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The importance of fighting our desires – by Sheikh Abdullah Azzaam RA



Me vs. Me


Shaikh Abdullah Azzaam RA


So, fight your desires at a time when you can eat. The soul is never
satisfied. Satisfying your desires is like satisfying the thirsty person
who went to drink water from the sea – the more he drinks, the thirstier he
gets. These Romans used to eat all types of food and sweets to the point
that they no longer felt the pleasure in eating food. So, they would fast
in order to once again feel the taste of their food. Likewise, they drowned
in immorality to the point that they hated women. So, they would move far
away from the cities until they once again longed for women. The Europeans
opened the door of intimate relations as far as it could be opened. As a
result, they now see endless cases of rape, transmitted disease, etc. This
is because desires are never satisfied. Whenever you nourish them, they
increase in hunger:


And the soul increases in desire when you awaken its desire and if it is
restricted to little, it becomes content.


Jabir RA was once walking to the marketplace. So, ‘Umar RA asked him:
“Where are you going, Jabir?” He said: “My soul longed for some meat, and I
want to go buy some meat with a dirham.” ‘Umar RA replied: “O Jabir!
Whenever you have the desire for something, you go out and buy it?”

Onetime, ‘Umar RA had some food placed in front of him, and he began to weep.
It was asked of him: “Why are you weeping, O Commander of the Believers?”
He said: “I am afraid that it would be said to me on the Day of Judgement: {“On
the Day when those who disbelieve will be exposed to the Fire, it will be
said: ‘You received your good things in the life of the world, and you took
your pleasure therein. Now, this Day, you shall be recompensed with a
torment of humiliation because you were arrogant in the land without a
right, and because you used to rebel and disobey.’”} [al-Ahqaf; 20]”


Therefore, it should be everyone’s goal to be abstinent from worldly
pleasures and to fight their desires, since it is impossible for the soul
to rise and ascend except if it dominates over its desires and whims. The
soul that becomes a prisoner to its desires will never be able to face the
enemy on the battlefield. So, if you wish to remain travelling upon the
path to Allah, hold yourself back.


Unfortunately, this type of knowledge is not taught in the universities
or schools – the knowledge of behavior and conduct (suluk). This knowledge
is missing because there are no murabbin, and it is not taught in al-Azhar
or other colleges of Shari’ah – the science of behavior and manners, the
science of nurturing the soul, the science of tarbiyah.


So, you sometimes find the youth who has memorized much – ma Sha’ Allah –
from many books and ahadith: he read ‘Riyad as-Salihin’ from a while back,
he studied ‘Rawdat an-Nadhir,’ he read ‘Nayl al-Awtar,’ ‘Subul as-Salam,’
‘Fath al-Bari,’ etc. Despite this, you never find him fasting any optional
fasts or praying at night. His soul is dead. He prays no optional prayers,
and he follows every license of ease (rukhsah) that he comes across. Why?
Because his soul is sick. He did not nurture himself.

May we nurture ourselves this Ramadhan and realise what are our priorities.


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