Question: I would like to build my family on sound bases according to Islamic teachings. What is the guiding principle to achieve this goal?
The answer: First, you should know the features of a good family and those of a bad family, and then you can decide which of the respective features to follow.
The features of a good family are as follows:
1. The absence or fewness of controversies between the members of the family, especially between the husband and the wife
2. The parents’ being as a successful example for their children through their conducts and thoughts
3. Observance of religious occasions, both the happy and sorrowful ones, and also of family occasions, like birthdays, as much as possible
4. Exchanging visits with good people and especially with relatives
5. Communal meetings with interactive discussions, jokes, and narrations of amusing incidents
6. Satisfaction of the material needs of all family members such as clothes, food, shelter, and others, besides the moral needs like love, sympathy, care, respect, and the like
The features of a bad family are as follows:
1. Always or often criticizing and disparaging each other and not respecting or encouraging each other
2. Looking at problems from a pessimistic view, as if they are not experiments from which success can be derived
3. Excessively watching others and suspecting every behavior of the family members
4. The dictatorship of the responsible member in the family and his autocracy in making all decisions
5. Cold relationship between the husband and the wife, while the children live in separation and with bad relations
6. Not reciprocating visits with relatives and other people
Of course, you may not find a family with all the ideal qualities, but you should try your best to raise the moral level of your family to be as near the ideal qualities as possible. When you find a good family, try to become acquainted with it and cooperate together to reach the required level of sound social relations. Beware of being ideal theoretically because reality has its own area that is narrower than in theories.
Generally speaking, to achieve your goal, you should try to achieve the following four points as Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘There are four things that bring happiness to man: a good wife, dutiful children, good friends, and living in one’s own country.’
FOR A BETTER FUTURE