Here is the English abstract of Dr. Zahra Davarpanah (assistant professor, department of theoretical studies, research institute of woman and family, Iran)'s presentation at the 3nd lecture of the pre-con lectures of the international conference on “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held online on December 5, 2023.
Preservation of Family as a Divine Idea: Between the Originality of Formation and Aimless Maintenance
Today, the ideas and concepts of love and choice have gained such dominance in human life that it seems impossible to achieve family happiness without them. As a result of this dominance, and since the continuity of love is inherently contradictory in the modern sense, "marriage" is perceived as the most crucial stage in establishing a family. Even if marriage is realized, the notion of love and choice continually challenges the married individual, making it an ever-unfinished matter. Hence, we witness an increasing number of family ruptures with the insight that "our life is devoid of love" or "he/she is no longer my choice." In contrast to these contemporary obsessions, traditional perspectives emphasize the formation and preservation of the family without any ultimate goal, even in the face of negating all presumed objectives. This idea has also shown its own shortcomings, and therefore, one cannot defend the preservation of the family at any cost and despite any difficulty. The divine idea about family preservation is not on either of these two extremes: forming a family and choosing a spouse—or even childrearing—are natural matters and emphasized due to the fundamental nature of human beings. Nevertheless, they are subject to certain restrictions and boundaries to preserve the human aspect and elevate its divine nature. Hence, based on the divine idea, establishing a family by choosing a spouse is considered a simple –not complicated and out of reach- matter. Ethical recommendations and legal boundaries, both serve to safeguard the family and serve as the groundwork for the experience of affection, tranquility, and sometimes love, but at the end of a constructive process, not at the outset. However, since the family is not an absolute matter but rather in service to the divine growth of humans, its preservation is contingent upon achieving its defined goals, and in some cases, the dissolution can be recommended.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi