how to get over my constant heartache and longing for home and family.

Question: I live with my husband in emigration. He is very kind and does not deprive me of my rights as a wife. I am proud of him and of the sound children Allah has given me through him. Praise be to Allah. However, being in a state of emigration away from my relatives and country troubles me. I have been deprived of my relatives and country because of my husband who is one of the political oppositionists to the state. This matter causes me continuous worry. I do not know how to convince myself of the reality around me while my heart is aching with memories and longing for my country. I fear that my state may affect my relationship with my husband. Please, show me a solution to my case and accept my thanks!

The answer: Dear sister,

First, thank Allah for the faithful, mujahid husband you have! Those who have such qualities are few. As a part of thanking Allah, you should continue being patient with the difficulties of emigration and requirements of jihad. You should always remember that Allah has promised the mujahidin great reward and virtue, and they will enter Paradise without any reckoning.

Second, man has the ability to adapt himself to all environments. He can grow accustomed to whatever is around him, but it is culture and willpower that lead him to either happiness or wretchedness. Try your best to strengthen your willpower and culture but in a way that pleases Allah the Almighty!

Third, you may read the biographies of those who have preceded us in faith, emigration, and jihad for the sake of Allah, for history has great, useful, and inspiring lessons!

Fourth, you should be certain that life is unstable. It does not remain as it is; a wind brings the tide and another brings the ebb, and Allah has the power to do anything at any moment.

Fifth, you should read a lot about the decree of Fate, because believing in this great concept cures many of our psychological and material problems.

Sixth, you should put your griefs and ambition in the frame of your marital life and darling children and make their happiness be the first and last goal in your life. It is this that will benefit you in this life and the afterlife. Let other matters and that which concerns other people be in the second and third degree. Do not mix up what is more important and what is important, because preferring the second one to the first will make you fail.

Seventh, you should know that the problems in the present age have spread in all countries, and your mother country is different now from what it was in the days of your memories. Conducts, morals, new generations, imported cultures, the types of economical and social relations, and whatever else you can imagine have become different and have changed since your emigration. It is not right, in evaluation, to dream of life in the past criteria and then walk behind their mirage.

Eighth, in your spare time, you should occupy yourself with social relations with your neighbors and with families who are in the same situation as you. The feeling of emigration disappears when man mixes with people of identical sufferings.

Ninth, you can assign yourself a mission to work for, according to your circumstances and intellectual level. Being busy with a certain goal closes the gaps of tiredness and exhaustion and brings one closer to success.

Tenth, you should always remember that life is short and a reasonable person is he who takes advantage of it to choose the best fruits before he misses the boat. Many are those who have emigrated and lived with their faith and then died (while in emigration) and will be in Paradise; whereas, if they had remained in their countries, they may have been among the people of Hell. How often it is that living in the motherland country for some believers, and even for those who have lost their faith, is bitter and difficult while it is not so after emigration.


Can you advise how a young woman married to a very old man should behave to observe his rights ?

Question: I have a young friend whose husband is very old. Sometimes, she asks me: what is a suitable conduct that meets the rights of the husband in order to please Allah? Then what are the rights of this young wife with a great ambition on her husband? What will her fate be after the death of such an old husband? I am not able to answer my friend’s questions except in general points, which are not sufficient. Would you please say what could persuade her and those like her? Thanks.

The answer: First, we should say that she has married willingly. She has not been forced to accept an old man as her husband. If it is so, she has to accept the consequences of her choice and be a good wife to her husband without comparing him to young husbands. The first one to compare and perish, and cause others to perish with him, was Iblis, and Allah has warned us of following him.

As for death, people’s ages are in the hand of Allah. How often it is that young people die and old people participate in their funerals! Let us suppose that her husband dies as others die, whether she is young or old at the time. Then, she has to do as widows do. She must wait for a new prospective husband or become patient as most widows or as spinsters do who accept reality and adapt themselves to its requirements. This kind of marriage does not mandate worrying about the future or being melancholy. A polite and religious old man is better than a reckless young man.

