The role of optimism in marital life
It is highly emphasized in religious trains that persons in the society should not be pessimistic toward each other in Islamic societies and as they are optimistic toward
Translator: Z. Kalaa
Translator: Z. Kalaa
It is highly emphasized in religious trains that persons in the society should not be pessimistic toward each other in Islamic societies and as they are optimistic toward themselves, they should be optimistic toward each other as well. Important point is that the Islam no only disapproves bad behavior toward others, but it also prevents Muslims from pessimism toward each other and it does not allow them to be suspicious toward each other.
Optimism as a moral principle in family between couples has high importance and couples should avoid suspicion toward each other so that the ground of comfort and adaptability among them can be provided. To be optimistic toward others, we should recognize its factors and some of them will be mentioned now:
The factors and roots of suspicion
The recognition of the factors that lead to the appearance of optimism has a lot of effect on the growth of pleasant behavior and it is necessary for the consolidation and exaltation of family spirituality. Access to roots has an effective role in the process of prevention and the treatment of disagreements and it prevents from the harm of the roots and then they are replaced with suspicion. In this part, the important factors of optimism will be analyzed:
a. The recognition of friend and enemy
The common life of couples is for the implementation of a friendly life along with holy purposes according to grounds and researches that are done before marriage and a husband and a wife think about finding a friend first of all when they want to find a person for marital life. A boy tries to find a spouse among girls that sympathizes with her spouse before he is considered as a spouse for her. A girl would like to get married a boy that she can imagine a friendly life with him. Hence, we should disintegrate this friendship with suspicion because such a thing is the intention of an enemy. We should pay attention to this point that suspicion is the message of enemy in marital life and it is considered as the greatest enemy in friendly relationships.
Deceased Molla Ahmad Naraqi states '' suspicion is something that transfers and Satan makes it penetrate into the heart of human. What human has suspected is something that Satan has said; otherwise, Satan has neither seen it nor has heard it. God states '' if an adulterer brings news for you, do not trust his or her news and Satan is the most adulterous adulterer''.
Sometimes, persons are deceived by the cheats of Satan as much as he or she becomes satisfied of his or her suspicion. In such a situation, he or she thinks that he or she is smarter and more intelligent than others, has explanations for his or her suspicion and reasons inappropriate and unacceptable reasons. This is consider as the conspiracy of Satan. A person that knows that Satan is the enemy of God should not be suspicious toward his or her spouse and makes the effects of pessimism more conspicuous if there is not certain evidence for a disapproved affair.
b. Socializing with good persons
One of optimism factors is to socialize with good persons. Socializing with good persons is effective from two ways: one of them is that if a person socializes with good persons, he or she will be influenced with their manner. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
مجالسة الاشرار تورث سوء الظّنّ بالاخيار و مجالسة الاخيار تلحق الاشرار بالاخيار؛
'' Socializing with bad persons cause that we become suspicious to good persons and socializing with good persons cause that we consider bad persons as good persons''.
Therefore, according to this rule, if a person socializes with good persons, he or she will have good thoughts. The second way is that if we socialize with good persons, we will become optimistic toward others and if we socialize with bad persons, we will become suspicious toward others. Hence, it is recommended that we provide positive grounds for judgment among others and we avoid creating negative atmosphere and the establishment of accusation grounds.
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
مَن وَضَعَ نَفسَهُ مواضع التّهمة فلا يلومنَّ مَن اَساءَ الظّنّ به
'' If a person is in a situation that he or she can be accused, he or she should not censure a person that has censured him or her''.
c. The establishment of personality and self-confidence
Persons that have firm personality are self-confidant and they cannot be influenced. They are not influenced by others soon and we can change their beliefs with certain reasons. But weak persons are influenced by rumors and false intentions that some persons use in order to disintegrate the life of others. Such a things leads to inadaptability among them. Such persons are censured because they do not have permanent personality. Quran states to them
لولا اذ سمعتموه ظنّ المومنين و المومنات بانفسهم خيرا
A person should not be weak and disintegrated and he or she becomes suspicious when he or she hears rumors. But he or she should stand against them so that their lies can be revealed. Hence, strong persons always provide an appropriate ground for optimism and they avoid suspicions.
