Table of Contents

Chapter Six: Selection

In the previous discussions, especially the 5th chapter, some of the people for whom these discussion are arranged, would usually ask this question “How and by what means should one recognize and select a spouse”?

We gave them a short response, saying, please wait until we reach this topic and then we will give a detailed answer.

Now is the time for that.

Time to Act

Now that we have learnt the merits ad excellence of marriage, the time of marriage, the benefits of its early execution and demerits of its delay, the difficulties, hurdles and restraints on its way and their solutions and the standards of spouse selection and with the help of Allah decided to marry, how should we proceed?

Now that we have achieved the knowledge of its criteria, what is the way of identifying the spouse who may be concordant with these standards? and how can we ascertain that our standards have been secured?

Briefly, after getting to know the theory, we wish to practice it. so how must we cross this bridge?

Answer: At a time when the standards and principles are in one's hand and one knows what one wants, then moving on the way is not very difficult (although it is a small thing to do and needs concentration). It is like a traveller, who has a destination and knows which way he is heading and what is his object and goal. But such a traveller must have a guide map to reach his destination, safe and sound.

From the beginning of these discussions up to 5, the aim was described clearly (thanks to God). In this chapter, the guide map will Insha’Allah, be illustrated and clarified.

Selection

Just as different standards are set up for handing over various office and posts and individuals are selected according to those standards and specifications, similarly, for selecting the post of spouse, person must be selected according to its criteria (for both a boy and a girl). This selection has a very important role to play in the lives of both.

Perfect Recognition

The girl and boy who want to select someone as their spouse must have a complete and all out recognition of that person.

The attainment of this recognition is one of the unavoidable necessities. In any case, it is not advisable for someone who wants to spend a whole lifetime beside a person and let him share all her belongings, tie up her fate with him and make him and intimate by making an eternal commitment, whilst not having sufficient recognition of that person. Carelessness and indifference in this field is a kind of suicide, which no clever, sane person can commit.

Following the selection of faith and school of thought, there is no other selection and decision as great and important as this one. No one affect our destiny as much as our spouse, following the prophets and divine leaders. (The impacts of parents relates mostly to pre-married age. Right now we are discussing marriage.)

One wonders with what kind of words and expression one must explain this importance. I believe the various dimensions and importance of the role of a spouse in one's destiny, and the essentiality of minute care in spouse selection cannot be defined as they should be.

Even spouses themselves may not perceive and weigh their mutual effects upon each other's destiny in the practical field (because the effects are gradual), but the effect does its work in a continued and permanent way.

The marital world is really a queer and strange world, full of secrets and signals, quite amazing and based upon wisdom.

Ways Of Spouse Selection

First Way: Seeking Advice

The worth and importance of advice is quite clear and vivid, so it is not necessary to discuss it. All that is important here is how to get advice in connection with spouse selection.

A Sage Guide

It is a must for every one to select a sage and wise guide and seek his advice in all the important matters of his life, even though he may have to face a tiresome search to find such a guide. This is because a guide ha s determinant effects upon human life.

For the youth, depending upon self-opinion, not seeking counsel can be dangerous, particularly in the problems of spouse selection. It may even cause inconceivable regrets.

Allah specifies the faithful as those who seek advice:

و أمرهم شوري بينهم

“And their rule is to take counsel among themselves.”

So this sag and wise guide must be consulted and counselled on all the phases of marriage and setting up of a joint life.

The Qualities of an Adviser

One cannot seek the advice of everybody, since if the adviser does not posses the characteristics of good counselling, he will misguide and distract the one seeking advice. As a result, the harm and damage will exceed the benefit (if any).

The adviser's qualities are as follows:

1- Religiousness

An irreligious man cannot be confided in. A religious one, besides being worthy of confidence, looks at the matters from an Islamic point of view and he gives his opinion according to Islamic standards.

2- Wits And Intelligence

3- Having Sufficient Knowledge And Awareness About The Problems Of Spouse Selection And Marriage.

4- Freedom and Independence Of Opinion Expression; He may express his opinion and belief freely and fearlessly, short of any wrong consideration. A person who lacks freedom of opinion may take some incorrect policies into consideration, which may harm the advice-seeker.

5- Having Goodwill

6- Trustworthy

Parents can have an important role in this connection and be sympathetic and well-wishing advisers to the youths. They may put their views and experiences at the disposal of their children, not thrusting and imposing those on them.

An Important Reminder

The youth, after having taken the views and advice of others, should make the decisions themselves. The linkage between the advice seeker and the adviser should be like that of the pilot with the 'control tower', that is to say, he may take the information and guidance, but the control and the decision must be in his own hand. Allah says about the Prophet (S):

وشاورهم في الأمر فإذا عزمت فتوكل علي الله.

“And take counsel with them in the affair, so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah;”

Second Way: Mediator and Introducer

A person who introduces the boy and the girl for marriage is an introducer or mediator. Sometimes after introducing them, he even extends help and assistance in the process or he does not introduce, but the youth himself or his family turns to him for help in the search of a suitable person or for guidance in this regard. The worth and divine reward of this act ha s already been described.

This mediation and introduction and referring to the introducer or mediator can have a great importance in spouse selection. Therefore, one must be very careful in conducting this affair and must not depend or trust every Tom, Dick and Harry. Instead, the personality of the mediator must have some qualities. The boy and the girl also have some duties in this respect, which must be taken into consideration.

Kinds of Mediators

1- An Aware Well-Wisher

They know the standards and are familiar with the ways and means of this important responsibility and discharge it very well. One can trust confide in them.

The standard for recognizing and evaluating these 'mediators' and 'introducers' is the same as has been described in the discussion about counselling; which means, all those attributes and characteristics described for an advisor stand true and valid here too.

The advisor and introducer may be one person or two different person. That is to say, it is possible that the same man who is being consulted with becomes a mediator and introducer. He might also perform one job; i.e, he may have the capability of being an advisor, but may not know someone to be introduced.

2- An Unaware Well-Wisher

They have good intentions and want to do a good deed and be rewarded, but they do not know the ways and means. They intend to do good, but because they are unaware of the standards and manners of spouse selection, thy may bring damage. The intention is benevolent, but their practice is evil. Trusting them is harmful and the cause of repentance and agony.

A Sad specimen
There was a person who was a well-wisher, having pure intention and lofty courage. Well-wishing and doing good to others and helping them were part of his attributes and he was a success in these deeds. Once, among the numerous good deeds, which he performed, was introducing girl and boys to each others to mediate in marriage. Regretfully, he did not have sufficient experience, knowledge, and vision in this part of his activities, causing the usual failure of those marriages mediated by him.

One of the cases dealt by him is as follows:

He introduced a girl named Afsana to a boy named Ghulam, praising her very much. Ghulam's brother who was aware of the nature of his brother and had acquired some information about Afsana as well, said to him, “This girl is not suitable for my brother. They are not a match and cannot have a successful life.” But the mediator insisted saying, “Let then see each other and talk; they may reach and understanding.”

Ghulam's brother who knew about his brother's weakness, indecisiveness and witlessness and had gathered an amount of information about the cunningness, glibness and evilness of Afsana, told the mediator, “I know my brother very well. I am aware of

his mental and spiritual conditions; and if he talks to Afsana, he would lose his heart in love with her and would submit to her will. And then then conventional agreement will take place, but this will not be a real harmony and will be followed by serious and grave results.” But the mediator insisted with good will, since he did not have any negative intention.

