How to Conquer Anger and Stress?
- :Abdul Adheem al-Bahrani
|How to Conquer Anger and Stress? |
by : Abdul Adheem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani
Question : What would you suggest to cure my quick anger and emotion, which is called “stress” by psychologists?
The answer : I am answering you with a full conviction that if you follow the answer, you will get the result; otherwise, you will remain as you are. The cure is a mixture of moral and practical matters. You should do the following:
1. Recite the fact of submission to Allah so that your heart feels peaceful with the mention of Allah the Almighty and then you will see the things that provoke you as simple and easy!
2. Always be (legally) pure!
3. Do not commit any sin!
4. Keep away from anything that provokes your nerves!
5. Always keep your tongue busy with the remembrance of Allah and especially with certain glorifications like “La hawla wala quwwata illa billah al-alliy al-adheem (there is no power save in Allah, the Exalted, the Great)” and “Astaghfirullah (I pray to Allah to forgive me)”.
6. Drink cold water whenever you are provoked, pour some on your head, and say salawat (peace and blessings be upon Muhammad and his progeny).
7. Go to an open place to breathe fresh air and to look as far as you can.
8. Be totally indifferent to the thing that causes your anger! Tell yourself that you are more precious than that and so it does not behoove you to exhaust your power and harm yourself!
What should we do if our parents argue often ?
Question : My mother and father disagree with each other over everything, no matter how big or small, and we, the children, become upset whenever their quarrels begin. We are afraid and worried about the future of our family. The question is: what should we do?
The answer : When your parents are at peace, talk to them about the negative effects of quarrel, which may destroy everyone’s future. But when they are quarreling, you have to be tolerant and indifferent towards what happens as long as there are no dangerous events. When you become impatient, go to a different place; for example, to another room or to the yard. When they begin quarreling, try to play a cassette of Qur'anic recitation or decide to exchange jokes amongst each other to stop their quarreling by laughter.
It is necessary for you to know that this state, although it is dangerous for your future if it continues, can be solved if you undertake your responsibility as adult children in the house and as alternatives to the parents who are sunken in the fire of rage and selfishness. Do not worry, you will soon grow and live independently away from them. In order to not be like your parents, you should take lessons from their state, for as Imam Ali (a.s.) has said, “a reasonable one is he who takes lessons from the experiments of others.
How can I get over issues of an unhappy childhood that involved abuse and divorce of my parents?
Question : The memories of my childhood and the problems of my family that led to the physical abuse and then to the divorce of my father and mother and the misfortunes that followed distress me. I do not know how to forget them. Whenever I remember them, I become so distressed that I lose my composure and I faint. There is no doubt that these things exhaust man’s strength and abilities, which he needs for success in his future. Would you please tell me how to be rid of this state?
The answer : One of the most important bases of raising children is the relationship between parents, which is based on love, respect, mutual understanding, and cooperation. It gives children spiritual and mental stability, and this is what you have lost in your childhood. However, this does not mean that you should apply to your life what happened to your parents. Every one has an independent will and his punishment near Allah does not have anything to do with others’ punishments. If you agree with me on this belief, which is a fact in our true religion, you should do the following:
1. Seize any opportunity to build your personality and gain the factors of success in your life!
2. Consider any success in your life as possible of being repeated and reproduced and do not stop after a certain point or satisfy yourself with what you have achieved!
3. Know well that man, whatever bitter memories may distress him or press on his nerves, is able to pass over them on condition that he trusts in his mental abilities and relies on his Lord.
4. Do not allow negative memories to overcome your heart! Try to omit them from your memory! Whenever they attack you, busy yourself with reciting the Holy Qur'an, reciting supplications, reading good books, and remembering your nice memories, or leave your place, perform ablution, and walk and ponder over nature, the sky and its stars, the sea and its wonders, the trees and their fruits, the flowers and their fragrances ...
