THE SECRET OF ASUCCESSFULFAMILY LIFEMaulana Wahiduddin Khan      Translated by     Farida Khanam    Goodword Books
First published 2010   © Goodword Books 2010         Goodword Books  1, Nizamuddin West Market        New Delhi-110 013ema...
Contents1.    Life Management                   52.    The Art of Failure Management     63.    The Policy of Non-Interfer...
4 Family Life22.   Purposeful Man                      3823.   An Unnatural Desire                 4024.   The Secret of S...
(5)                        1            Life ManagementIN ORDER TO lead a successful life, it is importantfor man to learn...
6 Family Lifeallow emotions to take precedence. In a bloodrelationship, there is an emotional bonding. Buteven then, one h...
The Policy of Non-Interference   7    The Art of Failure Management lies in notlooking at marriage as something ideal, but...
8 Family Lifehealthy. When I asked him what his formula forsuccess was, he replied, “Non-interference”. Thismeant that nei...
(9)                        4     The Formula of 30 SecondsAS A MAN is egoistic by nature, and a womanemotional, they can o...
10 Family Life    It is necessary for both a husband and a wifeto understand this Law of Nature, which I callthe ‘Formula ...
Simplicity—A Principle of Life 11are influenced by their parents’ way of life andthinking. And the children of such parent...
(12)                        6            Exemplary FamilyCHAPTER 33 OF the Qur’an refers to the Prophet’sfamily, and says,...
Qawwamiat or ‘Bossism’    13and woman in the family is responsible for this,so that a virtuous society may come into exist...
14 Family Life    The word ‘boss’ seemingly appears to conveythe meaning that one is the ruler, and the other,ruled. But Q...
Woman: A Supporter    15   Being a Boss means having responsibility for,not superiority over another. Similarly,Qawwamiat ...
16 Family Lifedifferent tests in life, so that he may gain a placein the world to come. This should be the goal of aperson...
(17)                       9          A Source of ComfortTHE 30 TH CHAPTER of the Qur’an says, “He createdfor you from amo...
18 Family Lifeunitedly perform such great feats that no otherhuman companionship can ever accomplish.   Take the example o...
(19)                       10      Emotionalism Vs EgoismW HEN A MAN and a woman tie the knot inmarriage, it is a coming t...
20 Family Life     Similarly, a woman tends to be on theemotional side. This trait too has its positive aswell as its nega...
(21)                      11     The Home: A Factory for   Producing Good IndividualsP REPARING THE NEXT generation is a m...
22 Family Life    But Edison’s mother played a constructive rolein shaping her son’s future. She implanted theidea in her ...
The Harm of Pampering 23between ‘potential haves’ and ‘actual-haves’.Therefore, it is important to have courage in life,co...
24 Family Lifedowry does not, in any way help the daughter toestablish her life in her new home. Dowry hasnothing to do wi...
(25)                       13     The Faulty Role of ParentsA MOTHER’S GREATEST concern should be to makeher children succ...
26 Family Lifereality. God has imbued the mother with immenselove for her child, and the purpose of this love isto enable ...
Man’s Real Purpose in Life 27     There are many such parents who have giventheir children the best education, but afterwa...
(28)                      15 The Important Role of a WomanTHERE IS A maxim which says: There is a womanat the beginning of...
Gender Equality   29role, provided she understands the abilities Godhas given her, and utilizes them determinedly.However,...
30 Family Lifeconcerning gender difference, and does notconcern itself with gender inequality. The wholeworld is based on ...
(31)                        17          Equality in MarriageIT IS GENERALLY understood that, marriages aresolemnized betwe...
32 Family Lifetheir different capabilities, and run thedepartment independently, without interferingwith one other. Thus, ...
The Failure of a Love Marriage 33    The truth is that a natural way of marriage isbetween one man and one woman. For a ma...
34 Family Lifeof them ending in divorces. A love marriage failedto ensure them a happily married life.    What causes thes...
(35)                       20           The Role of ParentsIN MY EXPERIENCE, the greatest reason for the failureof marriag...
36 Family Life    My experience is that 99% of parents fail inthis regard. And the price has to be paid by thedaughter all...
Education and Women      37women that no excuse should be made in notseeking education. There can be no excuse for notdoin...
(38)                      22             Purposeful ManAN EDUCATED MUSLIM who is actively involved indawah work got his da...
Purposeful Man 39kinds of differences. One was that the husbandhad some objectionable habits or addictions, suchas drinkin...
(40)                      23         An Unnatural DesireMOHAMMAD RAFI ( D 1980), was a famous Indiansinger. He sang many s...
An Unnatural Desire   41     Judging by an unrealistic criterion makes onethink that one has ended up with the wrongpartne...
(42)                       24          The Secret of SuccessA S IS THE custom in the eastern world, aftermarriage, women l...
The Secret of Success 43your well-being, but you must know that, now,your home as well as your parents have changed.”With ...
44 Family Lifenot return his parents’ love back, he or she willcontinue to receive love.    But relations regarding one’s ...
The Joint Family 45foundation of a home. And she can play her parteffectively only when she considers her in-law’shome as ...
46 Family Life    In the initial nuclear family, there are only twomembers—the husband and wife. But later onchildren are ...
(47)                      27       The Problem Between a        Mother-In-Law and a         Daughter-In-LawTHERE IS A prob...
48 Family Lifeand peace in the family, and problems wouldnever arise.    The law of nature made by God is such that,every ...
An Observation   49had been born and brought up in Pakistan, andshe had come to America after her marriage.    One day, af...
50 Family Lifeback to the parents of the wife who had shieldedtheir daughter from the realities of life, and whenshe was f...
Breaking Away From the Conditioning Mould   51When one starts to think in this manner, it is theresult of conditioning. Th...
(52)                        30         The Greatest BlessingACCORDING TO A Tradition, the Prophet of Islamonce said: “Of a...
A Tradition 53be wrong. Just as God’s choice in all other matterspertaining to the whole Universe is right, so alsois God’...
54 Family Life       negative feelings for a believing wife. For       if he does not like one of her traits, he may      ...
(55)                      32              CompatibilityTHE COMING TOGETHER of a man and a woman inmarriage is the most uni...
56 Family Life    If both men and women ponder upon thisreality, they will be far more thrilled than a scientistmaking a d...
Intellectual Partner   57awakening his consciousness. To awaken one’sconsciousness, three things are required—study,observ...
(58)                      34                Mutual TrustWHEN ANY TASK is assigned to two people, mutualtrust between the t...
Mutual Trust 59this naturally creates resentment on the part ofher husband.    On the other hand, the man’s fault lies in ...
(60)                      35        Beauty or Inner BeautyMOST YOUNG MEN aspire to have a beautiful wife,which is very imm...
Making Mountains Out of Mole Hills 61is fortunate, as she will prove to be a bettercompanion in life. The purpose of marri...
62 Family Lifenever arise. This ignorance makes them regardthe matter as something of importance, while it isonly relative...
An Incident 63sign the divorce papers that same day. Sherequested me to pray for her sister’s welfare.   I insisted on tal...
64 Family Lifesetting any conditions. They now lead a happymarried life.                      38           Controlling Ang...
Waiting Policy 65    Anger is similar to a fire in an individual’smind. An unpleasant word or experience caninstigate this...
66 Family Life    In a marriage, the husband and wife oftenmake the mistake of expecting their partner tocome up to their ...
(67)                      40Stubborness — or DeterminationO N ONE OF my journeys abroad, I once met acertain Christian lad...
68 Family Lifeprofession. Her husband was a manager in amultinational company, where he was requiredto be tough in order t...