d. Unnecessary expectations
Behaviors that others show and roles that they have can be evaluated in a positive way and can be considered as optimism if they are in line with expectations. It is not appropriate that behaviors and roles are evaluated in an equal way and all of them should be looked with a point of view. A person that has unnecessary expectations from others will become suspicious if his or her expectations are met and he or she sees things against his or her needs. These factors can lead to suspicion: the expectation of obligatory respect from others, achieving determined purposes without the preparation of means and grounds, expectation good behavior and kindness from all of persons, doing things that are pleasant for us without considering the abilities and motivations of others and …Hence, balance in needs and expectations can provide the ground of optimism.
The effects of optimism
A person that is optimistic toward others and justifies their ambiguous behaviors has gained the most important achievement and he or she feels comfortable and they get rid of negative thoughts that spoil his or her comfort. In contrast, a person that is suspicious is not comfortable and relaxed and he or she will always be anxious and worried because he or she is always pessimistic and accepts the undesirable aspect of the behavior of others. Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) considers optimism as the mitigation of sadness and states
''حسن الظن يخفّف الهم''
Moreover, he considers optimism as the comfort of heart and states
''حسن الظن راحة القلب''
This point is clear that the first step that is effective in achieving comfort in family is to avoid worry and one of ways in order to gain it is optimism toward spouse.
b. The avoidance of inquisitiveness, backbiting and …
When a person justifies the ambiguous behavior of another person, he or she will not be inquisitive about his or her affairs because he or she is not pessimistic toward him or her. Hence, the ground of other moral problems will not create. But suspicion is a ground that makes a suspicious person commit other sins such as inquisitiveness and backbiting unconsciously. That is why exalted God mentions in sacred Surah of Hujuraat in verse 12 the avoidance of suspicion as the background of inquisitiveness and backbiting because a person becomes suspicious at first and then he or she inquiries about it in order to analyze and prove it. Finally he or she backbites.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا کَثِيراً مِنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَ لاَ تَجَسَّسُوا وَ لاَ يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُکُمْ بَعْضاً
''O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs''.
Hence, optimism prevents a person from committing a lot of sins. Hence, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) considers it as the survival of the religion and states
'' حسن الظن راحة القلب و سلامة الدين''
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) introduces a suspicious person as a person that corrupts affairs, provokes evil and states
''سوء الظن يفسد الامور و يبعث علي الشرور''
There is no question that a person that is suspicious toward his or her spouse inquiries and backbites him or her and this is considered as an important factor in cold relationship among families.
c. The attraction of affection
Optimism toward others leads to spiritual and mental relaxation, to avoid immoral actions, to attract the affection of others toward himself or herself and to make others become interested in him or her. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
''من حسن ظنّه بالناس حاز منهم المحبّة''
'' Persons that are optimistic toward others attract their affection''.
Exalted God has considered the foundation of family on the basis of affection and mercy and since of the factors of its attraction is optimism toward spouse, this virtue will have a deep effect on the consolidation of family foundation. Unfortunately, one of factors that disintegrates good relationships among couples is suspicion toward spouse that is created through gossiping and rumors.
The effects of suspicion
There are negative effects related to suspicion and we should analyze the effects so that so that we do not suffer from them. Suspicion not only has the negative effects of the afterlife such as the increase of sins, torture and declination, the decease of the reward of devotion and reaching the level of blasphemy, but it also has negative effects in this world and it makes life difficult in this world and leads to inadaptability among persons. In this part, the most important negative effects of suspicion will be reminded:
a. Isolation and nostalgia
A suspicious person is always alone. He or she avoids socializing with others and he or she is not satisfied of socializing with others. Even he or she becomes sad if other persons come to him or her. Of course, it does not mean that he or she feels satisfactory when he or she is alone, but he or she suffers from his or her inner grief. They imagine that if they think that if they are alone, they will feel better than being with others. But such imagination leads to suspicion. Sometimes, suspicion cause that he or she prefers that he or she should be alone, but he or she will be in the difficulty of isolation if people feel that he or she is suspicious. Therefore, they avoid socializing with him or her and escape such a person. Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) states
''الغريب من لم يکن له حبيب، لايعدمک من الشفيق سوء الظّن''
'' A stranger is a person that has no friends. Be alert so that suspicion does not deprive you of having a kind friend''.
