DISCIPLINING THE SOUL – (PART 2)

DISCIPLINING THE SOUL – (PART 2)
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AVERTING PASSIONATE LOVE:

Passionate love or ‘ishq is a disease that ruined many people, whether in their bodies, their religion or both. Whoever protects themselves from temptation by lowering their gaze will be saved from this disease.

Know that the mere looking at what is coveted does not result in ‘ishq. Rather looking at what is coveted often increases temptation and greed, youthfulness and lust strengthens passionate desire.

Indeed, self-restraint and patience are the best of cures. The best of aids is fear of Allah, restraining the disdainful self from the state of humiliation, and remembering the inner flaws of that which is coveted. As Ibn Mas’ud said: “If any of you like a woman, he should remember her flaws.”

Whenever the loved one is someone attainable and lawful to have, uniting by means of marriage would be the best of cures. The intensity of this disease decreases with marriage, as well as travelling for long distances, remembering death, visiting the sick and visiting cemeteries. One should also contemplate the object of ones desire, and how they will seem when the passion has passed, and remember that people change over time and age. They should then look to examples in themselves and in others that might help to emerge from this chasm, and help them out of this dilemma. Finally, they should remember their meeting with Allah, and how they will stand before Him. When the passions have passed, only the actions remain to be accounted for before Allah.
AVERTING GLUTTONY:

When gluttony, or in Arabic sharah, is used in a general sense it always refers to consuming food according to ones
desires, but there are many incidents when gluttony leads a person to be involved in matters that will cause them harm. These include excessive eating, which leads to ill health, and excessive sexual appetite which leads one towards sin.

Hoarding of wealth is also a form of gluttony, if it exceeds ones needs. Money should not be sought in and of itself but rather to meet ones needs and sustenance. After we have met our needs, we should not waste our precious time travelling in order to collect yet more money. Consider the poets words: “And he who spends days in hoarding money, for fear of poverty, then what he did is poverty itself” This disease should be treated by understanding the purpose of saving money, to balance the risks and benefits of earning money and the risking the most precious things one has – one’s self and one’s time. Whoever is overpowered by the disease of hoarding money will perish in the desert of greed.

Gluttony is also found in relation to extravagance. This may be in the form of decorated buildings, fancy clothes and expensive cars etc. This disease originates from following one’s desires to excess. The cure for it is to know that you will have to account for how you spent your wealth. Extravagance is prohibited by Allah all praises and glory be to him. He does not look at the one who drags their garment on the ground out of pride. Allah does not reward a person for the size of their building. Whoever is wise, looks to how long they will live, and reflects on their final abode, for that is where they will be truly contented with what they wear and the buildings that shelter them. SubhanAllah what an important point of reflection!

It is reported that the Prophet Nuh, peace be upon him, lived in a house of wool for 950 years. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, never put a stone over another, his house was built only of mud. Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, wore a garment with twelve patches. This is because they understood that this world is a bridge and a bridge should not be taken as a home. Whoever fails to be aware of this knowledge will be afflicted with the diseases of gluttony in this world. May Allah protect us from that. Ameen.
REFUSING A POSITION OF AUTHORITY:

Know that the inner self loves superiority over others. Leadership is favoured for the position of ordering and forbidding. Although leadership and authority are needed, there are many risks in it, the least of which is discharge, the worst of which is injustice in judgement and the middle of which is wasting time if the intention of the one in charge is insincere.

A person who loves the idea of leadership should know that they will only love it until they attain it, and if they attain it they will only aspire to something higher than it again. For delight disappears after it has been achieved, and the sins remain after they are committed. It is a risk to oneself and one’s religion. Reflecting upon all of this is the cure for the love of leadership and authority.

Abu Umamah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, narrated that the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said:

“There is no man who becomes the leader of ten or what is more except that he will come to Allah on the Day of Judgement with his hand chained to his neck, his righteousness will release him or his wrongdoing will destroy him. The beginning of it [leadership] is blame, the middle of it is regret and the end of it is degradation on the Day of Judgement.”

[Recorded in at-Tabarani]

Abu Hurayrah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, narrated that the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“Woe to the rulers! Woe to the corporals! Woe to the ones in authority! Some people will wish that their forelocks were hanged from the Pleiades, they were swaying between the heavens and earth rather than be responsible for anything.”

[Recorded in Ahmad]

Imam Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Abu Dhar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Messenger of Allah! Won’t you put me in charge of anything? So he [the Messenger] hit my shoulder with his hand and said:

“O Abu Dhar! You are weak, it is a trust, on the day of Judgement it is a humiliation, a regret except for whoever took it rightfully and fulfilled his obligations towards it”

[Recorded in Muslim]