Divine Virtues in the Family and Society
But the raiment of the righteousness - That is the best. [Holy
literal infinitive and root of the abstract Arabic noun TAQWA, which has the
most beautiful and original meaning, is "WQY". WAQAYA means
self-control, being fearful and protecting one's self from all divinely
prohibited actions. Actually the word WAQAYA means the spirit, power and ability
attained by the practice of giving up sinning, by practicing abstinence and by
self-restraint against committing sins. keeping the soul's control over sin and
Concept of Piety
to be pious and acquire the spirit of self-control in the face of sin is the
best step to be taken in life; and amongst all actions is the action most
approved of. Trying to acquire piety is actually the practice of worshipping
God: the worship which God has instructed humankind to perform. This kind of
worship includes a program which will undoubtedly please God.5.
philosophy behind physical, financial and moral worship is the cognition of
piety by a true believer. Any type of worship, movement or action which does not
result in piety is not to be considered worshipping at all.
society is a combination of thousands of families and one family consists of one
wife, one husband and a number of offspring. Actually the building blocks of the
family and society are individuals. If each and every individual has developed
the spirit of piety, we shall have healthy families and a superior society. The
family will be an environment in which internal peace and safety from the
external world govern. In this type of family there is room enough for the
individuals to fully develop. As a result we shall have a society in which all
individuals are sources of benefit for each other and everyone is safe from
others’ mischief and harm.
pious people are loved by God and are divinely favored by the Prophets and
religious leaders (the Imams): they are practically generous and productive
( 26 )
beings. The pious ones are people of fine character and heavenly morality having
angel-like faces, and lack evil spirits.
individual's, the family's and the society's reputations depend on the existence
of saintly piety, and no individual, family or society is more worthy to God
than the pious one. The harm caused by wives, husbands, fathers, mothers,
children and society's individuals to each other is the direct result of
irreligiousness. The terrible fear that people in families and societies have of
each other is the bitter fruit of ungodliness. The ample damage done to the
affairs of people's lives results from the lack of piety.Actually, it is a
divine necessity for husbands and wives to be beautified with piety so as to
have a healthy society. And it is also necessary that the parents pass on this
beneficial, divine desire to their offspring. From the very beginning of
training their children, parents must make sure to develop the basic environment
praiseworthy it is to pay attention to the abundant benefits of the Quranic
verses and religious traditions on piety; and then begin to evaluate their
benefits! Look at the truth of the matter in this way: if all young women and
men were God-fearing, and made arrangements of marriage with an angelic capital
of piety, what wonderful families and societies would be established!
Piety and Its Praiseworthy Degrees
enlightened ones and those who according to the Quran show insight and have made
spiritual journeys mention three degrees of piety.
- Outstanding Piety
- Especial Piety
- Ordinary Piety
a very notable tradition Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) explained these three degrees in the
I - Outstanding Piety
first degree of piety is being completely absorbed by Allah and consists of the
individual abstaining from religiously lawful things and actions, much more the
religiously doubtful things and actions.
II - Especial Piety (In Awe of Allah)
second degree of piety is "In Awe of Allah" meaning the individual
abstains from all religiously doubtful things and actions, much more the
III - Ordinary Piety
third degree of piety results from fear of Hell's punishment and God's painful
Wrath. This degree consists of abstaining from all sins and forbidden things and
actions. [Mava'ez al-’Addadiyi, p.180].
( 27 )
course, the meaning of abstaining from religiously lawful things and actions
expressed in Imam Sadiq's statement has the following meaning: those having this
type of piety do not pursue many of the religiously lawful affairs since they
feel they do not require them. And concerning the lawful necessities they
require for subsistence, they observe the utmost frugality.