Anyhow, Ghulam reached the stage of action. The brother talked to Ghulam as well, and told him, “Brother, this girl does not suit you, and she is not fit for you. She has some peculiarities, which are not at all proper and proportional to you. If you marry her, your lives will be ruined”.

Regretfully, his endeavours did not bring fruit. At last, Ghulam and Afsana met each other, resulting in what the brother was afraid of. Ghulam submitted to her and finally they were married.

As a result of this inauspicious marriage, such turmoil and disturbance took place that I do not remember any parallel to it. That is, I have never heard and seen such negative, unfortunate and adverse results in any marriage like that one.

The brother said to the mediator: “See what you have done!”

He replied: “I had good intentions and never wanted all this.”

The brother reflected: “Yes I know that, but since you do not have the ability to do this, you happened to bring evil, so never carry on with these good deeds”.

This mediator and introducer was the same one who introduced Islmail and Safoora whose story has already been described in the fifth chapter.

3- Persons who have bad intentions and evil cause and promote their own special benefits and profits

These persons have evil intentions and evil practices. They are similar to conjuror brokers who want to achieve their own benefits and secure their impure objectives through fraud, glibness, and a crafty character.

Youth and families must remain cautious and very careful that they are not get deceived by these impostors and hypocrites.

An Important Warning to The Youth

Although the mediators and introducers of the first group are absolutely dependable and trustworthy and are good help to the youth in spouse selection, this is not to say that whatever they say and introduce must be accepted by the youth. No! not at all! The youth themselves are the ones who must take the final decision. That is, the duty of those introducers is only extending help and guidance, but eh final decision is to be taken by the boy and the girl. This point must never be forgotten.

Third Way: Investigation

Investigation is among the important ways and means of this 'guide map.'

One day when I was busy writing this chapter, the agent of an organization who was making an investigation about a candidate for a fob met me. Following our discussion about the candidate, I said to the investigator: “Since your job is so important, be very careful in the selection of individuals.”

He told me: “We investigate a person who wants to join our organization for nearly six months. We contact a large number of people who know him and take and take a great deal of consideration and investigation about him into account. If we do not find he meets our standards, we do not accept him.”

After he left, I thought: If it is necessary to investigate a man for six months before handing him over an administrative responsibility, then how long must one investigate for the sake of spouse selection and handing over the charge of a lifelong responsibility of a joint life and the duty of bringing into existence a new generation, and selecting a spouse who plays a fundamental role in the prosperity or adversity of a person's world and hereafter? Moreover, if the person employed proves to be evil, he can easily be replace, but replacing a spouse, if he of she does not come up to be homogeneous, will be too much difficult or impossible!

Acceptance or Rejection Needs Logic

Just as someone must not be accepted as a spouse without sufficient logic and recognition, similarly, he or she must not be rejected without enough justification, logic and recognition. We must have logic for both acceptance and refection. Some people reject a person just because they do not have sufficient recognition of the person in question. It is as wrong as the acceptance short of recognition, because the rejected person may be a pious and suitable one and after losing him, we may not get at another one who is equally good.

The ways of investigation and how to cross them

The standard of investigation is not equal for all. The more the person under investigation is known to you, the less investigation would be required. The more unknown is a person, the more would it be necessary.

Those who want to marry among their relatives and acquaintances, their job would become easier and it may even not be necessary to observe all the problems, which have been mentioned about investigation. However, they too are not independent and free of investigation counselling and seeking advice. In any case, a complete and comprehensive recognition, variant ways should be moved upon and the minute details of the problems must be considered. Different information should be gathered and placed in an even order and considered and contemplated from all aspects to reach a result gradually.

Any information achieved on the way of investigation is a help and guidance toward the destination, whether small or large; since the details of a matter give man access to the principles. But each one of the details must not be depended upon separately to reach a result. Instead, a result may be concluded from the aggregation and collection of them, and a decision taken thereupon.

Now, we consider the ways, means and cases of investigation.

1- Consideration of the Conditions and Qualities of the Relatives of the Person

It has been described in chapter five under the topic 'family nobility' that some of the qualities and attributes spread over a family are common among the members of that progeny, like the branches which are nourished by the common roots. This is a good criterion and guide in investigation. You can, by considering the qualities and conditions of the relatives, strongly presume that such and such attributes, qualities, and peculiarities are present in the person in question.
The Prophet of Islam (S) said in this connection:

“Marry among so and so group (a person from that group) since they are men of modesty, thus their women too have become modest. And do not marry among such and such group of people, for their men committed immodesty, thus their women too became immodest.” 1

In this hadith of the Prophet (S), modesty and immodesty have been described; so this gives us a good standard for investigating.

2-Investigating Through His Relatives

Relatives are aware of the qualities, spirit, morality and character of a person sand one can make and investigation about the person in question through them.

Attention
It is possible that the relatives and associated may not state the facts and may conceal any fault which they are aware of, due to the fear of the displeasure of the person or his family who might cone to know of it later, or on account of their love for them. Therefore, the views of the relatives cannot be a proof; instead, it can be a guide for the other phases of investigation. But if one gets satisfied that the person being counselled is a just and impartial one who does not hide the facts, he can be trusted.

A Safe And Sure Way
If someone has a sincere friend among the relatives of the person he wishes to select, he has an advantage and a benefit, and a safe canal and way to reach his object.

3- Through His/Her Close Friends

Classmates, co-workers and close friends who have been in contact and associated to him for a long time are good for investigation.

All that has been described about the relatives (advisability and concealment) stands here also.

4-Through Teachers, Administrators and Managers

They may know certain point, which even the relatives and close friends do not know. There is less or no chance of the difficulty concerning hiding and concealing and advisability, because neither they are his/her conventional relatives and friends nor do they see any need for concealing things. Besides, these individuals are usually sagacious and wise person.

5- Investigation Through His/Her Enemies

Enemies of a person describe his faults more explicitly. Of course , the view of these people (enemies) is never a proof and must not be practised as a criterion. It is only useful for the sake of collecting informative data and per-awareness. The faults and flaws of the person described by them may not be attended to or become the basis of any practice, unless they are proved by other ways and means too.

Fourth Way: Sending A Messenger

This is among the best means of the guide map and can be practised as follows:

The boy, the girl, and their families may choose a number of relatives and acquaintances and send them to the manner and mode of their delegation before actually sending them for the important mission, so that their standards, points of view, and perception, which must be taken in view by them, can be explained to them.

The Peculiarities of a Messenger

Not everyone can be sent for this fate-deciding mission; instead thy must have some peculiarities:

1- Mindful and clever

2- Well-wishing

3- Trustworthy

4- Possessing correct standards and experience

5- Both young and aged ones should be include in the delegation (group),since the older ones will have experiences which the young ones may not, and the younger ones may have standards and insights which maybe lacking by the older ones.

After the return of the delegates from their mission, the boy the girl and their families may take the information and the views and think, take advice and contemplate them from all aspects before deciding what steps should be taken next.

Attention

The information and views of the delegates are a guide and not a final authority, and there is always a possibility of their erring in their opinion.

