The Mind of PAS President
RAMADHAN: VICTORY OVER LUSTFUL DESIRE
Humans are creations of Allah who are bestowed with several privileges. For instance, they are equipped with innate disposition and physical being, spirit and intellect, and have the guidance from God to be able to carry out the responsibilities of performing acts of worship and governing life on Earth. These duties are dismissed by other beings who are physically bigger and stronger, as the word of Allah states:
﴿إِنَّا عَرَضۡنَا ٱلۡأَمَانَةَ عَلَى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱلۡجِبَالِ فَأَبَيۡنَ أَن يَحۡمِلۡنَهَا وَأَشۡفَقۡنَ مِنۡهَا وَحَمَلَهَا ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ ظَلُومٗا جَهُولٗا٧٢﴾
“We did indeed offer the trust to the heavens and the Earth and the mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: But man undertook it; He was indeed unjust and foolish.” (Surah al-Ahzab: 72)
Based on the purpose of human creation which is with Allah’s grace, it shows that the purpose and necessity of human life are not the same as other creations that live on this Earth. These enable them to fulfill the responsibility of worshiping Allah and governing the world with the knowledge and guidance given by Allah SWT.
Allah SWT said:
﴿۞وَلَقَدۡ كَرَّمۡنَا بَنِيٓ ءَادَمَ وَحَمَلۡنَٰهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ وَرَزَقۡنَٰهُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَٰتِ وَفَضَّلۡنَٰهُمۡ عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٖ مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَا تَفۡضِيلٗا٧٠﴾
“We have honoured the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of Our creation.” (Surah al-Isra’: 70)
The role of humans is different from angels that have no physical bodies and desires even though they are placed in the spiritual realm of heaven. Humans are also different from other creatures on Earth such as animals that have physical bodies and carnal desire with no intellect. Likewise, humans also differ with non-moving things like plants, and a far cry from rocks, hills and mountains.
Allah SWT created man with His own purpose and wisdom. He said:
﴿أَفَحَسِبۡتُمۡ أَنَّمَا خَلَقۡنَٰكُمۡ عَبَثٗا وَأَنَّكُمۡ إِلَيۡنَا لَا تُرۡجَعُونَ١١٥ فَتَعَٰلَى ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمَلِكُ ٱلۡحَقُّۖ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ ٱلۡعَرۡشِ ٱلۡكَرِيمِ١١٦﴾
“Did ye then think that We had created you in jest, and that ye would not be brought back to Us (for account)? (115); Therefore exalted be God, The King, the Reality: There is no god but He, The Lord of the Throne Of Honour! (116).” (Surah al-Mu’minun: 115-116)
Humans possess desire that is required by their body just like a senseless animal. However, they are also given physical attributes and intellect to lead a different life than that of animals.
They also need food, clothing, equipments for shelter and mobility. As a matter of fact, they also require spiritual needs and dignity such as faith, noble attitudes, knowledge and wisdom that are obtained through senses and life experiences.
The first two humans created were Adam and Eve who were nurtured by Allah SWT before they were sent to Earth to adapt to their noble, wise, believing and devout nature. However, the two virtuous humans were seduced by the devil who had been cursed by Allah for following its desire. This true story tells of a grim event that teaches people an important lesson. Allah said:
﴿فَوَسۡوَسَ إِلَيۡهِ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ قَالَ يَٰٓـَٔادَمُ هَلۡ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَىٰ شَجَرَةِ ٱلۡخُلۡدِ وَمُلۡكٖ لَّا يَبۡلَىٰ١٢٠ فَأَكَلَا مِنۡهَا فَبَدَتۡ لَهُمَا سَوۡءَٰتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخۡصِفَانِ عَلَيۡهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ ٱلۡجَنَّةِۚ وَعَصَىٰٓ ءَادَمُ رَبَّهُۥ فَغَوَىٰ١٢١ ثُمَّ ٱجۡتَبَٰهُ رَبُّهُۥ فَتَابَ عَلَيۡهِ وَهَدَىٰ١٢٢﴾
“But Satan whispered evil to him: he said, “O Adam! Shall I lead thee to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?” (120); In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the garden: Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced (121); But his Lord chose him (for His Grace): He turned to him, and gave him guidance (122).” (Surah Taha: 120-122)
Adam and Eve AS were tempted by their lustful desires which led them to lose their reasoning and damage their faith. This happened because they wanted to live the rest of their lives on Earth and in power yet Allah SWT kept their faith with His guidance and they finally repented.
Lustful desire is the impulse to do something in this worldly life. However, human desires are not the same as animals because they need to be governed by intellect and spirit that are imbued with wisdom, faith and knowledge.
This enables mankind to build community, lead and maintain their health to perform acts of worship and prosper the Earth with natural resources so that it will consistently develop and bring happiness to humans that Allah had exalted in this temporary worldly life, rather than enjoying a bestial-like happiness without status and dignity. If humans succeed, Allah will reward them with happiness on the Day of Judgment that will last for eternity.