5. Read books that will help you build a faithful personality and learn the ways that the believers succeeded, and read about the great people in history! You will find that most of them have undergone in their childhood different family and social sufferings like orphanhood, homelessness, and injustice. Karbala of Imam Husayn (a.s.) gave us great lessons that were completed by Imam Husayn’s sister, Zaynab, who inspired the spirit of resistance in the orphans and captives until she turned the apparently victorious into the real defeated. On the other hand, successful discoveries and inventions have come after many failed experiments. Then, shake off the dust of your memories and extort from your parents’ failure your success!
How can I help a family member to be rightly guided?
Question : Could you please explain to me the reasons for a young person’s becoming corrupt and failed in life? My sister and I are close in age. I am thirty years old and she is twenty-eight years old, but in regards to faith, there is a great difference between us, even though our father and mother (may Allah have mercy on them) were very faithful. Please, tell me how to save my sister from what harms our reputation and family honor!
The answer : Deviation from the right path begins when man feels that he is in not in need of anyone besides himself and when there he has no wise advisor. A young man or a young woman begin to establish relationships that may slowly lead him/her to serious problems because one’s conduct develops via the relationships surrounding him, then his feeling of independence and his desire to be different from others grow, and he begins to prove his personality through resistance and mutiny. Here, parents and relatives should know that regret would be useless!
From the first moment that a youth feels that he is not in need of anyone else, there must be an advisor there to guide him to the right way. But, after he is snatched away from his kind nurturing family by bad persons, reforming him will be very difficult, except in special cases, and will require great efforts. Social studies confirm that the disregard of parents, whether willingly or unwillingly, towards this fact is the basis of motivating children to go towards corruption. The methods used by parents or guardians in dealing with children (i.e., whether they grant children full freedom, treat them dictatorially, or treat them moderately) have the main role in forming the future conducts of children. Unfortunately, parents are negligent of their children in the initial stages of their lives, and then the children face problems when they grow up because they were trained to walk towards corruption and deviation. It is not right to give children full freedom or treat them dictatorially. To be safe from educational obstacles, one should treat his children moderately. This is what we ask those who are responsible for the future of children to do. Moderation, which is the Islamic method in dealing with everything, means caring for both the material and moral needs together. Providing clothes, food, shelter, and a superior education do not mean achieving moderation as some believers think, but it is also necessary to add moral education, religious teachings, and good manners. O dear sister who is worried about the honor of her family, the case of your sister, who has become different from the rest of the members of the family, is a result of a previous negligence of those who were in charge of the family when your sister began associating with bad girls and watching films and reading books and magazines that led girls away from veil, abstinence, and faith. All this is in regards to before the problem occurs, but after it happens, I advise you to do the following:
1. Bring her good cassettes, films, and books and ask some good friends to try guiding her!
2. Do not distress yourself at all because some relatives of the Prophet (S) and of the infallible imams (a.s.) have followed the Satan, but Allah has said to His kind Messenger, (Surely you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases) (Holy Qur’an, 28:56).
3. Do not cut your relation with her, because this would make her deviate even more!
4. Let her see in you the example of the Islamic morals! You should show her your love for her and help her in her affairs so that she may come closer to you and be influenced by your faith and morals!
As a young girl, how do I avoid the mistakes in marital, family, and social relations?
Question : I am a young girl. I want to begin my life safe from obstacles. You know well that the mistakes in marital, family, and social relations are too many. How can we avoid falling into them?
The answer : There are four factors that lead one to fall into mistakes. The first is a psychological factor. It is when man follows his desire and loves himself, his kin, friends, party, or country in a way that his love does not submit to the Islamic values declared in the Holy Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunna.
