In this lesson, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, gives an overview of select verses from the Quran that correspond with the chapter on breaking desires from Imam Al-Ghazali’s Ihya. Allah tells us that our salvation is connected to not giving in to one’s lower self and that is why it is crucial for one to control their desires. The lesson will overview the verses 40-41 from Chapter 79 of the Quran.
وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِ وَنَهَى النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ
فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَىٰ
But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge. [Quran, 79:40-41]
The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us that at the end of time is sanctifying choice and that people should do anything that they wish. However, this goes against the core values of our religion that require one to discipline their desires and whims. The verses show us that our path to paradise is through withholding the things our lower self desires and that will result in the highest level of felicity. The Prophet told us that the road to paradise is surrounded by things that are not easy or liked by us.
It is of the mysteries of our time that we are now told to act upon all of our whims and desires, while every dignified society before us was based on withholding from your desires. However, those who constantly give in to our desires are always miserable. That is why Allah tells us that whomever purifies the self is successful and whomever doesn’t can enter very dark places. Ustadh Amjad reminds us that we were not created to give into our whims and that is why doing so makes us miserable. Instead, our freedom from the shackles of servitude to this world is through being a servant only to Allah to attain peace and tranquility. The result of disciplining your desires, is that that which was once bitter and difficult to do becomes sweet and desired by yourself.
Ustadh Amjad concludes by reminding us that our desires don’t always call us to what is in our best interest, that is why even in worldly matters, attaining success always requires sacrifice, such is the case for pursuing the spiritual path. In addition, remember the reward that awaits those who discipline their desires is felicity, salvation and paradise. However, remember that none of this is attained overnight, it requires patience, perseverance and continually asking God to allow us to continue down the path.
In this series Shaykh Faraz, and the other scholars and teachers will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.
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