A Wise Lady 69your husband, or you end your life.” The daughterdid not expect such a reaction from her motherand was shock...
(70)                      42       Good in Every SituationR EGARDING THE MAINTENANCE of relationshipsbetween a husband and...
Good in Every Situation   71    Happiness is a state of mind. It does not existoutside of it. One should learn this princi...
RELATED TITLES PUBLISHED BY GOODWORDA-Z Ready Reference of the Quran, M.Imran Erfani, ISBN 8178983354Call of the Quran, Ma...
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THE SECRET OF A
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Family Life

  1. 1. THE SECRET OF ASUCCESSFULFAMILY LIFEMaulana Wahiduddin Khan Translated by Farida Khanam Goodword Books
  2. 2. First published 2010 © Goodword Books 2010 Goodword Books 1, Nizamuddin West Market New Delhi-110 013email: info@goodwordbooks.com Printed in India see our complete catalogue at www.goodwordbooks.com www.goodword.net
  3. 3. Contents1. Life Management 52. The Art of Failure Management 63. The Policy of Non-Interference 74. The Formula of 30 Seconds 95. Simplicity—A Principle of Life 106. Exemplary Family 127. Qawwamiat or ‘Bossism’ 138. Woman: A Supporter 159. A Source of Comfort 1710. Emotionalism Vs Egoism 1911. The Home: A Factory for Producing Good Individuals 2112. The Harm of Pampering 2313. The Faulty Role of Parents 2514. Man’s Real Purpose in Life 2615. The Important Role of a Woman 2816. Gender Equality 2917. Equality in Marriage 3118. Monogamy or Polygamy 3219. The Failure of a Love Marriage 3320. The Role of Parents 3521. Education and Women 36
  4. 4. 4 Family Life22. Purposeful Man 3823. An Unnatural Desire 4024. The Secret of Success 4225. The Difference Between a Parent’s Home and an In-Law’s Home 4326. The Joint Family 4527. The Problem Between a Mother-In- Law and a Daughter-In-Law 4728. An Observation 4829. Breaking Away From the Conditioning Mould 5030. The Greatest Blessing 5231. A Tradition 5332. Compatibility 5533. Intellectual Partner 5634. Mutual Trust 5835. Beauty or Inner Beauty 6036. Making Mountains Out of Mole Hills 6137. An Incident 6238. Controlling Anger 6439. Waiting Policy 6540. Stubborness—or Determination 6741. A Wise Lady 6842. Good in Every Situation 70
  5. 5. (5) 1 Life ManagementIN ORDER TO lead a successful life, it is importantfor man to learn the art of Life Management. Theart of life management means, on the one handman understanding himself, (i.e. he should knowwho he is, what his capabilities are) and, on theother hand, his becoming aware of the worldaround him. Then he may plan his life in a realisticmanner, and make improvements whenever andwherever required. The only criterion by which to judge whetherone had planned one’s life well or not is to see theresult. A plan which yields a negative result is notright, and a plan which yields a positive result isright. Examining an action by an ideal standardis not a wise thing. Wisdom lies in examiningthings in the light of the result. The relationship between a husband and wifeis a delicate matter, because they are not relatedby blood. Therefore, the only way to make thisrelationship successful is to use reason, rather than
  6. 6. 6 Family Lifeallow emotions to take precedence. In a bloodrelationship, there is an emotional bonding. Buteven then, one has to make a conscious effort. Theforce of nature, existing in blood relationships,does not exist between a husband and wife, whichis why it is difficult to manage this relationshipsuccessfully without rational management. Inshort, a blood relationship establishes itself by theforce of nature, while a non-blood relationship isestablished through conscious effort and rationalmanagement. 2 The Art of Failure ManagementA N INDUSTRIALIST ONCE came to me with hisdaughter. He said that his daughter was gettingmarried soon and asked me to pray for hersuccessful married life. I told him that everymarriage is doomed to failure, except for the onesin which the husband and wife learn the Art ofFailure Management!
  7. 7. The Policy of Non-Interference 7 The Art of Failure Management lies in notlooking at marriage as something ideal, but as apractical matter and then accepting one’s partnerthe way he or she is. People generally tend tomeasure their partners by an ideal yardstick, andwhen they do not measure up to theirexpectations, they tend to think that they havenot found their ideal soul mate. This happens bothin the case of a husband and a wife, and so bothpartners fail to experience the joys of their union. The truth is that every woman and every manare almost the same. Physical appearances mightbe different, but inside, there is no greatdifference. If couples realize this, then they wouldrejoice in each other, and accept each other asthe best life partners. 3 The Policy of Non-InterferenceI ONCE ASKED an educated person about his familylife. He replied that his family life was good and
  8. 8. 8 Family Lifehealthy. When I asked him what his formula forsuccess was, he replied, “Non-interference”. Thismeant that neither he, nor his wife interfered ineach other’s affairs. I agreed that this was the best principle formaintaining harmony in the home. God hasendowed man and woman with differenttemperaments. Every man and woman is different.Therefore, in a marriage, the relationship stemsfrom two different natures. And since God Himselfcreated this difference, we have no power tochange it. Instead of making futile attempts tochange this difference, we should learn to adjustto it. This principle can be put into these words:The Art of Difference Management. This difference is not an evil. There is greatbenefit hidden in it. Differences do not mean meredifferences: they should be seen as representingtwo different capabilities. If both men and womenhad uniform capabilities, they would be able toachieve very little. For, the absence of uniformityis the secret to intellectual development. It hasrightly been said, “When everyone thinks alike,no one thinks very much.” Therefore, the policyof non-interference is the best policy for a normaland happy life, both at home and in the outsideworld.
  9. 9. (9) 4 The Formula of 30 SecondsAS A MAN is egoistic by nature, and a womanemotional, they can often be at loggerheads witheach other due to their differences. This differencecannot be obliterated. The only solution to thisproblem is that, when a man’s ego flares up, thewoman should keep her calm; and when thewoman becomes emotional and loses her temper,the man must keep likewise calm. They shouldnot give in to reactions of any kind. This is theonly solution to this situation. A negative feeling such as anger flares up onits own. But, in its initial stage, it remains withina certain limit. And it crosses this limit only whenanger is allowed to intensify. The law of natureregarding negative feelings is that it gets activatedfor only about 30 seconds, and if it is checked, itgets defused like a balloon. Therefore, if a personchecks his anger, and does not allow it to flareup, the negative feeling will ebb away naturally,without there being any negative outcome.
  10. 10. 10 Family Life It is necessary for both a husband and a wifeto understand this Law of Nature, which I callthe ‘Formula of 30 seconds’. Knowing this is thegreatest secret of married life and those who haveapplied it in their lives will never have a majorcrisis in their marital relations. The Creator has placed necessary safeguardswithin nature itself. The only thing we should dois to learn of these things provided by nature, andapply them in our lives. The way of nature is silentcommunication. Those who can understand thislanguage of silence will be able to listen to thevoice of nature, and benefiting from it, will leadsuccessful lives. 5 Simplicity—A Principle of LifeIN MY EXPERIENCE, most parents do not understandthe ‘principle of simplicity’ in life. They may oftenadopt simplicity by way of compulsion, but seldomout of choice. Children are very perceptive, and
  11. 11. Simplicity—A Principle of Life 11are influenced by their parents’ way of life andthinking. And the children of such parents willfail to discover the value of simplicity in life. What is simplicity? Simplicity is that state ofliving in which man has realized the purpose ofhis life and given it the utmost importance, whileregarding everything else as secondary. It is important for everyone to develop apersonality of high moral character. God hascreated great potential in humans; it is up to themto realize it. It is very important for them todiscover their potential and realize their purposein life. They should develop their minds throughstudy and through their experiences. They shouldlearn to manage their time and utilize all theirresources towards the acquisition of their goals. A purposeful life is an ideal life. Simplicity isa must in order to lead a purposeful life. Simplicitysaves man from unnecessary expenditure anddistractions—things that hamper him in workingtowards achieving his goal in life.