power to be contented is practicable for everyone, and if anyone denies it, the
excuse will not be accepted. Being contented with what is religiously lawful and
limiting the materialistic affairs of life are moral actions and approved of
programs providing the environment for the realization of angelic piety in all
Hajji Sabzevary and Moderation
order to preach Islam I traveled to the town of Sabzevar (Iran) in 1983 where I
inquired about whereabouts of the family of the Great Sage and Noble mystic
Hajji Mulla-Hady Sabzevary. I was told that one of his great grandchildren lives
in this town. He was wise, knowledgeable, knew philosophy and had interpreted
the Quran twice for the people of the mosque of which he is the Imam.6
rushed to visit him and his appearance, morality, style of living and his
encounters with others displayed a perspective of Hajji 's pure life. I asked
him about his noble great-grandfather. He described amazing issues about his
plans and life conditions and said that Hajji was respected by all scholarly,
political personages. He said people would rush to him from far away places to
benefit from his knowledge, but he lived in real moderation concerning his food,
clothing and housing. Sometimes, observing cleanliness, he would wear his
clothes for nearly ten years patching them when necessary as this is the
practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and that of God's Saints.
Lxury-Loving and Wastefulness
to Allah, these two acts are satanic and due to one's selfish and carnal
desires. What prohibits man from abiding by God's limits for life? More
specifically, if man were more content he would have an easier life, less stress
and insecurity. Once man's physical needs can be met with a reasonable house, a
normal vehicle and sufficient food and clothing, we should avoid keeping up with
the Joneses. We should get used to normal expenditures, and avoid extra
expenditures and obtaining what is considered luxurious and fashionable. We
should not use the West as a model for our life-style. They themselves are
plagued with many errors. Industry and technology should not make us think that
whatever they say and write is correct and that their lifestyle is in accordance
6 leader of congregational prayer
( 28 )
is important in the Islamic religion is the well-being of the soul and body, the
neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions. What is paid attention to in this
culture considering material, spiritual and personal affairs, and social faith
and ethics is for the good of man in this world and the Hereafter.
pure Islamic culture and school for refining human beings scorns wastefulness,
luxury-loving, making heavy expenditures, ornamenting the outward appearance of
one's life without considering moderation and economizing on expenses. This even
applies to the matter of building a mosque being the Muslims' place of worship.
Mosques must be adorned with the utmost spirituality inwardly, and be ornamented
outwardly in the simplest way so that hearts may not be tempted and souls not be
separated from Allah.
yourself with simple clothing, however, observe the etiquette for wearing it.
Attain your essential foodstuffs but observe the good manners of eating. One may
buy an appropriate vehicle of transportation according to his/her social status
but the driving regulations should not be ignored. Purchase a house for
yourself, but not one which will enslave your soul. All of the above are the
results of piety, abstinence and paying attention to God. The Jewish and
Christian lifestyles - considering housing and furnishings, transportation
vehicles, clothing, foodstuffs and other luxuries - are entangled in
wastefulness. The Christian churches and Jewish synagogues are adorned with
gold, jewels and other ornaments as well as devices, instruments, statues,
antiques, tableaux and couches costing millions of dollars. The lifestyles of
the Jewish rabbis and Christian clergymen, even that of their leader the Pope is
entangled in wastefulness and extravagant expenditures causing one's eyes to pop
out. If the personal hat and clothing of the Pope were sold, millions of
starving people could be saved from hunger.
great amounts of wealth, usury, great robberies even in broad daylight and a
thousand other notoriously disgraceful plans are the deeds of God's enemies.
God's friends must accustom themselves to God's consent and protect themselves
from extravagant expenditures and wastefulness. All these facts are generated
and maintained by piety.
home decorated with piety and a pious couple could actually possess a divine
treasure and heavenly capital. Their life is richly blessed with happiness,
peace and friendliness as well as comfort, security, health, righteousness,
justice, nobility, benevolence and truth. One's home and place of worship must
be such that one can feel at peace and be secure; and it should be a place to
get closer to God. In short, we must establish our lives based on piety and
moderation - considering God and the Hereafter - so as to please God and obtain
the good of the Hereafter.
today one can live on a meager income if one is pious and content. Of course, in
case a problem should arise and the believer could not handle it on his low
income, it is the duty of the believers to assist their brother immediately and
save him from suffering any hardships.