In this phase too the girl and the boy are the final decision makers, after having studied all the aspects of the matter.

Fifth Way: Writing a Letter

If the ground is levelled after crossing the pervious ways and the boy and the girl come close to a positive decision, then the next step can be letter writing. Here we so not mean those dirty, we mean they may send some people write, instead, we mean they may send letters based upon modesty and religion through messengers, with the consent of their families, wherein they can describe: their aims, objectives, wishes, aspirations and hopes regarding the spouse and their pertaining standards, future plans and programmes and their spirit about such matters, short of any misinterpretations, concealment of facts and wrong presentation.

If written truly and honestly, these letters can be a medium of mutual recognition and can also be effective in making the final decision.

Attention

In these letters, passionate and stimulating matters must not be written in any case, because:

Firstly: these things are anti-religious and prohibited.

Secondly: these things weaken the power of the mind with respect to making correct decision and hand the work over the heart (sentiments).

Thirdly: so far it is not known whether marriage will materialise or not, since they might reach a negative result.

Sixth Way: Photograph

Following the pervious stage, if there is a positive result in hand an the girl and the boy have not seen each other, then seeing photographs can be effective in enhancement of recognition and reaching a decision.

Again, the exchange of photographs does not mean anything against modesty, instead, they must be sent through trustworthy messenger of the family and returned after being seen.

This can in no way be a logic and proof, since a photo can not describe the interior facts of a person, even to the extent that it can not perfectly exhibit the apparent view, but it is a partial guide toward recognition and a short step towards the later steps to be taken.

Seventh Way: Direct Talk

Direct negotiation is among the most important and effective ways of the 'guide map'. Following the crossing of the pervious ways and achieving a positive result, the boy and the girl must definitely have direct dialogue to consider and discuss their problems and views in a comfortable atmosphere without any fear and pressure from others. This talk should take place in an emotion free way with preparation and readiness.

There should be a distance between the decision to talk and its being conducted, so that both may prepare themselves and note down all that they intend to discuss. It is better if these talks are held at interval. As a whole, whatever time is necessary may be put at their disposal.

One of the important benefits of these talks is that both parties can discover and understand a great deal of interior mysteries, qualities and conditions of each other.

The commander of believers Ali (a.s) said:

ما أضمر أحد شيئا إلا ظهر في فلتات لسانه و صفحات وجهه.

“Whatever a person thinks about, is revealed by the slips of the tongue and facial expressions.” 2

This is a principle of psychology, which Imam (a.s) described in this way. It means that the internal conditions and affairs are sometimes made evident and manifest by the slip of the tongue and expression of the face. It is a good doorway to studying the interior of a human and his conscience.

Mothers and fathers who desire the prosperity and felicity of their children must help and assist them in this important problem and provide the grounds ad the necessary comfort and peace for them. But it is not for them to prevent it and exhibit undue prejudice. This talk is desirable from Islamic and logical points of view.

It is not for us to become more severe than Islam and more Muslim than the Muhammad (S), Many times the girl's parents have been observed preventing this talk in the name of Islam and modesty, whereas Islam and modesty commands us to provide the means to our children's felicity. This talk has a vital role in bringing about the prosperity of the husband and the wife.

The Method of This Meeting

The topics to be discussed in this meeting are different and variant, since person, their beliefs, aspirations, ambitions, aims and desires are variant. Nonetheless, some topics are general and it is essential to discuss them. Therefore, we describe some of these so that the youth may use them as the agenda of the meeting.

1- Describing the Course of Future Life

In other words, they should describe on which foundation they with to erect the structure of life. For instance, a religious youth wants his life to be founded upon the basis of Islamic laws and his/her spouse should also be like that. And both of them should be submissive to Islam in all of life's affairs.

2- Discussing the Future Aims

They should describe their aims, which they want to achieve in their future lives, such as their targets and ambitions in the field of knowledge, morality, social life and job etc.

Also, the probable changes, modifications and transpositions of their future life, which have been described in chapter 5, and which we said it was necessary for the spouses to discuss before marriage, are suitable here (please refer to chapter 5).

3- The True Description of One's Attributes, Morality And Others Peculiarities

4- Description of Demands And Expectations From Each Other

5- Description of One's Views About How To Conduct Relations And Contacts With The Family, Relatives, And Associates of Each Other

6- The Discussion of The Style And Mode of Their Children's Training

7- Description of One's Ailments, Disabilities And Diseases (if any)

If The boy and girl have a disease of handicap, they must truthfully describe them without any exaggeration; because:

Firstly: this work is obligatory, hiding and concealing the flaws and shortcomings is reckoned to be a fraud, cheating, and hypocrisy, and it is prohibited and unlawful.

Secondly: if the handicap and shortcoming is described at the early stage, the party accepts him/her along with that defect or rejects it. If they accept it, then they prepare themselves to endure it and take that man/woman to be a true, straightforward and daring one and so they, start loving him/her. In the future, he/she will not consider him/her self to be cheated. But if it is not made known and the bond takes shape short of the other party's knowledge, then after being made aware of that handicap or shortage, the side not knowing it would consider him/her self as being cheated, and then plenty of difficulties and complications would follow.

And the love of the spouse would finish in his/her heart and he/she would start to bear a grudge against him/her, because nobody loves a cheat. If the incapacity or shortage had been truthfully told earlier, it would possibly have been accommodated. But after marriage, it is quite different.

When the hidden secret are manifest

The faces with make up are disgraced

Cheating and pompous show is a shame

Bad is it although acted nicely.3

Attention

There is no need to describe some of the shortcomings, ailments, and wrongs of the past, which do not have any relation with the rights of the spouse and the future life.

If there was, or is a defect and blemish, which you do not know whether its description pertains to the spouse's rights and future life, consult a wise person as has been described before in chapter 6.

Do Not Accept Any Undue Conditions And Demands

Sometimes, it is observed that the boy or girl present and impose conditions and demands which are unjust and unfair and deprives the other party from its legal and established rights, and negates its discretion or liberty.

These demands and conditions must not be accepted in any situation. The discretion, liberties and rights given by Allah to each man and woman should not be given up by accepting such conditions. Do not tell yourself now I accept it, but I will not implement it afterwards, because the acceptance of a condition brings commitment:

المومنين عند شروطهم.

“The believers must practice upon their conditions (commitments)”.

The discretions of men and women are of two kinds; i.e., the established and obligatory and the non-obligatory. The non-obligatory ones can be omitted, but the obligatory and established right and discretions should not be surrendered to anybody. Allah made them obligatory on account of wisdom advisability, and expedience. Losing them would be against wisdom and expedience, damaging life, and diverting it from its natural course.

In the age of Imam Ali (a.s), a man accepted a condition of his spouse, which had caused the loss of one of his specific rights. Imam (a.s) objected to it, saying, “Why do you give away a right, which Allah has fixed for you, through a condition? This condition is not valid and is void. And anything which Allah has fixed can not be changed and transformed by making a condition.”4

The obligatory and non-obligatory rights have been discussed in the Islamic problems of jurisprudence and law.

Eighth Way: Seeing Each Other

After all the pervious ways have been crossed and a positive result is achieved and all matters are on the right course with no hurdle on the way to marriage, before taking the last and final decision, the boy and girl should see each other, if they have not done so previously.