  12. 12. (12) 6 Exemplary FamilyCHAPTER 33 OF the Qur’an refers to the Prophet’sfamily, and says, “God wants to remove allabomination from you, O people of the household,and to make you pure and spotless.” (33:33) This verse was addressed to the Prophet’sfamily, but since the Prophet’s family serves as amodel to all believers; it is equally applicable toall believers. It addresses every Muslim home. Itis necessary for all Muslim households to adoptthis reformative course which the Prophet’s familywas commanded by God to do. Every house is a unit, and these units form asociety. If every unit of a society is reformed, thenthe whole of society will be reformed. But if theunits go awry, the whole of society will also goawry. In this respect, the responsibility of everyunit is like that of the Prophet’s family, or Ahl-e-bait, as it is expressed in Arabic in the Quran.Every Muslim family has to undergo this processof purification and cleansing, so that evil isremoved and goodness is promoted. Every man
  13. 13. Qawwamiat or ‘Bossism’ 13and woman in the family is responsible for this,so that a virtuous society may come into existence.And in this respect, both man and woman areequally responsible. But the position of man is likethat of an administrator, and a woman as that ofa supporter. It is the duty of both the husband and the wifeto understand this responsibility and fulfil theirrespective roles. This is a duty imposed upon themby God. If they fulfil their role, they will berewarded by God, but if they fail, they will betaken to task, and God’s chastisement will bewithout doubt the most severe. 7 Qawwamiat or ‘Bossism’IN THE 4TH chapter, the Qur’an states that men arethe protectors (Qawwam) of women. (4:34) Theword used by the Qur’an is Qawwam, and it hasthe same connotation as the word ‘boss’ usedtoday.
  14. 14. 14 Family Life The word ‘boss’ seemingly appears to conveythe meaning that one is the ruler, and the other,ruled. But Qawwam has a different meaning.Qawwam refers to administration, rather than‘ruling’, or being ‘superior’ to a woman. Today, the concept of ‘boss’ or ‘bossism’ iswidely known. We can understand the conceptof Qawwamiat with this example. Qawwamiatmeans that a man is the head of the family, justas there is a head in an institution or a company.This ‘head’ or ‘boss’ runs the administration ofthe company, but this does not mean that he ‘rules’it. The common adage goes, “The Boss is alwaysright.” This does not mean that the Boss issuperior, but that for an organization to functionsuccessfully, someone with authority andresponsibility is needed at its helm. Similarly, a home is also an institution. Andlikewise, a head or a boss is required to run thisinstitution successfully. It is in this regard that theQur’an has called man a qawwam. The Qawwam of any home has the positionof a manager or an administrator, standing abovemembers of equal position. A home could becomea prey to anarchy if this principle were notaccepted.
  15. 15. Woman: A Supporter 15 Being a Boss means having responsibility for,not superiority over another. Similarly,Qawwamiat is also a responsibility. It fulfils theadministrative need, rather than exercisingsuperiority over one another. If the differencebetween this practical need and ideologicalauthority is fully understood, then the concept ofQawwamiat will be easy to understand. 8 Woman: A SupporterTHE SECOND CHAPTER of the Qur ’an says: “Yourwives are a tilth for you. Go then, into your tilthas you will Do good deeds, and fear God andknow that you shall meet him. And give goodtidings to believers.”(2:223) In this verse, the words ‘do good deeds’ sumup the basic theme. This central idea explains thefull verse, which means that one should beengaged in activities which are beneficial for thefuture. Man must prepare himself for all the
  16. 16. 16 Family Lifedifferent tests in life, so that he may gain a placein the world to come. This should be the goal of aperson in life. The verse further says that oneshould try to understand how a woman relatesto this goal in life. God has created woman tosupport man in life, just as the field supports thefarmer in the subsistence of life. This verse of the Qur ’an was revealed inMakkah at a time when people were debatingabout the role of women in life. People those daysknew only two things about women: sexualsatisfaction and the continuation of the humanrace. But the Qur’an says that over and above thosetwo things, a woman extends a supporting handin building a successful life. Therefore, man shouldutilize this provision, gifted by nature, and workat building successful lives for themselves. Anyother concept of a woman—less dignified thanthis—belittles a woman’s position. A man and awoman come together in marriage so that theymay unitedly play their part in building a greaterrole in human life.
  17. 17. (17) 9 A Source of ComfortTHE 30 TH CHAPTER of the Qur’an says, “He createdfor you from among yourselves spouses so thatyou may find repose in them.” (30:21) ‘Repose’ or ‘comfort’ here does not only meancomfort in a marriage; it also refers to thecontribution a peaceful partner makes towardsplaying a greater role in life. A unified effort alone enables great tasks tobe accomplished in this world. A solitary personcannot perform any great feat. The first and mostnatural form of this united feat is for a man and awoman to come together in marriage. This bringstwo souls together, and this unity of the two soulsis the only unity that produces mutual trust andlove. The coming together of a man and a womanin marriage creates the greatest companionshipin this world. If both the husband and wife realizethis and take it as a blessing from God, they can
  18. 18. 18 Family Lifeunitedly perform such great feats that no otherhuman companionship can ever accomplish. Take the example of the famous French couplePierre Curie (d 1906) and Mary Curie (d 1934),who unitedly performed great feats in the field ofmodern science. Their work was acknowledged,and they were duly awarded the Nobel Prize in1903 and 1911. This same potential is waiting tobe discovered in other men and women too. Anycouple can achieve success in their special fieldsand help in the shaping of history. Nature has endowed men and women withgreat capabilities. Anyone who recognises his roleand works hard can achieve success in his ownparticular field. Unfortunately, the superior roleof women has not been fully recognized either bythe western or eastern world.
  19. 19. (19) 10 Emotionalism Vs EgoismW HEN A MAN and a woman tie the knot inmarriage, it is a coming together of two oppositepersonalities. A woman tends to be emotional,while a man tends to be egoistic. These traits area part of their nature. There is a positive as well as a negative aspectto both these traits. If they are put to positive use,it will prove to be a boon to humanity. But if theyare put to negative use, it will prove to be a banefor humanity. The positive aspect of egoism in man is that, itis one of the driving forces in working steadfastlyfor a cause. A man bereft of this quality will beweak, lacking in will-power, and will fail toaccomplish any task which requires determinationand perseverance. But the negative aspect is thatit will make him arrogant. Therefore, one mustbe very careful, and not allow one’s ego to swayone towards the negative side, as this would becounterproductive and bring one rite disrepute.
  20. 20. 20 Family Life Similarly, a woman tends to be on theemotional side. This trait too has its positive aswell as its negative aspects. The positive aspect isthat she tends to be more sensitive, and thereforemore gentle and compassionate, which is, withoutdoubt, a positive quality. But the negative aspectis that it can give her an obstinate personality, thusmaking her stubborn even when a flexibleapproach is necessary. If a woman allows thisaspect of her nature to go unchecked, it will bedetrimental to the wholesome development of herpersonality. A man and a woman, both, ought tounderstand the natural traits they are born with.They must consciously strive to make use of theirpositive aspects, and sedulously refrain fromtaking any negative course. The secret of successin both men and women lies in this self-control.
