How I Found My Happiness?

In 1968 I was born and raised in Hannover, a big city in Germany as a Christian, a Protestant, just because my parents were Christians.
All my life I believed in God but I have never been too religious.

When I prayed I prayed to God, not to Jesus. I never went for prayer into the church because in my opinion it wasn’t necessary, you can do the same at home to be close to God.

At 22, I got married to a Catholic and I’ve got three wonderful children. I taught them that God is always close to them and He protects us with His Angels. But in my marriage I became unhappy, my husband changed himself and he never talked about his problems with me. So slowly my marriage became broken. At this time I felt that I was losing my life, just everything.

In 1998 we moved to Wernigerode, a small town in East Germany for business reasons and I still hoped to save my marriage. When my youngest child was old enough for the Kindergarten I re-started to work. One of my colleagues was a Muslim but not a believing one. I didn’t realize how he taught me some Islamic manners.

One year later I started to change my life. I became able to accept things how they are, no matter if they have been good or not. I realized that everything is made by God. While that time I became stronger. After ten years my marriage was completely broken and I was scared to leave my husband, how could I survive as a mother with three children? But Allah’s ways are sometimes mysterious.

A couple of months later I got the answer. When I started with my first internet experiences I got to know someone on internet and he didn’t tell me that he is a Muslim. He was like the key to my new life Alhamdulilah. We shared our pictures, his was on his homepage. On that site I found two great links: one of the 99 names of Allah (at this time I never heard about) and one of the Qur’an.

I read the first chapter of the Qur’an and was so impressed that I wanted to read more. So I was looking for the German translation. My Muslim brother in the future, Abdul Rahman, didn’t know about this. I told him later that I was reading the Qur’an and he was so happy to hear it.
After a few weeks we got to know that he left the USA to move to Macedonia (at this time the war over there started) but he promised me to keep in touch with me. Alhamdulilah he did, and every time I was so happy to hear about him in these bad times. It was the first time I was afraid about someone I’ve never met before and made a lot of du’aa for him and his family.

I tried to improve my knowledge in Islam and in spite of our distance he gave me great advice to encourage me. My new faith and my belief in Allah gave me the courage to change a lot of things in my life. I left my husband and started a new life. It was a hard time for me but I felt how Allah was always close to me.

I will never forget the day when I had the strong wish to convert. My children found outside a kitten and we tried to save it. I prayed to Allah to let that little creature live. He gave him one week. I woke up at night and found our kitten dead. His body was still warm and I was so sad. I asked Allah why He did it. After a sleepless night I realized in the morning that it had been God’s will. He gives and He takes life. That was the moment; I knew I had to convert as soon as possible. Allah gave me a sign. Unfortunately there wasn’t and still isn’t a Muslim community here.

To convert to Islam, I needed to go to Braunschweig, a town in the western part. I met some brothers and sisters and the Imam on the station, my train was late and I hadn’t much time to stay and to go to the masjid before I had to return to my town. So I said the Shahadah at the station and one sister told me before I would feel like newborn and she was right. Masha’ Allah. It’s difficult to get some more knowledge in Islam without an Ummah and to bring up my children in the Islamic way but I don’t give up.

When I told my family and my friends about my conversion, they were shocked and except for my Mom and my little brothers, they didn’t want to talk with me. I was so sad about that, but I couldn’t leave my faith for my family or anyone else. My brother Abdul Rahman told me it would take time until my relatives would understand and he was right. Still my Dad can’t understand why I was so convinced about Islam and why I decided to wear a scarf. He said that I wasn’t born as a Muslim, it was not my culture. Insha’Allah one day he will understand too.

So when I converted to Islam in 2001 nobody told me how I had to dress or that I had to wear hijab from now. I changed my habits and my dress slowly and almost one year later I’ve got more and more the wish to wear hijab but unfortunately I couldn’t.

I was invited by some sisters for Eid-ul-fitr in Braunschweig. I took the chance and left for the first time my home with a hijab. Masha’ Allah it was a wonderful feeling. I considered if I should continue but I didn’t want any problems for my children as the only German Muslim in town. I asked them and they agreed and a couple of days later, after a lot of du’aa, I realized my wish with Allah’s help.

It has been several years and I don’t regret my decision. I can’t imagine anymore leaving my home without a scarf. People are still looking at me because they are still not used to foreigners here (sometimes I’m being took for a Turk ) but when I have the chance to talk with some about Islam, especially about Muslim women, I do and I must say that I have only good experiences. I’m proud to be a Muslim, Masha’ Allah.

