Some Difficulties Encountered When Seeking To Oppose One’s Desires In Order To Cling To Sound Creed and Views- By Al-Allaamah Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Mu’allimee [rahimahullaah]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Al-Allaamah Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Yahyah Al-Mu-allimee [rahimahullaah] said:
The Religion comprises of various levels:Refraining from prohibitions and fulfilling what [one] has been commanded; acknowledge truth, belief in it and acquaint [oneself] with it. To oppose [one’s] desires for the sake of the truth is something clear, for indeed most of what is prohibited are the lusts and [evil] pleasures. And it may be that a person does not really desire the pleasure found in those [prohibited] things, but he merely desires them due to an opposition [he faces]. To oppose [one’s] desires – by way of action – for the sake of the truth is a manifest affair due to the obligation and difficulty it involves. This can be viewed from different angles, as follows:
Firstly: A person sees that by acknowledging the truth, it would necessitate that he has acknowledged that he was upon falsehood, because a person is nurtured upon a religion, creed, school of thought or views, which he acquired from his nurturer and teacher, considers it to be the truth and followed it for a long time. Then when it becomes clear to him that [that religion, creed, view, or school of thought] is false, it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge it, just like when his forefathers, ancestors or the one he follows are upon a [particular] way and then its falsity is clarified for him- because he sees their deficiencies necessitate his own deficiencies, and an acknowledgement of their misguidance or errors necessitates his own deficiencies…..
Secondly: It may be that clinging to falsehood gave him prestige, fame and a livelihood; so it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge that [what he is upon is] falsehood and thus all those benefits [i.e. the fame, prestige, livelihood etc] would disappear.
Thirdly: Pride: It may be that a person is upon ignorance or falsehood, then another person comes along and clarifies the proofs for him; so he sees that by acknowledging such proofs, it would necessitate that he is lacking [in understanding] and that it was that person who guided him. And due to this we find that it is not difficult for some of those attributed to knowledge to acknowledge their mistakes when it becomes manifests to them in their researches and studies, but it becomes difficult for them [to acknowledge] if it was others who clarified such mistakes for them.
Fourthly: Envy: [This may occur] when another person clarifies the truth for him, so he sees that by acknowledging such truth it would necessitate an acknowledgement of the clarifier’s virtue, knowledge and correctness due to that clarification, and thus that becomes [something] great in the eyes of the people and many people [begin] to follow him [i.e. the person who clarified the truth]. So you will find some of those attributed to knowledge being eager to prove the mistakes of other scholars even if that is done by way of falsehood, due to envy and seeking to diminish their status amongst the people.
To oppose [one’s] desires for the sake of the truth -in affairs of knowledge and creed- can indeed be difficult to accomplish, therefore it requires [sincere] research and contemplation; and –with regards to that- one is in need of asking the scholars and benefiting from them; adhering to Taqwah, seeking the Tawfeeq of Allaah and guidance…..
[An excerpt from ‘At-Tankeel Bimaa Fee Ta’need Al-Kawthariy Minal Baatil’ 2/180-181 with the checking of Imaam Albaanee (rahimahullaah). Slightly paraphrased and abridged]
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