  21. 21. (21) 11 The Home: A Factory for Producing Good IndividualsP REPARING THE NEXT generation is a mother ’sresponsibility. The human generation is like aflowing river, where the water is continuallyreplaced. In human beings too, the new replacesthe old. And a mother plays the crucial role ofpreparing this new generation. The responsibilityof supplying good human beings to everygeneration devolves upon her. How do you define a good person? A goodperson is one who has the courage to face life;one who is endowed with a positive attitude, whois constructive and makes a positive congenialcontribution to society. What is a mother’s role in this regard? Let usillustrate this with the example of Nancy AlwaEdison, Thomas Elwa Edison’s (d 1931) mother.Edison was hard of hearing from birth, and inconsequence performed badly in school. He waseventually expelled as a retarded child.
  22. 22. 22 Family Life But Edison’s mother played a constructive rolein shaping her son’s future. She implanted theidea in her son’s mind that he was not retarded,and that this impediment was a challenge. Shemade Edison’s education her mission, andencouraged her son to use his natural abilities toovercome his obstacles. The result is that Edison’sname is now recorded in history as that of a greatscientist! It is commonly believed that one born into awealthy family is fortunate, while one born intoa poor family is unfortunate. Here too, a mother’srole is to make her child feel privileged no matterwhat the circumstances, and that even if one wasnot born with the proverbial silver spoon in one’smouth, one still had the ‘incentive spoon’! Sheshould also show her children how most of thesuccessful people are where they are todaybecause they struggled and worked hard toachieve what they have achieved today. Likewise, a mother should teach her childrennot to divide people on the basis of the ‘haves’and the ‘have-nots’. It is often seen that althoughcertain individuals have been born into deprivedfamilies, they have risen to become members ofthe privileged classes! Therefore, the dichotomyis not between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, but
  23. 23. The Harm of Pampering 23between ‘potential haves’ and ‘actual-haves’.Therefore, it is important to have courage in life,coupled with a positive attitude. It is the duty ofevery generation to imbue the next generationwith the courage and maturity to face the realitiesof life. 12 The Harm of PamperingSOME PARENTS FEEL, out of love, that since theirdaughter shall have to do household chores aftermarriage in her new home, they exempt her fromdoing any work at home. And so when thedaughter eventually does marry, she is notaccustomed to taking care of her new house ortaking up new responsibilities. This kind of loveis not true love. Such parents usually start preparing for theirdaughter’s dowry right after she is born. In mostcases this dowry is not put to any good use, andjust becomes a means of temporary display. The
  24. 24. 24 Family Lifedowry does not, in any way help the daughter toestablish her life in her new home. Dowry hasnothing to do with the role the daughter has toplay in her in-law’s house. The real task of the parents should be toprepare their daughter for the future, not justprepare her dowry. She should be given aneducation, and proper training in social etiquette,so that she has the wisdom and fortitude to makeher life a success. Pampering, a part of the culture in manyhomes, is expressed in many ways. Parents tendto pamper their children by trying to fulfil all theirdesires. They often ignore the faults of theirchildren, hoping that they will outgrow them.Where things go wrong they mostly hold theirchildren innocent and lay the blame on others.Some pamper their children at the cost of theirhealth, in giving in to all their fancies about foodand drinks, and in how they dress too.Demonstrating one’s love in these ways is notcommendable, for, as a result of this, children arenot aware of the realities of life, and grow upspoilt.
  25. 25. (25) 13 The Faulty Role of ParentsA MOTHER’S GREATEST concern should be to makeher children succeed in life. But mothers arenaturally attached to their children, and thereforetheir hearts rule their heads. In matters regardingtheir children, they do not follow reason, and tryto fulfil all the demands of their children. Bynature, every child is born pure. But as he growsup, he deviates from his true nature. It is amother ’s duty to play a constructive role inbringing up her children, so that they do notdeviate from the true nature they were born with. Mothers, in their love for their children, try tofulfil all their demands, and this makes them thinkthat all of their wishes should be fulfilled. Butwhen the child grows up and comes into contactwith the outside world, he learns the opposite.This contradiction can yield negative results inyoung minds. He learns that while he is loved andprotected within the confines of his home, theoutside world is bad and full of hostility. This canmake him confused, and unable to comprehend
  26. 26. 26 Family Lifereality. God has imbued the mother with immenselove for her child, and the purpose of this love isto enable them to train their children with loveand patience, show them the right path and givethem the strength to face all odds. But mostmothers have turned their love to pampering theirchildren, and so have led them astray from thenature God had intended for them. 14 Man’s Real Purpose in LifeWHILE ON A JOURNEY, I met an educated Muslim.He had a big well-furnished house, but there wasno one to live there, except for himself and hiswife. In the course of conversation, I learnt thathe had a son and a daughter, and he had giventhem the best education that he could afford afterwhich they had gone abroad and become citizensthere. When I asked his wife whether she felt theirabsence, she replied, “I am happy that they arehappy wherever they are!”
  27. 27. Man’s Real Purpose in Life 27 There are many such parents who have giventheir children the best education, but afterwardsare left alone. The parents live in their grandhouses, but their lives are far from grand. Theyhave nothing to sustain them, except formemories. This is the story of most affluentparents. They earn money and build successfulworlds for themselves; but later on, their hope-filled lives turn into lonely lives. The principal reason for this is that they leadpurposeless lives. Their only purpose in life wasto keep their children happy, and when thechildren left them, they had no other purpose. Having a purpose in life depends upon one’sinner conviction. It does not rely on the presenceor the absence of people. A man and a womanbind themselves in marriage in order to build aworld of their own, but due to a lack of fullcommitment, they make their children the centreof their lives. Educating children is a responsibility,but not the sole purpose of life. If parentsunderstand this aspect of marriage, they will plantheir lives accordingly, and will save themselvesfrom disappointments later on.
  28. 28. (28) 15 The Important Role of a WomanTHERE IS A maxim which says: There is a womanat the beginning of all great things. One example in this case is that of Nancy AlwaEdison, the mother of Thomas Alwa Edison, (d.1931) the famous scientist whose discoveries inscience number more than a 1000. It was NancyEdison, a school teacher, who worked hard to addthe name of Thomas Edison to the list of theworld’s greatest scientists. Edison’s hearing was impaired from birth. Hecould not hear properly, and was thus expelledfrom school. But his mother was not one to giveup easily. She took the responsibility of educatingher son and home-schooled him, arranging forall his educational requirements. Edisonacknowledged the role of his mother in his life:“She instilled in me the love and the purpose oflearning.” Everyone can be like Edison’s mother. Everywoman is endowed with the capacity to play this
  29. 29. Gender Equality 29role, provided she understands the abilities Godhas given her, and utilizes them determinedly.However, the greatest quality required for this jobis patience. The capability is created by theCreator, but the price of patience has to be paidby the person concerned. A woman who can paythis price can play a great role, just like Edison’smother. 16 Gender EqualityIN A SEMINAR in Delhi, I met a retired Judge whoasked, “Maulana Sahab, do you know what theweakest point in Islam is? Islam does not admitgender equality!” Modern man finds such conceptsunacceptable. The modern age is one of genderequality, while Islam talks of gender inequality.This concept is shared by most people of the worldtoday. But this concept is not based on a deeperreflection of the term. Gender inequality is a matter
  30. 30. 30 Family Lifeconcerning gender difference, and does notconcern itself with gender inequality. The wholeworld is based on this difference, and the matterconcerning men and women is not an exceptionto this rule. There is nothing negative about this difference.Difference is a positive term. The differencebetween men and women can be compared to thetwo wheels of a cart. One wheel is not equal tothe other. They are complimentary to one another.God had made biological and psychologicaldifferences between a man and a woman. Thisdifference is made so that they become good lifepartners of one another. Both are complimentaryto one another. The concept of gender equality is an unnaturalconcept. It creates unnecessary conflict betweenthe two. But the concept of gender differencesproduces the concept of being complimentary toeach other, of supporting each other. It enablesthe partners to run the cart of life like two wheelsjoined together.