( 29 )
Let's Invite Each Other to Piety
that not all men and women can attain the first two degrees of piety being (1)
outstanding and (2) especial piety, we should not invite the general public to
these two stages of piety as these degrees of piety belong only to the Prophets,
the Imams and God's especial Saints. However, it is feasible for all men and
women to attain ordinary or the general type of piety; that is to abstain from
the religiously forbidden ethical, carnal and financial affairs.
it is everyone's duty to politely invite others to piety and to encourage each
other to abstain from various forbidden acts, so that divine virtues may
encompass man's life including individuals and families and thus the society can
benefit from it.
is divinely obligatory for all people in all ranks to attain piety, especially a
husband and wife who should teach piety to their children. The righteous say
children are God-given responsibilities and their hearts, and souls are pure and
void of any corruption like blank tableaux. This blank tableau can accept any
design. If a child is taught good deeds, words and ethics at home and if he/she
is guided to learn the truth, he/she will attain the prosperity of this world
and the Hereafter. The parents who cause this to happen shall share in the
reward as do the teachers who have participated in his/her training.
however, the parents be corrupted and ungodly drawing satanic designs on the
child's heart, life and soul, then the child will become corrupted and be raised
like an animal just following his lusts and carnal desires. The child will be
spoiled and the responsibility will undoubtedly lie with his parents or teacher.
yourselves and your families from a Fire.[Holy Quran: Tahrim 66:6]
Why do parents usually protect their children from fire and prevent them from
approaching danger? Should they not also protect their children from the flames
of God's Wrath in the Hereafter resulting from lack of piety, evil acts, no
morality, faith and good deeds. The practical approach to protect children from
punishment in the Hereafter is for the parents to be pious and to teach them
piety. To train their children parents must be benevolent teachers, persuasive
preachers and sympathetic inviters to good deeds. They must first ornament
themselves with piety, faith and good deeds. Then they must train their
children, teach them principles of morality and protect them from bad friends
and wicked teachers.
They must try to raise the child in such a way that he/she does not become
deeply fond of wealth, luxury and wastefulness as well as excessive ornaments.
Thus, he/she would not turn into a wasteful, greedy, looting, lustful and
stubborn individual in the future. If the society consists of ungodly
individuals, it will be like a building constructed from low grade materials. It
will collapse and living in it will become difficult for everyone.
( 30 )
There would be no need for prisons, police, courts and the extensive judicial
system, if all homes were based on piety and couples were virtuous and taught
their children piety. If so, large amounts of money spent on preventing robbery,
corruption and looting would be saved and could be spent for the public's
Signs of the Pious
the Quranic verses and religious traditions, religious authorities consider the
following to be signs of the pious:
enough of the religious sciences necessary for his actions, morality, business
deals and relations with family members and the society
his body's health by using hygienic measures and observing good etiquette while
eating and drinking
to one's intellect in daily affairs and being honest in all aspects of life
modesty, not lying as well as maintaining good temper and not being wicked
being a hypocrite and hating extra material goods
being deceitful, making excuses or committing treason
the virtuous and the wise
out one's religious duties, including the obligatory and supererogatory acts.
divine scholars since they teach man what is forbidden and what is allowed in
God's relogion, and only except man's progress
Sadiq (Pbuh) stated the following concerning the fact that one must follow the
sign of a liar is that he informs you of issues in the Heavens and the Earth,
but when asked about the religiously lawful and forbidden, he has no answer to
give. [Usul al-Kafi, v.2. p.340; Muhjat ul-Biyza, v.5, p.140]
other signs of the pious ones are:
in the face of terrible events
the Islamic customs and principles of morality in all affairs
in making supplications
in intellectual affairs
pious should have sincere intentions and be pure in soul. They should progress
to the stage of knowledge of certainty, then to the stage of reality of
certainty, and then to the truth of certainty.
