The Constant Focus Should Be Preoccupation With Honest Self-scrutiny


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

The Constant Focus Should Be Preoccupation With Honest Self-scrutiny Regardless of The Approval, Disapproval, Good or Evil Suspicions Received From Others  

 

Are We Truly From Those Who Do Not Oppress Themselves

Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: When a person does not act on truth he is in need of- neither affirming nor loving it, he is an oppressor against himself. When he affirms or loves falsehood, and follows his desires, he is an oppressor against himself. Oppressing oneself occurs due to following conjecture and what the soul desires, and this can occur through following one’s views and desires. Religious innovation (Bidah) is the basis of evil and that is to give precedence to one’s intellect over the revealed text and choosing one’s desires over the fulfilment of a command; and following guidance is the basis of good, as Allaah (The Most High) said:

فَإِمَّا يَأۡتِيَنَّڪُم مِّنِّى هُدً۬ى فَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ هُدَاىَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشۡقَىٰ
وَمَنۡ أَعۡرَضَ عَن ذِڪۡرِى فَإِنَّ لَهُ ۥ مَعِيشَةً۬ ضَنكً۬ا وَنَحۡشُرُهُ ۥ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ أَعۡمَىٰ

Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery. “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” [Surah Taa Haa. Aayaat 123-124] (1)

Al-Allaamah Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Yahyah Al-Mu’allimee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The human being does not hate truth due to considering it to be falsehood; rather he loves truth by way of his Fitra [sound natural disposition] and loves falsehood due to his desires and lusts. The shift towards success or loss defends on what he gives preference to. Allaah [The Blessed and Exalted] said:

فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَىٰ
وَءَاثَرَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا
فَإِنَّ ٱلۡجَحِيمَ هِىَ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰ
وَأَمَّا مَنۡ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِۦ وَنَهَى ٱلنَّفۡسَ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰ
فَإِنَّ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ هِىَ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰ

Then, for him who Tagha (transgressed) and preferred the life of this world (by following his evil desires and lusts), Verily, his abode will be Hellfire; But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode. [Surah An-Naazi’aat. Verses 37-41] (2)

 

How Do We Act In Secret When Faced With The Urge of Our Souls

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The servant does not embark upon that which he has been forbidden except through two ways- either due harbouring evil thoughts about his Lord that if he were to obey Allaah and preferred Him, Allaah will not grant him that which is better from the lawful things; or he acknowledges that (Allaah will grant him something better than the forbidden thing he wants) and that whoever leaves something for Allaah’s sake, Allaah will replace it with something better; but lusts overcomes his patience and desires overcomes his intellect. The first affair is due to weakness in knowledge and the second a weakness in intellect and insight. (3)

 

Illegal Partisanship

A person sees that acknowledging the truth would necessitate an acknowledgment that he was upon falsehood. A person is nurtured upon a religion, creed, school of thought or views acquired from his nurturer and teacher, which he considers to be the truth and followed it for a long time.

Then when it becomes clear to him that (such religion, creed, view or school of thought) is false, it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge, just as when his forefathers, ancestors or the one he follows are upon a (particular) way and then its falsity is clarified for him. This is because he sees that their deficiencies necessitate his own deficiencies and acknowledgement of their misguidance or errors necessitates his own deficiencies.

In this era of ours, you even see a woman who comes across an affair related to the religion – in which there is a difference of opinion between the mother of the believers Aa’isha and others amongst the companions [radiyallaahu-anhum], so she defends Aa’isha’s position solely due to the fact that Aaisha is a woman like her. So, when she presumes and then claims that Aa’isha is correct and those men who oppose her position are mistaken, then in this is an affirmation of Aa’Isha’s virtue over those men, which then becomes a virtue for women unrestrictedly and she receives some of that. And through this appears – to you – the underlying reasons behind the bigoted partisanship of an Arab to an Arab, a Persian to a Persian, a Turk to a Turk and other than that. (4)

 

Do We Really Act Upon What We Know Regardless of The Praise We Receive From Others

Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: How many a person knows about love of Allaah, its rulings and all the affairs it necessitates, but his heart is deprived of it?! And how many a slave knows and bears witness to the pre-decree of Allaah and the excellence of sufficing oneself with Him, but when that which has been decreed takes place in opposition to what he desires, you see him anxious- having no tranquility and certainty, nor repose?! And only the one whose heart has acquired knowledge and awareness of Allaah in truth is at ease with the fact that Allaah is sufficient for him, whilst submitting to His judgements regardless what the state of affairs may turn out to be.  And how many a person knows the rulings of trade and its details, but at the time of dealing, buying and selling, he does not deal in a beautiful manner with others?!  So, do not be deceived when you know something that you will be attributed to it. This is why it is obligated on a person to ask Allaah for beneficial knowledge- knowledge that produces [righteous] deeds.  And Allaah knows best. (5)

One day Sufyaan Ath-Thawree [may Allaah have mercy upon him] sat and spoke, whilst Sa’eed Ibn As-Saa’ib At-Taa’ifee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] was present in the gathering; so Sa’eed started weeping until Sufyaan felt sorry for him. Then Sufyaan said to him, “O Sa’eed! What makes you weep when you heard me mentioning the good people and their deeds?” He said, “O Sufyaan! What should prevent me from weeping, for when the stations of the good people are mentioned, I am not from them’. So Sufyaan said, ‘You have a right [or it is befitting that] you weep”. (6)


[Ref 1: Sharh al-Hadeeth “Allaahummah Innee Zalamtu Nafsee Katheeran. page 66]

[Ref 2: At-Tankeel Bimaa Fee Ta’neeb Al-Kawtharee Minal Baatil. Vol 2. page 179 with the checking of Imaam al Albaanee (may allaah have mercy upon him)]

[Ref 3: An Excerpt from Al’Fawaa’d. page 78]

[Ref 4: Aathaar Ash-Shaikh Al-Allaamah Abdur Rahmaan Bin Yahyaa al-Mu’allimee Vol 11. Page 294. Slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 5: Majmoo Al-Fawaa’id Waqtinaas Al-Awaabid. Faa’idah Number 14]

[Ref 6: Muhaasabatun Nafs page 76- By Ibn Abee Dunyaa (may Allaah have mercy upon him)]

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