The Messenger of Allah recounted the event of the Day of Judgment and said:
سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إِلَّا ظِلُّهُ: الْإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ، وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ فِي عِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ، وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ، وَرَجُلَانِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللَّهِ؛ اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ، وَرَجُلٌ طَلَبَتْهُ امْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّهَ، وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ أَخْفَى حَتَّى لَا تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُهُ، وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللَّهَ خَالِيًا فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاهُ.
“The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His. (These seven persons are) a just ruler, a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood), a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation), two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only, a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah, a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity), and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari 660 and Muslim 1031)
This hadith describes the people that are given a worldly favor and then express their grattitude to Allah by being obedient to Him.
We are now seeing how the descendants of Adam and Eve AS are driven by their lustful desire as if they are able to live forever and there will be no death that await them at the end of this world.
The most dangerous key to the pursuit of this desire is racing and competing with each other for power and position without any shame or doubt to the extent that they overestimate their worth. This is because they want to obey their desires to easily gain anything and satisfy their appetite or lust, eventually turning into senseless animals once they are powerful, wealthy and healthy.
Abu Zar al-Ghifari RA, a dear friend of Prophet Muhammd once came to ask to be appointed for a position of power since he was not appointed like the other companions. Then, the Prophet replied:
يا أَبَا ذَرٍّ إِنَّكَ ضَعِيفٌ، وَإِنَّهَا أَمَانَةٌ وَإِنَّهَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ خِزْيٌ وَنَدَامَةٌ إِلَّا مَنْ أَخَذَهَا بِحَقِّهَا وَأَدَّى الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ فِيْهَا
“Abu Dharr, thou art weak and authority is a trust and on the Day of judgment it is a cause of humiliation and repentance except for one who fulfils its obligations and (properly) discharges the duties attendant thereon.” (Narrated by Muslim 1825)
In another hadith, the Prophet warned a person who had been passionately seeking a position because it will become a burden and he will receive no help from Allah for it, thus bringing intentional harm to himself. The Messenger of Allah said to Abdul Rahman bin Samurah RA:
يَا عَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ سَمُرَةَ، لَا تَسْأَلِ الْإِمَارَةَ ؛ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ أُوتِيتَهَا عَنْ مَسْأَلَةٍ وُكِلْتَ إِلَيْهَا، وَإِنْ أُوتِيتَهَا مِنْ غَيْرِ مَسْأَلَةٍ أُعِنْتَ عَلَيْهَا.
“O Abdur-Rahman bin Samura! Do not seek to be a ruler, because if you are given authority for it, then you will be held responsible for it, but if you are given it without asking for it, then you will be helped in it (by Allah): and whenever you take an oath to do something and later you find that something else is better than the first, then do the better one and make expiation for your oath.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari 6622)
Believers have been undergoing a process of tarbiyah during this blessed month of Ramadan in order to understand the Quran and take it as a guidance throughout their journey of life in a world filled with tests and later on, to the afterlife where they will have their outcomes determined by Allah SWT.
Fasting is an act of worship that trains the disposition and attributes of men that are created to be God’s chosen servants to perform worship along with the holy angels. The purpose of their life is to prosper the Earth with a healthy body and a sound mind as well as to consume food according to their proportions, unlike animals, wood and stone that are created for temporary purpose.
Refraining from doing things that are prohibited during fasting but are legal on other times can train human to control his appetite so that he does not turn into senseless animals. At the same time, it also educates human about living in a community when the Quran is regarded as the most supreme guidance.
The Quran actually came from Allah and the Prophets, and it ended with Prophet Muhammad as His ultimate choice to be a model and example in every aspects.
The success of tarbiyah in Ramadan is reflected in the positive changes after Ramadan and the final decision on the day of the Resurrection (Day of Judgment) from Allah the Just and the Wise.
The victory of man is the victory over innate lust and defeating the devil that is real and invisible. This is the enemy who has always waited and seduced human in the world despite having won the election or revolting that makes him fiercely fought against his own brother due to his inability to defeat his innate lust and careful arrangements of the devil that succeeded in seducing him to abandon the guidance of Allah SWT.
Therefore, we should always pray to seek guidance from Allah SWT:
﴿بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ١ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ٢ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ٣ مَٰلِكِ يَوۡمِ ٱلدِّينِ٤ إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ٥ ٱهۡدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ٦ صِرَٰطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ غَيۡرِ ٱلۡمَغۡضُوبِ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ٧﴾
“In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful (1); Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the World (2); Most Gracious, Most Merciful (3); Master of the Day of Judgment (4); Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek (5); Show us the straight way (6); The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray (7).” (Surah al-Fatihah: 1-7)
We also need to remind ourselves to the word of Allah:
﴿وَٱلۡعَصۡرِ١ إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَٰنَ لَفِي خُسۡرٍ٢ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ٣﴾
“By (the Token of) Time (through the Ages) (1); Verily Man is in loss (2); Except such as have faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) In the mutual teaching Of truth, and of patience and constancy(3).” (Surah al-‘Asr: 1-3)
ABDUL HADI AWANG
Date: 19 Ramadhan 1441 / 12th May 2020