The Results of Good Behaviour the Father
My child! Think and see how do you wish your children to treat you and what do you expect from them. Then you would know how your father and mother want you to treat them, and you will understand that their expectations from you are fair and justified. My child! If you wish your children to treat you nicely, appreciate you, and fulfil their obligations to you; and in the hard times, share your sorrow; and in the good times, be the source of your pride, in short to treat you with good behaviour, then do likewise for your father and mother and set yourself as an example for them, Imam al-Sadiq (as) says:
"Treat your fathers with benevolence, so that your children will treat you with benevolence."
The Child: It is my ardent desire to have quite capable children to help me out, and to cherish me. Thus, as they have said, I will have to improve myself and to establish an equitable relationship between you and me so that according to the principle of equal returns be wothy of having favourite children. Right now, I pledge to treat you in no way but with utmost benevolence.
11. The Fruits of Hard Word The Father:
Whatever possessions your mother and father have, such as the house and all there is in it, real estate property and others, will someday by yours, since we shall pass away and take nothing with us. Think hard! You may even end up making better use of them. Your parents have obtained them painstakingly and with hard work. But will take great satisfaction in putting them at your dispasal. They have even bought some iterms especially for you.
I pray that you will live for many years in happiness and in health and fully enjoy the fruits of you hard work. I do not want anything but to be able to live and enjoy life under your auspices and your protection.
12. A Good Reputation and the Family Environment The Father:
My child! It is you who can earn a good reputation for yourself through sincere efforts and good deeds, thus making your parents proud. Or, through mischievious and dishonest acts making them ashamed of you. Now, is it is not better to conduct yourself in the former fashion? That way, you will not only make us happy, but also Allah will be happy with you. This in itself is great blessing for you.
Everyone, instinctively, wishes to earn a good reputation for himself and his parents. However, this is directly related to the type of enviroment at home provided by everybody especially the elder family members. Imam al-Sadiq (as) says:
"In every family if there exists no fellowship and adoptibilty, it becomes deprived of Allah's blessing and bounties." - Usul Kafi, Volume 11, p. 119. Also Samuel Smiles, the famous author says:
"In any family where love and order is present, it's members will have a daily life of righteousness and good deeds, it's head is wise and kind hearted. One can expect to see happy, healthy and useful children come out of it. They, in turn, will follow their parent's ways and will provide happiness for themselves as well as people around them."
- The Book of Ethics, Part I, p. 41.
Of course, at times one finds misleading factors outside the home causing the youth to go astray by surrendering to their sensual desires. That is the time when, if the parents don't come in and involve themselves to save their children, they will fall to ill repute and will be destroyed forever.
13. Hormany and Co-existence The Father:
Now that we are talking about the family enviroment, I should tell you: The green family tree will bear sweet fruits only when its roots i.e. parent are compassionate and its branches i.e. children have understanding. This tree, in whatever home happens to be, will bring about a warm and pleasant atmosphere of love.
The sweet fruit of such a tree is comfort and happiness, because the kindness of parents and the understanding of children bring harmony and peace. That, in return, prevents creation of problems and misunderstadings. Thus, no dissatisfaction and hardfeelings will appear among them, with such eo-existence, every one will discharge his own duties and will respect the right of others. The father fulfils the duties of fatherhood; the mother that of motherhood; and the children behave like children. Oh! how fortunate is a family which comprises such members and how blessed is a house that has such inhabitants.
Your conversation having such sweet words and appropriate metaphor is every fascinating for me and in respect of content too it is meaningful and perfectly correct. There is no doubt about it's wisdom.
14. Revenge and Forgiveness The Father:
My child! When a person insults your mother or father or even treats them with disrespect, it is possible that because of natural instinct they may keep it in their heart and may look forward for a proper opportunity to take revenge from the person. However, no matter how you, my beloved child, mistreat them or how unpleasantly deals with them, they not only will not find a hatred against you but they also, will not attempt to get revenge from you.
The purity of your hearts has impressed me so deeply. No matter how bad my behaviour should cause a slightest heartbreak, you would soon forget about it and would resume your cheerfulness.
This is because of my good fortune that the Almighty Creator has created you so compassionate to treat me with kindness and love and to never ignore me.