After all, I must say that I don’t regret one moment that I became a Muslim. Islam is sometimes hard but I have never been happier before and I thank Allah that He sent me someone like an angel, Brother Abdul Rahman, because I found the right path for my life.

What Are the Merits of a Timely Marriage?

marriageA timely marriage has many benefits, and a delayed marriage has many losses. Here, we will refer to some benefits of timely marriage:

1- Securing and Strengthening True Faith and Spiritualism

‘Marriage’ is one of the strongest shields against the enemies of faith. During one’s youth, on one side, the attractive forces of spirit and nature, purity and virtue become more active and invite man towards himself. On the other hand, the attractive forces of instinct and sexual lust and desire awaken and call man toward one another.

Each of these two attractive forces is essential and necessary and Allah has bestowed them on man by virtue of His wisdom and benevolence, for the sake of man’s progress, maturity and completion. The invitation of each one of them must be answered positively, and the requirements of each must be fulfilled. If the attractive forces and desires of lust and sex are not properly, wisely and as Allah has set it, answered and controlled, they would rebel and overflow and attack the positive forces of nature and spiritualism and, as they have become bold and wild, they might well ruin and destroy the positive forces!

Marriage is one of the best defensive means for youth in this battle and struggle.

2- Benefiting and Enjoying a Sweet and Cheerful Youth

The spring of marriage is the duration of youth. During this span of time, man is overwhelmed by a peculiar kind of enthusiasm and cheerfulness. If this period is not made good of and utilized, then very soon the autumn of age approaches and the cheerfulness finishes up or is diminished and declines, and man can no longer completely and thoroughly enjoy and utilize the benefits of marriage.

It is the lively, young, and happy love, which contributes and grants enthusiasm and purity to life; while the dead, old and withered love does not possess any enthusiasm and purity to extend to life!

Look at the bud. How it talks to us about life and freshness and gives us the message of life, hope, and aspiration. But the old withered flower talks about depression, hopelessness, ailment, and death. Youth are like that bud, which must be used positively and benefited in this period before they are lost. And so they must erect their marital life upon a solid, strong and even foundation.

The Prophet (S) has a very worthy and valuable saying in this regard which is an argument and authority for all, leaving back no room for lame excuses and unnecessary questioning.

“أيها الناس! إن جبرئيل أتاني عن اللطيف الخبير فقال: إن الأبكار بمنزلة”

“الثمر علي الشجر, إن أدرك ثمارها فلم تجتن أفسدته الشمس و نثرته”

“الرياح. و كذلك الأبكار إذا أدركن ما تدركن ما تدرك النساء فليس لهن دواء”

“الاالبعولة و إلا لم يؤمن عليهن الفساد لأنهن بشر”

“Oh people! Gabriel descended down to me from The All-Kind, All-knowing Allah and said: ‘Virgins are like the fruits of trees. When they become ripe (mature)(and the season of their plucking arrives), if they do not get picked, the sun’s heat made them sour and the winds of autumn make them scattered. So are virgin girls that when they reach puberty and attain that which women attain (i.e. menstruation) then there is no alternative for them except to be given husbands. And if they do not marry, there would be no security that they are not pushed towards corruption, because they are humans.” (Human beings are sexual instinct, which must definitely be satisfied by a spouse. Boys are also like that.”

The Prophet (S) is the total of intellect and reason, proclamations, commands and decrees, which he declares are from Almighty Allah. No style, view and opinion can confront Allah’s command. Any style, fashion, custom, habit, excuse and law which is opposite to Allah’s law is invalid, null, void and worthless.

Those who, for whatever reason delay marriage until the end of youth definitely face loss and damage. If we minutely and thoroughly examine society, we shall meet many people who faced great loss due to delaying their marriage; although they themselves may not perceive what made them face all that loss.

3- Remaining Pure From Corruption and Sexual Deviations

There is hardly a factor like corruption and sexual deviation that cause so much damage to young ones. These corruptions and deviations blacken the lives of boys and girls, and incur suck damage and loss upon the youth, that leaves negative effects on them for the rest of their lives.

Sexual deviation – one of which is masturbation, destroys and spoils the charm, freshness, faith, potential, talents and the existence of a man. Those who are concerned and have contact with society and the youth understand the depth of this tragedy. And they know the extent of irreversible harm and damage that is incurred upon the structure of society, families and youth by the corruption, deviation, sexual contamination and illicit relationships of boys and girls.

The condition of girls who are pushed towards destruction on this course is pitiable, since they have a soft and elegant spirit. They may be involved in the chastisement of their conscience and the burden of sin and agony until the end of their lives.

