The Ideal Family in the Fatimid School
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(PART ONE)

Abstract: Setting Fatima az-Zahra (SA) as a model is the best way to find the outline of an ideal family. Because of the unity between practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom in the Fatimid school, it has the capacity of being referred to as a source to achieve general knowledge in the light of partial knowledge and of being used in all affairs of life. In order to introduce the most important factors in family stabilization, this article will first discuss its basics in Fatima’s (SA) perspective and then go on to consider such matters as her monotheist outlook on family, righteousness of preparations for marriage and trust in the permanence of marriage and finally in order to point out the factors in family stabilization in Fatima’s (SA) behavior and statements, the article will go on to discuss matters like the proper ways of treating one’s partner, supporting and defending one’s spouse, observing hijab, equalization of workload among family members, etc.

Events develop in history and different phenomena develop overtime. These phenomena slap against the coasts of history and then disappear like waves. However, the events that have their roots in monotheism and pure thoughts will continue to prevail forever. As the events of Ashura spread to all times and places and started to glow throughout the world.

Fatima’s (SA) attributes at home were another Jihad like that of Karbala that shows off good thoughts and behavior to people of all times. When such a woman goes to her husband’s and takes on the roles of a wife and a mother, each moment of her life makes the history and geography of the most ideal family in the whole history of mankind. Sincerity is the most important secret behind her eternally magnificent life. She had selected God as the only goal of her life. She is considered the most successful lady throughout the history in the love of her husband and children. Since she wanted her family life for God. She would always pray: “O God, let me live just as long as I am useful and let me die whenever it is better for me to die. O God, I pray to You for sincerity.”

Usually women who are content with their families are so firmly attached to their lives that they would never trade them for anything else. But Fatima (SA) traded her life with God. In all her deeds she considered nothing except the Almighty God’s affection and satisfaction; therefore, she used to pray: “O God, I pray to You for only what You like and what satisfies You.” (Sheikh ul-Islami, 1998). She would further ask God for affection and love for her husband and children. Thus she would pray: “O God, let me be one of those who remember You until doomsday in which everybody will see You and don’t let me die until You are satisfied with me. O God, let me be one of those who love You among all creatures and make their deeds pure for You.” A mystical analysis of the sentence ‘those who love You among all creatures’, reveals that her love for God’s creatures originated in her affection for God.

Fatima az-Zahra (SA), who had a great deal of love for her husband, reveals the deepest secrets of her heart in some of her statements and prayers: “O God, nobody except You can calm my heart, fill me with joy, and open my eyes to the truth.” (Qayyumi, 1374 AH, page, 48)

Whenever, she wanted something in her family life she would consider God’s satisfaction as superior to hers. For instance, when she wanted a servant that was a legitimate request, she faced the Prophet’s suggestion of replacing the servant with some prayers. Then she responds by repeating the following statement three times: “I’m content with whatever God and His Prophet will.” (Sheikh Bahayi)

Fatima (SA) also traded her affection for her children with God. When the Prophet notified of Imam Hussein’s martyrdom and the bloody events of Karbala, she wept and said the word, ‘Esterja’ (i.e. return to God). Then she continued: “O dear father, I don’t object and I just trust God.” (Kufi).

It goes without saying that those who trade all their beings and affections with God will reach a level at which they turn into a standard of God’s anger or satisfaction.

Fatima (SA) ideology is related to tangible facts even in the most abstract philosophical and epistemological layers. Theoretical aspects of her inclusive personality were inseparably and meaningfully related family affairs. Fatima az-Zahra (SA) is an inclusive model for Muslim women who embodied all monotheistic values and spiritual attributes. Her indefinite being is the incarnation of all good and beauty.

