Education and Chastity
Ethicists define chastity, as the self-control and equanimity of the inclinations to desires including the bodily, like eating and the like, and the mental, like agitations and emotions. The quality of chastity is applied to those who are moderate in all of these states. This virtue aims at achieving people’s self-restraint away from being the slaves of lusts and inclinations. The reports of the Imams regarding this virtue have been uninterrupted. Imam Ali said, “Chastity is the best of worship.” Imam al-Baqir said, “No worship is preferred to the chastity of the abdomen and the genitals.”
This virtue saves man from a great deal of mental and physical diseases and ill manners, such as gluttony, fornication, greed, squandering, rage, hatred, blabber, and many others.
Chastity pushes man to a general rectitude. It dismisses the quality of overeating that brings about many diseases and causes repetitive visits to clinics. The holy Quran encouraged on adhering to the virtue. God says:
Eat, drink and be not extravagant.
Besides, the extravagant abstinence and avoidance of the good matter that God has deemed lawful are excluded from chastity, which is merely the moderation. God says:
Say: Who has prohibited the embellishment of Allah, which He has brought forth for His servants and the good provisions? Say: These are for the believers in the life on this world, purely theirs on the resurrection day.
Chastity requires self-restraint and guardianship against full release of the whole mental lusts, the intemperance of which corrupts the life, enfeebles the spirituality, and leads to failing. Ethicists said, “Lusts are infinite. If time is extended, lusts will surely lead to others and so on. Finally, man will be the captive of endless lusts and the slave of untold caprices. Virtue is not the associate of such men.”.
Chastity requires man’s full dominion of trends and lusts, and moderation in passions, and temperance in eating and drinking. For instance, man is advised of avoiding excessive grief in cases of calamities.
Adapted from the book: "The Educational System in Islam" by: "Baqir Sharif Al-Qireshi"
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