15. Complaining and Hoping for Forgiveness The Father:
My child! Following our discussions in the past, I do not believe you would ever mistreat, hurt or disobey us in any manner, shape or form. Nor would you turn away from us in disgust. whatever we tell you does not come from mere carnal desires, but it is inspired by our love to you and is in your interest. So, listen to us and do as we suggest so you will find sucess and happiness.
When I was a child, I was ignorant. Now that I am a young man, I am suffering from pride. these two elements have prevented me from fulfilling my obligations towards you and from pleasing you. If my immature behaviour has cause you any hardship, or if I have ignored you, I sincerely apologize. And I hope that you will forgive me, as the great people do forgive. If parents do not forgive their children, then who woudl? And if they do not excuse them, who would?
16. Sufferings and Hopes The Father:
My child! Your father and mother have suffered a lot, gone through many ups and dwons and thicks and things, joys and sorrows in raising you and bringing you up to this stage, Look now! If you prove to be a bad person, you have spoiled all their sufferings and hopes.
Whenever, in appearance, I disagree with you, in reality internally, I feel ashamed and sorrowful. The more I disobey you, the more sorry I become. I pledge that from now on, I would be beneficial to you. If not that, at least I would not cause you any harm.
17. The Religious Beliefs vs. Superstitions The Father:
My child! Now that you have become mature, wise and of age, instead of homouring and respecting you parents, you are calling them ignorant, old fashioned and supersticious! What you call superstition, they consider regious fdknwledge and tradition. and they are deeply committed to observing them. Don't you think tye could be right? And couldn't what you refer to as superstition be a set of truths that can be understood only after comprehension and attension?
My beloved! Speak with your conscience for a moment. Think about the things you label nonsense. See if you are not mistaken. Think hard and apply your wisdom for analyzing your understanding regarding religious facts. If you feel helpless, you may seek assistance from the religous scholar. See what can you come out with? Do you find them to be superstitious? Or are they a strong moral code based on logic, science, and discovaries? I bear withness in front of my conscience that if you follow this method, and if you sincerely look into the roots and the branches of religion, you will then believe in them in a scientific and logical manner. And therefore while your parents were committed to their faith on the basis of following (Taqlid)1 of the others, you will become Muslim in your own capacity on the basis of enlightenment achieved by you, after a through knowledge of the religion.
The illogical statements and irrational behaviour of some people in the name of religion make us turn away from it. The superstitions which appear as religious facts as well as hard to believe imaginary rituals caused us to flatly reject religion. Otherwise, most of us young people do believe in the Islamic teachings and we look at the Holy Qur'an with extreme respect. further, we have no difficulty in accepting the factual aspects of the religion.
Of course, we still need guidance in unerstanding of what we consider ambiguous and unclear. We also need someone to touch our hearts with simple but interesting explanations about our religious obligations and to convince us of the necessity of following them.
____________ 1. A Muslim must accept the fundamental principles of Islam (usulud-din) with reason and faith and must no follow anyone in this respect without proof and conviction.
On the divine practical laws of Islam (ah-kamud-din) one must be either a mujtahid (authority) based on reasoning. Or, one must be confident enough in one's ablity to cautiously judge between rulings of different mujtahids (for example: If one mujtahid forbids an act and others do not, one must refrain from committing that act, or if one mujtahid makes an act obligatory and others only recommend it, one must perform that act).
If one is not a mujtahid and does not have such confidence in himself, then one must follow a (taqlid) of a particular mujtahid and act according to his rulings.[Tr].
18. The Right Way The Father:
The illogical words, the inappropriate deeds of some people, and the superstitions which have entered into religion, have no relationship to Islam, and they ought not be considered a part of it. One should not accept them. Instead, one must fight against them. Rejecting such things, is by no means for disbelief in the true religion. you must only stick with the truths of the religion and get rid of all he fallacies.
Although I do not have the wisdom to tell you what to do, but allow me to say: when you find any fault with me, please try to explain it to me in a manner that I have the capacity to understand. If I ask you a question about the reasons why some act of worship is done in the way it is, or if I question the philosophy behind some others, do not get upset with me, and do not call me a disbelieving Kafir.
In School, I have studied mathematics and natural sciences and have become mostly familiar with physical reasioning. But some religious matters seem unacceptable and complex to my mind. I have to ask about such matters. If you explain the answers to me in any easy to understand language and in a nice and logical manner, I will be convinced and will accept them. It would make me happy to feel that I have been able to find the solutions. And probably, this will help me solve other problems too. therefore, you should pleased with this line of my questioning, since I am doing this only to search for and to find the truth.