  31. 31. (31) 17 Equality in MarriageIT IS GENERALLY understood that, marriages aresolemnized between families of equal status forpractical reasons. In such situations, it is believedthat adjustments would be easier and would,thus, ensure a happy family life. However, inreality, this is just a supposition. If we look closely,we can find that marriages among equals sufferas much. Equality, therefore, does not assuresuccess in nuptial relations. A successful marriagedepends more on learning the art of management. It is also commonly held that marriages do notwork for couples who come from differenteducational backgrounds, and where there areregional differences, and disparity in economicstatus, etc. This is also a wrong assumption. Ahome is similar to a full-fledged institution. Likeother institutions, a home also has manydepartments. The easiest way to run thisinstitution is to have a division of labour betweenmen and women. Men and women should takeup different departments, in accordance with
  32. 32. 32 Family Lifetheir different capabilities, and run thedepartment independently, without interferingwith one other. Thus, in this division of labour,the problem of inequality will be solved. 18 Monogamy or PolygamyCHAPTER 4 OF the Qur ’an allows a man to havefour wives (4:3). This does not mean that everyman should have four wives. This rule is anexception, and not to be taken in a general sense.The general rule is to have only one wife; but in acase of real necessity, a man can have more thanone wife. This need refers to a situation where, by someunfortunate incident, there is disparity betweenthe number of men and women in society. Whenthere are more women than men, there is sexualanarchy. To overcome this inequality, in dire cases,men are allowed to have more than one wife.
  33. 33. The Failure of a Love Marriage 33 The truth is that a natural way of marriage isbetween one man and one woman. For a man isnaturally biased against the second wife in mostcases. This suffices to prove that monogamy is thenatural way, while polygamy is permitted inexceptional circumstances by the law of necessity.There are exceptional laws of this kind whichcover other cases as well. But exceptional lawsare exceptional laws, and they cannot be appliedin general. 19 The Failure of a Love MarriageWITH LOVE MARRIAGES becoming more common,people now believe that they have discovered thefinal formula for a successful marriage. They feelthat they can now marry according to their ownchoices and build homes according to their owndesires. But experience has shown otherwise.Today people all over the world marry thepartners of their choice; but surveys reveal thatmore than 50% of such marriages fail, with most
  34. 34. 34 Family Lifeof them ending in divorces. A love marriage failedto ensure them a happily married life. What causes these love marriages to fail? Theterm ‘love marriage’ is a beautiful name for aunion which is not natural: a union that arisesout of initial physical attraction. But all that glittersis not gold, as is revealed to such people aftermarriage, where one has to face reality. An affair before marriage is in many waysdeceptive, but after the marriage this initialdeceptiveness disappears and gives way to reality.What appeared extraordinary before marriageappears ordinary afterwards. Frustration thus setsin, which results in either separation or bitterness.It is better to leave the matter regarding marriageto one’s parents. But parents should take adecision only after taking the consent of theirchildren.
  35. 35. (35) 20 The Role of ParentsIN MY EXPERIENCE, the greatest reason for the failureof marriage is the faulty role played by parents.Parents spend lavishly on their daughters’weddings. This is against the teachings of theQur’an, which says that it is a satanic act (17:27).What parents ought to do instead, is to preparetheir daughters for the role they have to play inthe next phase of existence in order to lead ahappy life. Most parents pamper their daughters, but failto give them real love. Parents should know that daughters cannotlive with them forever. They will eventually haveto marry them off one day, and that their staywith their parents is only temporary. And it is alsoa well-known fact that the environment of one’sown home is different from the environment ofothers. For this reason, it is the duty of parents totrain their daughters to adjust to her new homewhen the time comes, and thus become true lifepartners to their husbands.
  36. 36. 36 Family Life My experience is that 99% of parents fail inthis regard. And the price has to be paid by thedaughter all her life. When a daughter is nottrained to face life in her new environment, shefails to accept her new home in her heart, andkeeps on thinking of her parent’s home as dearerthan her husband’s. And such parents also havethe habit of interfering in all matters of theirdaughter’s life even after her marriage. This is notlove, in the real sense of the word. 21 Education and WomenEDUCATION IS AS important for women as it is formen. Without education, both are incomplete.Education is a need which no one can afford toignore. Ignoring it would mean depriving oneselfof the means to attain a higher goal in life. Unableto reach any worthwhile goal, one would thenleave this world in a state of frustration. Education is so important for both men and
  37. 37. Education and Women 37women that no excuse should be made in notseeking education. There can be no excuse for notdoing so, for education is not just for procuring ajob, but for building up a good life for oneself.Today, education is important in every sphere oflife. Therefore, no one can afford to remainuneducated, as that stops one from living life tothe fullest. Man is like an animal. What is it that elevatesman above the level of an animal? The differenceis education. Education enables man to realize hislatent potential and turn it into reality. This is notpossible without education. Education heremeans higher education, not just vocationaleducation. Vocational education ensures one a job,while a broader education transports one to theworld of knowledge and wisdom. The acquisitionof knowledge and wisdom takes the educatedperson to the highest pedestal of humanity.
  38. 38. (38) 22 Purposeful ManAN EDUCATED MUSLIM who is actively involved indawah work got his daughter married to someonewho was living in the west. After marriage thegirl left for her husband’s home. She lived therefor some years, and a son was born to her. Butdue to some disagreements with her husband, thegirl became angry, left her husband and returnedto India to her parents. The girl’s complaints abouther husband convinced her father and he cameto believe that all the blame lay at the door of herhusband. When I met the father, I heard the whole storyand then I said: “it is the heart of a father whichspeaks and not the heart of the dayee in you.” Hesaid that he had made many efforts to make hisson-in-law understand, but he found him to bequite adamant. He said: “I won’t change; yourdaughter has to adjust to me.” I said all such kinds of differences took placein a married life. Then I said that there were two
  39. 39. Purposeful Man 39kinds of differences. One was that the husbandhad some objectionable habits or addictions, suchas drinking, etc. Another kind of differenceresulted from a temperamental nature. I said thatI did not think that his son-in-law had any suchwrong habits. He should therefore take the matter moreseriously, and try to make his daughter understandthat she should adjust to her husband. I told himthat she should consider her husband to be herboss. This was the only practicable solution. Therewas no other possible alternative. I said, “You area dayee. A dayee is a man with a purpose. Nothingother than dawah should be an issue. So youshould try to convince your daughter to adjustand live with her husband, otherwise yourpurposeful life of dawah will come to an endthrough being entangled in this matter. And youwill live only as a father, not as a dayee.
  40. 40. (40) 23 An Unnatural DesireMOHAMMAD RAFI ( D 1980), was a famous Indiansinger. He sang many songs which were verypopular with the masses. There was oneparticular song which moved even the singerhimself to tears as he sang it. It was about adaughter leaving for her in-laws home, after hermarriage. The lyrics of the song are as follows: “Take with you, the prayers of your father, I pray for your happiness with your in- laws I pray that you find so much love, that you do not miss your parent’s home.” But this wish is against the law of nature. Inthe world today, no one can have comfort andlove, all the time. To have love and comfort asone’s criteria for a successful married life isunrealistic. And it is not possible to achieve suchunrealistic goals.