The important thing is submission to fate and then to behave according to the Islamic morals. Satisfaction, as stated in the traditions, is a treasure that has no end, and contentment is a rest that discontented people will not taste.


What is the right behavior to adopt if one of the spouses is polite and high-minded but not religious and pays no attention to lawful or unlawful things, purity or impurity?

Question: What is the right behavior to adopt if one of the spouses is polite and high-minded but not religious and pays no attention to lawful or unlawful things, purity or impurity?

The answer: If this does not cause a conflict, it will be better for them to live as two spouses and continue loving each other, hoping that Allah may guide the unreligious one to be religious and then they may live happily according to the principles of Islam. But if this attitude will cause a conflict between them, for example, if the husband forces his religious wife to take off her veil before his friends or to serve drinks for his guests or to give up prayers and fasting, first, he must be advised either directly or indirectly by other persons. If this is useless, then the rupture of relations should be followed. Sometimes, the rupture of relations is in the form of a separation to force the other side to reform himself/herself and sometimes in the form of divorce. It is better that these stages should be carried out under the supervision of a religious and wise family counselor. The objective is not to give up the religious obligations, for no obedience to a creature is worth disobeying the Creator. What is the value of the creature for whom man disobeys his Exalted Lord?

A religious wife has to take the Pharaoh’s wife as her example, as has been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, and a religious husband has to notice the example of Prophet Lot towards his wife. Man will withstand if he looks forward to the happiness of the afterlife, for this life with all its sweetness, which is mixed with the bitterness of problems, is evanescent and not eternal. Sudden death often happens in our present age. Do you not see how our youths are surprised by death and swallowed by graves without a prior notice? Being caught up in the pleasures of this life, which may be for a short time, is followed by deprivation of eternal pleasures in the bliss of Paradise, which Allah has prepared for the pious.


How to deal with a spouse who has moral or psychological defects and is not willing or able to reform?

Question: My question does not concern me. It is about how to deal with a husband or a wife who has qualities of nervousness, stupidity, ignorance, indifference, obscenity, or haughtiness but insists on adhering to these qualities and does not accept advices or think of reform.

The answer: I advise the people, who are afflicted with such spouses, to regard what they consider to be important things in the light of their benefits. Sometimes patience and silence are preferred because they are the best ways to defeat the problems that lie in the way of success as mentioned in one of the traditions “He is happy whose tongue is silent and whose speech is little but meaningful”, whereas at other times divorce and separation must be preferred.

My husband was handicapped after a traffic accident. How can I continue living with him until the last of my life while I am still young?

Question: My husband was handicapped after a traffic accident. How can I continue living with him until the last of my life while I am still young?

The answer: If the love between you is true, the matter is easy, but if the love is weak or you think selfishly, the matter is difficult.

Dear sister, I hope you accept reality because faithfulness and patience are much higher values than personal ambition, except if the husband does not appreciate this faithfulness and you cannot be patient with him. In this case, you would be better off to ask him for a divorce, and if he does not divorce you, then you can go to the legal judge (the religious authority) to determine your situation.

The basis of a happy life is love and devotion. Try to live with this valuable reminder, which if lost for some reason or other, there will be no reason to make you continue your life with your husband except if you have a greater power of patience, sacrifice, and altruism and if you want the reward of the afterlife.

In general, you should deal with your problem wisely and prefer what is more important to any important thing. I pray to Allah for you.


My wife is sick. In fact, she is handicapped, and I want to get married to another wife, but I am confused as to what the consequences of doing this will be

Question: My wife is sick. In fact, she is handicapped, and I want to get married to another wife, but I am confused as to what the consequences of doing this will be. I cannot tolerate living with her forever. Whenever I think of my state of continuing to live with my wife versus getting married to another one, I find so many difficulties gather in my heart, which seems like it is about to stop beating. Please, guide me to the right way, and may Allah reward you with goodness!

