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Friday, April 27, 2007

Apartment living: Brotherhood or Duel?

The population has full-grown so much that it seems as if the towns or even the earth cannot breathe any more and would burst one day. The increasing growth of luxurious apartments and sky-scraping towers is a kind of firm document that prove this fact. Because of this, dissimilar people from special towns with diverse cultures, ideas and attitudes dwell in these apartments.
In this situation, they are not stranger to each other any more but they are neighbours. In Islam religion, it has been said that the neighbours are more acquainted than the relatives are and there must be a mutual respect and love among them.
Obviously, entrance to every place has its own special formal and informal rules and disciplines, so the residence and living in the apartments is not the exception to the rules. Living in apartments has it’s own special culture and all of the inhabitants must know it and be loyal to it.

In general, the apartments or the towers must be the circles and assemblies for exchanging of love, respect, sympathy, unification, unity, and cooperation. The settlers must take pleasure in spending time together and helping each other and be grateful for these unforgettable moments.
Unfortunately, these days, different vague factors and causes have changed these kindhearted circles in to the battlefields. One of the factors is that the technology era has put a heavy burden of private and official stresses and anxieties on the men’s shoulder that they cannot carry and put up with it. Because of this, every one just thinks of himself and is indifference to the other people’s personality and rights. The coldhearted and unfriendly sentiment of tiredness and moodiness freeze their hot hearts and get cold their warm blood. On the other hand, the dwellers are not able to get the unified rules about their apartment which make all of them satisfied .In other words, the sweet and pleasant sense of mercy and forbearance have become a rare and expensive goods in the mini-mall of men’s hearts. Unfortunately, the sense of participation has been faded and they cannot cope with public rules to preserve each other’s right. In addition, they cannot reach a kind of unification to accept each other’s habits, culture, and behaviors and try to moderate them not to annoy others. All of these factors cause a disastrous discord and chaotic which make a hellish life and atmosphere.

One of the factors that make neighbours grumble is the extreme noise in the apartments. Unfortunately, some of the families imagine their houses in the apartments as private houses in the center of an abandoned dessert so they do whatever they want. For example, they turn up the auditory achievements of the twentieth century so much that the huge figure of the apartment shakes let alone the poor residents.

Although it is said that the guests causes blessing for their hosts, sometimes, they get into trouble the others. Sometimes, the entrance and the departure of some neighbour’s guests make mad all of the inhabitants. At the time of arrival, they hug and kiss each other and express their endearing emotions in the center of corridors so loud and effective that they wound and rent the other inhabitant’s hearts. The hearing of these maddening noises recall us the news of the meeting of two families after one hundred years in the yellow papers. At the time of departure, their big fuss and expression of painful feelings of untying each other make the other residents red of anger. Optimistically, we can paraphrase that these neighbors feel so close to others in the apartment who do not want deprive the other inhabitants of their inner feeling so they forget to look at their watch to see that it is mid-night and others are asleep

. On the other hand, the neighbour’s hot discussion, talk, or wrangling deprive the others of the pleasant and rare moments of peace and present them tension. Some dear neighbours find the garage as proper place to do whatever they want. For example, early in the morning, they turn on their car and step on the gas for a long time so That the fuss and dark fog of gas fill the entire atmosphere. In addition, they shut the door so harshly and brutally that all of the glasses of the poor apartment rattle tremendously.

Sometimes, the little children mistake the apartment for kindergartens or parks and cry happily or sadly so loud that their irritating sounds echo in the other’s ear and they have to enjoy of this soft harmony.

The other issues that the entire people think of it as a joke is public participation, cooperation and sharing in all of problems of the apartment building. One of the unsavory scenes in the apartments is apparent in every month. The poor manager of the apartment goes up and down the stairs to plead the respectable neighbours to pay the bill of water, electricity, etc or the man who wash the apartment honorably. Unfortunately, some of these respectable neighbors avoid of paying under the excuses such as spoiling their rights in consumption. Anyway, they make mad or injure the pitiable manager and make a kind chaotic atmosphere in the apartment.

On the other hand, they clean their houses with precise obsession and make dirty the corridors with absolute negligence. Maybe, they believe that the motto of “our town is our house so keep it clean” is used to decorate garbage can in the streets and does not have any relevance to their apartments. Not only the apartments are dirty but also they are disorderly and untidy. The scene of the withered planets, dirty doors and paved corridor with the wandering and scattered shoes make every one regretful and hopeless of living among all of these civilization. All of these chaotic, disarrangements and law breaking encourage the evil mind-set of hatred among the inhabitants and make enmity and hostility .

At this stage, the reaction of insults and impudence are replaced with the sense of respect because dear neighbours cannot stand each other any more. For example, they speak ill of each other .Also, the amusing and lovely emotion of obstinacy let them do whatever they want to aggravate others. For example, they squander the water, electricity, etc to increase the payment of the bills and increase their neighbour`s blood pressure .In this situation, the men’s creativity works well and does bizarre actions to make the others crazy and gnash their teeth.

In conclusion, we can find remarkable evidences to believe in this matter that living in the apartments and spending times with others assist us to mature mentally and gather rich experiences. If all of the people believe that they are the members of one single figure, they will know the value of togetherness .Surely, obstinacy and antagonism don’t dissolve the problems because we live in the busy world of twentieth century and have to get along with each other. If all of the inhabitants of the apartment oblige themselves to consider each other’s right, increase the sense of public participation and love each other more, the apartments will become the loveliest place or even utopia to live and love.