  41. 41. An Unnatural Desire 41 Judging by an unrealistic criterion makes onethink that one has ended up with the wrongpartner. A lot of people live with this notion andtheir lives are filled with misery till the day theydie. If they had known of and accepted the realityof life, they would have lived differently. And theywould have taught their children the same as well.If all parents taught their daughters the reality oflife, and prepared them for the many challengesthey would face, things would be different. Thedaughter would take things in a positive manner,would regard new circumstances as challengesposed by nature, and utilize her God-givencapabilities to build a successful life for herself. Life is a challenge for both men and women.Those who know this will see this challenge as aladder to progress, and by climbing this ladderwill reach the higher stage destined for them.Comfort does not lie in material pleasures;comfort lies in discovering the secret to adjustingto one’s circumstances.
  42. 42. (42) 24 The Secret of SuccessA S IS THE custom in the eastern world, aftermarriage, women leave their parent’s home andlive with their husband’s family in his home. Butmost women, though physically residing in theirhusband’s home, feel their hearts are in the homesthey have left behind. This is an unrealistic wayof thinking, and results in disturbed lives. Parents are basically to be blamed for failingto make their daughters aware of the realities oflife. In most cases, the parents take the side oftheir daughters whenever problems arise, thusgiving them a false sense of righteousness. Thiskind of love in the end leads to affliction, for afterthey die, their daughter will be left alone to facethe harsh realities of life. I know of a certain father who, at the time ofsending off his daughter after marriage, gave herthis parting advice; “Where you are going now isyour home. Your mother-in-law and your father-in-law are now your parents. We will pray for
  43. 43. The Secret of Success 43your well-being, but you must know that, now,your home as well as your parents have changed.”With this sincere advice, the daughter made thehome of her in-laws her home, and found all thehappiness and security of life she had in the homeshe left behind. The secret of success in life is to be realistic.The causes of the majority of the problems in lifeare the result of an unrealistic way of thinking.The ones who discover this secret will certainlybe successful in making their lives pleasant andwell worth living. 25 The Difference Between a Parent’s Home and an In-Law’s HomeHAVING A BLOOD relationship makes it easy forpeople to love one another. And this is particularlytrue of parents and children. Even if a child does
  44. 44. 44 Family Lifenot return his parents’ love back, he or she willcontinue to receive love. But relations regarding one’s in-laws are totallydifferent. A daughter-in-law lives with people towhom she is not related by blood. If, at her parent’shouse, the culture was one of unconditioned love,the culture at her in-laws would be, ‘in giving wereceive’. This means — that if one is not preparedto give, one will not receive. It is quite common for women to consider theirparent’s home ideal, and their in-law’s home lessthan ideal. But the one who suffers as a result ofthis thinking is the woman herself. Due to thisway of thinking, she fails to build a genuinerelationship with her in-laws and her husband.God has created men and women with special,different capabilities so that they may play theirrespective roles effectively. But most women failto play their roles, and thus leave their potentialunutilized. A joint effort is necessary in order to play anyrole in this world. A home is an institution wheresuch effort is essential for its successful running.The people in the house should realize this, andmake efforts accordingly. This applies moreparticularly to the woman, as she is the
  45. 45. The Joint Family 45foundation of a home. And she can play her parteffectively only when she considers her in-law’shome as her own. But such a course of action canbe followed only by those who regard their homeas a social institution. 26 The Joint FamilyAFTER MARRIAGE, the first question that most oftencomes to mind is whether to opt for living in ajoint family or a nuclear one. The Shariah hasnothing against either. One is free to choose anyof the two according to one’s own convenience.But in my experience, if the couple is matureenough, the joint family system would bebeneficial in every respect. There are many requirements in every home.To build a successful home, many demands haveto be fulfilled. In this regard, the joint familysystem proves more effective than the nuclear one.
  46. 46. 46 Family Life In the initial nuclear family, there are only twomembers—the husband and wife. But later onchildren are born, and this entails the taking careof one another, and the taking care of the houseas well. In a nuclear family, the husband and wifeend up having to do everything on their own.While in a joint family, all the members of thefamily contribute to the functioning of the house,and help each other out. This proves beneficialfor everyone. But everything has a price, and in ajoint family, one has to live amicably with all themembers of the family, avoiding confrontationsand unpleasant situations. This is a prerequisitefor a successful joint family system. Therefore,those who have an aptitude for harmonious livingshould opt for this system. In life, everyone has to pay the price of eithersystem. One either sacrifices one’s ego for thebenefit of a joint family system, or one keeps one’sego intact, and deprives oneself of these benefits.No one can find both these things at the sametime.
  47. 47. (47) 27 The Problem Between a Mother-In-Law and a Daughter-In-LawTHERE IS A problem in almost every joint familybetween a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law.But this is not a real problem. The problem lies inthe underlying psychological condition. Oneparticular way of thinking can be solved byanother particular way of thinking. For instance, if a daughter lies down in thepresence of her mother, it will be regarded assomething natural. But if a daughter-in-law liesdown in the presence of her mother-in-law, shewill be regarded as being disrespectful. Problemsthus arise, due to this way of thinking, whichbasically results from the fact that while themother-in-law does not regard her daughter-in-law as her real daughter, neither does thedaughter-in-law regard her mother-in-law as herreal mother. If they both were to change their wayof thinking, there would be an atmosphere of love
  48. 48. 48 Family Lifeand peace in the family, and problems wouldnever arise. The law of nature made by God is such that,every daughter will become a daughter-in-law,and every mother a mother-in-law. Therefore,every woman must cooperate with this system,as anyone failing to do so would be disobedientto her Creator. These problems cannot simply betreated as existing between human beings; theyare between man and his Creator. For this reason,the solution suggested should be taken seriously,so as not to invoke God’s wrath. Angering anotherman is like angering a human being like oneself,but angering God would be like asking forcollision with the entire universe! Who can prevailover the entire universe? 28 An ObservationDURING ONE OF my journeys to America, I wasinvited to stay with a Muslim couple. The wife
  49. 49. An Observation 49had been born and brought up in Pakistan, andshe had come to America after her marriage. One day, after the husband had left for work,the wife came to me sobbing. But she was cryingso much that she could not tell me anything. Thenext day, she told me that her husband was nothappy with her, and that she was contemplatinggoing back to her parents. Her declaration had me thinking on the issue,and I tried to understand the problem. I finallycame to the conclusion that her parents wereresponsible for this state of affairs. As it turnedout, she was pampered by her parents so muchso that she was incapable of managing her house,as she had received no such training whilst shewas at her parent’s house. After her marriage, andespecially after settling down in a differentenvironment, she was incapable of taking care ofher husband and her new home. This became asource of unpleasantness in their marital life. Incountries like India and Pakistan domestic help iseasily available. But life in America was totallydifferent. And for someone who was not used todoing anything, it proved to be very difficult. Thedifference between the two countries had becomea problem for the wife. And this posed a problemfor the newly wed couple. And the problem comes
  50. 50. 50 Family Lifeback to the parents of the wife who had shieldedtheir daughter from the realities of life, and whenshe was faced with them, she could not cope withthem. It was this ill-considered approach of theparents that made life miserable for this lady. 29 Breaking Away From the Conditioning MouldW HEN A MAN and a woman come together inmarriage, it is the joining of two differentpersonalities. Each is different from the other inmany respects. They are both conditioned to theirdifferent ways of up-bringing and lifestyle. When a child is born, he is conditioned by theenvironment he grows up in. The environmentinside the home, and outside moulds him intowhat he eventually grows up to be. And this stayswith him throughout his life. And as a result, hestarts regarding his way of thinking as right.