The cure, here, is achieved by submitting this psychological factor to the true wisdom of religion. Submission to the will of Allah and relying on Him in the lawful way of living cause the psychological factor to become defeated. The second is a material factor that concerns the physical condition of body. It is clear that some mistakes occur due to some pressure caused by a pain that man cannot tolerate and so he does what he would not do if he were sound and healthy. Weather, noise, and fatigue are also among the material factors. The cure lies in treating the diseases and getting rid of what troubles one’s body and annoys his nerves. The third is an intellectual factor, which concerns the shallow cultural level or the kind of culture that one receives. One must get his intellects and cultures from honest sources in order to not become involved in mistakes due to ignorance or wrong information. The fourth is an environmental factor. Bad friends in the street and school or an unreligious family cause one to fall into mistakes. As long as one is influenced by these factors, he will fall into mistakes and as long as he keeps away from them, he will remain safe. Dear sister, you should follow the practical steps first by knowing Allah and being sincere to Him without flattering anyone. You should care much for your bodily health, think correctly, and then choose good persons to be your friends.
How do I help someone who values secular studies but not religion?
Question : I have a friend, who does not dislike religion but he finds it difficult to adhere to during his university study. When I invite him to religion, he says, ‘I think it is better to spend my youth in studying until I attain a high degree in the medical field. When I graduate, open a clinic, get married, and arrange my material life in all sides, I shall begin thinking of my afterlife and keeping to religion.’ I hope that you will guide him and those like him to the right path with what is easy for the youth.
The answer : All of the religious teachings are easy because Allah, Who is aware of what benefits us and what harms us, has said in the Qur'an, (Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty) (Holy Qur’an, 2:185). Dear ambitious brother, the problem has two dimensions: The first is understanding this easy religion, about which the Prophet (S) often said proudly, ‘I have been sent with an easy and lenient Sharia’. Many people and many scholars do not know the truth of this religion and the way of following its teachings.
The second dimension is disregarding the true meanings of “easy” and “difficult”, which leads to mixing them up. Some people, for example, think that refraining from unlawful looking (at women) is difficult; therefore, they look because they consider that to be easier, but they do not know that this looking throws them into lustful imaginations when alone and then they fall into sin in different ways that weaken their concentration in study and work. Then the matter continues to get them to major sins and then problems fall on them one after the other. Their sufferings continue until they meet actual difficulties; whereas if they, from the very beginning, refrain from unlawful looking and do not consider it as a difficulty, they will not become involved in these difficulties, which they thought would be easy. In this case, knowing religion correctly is the best way to practically distinguish between ease and difficulty. With this knowledge man can avoid difficulty and enjoy ease and then the way will become clear for him to achieve his material aims successfully. This is what religious people who act with reason and ambition experience. They have proven that there is no objection between true religion and modern science. In fact, the true religion complements modern science when it is used in its right place. There are many scientists in medicine, engineering, electronics, etc. who have put their abilities and talents at the service of injustice and corruption and harmed millions of people everywhere. However, if they were religious, they would have put their abilities in the way of justice and goodness, and so the societies would be safe from them, and people would pray to Allah to have mercy upon them, and besides that they would be happy in the afterlife. Why does your friend think that it is difficult to adhere to religion and study in the university while he and we see, nowadays, religious young men studying in the European universities? Then, how about the universities in our own (Islamic) countries?
I fear for this university student the dangers of his reasoning, so I would like to draw his attention to the tradition narrated from Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) when he said, ‘This world is a market, in which some people profit and others lose.’ Let this brother see from which people he wants to be! Let him too ponder on this saying of Allah, (And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Messenger and the believers) (Holy Qur’an, 9:105).
How do I make myself to be content?
Question : I know that contentment is the cause of psychological ease and the way to attain happiness, but the question is: how can I be from the people of satisfaction and contentment?
The answer :
1. Thank Allah for every blessing especially for those that others do not have!
2. Do not yearn for the pleasures that other people have!
3. When someone criticizes you, accept his criticism and do not stickle or deny it while you know your state well! I do not mean that you should acknowledge whatever people tell you even if it is not true, but I mean that you have to accustom yourself to accept criticism from others and not to attack the advisors. The very acceptance of criticism and gratitude to a criticizer is a high moral value. In other words, you have to accustom yourself to accept criticism while indifferent to whether or not it is true because this is a civil feature and a practical invitation to reject violence and dictatorship which are the causes of most of our misfortunes.