By Fahime

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Copy right or copy wrong?

The populated and cosmic world of twentieth century is effervescent and dynamic volcano of attitudes believes and created reflection that is erupting every instant. This sudden or gradual eruption of the ingenious ideas emerges in the types of distinctive writings, films, pictures, articles artistic works, and songs. Then these noticeable productions are published and broadcasted in the entire world through variant media extensively. The human’s wisdom and the technology era co- operate to facilitate human’s access to these unrivalled masterpieces in diverse fields such as literature, art, music, etc. The thirsty members of data of this worldwide village take advantages or disadvantages of these accessible informations that is got as easy as a b c. The owners or the authors of this works have passed a long and rough path and slipped on the narrow border of dangerous cliffs to achieve these moral treasures. Fortunately or unfortunately, the men copy and make use of them with or without permission. Can we name them as the cruel plunderer pessimistically or the eager seekers of the rare and hidden mysteries and knowledge optimistically?

There are two kind of information. One of them is named as public release that can be disclosed and copy righted publicly through different media. The other kind is called public domain that is both public release and not copyright ( ). I think that the copyright issue does not deserve to be criticized harshly and zealously or indifferently. It is a relative issue and must be considered rationally. I believe that the correctness or incorrectness of copy right depends on the special situations and considered materials. Therefore, we can terminate that Sometimes, it is right and sometimes it is wrong.

The right and rational way of copy writing is asking for permission. Some problems and barriers dissuade men from walking in this right path. Some times the owner is anonymous or inaccessible. In other words, we do not have any access to them to get permission. On the other hand, some times, there is just single version of a useful, scientific, precious, and referential original productions and they are basic, crucial, compulsory and required for libraries, students, and professors. In addition, although, the other kinds of productions are available, they are so expensive and rare that the interested and middle class sophisticated men cannot afford them. So, they can not help copying them even without permission.

Some men believe that “the fair use” of copy righted materials under the copy right law includes the use of protected materials for non-commercial and educational purposes such as teaching, scholarships, research ,criticism, commentary and new reporting is legal.(

In other cases we are not allowed legally or religiously to reproduce and distribute the other’s work without their permission. The only one, who can make copy of the work or change it, is the owner. Imagine that you have had created a kind of masterpiece such as a drama and you have won a noble prize for it. Then, Wicked men from every spot of the world copiy and distribute it without your permission. What would be your reaction and feeling? Even its imagination is maddening. Now, is it fair to pillage the result of a man’s last long hard toiling?

The earthy men’s intelligence and brainpower can both plunge them in a deep and stinking swamp or promote human’s spirit toward the heaven. The ignorant men have forgotten that the reason of creation of their excellent and potential mental power is promotion of man’s spirit and above all humanity. The divine rule of humanity does not allow the humans to spoil the right of even the smallest living creatures let alone the human’s right.

When a just and virtuous man faces with other’s outstanding works in any field, s/he must look for copyright notice permission or copy right protected announcement. Today, we have been bombarded with variant creative other’s work everywhere but we must digest this counsel that numerous displayed other’s works cannot be an acceptable excuse for their copyright permission.

Unfortunately, the copyright protection is not available in the most of works. This author’s carelessness not only wastes his toiling but also put the users in exposure of mistake, doubts, and hesitation. S/he must refer to the copyright protection or copy right permission in his original works in any field. At least, s/he must provide the user’s access to himself to ask for ,more information, permission and connections.

In conclusion, we must remind ourselves that we are human so humanity and honesty are the main elements of our nature. As it was mentioned, copy right is legal and religious in “fair uses” and constrained situations. In other cases, our conscience is the best court that we can judge the rightness or fallacy of our plagiarism and ourselves.

The best questions which arouse our conscience are “Will God forgive the spoiled right of his servants even if they forgive me or don`t understand my plagiarism?”
“Do I deserve to be named as human while I rob the other’s masterpieces to become famous or gain money?”

However, we must be aware of the copyright permission or protected. In addition, the owners must be careful to mention their opinion about copying their work and make it accessible for the users to connect them for more information or asking for permission.

by Fahime

Friday, April 13, 2007

A New Birth

In the dim and dingy room, the man’s robust, tall, and disheveled figure could not be

distinguished from the dark and blankness environment. He had stood in front of the cracked

wall with a piece of coal in his coarse and grubby hands and was drawing a straight line beside

the pervious numerous filthy lines on the wall. The old and ruined wall was covered with many

anonymous dates, handwritings, signs, poems, and memories of the pervious hopeless men

whose fate had been death. It seemed that this room had had the feeling of loneliness and

nostalgia not only for him but also for all of the pervious guests. Then he lied on the old and

broken bed that was put under the small window with steel shelter. He stared at the heaven

that a black blanket with the image of a magnificent circle of stars around the moon had covered it.

His only share of nature was a withered tree that was visible partly from the window. On the

branch of it, there was the nest of an owl that stared at him with his illuminated and small eyes

and sang ominously every night and spent it’s day in a deadly silence of sleep. He disgusted of

all of it with all of it’s ghastly habits and nature because he thought that it was looking forward

watching his damned doom and scorn him.