19. The Role of the Religion The Father:
Our questioning bout religious matters is a highly recommended and acceptable deed. In order to have a stronger faith, one should accept religious matters only after conducting a thorough concientious research. These questions not only will not upset your father and mother, but rather, will make them hopeful of a happy future for you. That is because religion is the means of improving peoples conduct. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) says:
"I was assigned (to Prohethood) so that human being may achieve perfection in good conduct."
- Mohjatul Baiza, vol. v.p. 89.
Anyone who approaches religion has a better conduct.
This better conduct in itself, is the source of happiness. Therefore, the parents are dutiful to accept such a child with open arms and to offer him religious guidance following logic of the Holy Qur'an as it says:
"Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching: and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious." - The Holy Qur'an 16: 125 Therefore parents are obliged to provide easy answers for the diffienet religious questions raised by their children.
It is very pleasing to see you agree with me on this particular subject. I shold thank you for the and I am hopeul that with your help and guidance, I will be able to acquire new knowledge about religion
20. All About Religion The Father:
My child! Now that you have assured me to accept the truth of your willingness and are committed to the true religion, in order to strengthen your faith and to enable you to do the same for others; I am going to offer you some explanations about the need for religion, the faith, Islam and some examples of it's exalted commandments and the spiritual and intellectual greatness of its leaders.
20.1 The Need for Religion: My child! Religion is needed for everyone. Man must have religion to enable him to have an enjoyable life. Members of society by gathering together meet their material ceeds and their industrial development but will not be satisfied with only what is rightfully their own. And if and When some of them could, they would invade other's rights in favour of their own comfort. Even if it would be at the cost of other's comfort and well being. Wisdom allows seeking that degree of comfort, which does not conflict with other's rightul interests. But beyond these limits, it would end up in deprivation of someone's genuine rights. That of course, is not allowed, since it will result in a guilty conscience. Therefore, a set of laws is needed to stop the invasion to the rights of others and rather to protect people's rights. Such laws must be general, i.e. to work day and night, at home and on a journey, inside and outside the house, when alone or in the company of others, in the city or in the country, and in short, in all given times, places, and occasions. It must be enforceble against everybody, and people must have respect for it as well as be fearful of breaking it.
A man made law, although general, may not have all these characteristics. That is to say that it may allow a person to break it at times. An example to when none is watching, one may feel free to break the law because his unlawful act shall never be discovered. He may do so simply because he is not afraid of any consequences.
However, the Divine Law which is made available to man through Allah's prophets, creates a faith in him that tells him no matter where you are, who you are or whatever the occasion may be, Allah will punish you for any sin you may commit. As Allah is everywhere, no sin will go unnoticed by Him. Therefore, the Divine Law is for the protection of society and the rights of its members. It is effective in preventing corruption. This Divine Law is nothing but religion and its articles as contained in the Holy Qur'an which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) through Divine Revelation brought by the Angel Gabriel.
20.2 The Faith:
My child! As in the present age, the industrial and intellectual revolutions progress and the mass communications are rapidly made available, the disease "Anxienty" is progressively fon the rise. The cure ofr this disease is Imam(faith). Imam, apart from the being a social order has numerous independent benefits. Because a man with faith enjoys a feeling of peace within himself, he never feels lonesome or at a loss. Rather, he believes that some how by the divine grace he shall be rid olf his problems. A faithful person will never become fade up with life, bored or commit a suicide.
The famous Dale Carnegie, after describing his father's difficulties, debts, failures, worries and anxieties in his life, continues: "One day my father sopped his horse on a bridge over a big river and looked in the river for a long time. He was worried about his problems and was debating whether or not he should jump into the river. Of couse he did not. Years later, my father told me the only thing that prevented him from jumping into the river was my mother's strong faith. She would say: "If we love God and do what he wants us to do, everything will okey." "My mother was right. Everything did work out okey. My father enjoyed another forty two years of life. He died in 1941 at the age of eighty nine.
Througout those difficult years, my mother would never worry. Through prayers, she would take the problems to God Almighty. Every night at bedtime, she could read a chapter on faith from the Bible. We would kneel in prayer in the small country home and would beg God for his love and mercy."
