Rafed English

The Period of Pregnancy

The time of pregnancy is a very difficult period with anxiety and various physical and spiritual stresses, although a mother is the center of love and affection, an example of God’s Mercy and eager to have a baby and see her child's pretty, innocent face. The husband, the relatives of both and their friends should all take care of her at all times, since any yelling or screaming, vulgarity or bad-temper, or any form of bothering the pregnant women will not only hurt her, but it will also have a bad influence on the baby. If the couple lives in the house of either one of their parents, then their parents are morally bound and religiously obliged to not only avoid provoking the husband against his pregnant wife, but also to be considerate of the pregnant woman. The man's parents should seriously avoid interfering in the couple's peaceful life and the woman's parents should try not to be picky about the husband. Both sides are seriously responsible for the couple and the unborn baby.

If the fetus is harmed even slightly by the quarrels, bad tempers or excessive expectations of either relatives, they must undoubtedly answer to God in His just court. Then they shall be seriously punished for their oppression. The Holy Quran holds every one responsible for the slightest to the greatest sins they commit.

Therefore, by the Lord, we will, of a surety, call them to account, for all their deeds. [Holy Quran: Hijr: 15:92-93]

But stop them, for they must be asked: [Holy Quran: Saffat: 37:24]

For every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be inquired into (on the day of Reckoning). [Holy Quran: Bani Israil: 17:36]
I have received many letters from young couples during my religious lectures all over Iran. I have helped resolve many family conflicts, and have noticed that a major portion of these problems are related to the relatives of the couple, usually some unreasonable expectations of the husband's father or mother, or the pickiness of the woman's parents or of the groom's. Imam Sadiq has said the source of many of these immoral encounters is the result of jealousy. In some cases, of course, the newly-wed wife is at fault since she is young and inexperienced. In these cases, the elders should forgive her, but they do not, and the fights get worse. Sometimes religious or moral shortcomings worsened the situation to the point of divorce. As you know, any man or woman is seeking freedom and independence by nature. Restriction of this God-given freedom by anyone is a great vice and a sin. Stressing on the needs of a pregnant woman for security and attention does not mean that we should ignore her needs or treat her badly at other times. This is only because of the subject of the discussion in this chapter, and a pregnant woman's special conditions.

In fact, it is necessary for all to respect human rights of freedom and independence at all times and under all conditions. If the two families can provide for a separate housing arrangement for the newly-wed couple without experiencing real difficulty, it would be great. They should treat them kindly and with love and affection. Both parents should associate with the young couple, and avoid gossiping or interfering in their life while doing so. If they cannot provide a separate house for them, then they should let them live in a part of their own house. However, they should try not to bother them, since in the beginning of the couple’s life they are filled with love. The bride is God's trust in the family of the groom. She has left her own family with lots of hope and aspirations and has entered a new life. The groom , also, is God's blessing in the family of the bride. They should take care of these blessings just like their own children. Such caring is in line with the Holy Quran and traditions and is considered to be God's worship with the reward being God's pleasure and the eternal Heaven.

The parents of both the bride and the groom have either experienced the kindness and nobility of their near relatives, and started a good life or have been seriously hurt by them when they first got married themselves. In either case, they should now help safeguard the ties of marriage of the newly-wed couple by providing for their peace and security and avoiding undue interference. This way the young couple can enjoy their life and benefit from God-given blessings, instead of being hurt or separated due to improper interventions or unreasonable expectations. I remember seeing the following tradition in Usul-i-Kafi: The sixth Imam said the first piece of advice given to Adam by God when he first started his life on Earth was:

"Want for others what you want for yourself, and do not approve of for others what you do not approve for yourself."

Thus, the relatives and friends of both the bride and the groom should follow these words, since then there will be fewer problems, and these problems can easily be resolved, too. Now consider the following verses of the Glorious Quran regarding pregnancy:

In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command) [Holy Quran: Luqman: 31:14]

We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. [Holy Quran: Ahqaf: 46:15]

Do you not think that we should respect the pregnant woman during this strenuous period of weakness, anxiety and suffering? Being considerate of her is at first her husband's moral and religious duty, and next it is the responsibility of all her relatives, so that the physical and mental health of both the mother and the baby are guaranteed.

Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"

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