Seeing the face and appearance is one of the most essential and necessary problems of the 'guide map'. Every judicious mind decides that two spouses who are supposed to live together for a life-time, must, apart from the homogeneity and harmony in problems described so far, like each other's apparent looks too.

And this liking or disliking involves and necessitates seeing each other.

Howsoever the praise and definition of other may be, it is not sufficient. Instead, the boy and girl should see each other, since their tastes are different.5 Seeing a small portion of the face too is not sufficient, instead, it should be seen completely, openly, and evidently so that no ambiguity is left over.

Let it not be said: “We are pleased with everything and since our aims and criteria are secured, the looks and facial features are not important.” This is because the liking or disliking of the looks and features of the intended spouses may affect all the previous results.

As a slogan it can be said: If the spouse has such and such qualities and attributes, the other things would not be important”; but when one enters the practical stage or comes to face the facts, it does make a difference.

Considering This Topic In The Light of Traditions

A man named Mughaira bin Shoba asked for the hand of a woman in marriage, but apparently he had not properly seen her. The prophet of Islam (S) said to him:

لو نظرت إليها فإنه أحري أن يدوم بينكما .

“Had you seen her, there would have been more hope of a prolonged and durable agreement and understanding between you two (during you life).” 6

Likewise, the Prophet (S) said to one of his companions who wanted to propose a woman:

أنظر إلي وجهها و كفيها.

“Look at her face and hands.” 7

A man asked Imam As-Sadiq (a.s): “Can a man who intends to marry a woman see her hair and beauties?”

The Imam (a.s) said:

“There is no problem if he does not have the intention of enjoying it (he really wishes and intends to marry her).”8

We have many traditions in this connection which have described more sensitive topics. Here we restrain ourselves to these hadiths.

We turn to the word of Ayatollah Amini in this respect:

“Boys and girls are advised no to prevent being seen and each one of them should permit the other to see him or her. It is better than marrying without seeing and afterwards being unhappy. And, as a consequence of this, they may reach divorce or be obliged to lead their lives in a state of displeasure, discomfort, frigidity and dispute.”9

Caution

The problems concerning seeing and approving, like all selection problems, should not reach the limit of obsession, rather, it should be an average and accustomed amount.

In this case too, minute care, yes, but obsession, no!

Protecting The Girl's Dignity

Particular minute care and delicateness may be exercised in the problem of seeing the girl, meaning the dignity and honour of the girl should be kept in view and not damaged.

It must not be that the girl is shown to whoever comes to ask for her hand in marriage, prior to investigation, advice seeking and attaining sufficient recognition of the boy; This is so that afterwards, it is not discovered that she is unsuitable or the two of them do not match each other and then he walks out and another one turns up and the process continues repeatedly. This manner and style of practice damages the dignity of the girl and has a negative effect upon her morale. The more modest and chaste is the girl, the more she would be pained and hurt.

The correct style of action in this regard is that whenever someone comes with a proposal, at first all the prefaces and the ways of recognition such as investigation, advice seeking, and sending messengers should be moved upon and when all the dimensions of the affair are judged and it becomes clear that the boy does not have any negative intention and they are a match for each other, without any hurdle and constraint on the way to marriage with a strong probability of their marriage, only then would the time be appropriate for them to see each other as a last and final phase of selection.

Approval is limited, confined and specified to a serious intention of marriage with a specifies and fixed person under special conditions and circumstances. One cannot see everybody on the pretext of marriage. Islam has given permission only in this case an for the same specified and fixed matter. And ay sighting and seeing outside this framework is “prohibited.”

Omen (Looking For Good Augury)

If the laws and ordains of Islam are correctly understood and rightly practiced, they will bring prosperity. But if they are misunderstood and wrongly practiced, then not only will they not bring prosperity, rather they will incur losses.

Kinds of Omen

1- Asking Beneficence and Guidance From Allah:

The real meaning of 'istikhara' or Omen is seeking benevolence, goodness, and guidance from Allah. And this was the very practical manner and method of the leaders of Islam (a.s). It is in fact a kind of supplication and seeking Allah's help and depending on him in all matters and circumstances, particularly in the selection of spouse.

Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini writes in this connection:

“The commander of believers Ali (a.s) offered two cycles of service fro the sake of Omen, thereafter, he used to repeat a hundred times:

أستخير الله.

“I ask the beneficence from Allah.”

Then he used to recite this prayer:

أللهم إني قد هممت بأمر قد علمته فإن كنت تعلم أنه خير لي في ديني و دنياي و

آخرتي فيسرخ لي و إن كنت تعلم إنه شر لي في ديني و دنياي و آخرتي فاصرفه

عني. كرهت نفسي ذلك أم أحببت, فإنك تعلم و لا أعلم و أنت علام الغيوب.

“O Allah! I want to perform that work which you know. If you consider it good for my religion, world and hereafter, (then) provide the means for it. And if you deem it bad for my religion, world, and hereafter, stop me from doing it, whether I dislike it of love it, since you know (the actual expedience) and I do not know. And You are the knower of the unseen.”

Then he would take a decision and step into a job. 10 The thirty third supplication of Saheefa Sajjadia of Imam Sajjad (a.s) described this point right from the beginning to its end (i.e seeking the beneficence and guidance of Allah). Please refer to the prayer, which is most attractive and beautiful.

2- The Commonly Known And Current Omen In Our Society

The Omen that is current and customary in our society is practiced thorough Qur’an or beads, and conventionally is a way to discover one's duty and religious obligation.

This kind of Omen has its root and origin in Islam, but regretfully, a distortion has taken place in it. And it has been mis-shaped and disfigured in many the case. That is to say, it has replaced thought, reasoning, investigation, searching and consultation. Thereafter it has not only lost its benefit, but also turned harmful. It is customary in spouse selection as well, and it sometimes inflicts serious damage and loss.

The Correct Use of Omen

Whenever a person wishes to perform a job and its goodness and advisability is clear to him. he should do it with the help and dependence upon Allah, asking for His benevolence. There is no room for Omen. If the evil and non-advisability of the work is conspicuous, even then there is no room and need for Omen. But if the goodness and evil of the work is not clear and evident, and he does not know whether he should do not it or not, then he must ponder, contemplate, study, investigate and seek advice, taking all the aspects of the problem into view.

If his mind is inclined and prefers one side of it, for instance one side is 70% and the other 30%, then he should do that which has a 70% weighting (whether doing or not doing it). But if he stays puzzled and at a loss as to which way to head, even after contemplation, research and consultation about all the possible methods and still remains undecided, that is to say, at a 50% decision and he is not inclined toward any one aspect of the job and at the same time cannot quit that work then comes the turn of 'customary Omen.'

Omen does not fix any religious or intellectual duty but drive man out of amazement and surprise, indication one of two ways for him. Moreover, it does not have any guarantee that the way indicated may be correct and the other one wrong!

And again it is not the work of everybody to hold a bead in his hand or open the Qur’an to understand his obligation or to repeat it a number of times until he gets his desired result.

Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli, who is one of the greatest exegetes of Qur’an and experts of Islam in the contemporary world, said about Omen: “We have not been encouraged to Omen in Islam.”

A Sorrowful Specimen of Misunderstanding the Omen

Adel who was a good and faithful student decided to marry. He was very sensitive about spouse selection and had put in all his best efforts to select a decent spouse.

