Being patient when tempted April 12, 2007Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Advice, Islam.
How can a young man or woman be patient in the face of the temptations and trials that inflame their desires when unlawful gratification is within their easy reach? The best way for such a person to fortify his or her patience is as follows:
1. He should contemplate the greatness of Allah and think that Allah sees him when he is disobedient. Nothing that we do escapes His attention. He sees and hears all things. This is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) meant when he said: “A fornicator is not a believer at the time that he is committing fornication, an imbiber is not a believer while he is engaged in drinking, a thief is not a believer while he is in the act of stealing.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2475) and Sahîh Muslim (57)] this is because a person who is conscious of Allah watching over him will feel ashamed to do the things that Allah has prohibited or to neglect his duties towards Allah. Consider a man who is naked or engaged in some vulgar deed and discovers that someone is looking at him through a crack in the door. Will he not be ashamed and embarrassed? Will he not be unable to look that person in the eye?
2. He should cultivate his love for Allah, for Allah commanded his Prophet (peace be upon him) to say: “If you love Allah, then follow me. Allah will love you and forgive you your sins and Allah is most forgiving and merciful.” [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 31]
3. He should consider the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon him. We are constantly in receipt of myriad blessings. When we disobey our Lord, we do so with the limbs that he provided us with and which He empowered us to use. We are using His very blessings upon us to disobey Him.
4. We should fear Allah becoming angry with us. Allah says: “Do those who concoct evil deeds feel secure that He will not cause the Earth to swallow them up or that punishment will not visit them from whence they cannot perceive? Or that He may not seize them in their goings to and fro without a chance of their escape? Or that He may take them with a gradual loss, for Allah is full of pity and mercy?” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 45-47] This anger could be delayed until the Day of Judgment when our Lord will be angry as He had never been angry before.
5. He should keep in mind that Allah could take his soul at any time. A person could die while he is drunk. A car might overturn, killing all of its occupants, including a young man and woman engaged in unlawful pleasures out of the sight of their parents.
6. He should think about Allah’s reward and His munificence. He should know that if he leaves off something for the Allah’s sake, then Allah will give him something better. Sufyân al-Thawrî said: “When a person lowers his gaze from unlawful sights, Allah bestows upon him such faith that pleases his heart. What Allah has to offer is better and more enduring.”
7. He should think about the transience of this worldly existence. He should think about his very body, how it first grows and reaches full, robust maturity and strength, only to return decrepit and bent with old age.
8. He should think about Allah’s mercy and the blessings it provides. He should fear that if he persists in wrongdoing and does not yield to Allah’s greatness, he might be cut off from that mercy.
9. He should realize that he must break his bad habits. Many people who drink, abuse drugs, or engage in voyeurism do so out of force of habit. They need to resolve themselves to submit to Allah alone and not submit to anything or anything else.
10. He should consider the immediate as well as spiritual benefits of abstaining from the unlawful. Allah does not prohibit something without that thing being harmful or at least bringing about more harm than good. Likewise, Allah does not command us to do something unless that thing is beneficial or at least brings about more good than harm. Obedience to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) is always better and more enduring in virtue than any benefit that can be secured through disobedience.