  51. 51. Breaking Away From the Conditioning Mould 51When one starts to think in this manner, it is theresult of conditioning. This happens to almosteveryone. And so, when a man and a woman cometogether in marriage, this type of conditioningbecomes a problem. The woman looks at thingsfrom a different angle from the man. And this canresult in disagreements which can blow up to greatproportions. The only solution to this problem is to de-condition one another. This can happen onlywhen one opens up and engages in intellectualdiscussion with the other. And a prerequisite fordeconditioning is that one must be willing toadmit one’s mistakes. Admitting one’s mistakes isthe only successful way to de-condition oneself.
  52. 52. (52) 30 The Greatest BlessingACCORDING TO A Tradition, the Prophet of Islamonce said: “Of all the good things in the world, awoman of good character is the best!” This means that every woman is born with thisnatural potential. And it is a man who has torealize this potential. Just as an ore is nature’s giftto man and it is a man’s job to turn this ore intosteel; so is a woman born with her naturalcapabilities, and it is a man’s responsibility tomake her into a good woman. In order to do this, the first thing a man has todo, is to regard her as an asset. He should lookinto her inner beauty and see her hidden talents.A woman has great value and potential in herand it is up to a man to convert this potential intoactuality, or it will go to waste. This process is possible only when man realizesthat the wife he has found is a gift from God.When he accepts her as God’s gift, then he willfirmly believe that God’s choice for him can never
  53. 53. A Tradition 53be wrong. Just as God’s choice in all other matterspertaining to the whole Universe is right, so alsois God’s choice in this matter. When a manunderstands this, he will see his wife as God’s gift,and realise that developing her potential is amatter of divine service. He will do anything toturn his wife into a treasure! Everyone wants a good wife. But a good wifeis not available like ready-made goods. Thehusband has to perform the role of hertransformer. To be successful in this role, he needsqualities like well-wishing from the heart,patience and tolerance. 31 A TraditionA BU H URAYRAH HAS narrated a saying of theProphet Muhammad regarding family life in thesewords: “No believing husband should have
  54. 54. 54 Family Life negative feelings for a believing wife. For if he does not like one of her traits, he may like other of her traits.” (Sahih Muslim) The truth is that no man or woman is theembodiment of all good qualities. It is a law ofnature that if one has some particular goodqualities, he will be lacking in another department.For instance, we often see that one who is blessedwith outward beauty usually lacks inwardbeauty; while one who is not so physically wellendowed tends to have a beautiful soul. It is the tendency of man to look at the negativeaspects of people rather than their positiveaspects. This is a destructive tendency, whichcomes in the way of good relationships. But if wefocus more on the positive aspects rather than thenegative ones, we can form healthy relationships.And if we do so, we will find that our life partneris the best partner we can ever find! God did not create any man or womaninferior. They were perfect by creation. It is ourperception which is at fault, and which makes usregard some people as inferior, and some assuperior. If we were to realize this, there wouldbe no mutual ill-feeling and we would be able tobuild our lives in the way God wants us to.
  55. 55. (55) 32 CompatibilityTHE COMING TOGETHER of a man and a woman inmarriage is the most unique event in the Universe.All the things created in the universe are createdin pairs. But the compatibility that exists betweena man and a woman cannot be found in any othercreated thing. When a man and a woman cometogether as life partners, it is evident that theyhave been made for one another through aconscious plan. Once life partners realize this, they will beoverwhelmed with gratitude at having foundeach other. They will consider it a blessing. Thishappiness in each other will endure; they will feelas if they have found something priceless. Imagine a world without men, or a worldwithout women! There would be life, but it wouldbe totally bereft of happiness. There would be anover-powering feeling that something is missing,something is incomplete. Hence, a world withoutmen is as meaningless as a world without women.
  56. 56. 56 Family Life If both men and women ponder upon thisreality, they will be far more thrilled than a scientistmaking a discovery, and they will find thatgrievances against one another are totallymeaningless. Men and women are masterpiecesof God’s creation. Marriage means the comingtogether of two masterpieces of creation.Therefore, there is no greater event in the universethan this event! 33 Intellectual PartnerWHEN A MAN is born into this world, he is like ironore, raw in form. Nature has produced him likeore, and he has to develop himself on his own.Nature produces ore; man has to convert it intosteel. In this process of development, intellectualdevelopment is of the utmost importance. Indeveloping one’s personality, the most importantthing is for man to broaden his mind by
  57. 57. Intellectual Partner 57awakening his consciousness. To awaken one’sconsciousness, three things are required—study,observation and intellectual exchange with otherpeople. Books are the greatest source ofknowledge, and studying them is alwaysbeneficial. The world of nature is the greatestsource for observation. And in the matter ofintellectual learning, it is essential for man to formthe habit of learning from others, and continue inthis learning process. In the case of married people, they are eachother’s immediate intellectual partners. From thispoint of view, marriage is a great opportunity forintellectual development, as both can interactwith each other and make progress togetherintellectually. Intellectual development is essentialfor everyone. Marriage offers an ideal opportunityfor intellectual partners, who are always availablefor each other, to commune, with one another.And to be successful in this venture there is onecondition—that is, to give intellectualdevelopment top priority and to make it a part ofone’s daily life.
  58. 58. (58) 34 Mutual TrustWHEN ANY TASK is assigned to two people, mutualtrust between the two is required for the successfulcompletion of the task. Mutual trust between ahusband and wife is essential to successfully builda home. No good home is ever built without theexistence of mutual trust between a husband anda wife. One may ask why mutual trust is lackingbetween most couples. It is because neither iscompletely committed towards the other in theirrelationship, despite being married. Such arelationship that is lacking in commitment resultsin the formation of a psychological barrierbetween husband and wife. Therefore, both areresponsible for this lack of mutual trust in theirrelationship. The woman’s fault lies in her failing to adaptto and identify herself with her new family, herhusband’s family. She continues to cling to herown parents. Her failure to adapt to her newfamily is reflected in her words and actions, and
  59. 59. Mutual Trust 59this naturally creates resentment on the part ofher husband. On the other hand, the man’s fault lies in hisobsession with the concept of the ‘ideal woman’.He often finds his wife falling short on manycounts when he measures her by the parametersof the ‘ideal woman’. These are the obstacles mostly inherent in aman and a woman that come in the way ofbuilding mutual trust between them. To acquiremutual trust, both have to individually undertakeintrospection to diagnose their weaknesses andconsequently to correct them. Once both thehusband and the wife take such correctivemeasures, they will be able to live their lives in apractical manner. The psychological barrierbetween them will be removed, and they will beable to build a mutual trust between them whichwill enable them to lead a positive and successfulmarried life.