The answer: Dear brother, take it easy! Let your mind think, and do not put dams of illusion before yourself! Every problem has a solution by the will of Allah the Almighty. This world, with all its defects, has good people yet; otherwise, it would have sunk with its people.

Things are not dark, and life is not melancholy as the Satan shows it to you. You asked me to guide you to the right way, and I say that it begins from the following:

First, pray to Allah to guide you to the right path and to not allow you to follow your desires at all!

Second, consult with reasonable people about the steps you should take!

Third, treat your sick wife with kindness and mercifulness only whenever your circumstances allow you to do that!

Fourth, assure her that your marriage to another one does not mean that you will ignore her, and tell her that her cooperation in this matter will make you love and respect her even more!

Fifth, in your dealings with her, be understanding and lenient in all situations and expect your reward from Allah, Who rewards good-doers, and the reward of whoever does good will not be lost!

Finally, if you decide to get married while your first wife is unwilling in spite of all the previous steps, and your second marriage has legal reasons, try to get married without letting her know in order to not increase her sickness. If temporary marriage can solve your problem, you may prefer it to a permanent marriage. And then if she finds out about you and becomes angry, you should not reply to her angrily or harm her for it has been mentioned in traditions that it is not a habit of generous people to avenge immediately.

Nevertheless, I think that you would be better off being patient if observing patience is possible for you.


I am sterile and there is no hope for a cure for me, I find this an injustice for me and my wife

Question: I am sterile and there is no hope for a cure for me. I want to know why I have been afflicted with this injustice, and what the guilt of my wife is that she will not have a child to call her “mama” all her life and be delighted like all other mothers! O sheikh, please, excuse me for this question! I do not object to the wisdom of my Lord, but Satan whispers into my heart.

The answer: Dear brother, since you know that Satan whispers to you, you must seek the protection of Allah against him. You have to submit to the Lord of the worlds because He is aware of you, your wife, and millions of people like you. He is more aware of what benefits His people and what harms them. You do not know; perhaps when you are given a child, it may be born handicapped and then you and your wife will suffer difficulties and insomnia all your life, or when your child grows up, he may be a source of troubles to you and to your wife. Many accidents have happened in this life, any one of which is sufficient to give people big lessons. Many parents wished they had no child after being involved in great troubles because of him.

Then, why should you let the Satan affect your faith even a little? Thus, you will lose your faith and this loss is bitterer than your not having a child.

You should believe in the wisdom of Allah sincerely, adhere to your faith and certainty, shut out the whispers of the Satan who destroys you through your passion, and say, when the Satan begins whispering to you, ‘Perhaps that I have not been given is better for me because my Lord is aware of the ends of things’ and Allah is the Guardian of the believers.


My husband hates me because he wants male children from me, but Allah gives me females. What is my guilt in this? Why are men so severe?

Question: My husband hates me because he wants male children from me, but Allah gives me females. What is my guilt in this? Why are men so severe? I hope that you do not misunderstand me. I want to express my suffering and show the ignorance of some husbands who ignore the wisdom of Allah in His people. I offer my question so that you may show my husband and those like him the viewpoint of Islam in this concern. Thanks a lot.
The answer: Dear patient sister, I appreciate your feelings and I do not misunderstand you. In fact, I agree with you on what you say. Men are severe, but just some of them or maybe most of them. As for your husband and his like, they are unaware of the following points:

1. A husband should be happy with what Allah, Who knows the benefit of man, gives him. Let him read, for example, this saying of the Prophet (S), ‘There is no house having girls in it except twelve blessings and mercies come down to it from Heaven every day. The visit of the angels to that house does not stop. They (the angels) write to the girls’ father every day and night (the reward of) worships of a year.’

2. Doctors have proved that the semen of man determines the gender of the fetus, and the wife has nothing to do in this concern. She is just like a vessel, and the husband has to thank her because she protects his deposit in her vessel until she lays down this heavy burden. She suffers much pain and difficulties throughout the period of pregnancy.