( 31 )
A Pious Man and Wife
pious man never uses any means, except the lawful ones, and never accepts any
unlawfully made money, in order to earn his living.
he respects the rights of all with whom he deals, and no one is harmed by his
activities outside the home. He does not get involved in what is religiously
unlawful due to his piety and does not lose the treasure of purity of his soul
and contentment. When a pious man has finished working and returns home, he
leaves all his tiredness at the door-step and enters the house in a cheerful,
delightful state. He smiles kindly at his wife and tells her to relax after
working all day at cleaning, cooking and caring for the children. He praises her
and faces her with kindness, paying respect to each one according to his/her
position in the family.
in a while, a pious man reminds his family members about the religiously lawful
and forbidden, virtue and vice, good and evil deeds and does not let them forget
pious man does not spend all his time outside of home, and does not limit his
happiness and laughter just to his circle of friends. Also he does not
excessively attend the mosque and religious ceremonies.
A pious man notes that Islam has instructed us to be moderate and consider
economy in all aspects of life, even in worship. Islam has even prohibited us
from usurping the rights of our wife and children under the pretext of visiting
our friends or attending ceremonies. At this point, I must remind my respectable
colleagues who are in charge of mosques and religious ceremonies to shorten the
duration of religious programs. A congregation prayer and an hour of preaching
should suffice, as this was the practice of the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Noble
Imams. They raised great men and women in a short time and with brief sermons.
Worshipping in excess, especially in regards to the supererogatory acts, and
drawing on and on the meetings, will bore the listeners. Gradually this will
cause a psychological complex in the listener concerning religious programs. The
only result of this is the harm done to the mosque and religious clubs as well
as to the people, especially those with a low tolerance. Anyway, a pious man
will observe the proper etiquette in all aspects of life. In this way, he will
help to establish a fine family and attract his family's kindness to himself.
The pious wife protects her chastity, innocence and purity and eagerly does the
housework. She prepares the means for her husband's comfort and helps him to
relax as he is tired from work outside the home. She cares for her children in
the most honorable way and behaves with her husband and children within the
limits of Islamic morality. She does not forget to worship God daily and makes
the home the center of love, kindness, eagerness and delight.
The pious woman, by relying on the divine Islamic principles, follows her
husband's orders. She avoids getting angry and encounters her husband's
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kinsmen with kindness and Islamic morality. When her husband comes from his
work, she is at the door to welcome him. When he leaves for work, she sees him
off and requests him to bring home only the lawful goods. She says that she will
be content with the lawful goods, even if they are meager, and will not accept
the responsibility of unlawful goods. Do not exceed the limits set by God to
obtain unlawful wealth under the pretext of being married or having children and
a lot of expenses.
The pious woman does not try to keep up with the Joneses causing her husband to
be embarrassed because she wants the same things his kin have or hers does. Such
a pious couple are approved of by God, are a source of goodness and a good
example of divine human beings. In the shade of this couple, the kind of family
which God likes, is created. In any case, the husband and wife take care of each
other in all of life affairs based on the Islamic wisdom and laws, just as God's
My maternal grandfather told me that once he and his friends traveled from the
Khansar region near Isfahan to visit the holy shrine of Imam Reza (Pbuh). This
happened in the old days when people used to travel on quadrupeds.
He was in charge of shopping in Damghan city. Early in the morning, he entered a
shop to buy some goods. Since he was a pilgrim, the shopkeeper invited him in
and started serving him. At the same time someone entered the shop to purchase
goods and intended to buy a lot.
The shopkeeper asked him to cross the street and purchase from the store
opposite his shop, so the man left the store. My grandfather said he got
surprised and asked the shopkeeper the reason. He replied that earlier that
morning he had seen the other shopkeeper in a sad mood. When questioned why he
was so sad, he stated that he had a debt to be repaid on that day, but business
was bad. The shopkeeper said he could not remain indifferent, so he sent his
customer to shop from that poor man's store. Possibly in this way he could pay
back his debt.
Believers should support each other. Everyone should support his/her friends.
Especially, a husband should support his wife and a wife should support her
husband so that their life is established on the basis of divine and humane
principles yielding noble children.
scent in your house at the time of morning prayer by reading the Quran. Your
heavenly recital of the Holy Quran will affect your wife and children, and they
will become better acquainted with worship services and God willing the true
message of the Quran and will become benevolent and pious.