Unity of personality in saints is at such a high level that all their movements take on a special meaning which is nothing but worship and love of God. Fatima’s (SA) respect for her husband and her care for her children meant nothing but her reverence for God’s creatures and manifestations. Therefore, her attitudes towards family affairs followed a systematic pattern. Her monotheistic attitudes were a collection organized in the most ideal manner. The members of this collection were by no means inconsistent or contradictory. Therefore, her systematic pattern of attitudes towards family affairs is capable of being scrutinized for general and particular rules. Significant and insignificant relationships in this system of attitudes are pivoted on Allah. The concept of God has a central role in her family, which helps unify the different parts of Fatimid ideology. God is the only factor that brings about theoretical and practical comprehensiveness in Fatima’s (SA) being. Most people develop only some especial parts of their personality. However, since they don’t enjoy any equilibrium in this regard, they are unable to make use of their theoretical knowledge. As a result, because their theoretical reason is apart from their practical reason, they lack a connective element between their general knowledge and partial knowledge. Accordingly, in spite of the fact that they are theoretically strong, they prove incapable when it comes to practice. However, since there is a unity between theoretical reason and practical reason in saint personalities, general knowledge continues to shed light on partial knowledge.

The present article seeks to draw the outline of an ideal family, making use of Fatima’s (SA) attitudes to extract some general rules.

 

The basic of family stabilization in Fatima az-Zahra’s (SA) outlook

Fatimid monotheistic perspective on family:

Fatima (SA) enjoyed the highest degree of monotheistic ideology. This respectable lady ascribed her high prestige in family attitudes to her monotheistic perspective, because as was mentioned before, there was no gap between her partial knowledge and general knowledge. Thanks to her monotheistic perspective and Divine Inspiration. Fatima (SA) was aware of all the secrets behind housekeeping. In this regard, she says: “I’m grateful to the Almighty God Who never left me confused in any of my affairs.” (Qayyumi)

As far as piety is concerned, monotheists see all facts by Divine light and consider God as their only supporter in the whole world. For pious people, sincerity serves as an important factor in discovering some facts. In the light of his piety Joseph would realize the symbolic significance of his dreams. Of course, in addition to dream interpretation, Joseph was an expert on such areas knowledge as statesmanship and treasury accountancy. Another incidental benefit of piety is that it brings about a deep knowledge of partial affairs and of the spiritual world.

Fatima az-Zahra (SA) has the highest position in terms of piety, for this reason, she was entitled ‘Sediqeh-e-Kobra’ (i.e., the ‘great pious lady’). In this regard, Imam Sadiq (AS) says: “Fatima (SA) is the great pious lady and past times and generations are pivoted on the knowledge and familiarity with her.” (Mohajer)

Because of this high position, she was the most efficient person in practical areas like housekeeping and caring for her husband and children. Moreover, her household methods were the most ideal. The couple’s monotheistic perspective on the family is one of the most fundamental basics of family stabilization. Fatima’s (SA) marriage, spouse selection standards, alimony, dowry, etc., are all monotheistic and God’s presence is obvious in all aspects of her life. These characteristics show the couples of all times that monotheistic ideology is the firmest element of family stabilization.

Fatima az-Zahra (SA) didn’t consider anything or anybody except God and all her life she never asked for anything or anybody except God, and all her life she never asked for anything except God and His satisfaction. Her dignity flourished because of her love and worship of the Almighty God. About her mystical and monotheistic states, she says: “The pleasure that I receive from God’s worship leaves no desires in me except one to continuously watch His glamour.” (Dashti)

The deepest layers of Fatima’s (SA) heavenly heart were filled with such affection towards God in the light of which she would learn the love of husband and children; as sincerity was the only factor involved in her choice of Imam Ali (AS) as her husband. Thus, when women of Quraysh humiliated her for her choice of  Ali (AS), she went to the Prophet (SAW) and then raised her hand to the sky and smilingly said: “I’m content with what God and His Prophet will.” (Sheikh ul-Islami).

One day when Imam Ali (AS) asked her why she had not notified him of lack of food at home, she didn’t say that she was shy with him. Instead, she said: “O Hassan’s father, I would feel ashamed in front of God if I demanded You to do something that You were incapable of doing it.” (Ibid.)

2- Appropriateness of the preparations for marriage:

One of the effective factors in family stabilization is the absence of corruption in marriage and its preparations. The more these matters are infused with affection and sincerity, the more positive effects they will show in the lives of young couples. Wrong preparations are one of the important causes of family instability in most unsuccessful marriages, which prepare the ground for disagreement even before marriage takes place.

To be continued...

Translated by Ahsan Pashazadeh

source: Mahjubah

Authors: Mahdiyyeh Sadat Mostaqimi
Content Type: Article
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