Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Marriage as a Help or Hindrance to the Religious Life (Sufistic)

Marriage as a Help or Hindrance to the Religious Life

Marriage plays such a large part in human affairs that it must be necessarily be taken into account in treating of the religious life and be regarded in both its aspects of advantage and disadvantage.

Seeing that God, as the Koran says, "only created men and genii for the purpose of worshipping," the first and obvious advantage of marriage is that the worshippers of God may increase in number. Theologians have therefore laid it down as a maxim that it is better to be engaged in matrimonial duties than in superegatory devotions.

Another advantage of marriage is that, as the Prophet said, the prayers of children profit their parents when the latter are dead, and children who die before their parents intercede for them on the Day of Judgement. "When a child," said the Prophet, "is told to enter heaven, it weeps and says, 'I will not enter in without my father and mother.' " Again, one day the Prophet seized hold of a man's sleeves and drew him violently towards himself, saying. " Even thus shall children draw their parents into heaven." He added, "Children crowd together at the gate of heaven and cry out for their fathers and mothers, till those of the latter who are outside are told to enter in and join their children."

It is related of a certain celibate saint that he once dreamt that the Judgement Day had come. The sun had approached close to the earth and people were perishing of thirst: a crowd of boys were moving about giving them water out of gold and silver vessels. But when the saint asked for water he was repulsed, and one of the boys said to him, "Not one of us here is your son." As soon as the saint awoke he made preparations to marry.

The Alchemy of Happiness

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