One of the best and worthiest benefits of marriage is the safety of man from this dirt, corruption and deviation. When I used to read this hadith of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s), I would be amazed:

“من سعادة المرء أن لاتطمث ابنته بيته.”

“One of the prosperous matters that a man may get is that his daughter does not menstruate in his house”.

(i.e. before reaching that stage, she leaves for her husband’s house).

4- Safety from Nervous and Spiritual Diseases

If the sexual pressures and strains are not properly channeled through legal and correct ways, they bring into existence an abundant number of nervous and spiritual ailment and diseases, which damage those systems greatly.

These pressures, along with solitude, loneliness and homelessness and on the other hand, lack of a spouse and the pressure of instinct and spiritual agony and weakness of faith (may God forbid) drag one towards sexual deviation and going astray.

From the psychological and psychiatric points of view, sexual deviation, not having a spouse and sexual strains are of the major causes of spiritual and moral or nervous problems. Marriage with a suitable spouse is the best and most effective method of remedy.

Here we present the verse of the Qur’an that says:

“وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا …”

“And one of His signs is that he created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them…”(30:21)

Of course all the benefits described here are only accessible when marriage takes place with a suitable spouse.

Source: Youth and Spouse Selectio;  written by Ali Akbar Mazaheri  and translated by Javed Iqbal Qazilbash

Should a man go against the wishes of his sick wife and marry another to satisfy his needs and desires?

Question: I have a friend whose wife is sick and she cannot satisfy his sexual desire. At the same time, she strongly refuses to let him marry another wife. She acts like she’ll die whenever he wants to discuss this subject with her, though he has the right to marry another wife even if his first wife is sound. Then, how about it when she is sick? I wonder at the selfishness and the unjust jealousy of such women towards their poor husbands! My friend is always nervous because of his wife who is not ready to talk about polygamy. What do you suggest for a solution? Should my friend continue living with his wife and remain without children, satisfied lust, or comfort or should he marry another one regardless of what will happen?

The answer: This husband has the right to get married whether in order to get children, to satisfy his sexual lust, or to relieve his strained nerves, but executing this right requires great wisdom in caring for the moral side. He, to the extent of his abilities, has to convince his wife and assure her that he will not leave her alone or ignore her if she agrees on his marriage to another wife, rather her agreement shall make him love and respect her more. He must carry out his promise to her after her agreement.

If this attempt does not succeed, he should send some wise relatives of hers to convince her and explain to her the divine verdict in this concern. They should explain to her that by preventing her husband from marrying another, she will bring upon herself the wrath of Allah that will lead her to the torment of the afterlife because, by doing so, she denies one of the verdicts of Allah and prohibits a lawful right of her husband on the one hand, and on the other hand, she may lead her husband to commit unlawful acts. In fact, her permission is not a condition for the validity of her husband’s second marriage, but it is just a moral requirement.

If this attempt does not succeed either, then the decision is up to the husband whether he wants to live with her and make sacrifices for her or if he wants to get married to another, regardless of the consequences.

I myself know someone who went ahead and married another wife in spite of his wife’s threats, and then she submitted to the reality. However, I also know other people who married additional wives in spite of their wives’ threats, and their wives did in fact carry out their threats and caused their husbands many troubles.

I do not know which type the wife of your friend will be! I pray to Allah that she recovers her health and makes her husband happy, and I hope she will find pleasure in submitting to the verdict of Allah because nothing will be more useful to her than the verdicts of Allah, which surely have wisdom and advantages that may be unknown by man, for Allah is more aware than us.

Such women have to think of the pleasure of Allah and their ends in the afterlife. This life is transient and ages are too short however much they last! Then, let these women do good deeds and leave good remembrances after them!

What should we do about people who sleep too much?

Question: The idle youth waste their time in sleeping too much. They sleep with no alarm clock. What is the solution for such people?

The answer: They should read the following verses of poetry and come to a decision:

“O you, who sleep too much and are indifferent,
too much sleeping brings regret.
In the grave, when you enter into it,
there will be a long sleep after death,
and a bed of sins or good deeds you have done
will wait for you there.”

The holy traditions warn of too much sleeping. The Prophet (S) said, ‘Beware of too much sleeping, because it leaves its friend poor on the Day of Resurrection.’

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said in a Qudsi73 tradition that Prophet Moses (a.s.) had said, ‘O my Lord, which of Your people is the most odious to You? Allah said, ‘Carrion (sleeping) in the night and idle in the day.’

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Allah hates much sleeping and much idleness.’ He also said, ‘Much sleeping wastes religion and life.’