It was a cold night of winter. The painful stroke of rainstorm and hail was attacking his body

savagely. As he was running, his mind voyaged to the last three hours. Every thing was

supposed to be done affable but his rage and gull had annihilated all of his mental good

suppositions of this date. His only blunder was that he had killed his friend accidentally and his

only friend’s error was that he had had no money to pay his loan to him. Now, the friend was not

guilty because he was murdered and he was left alone as the murderer in this tragedy. The only

way that struck in his mind was to alibi but it was useless. The next day police found his

identity card beside the bloody corpse. The frightful and annoying sound of turning key in the

lock recovered his self and turned his conscious back to this dark and damp room. He could see

the shadow of a coarse guard who came into the room with food through the light of the ajar

steel door. The man put the food near the door and whispered, “Be ready for tomorrow.”

his hope to live and walk on this earth. It seemed that time was more tender to get ride of him

because the hands of the clock was competing as fast as they could to end that night. In the last

minutes and seconds of his life, he thought a lot about himself, his sins, and his little daughter.

He had heard that God was gracious but he did not know whether he would forgive at least half

of his sins or not. He wished to be alive and free for only one day to repent his bad deeds. He

regretted that he had wasted his time in ignorance in the world and had forgotten the

death.Terror dominated on his body when he imagined himself in the grave without the

presence of any one in his funeral but his only little daughter. He did not know what would

happen to his alone daughter without him. He felt sorry for her because she would feel ashamed

of having a murderer father in future and he would not be there to persuade her that his rage

killed the man not him. At these last moments, he recalled that his soul would be supposed to

travel to God who never tried to touch him in all of his life. He closed his eyes and imagined his

lifeless and hanging corpse after the execution.

When he opened his eyes, the same guard appeared in front of his eyes and whispered gravely

“Time is over, come”. It had become morning and how soon every thing had became late. They

put him in the death car to take to the square of the town to play his role proficiently in this

tragic drama without any wage. A huge crowd of men had collected around the stage to observe

this free tragedy and judge whether it was right to be free or not. The young and children had

climbed up the trees to take tremendous picture excitingly because it did not want any ticket

but he did not see any one of them. The agitated and hanged white rope of Execution that was

moving right and left with the savage stroke of the cruel wind like the pendulum of his life’s

clock engrossed him at first glance. A black and broken chair had been put under it .It was a

mean to go higher and then higher where there would be no access to him anymore.

His little daughter had stood beside the chair in black clothes it seemed because she had got that

this stage was a real one that her father had to play in it . She had stared at him with rainy eyes

and cloudy heart because she knew that it was the last time to glimpse her daddy, and after

execution, she would become one of the members of the orphan asylum. She stepped forward

slowly toward his daddy but her hands had became so feeble that couldn’t hug him for the last

time and expression of grief did not let the tongue to pronounce the last farewell to her only

treasure in this wasteland. Although the feelings of terror , shame and sympathy had

immobilized him ,he hugged his only diamond with his cold hands and whispered “don’t scare of

any thing and anybody but God, I am always with you. You can see me in your sweet dream or

among the stars every night. Be sure that God and daddy are your lovers. Just be strong and

courage and live vividly. Just be sure that I am not a bad daddy. I will always see you so do good

deeds to make me happy. Ok?” the little girl saw her father’s tear for the first time that was

flowing like a pure waterway. After a little pause, she stammered, “ok, I am sure that you are

the best and good-hearted daddy on the world not a killer and I will say it to every one. If you

saw mother, make peace with her and tell her that I have missed her very much. Do you

promises me to come in my dream together ?”.The man just nodded with a bitter smile and

went to play a new stage in his life.

The mother’s murdered heard and saw every thing in this tragic drama. It seemed that The

daughter `s and father’s role had been played very bitterly

Now, the sense of revenge and forgiveness had been struggling in her heart and she did not know which would win.
The ropewas tied around his neck but the ties of the man and the girl did not scare him. It seemed that
their avaricious looks reflect peace in their hearts. When the guard was pulling the chair under

his feet, some one cried, “Stop.”

This stop was a beginning for the man and the girl. At last,

forgiveness had conquered revenge in the heart of mother’s murdered.

by Fahime

The luminosity of Unity, Love, and Intimacy in Iranian’s customs

Iran is the souvenir of the Aryan man. It’s historical background reminds us that the bravery, championship and blood of adventurous heroes has made the strong root of this robust and honored tree. This tree has never had bent against any dreadful whirlwind because it has rooted in a kind of rich soil which had been the plaza of the living and fighting of the brave men. This fruitful tree has had breed the sophisticated and epic generations who had been unique across the world. The natural varieties and vastness of this country has had attracted every man from the beginning so it has been the destination and utopia of different tribes and groups. Every corner of this land has been perfumed with these tribes and their cultures and customs. The golden common point in most of these customs is togetherness.