To be just, he is a decent boy himself and one can say he has many of the qualities of a good spouse he set out many times, but he could not find the required spouse. Until at last his friends and relatives introduced a girl.

The search for investigation and recognition of the girl started. One of the near relatives of the girl was the friend of Adel. So the matter was discussed with him. He had a positive opinion about the girl and helped out to the best of his capacities to lever the ground for their mutual recognition. They contacted some other persons who knew the girl (such as teachers and classmates) and consulted them. The more they investigated, the more the hope of her being the desired girl strengthened.

After all the searching and endeavours were made, it became evident that everything was all right and there was no constraint and hurdle in the way of their marriage. Then came the turn of direct talks between the boy and girl, and the proposal.

The date was fixed for the boy to visit the girl's home, and we were very hopeful that the marriage would materialise. Suddenly, news came from the girl and her family that they had gone for Omen and it indicated to be bad.

I was greatly displeased by this news, since I was aware of their work and saw that everything was in a good shape. I was quite hopeful that the negotiation, visit and proposal would not have any difficulty, since I knew the girl very well and Adel too.

I wanted to contact the girl's family, avert them and make them change their mind. But the acquaintances said: “They have a strong belief in Omen and think that after the Omen has given a negative result, it would be perilous for them to act against it, and this marriage would become a misery.”

In my thoughts, I addressed the girl and her family. ”Oh girl! Oh mother and father! What is it that you did? Alas, why did you reject this boy without any logic? Do you know that such Omen is anti-Islamic? If the girl and the boy did not reach and understanding through direct talks or did not like each other or you had reached a negative result after making enquiries and had rejected him, there would have been nothing wrong. And I would not feel sorry. But now you have thrown away your prosperity and that of a decent orthodox boy, just by one Omen. Ah! What an ignorance and misconception of religion.”

Many case have been seen where a boy and a girl matched each other, but on account of just such kind of an undue Omen, they could not get married or they were not even suitable for each other and did marry only to become miserable.

Another Specimen

A person proposed a girl. The girl's father, short of any investigation, recognition and consultation went to a man to take an Omen for him. He did it to a positive result and the girl was married to that boy.

After a certain period of time, it was discovered that the boy was not good and there was no match and proportion between the husband and the wife. But now it was al over and the marriage had taken place, and the difficulties and miseries started. The girl's father would lament and sorrowfully say:

“It is the fault of such and such a person's Omen that my girl became miserable and doomed.”
This father should be told: “It is the fault of extravagant beliefs, misconception and you own ignorance. ( Although the person who made Omen may also have been at fault since he did not inform this unaware person about the correct use of Omen. Perhaps even he himself was unaware of it.)

Omen has a vast discussion. For those who have knotted their fate and faith with Omen and likewise, those who are inclined to have more information about it, it is essential for them to carry out further research and study this topic.

Imam Khomeini (r.a) has and interesting and attractive discussion in this connection in the book Kashful Asrar, which is worth studying. Hereby we present a short extract from his worthy words and leave its perfect study to you:

“The traditions which pertain to Omen have not promised to always reach the aim without any shortage. But all that has been promised is that Allah bestows goodness upon the one who asks Him. if it is advisable in this world, He gives it here, otherwise He stores it for him.” 11

At the end of this discussion, once again we quote Ayatollah Amini who says:

“The girl, the boy and the families must make an investigation for recognition of the spouse. If they still have any doubt, they should consult and take the advice of one or number of informed, aware and confidant persons. If they reach a result, they can take further steps. Omen is to be taken only where they do not reach a result through the way of investigation and consultation, and might yet be in a state of perplexity.

Naturally, investigation and consultation has priority over Omen. If the result of your search and probe is positive, go ahead with the practice, and there is no need of taking Omen. There are certain people who refer to Omen in each and every work, whereas sometimes, undue, out of place Omen becomes the cause of perplexity and hinders practice.” 12

And finally, we must always keep the word of Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli in view who said:

“We have not been encouraged in Islam to take Omen.”

Fate!

There is a false belief and word which is customary among people regarding the topic of marriage; for instance, “such and such a girl is the fate of such and such a boy and so and so a boy is not in the fate of this girl or if luck is there, everything will become all right and it is not necessary to do anything else. If the fate is not there (to help), whatever is done will be useless and so on.”

These ideas are vague and void and do not have any roots in relation or reason. The problem of divine decree and accident is something different.

Crossing the Slippery Road! Complete Caution at Every Step

it is my strong recommendation to all boys, girls, and their families that they should cross the phases of pre-proposal and marriage and what has been described in this chapter steadily, slowly, patiently, step by step, with complete caution and carefulness.

When they say a good work must be done quickly and swiftly, it may be true about the actual marriage, i.e. “Do not delay the marriage”. But it is not in any case correct about the premarital phases and the spouse selection. All the steps of choosing, paying visits, checking and talks should be carried out with patience, fortitude, and cool mindedness and with proper and necessary time between different phases.

Any kind of haste and rush at this stage is dangerous. Because many cases have been observed where people became involved and confronted with repentance and misery as a result of hurrying at this stage and quickly crossing over the ways and avenues of spouse selection, proposal and marriage.

This is a slippery way and a clever and reasonable person does not cross a slippery road hastily. Haste and carelessness and speedy movement at this point can result in and annihilating fall.

Have you ever seen a man crossing a minefield or a slippery avenue or a thorny way hastily and hurriedly? A reasonable and clever person never does that. The traversing of the ways in this phase need a step -by- step policy, not a revolutionary policy.

Yes, a revolutionary policy is essential in the actual marriage, when it should be quickly materialised and not delayed. But as far as the problem of spouse selection is concerned, it needs slow and cautious movement.

Sometimes, it is observed that some people cross all the phases of decision, investigation, consultation, proposal and marriage, investigation, consultation, proposal and marriage in a short time and finish the work. This is not correct in anyway. Of course, it is possible that in a few cases no difficulty arises and the job gets done in a good way. But in many cases, difficulties will be confronted and that will be the cause of repentance and suffering. The nature of spouse selection and crossing its phases demands patience, subtlety, and slow movement.

The imagination of a work, then concentrating thought, investigation and consultation respect to reach a result and final decision as well as taking steps in that direction needs a lot of time, Any haste in that is troublesome and dangerous.

Spouse selection more than anything else needs foresight and multidimensional contemplation: “The sage and wise is the one who thinks about the end.” Haste and hurrying in this valley means falling from the frying pan into the fire.

Even if everything seems to be on the right course, one must continue with complete care and slowness. A foresighted man is a blessed one and so is a foresighted woman.

Up to this point, by the grace and beneficence of Almighty Allah, the aim, objective, and manner of reaching it has explicitly become evident. And now we can, by dependence upon Allah and His help, take steps to select a suitable and desired spouse with all the subtlety and satisfaction at our command.

Allah be your guide and helper!

Self -Sacrificial Marriage

Definition Of This Form Of Marriages

Self-sacrificial marriage means a marriage conducted for a lofty aim (having the most sublime aim which attracts Allah's pleasure) and for the sake of kindness, sympathy an any worthy objective or cause with a person who has a defect or deformity, and to endure the shortage for the sake of that lofty aim, For example,

a person who marries someone with a physical deformity and bears and endures that shortage for worthy aim. Similarly, all other deficiencies, defects, shortages and differences etc.