The youth should create jobs for themselves or spend their spare time in reading and acquiring good information and memorizing the suras of the Holy Qur’an because the Qur’an lights the heart and life. Whoever learns in his youth will make use of his knowledge when he grows up. The old learn nothing if they missed leaning in their youth.

Islam has not left the need of sleeping to man without directing it with special manners that give man a comfortable sleep and make him active in getting up. Here are some of these manners to be observed before going to bed:

1. Man should go to bed after cleansing himself from sweat and unpleasant smells.

2. He should perform wudu’.

3. He should go to the W.C. and relieve himself.

4. He should recite some Qur’anic verses and some supplications, especially the sura of Ikhlas (112) or al-Hashr (59) or at-Takathur (102) or all of them, and say what the Prophet (S) used to say, ‘O my Lord, if You take my soul in my sleep, forgive it, and if You set it free, keep it safe as You keep Your good people.’

5. He should not sleep on his face and abdomen because it is the sleep of the Satan and is harmful to the self and body. The believers sleep on their backs or right sides except if there is an excuse.

6. When lying, instead of thinking of what is of no benefit, Islam invites man to criticize himself on what he has done during his day. Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘When you go to your bed, think of what you have done in your day and remember that you will die and will be resurrected to be punished.’

7. Huthayfa narrated, ‘When the Prophet (S) went to bed, he said, ‘In Your name O Allah, I die and live’ and when he awoke, he said, ‘Praise be to Allah, Who enlivened us after he has made us die, and to Him is the resurrection.’

Dear brother, go to bed early and avoid evenings full of play and amusement, and awake early to find all good before you; good health, livelihood, activity, and vitality. The moment you awaken from your sleep, you will understand what you have read in the previous lines about the disadvantages of too much sleeping and about the manners of sleeping. If you understand this, you will awake at the required time. Recite this supplication before you sleep to awake at the time you want: “O my Lord, do not make me forget Your mention, do not make me feel safe from Your affliction, and do not make me one of the indifferent!’

source: For a Better Future

How can I handle severe unhappiness and desperation?


Question: O sheikh, I am complaining about my life; my nerves are below zero and I am very worried about my end.

The answer: Dear brother, my reflections have taught me that the reason behind 90% of the cases of anger in people of all levels is disappointment in their ambitions and wishes. The opposite is true too. Most of the people who are interested in life are those who either have not been disappointed, have no hopes tickling their emotions, or they have believed in Allah sincerely and submitted to Him in everything, and so Allah has granted them satisfaction with everything, and this is the true submission, which is the essence of Islam. Thus, I know how faith has lofty values and how Islam has many solutions for angry faces and furious souls. So we have to hasten towards the solutions of Islam before anger burns what remains of faith in us.

As a remedy, I suggest to you four things:

1. Prostration: it is the placing of the most honorable position of the body (forehead) on the soil. Do you know why? It is because one who prostrates himself ascends to the higher positions of Heaven with his loftiest spiritual beliefs.

2. You should know that if your moral sense is suspended, your five senses would never get you to the bliss of Paradise.

3. People are free. They choose either Paradise or Hell by themselves. The decision is yours.

4. Visit the graves, ponder on their inhabitants, and remember that their ambitions have ended with their ends. Take lessons from them and return to your life to make your end good!

source: For a Better Future

Why do people suffer and die from things like cancer? How can we handle the suffering and loss of a loved one?

160205113645-02-lovestory-super-169Question: The death of my lover, who has left this world after a severe and painful struggle with cancer, has hurt me too much. I have been melancholy and desperate of life after the death of one of my friends. In your opinion, what are the reasons for this horrible disease?

The answer: It is said that the Greek doctor (Galen) two thousand years ago was the first one who tried to ascertain the relation between cancer and the qualities that cause man to become afflicted with this malignant disease.

In a research by some British doctors in 1802 A.D., this question was posed, ‘Is there a relationship between man’s morals and natures and this malignant disease?’

In 1864, Doctor Walter H. Walsh wrote in his response to the previous question, ‘Sensitive persons, who suffer from spiritual pressures, prepare for themselves a ground for cancer.’

Thirteen years later, Doctor Grendon presented his theory by saying, ‘Worry and griefs have a great effect in afflicting one with cancer.’

In 1870, Doctor Sir J. Pajet wrote, ‘Despair and lack of hope help cancer to grow. There is no doubt that melancholy is the most serious cause of this disease.’

After some years, Doctor Penny Brhn performed some experiments and classified the patients of cancer into three classes:

1. Those who help others, but no one helps them or appreciates their efforts.

2. Those who find it difficult to reject needy people, and thus they become sad for not being able to satisfy the needs of people who ask them for help.

