Our Top Quotes from The Compassionate Family
The team at Islamic Insights shares our favorite gems from Sayyid Khamenei's compilation of advices and guidance
Editor’s note: These are just a few of our humble selections. We encourage our readers to share their favorite quotes with us on the comments below or on our social media platforms. Additionally, you can purchase the book here.
On Choosing a Spouse
“When God puts love in someone’s heart, even the ugliest face is made beautiful to his eyes. As the poet says:
When you gaze through Majnūn’s eyes / you see in Laylā nothing but beauty.
It is said that Laylā was unattractive and Majnūn was wretched and deplorable; but what love did was to make them see one another as beautiful and caused them to love each other dearly. Whether this legend is true or not, its story remains.
The point is that when God plants the seed of love in a person, beauty accompanies it. This is because beauty is in the eyes and heart of the beholder. When a man loves a woman, he will find her beautiful even if she is not what is commonly considered to be attractive. Likewise, if a man hates a woman, he will never find her attractive regardless of how pretty she really is. So if marriage is based on God-wariness (taqwā) and purity, and the pristine hands of men and women are brought together in wedlock, the love that soon enters the equation will melt away all troubles.” (pg 19)
Marriage in the Qur’an
“And of His Signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you. There are indeed signs in that for a people who reflect.” (The Holy Qur’an, 30:21)
“A man feels relaxed when he comes home to a peaceful environment and his kind, loving, and trustworthy wife by his side. And a woman feels happy and calm when she has a husband who is like a firm fortress…for her to lean on and rely on and who loves her dearly.” (pg 24)
The Family, the World’s First Institution
“A family is a ‘good word’ (kalimah tayyibah); the particularity of a ‘good word’ is that wherever it appears, it becomes a constant source of goodness and blessings, influencing everything around it.” (pg 39)
“Unconstrained libertinism has gradually become the norm in the West… Why does the West expend so much effort to promote hedonism in Eastern countries in general and Muslim countries in particular? One reason is to shatter the family unit and weaken their cultures in order to dominate them…Losing one’s cultural identity leaves a nation defenseless and at the mercy of foreign invaders. It becomes easy for enemies and imperialists to do this when the foundation of the family in a society is undermined.
A good family, then, is one in which both partners are kind, faithful and intimate with one another; they show one another love and affection; they look out for one another; and they respect and give importance to each other’s best interests.” (pg 40-41)
A Covering For One Another
“…they are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them…” (The Holy Qur’an, 2:187)
“[Husband and wife] must be an adornment, a protector, a preserver, and a mahram for each other. Hence, for a man or woman to reveal the secrets of each other to their friends or neighbors is unacceptable…There are some who take every opportunity to complain about their spouse–’he did this’ or ‘she said that’. Even if your spouse has a defect, do not expose it to everyone indiscriminately. Each one of you is a garment, a covering, a protector, an adornment, and a source of dignity for the other.” (pg 63)
Keeping Each Other on the Heavenly Path
“A woman can prevent her husband from being hurled into the precipice of hell. When a woman senses that her husband is in difficulty…it behoves her to help him so that he may overcome his challenges. This is only possible with cordiality, advice, and appropriate words. We know of many women who, in this way, have taken their husbands from the edge of hell to the gates of heaven.Husbands can also do the same. So protect each other, and be persistent in the path of God. Encourage each other towards God-wariness, worship, sincerity, trustworthiness, purity, modesty, and good deeds. ” (pg 65-66)
A New Life of Simplicity
“High material expectations can straiten one’s life and lead to depression; if a person lowers his expectations in life, he will find felicity. This is not only beneficial for the Hereafter, but also for the life here in this world.” (pg 77)
The Distinct Roles of Men and Women
“This is what Islam says: The man is a source of strength (qawām) while the woman is the source of peace (rayhan). This is neither demeaning to men nor to women. It is neglecting neither the rights of men nor the rights of women. On the contrary, it is taking account of the nature of each gender.” (pg 91)
“Today, we have erroneous social currents–not just limited to women but also to men–that wish to exchange the two sides of the scale and reverse the roles…What do they expect other than to destroy that beautifully arranged garden? They cannot hope for anything else. They are can no longer make use of the genius of each gender. They are undermining the trust within the family environment.” (pg 91)
The Role of a Mother
A mother is more valuable and more influential than any other instructive agency. It is possible for scientists to devise extremely sophisticated electronic devices, to build intercontinental missiles, and to invent means of conquering space…but all of these inventions pale in comparison to the one who can give rise to a noble human being, and that is a mother. This is the paradigm for every Muslim woman.” (pg 124)