This form of marriage is out of the range of the necessity of equity and matching of spouses described in chapter 5 because in that chapter it was said that there should not be any eye-catching differences between the spouses in any point.

The Worth And Excellence Of This Kind Of Marriage

There is no doubt that basically these marriages are highly worthy and excellent from a divine and human values point of view and the one practicing them would be highly rewarded.

Islam has given importance and worth to such marriages and encouraged them and has practically materialised them such as the marriage of the Prophet (S) with Khadija (a.s) and the marriage of Zalfa with Juwaiber, which took place on the command of the Prophet (S).

Islam has condemned imaginary class differences. In our society too we have witnessed the grand marriages of self-sacrificing orthodox girls with the dear soldiers and crippled and incapacitated youth of the Islamic revolution.

The number of girls who excelled Zalfa is not small n our society and Islam and the revolution takes pride in them. And so it does in the self-sacrificing boys who, for the sake of Allah's pleasure marry girls apparently possessing a lower status of distinction than them and who also have prosperous lives. Thus, there is no controversy in the excellence and worth of such marriages, but they have to be with their own conditions.

Self-Sacrificial Marriage Is Not A General Prescription

Every body does not have the power and capacity for such a marriages and cannot endure and bear it. Such marriages need a vast capacity of mind and conscience and energy and strong endurance and lofty aim as a stimulant.

For those who lack such asserts, it is not in anyway advisable for them to take steps on account of sympathy and swiftly-fading sentiments. The one who intends to marry such persons should take his interior energies in view and see whether he or she can endure this shortage and defect to the end of life and not complain or grumble about it.

Does he or she possess all that energy and magnanimity not to boast of a favour to his or her spouse and not to humiliate and belittle him or her for that physical deformity, defect belittle him or her for that physical deformity, defect or handicap?

If someone marries such a person and thereafter boasts of a favour to his or her spouse and annoys and displeased him or her, it will not only have no reward, rather, he/she will have committed a sin as well. If someone favours a person and later on boasts of that favour, annoying and hurting him or her, the reward of the favour will be finished and totally lost and there will also be a sin committed by him.

The Qur’an and Islamic traditions indicated many points in this respect. Let us concentrate upon the following verse of Qur’an:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تبطلوا صدقاتكم بالمن و الاذي.

“O you who believe! do not make your charity worthless by reproach and injury.”(2:264)

We were talking to one of the officers of the Foundation of disabled Soldiers, who was himself a disabled soldier, about a girl who was the candidate to marry a disabled man. He said to me, “Tell that lady she must think very carefully and not take that decision due to the turmoil of youthful sentiments. If you marry a disabled soldier who might have only lost his fingers (and nothing else), one thing you must do for him is to button up his clothes for the whole of your life, apart from hundreds of other things that need to be done.

If you possess such a strength, patience, and sacrificial power to serve him all your life, not to be rough and rude to him or boast of your favour, then come along, do it in the name of Allah, the Merciful and Beneficent.”

Result

Such marriages are very sacred and have a high reward and value to Allah, and heaven can be achieved through them. There are many people who discharge its responsibilities well, but not everybody can. One should not venture into this work simply on the basis of sympathy and feelings, Instead, one must take one's energies onto view, and consult those individuals who are aware about the matter, before taking a decision.

“Wise is the one who meditates about the end.”“Wise is the one who meditates about the end.”

Remorse Before Marriage

One of the problems which may arise is that the boy or the girl or both of them, after passing through some of the preliminary phases of marriage, such as negotiations, visits proposal, approval and sometimes even after the marriage contract and attaining more acquaintance with respect to the morality, conduct, peculiarities, face and figure, family and other associated, may become remorseful and penitent. They might start thinking that he/she was not the life partner they desired and imagined, or the person turned out contrary to their desire after they probed.

They may also sometimes discover that they do not have any inclination toward that person or, let us say, they dislike or even hate him/her and cannot get along together nicely in their coming life. Whatever may be the logic and reason (sometimes there is no reason) they just do not like the person as a spouse.

Now when they want to give up the idea and dispense with the matter, (alas! Woe to these 'buts') certain factors put a constraint on them and stop them from turning back. For instance, they imagine:
“Now it is bad to desist. Our news has been circulated between the two families. What must we reply to the people? What would they say if they understand the situation? Perhaps they think there was a special reason behind it.

Now it is not fair to break the heart of the individual concerned and damage the reputation of the family in question. If we do it, they would be annoyed and an enmity would appear. Now everything is over and we must endure and bear it, etc.”

Others speak to their parents, close relatives and intimate friends, but they frighten them saying the things described above. They try to justify their critical questions and even promise them thins like “Love would develop afterwards and things would gradually move on the right track.”

These factors completely crush their courage, fortitude and intent to change their mind and explain the facts. Consequently, they keep their remorse and disinclination in their hearts and apparently manifest their agreement and tendency and finally submit to an undesired marriage.

Following the marriage, they exert pressure upon themselves to show their agreeability and love for their new life and spend their time with an artificial love, whilst there is a turmoil and revolt in their interior. Gradually, the energy to show artificial love and agreement subsides, since it is impossible and absurd that ne can keep living together with someone whom she or he detests or at least does not have any inclination and attraction to, and whose interior feelings will not become obvious to the other side.

Then the differences and disputes, excuse findings, impatience, and ill-naturedness will start taking shape (God forbid).

The Cause Of This Remorse

The cause of this remorse is that the standards of spouse selection described in chapter 5, and the ways of its selection and the 'guide map' of chapter 6, particularly the recommendations and advice of that chapter i.e. crossing the way with caution and carefully, step by step, patience and slow movement, were not observed.

If those criteria and programmes are taken into view and the course of the 'guide map' is traversed as described, it will not result in remorse, or the chances of it would diminish to the smallest possibility. This is because by following and implementing that schedule, if any remorse develops, it is before the proposal and marriage, not afterwards.

I emphatically and confidently say that if the standards of spouse selection (chapter 5) and spouse choosing (chapter 6) are observed as explained, in the same style, step by step, with perfect care and caution while crossing its slippery course, then the probability of repentance and remorse after proposal and marriage would be reduced to less than 10%. But if not observed, there would be a huge number of chances for such remorse and penitence.

What Must Be Done In Such Case?

If the youth (the boy or the girl) have come to confront the remorse and stumbled into this marsh, what must they do? Should they stay there and submit to this undesired situation or can they rescue themselves?

Answer

Breaking a proposition and engagement, particularly when the marriage contract has taken shape, is not a good think to do and one should be cautious not to allow things to reach such a stage. Having said that, it is even worse for a person to lead his life in repentance, shame, disinclination and agony.

If the boy and the girl or one of them has developed a sense of remorse about the relation, then the best way out is to separate before marriage and discontinue the movement. Although it is displeasing, marrying and leading a life with repentance, remorse and uneasiness is harder and more displeasing.

The responsibility of parents and families in this respects is as follows:

Firstly: they should help and guide the boy and the girl in spouse selection, so that the matter does not reach the stage of remorse.

Secondly: if such a problem arises, then they should be guide, since it may be due to undue obsession, and undue expectations.

