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Wednesday 23rd of October 2019
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He has sent so many prophets and His Holy Book

The first and foremost condition for one's strife with his own self, and hence his movement(mobility) towards God essentially(chiefly)  means introspection and self-reflection. Some of the moral philosophers have given it the fifth position in priorities, which is also correct. Here introspection is used in the sense of devoting some time, however insignificant it is, contemplating about our duties towards our Master and Creator, Who has brought us into this world, and Who has bestowed upon us all the means of pleasure(feast) and joys of life, Who has equipped us with a sound body and faultless faculties and senses, each of whom serves a specific purpose of its own, and whose functioning bewilders human intellect. In totaling(addition) to all these endowments and graces, He has sent so many prophets and His Holy Book for our guidance and invited us to receive His blessings. Whether all these things have been granted to us by the Master and Emperor of all kings merely to serve this animal existence and to satisfy our appetites and instincts, which we share with other animals, or whether there is some higher aim? Whether all the prophets of God, great sages, thinkers and scholars of every nation have invited the people to follow(pursue) certain rational principles and Divine legislation, and asked the people to abstain from all animal tendencies and detach themselves from this mortal and perishable habitation were their enemies(foes), or they had conceived an entirely different idea of salvation, which we ordinary human creatures, blindly obeying the dictates of lust, could not conceive?

If we reflect in a rational manner for a moment, we shall realize that the aim of imparting to us all these graces and endowments is something else, superior to and higher than what is visible(tangible). This world is a stage of action and its aim is a higher and more sublime sphere of existence. This lower and animal existence is not an end in itself. A rational man should think of his own self introspectively and should feel pity for his state of helplessness. With a sense of pity he should address his own self saying; "O callous self! Thou has wasted precious years of thy short life in pursuance of hedonistic and sensuous propensities! And nothing is gained except regret and sense of loss. Thou should be regretful before God for thy past deeds, and commence a new journey(trip) in the direction of His prescribed goal, the journey that leads to the life of eternity and perpetual bliss. Thou should not bargain short-lived transitory joys, which are hard to obtain for eternal bliss and felicity. Think for a while, O Callous self! Thou should think over the conditions of the people from the dawn of civilization up to the present time that is witnessed by thee. See and balance their hardships and torments with the comforts and pleasures they could attain, and thou shall see their pains and sufferings always overwhelmed and cancelled their joys and pleasures. Joys and pleasures are not for everyone in this life. One who invites and induces thee to pursue the worldly joys and material gains, is evidently one of the satanic hosts in the human form, who undoubtedly is an emissary of the Satan. ' He always induces other men to join him in his indulgence in sensualities, and declares his conviction in material life herewith. At this juncture, O self! thou should pause for a moment, and think whether he is satisfied with his own condition, or whether all this points to one who himself is inflicted, and wants to taint others' poor life with the same vice. O self! thou should entreatingly ask God's approval of thine acts, and seek His pleasure. Pray to Him that thine acts be approved by Him. Between Him and thee there is always a spark(flash) of hope. This hope is realized in thy thinking with firm resolution to fight against the Satan and thine own baser self. This strife with the self leads thee to a higher stage, and try thy best to attain that through sincere struggle."

Will and Resolution:

The next stage, after the stage of contemplation and ponderance through which an individual striving to progress on the spiritual path has to pass, is the stage of resolution. (This is a different thing from volition, which al-Shaykh al-Ra'is Ibn Sina, in `al-'Isharat', alludes to as the initial stage of `irfan). Some of our revered scholars (may God grant them longevity) also state that resolution is the essence of humanity and criterion of human freedom. The differences in human gradation are actually indicative of the discrepancy of the stages of human resolution. The resolution which is required for this particular stage is synonymous with laying the foundation of a favorable life, a resolution to purge life from sin, and to perform all obligatory (wajib) acts, and a resolution to compensate for the days lost (in sinfulness), and finally(eventually) resolve to behave as a rational and religious person ought to. That is, he should adopt a behaviour that is in accordance with the codes of religious law, which would acknowledge him as a real human being, a rational man. His gait and manner should be an imitation and copy of the Prophet's life. He must, in appearance, follow the Prophet (S) as a model in his manner and actions, in his abstinences and his choices. This is quite possible, since it is in the powers of ordinary servants of God seemingly to act in the way of that great leader(executive) of human beings.