3. Those who feel meanness and do not have self-confidence.

Scientific centers conclude that failure in marital life, losing one’s job, insolvency, heavy debts, and the like bring man worry and psychological upset and pave the way for cancer. However, it is not necessary that these things will definitely cause cancer, but in most cases, it is so.

Many times, one becomes afflicted with cancer because of a defect in his defensive cells from childhood, as Doctor Jung thinks. He adds that one who is psychologically suppressed in his childhood has a fertile ground for cancer.

The American doctor Lawarene Le Shan, who is a specialist in cancer, says, ‘We must know what we want in life, and then we can carry out what we want with a strong will and determination. This requires us to know how to live healthily and enjoy our bodily powers to achieve what we want in life…cancer destroys life; therefore, we must learn how to protect ourselves from it. Then, let us avoid all that paves the way for cancer.’

Consequently, what are the means of protection?

1. Let us learn self-confidence. When the body and the soul become strong with self-confidence, they give one the ability to resist diseases.

2. Let us be kind and friendly because a man’s soul is thirsty for cordiality.

3. Let us assign certain times for (lawful) amusement.

4. Let us toil for good aims and not waste our ages in trivialities.

5. Let us regard our feelings and the feelings of those around us. This is a bridge to mutual understanding.

6. Let us busy ourselves with what we like and stick to it.

7. Let us have good food, avoid too much oil, and eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.

8. Let us not ignore vitamins and minerals in our meals.

9. Let us have good morals, be merry and sportive, and submit to the Merciful Creator in all our affairs.

10. Let us hold religious meetings and participate in the meetings of others, whether meetings of joy or sorrow, because social relations take man out of fatal isolation.

Finally, O our Lord, we seek your protection from any disease…O You, Whose name is a remedy and Whose mention is a healing, send as many blessings on Muhammad and his progeny as there are diseases and remedies, recover our patients, and have mercy on our dead; You are able to do whatever You like!

How can religious youth protect their faith?

protect2Question: We are seven brothers and sisters. Our father and mother are religious and we are like them. Praise be to Allah! A few days ago, I was listening to a lecture by one of the Ulama’, in which he divided people into four classifications: Some are religious in their youth and they continue so until the end of their lives. These are the happiest of people. Some are dissolute in their youth and then they are guided until the end of their lives. These people are happy, but less than the first ones. Some are religious in their youth but then they become dissolute and spend their lives in debauchery and deviations. These are the losers. Some are dissolute from the beginning until the end of their lives. These are wretched and the worst of losers. It is a nice speech, but how can I preserve my and my brothers’ and sisters’ religiousness so we can be from the first kind and not let the Satan deprive us of our religion?

The answer: Blessed be you and blessed be your parents who have fed you with faith and guidance!

Know that you are among those on whom Allah prides Himself before the angels and says to them, ‘Look at my slave! He has abstained from his lust for the sake of Me.’

It is sufficient for you that Allah is proud of you. Continue on your way to get the eternal bliss of Paradise!

I remember a family I was acquainted with in Denmark in 1991 AD. They had emigrated from Iran fifty years ago, and they still continued their religiousness there. The father told me that he, his wives, and children continually offered the Night Prayer. This conduct, in the midst of corruption in Denmark, is quite difficult to attain. Blessed be they and their likes everywhere!

The practical way of continuing in righteousness, about which you asked, is being continuously supplied with intellectual and spiritual energy besides being careful not to let the self slip here or there, through the following lights:

The first light is that you have to remember, always, these traditions with the questions that follow them:

1. The Prophet (S) said, ‘Any young man who abstains from this life and its pleasures for the sake of Allah, and spends his youth in obeying (worshipping) Allah, Allah will give him a reward of seventy-two veracious persons’68.

Do you want to prevent yourself from this great reward?

2. The Prophet (S) said, ‘The most beloved one to Allah the Almighty is a handsome young man who devotes his youth and beauty to the obedience of Allah. Of such a young man the Beneficent is proud before His angels and says: this is My real slave.’

Do you want to prevent yourself from this pride of the Beneficent?

3. The Prophet (S) says, ‘Allah loves the young man who spends his youth in obeying Him.’

Do you want to prevent yourself from this love?

4. The Prophet (S) says, ‘The preference of a young man who worships Allah in his youth to an old man who worships after he becomes old is like the preference of the prophets to the rest of people.’

Do you want to prevent yourself from this preference? Certainly not!