The death of the last night of autumn brings forth the longest and coolest night of winter when is the glad tidings of the revival of an ancient custom. This custom is called “The Night of Yalda.” Before this night, the people prepare everything desirously to respect to the ancients and refresh their custom. The crowd of cars and pedestrians wave in the busy and illuminated streets. All of the salespersons try to make the best of this rare opportunity and decorate their productions so attractive that deceive every man to buy them. Among them, the fruiterers and the salespersons of the assorted nuts kindle the other vendor’s envy because they sell the main edibles of this night so all of the people are their customers. The spark of happiness is readable in all people’s eyes. as the time get closer to this night, the ecstasy is augmented and the hearts beats faster than usual. It seems that they count the seconds eagerly. Fortunately, the cruel coldness can not decline the heat of men’s heart and endeavor. On the appointed night, grandparent’s house is warmed with the heat of love. All of the relatives, families, and friends gather around each other and share or divide their love .The grandparent’s warm breath that voyage the other’s mind to the allegorical and real land of men in the past omit the role of chilliness from their hearts and house. It seemed that no body pays any attention to the poor winter whose birthday is this night. The clock can not make people bored to death and bewildered with slow movement of it’s hands any more because they are so busy that they don’t even look at the poor clock. Joy, happiness, rest, entertainment and the leisure of the anxiety of the routine life runs in the people’s blood. Among that happiness, the colorful eatables wink at every one who looks at them to show off their crucial responsibility for them. Beside the attractive decoration of the colorful fruits such as pomegranate, grapes, and quince in the basket, the multicolored assorted nuts trick anyone to try them. Among the fruits, the red pieces of water –melon and the tall melons with their intoxicating perfume are the king of fruits. They pride themselves in their special kingdom at this night. As the resonance of intimacy, love, and affection has effected and warmed the house, the grandparents take collected poems of Hafez to have their relative fortune told. Although it is the longest day of the year, it passes in no time. Togetherness, love, and visiting each other ignore the slow past of moments. However, the appetizing smell of watermelon, the perfume of the presence of the grandparents and the lovely and this friendly atmosphere engrave in the minds as precious moments of sharing love for years.

“The Washing of carpet” is famous as a religious custom that the people of Ardehal in Kashan hold it on the second Friday of the month of Mehr. It is held in relevance to the martyrdom of Imam Muhammad Bagher`s son in a war who is called Soltan Ali. It is said that there were not enough men to help him so he was martyred. Of course , when he was half-dead , the men of Fin reached to help but it was late and Imam made his will to hold his funeral once in year. Iran is a religious country and it’s pious men has a special feeling of friendship and devotion to Islam and it’s holy prophets and sacred Imams. According to this, every year, vast crowd of people not only from Ardehal and Kashan but also from every where come here from the pervious night to participate in this ritual eagerly. These pious men spend this night in the mountain or visit holy shrine and their relatives. The next day, early in the morning, they gather around a spring, wait for the group of the men of Fin. Suddenly, the appearances of a group of men in traditional clothes with wooden stick in their hand end the men’s expectations. With their joining to the people, the ceremony starts. Near the noon, they do their main obligation and custom. As the crying and yelling of their damnation to the men who did not help Imam have echoed everywhere, these group walk toward the holy shrine of this Imam. These agitated and unhappy men shake their sticks in the air and spend their time in lamentation and weeping for this holy Imam all the way. When they reach to the front of the holy shrine, they receive a wrapped carpet. This is the symbol of something that the Imam’s holy body had been wrapped in it. Then they go toward the spring again and sprinkle water on the carpet with their sticks. After all, they raise this carpet on their hands and return it back to the holy shrine. This ceremony is finished contemporarily with the real and historical time of Imam’s funeral at noon. Then, they take the carpet and sticks to their special place until the next year.

Although Norouz is known as an ancient and glorious feast in itself, the different customs and rituals have presented it a special kind of decoration.

It is near the sunset on the night of the last Wednesday of the year. Fire has overwhelmed all of the country but not that kind of destructive one but a blessed fire that is the messenger of the beginning of the New Year. Every group fire woods and jump over its` blazing flames to deposit the problems and miseries of the last year to the fire and have a blessed year. Moreover, maybe these aflame fires are just an excuse to be happy , together and prepare for the new year. It is called " Chaharshanbesoori".

In the last Thursday of the year, the cemetery is full of men and women. The graves have been decorated with the yellow light of candles and perfumed flowers. It is the day of the departed. The men bring foods, date, halwa, candy, fruit, etc and give them to the other to make happy their dearest departed. How good it is that the livings do not forget the departed and try to share their happiness of the New Year with their souls. Maybe, going to cemetery is an opposite point beside the spring but it hints us the convention of nature. Beside every death, there is a kind of birth. In addition, the people are fond of being in a holy shrine in the moment of the beginning of the New Year.

On the thirteenth day of Frvardin, the nature is the host of the guests who have exhausted of the business, stresses, and pollution. The people believe that the number of thirteen is ominous so they remove this omniscient by going to the bosom of the nature. This day is full of joy, happiness, and entertainment. In addition, they, throw out their grass (sabze) into the flowing water to remove ominous and misery. In addition, the people tie grass to untie their problems. It is called " Sizdah-Bedar".

Iranian’s men are proud of belonging to this land with it’s historical background and it’s rich customs and tradition so they respect to these ethnicity .The wide variety of traditions and customs have been ranked in different category such as social, cultural, religious, etc. Although all of them are different, the common points are unity, togetherness, and love. It seems that all of the people of the country have been embedded in one soul. They laugh, cry, and chat together in all of the rituals. In other words, they stay side by side in every kind of situation.