Allah says in the Qur’an, (And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says: My Lord! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee, and surely I am of those who submit). Thus, Allah appreciates the efforts of a woman; then why should the husband not appreciate them if he believes in Allah?

3. The roots of hating female children stem from the pre-Islamic era. A Muslim husband should protect himself from falling into the abyss of that age of ignorance.

4. The Creator is Allah the Almighty and the husband should feel ashamed of himself if his ignorance leads him to oppose his Creator.

5. The vigor and vitality of the wife bring happiness to the marital life and make the husband recover his senses. A nice story in this concern has been mentioned by al-Jahidh in his book al-Bayan (p.186). He says,

‘Once, Abu Hamza ad-Dhabbiy left the tent of his wife and went to live with one of his neighbors when his wife gave birth to a girl. One day, he passed by his wife’s tent while she was playing with her daughter and singing,

“what is the matter with Abu Hamza,
that he does not come to us?
He stays in the house next to us,
angry that we don’t give birth to boys.
By Allah, it is not in our hands.
We just take what we are given.
And we are like the farm to the farmers,
we grow what they have sowed in us!”

Then Abu Hamza came into his wife’s tent and kissed his daughter’s head and her mother.’

6. Nevertheless, to be given a male child, there are some scientific and religious ways and others of the unseen, which a man can follow without harming his poor wife.

It is reported that Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, ‘Whoever wants a male child to be born, let him place his right hand on his wife’s navel on the right side (when making love), recite the Sura of al-Qadr (97) seven times, and then make love, and every day in the morning and evening he should recite (subhanallah: glory be to Allah) seventy times, (astaghfirullah: I ask Allah to forgive me) ten times, (subhanallah al-adheem: glory be to Allah the Great) nine times, and the tenth time he should say: (astaghfirullaha innallaha kaana ghaffara yursilis samaa’a ‘alaykum midrara wa yumdidkum bi ‘amwaalin wa baneena wa yaj’al lakum jannaatin wa yaj’al lakum anhaara: I ask Allah to forgive me because Allah (is the most Forgiving. He will send down upon you the cloud, pouring down abundance of rain, and help you with wealth and sons, and make for you gardens, and make for you rivers)


How can Islam, by permitting polygamy, want to solve problems whereas we find more problems in polygamy?

Question: My father has taken another wife. My mother is angry with him, and I am confused between them. From one side and according to my belief, I see that Islam does not permit anything unless there is a benefit in it, and from another side and according to the reality, I have pity on my mother though I do not approve of her anxiety, which may be the reason that led my father to get married to another wife. Would you please guide me with which of these views I should adopt? I hope that you will give me a glance at the subject of polygamy and the problems that result from it. How can Islam, by permitting polygamy, want to solve problems whereas we find more problems in polygamy?

The answer: As you said, Islam does not permit anything unless there are advantages in it, but those advantages are not achieved except by studying the subject in a real and comprehensive way. If getting married to a second, third, or fourth wife is just to satisfy a sexual desire without other humane purposes, it will not achieve the sought after advantages besides the motive, which will languish after the sexual intercourse and will then be replaced by problems that will destroy everything even the pleasure of sex itself.

Islam is very wise in permitting polygamy, but as for the appropriate situations and times to practice it, they will only be realized by the man who has been brought up under the shadow of Islam itself, and the one who does not care for justice (in dealing with his wives) will face many difficulties and be in a critical situation.

The Prophet (S) said, ‘He, who has two wives but does not treat them equally concerning sentiment and financial affairs, will come on the Day of Resurrection handcuffed and bent over, and then he will enter into the Fire.’

Following Islam according to practical conditions definitely solves all psychological and social problems, whether those of individuals or families. But following Islam according to one’s mood and worldly desires takes one to the forbidden division and complicates his problems.