4. Take lessons from your mistakes!
5. Adapt yourself to every problem you face! Accommodation is a successful way to get rid of problems or to limit their destructive effects.
6. Try to be truthful to yourself and kind to others, for a double-faced person is unsuccessful!
7. Offer your love, kindness, and help to even those who do not offer such things to you!
8. Always think of what you shall ultimately meet, whether willingly or unwillingly! I mean death and the afterlife because death divides man into two parts: one part remains in the earth until the Day of Resurrection, and the other part is sent to Heaven until the hour of Punishment.
9. Know well that the heart is a sacred sanctum; if you visit it at night and asked its Lord for your needs, He orders His angels: ‘Give him! It is I, Who have promised him, and it is I, Who carry out My promise. Have I not said, (And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way) (Holy Qur’an, 2:186).
10. Be certain and do not forget that if man possessed the entire earth, he would be greedy to possess the heaven too, but when death comes, he finds himself with neither the earth nor the heaven! Then, for what is this greediness?
11. Always, remember the advantages of contentment and the disadvantages of greed!
12. To acquire these qualities, read about them in books and associate with those who have these qualities in their conducts!
With these points, I hope that you will arrive at your aim; and do not forget me in your prayers!
How do I properly deal with losing my temper so that I neither abuse others nor make myself ill from swallowing my anger?
Question : I suffer from suddenly becoming excited and angry. Please tell me, when I am angry, which way should I follow: should I suppress my anger or should I cast it on the ones who have caused it by shouting at and abusing them? Can you suggest to me a third alternative? I do not like the second way, though I follow it, and as for the first way, I fear that pangs may cause me to have heart failure or an apoplexy, and I do not want to die or become paralyzed. Please, show me the right way!
The answer : Up until twenty years ago, psychologists thought that it was better for man’s physical health for him to cast his anger on others instead of suppressing it and suffering from its destructive psychological and physical effects. But nowadays, this theory has become weak before the evidences of the scientists who believe that worry, psychological turmoil, spite, and internal contradictions between mind and desires cause physical diseases and especially heart failure whether man suppresses his anger or casts it onto others. However, scientists do not deny the fatal effect of the suppression of anger. But Islam has a third way. It is by following these steps:
1. Change your position or place when you become angry and excited by sitting if you are standing, standing if you are sitting, or leaving the place for another open place and breathing as deeply as possible while raising and lowering the hands slowly!
2. Think of the greatness of Allah and His ability to punish criminals and of His patience and forgiveness if they repent and do good!
3. If you can drive out your anger from yourself through a shout or some tears shed in private, it would be better for you.
4. Look forward to the reward of Allah and think of the good end that Allah has promised the patient!
5. Impartially study the problem that has caused you to become angry, and even if the cause isn’t yours, confess your mistake and turn back to your reason. This will comfort you because sincerity is the way to deliverance!
6. In your study of your anger and melancholy, ask yourself the following questions and reflect deeply on the answers:
Is the matter so important that it justifies all this suffering?
Does the problem disappear with anger, anxiety, or pain?
Is your personality more important or responding to anger and taking revenge?
Does the one whom you become angry at and abuse have no dignity that he would defend himself by quarreling or does he suppress himself and suffer from pain like yours? Is this the cure?
Dear Muslim young man, put these points before you now and walk in your new way; it is a happy way.
How may we help someone who suffered a psychological trauma that caused him to withdraw?
Question : In my family, I have a nephew who has been psychologically shocked. Most of the time, he is silent and he likes to be alone. He speaks or reacts little in family meetings. His father says that he was not like that before. Please, tell us how we should deal with him and save him!