By Fahime

Friday, April 6, 2007

Perfect Man from the view point of Islam

The subject under discussion is the perfect man from the viewpoint of Islam. A perfect man means an exemplary human being, who is superior and exalted, or any other interpretation that one can make. Like everything else, a human being may be perfect or imperfect, and sound or defective. A sound person, too, may be both sound and perfect or sound and imperfect To know a perfect or exemplary human being from the viewpoint of Islam is necessary for Muslims because it is like a model and example, by emulating which we can, if we wish, attain our human perfection under Islamic teachings. We should, therefore, know what a perfect man is, how he looks spiritually and intellectually, and what his peculiarities are, so that we may improve ourselves, our society and other individuals based on that model. But if we do not know what a perfect human being is in Islam, surely we cannot become a perfect Muslim, or even a relatively perfect human being.
From the viewpoint of Islam, there are two ways of knowing a perfect person: One way is to see how the Qur'an in the first place and tradition in the second place have defined a perfect man, even if it is meant to be a perfectly faithful and good Muslim. A perfect Muslim is a person who has attained perfection in Islam; a perfect believer is one who has attained perfection in his faith. Now we must see how the Quran and tradition have portrayed such a person and with what peculiarities. As it happens, we have many things to quote from both of these sources. The second way is to regard real individuals who are built up on the model of the Qur'an and Islam, not an imaginary and idealistic being, but a real and objective personality who exists in various stages of perfection at its highest level or even at slightly lower stages. The holy Prophet himself is an example of a perfect man in Islam. Imam Ali is another example. To know Ali (as) is to know a perfect man, and that means to know him thoroughly, and not only his name, lineage and apparent identity. Recognition of Ali means knowing his personality, rather than his person. A Shi'a means one who accompanies Ali, not only with words and sentiments, but with the act of following him in practice and act in philosophical and academic terms.
In Arabic the two words meaning 'Perfect' and 'complete' are close to each other but not exactly similar in meaning, and both of them have an antonym meaning 'defective'. The difference between the two words is as follows: The word 'complete' refers to something which is prepared according to a plan, like a house and a mosque, and if any part of it is unfinished, it is incomplete or defective. But something may be 'complete' and yet there may exist a higher degree of completion or many degrees higher than that, and that is called 'perfection'. 'Complete' is a horizontal progress to maximum development and 'perfect' is a vertical climb to the highest degree possible. When we speak of a 'perfect wisdom or knowledge', it refers to a higher degree of an already existing wisdom or knowledge. A man may be complete in a horizontal sense, without being perfect vertically. There are people who are half-complete or even less than that. But when perfection is attained, there are still higher levels of perfection until a perfectly perfect state is reached .The term ‘perfect’ did not exist in Islamic literature until the seventh century of the Hejira. It is now used frequently in Europe, but was first used in the Islamic world by the well-known Gnostic "Mohyedin Arabi Andalusi Ta’i", who is the father of Islamic Gnosticism, and many Islamic Gnostics, including Iranian and Persian-speaking ones, and even Rumi, have been his pupils. Rumi with all his greatness is small compared with Mohyedin in Gnosticism. He is of Arab extraction and a descendant of Hatam Ta'i, from Andalusia, that is modern Spain. We have human beings who are physically sound or defective. But you do not consider blindness, deafness, paralysis, or shortness as defects of virtue, personality or humanity. For example Socrates, the famous Greek philosopher, who is sometimes rated as a prophet, was a most ugly man, but this ugliness is not counted as a defect ? This means then that a person has a physical personality and a spiritual one, with two distinct reckonings. It is a mistake to suppose that the spirit is a dependent of the body. Can the spirit be sick while the body is sound or not? This is a question in itself. Those, who deny the genuineness of the spirit and believe spiritual peculiarities to be the direct influence of the nervous system, have no belief in the spirit and for them everything is dependent on the body, According to them if the spirit is sick, it is because the body is sick, and mental sickness is, in fact, the same as physical sickness. Fortunately, it has been proved to-day that the body may be perfectly sound with regard to blood composition, nerves, vitamins, etc, and yet, one may be mentally ill, such as suffering from what they call a "complex". Consequently, the way to treatment mental illness may not be medicine and drugs at all. Can we find a drug for someone who is suffering from narcissism, which is a kind of mental disorder? Can we change a person’s haughtiness into modesty, or his cruelty into kindness by means of a pill or an injection? It is deprivations, which produce such illnesses, and cause someone for example not to rest until he takes revenge. What is this feeling of revenge? What is this envy which rouses a person to dislike other people's enjoyment of a blessing, and long to deprive them from it. Such a man is not thinking of having that blessing for himself. The envy of a sound person always gives priority to his own goal, and this is not a fault. But desiring harms and defeats for others is an ailment. You find that such individuals are prepared to hurt themselves wholly in their bid to even partially harm the envied person. One may not become physically metamorphosed, but he may be mentally or spirituality transformed into an animal the like of which in wickedness and nastiness may not be found in the world. The Qur'an speaks of those "who are in worse errors" and who are lower than quadrupeds.[1] How can that happen? Man's personality depends on his ethical and spiritual qualities, without which he would be a beast. Thus, a defective man may be lowered to the level of a metamorphosed being. Some may think this a fancy, but it is real and true Someone said: "We had made a pilgrimage to Mecca along with Imam Sajjad and when we looked down at the Desert of Arafat it was full of Hajis (pilgrims). There were so many of them that year. The Imam said: "There is much uproar, but few are true pilgrims." The man says: "I don't know how the Imam gave me the insight, but when he asked me to look down again, I saw a desert full of animals, like that in a zoo, among whom a few human beings were moving about." The Imam told him how things looked to those who had a clear sight and were concerned with the inward concept of things. This is quite obvious but if our so-called modernized mind does not accept it, we are at fault. In our own time there have been and are individuals who have discerned the real character of others that, like animals, knew nothing but eating, sleeping and sexual intercourse. They had lost their human qualities and been turned into beasts. We read in the Qur'anic Chapter, the "Great Event" (Naba) Verse 6. "The day on which the trumpet shall be blown, so you shall come forth in hosts, and the heaven shall be opened so that it shall be all openings."
Religious leaders have repeatedly said that only one group of people is to be raised from among the dead in the shape of human beings; others would appear as animals, tigers, monkeys, scorpions, snakes and ants. Does God do so without a reason? No, there are reasons. When a human being has done nothing in this world but to sting and hurt others, he takes his real form in the next world and that is a scorpion. He who acts like a monkey in this world, will appear as a monkey in the next world. And a person with a doggish nature will be a dog. Thus, all people will be raised from the dead according to their intentions, desires, and true character. Are your desires in this world those of a human being, or an animal or a bird? You will take the same form on resurrection. That is why we are forbidden to worship any but God. If we worship anything else, we will have it with us in the hereafter. If we worship money it becomes a part of our nature, and as the Qur’an says in Chapter "Immunity" (Baraat), Verse 35 that molten metal will be with us on resurrection: "And (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement, on the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves." Do not say that currency notes have taken the place of coins; in the next world, these banknotes would be turned into a fire as scorching as gold and silver coins!
