Chapter 32: Affection
Man is ever thirsty for love and affection. Love gives life. to hearts. One, who loves oneself wishes that others too should have similar feelings for him, feels happy in his heart. When a person feels that none in this world loves him: feels forlorn and hapless. He will therefore be always sad and melancholy. The child too is a man in miniature and, in fact, needs more love and affection than the adults. As the child needs nutrition, so does he need love and affection?
The child does not care if he is living in a palace or a shack. But he knows it pretty well whether he is getting the love and affection of his companions or not. From the feeling of love and care the child proceeds on the path of growth and well being. The fountainhead of good character is love and affection. Under the reflection of love the feelings and thoughts of a child can be nurtured properly to make him a good human being.
The child who receives profuse love will have a happy spirit and heart. He will not be a victim of disappointment. He will turn into a person who is confident, good-natured and self-respecting. He will not become a victim of psychological problems. The children who have received the love and affection of the elders are better prepared to face the harsh realities and problems of the adult life.
A girl who has received the love and affection of her parents, and her household, is endowed with the aura of affection, will not succumb to the overtures of a boy in her youth that might affect her future life. A boy who had his upbringing in the atmosphere of true love and affection will not become victim of evils like drugs and drinking.
From the psychological point of view too it is proven that the children who have received profound love and affection of their parents during their growing years are more intelligent and healthy than those who grow in dormitories away from their parents. It is another thing that children from boarding schools may have better nutrition and health care.
But those who have their upbringing in a mechanical atmosphere devoid of feelings of love and affection, and have not experienced close comfort of the company of the Parents, may not have the natural feelings of affection towards others.
A child who has not fully shared the love and affection of his parents will be a victim of the feeling of deprivation and inferiority. Mostly the cause of anger, shamelessness, short temper, depression etc is the lack of the parents love and affection during the childhood of the person.
The persons who turn to evils like theft and murder in most cases were devoid of parental love and affection in their early lives. They behave like the rebels of the society. They may even have suicidal tendencies. The newspapers and magazines are replete with stories of such unfortunate persons.
Dr Hasan Ahdi, chief of the Division of Psychiatry, of The National Society for Care of Children (Anjuman Melli Himayat Bachhagan), has conducted an experiment on five hundred convicts and concluded that the persons committed the first crime at the ages between 12 and 13. The main cause of the delinquency has been lack of love and affection from their families.
“The rudiments of most of the psychological problems can be traced to the childhood. Even the most balanced child has the problem of allaying his emotions. "1
A young person writes:
“I opened my eyes in a poor family in a small village. The upkeep of my two sisters and me was beyond the means of my parents. My grand mother took me to her home. Her circumstances were better. She loved me very much. She used to buy good dresses and other things for me.
But these comforts were no substitute for the love and affection of my mother and father that I wanted. I used to feel as if I had lost something. Many a time I used to cry inconsolably hiding from others view. I was a student of the Third Standard then. Once my father came to meet me. He asked me to come home. I was overjoyed at the prospect and immediately got ready to go.
I felt as if my troubles of years have come to an end in a moment. I advise all fathers and mothers not to deprive their children of their presence, love and affection by sending them away howsoever straitened the circumstances. They must realize that living away from the parents and being deprived of their personal love and affection will be very hard on the children. This void cannot be filled by any amount of comforts."
He writes in another letter:
“I was deprived of the love and affection of my parents. That is the reason I am now a heart broken jealous person. I am a cowardly and angry person. In childhood I used to run away from my school. With difficulty I could reach till the Sixth Standard at the school and then dropped out."
The Holy Faith of Islam, which provides great care to the process of upbringing of children, makes particular stress to love and affection for the children. The Qur’an and Hadith has volumes on the subject. Here, a few examples are sited:
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq has said:
“Because of the profound love that the parents have for their children, Allah will include them in His Blessings. (Grace)"2
Allah has said to the Prophet Moses (in a hadith al-qudsia): “Loving children is the best of acts because the purpose of their creation is for worship of Allah and witnessing the Unity of Allah. If the children die in their childhood, they would enter the Heaven. (Mustadrak al-wasail,v2, p. 615)
The Prophet of Islam said:
“Love children and be kind to them."3
“Kiss your children profusely, because every time you kiss the child, Allah will advance your position in the Heaven by one stage."4
One person told to the Prophet:
“I have not kissed any child till today."
When that person left the company of the Prophet, he told to his companions,
“In my view the person is destined for the Hell.”5
“A person who is not kind to children and not respectful to elders is not from amongst us."6
‘Ali, while making his will and last testament said:
"Be kind to children and respectful to your elders."7