The answer : Melancholy, silence, introversion, and absent-mindedness are psychological diseases that begin with real reasons and then grow with illusions and imaginations. They are diseases of the societies that are subject to psychological shocks and material competitions. One who is afflicted may not understand the dangers of such diseases, but others can perceive the dangers in him through signs such as:
1. Feeling continuous fatigue
2. Low productivity if he is a worker or low comprehension if he is a student
4. Pains in the stomach, the back, and muscles
6. Passing judgments based on assumptions, emotions, and anger
7. Feeling guilty
8. Tending to be alone
9. Being confused and hesitant
10. Keeping silent
As a cure, family members should, if they see these signs, do the following:
1. They should be aware of the problem of this afflicted one and what he feels so hat he may declare what he suffers. If he does not declare his suffering, they should try, through indirect means, to identify his mental pain.
2. If he begins to declare his sufferings, they should attend to him by listening to him so that he perceives they are responsive to and care for him.
3. They should suggest some new works for him to do.
4. They should take him, after receiving his permission, to a specialist doctor.
5. They should take him to parks and the like for amusement.
6. They should try to give him hope and self-confidence by respecting him, offering him presents, and being friendly with him.
7. They should engage him in certain things and involve him in some works that he would gradually do willingly.
8. They should make him associate with a religious scholar who has a luminous spirit and bright morals
How can I abandon sins that are habitual for me, mend family relationships, and guide against fanaticism?
Question : I have a religious brother, but he is too fanatic in his religiousness. With his behaviors, he does more wrong to religion than good. I am a victim of his extreme behaviors. I have committed a major sin, but instead of getting good advice from him, he chided, threatened, and insulted me. Therefore, pride carried me off to sin until I committed more sins, though I knew that I was mistaken. Now, where there is no relation between him and me, I feel regretful before Allah the Almighty, but I cannot give up the sins that I have become accustomed to. I want you to guide me to a way that I can save myself before my death comes. I have had enough of all this stubbornness and pride. I also want you to advise those like my brother, who are fanatic under the name of religion, in order to not be a cause for the youth to deviate and turn away from religion. By Allah, our religion is the best of religions if we follow it as it is.
The answer : Dear young man, O you with pure nature, allow me, first, to say a word to your brother that has been said by the guardian of religion, the master of the pious, the example of the faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.). It has the answer: you want and the proper guidance for your brother and his like.
“Those who do not commit sins and have been gifted with safety (from sins) should have pity on sinners and other disobedient people. Gratefulness should be mostly their indulgence and it should prevent them from finding faults with others. So what about the backbiter who blames his brother and finds fault with him? Does he not remember that Allah has concealed the sins which he committed while they were bigger than his brother's sins pointed out by him? How can he vilify him about his sins when he himself has committed one like it? Even if he has not committed a similar sin he must have committed bigger ones. By Allah, even if he did not commit big sins but he committed only small sins, his exposing the sins of people is itself a big sin. O slave of Allah, do not be quick in exposing anyone's sin for he may be forgiven for it, and do not feel yourself safe even for a small sin because you may be punished for it. Therefore, every one of you who comes to know the faults of others should not expose them in view of what he knows about his own faults, and he should remain busy in thanks that he has been saved from what others have been afflicted with” (Sharh Nahj ul-Balagha by Muhammad Abda, vol.2 p.23). As for you dear brother, your despair of being able to get out of the circle of sins is itself a great sin. First, I want you to cast your despair away and pay attention to the rest of your life, which may be a year, a month, a week, a day, some minutes, or more or less. Allah, the Aware of what there is in the hearts, knows! In private, be sincere to yourself and think attentively that if you die while disobedient, will Allah accept your excuse for staying sinful?