So, a human being with a complex is defective, and one who worships a matter is imperfect and metamorphosed. Perfection in every kind of creature is different from perfection in another kind. A perfect human being is different from a perfect angel, and each has separate degrees of perfection. Those who have told us of the existence of angels, say that they are created with pure intelligence and thought in whom the earthly aspect, lusts, anger etc are absent, whereas animals are wholly earthly, and lack what the Qur'an terms as divine spirit. But man is a mixture of the two, both angelic and earthly, both high and low .A narration says that the Glorious God created three different groups of creatures: The first group is the angels who are pure intellect, knowledge and liberality, and know only prostration. They lack every element of greed and passion, but are pure light, and alive with the love of God. Another group lacks knowledge altogether, and is fattened like animals in the pasture, They see nothing but the stable and fodder and are ignorant of both villainy and honor, The third group are human beings who are half angel and half donkey, the donkey half is inclined to the low and the other half is inclined to the sublime; one must see which half wins the day, and which one conquers the other," The Qur'an says in Chapter "The Man" (Insan) Verse 2; "Surely we have created man from a small life-germ uniting' (itself): We mean to try him, so we have made him hearing, seeing. Surely we have shown him the way. He may be thankful or unthankful." This means that he has been granted many talents and left free to show whether he deserves a reward or punishment by his acts, whereas other creatures do not possess such deservedness, He must choose his own way and attain perfection through moderation and equilibrium and by employing all his talents You have watched the low and high tide in the sea, which is caused by the gravitational attraction of the moon. The spirit of man, too, as well as that of society shows a similar tide, Human beings undergo such ebb and flow, and this attraction is sometimes to one direction to such an extent that all other values are forgotten. In this way, they are like defective beings that show growth in one respect, and lack of it in other respects. Society, too, may lack harmony in its development; this is true that it is not wholly deviated but it is very often corrupted in one way or another.
One of the human values confirmed by Islam is devotion, which is communion with God. Of course, in Islam every act performed for God is devotion. Devotion, in its special sense, is private communion with God in prayer, hymns, remaining awake for vital acts at nights etc., all of which are part of religion and can not be omitted. Sometimes, you see individuals or society being drawn only to one aspect of devotion, and performing the recommended acts of prayer, ablution etc, all of which, done in excess, will ruin society. Sometimes this way of devotion becomes fashionable in an Islamic society, and once one gets used to it, it is difficult to observe moderation. Such a person cannot say to himself that God has created him a human being, not an angel, and as a human being he should develop every aspect of himself harmoniously. It was once reported to the Prophet that a number of his companions had sunk in devotion. The Prophet felt uneasy, came to the mosque and shouted it out loud: "O People, what has happened to some groups who have appeared among my people. Even I as your Prophet do not show devotion in this way to keep awake all night. I rest part of the night and attend to my family. I do not observe fast every day. Those who are following their new way have deviated from my tradition:" Thus, when the Prophet notices that an Islamic value is about to eliminate other Islamic values, he combats this trend severely, Sometimes a society is drawn towards asceticism. Asceticism is a fact which is undeniable, and is a value which must exist in a prosperous society. But when everything in a society is based on asceticism and nothing else, there is something wrong with it. It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah," and the Verse ends emphasizing the value of serving God's creatures. But sometimes people go to excess and, as the poet Sa'di says: "Devotion is nothing but serving people", The next step is to negate the value of devotion, asceticism, knowledge or jihad, all of which are the exalted values for man in Islam. Today some of our intellectuals imagine that they have found a very lofty principle called "humanity and humanitarianism". Serving people is fine and we should serve them. But if we provide them with food and clothes alone, we would be treating them like animals, especially if we suppose no higher values exist for them. If service is confined to this, what would be the difference between Abu Dhar and Muawiah? This is another example of going to excess, similar to the overvaluing of freedom. Freedom is among the highest of human values which is above man's animal nature and material values. You can see that those who possess humanity are willing to bear hunger and nakedness, and live under hard conditions, provided they are not enslaved by another human being and can live freely. Love, intellect, justice, freedom, service and devotion are all values. Who is a perfect human being? One who is an absolute devotee, or ascetic, or freeborn, or in love, or intelligent? None of these results in a perfect man. But if all these values are developed in him in a harmonious way, he may be considered perfect,
I do not intend to praise our present society, but fortunately some worthwhile values have appeared in it. I fear, however that once more they may become single-dimensional and destroy other values. If we wish to have Imam Ali (as) as our model and a perfectly well balanced man, this should not happen. He is a man in whom all human values have developed harmoniously. At night and during the communion with God, no Gnostic can rival him in his divine ecstasy and his flight towards Him. He is so deep in his devotion that nothing can divert his attention, and this divine love seems to have taken him to another world. This is how he is in the altar of worship at night. In daytime, he is a different man. Unlike many ascetics, he is cheerful sitting with his companions and even witty. Amr ibn Aas criticized him and termed him as unsuitable for the Caliphate since he was so cheerful, as if a caliph must always look glum to frighten people. In battle too he was cheerful and smiling, while in the altar he was tearful. "Surely, the rising by night is the firmest way to tread and the most corrective of speech. Surely, you have, in the day time, a long occupation." The night is for worship, and the day for living and mingling with society. The poet Hafiz is sometimes alluded to a pretext to mislead the young, They say this great poet was addicted to wine, whereas in reality, his poems are wholly spiritual and mystical, and his wine is of a spiritual nature. He was a religious man who was an interpreter of the Qur'an, and, later on, became famous as a poet. He has expressed the above Verse of the Qur'an in a poem, saying that daytime is for work and effort, and nighttime for the wine of devotion. Ali is such a man, and has been recognized in this way for over a thousand years. The compiler of "Nahjul-Balagha", Sayed Razi, says: "The amazing thing about this book is that you see Ali in so many different worlds as you read it, that is in the words of devotion, philosophy, mysticism, military affairs, court of justice, religious jurisprudence and so on, and he is never absent from any human world." Safiyedin Hilli, a poet of the sixth century of the Hejira, says about Ali that he is a collection of all contraries, he is both a ruler and a sage, docile and brave, poor and generous, gentle and resolute, and a devotee and a man of action. He is a hero in all human spheres, something that we cannot be, but we can at least maintain a certain degree of equilibrium among all values to be called a true Muslim in different walks of life,
Source: Perfect Man by : Ayatullah Morteza Motahhari . Translated by Aladdin Pazargadi. Edited by Shah Tariq Kamal