With these motives, you can continue in your religiousness. Do not follow the steps of the Satan, do not approach them, and do not think of them even out of curiosity because this may incite you to a dangerous slip. In the first instance, the Satan invites to unlawful things by means of curiosity, and then after sometime, he invites you and says: ‘all right, pray to Allah to forgive you after your sin! Does Allah not forgive all sins?’ In these deceitful ways, the Satan induces man and then laughs at him.

The second light is that you have to read about the qualities of the pious. Imam Ali (S) has mentioned these qualities to his Companion Humam in one of his speeches. It is one of the most wonderful educational speeches, which is full of spirituality, encouragement, and energy towards righteousness.

The third light is, besides regular worships, to hasten to do good deeds! Carrying out the needs of people and helping the poor and needy keep one firm in faith and certainty and this is the best thing Allah wants from His good people. Contrary to what some people believe, that religiousness and worshipping are realized in complete isolation, Islam believes “the best people are those who are the best to people and sincerest to all Muslims.70”

The fourth light is to know righteousness has a special spirit that survives with the following items: “Knowing Allah and being humble before him, continuous pondering over the greatness of Allah, asking Allah for forgiveness, sincerity, abstinence, giving up bad habits, asceticism, jurisprudence, reason, prudence, giving the rights of people back to them, keeping silent, supplication, and abstaining from the unlawful looking”.

You have to establish these qualities inside your soul to continue in the straight path.

The fifth light is, if you commit a sin, you have to immediately repent and pray to Allah to forgive you. You should well know that Allah loves young men who repent. In fact, there is nothing more beloved to Allah than a young man who repents, and nothing is more odious to Him than a man who becomes old while he still commits sins indifferently.

Finally, I pray to Allah to make you continue in your faith and not to let the blame of others weaken your determination. It is mentioned in the traditions that one day Prophet Abraham (a.s.) saw a white hair in his beard and said, ‘Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, Who has made me live till now while I have not disobeyed Him a bit.’

My mother has behaviors which lead to quarrels in her marriage that affect the whole family. What can we do?

mother-scolding_wide-7314ce6a77cadbdefdfac61ac7a2afe5510dc6c0-s900-c85Question: My mother always acts opposite to my father’s wishes. She always likes to change the decoration of the house, the furniture, and the like. In fact, she likes to change the house itself, the car, and so on. This matter has become a cause of daily quarrels between my father and mother. We have been victims of these clamors. We are tired of this state. Would you please show us a solution to this problem? We will be grateful!

The answer: It is necessary, before showing our practical suggestions, to emphasize that solving some problems is done by adapting oneself to them until time puts ends to them. It is important for a person to protect himself from being affected by the harms of a problem until it disappears. This is the patience that Islam has recommended and for which Allah has promised a reward.

As for the solutions to such a problem, they are of two kinds: the first kind is directed to the cause of the problem (that is your father and mother here) and the other is directed to those affected by the problem in the house (that is you and those with you).

As for the first kind, we would like to say to parents that a joint life requires carrying out the desires of the partner, if it has no harm. And even if it is a harmful desire, it should be compared with the harms of selfishness and insistence of one’s opinion, and then the less harmful of the two is preferred. On the other hand, the one who wants to change, or not to change, the decoration has to show his/her motives and convince the other partner as long as the matter concerns him/her too. This one has to declare the advantages of his/her idea and the disadvantages if it is not carried out, while keeping in mind that these advantages or disadvantages concern all of the members of the family.

This method of concern for the beliefs of others produces mutual respect between them, strengthens family relations, and increases their closeness and love to each other. This leads to an increase in the level of success in study and work, and consequently it brings happiness.

As for the second kind, I recommend you to discuss the matter with your mother instead of resisting her or ignoring her desires. Try to discuss with her the disadvantages of continuous changes (of decorations and furniture), which can cause fatigue and illness.

Moreover, you have to keep her interested in some thing else in order to not do what will disturb the members of the family. Also you have to convince your father to permit some required changes from time to time, as long as they are without excess or waste.

Can faith be spread today in spite of the inundation of temptations?

faithQuestion: Weakness of faith and beliefs has become widespread in our age. Our aged fathers and mothers say that faith in the past was stronger. Do you think it is possible to spread faith nowadays alongside this great corruption and means of deviation which have entered everywhere, even inside our homes via the TV, video, and internet?

The answer: When one knows that believing in Allah brings tranquility and ease to the heart, which in return cause success and happiness, one’s life becomes pleasant and happy.

When one sincerely and definitely believes that Allah protects and assists him, and when he knows that belief in Allah invites him to mention Allah and that the words of remembrance bring tranquility to his heart, which is the basis of every success, then he knows the worth of religion and keeps away from corruption. He will ask himself: if living under the shadow of faith makes me, my family, and my society happy and makes love and cooperation spread amongst us, then why should I choose to live under the opposite shadow?