You should know that no path for the realization of divine existence can be undertaken unless one familiarizes himself with the apparent or overt form of Shari`ah. Unless a person fully acquaints himself with the knowledge of the Shari`ahlaws and follows them faithfully, the higher values of morality cannot be attained by him. Without adhering to the apparent teachings of Islam it is not possible that the light of the Divine Knowledge could descend upon his heart, and the wisdom of the invisible, and the mysteries of the holy law be revealed to him. After attaining this stage, the truth unveiled for him and enlightenment bestowed upon his heart, a person would act with greater observance of the manifest forms of religion. This falsifies the claims of pseudo spiritualists, who say that the inner perfection can only be acquired by relinquishing outer accomplishments, or, that after acquiring inner excellences, necessity(urgency)  of observing outward forms does not remain obligatory. This is a mistaken conception born of ignorance about the stages of worship and the different grades of human progress. We shall deal with this subject in the latter chapters, may God grant it so.

Effort and Struggle (Spiritual):

Dear friend: try to be a man of strong will-power and resolution, so that you may not go from this world as a person without resolution, and hence rise on the day of resurrection as a brainless-being, not in the form of human being. For the other-world is the place where what is hidden is unveiled and secrets are exposed. One's audacity to commit sin, converts him little by little into a man devoid of will-power, and takes away the noble essence of humanity from him. Our respected teacher used to say that more than anything else, giving the ears to the sounds of music and songs, steal(plunder) from men their will-power and the power of resolution. Hence, my brother, desist from transgression, resolve to return to God, and acquire(amass) a mien similar to that of true human being. Join the community of the men of religion and in seclusion pray to God, so that He may assist you in your mission, and pray that the Prophet (S) and the members of his Household (AS), intercede for you. May God bestow His graces and favours upon you. May He escort you in the coming dangers, since the path of life is full of great risks(troublemaker) and hazards. On the way of life there are very deep crevices and it is possible that one may stumble(limp) and fall in them in such a manner that none of his efforts could save(salvage) him from the coming catastrophe. It is also probable that in some cases the intercedings of an intercessor cannot save him either.

 

   Self-Examination and Stipulation (musharatah )

Self-conditioning, contemplation and self-examination are essential pre-requisites for a seeker (mujahid) of truth who is battling with his self. Self-conditioning or stipulation means binding oneself with the resolve not to do anything against God's commands. This is called musharatah, such as `I will not violate the Law of God today.' It is very easy to stick to such condition for one day. Try to resolve, abide by your own resolve, and experiment, and you will see that how easy this task is. Satan, the cursed creature, and his legions may magnify the volume of the task in your eyes, but these are the guiles played by the cheat. Curse, and drive the Devil and evil thoughts from within the depths of the heart and the domain of your mind. Experiment for one day and you will verify how easy this task is.

Guarding Against Evil (muraqabah):

After stipulating about his acts, man should enter this stage. It is essential that throughout the period of stipulation themujahid struggling against his own self should constantly concentrate upon his actions. If any time any idea of violating Divine commands occurs to him, he should know that this idea has been instilled into his mind by the Satan and his allies, who want to deter him from his good resolutions. He ought to curse them, and seek God's compassionate protection, and banish those villainous ideas from the realm of his heart, and tell the Satan that this day also he has to abide by the condition imposed upon his own self that he would not go against God's commands, as He is the One Who has provided him with all the excellences and bounties. It is He, Who has given him the riches of health, security and peace year after year in this world. In recognition of all God's graces it is not sufficient even if he serves Him till eternity, let alone a trivial thing like this. I hope, that Satan will be driven away, and the Divine forces will prevail. I assure you that this practice of self-criticism and self-examination would not hinder your day-to-day activity. I advise you to remain in the same state of mind till night-the time for introspection and inner deliberation-and evaluate your deeds of the whole(intact) day. This is the time to see whether you have been honest to the Giver of all, to whom everybody is accountable. If you have been faithful to Him, you should be thankful to Him, that He has made you successful(blooming) in your intentions. And realize that you have gone a step forward(onward) in His direction and became an object of His attention. God willing, God will help you in performing all worldly and religious duties, and will diminish your pains for the next day. If you repeat this many times, it is imminent that you will be accustomed to the acts of piety. You will see then that all this does not require you to make hard efforts. You will also notice that obedience to God gives ample pleasure. Though this world is not where one is immediately rewarded, yet faithfulness to God and abstaining from sins is fruitful(fertile) in this world also. God never entrusts His creatures with cumbersome and heavy tasks which are beyond their powers, but it is the Satan and his allies who magnify them in your view. God forbid, if there are any lapses on your part, ask God's forgiveness, and beseechingly implore Him that you will be more careful in future, so that the Almighty may throw openthe doors of His grace and compassion to you, and may guide you in the straight path.

 


source : GREATER SINS Shaheede Mehraab Ayatullah-ul-Uzma Al-Haaj Sayed Abdul Husain Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.)
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