Not everyone is a master of it but there is no one who cannot manage it.
The word ‘Muslim’ holds much more importance in understanding its meaning. A Muslim is the one who submits his will to the Creator in order to live his life in the best way described by Him. It may sound easy to some but it actually is not when there is so much to hinder in controlling desires.
Today we are living in a world where we are, in every second of our lives, influenced by a culture, a notion, an idea, a theory, an opinion, a picture or an assumption that tells us how liberal one should be and how everything a person do should be based on the ‘freedom of everything’ mantra.
Whether it is the media or a simple book that we are reading, the humanly developed concepts are showering over us like rain. And there comes a point in time when we ourselves come to think that ‘yeah we should do whatever we like, so what if we don’t listen to our parents, or talk rudely to someone or gamble to get more money, what is so wrong with living the way we like?’.
I’m sure so many of us had moments in life when we said those words. But the truth is if we take our religion out of our lives then there is nothing wrong with anything. Everything we will do is right. We do not need to control ourselves in doing the things affecting us negatively.
Usually we experience such emotions when there is something that we like to do and should not do because it has bad consequences. Controlling one’s self from unnecessary desires is harder than it sounds but there certainly are ways and techniques to doing it. When Allah SWT created mankind the Shaitaan was keen to mislead him from the right path till the end of the world. That is why Allah SWT has created a way of life for us so that we can separate the right from wrong and know when Shaitaan is taking over us.
Once the Prophet SAW was returning from a war, he declared, “We have returned from the lesser holy war (jihad-al-asghar) to the greater holy war (jihad al-akbar).” His companions asked, “O Prophet of God, which is the greater war?” He replied, “Struggle against the lower self.”
[pullquote_left]”O Prophet of God, what is the jihad?” He replied, “Struggle against the lower self.”[/pullquote_left]
Surely the difficulty is there and we have to learn to control it. Developing the fear of Allah SWT may be a tactic in refraining from things that are bad for us. The concept of Taqwa very much applies here.
Sometimes people need someone to make them realize a bad habit that needs to be controlled. If we consider Quran as that source we’ll be in a constant state of reminding which will be essential as it will be directly from the High Source.
One best way that I know of and have practiced my self-control is during the month of Ramadan. When we fast we refrain not only from eating but also from doing any deeds that are adding to our sins. We try to refrain from everything that keeps us away from being a good Muslim. We try to practice the good deeds because the rewards are 60 times more during that month. If we can practice self-control in Ramadan it can be very helpful in keeping it going on for a long time. This blessed month comes every year so there is a chance of practicing it over and over.
So in a way its all about the will power of having control over self. Whether religiously, or not, controlling is an ethical part of everyday life. One has to come up with ways of distracting the self from doing things that should not be done. Take the example from the life of Prophet SAW who was an embodiment of self-control. Surely we cannot match his level but we can take lessons on how he continuously practiced it to master it.
Sadaf Siddique holds a degree in Computers and a Masters in Business Administration. She is the mother of a 2-year-old boy, a part-time writer and a full-time homemaker.