Disciplining the Soul

For years I have always had this problem where I can never ever bring myself to re-read  books or re-watch lectures. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from 5 years ago or 5 days ago.. once I know I have experienced it once, I prefer to find something new instead. However, this Ramadan alhamdulilah by the will of Allaah I have come to realise that’s really very silly. To keep a long story short I began re-reading some books that I loved the first time around; namely a series written by the illustrious Abu’l Faraj ibn al Jawzi.. to me, only few come close to his eloquent way with words. Seriously.. May Allah have mercy on his soul and raise him to the highest of ranks, ameen.

One quote that did not strike me the first time I read this book (Disciplining the Soul) suddenly seemed so profound to me. I truly believe that remembering this quote will save us all from a world of heartache, regret and bi idhnillahi ta’aala will allow us to reign in our nafs that so foolishly tries to find satisfaction in a world that’s nothing more than a mirage. He said:

“The delight disappears after it is achieved but the sins remain after they are committed.” – ibn al Jawzi

Subhaan Allah. How true is this? You may so ardently wish to do or even say something that you know is displeasing to Allah just to get rid of that burning itch or craving… you give in to your nafs only to feel deeply unfulfilled afterwards and if Allaah has any mercy on you – you may even feel a sense of guilt. Once it’s done with, you realise it really was not worth it and now your left with a black mark on your heart that will take true sincerity and guidance from Allah to clear up.

Sins have an affect on us whether we see it or not.. In fact, not only do they affect us but they affect the way those around us treat us. They affect whether or  not your children obey you and even the way in which your wife interacts with you. Weigh these consequences up against the fleeting feeling of pleasure that giving in to your lowest self felt like and you will quickly realise you’ve committed the greatest injustice against your self.

The sins remain except for those Allah covers in His rahma.

Whenever you want to do anything that you know you won’t be happy seeing amongst your scroll of deeds, remember the above quote and be of those who have the intelligence to understand that permanent but delayed gratification is worlds better than immediate but temporary gratification.

I remember reading a quote of one of our Salaf that said something along the lines of.. bearing the regret after committing a sin is far more difficult than bearing the trial of patience in regards to it. True words…

May Allah have Mercy on us all and protect our hearts from the pains we inflict upon it.




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