosity, bravery, knowledge, gentleness and love for women.50

  • 1. al-Khisal: 614
  • 2. al-Kafi 5:350
  • 3. al-Faqih 3:382, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 7:403, Tuhf al-’Uqul: 442
  • 4. al-Muhkam wal-Mutashabih: 73
  • 5. Da`aim al-Islam 2:191, Jami’ al-Akhbar: 271
  • 6. al-Kafi 5:32, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 7:403, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 197
  • 7. al-Kafi 5:321
  • 8. al-Faqih 3:388, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 7:402, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 199, al-Mustadrak 14:180
  • 9. Tafsir al-Ayyashi 1:371 - Surat al-An’am, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 7:418, Tafsir al-Burhan 1:544 – Surat al-An’am (6), Tuhf al-’Uqul: 445
  • 10. al-Faqih 3:481
  • 11. Slaughtering of a goat on the occasion of the birth of a child. (Tr.)
  • 12. al-Khisal: 619, Tuhf al-’Uqul: 109
  • 13. al-Faqih 4:443
  • 14. al-Kafi 5:536, al-Mahasin 1:115
  • 15. al-Faqih 3:444, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 239
  • 16. Da`aim al-Islam 2:201
  • 17. al-Faqih 3:463, al-Mustadrak 14:451, Bihar al-Anwar 103:305
  • 18. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 213
  • 19. al-Mahasin 2:418
  • 20. Majma’ al-Bayan 3:121 – Surat al-Nisa (4)
  • 21. Amali al-Tusi 2:89
  • 22. Majma’ al-Bayan 10:313 – Surat al-Tahrim (66)
  • 23. al-Ja’fariyat: 87
  • 24. Majma’ al-Bayan 3:121 – Surat al-Nisa (4)
  • 25. al-Faqih: 1:99
  • 26. al-Kafi 5:376
  • 27. Manaqib Ale Abi Talib 1:161
  • 28. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 203
  • 29. al-Kafi 5:326
  • 30. ‘Uddat al-Da’i: 77
  • 31. ‘Uddat al-Da’i: 79, Bihar al-Anwar 104:99
  • 32. Narrated by al-Nuri in al-Mustadrak 14:197, Dala`il al-Imamah: 25
  • 33. al-Khisal: 637
  • 34. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 229, Tuhf al-’Uqul: 124
  • 35. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 228, Bihar al-Anwar 104:122
  • 36. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 229, al-Da`awat: 283, al-Mustadrak 15:149, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 7:445
  • 37. al-Kafi 6:35
  • 38. al-Kafi 6:36, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 230
  • 39. Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mah 2:433
  • 40. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 230
  • 41. al-Kafi 6:20, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 7:438
  • 42. al-Kafi 2:162, al-Ja’fariyat: 189, al-Mustadrak 15:131, Bihar al-Anwar 104:131
  • 43. al-Kafi 3:409, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 2:380
  • 44. al-Faqih 1:280
  • 45. Majmu’at Warram 1:184, Musakkin al-Fawa`id: 50, al-Mustadrak 6:395, Surat Taha (20): 132
  • 46. al-Muqni’: 100, al-Faqih 3:388, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 7:402, al-Mustadrak 14:180
  • 47. al-Durr al-Manthur 3:81 – Surat al-A’raf (7)
  • 48. Bihar al-Anwar 16:10
  • 49. Bihar al-Anwar 16:12
  • 50. Nawadir al-Rawandi: 15, Bihar al-Anwar 103:228