Thirdly: if repentance develops and they see that they are not willing to marry, then they must not in any case be reprimanded or rebuked and not be forced into an undesired marriage by frightening and threatening them of the consequences. Instead, they must agree to their separation and level the ground for the settlement of this problem, short of any annoyance, conflict, quarrel, menace and enmity. It is in the interest of the boy, the girl, and their families.

If this marriage takes shape unwanted with remorse and disinclination, then it would be followed by a lot of difficulties for the wife, the husband and their families. Although this separation is bitter and displeasing for the families, particularly the girl's family, marriage with displeasure and reluctance is more displeasing and bitter.

“Clever Is The One Who Takes The End Into View.”

Young sister and brother:

Firstly: Try not to face remorse by observing the factors described in chapter 5 and 6.

Secondly: If you happen to face it, be cautious that your remorse and repentance is not due to undue obsession and 'childlike excuses.' Know that a perfectly faultless, flawless, desired person is never found. Everyone and every family have faults just as you and your own family does. This is the nature of every fallible.

Thirdly: If you are not pleased with this marriage, do not conceal your displeasure, rather announce it openly and do not continue with it. Do not be afraid at all; be dauntless and brave. Although it is not a good thing and the matter should not have reached this point, when it is so, there is no alternative and remedy except to stop and turn back.

Clearly announce that you do not want to continue on this way. A joint life is not one day, one month or one year; it is endured and tolerated under pressure and undesirable circumstances. You want to spend the whole of a long life with your spouse, which is to a simple thing to do.

Do not allow the problem to get complicated. Do not let the marriage take shape, so that you must either separate through divorce, or tolerate and endure it all of your life. A life led with unwillingness swill not be a successful life and will not bear any good fruit.

Do not let the circumstances lead to a divorce after marriage. Do not let this innocent man and his family face misery and misfortune. Do not make the life a hell. Do not make the children motherless or fatherless. Take steps before it is too late and decide the matter. Do not let affairs reach dangerous points. Look into this lesson-giving example and think upon it and do not let yourself meet anguish and tragedy.

A Considerable And Lesson -Taking Specimen

Hameed was and orthodox and religious youth. He was good-natured, intelligent, educated and sensible. But he did not have the necessary knowledge and experience about spouse selection. He narrated the story of his spouse selection and the difficulty he met as follows:

“One of my friends, who is the resident of another city, introduced a girl of his city to me for marriage. I went with my family to propose to the girl.

There was a long distance between our home and that of the girl, and this minimised the chances of completed mutual recognition. In addition, I was not very conversant with the essentiality of spouse recognition.

Briefly speaking, I was negligent, and without seeing whether I was inclined towards the girl or not, I entered into a marriage contract, following a brief acquaintance and the preliminary stages. After the marriage contract (Nikah)13 the visits became more frequent and I discovered that I did not have any liking for the girl and so I was unhappy about the marriage. I discussed the problem with my friend and my relatives and the girl's but they held the opinion that after the marriage took place, the liking would develop.

But I was not satisfied with these words and now, I am extremely remorseful regarding this relation, though the girl and her family do not have any shortcomings. I do not have any liking and inclination towards this girl or wish to marry her and am at a loss about what to do.”

I had many rounds of talks and conversations with Hameed and I suggested ways and means to remove his disinclination and created a liking. He practiced all the ways I had suggested, but regretfully, his repentance did not end and he developed no fondness for the girl.

Following the exercising of all remedies, I came to the conclusion that this marriage would not have a pleasant future and there was no alternative except separation.

I told Hameed my view openly, saying that although separation was bitter and unpleasant, it was the only possible solution and that this marriage was in the interest of no one. He said: “I wish it from the core of my heart, but I feel sorry for the girl and her family whose reputation and honour will be damaged.”

I told him: “It is better to separate right now than to divorce her after marriage, which will cause even more damage to their status and honour. Furthermore, it is better to be separated right away than to marry and lead a miserable life and make the girl and her family more miserable in that way.

Hameed said: “If I want to divorce her, I do not have the money to pay the dowry.”

I replied: “So far you have just made the marriage contract and marriage has not yet materialised; so you owe them 50% of the dowry sum. Moreover, the girl and her parents usually, in such cases when she is a virgin and marriage has not taken place, absolve and spare the half amount of the dowry sum. Only if marriage takes place, is the girl entitles to the entire amount and if divorce takes shape in that case, the total account should be paid.”

Hameed said: “I am afraid from a religious point of view. I have the fear that I may be the defaulter in Allah's view and be taken to account an punished on the resurrection day.”

I said: “Of course separation and divorce is undesirable and the cause of Allah's displeasure, but:

Firstly: Allah has formed this law Himself for the occasion when there is no alternative left except separation. And your case is such that there is no way out except separation.

Secondly: Divorce after the marriage is even more disliked by Allah than the one before marriage. If you marry and divorce, after her losing her virginity and sometimes bearing a child, it will cause more of the displeasure of Allah than the present divorce.

Thirdly: developing a hopeless, unwilling frigid life, which has lots of painful consequences and becomes the cause of excess over the spouse, negating their rights, weakening religion, ones nerves and spirit and producing unhappy, ailing and problematic children will be far worse than divorce and increase Allah's wrath and displeasure.”

Anyhow, I convinced Hameed to decide the matter and go ahead with a resolution, closing the affair. But (woe to these buts) his relatives and associated pressurised and frightened him about its results and consequences and he refrained from doing it. Once again, he came to me, saying:

“I could not finish the matter. Now what must I do? I and still remorseful and perplexed.”

I said: “I am unable to help you any longer. Whatever I could do, I have already done.”

He said: “Do you know someone else who may solve my problem?”

I gave him the addresses of a number of clergymen who were conversant with the family problems. He went to see them.

After a period, he returned and said: “I visited them and explained my problem. They said: 'Go and get married and do not care about repentance and hopelessness. Love and liking develops later on'.”

I do no know how Hameed explained his problem and what were the policies they took into view before giving such a response to him.

I said to Hameed: “I do not know why those gentlemen expressed the view that you should marry. Perhaps there was not much time to explaining the problem to them and they were no in the current of his problem for months, like I was. Otherwise, they would not have suggested your marriage. Perhaps they took other policies into view. Anyway, their views are worthy of respect but I still hold the opinion which I previously held and am against this marriage.”

Hameed left and for a few months there came no news of him. At last I discovered that he had married and begun his joint life.

I prayed to Allah for their prosperous life, but I was anxious and worried about them.

After a few months Hameed's friends brought the news to me that their joint life had disintegrated and his wife had gone to her parents' house in her own city (alas) and Hameed felt too embarrassed and shy to visit me.

Hameed an his wife's matter reached the court, which could no do a thing for them; not because it could not reform their affair, rather, their life was no repairable. A life based upon unwillingness, hate and remorse is not repaired or endurable. A dead body cannot be made to move on a certain course.

I sent a message for Hameed, saying: “The logic was evident to you and you can not make any excuse and pretext. Now, when this thing has happened, treat your wife and her family respectfully and with love and pay the entire dowry amount. And if they mistreated you in the divorce and court affair, you must endure it and have decent conduct with them.”

Hameed did not have the economical capacity to pay his wife's dowry sum wholly, so the court was obliged to fix an amount of monthly installment for him to pay for a period of many years.