Being among others in the society, socializing and sympathy have a lot of blessings and a suspicious person deprives himself or herself of the blessings. Therefore, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
ثلاث موبقات: نکثُ و ترکُ السنّة و فراق الجماعة
'' Three things make human perish: 1. Breaking allegiance; 2. giving up traditions; 3. avoiding socializing with persons''.
Hence, because a suspicious person becomes aloof, he or she makes himself or herself perish because there will be a thick cover of snobbishness, pessimism and suspicion over his or her sights and they will make him or her perish.
b. Mental problem
The mental consequences of suspicion are fear, panic and anxiety. The appearance of such moods cause that a person loses his or her spiritual balance and they prevent persons from making decisions and solving problems. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
من لم يحسن ظنّه استوحش من کلّ احد
'' A person that is pessimistic and suspicious toward others will fear from anyone''.
Suspicion causes unnecessary and illogical sensitiveness. A suspicious person is always waiting for unpleasant events that may happen. Such a suspicious person supervises the movements and behaviors of others so that he or she interprets them with his or her suspicion. It seems as if unpleasant events are supposed to happen one after another and all persons want to betray him or her. Such thoughts cause that such persons commit suicide and they may murder others. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
''من ساءت ظنونه اعتقد الخيانة بمن لا يخونه''
'' A person that is suspicious imagines that an innocent person is a traitor''.
Because a suspicious person has a lot of anxiety from suspicion, he or she becomes weak and incapable in dealing with unpleasant events. However, he or she does not get help from others and because he or she is suspicious if a person helps him or her, he or she will have more fear and anxiety.
Since a suspicious person sees the behaviors and remarks of others with ugly purposes and intentions and he or she cannot imagine that the behaviors and remarks of others are without ugly intentions, he or she will always be at spiritual pain. Therefore, the personalities of such suspicious persons will become different. Such a disease is known as '' Paranoid'' among psychologists and it has its own levels. The first meaning of this expression is '' insanity'', its second meaning '' saying nonsense words and its third meaning '' suspicion''.
Some psychologists have expressed a lot of symptoms for this disease and the most important ones include: negative high sensitiveness, the justification of suspicion, self-defense, the escaping of criticisms, lack of trust, the expectation of betrayal, inadaptability with current situations, usual correspondence between conclusions and expectations, the change of common discussion to argumentation, thinking and physical stress, cold and unemotional behaviors, having additional seriousness, selfishness and snobbishness, stubbornness, retribution and the avoidance of forgiveness, being jealous of strong persons and hating strong persons, indifference toward art, showing off and …
According to this disease, a suspicious person has ugly and painful thoughts and memories into his or her mind; therefore, he or she will have mental disease. As a consequence, inadaptability will create and intensify.
c. deprivation of security in family
One of important factors for family training and the growth and perfection of human is the security and comfort of family. All family members, especially husband and wife, should have necessary comfort so that they can achieve a desirable and adaptable life. Suspicion causes that spiritual security is away from family members, the spiritual and holy atmosphere of family is corrupted and comfortable feeling that is gained from being together changes to anxiety feeling. To preserve this security, we should use all of our ability so that suspicion does not create and if it creates, it should get away immediately.
When the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) was supposed to separate his wife, Khadije, for forty years according to the order of God, he sent Ammar Yaser to Khadije so that his wife did not become suspicious and the comfort of his family could be preserved and he said
'' Tell Kkhadije not to imagine that I have left her. I do not come her because God has ordered me to do so not because I would like to come her or I have animosity with her''.