Yes! Being religious in the irreligious atmosphere that is widespread is difficult. A religious person faces contempt and insults and suffers much in resisting them and continuing on the straight path. He feels pain and sorrow for the deviants and scorners. However, he becomes more resistant whenever he wins a fight, and this is what delights him and encourages him to continue on the straight path, especially when he remembers the blessings, pleasures, and rewards he will have in Paradise.

When one plants a seed into soil, it does not grow and bear fruits except after much care. Such is said about the sperm. When a father puts his sperm into the womb of the mother, a healthy child is not produced except after attending to all conditions.

A seed needs care and patience, and a sperm also requires care and patience. Does not a believer also need patience so that his faith will bear fruits? However, his faith bears fruits every day in this life in one way or another.

I say the same thing concerning your child. His heart will not open for faith except after efforts, patience, and care.

Parents are responsible for planting faith in their children’s hearts through making friends with them, showing them love and kindness, kissing them, embracing them, playing with them, listening to their speech, and explaining to them what is right and what is wrong. Parents will harvest what they sow in their children. If there is any mistake, parents should blame no one but themselves.

If these facts and their advantages are known, obstacles in the way of true faith can be removed by man himself. Then, he will dislike anything that takes him away from these facts and their advantages. A real believer does not let the television, video, or internet – if they are means of corruption and vices that may weaken his faith and lead him to the path of wretchedness and grief – destroy his future or his children’s future.

Is it acceptable for a reasonable person to leave his children, who he loves more than himself, in the middle of diseases that will afflict their souls and bodies and lead them to the fire of Hell?

Hence, parents have to plant religion in their children from their early years in a wise and successful way lest they deviate later on.

The pure nature in children remains pure if parents undertake their responsibility from the first day. Nature was and is still the object, on which prophets, reformers, and all good people depend in their tasks of reform. Without the divine nature in man, no one can take people from the darkness of deviation into the light of faith. It is a great mistake to be desperate of guiding people. If the prophets and the saints were desperate, faith would never move to people after them. Whatever corruption prevails, it disappears because it is the falsehood that vanishes when the truth comes. Let us bear the mission of the truth and trust in the assistance of Allah. It is the test by which the faithful are tried.

The injustice and corruption we see in our time are not exclusive to our age only. The ancient ages had worse than this as we read in the Qur’an and the books of history, but Allah always supports His faithful people. In fact, our age is better than most of the past ages in many ways such as the spread of faith and faithful people all over the world, the establishment of mosques, Islamic centers, libraries, and presses, and also the increase of religious people and clergymen. Hence, despair has no place inside the souls of faithful people who carry out their legal duties and who whenever they rely on Allah, Allah supplies them with courage and power with which they defeat the means of corruption and deviation and use this power and courage in guiding people and reforming defects.

Although we acknowledge the corruption that has appeared in the land and sea because of corruptive means, which are the modern hands of corrupt people and enemies of religion, we do not acknowledge the impossibility of reform and education, and we do not give in. Man has to act sincerely and then Allah will support him to achieve success. If we are sincere to Allah, we plant guidance firmly in our children’s hearts, and then we carry out our legal duty for which Allah rewards us. Allah says, (And nothing devolves on us but a clear deliverance (of the message)).

source :For a Better Future

How can we address the modern epidemic of depression?

Young man sitting looking upset

Question: As you know, melancholy is the disease of this age. Psychological clinics are full of sick persons whom melancholy has thrown out of the circle of life.
I have a melancholy, introvert father. He is forty years old but he seems to be seventy years old. This matter has troubled our family life. I am fifteen years old but I do not know the reasons that have made my father so. Does Islam have solutions that can be depended on to save such sick people? Would you please answer in details, because there are many people like me who wait for this answer?

The answer: Islam has solutions for everything. It has declared the cure of melancholy and its like and emphasized, before that, on prevention. Here, I summarize The answer’s in five points:

First, the traditions of the Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) have referred to “melancholy” as “grief” and “distress”. They have warned the Muslims of it by saying, ‘He, whose grief increases, his body becomes sick’, ‘Grief is half of senility’, and ‘Grief is the disease of mentality’.

Boredom, distemper, lack of appetite for food, physical and psychological weaknesses, insomnia, instability, absentmindedness, pessimism, fatigue, feeling of guilt, inactivity, not feeling joy in the beautiful scenes of nature or other material pleasures, neglecting one’s health, and paying no attention to life, which are qualities found in melancholy people, have been mentioned in the traditions with certain expressions.