Now, one year after the divorce, I received a sorrowful letter from him about that affair. Please have a look at the various parts of it:

'When I sit down to think about the past, I see that I have crossed over and met a number of incidents and events in my life. As a matter of fact, I had plenty of difficulties to cross over. But even in the most critical moment and difficult problems I never felt myself so tired, fatigued and worn out.

I always held that man can surpass and cross over the difficult obstacles. But this difficulty (marriage and divorce) has a certain specification of its own, since it is not an obstacle in the way of the goal, like the rest of difficulties and results in the misery of a man, which is incomprehensible. Given this, I have lots of troubles and agonies with it, so much so that I have met a social set back. I have retarded from an educational point of view and am even damage spiritually. materially too I have faced loss.

But what is impossible to endure and bear, or at least is very difficulty to tolerate, is that I have made a person miserable and doomed, hindering her movement on the course of progress and completion. And I have put her to shame and adversity in a society where there is such a (negative) view about the divorced woman. However, I am positive that this was the worst , yet the only possible way; since the continuity of this life cannot have any result apart from deterioration and ruining of the mental and spiritual organs of both parties.

“Taking all the above factors in to consideration, I do not know how to content myself, especially when there are other difficulties as well, such as:

1- I feel that I have become abnormally cowardice so that I am even afraid of carrying out a normal journey. I do not have any stock of goodness and benevolence and think what would I do with these sins if I met an accident? Additionally, I have not paid off the dowry sum, which is her fundamental right.

2- Life has become meaningless to me to a great extent and I think the passing of days is nothing except the passing and evading of life. Although this is a fact, I think life is passing with a strange speed and swiftness. i feel a deep void exists in my life.”

What I wrote in response to his painful letter may Insha’Allah be left over to a future leisure and the future editions of the book.

Important Reminder!

Sometimes bitter problems take shape in this regard (separation before marriage), which are more bitter than the separation itself. That is to say, when a remorseful person (whether a boy or a girl) sees that he or she does not have the boldness and courage to describe his/her inner feelings clearly, honestly and truly and take responsibility on his/her shoulders due to the pressures exerted by the associates in order to rescue oneself from this entanglement and to have an excuse an logic for separation and withdrawal, one invents accusations, faults and unworthy things and attributes them to the person the or she was supposed to marry.

This practice is forbidden, very obnoxious and unclean, and causes the fury and wrath of Allah. It is a very grave sin and may be the cause of one's misery in this world and the Hereafter.

At such an occasion when a person wants to incur spiritual and social damage upon a person and his family by separation, dissolving and breaking one's word and arrangements of the engagement, he/she must console them and ask forgiveness and separate honourably. Not in addition to giving the first blow, also give them another spiritual and respect -damaging blow. This is against religion, conscience, manhood, nobility and freedom.

Imam Hussain (a.s) said:

إن لم يكن لكم دين و كنتم لا تخافون المعاد فكونوا أحرارا في دنياكم.

“If you have no religion and you are not afraid of the Resurrection Day, then at least be free in your world.” 14

At such junctures, even if some faults and demerits have been observed, they must be concealed and covered up, and not by inventing and engineering blame and accusations, and dishonouring each other.

At the end of this discussion, it is essential to remember that the topic 'excuses of the heart' in chapter seven (in the part concerning the calamities of the engagement period) suits this topic (repentance and remorse before marriage) very much and can be beneficial and a way-opener.
Likewise, it is suitable to refer to those two sorrowful letters, which are presented in the previous chapter (love the axis of life).

Similarly, the story of Ismail and Safoora, given in the fifth chapter, is also concordant with this discussion, because, became remorseful about getting married during the period of engagement.

I recollect the face of Ismail, on his wedding night which was severely sullen, sad and sorrowful.

I whispered to him: “Is it your father's mourning ceremony tonight that you look so gloomy and withered?”

He said: “Why should I be happy? Nothing new and attractive has taken shape for me so that I should be pleased!”

And ultimately this undesired marriage had all the displeasure and regret you observed in chapter 5.

“O Allah! Be a helper and guide to the youth in this important problem.”

Family Marriages

In some cases, family marriages such as marriage between cousins may bring about difficulties concerning the production of children; i.e. weak or deformed children. This has been proved and there is no chance of denying it.

We remember a few points in this regard:

1- This genetic law is not total and common and does not include all family marriages. Allah family marriages cannot therefore be discarded and considered prohibited.

2- People desiring such marriages must definitely scrutinize the medical aspect and let essential tests be carried out until they are satisfied that there are no difficulties. During this period, they must not marry.

3- Medical tests and whatever is necessary must be done before the marriage creates an attachment between the boy and the girl and they become hopeful about each other. They should also be done before the marriage proposal becomes open and revealed to people, so that a noise is not created.

If it is decide that the marriage must not take place, as under medical advice, then the matter should be closed as soon as possible. The more it is delayed, the more difficult would the separation be and the headache will only increase.

4- Those family marriage which took place among the Prophet's progeny (such as the marriage of Ali (a.s) and Fatima (s.a) and did not have any difficulty, was due to many reasons, one of which was that by virtue of the divine knowledge bestowed upon them by Allah, they knew that these marriages would not bring any difficulty for them. so referring to the practice of those magnanimous personalities, the established genetic and medical facts should not be overlooked.

Children's Engagement

In some families, a very bad habit and custom exists, which is that the boy and the girl are engaged during childhood, For example, they engage cousins and conventionally name them with each other, so hat when those nominated grow older, they may marry each other.

This practice is wrong from every aspect, and it can bring about lots of difficulties.

This problem needs a detailed discussion with descriptions of examples and specimens, which at present cannot be accommodated here.

For now, what is necessary to point out is as follows:

1- Families must not do such things, which are not in any way advisable.

2- It is also strongly recommended to girls and boys that they do not pay heed to such matters. If they are bent and inclined towards the person they have been engaged to during childhood, accept and marry them, otherwise do not.

3- The marriage of cousins has not at all been conducted in the heavens. This belief is nonsense.

The issue of spouse selection is higher and more important than such invalid customs, ceremonies and rituals.

  • 1. Marriage in the school of the prophet's progeny, by Najafi Yazid, p 88.
  • 2. Nahjul Balagha, Subhi Saleh, wisdom 26.
  • 3. Ustad Jawad Mohaddesi.
  • 4. This subject has been described in the previous chapter under the title of “beauty”.
  • 5. This subject has been described in the previous chapter under the title of “beauty”.
  • 6. Wasail al-Shia
  • 7. Mustadrak al-Wasail
  • 8. Wasail al-Shia, vol. 14, p 60.
  • 9. Spouse selection, p 114.
  • 10. Makarimul Akhlaq, p 369.
  • 11. Kashful Asrar, p 93, published by Nekukari Faterneeun Foundation.
  • 12. Spouse Selection p 166-168.
  • 13. Certain Muslims enter Nikah (marriage contract) much before the marriage ceremony. The actual martial life, sex, child bearing and family raising starts after the girl leaves her parents' house. But at time both the ceremonies can be held together.
  • 14. Maqtal (by Kharazi) and Lohuf, cited in “Philosophy of Ethics” (by Martyr Mutahhari, p 163).