  60. 60. (60) 35 Beauty or Inner BeautyMOST YOUNG MEN aspire to have a beautiful wife,which is very immature on their part. And itmostly happens that this ‘beautiful’ wife turns outto be a ‘problem’ wife. A woman’s attraction doesnot last very long, and the initial infatuationvanishes into thin air. In matters of marriage, oneshould attach more importance to the innerbeauty of the person. A woman with inner beautycan prove to be the best life partner. The psychologist, Dr. John Ockert of FrankfortUniversity, writes thus: “Gorgeous women feel that beauty is the only asset they have, and cannot bear ageing. Marilyn Monroe, one of the prettiest women to emerge from Hollywood is stated to have wept bitterly when she saw the first traces of wrinkles in the mirror.”The man who finds a woman with inner beauty
  61. 61. Making Mountains Out of Mole Hills 61is fortunate, as she will prove to be a bettercompanion in life. The purpose of marriage is notto find a playmate, but a worthy life partner. Andthe best life partner is one who possesses innerbeauty, not just outward beauty. This truth canbe perceived by everyone, provided things areseen from a realistic point of view. 36 Making Mountains Out of Mole HillsTHE QUARRELS BETWEEN a husband and wife aremostly due to trivial matters. These disagreementscan sometimes escalate into serious discord. Sincea husband and wife live together, conflicts arisedue to constant proximity. If the same couple wereto meet in different circumstances, they wouldmost likely get along rather well. If a couple were aware of the insignificanceof their disagreements, serious conflicts would
  62. 62. 62 Family Lifenever arise. This ignorance makes them regardthe matter as something of importance, while it isonly relative in nature. The temperament of every person is different.This is a natural phenomenon. Differences do notsurface when people are mere acquaintances.Differences start surfacing only when they starttheir lives together. If couples were to accept thesedifferences as a part of nature, they would learnto look beyond them and work towards ameaningful relationship. Most of the problems inlife are due to ignorance. Recognizing one’s ownignorance and doing something about it will saveone from unnecessary problems. 37 An IncidentONE DAY I got a call from a city in India. It wasfrom a lady who said that her sister and brother-in-law were on the verge of a divorce due toirreconcilable differences. And that they were to
  63. 63. An Incident 63sign the divorce papers that same day. Sherequested me to pray for her sister’s welfare. I insisted on talking to her sister, and we dulyspoke on the phone. I asked her the reasons forher decision, and she had some complaints. Afterhearing her out, I told her that her problem wasnot significant enough to warrant a divorce. Andthat the differences they had were mainly due toher heightened sensitivity. She had complainedthat her husband never listened to her, and it wasshe who always had to listen to him. I gave her many examples to show her thatlife does not function on a bilateral basis. It israther run on a unilateral basis, and she was noexception to this rule. This principle has beencalled Qawwamiat, or bossism in the Qur ’an(4:34), i.e. just as there is a boss or a manager in acompany or an institution; in every home, too,there is a boss or a manager. This is a natural law,and is not related to gender equality or inequality.If we fail to recognise it, there can be no peaceand harmony either in the home or in anyinstitution. The sister listened to my advice, and returnedto her husband. She withdrew her divorce papersand accepted her husband as her boss, without
  64. 64. 64 Family Lifesetting any conditions. They now lead a happymarried life. 38 Controlling AngerANGER IS THE major reason for relationships goingsour. Anger stokes a quarrel which then begetshatred. And hatred eventually leads to evil. In anyrelationship, ninety per cent of the trouble startsdue to anger. Anger is a natural phenomenon. Theonly solution to anger is to control it. Anger in itself is not an evil. It is evil whenone fails to control it and it spoils the lives ofothers. Rage is nothing but a temporary provocation,which is an undesirable reaction. It is like a firewhich flares up for a short duration and then diesdown on its own if it is given no further fuel. Ifpeople realized this, anger would not result in anyserious disharmony.
  65. 65. Waiting Policy 65 Anger is similar to a fire in an individual’smind. An unpleasant word or experience caninstigate this fire and make it flare up suddenly.However, the duration of this fire is very short.So, when we are angry, it would be wise to holdour tongues or divert our minds and wait for thistemporary fire to subside. Once the fire has diedout, we will return to normalcy again. It isimportant to control the anger, so that the flare-up is controlled. 39 Waiting PolicyAN ANCIENT MAXIM says: ‘Wait and watch.’ This is not just a maxim; it is a Law of Nature.The policy of waiting means waiting for a betterfuture: waiting for tomorrow to bring somethingwe have not received today. This is undoubtedlya matter of great wisdom, as it is possible thatyou may receive tomorrow what you have notreceived today.
  66. 66. 66 Family Life In a marriage, the husband and wife oftenmake the mistake of expecting their partner tocome up to their expectations from the first day.They ignore the need to give time to each other toadjust, while it is well known that nothinghappens before its stipulated time. It is not possiblein this world to find today what you are notdestined to find until tomorrow. When a man and a woman come together inmarriage and set up a home, it is an entirely newexperience. They would naturally want to learnabout one another, and come up to each other’sexpectations. This begins from the first day itself.Both of them should help each other in this, andrefrain from any such behaviour as would disruptthis process. The policy of ‘waiting’ should aidthis natural development, and thus allow it togrow unhampered, until it reaches its culminationpoint. This principle relates to all great successes.And this same principle applies to a husband aswell as a wife. It is only after waiting that onereceives what one is waiting for. This is a Law ofNature, and no law is greater in this world thanthe Law of Nature.
  67. 67. (67) 40Stubborness — or DeterminationO N ONE OF my journeys abroad, I once met acertain Christian lady, who confided to me thather husband was a stubborn person and that shefound it difficult to deal with him. This had ledthem to the verge of divorce. I told her that thiswas not a real problem—the problem was in herway of thinking. If she thought of it in a differentmanner, her problems would vanish. Instead oftaking him as a stubborn person, ‘stubborn’ beinga negative term; she should consider him adetermined person. Using positive words makesone think in a positive manner. I told the lady that her husband was adetermined person, and that this was a good andmanly quality. A person who is devoid of thisquality does not have the courage to face thechallenges of life. And, therefore, one who cannotface the challenges of life cannot achieve successin life. The lady was a translator by profession,and thus proficient in many languages. She wasof a gentle disposition and thus well suited to her
  68. 68. 68 Family Lifeprofession. Her husband was a manager in amultinational company, where he was requiredto be tough in order to face the many challengesof the corporate world. God made her gentle,which met the requirements of her job, while herhusband was tough to meet successfully thechallenges in his profession. She should thereforehave been grateful to God instead of complaining. 41 A Wise LadyAN INCIDENT WHICH took place in a Maharashtrianfamily is worth mentioning. The daughter of thefamily married someone of her own choice—aneducated man. A son was duly born to them. Butsoon, differences arose between the young couple,and matters eventually escalated so much that theyoung wife returned to her parent’s home. Shelaid the blame on her husband. After hearing her out, her mother replied,“Marriages are for a lifetime; you either adjust to
  69. 69. A Wise Lady 69your husband, or you end your life.” The daughterdid not expect such a reaction from her motherand was shocked! But she soon recovered, andstarted to rethink her situation. In the meanwhile,she read the book, “Raz-e-Hayat” by this writer.After finishing the book, she realized that hermother was right and that she had to learn toadjust to her husband, as there was no otheroption. She began to see life from a newperspective, and finally decided to return to herhusband. She went back and started life afresh,without insisting on any set conditions. I have personally seen that they are livinghappily together now. They have become goodlife partners to one another. The issue of differences is like a rubber bandor a spring. If we do not stretch it but let it remainin its normal position, things will never go out ofcontrol and will easily be handled.
  70. 70. (70) 42 Good in Every SituationR EGARDING THE MAINTENANCE of relationshipsbetween a husband and wife, the Qur’an says,“Live with them in accordance with what is fairand kind; if you dislike them, it may be that youdislike something in which God has placed muchgood.” (Ch 4:19) This principle applies to both the husband andthe wife. It means that a good family life does notdepend on having found a partner of one’s exactchoice. According to the law of nature, this is notpossible. The secret of a successful family life,rather, lies in adjusting to one another, and indiscovering something good even in what seemsbad. Human beings, generally, face a commonproblem. They all think that they should get morethan what they have. Thus discontented, theyspend their lives searching for an ideal partnerwho can live up to their imagination. And in thisquest for the ideal, they live unhappy lives.
  71. 71. Good in Every Situation 71 Happiness is a state of mind. It does not existoutside of it. One should learn this principle, andonly then will one see things in a different manner.Only you can make yourself happy. No one cangift happiness to you.
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