Do not worship your own desires
In Surat al-Jathiya, Allah Almighty says:
‘Have you seen him who has taken his desires as his god? Allah has let him go astray knowingly, and has sealed his hearing and his heart, and covered his eyes.’ [45:23]
This ayah is addressing the issue of following your whims and desires, and treating them like your god – i.e. you do whatever you like, as if it’s a command you just have to follow. But we should only be following Allah’s commands, not our own whims.
Islamically, the more you control your desires, the closer you are to Allah. And the more you follow your desires, the further you are from Him.
Idol worship doesn’t always mean worshipping physical statues. Sometimes following your own whims is like worshipping them – a hidden and dangerous form of worship.
This is why Allah is warning us against this trap of Shaytan. Allah created the desires in us, but we have to control them, and fulfil them only in moderation.
Your desires make you blind and deaf
In the hadith, Rasul Allah (peace be on him) said:
‘Your love of something can make you blind and deaf.’ [Abu Dawood]
He was saying that when you love something, you don’t want to hear anyone saying anything bad about it, and you don’t want to see anything but what’s in line with your desire.
It’s like being intoxicated or addicted to something: don’t give in to this intoxication. Otherwise you will end up blind and deaf, unable to see or hear the truth.
People fall into this trap all the time. We only recognise it when we wake up, and suddenly we can see how blind we were.
It’s only when we have a barrier between us and our desires that we can take a step back and be able to see and hear.
Blocking your eyes and ears also blocks your heart
These two are external faculties which Allah has given us. If we shut them down, then it will also shut down the internal faculties Allah has given us, which is our hearts.
When your eyes and ears are blocked, you are blocking the means for Allah’s light and guidance to reach your heart. The more you block, the more you are in delusion, and the more you go astray. So be careful.
However when you want to unblock this, then all you need to do is control your desire.
Of course Ramadan teaches us how to do this: how to control even the halal, let alone the haram. Eating, drinking and intimacy are halal outside Ramadan, in moderation. So Ramadan reaches us how to control the halal, in a gradual process over 29 or 30 days, in order to learn how to control the haram.
We ask Allah to help us control our whims and desires, and be in line with what pleases him.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Ramadan Night 15
Transcribed by Hana Khan
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