Second, there is a close relationship between melancholy and the culture of the individual and that of the society. Some religious and social cultures lead to melancholy through their tragic literary works, sad music, and crying as it is widespread in the Eastern countries. As for the Western societies, the culture of disengagement from family connections leads one towards melancholy when he finds himself alone with no one to participate with him in his joys and sorrows. Therefore, we find that suicide rates are on an increase in the Western countries, which do not care for family connections, while in Japan, where family relations and connections are strong, the ratio of suicide is very low, whereas religious and rural societies are the least afflicted with melancholy and acts of suicide.

As for religious societies, it is so because religion prohibits suicide and considers it as a crime of murder, whose recompense is being in Hell forever. Moreover, religion satisfies man’s sentiments and his spiritual needs, which give him a power to adapt himself to changes and stimulates in him positive motives that resist melancholy.

Third, the reasons for melancholy must be understood. These reasons are not the same for all people. Each one is different from the other. For example, the reason for melancholy of someone may be the lack of love and sympathy and for another may be the accumulation of psychological pains, remorse after committing a sin, disappointment, the death of a lover, emigration and being away from one’s family and relatives, a great financial loss, or poverty and neediness.

Fourth, what is the successful cure for this disease?

Modern psychological clinics have depended, in curing this disease, on the tranquilizing tablets of Valium or other gladdening drugs, while some other clinics prefer electrical shocks. All these cures are rejected by the Islamic clinic, which depends on prevention initially and then on cure54.

For curing this disease, Islam prescribes the following:

1. Take a bath with cool water, and especially pour it over the head; Imam Ali (a.s.) says, ‘Whoever has grief that he is unable to identify, let him wash his head.55’

2. Wash the clothes and remove bad smells, which means cleanliness in general; Imam Ali (a.s.) says, ‘Washing one’s clothes takes away grief and sorrow.56’

3. Mention Allah a lot, especially by saying “there is no power save in Allah”; the Prophet (S) says, ‘saying “there is no power save in Allah” has a cure for ninety-nine illnesses, the least of which is grief.57’ Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, ‘If grief increases, you should mention “there is no power save in Allah.58”’

4. Eat grapes, as mentioned in the traditions of the Prophet (S) and the infallible imams (a.s.)59.

Fifth, protection is the most important way to prevent melancholy and introversion. Islam has established constructive teachings to prevent any negative state that may destroy man’s comfort and happiness. Islam first establishes belief inside man and then strengthens that faith inside him to reach a degree where he becomes certain of the wisdom of Allah and becomes satisfied with the fate Allah has determined.

The Prophet (S) says, ‘Allah, with His wisdom and favor, has made comfort and joy in certainty and satisfaction, and made grief and sorrow in suspicion and dissatisfaction.60’

A real believer sees the causes of melancholy trivial especially when he recites this Qur’anic verse, (it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it)61.

A real believer does not envy others because he knows that “envy eats faith as fire eats firewood”. Imam Ali (a.s.) says, ‘I have not seen an unjust one who is more similar to the wronged than one who envies: continuous panting, upset heart, and endless sorrow.62’ A real believer dose not look for the material pleasures of this life because he has read the Islamic concept about this worldly life as “it deceives, destroys, and passes away.63’

A real believer has to submit to the saying of Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.), ‘Loving the worldly life causes grief and sorrow, and abstaining from it causes comfort of the heart and the body.64’

A real believer does not pant after the lust that is in the back of his mind and refrains from pondering over it because he has read the warning of the Prophet (S), ‘A lust of a moment may bring a long sorrow’65.

Hence, a real believer protects himself lest he fall into melancholy. This is the vigilance of faith that leads to protection and safety from melancholy and its like.

Dear brother, you have to read this answer to your father and tell him:

1. Believe in Allah and work with the hope of arriving at the bliss of Paradise because this makes man patient with the difficulties of life!

2. Be active and do not be lazy!

3. Not committing a mistake is not a reason for great pride; rather, great pride lies in getting out of the mistake.

4. Dear father, stand on your feet to light your way and the way of others because an inverted candle does not light!

5. Have you pondered on flowers and smelt their fragrances? If there are no flowers in life, the scenes of beauty will be incomplete!

6. Happiness is a gift from Allah. Why do you not raise your hands towards the Heaven to receive this gift?

Finally, tell him frankly that worry, upset, fear and melancholy take him away from Allah; therefore, he has to do remembrance of Allah and be close to Him to be free from all those psychological diseases! Tell him: Come on! Forget the past and change your state and our state for the best by the assistance of Allah!