An understanding Muslim woman would be better off submitting to the verdicts of the Sharia to emerge from the trial successfully; otherwise, she will be resurrected with those who deny the Sunna of the Prophet (S) and the verdicts of Islam.

Just as envy is a bad quality that one should drive away from his heart and conducts, so is the jealousy of women. When a wife harms her husband by doing something wrong out of jealousy, she violates the moral and legal limits.

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The jealousy of woman is unbelief and the jealousy of man is belief.’ Would a Muslim woman accept to bring herself unbelief?

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) explained the above-mentioned tradition by saying, ‘The jealousy of women is envy and envy is the origin of unbelief. When women become jealous, they become angry, and when they become angry, they disbelieve except the faithful ones of them.’

Dear sister, do not live in confusion. For what is this confusion? Your father has chosen his way, and he is a part of you and you are a part of him. Your legal duty is clear. You have to be kind to both of your parents equally and with no difference, but with more help and respect for your mother because she is weaker and more tired as you say.

Give advice to your mother and father whenever you find a suitable opportunity. Tell them that a Muslim is one who submits to the verdicts of Islam and does not obey his desires and his personal opinions instead of obeying Allah.

Does Islam teach its followers the practical way of practicing sexual intercourse between spouses?

Question: Is there a sexual culture in Islam? In other words, does Islam teach its followers the practical way of practicing sexual intercourse between spouses? My question stems from a discussion with one of my friends who says that Islam is far above such trivial matters! I think that the sexual culture, from which several marital matters arise besides the safety of the offspring, is not considered trivial. What is your opinion about the subject?

The answer: Islam has not ignored the issue of sexual education. In our traditions there are clear talks about this matter. Imam ar-Ridha (a.s.) said, ‘Do not make love with a woman except after you have played with her a good deal and have played with her breasts. When you do that, her lust will be excited and her organs will secrete, because her secretion begins from her breasts and her lust appears on her face…’

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘If one of you wants to sleep with his wife, let him not hurry (in satisfying his lust) because women have some needs (to be satisfied).’

The Prophet (S) said, ‘If someone of you makes love with his wife, let him not withdraw until she satisfies her need just as he likes her to satisfy his need.’

There was a situation with one of the Prophet’s great companions, Uthman bin Madh’oon. Once, his wife came to the Prophet (S) and said to him, ‘O messenger of Allah, Uthman fasts during the day and offers worships all night. (It was a metonymy that he did not meet her sexual rights).’ The Prophet (S) went out angrily holding his shoes until he came to Uthman, who was offering prayers. Uthman finished his prayers and then saw the Prophet (S) who said, ‘O Uthman, Allah has not sent me with monasticism, but He has sent me with an easy religion. I fast, offer prayers, and sleep with my wives. Whoever loves my nature let him follow my Sunna, and making love (lawfully) is from my Sunna.’

The traditions reported from the Prophet (S) and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) show the necessity of separating the beds of boys and girls and for having everyone sleep in his/her own bed because contact between boys and girls incites the sexual lust and causes premature sexual ripeness.

The traditions also talk about the necessity of paying attention to the suitable age of kissing children. The Prophet (S) said, ‘When a girl becomes six years old, she should not be kissed by a man, and a boy should not be kissed by a woman if he exceeds sevens years old.’

The traditions emphasize the importance of knocking on the door and asking permission before entering the room of two spouses. The spouses also must be careful when sleeping together that no adult or child hears their sighs or other sounds.

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) narrated that the Prophet (S) said, ‘I swear by Him in Whose hand my soul is that if a man makes love with his wife while there is an alert boy or girl in the house who sees them or hears their speaking or sighing, he/she will not succeed at all. If it is a boy, he will become an adulterer, and if it is a girl, she will become an adulteress.’

You notice that sexual education has been mentioned in the teachings of the Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) but in polite words and purified phrases, away from indecorousness or incitement of one’s imagination as we find in the Western cultures and books of sex, whose destructive effects are more than their advantages. In fact, what are intended by those cultures are those very destructive effects.