- How to Live pp.178-181. Dale Carnegie again writes:
"As the electricity, water and good food are useful and important in my life, so is faith. Electricity, water and food help me to provide a better and more comfortable life, but the advantages of religion realtively far exceed than all these material things. Religion gives me fiath, hope and courage. It takes fear and anxienty away from me; determines a course and an aim for my life.
Religion, to a large extent, completes my happiness and gives me well being. It helps me find a quiet oasis during the stormy times of my life. Today, the most modern science (psychology) teaches what the divine prophets have taught in the past. Why? Because the psychiatrists have found out that prayer, meditation and having a strong religion, worry, anxiety and fear."
- How to Live pp. 181-192 One of the pioneers in the this science says:
"One who really believers in religion shall never have psychological disorders." - How to Live pp. 179-185.
"Today, even the psychiatrists are preaching religion. They do not preach religion for the sake of saving us from the fires of Hell on the world to come. Rather, from the hell of ulcer disease, Angina Pectoris, nervousness and insanity."
Dale Carnegie writes about the meeting he had with Henry Ford: "When I asked him if he had ever worried, he said no. He then said: "I believe that God takes care of everything. Besides, he needs no recommendation or guidance from me. Because God is ni charge of things, he will do everything in the best way. so there is no reason to worry." - How to Live pp. 179-185
If the late Mahatma Gandhi, who after Mahatama Gotam Buddha was the greatest leader in India, had not receoved help and inspiration from powrful prayers, he would definitely be destroyed. How do I knows this? Well, from what he himself has said:
"If it were not for the prayers, I would have long become insane."
- How to Live pp. : 179-185
Professor William James of Harward University says:
"The most effective medicine for enxienty is a religious belief."
- How to Live pp. 179-185 In another place, he says:
"Faith is one of the forces that man lives by and its total absence means the downfall of humanity."
- How to Live pp. 179-185. Still, in another place he says:
"The roaring waves on the surface of the oceans never disturb the peacefulness of their depth, and to those who are dealing with more signifecant sublim realities and who are more stable, the life's hourly ups and downs are rather insignificant. Therefore, a truely religious person is free from any sort of anxiety. He is calmly prepared to do any job that life may brings to him."
- How to Live pp. 184-188 Immanual Kant, the famous German Philosopher says:
"Have faith in God, as we need such a belief."
- How to Life pp. 184-188.
Dr. Carl Jung, the most famous psychiatrist in one of his books, writes:
"During the past thirty years, I have treated hundreds of people from the civilized world. Among thosr older than thirty five years of age, I did not find even one whose problem was not eventually related to a religious belief in life. I can say with certainly that each to them were ill because they lost what the major world religions have given to their followers. And those who had not gottenbach their religious belief, did not really get cured."
- How to Live pp. 184-188.
Dr. Alexis Correl, the author of the book, Man - the unknown, and Noble prize Winner (the greatest academic honour) in an article writes: "Prayer and meditation like the gravity is the greatest force which has an actual ecternal existence. In my medical profession, I have seen people who got rid of the their melancholy through the force of prayer after all othr treatments had failed. Prayer, like Radium, has a brilliant source of energy created by itself. Through prayer, man tries to increase his limited energy by resorting to the unlimited source of all forces. When we pray, we connect ourslvers with the endless motivational energy that connects the whole universe. We pray that some of the energy may be appropriated to our needs. According to this demand, our shortcomings will be eliminated. Then we will get up with a better feeling and with more energy. When we address God with weamth and excitement in our prayers, both our bodies and souls will change for the better. It is impossible for a man for a woman to engage in one moment of prayer without getting something possitive out of it."
- How to live 8th Edition p. 186
20.3 The Complete Religion :
My child! For the right way of life, we should choose a religion that meets with with intellect and logic; a kind of religion by which we can achieve confidence; a kind of religion that gives our hearts peace and enlightenment; a kind of religion that prevents wrongdoings; a kind of religion that makes us conduct an ethical way of life; a kind of religion with clear proofs; a kind of religion with no vague or uncomprehendable points a kind of religion that guides an supports man step-by step through life; a kind of religion that we can rely on during our difficulties and to be able to resort to it in hard times; and finally, a kind of region whose commandments and directions are fresh and lively at every epoch and that does not become obsolete by the scientific and industrial progress, but instead their hidden secrets become unveiled.