The status of woman in the world-view of Islam in the view of Imam Ali

One of the matters that have been commented on in the holy Qur'an is the subject of the creation of women and men. The Qur'an was not silent on this matter, and did not provide an opportunity for those who talk nonsence to put forth their own philosophies for laws concerning men and women, and then to accuse Islam of having a derogatory attitude towards women on the strength of their own theories. Islam has already laid down its views regarding women. The Qur'an most explicitly lays down in several مyمt (verses) that: We created women from the nature of man and from an essence the same as the essence of man. Concerning the first Adam, the Qur'an says: Who created you from one single soul, and created from it its mate, (Qur'an, 4:1). With regard to all men, the Qur'an says in several places: Allah created your mate from your own kind. There is no trace in the Qur'an of what is found in some sacred books: that woman was created out of an inferior stock to that of man, that they gave woman the status of a parasite and of an inferior, or that the mate of the first Adam was created from one of the left-side parts of his body. Besides that, in Islam there is no derogatory view about woman as regards her nature and innate constitution.
Another of the contemptuous views that existed in the past and which have left their undesirable effects in world literature is that woman is the origin of sin, and that her existence is the source of sin and temptation. Woman is a small devil. They say in every sin or crime committed by man, woman had her hand. According to them man in himself is innocent of any sin: it is woman who drags him towards sin. They say Satan cannot find his way to man's being directly: it is only through woman that he can deceives man. Satan tempts woman, and woman tempts man. They say the first Adam, who was deceived by Satan and turned out of the Paradise of happiness, was deceived though woman. Satan tempted Eve, and Eve tempted Adam. The Qur'an relates the story of the Paradise of Adam, but never says that Satan or a snake tempted Eve and she tempted Adam. Neither does the Qur'an describe Eve as the main person responsible, nor does it exonerate her from the sin. The Qur'an says: O Adam, inherit, thou and thy wife, the Garden, and eat of where you will (7:19). Wherever the Qur'an describes the matter of Satan's tempting, it uses the pronouns in the form of the dual (i.e., referring to two persons). It says
:فوسوس لهما الشيطان
Satan tempted both of them, (7:20).
فدليهما بغرور
So he led them both on by delusion, (7:22)

