Mend fence with faith
We find it hard to take out our eyes from following a fascinating pageant, ears from a sweet voice, tongue from a good taste. We are on a spree after our temptations because we are mere humans with desires, dreams and passions. Humans with shortcomings and limitations. The same human, who collapsed over his desires, can rise himself to higher echelons of dignity, sometimes up above the Angels so high. Be it a believer engrossed in prayers inside mosques or a poor believer staying in a hut, anyone can attain this eminence, provided they restraint their desires.
Look how Qura’n counts the qualities of a believer who will enter paradise. “But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restraint his soul from lust” (79:40). It also asks “…And who goeth farther astray than he who followeth his lust without guidance from Allah…(part of 28:50). It also hints about those who subjugated their desires to God (45:23)
If we try to resist the tempting sights and alluring desires, the level of self-restraint we need to exhibit is not any trivial, these days. Abdulaa ibn Abbas (R)’s response to Umar (R) when asked what is ‘Taqwa’, is very famous. Umar ibn Khattab (R) once asked Hadrat Ibn Ka’ab (R) the definition of taqwa. In response, Ibn Ka’ab (R) asked, “Have you ever had to traverse a path full of thorns?” Umar (R) replied ‘yes’, and Ka’ab(R) continued, “How do you do that?” Umar(R) replied, he would carefully walk through, pulling up all loose and fallen clothing with his hands so that nothing gets caught in the thorns, injuring him. Ka’ab (R) said, “This is the definition of taqwa, to protect oneself from sin through life’s dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey unravaged by sin”
Taqwa is to live unquivered even in the midst of whirlwinds of evil. Time we live is an era reigned by voluptuous evils. Everything we hear and see has evil in it. Any evil that we desire for can be fulfilled instantaneously. Our paths are full of piercing thorns, sharp stones and hard rocks. We are successful only if we can live without being harmed even by a small stone or hurt even by a small thorn. Evils are thorns that wound our Imaan. We are like any other human who may stagger in front of evils. We keep doing all that fascinate our minds. Allah knows this very well. That is why He opened the vast doors of repentance for us. Wash up all that passed with the tears of repentance.
Many a times, people go astray in the matter of morality. And our time is witnessing a lot more decadence than before. Distracting delusions galore these days. To taint our imanic life, they linger around us. Discipline in the matters of sexual relation is the sign of one’s maturity. This discipline is essential in developing a good personality. Looth (A) asks his people, who were engaged in illicit sex, “Is there not among you any upright man?” (Quran 11:78). He used the word ‘Rajulan Rasheedh’ (upright man). The word ‘Rushdh’ contains a very wide meaning in this regard. In a broad sense, their act was not suiting to the character of a righteous man. Qur’an insists unmarried people to keep themselves chaste (24:33). Which means, those who are married has reached in a chaste way through it. In short, The Most Beneficent doesn’t want us turn tainted by leaving us untamed.
For whom is the Paradise that spreads broader than the heavens and the earth together? Verses starting from 133rd in Surat Aalu-Imran rain a great relief in our minds. It reads something like this; They are the ones who dole out in poverty and prosperity, restrain themselves from anger and forgive people. Not over! And the ones who, having done something shameful, or wronged to their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask His forgiveness for their sins, and they’ll never repeat those sins, never again, knowingly.
Not the ones who do not commit sins, but those who do not repeat it! Simple humans like us! Prophet(PBUH) once said: “This world is like a prison for a believer and paradise for a non-believer’ (Sahih Muslim, vol.4, #7058). There are rules for a believer to observe, in every aspect of life. His is not an unrestrained life, but a well-disciplined one. For the eyes, the ears, the mind, the tongue, and the hands and legs – everything has fences around. Crossing these boundaries will have an impact on our imaan. In short, the ideology we knew and comprehended is the fence guarding and controlling our life. Beyond that fence, it’s NO ENTRY for us.
English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud
Translated by Abu Liyan