If suspicion is common in families, their hearts will be distressed without affection and kindness. Such a family looks for security and affection out of family atmosphere. There have been a lot of boys and girls that have hated their families and houses, have resorted out of this club and have been into troubles and dangers that cannot be compensated and then they have been unlucky. Moreover, there have been a lot of men and women that have done ugly actions in order to gain affection and they have had no results except the disintegration of family foundation.
d. Lack of trust toward others
One of necessary elements for cooperation in the life is the existence of trust among couples. Of course, the meaning of trust is not that a person trusts another person without conditions and thinking and he or she does not use his or her wisdom and he or she makes himself or herself obliged to trust the remarks and behaviors of another person. Absolute trust and optimism are true only about God because we are sure that he or she is more aware and kinder than all of us. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
''بالله الثقة في جميع الامور''
'' We can trust God in all affairs''.
Our trust innocent Imams (peace be upon them) can lead to our trust God''. We can have absolute trust no one. Imam Sadeq (peace be upon him) states
''لا تثقنّ باخيک کلّ الثقة فان صرعة الاسترسال لن تستقال''
'' Do trust your brother absolutely because the problems of optimism and cannot be compensated''.
Such remarks are completely true about absolute trust. But relative trust is a necessary condition for marital life. When a person chooses a reliable person with enough thinking, he or she should not become too sensitive. Relative trust leads to the consolidation of family and couples can have friendly relationship.
One of factors that ignores trust and makes human deprived of its blessings is suspicion. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
''شر الناس من لا يثق باحد لسوء ظنّه و لايثق به احد لسوء فعله''
'' The worst person among people is a person that does trust anyone because he or she is suspicious and others cannot trust him or her because his or her action is ugly''.
Hence, if there are not enough reasons that the actions of our spouse are in a way that we should not trust him or her, we should not become too sensitive and analyze the behavior of our spouse with negative thoughts and in detail.
It should be paid attention to this point that some suspicions are under the control of human and they come into the mind of human unconsciously. It is clear that such affairs are not under the volition of human and they are considered as sins, but if a person continues suspicion in this stage and confirms his or her suspicion and tries to inquire, backbite and … , it will be a clear example of suspicion.
The ways of prevention and the treatment of suspicion
We can prevent from suspicion with learning and applying the following ways and if we become suspicious, we can treat it:
Providing an appropriate ground
The most important factor in getting rid of suspicion is to prevent from its grounds. Religious trains prevent Muslims from suspicion with using this way. For example, exalted God prevents Muslims from bad imaginations in Hujuraat Surah in verse 12 and explains its reasons in this way that some imaginations are sin. Therefore, avoiding imaginations that have reached certain stage and they are not even bad imaginations prevents us from committing sin.
One of other examples of providing grounds for the prevention of bad imaginations is to eradicate its roots and it prevents from its change to suspicion. One of the roots of suspicion is that he or she is a bad person. A person that is corrupted makes others corrupted. A person that behaves in a certain way with inappropriate motivation considers such a behavior with the same intention from others and he or she does not justify it in a proper way. Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) depicts such mental mood in this way
الرجل السوء لا يظن باحدٍ خيراً لانه لا يراه الّا بوصف نفسه
'' A suspicious man is not optimistic toward anyone because he sees others like himself''.
Husband should do the important part of providing ground. A husband that goes to house late, tells a lie to his wife and has suspicious telephones and ambiguous movements provide the ground of suspicion for his wife. Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) states
من وقف بنفسه موقف التهمة فلايلومنَّ من اساء به الظن
'' A person that provides a ground to be accused should not censured a person that has accused him or her (because he or she is deserved to be censured)''.
Moreover, a woman that does not justify her ambiguous behaviors for her husband has provided the ground that her husband becomes suspicious and she should eradicate this ground with proper and logical justification.
b. Cutting relationship
The root of some bad imaginations is hidden in relationship with villous persons. A person that deal with bad persons wears pessimistic glasses and sees anyone like bad persons. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
مجالسة الاشرار توجب سوء الظن بالاخيار
'' Socializing with villous persons causes that we become suspicious toward good persons''.
Therefore, the change of situation and the cut of relationship with villous and corrupted persons are considered as effective factors in the prevention and treatment of suspicion.
Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) that had appointed Malek Ashtar as the governor of Egypt considered several effective factors in the optimism of people toward a governor: goodness toward people and not making them do affairs that are not left to them. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said to Malek
ثم اعلم انه ليس شييء بادعي لحسن ظنّ والٍ برعيّته من احسانه اليهم و تخفيفه المئونات عليهم و قلّه استکراهه اياهم علي ما ليس له قِبَلهم ... فان حسن الظن يقطع عنک نصباً طويلاًس
'' You should know that nothing can attract the trust of people better than goodness to them, the mitigation of costs for them and not making them do affairs that are not left to them. This optimism of people toward you decreases pain from your shoulder''.
Therefore, goodness toward spouse and making affairs easy for them lead to the optimism of spouse and it is a factor that decreases the problems of common life.
d. The control of negative thoughts
Negative thought is the thinking way of depressed persons that can create some problems because they review them regularly with concentrating on negative feelings. Thinking about unpleasant feelings and events a lot causes false imagination about finding solutions for them and create some problems. One of desirable skills for finding various solutions is to solve problems that includes five stages: understanding our inner, the definition of problem, listing different solutions, decision making and testing. Negative thought, in contrast with problem solving, is not a creative process so that possible solutions can be tested and appropriate solution can be selected. But the consistency of negative though leads to depression. Concentrating on negative moods and behaviors shows them worse than past time. When you are worried about negative feelings, it becomes difficult for you to think about solutions and creativity related to them.
Dealing with negative thought is that we learn how we prevent from its appearance and paying attention to it. You can prevent from concentering on negative thoughts with communicating with others and entertaining yourself with meaningful activities. Negative thought leads to the dissatisfaction of a person, negative expectations, low self-esteem and misery. You should try to have balance between negative thoughts and positive thoughts that include positive satisfaction, positive self-imagination, being accepted by others and positive expectations.
e. Destruction and fighting with their own beliefs
Most of persons express their remarks with using words '' I should'', '' I definitely'' and '' I must'' and I some cases, they express such remarks with firm will and specific purpose. Sometimes, the tone of expressing such remarks is not convincing and it seems as if another person annunciates the person '' you must'' and such a remark causes that the person becomes sad, unwilling and depressed. In such a situation, he or she should say '' I have decided'' instead of saying '' I must'' and with such an action, he or she destructs imposed belief.
We are living in a world that our learning is based on experience. At first, we do not know proper difference and improper difference. And we cannot recognize good behavior and bad behavior from each other. Parents, relatives, national media and …help us to learn things. Such a way is appropriate and it is good for the beginning of learning. But if persons learn their beliefs from others when they are teenagers, youths and adults, they have not definitely passed desirable path because we cannot judge prudently and wisely in childhood. But when we are youth and adult, we can follow good experiences that are appropriate and select desirable beliefs. Sometimes, we can express a belief that is rooted in our childhood and now we have memorized it whereas it is not appropriate for us. We should not attribute our selections and decisions to an external pivot and norm that has been imposed on us, but we should attribute it to our moral principle and our appropriate and proper beliefs and eradicate our previous belief.
f. Comparing sensible beliefs and insensible beliefs
To avoid suspicion, we should recognize sensible beliefs from insensible beliefs so that we do not become suspicious according to our insensible belief. Now some examples of sensible and insensible beliefs will be mentioned:
1. Sensible belief:
Only way that we do not make a mistake is that we do no actions. I am an active person and each active person makes make a mistake.
2. Insensible belief:
I never make mistakes.
1. Sensible belief:
No one is absolute. I can accept that others make mistakes as well.
2. Insensible belief:
Others should not make mistakes.
1. Sensible belief:
It is not necessary that others act according to my expectations.
2. Insensible belief:
Others should act according to my expectations.
1. Sensible belief:
Everyone should look at his or her own properties, abilities and facilities and form their life according to them.
2. Insensible belief:
The quality of the life of all persons should be equal. Why do some persons have? And why don't we have anything?
1. Sensible belief:
Sometimes, persons are happy and sometimes, they are sad.
2. Insensible belief:
I should always be happy. Why are others happy? But I am not happy.
Hence, we should avoid moods that are rooted in our insensible belief and through this way, we tend optimism.