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Family Life

Good conduct towards family members is recommended

Even though all mothers are exemplary, some exhibit special qualities (which put them above the rest). Throughout the course of my life with your respected mother, in my recollections of the nights she spent up with her children and the days she spent looking after them, I found her to have these qualities. So now I exhort you, my son,6 along with my other children, to strive in your service to her after my death and in obtaining her approval. Just as I see she is pleased with you now, strive harder in your service to her when I have gone.

Jilveha-yi Rahmani, p. 47

My son, let me say a few words about personal and family matters then bring this verbose disquisition to an end. My foremost exhortation to you is to respect the rights of your very faithful mother. One cannot count the many rights mothers have and they cannot be rightly fulfilled. One night of a mother’s life with her child is worth more than a lifetime of a dedicated father’s.

The affection and compassion that shine from a mother’s radiant eyes hold a glimmer of the compassion and kindness of the Lord of the worlds. God the Blessed and Exalted has imbued the hearts and souls of mothers with the light of his own divine compassion such that none can describe and no one save the mothers can understand. And it is this everlasting compassion that has given mothers a heavenly-like tolerance in the face of suffering and hardship from the time of conception, throughout pregnancy, during childbirth and throughout the years of the child’s life from infancy up to the end.

She endures hardship and suffering in a way that the father cannot endure even for one night. The tradition which says “Heaven is under the mother’s feet”7 is absolutely true. It has been explained in such a subtle fashion because of the significance of the matter and to show children to search for happiness and the gardens of heaven under the blessed feet of their mothers, to respect them as they would Almighty God and to seek the approval and satisfaction of God the Most Holy in their approval and satisfaction.

Jilveha-yi Rahmani, p. 47

And my last words of advice to Ahmad are to bring his children up well, to acquaint them with Islam from an early age, to take good care of his respected mother and to help all of his family and dependants. May God’s peace be upon all the virtuous.

I ask all my kinsmen, especially my children, to forgive me for any failings, neglect or unfairness I may have shown them, and to pray that God will show me mercy and forgiveness, and He is the most merciful. I humbly ask God the Beneficent to grant my kinsfolk success in persevering in His way and following the path to happiness, and to bathe them in his extensive mercy.

Jilveha-yi Rahmani, p. 48

And I exhort Ahmad, my son, to treat his kin, especially his sisters and his nephews and nieces, with love and affection, and to be good, generous, pleasant and respectful towards them. I exhort all my children to treat one another with kindness and generosity, to be of one mind and tread one path, the path of God and His deprived servants, for well-being and happiness in this world and the next can be found through this.

And to Husayn,8 who is the apple of my eye, I advise him not to neglect religious studies nor waste the talent God has given him, to treat his mother and sister with kindness and generosity, to disencumber himself from attachment to this world and to set out on the straight path of worship and servitude while still young.

Jilveha-yi Rahmani, p. 48

In addition to greeting all the family members and relatives and asking them to show courtesy and tolerance towards one another, to harbour no fear and resort to no other policy, for that which Almighty God has preordained will come to pass, it is necessary to draw your9 attention to this point: if you seek Almighty God’s approval and mine, then treat your mother, sisters, brother and relatives with unlimited kindliness, for all are in need of your courtesies. I ask you to treat everyone well.

When I was being taken away I was told that the family could come with me if I so desired, again, here, this was repeated, but even though I would dearly love to see you all, I will not agree to your coming for I know how difficult it would be for you all and your respected mother here in a strange place.10 God willing, I will be taken care of here. (245)

4 November 1964 (13 Aban 1343 AHS)

Concerning your mother, sisters, Ahmad,11 and other relatives, it is necessary for me to stress that God’s approval and mine will be found in your good conduct towards them. Your mother is truly in need of your help; you must keep her happy in every respect, both materially and psychologically. Do not let her worry and provide for her comfort. (246)

10 November 1964 (19 Aban 1343 AHS)

I am sure there is no need to remind you to treat your mother and your dependants with the utmost kindness and affection, in particular oblige your mother, for that will please Almighty God. (247)

14 November 1964 (23 Aban 1343 AHS)

Adapted from: "The Position of Women from the Viewpoint of Imam Khomeini (r.a.)"