. و قاسمهما اني لكما لمن الناصحين
And he swore to both of them, "Truly, I am for you both a sincere adviser." (7:21)
In this way the Qur'an strongly refutes the misconception which was prevalent at that time and which is still found in certain quarters and among certain people of this world, and exonerates the female sex from the accusation that woman is the source of temptation and sin, and is half a devil.
Another contemptuous view which exists concerning woman is in the field of her spiritual ability. They say: "A woman cannot go to Heaven. A woman cannot traverse the spiritual and divine stages of enlightenment. A woman cannot attain proximity to God as can a man. The Qur'an, on the other hand, has made it explicitly clear in a large number of verses that reward in the life after death and nearness to God do not depend upon sex, but upon faith and deeds, whether they be of a woman or a man. For every great and pious man, the Qur'ain mentions a great and pious woman alongside him. The wives of Adam and Ibrahim (Abraham) and the mothers of Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) are mentioned with great esteem. Although the Qur'an refers to the wives of Nuh(Noah) and Lut (Lot) as being unworthy of their husbands, it does not ignore the wife of Fir'awn (Pharaoh) as a woman of distinction under the control of a detestable man. It can be said that the Qur'an purposely seeks to keep a balance in its histories and the leading role in them is not confined to men. About the mother of Musa, the Qur'an says: So we revealed to Moses' mother, "Suckle him, then, when thou fearest for him, cast him into the water, and do not fear, neither sorrow, for We shall return him to thee." (28:7) About Maryam (Mary), the mother of Isa, the Qur'an says that she had attained such an elevated spiritual degree that the angels used to visit her in her prayer-niche and converse with her. Sustenance was supplied to her from an invisible source. She had attained so high a position of Divine favour that it completely astounded the prophet of that time, and exceeded his own degree. Zakariyya (the prophet) was dumb-founded when he looked upon her. In the history of Islam itself there are many pious and distinguished women. There can be few men who are able to reach the high status of Khadijah,1 and no man except the Holy Prophet himself and Ali could attain the status of az-Zahra'.2 az- Zahra' excelled her sons, the Imams, and all the prophets as well, excepting the Seal of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). Islam does not make any difference between man and woman in the journey from this world towards al-Haqq (the Truth, i.e., towards God). The only difference that Islam makes is in the journey from al-Haqq to this world, in returning to mankind and bearing the prophetic message, and here it recognizes man as being more suitable.
Another derogatory view that was held was in connection with sexual abstention and the sacredness of being single and celibate. As we know, in some religions, sexual intercourse is in its essence unclean. According to the followers of these religions only those who live all their life in celibacy can attain the stations of the spirit. One of the world's well-known religious leaders said:
"Root out the tree of marriage with the spade of virginity."

The same religious leaders allow marriage only as one evil to ward off a greater evil. In other words they maintain that, as the majority of people are unable to endure the hardship of remaining celibate and may loose self-control and thus become victims of perversion, indulging in sexual contact with numerous women, it is better that they should marry and not have sexual relations with more than one woman. The root cause of sexual abstention and celibacy is a feeling of aversion against the female sex. These people consider love of women to be one of the great moral depravities. Islam has combatted fiercely against this superstition. It considers marriage to be sacred and celibacy to be impure. Islam considers love of women to be a part of prophetic morality, and says:

من اخلاق الانبيا حب النسا
Love of women is of the niorality of the prophets.
The last Prophet used to say: "Three things are dear to me: perfume, women and prayer.
Bertrand Russell says:3 "In all codes of moral conduct there appears a kind of aversion to sexual relations except in Islam. Islam has ordained regulations and limitations with regard to this relationship for social reasons, but it has never considered it an abominable and unclean matter."
Another derogatory opinion held regarding women was that she is only a means for bringing man into existence, and that she was created for man. These ideas can never be found in Islam. Islam most explicitly explains the basis of the final cause, it says quite clearly that the earth and the sky, the clouds and the winds, plants and animals have all been created for man. But it never says that woman was created for man. Islam says that man and woman were each created for the other :
هن لباس لكم و انتم لباس لهن
They are a vestment for you (man) and you are a vestment for them, (Qur'an, 2:187). If the Qur'an considered woman to be a means of making men and something created for them, it would certainly have kept this fact in view in its laws. As Islam, in its explanation of creation, does not have this opinion and does not consider woman to be a parasite on mane s existence, there is no trace or reflection of this idea in its special precepts regarding man and woman.

Another of the derogatory views held in the past was that women were considered an unavoidable and necessary evil. Many men, in spite of all the gains and advantages they had derived from women, regarded them contemptuously and considered them to be a source of misfortune and misery. The holy Qur'an makes a special mention of the fact that woman is a blessing for man and is a source of solace and comfort for his heart.
Yet another derogatory view was that woman played a very insignificant part in bringing offspring into the world. Arabs of the pre-Islamic age, and certain other peoples, considered women to be only a repository for the sperm of the man, which, according to them, was the real seed of the child, and they said that her part was to keep that seed safe and to nourish it. The Qur'an says in several verses that: "You were created from man and woman."
From what has been said above, it is clear that both from a philosophical point of view, as well as from its explanation of the nature of creation, Islam does not hold any derogatory ideas concerning women; rather, it has seen to it that all the above mentioned derogatory views are discarded. Now it is appropriate to examine why there is an absence of identicalness in the rights of men and women.

by Fahime