You had better come back to your abilities that you have ignored because of your obstinacy to your brother and because of his mistake towards you. Activate these abilities and be active with them! Offer to those who consider themselves religious whereas religion is free from them a true example of religion and a beautiful picture of a religious man! In this book and other books of ours and in those of other good scholars, you can find what lights your way. Get up! Paradise, with its eternal life and pleasures, is waiting for the pure repentant. If you turn to Allah sincerely with your repentance, you will find Him the best Helper Who will help you get out of the sins, which you think difficult to do. Dear brother, know well that it is the Satan, who casts in your heart weakness and despair to make you follow him and remain in his camp that marches towards Hell. Do you want to accompany him to the Fire and the severe torment?
I pray to Allah to protect you and me from the Satan and the Fire. As for your situation with your brother, I ask you to delete the picture in your mind about him. Go and make up with him! This high morale gets you closer to Allah and suppresses your self to not take you towards evil. Be certain that with this behavior, great blessings from the Heaven will refresh your life, and this is my hope for you.
After many hardships in life, I suffer from psychological problems and have thought of suicide at times. How can I get help?
Question : I was one of the Mujahidin who fought in the way of Allah. Defeats and disagreements led me to the life of refugees. My family members were killed in the ill-fated Iraq. I was in a failed marriage that ended with divorce. I have a little daughter who kept crying during our emigration. I have become nervous. I cannot tolerate hearing any loud sound. Whenever I remember the misfortunes I have met with in my life, I feel the way to a normal life and comfortable mentality is closed for me. Sometimes I think of suicide, but because of my daughter, I have not committed this unlawful murder. I do not know what to do. I can tolerate neither people nor myself. Where shall I go? I do not know!
The answer : Dear brother, man’s life is composed of hours; in some of them, he is glad, and in others he is distressed. In the first case, he should thank Allah for the blessings and in the second case, he must be patient and busy himself with supplicating to Allah instead of sinking into worry and melancholy because of disappointment. When man remembers the painful events that have happened to him, he should hasten to delete them from his mind, but he should take lessons from them so that they should not happen again. If it is the will of Allah, man must submit and be satisfied and content with what Allah has determined.
Dear brother, thinking negatively and sinking into the bitter past can destroy your future, which may be free of bitterness. This gloomy thinking exposes your spiritual and mental health to dangers, which, surely, you do not want. You ask me how to overcome this destructive thinking and save yourself from the floods of negative ideas that keep you away from constructive thinking for a better future. I say: First, think of your hidden abilities and talents, because man is a spring of powers, and at any time, he can decide to get something out of this spring! Second, do not think that you have reached a closed way and that there is no solution for you except to be buried under the piles of misfortunes, bitter memories, and fatal pangs, because such thinking means despairing of the mercy of Allah. Perhaps, this thinking may be the very cause of your feeling that the way is closed before you. Third, while alone, sit and remember your successful and good deeds in life! Ponder on the bright pages of your life, for no one is free from such pages! If you do not remember anything of that, it is enough for you to remember the blessing of breathing you have now. Thank Allah and rely on Him to use this blessing in gaining a success that may recompense what has gone! Fourth, diagnose your state and know your position due to your ambition! Instead of remorse, blaming yourself, and repeating desperate interrogative words like (why, when, how, if…), diagnose the points of your weakness and determine to change them into points of strength, and instead of blaming others, perform your actual duties, and use your physical and spiritual powers in this way! In order to have good deeds, avoid the bad deed of destroying yourself or others! Fifth, if it is necessary to talk to others about the misfortunes you have faced, find someone who is able to understand your sufferings and gives you a spiritual cure by relieving words. Do this, especially if you feel that not talking about your sufferings brings you another complex! Sixth, if your problem is something like sin, know well that Allah has opened the door of repentance before sinners and said, (Surely Allah loves those who turn to Him) (Holy Qur’an, 2:222). Hasten to the shadow of His love, for Allah is sufficient for His servant when he turns to Him! Seventh, improve your thinking and get new information about what you need in your life, because knowledge is a light that luminates one’s way and takes him to a better condition! Thus was the Prophet (S), who was the most aware among all of the creatures in existence. He often supplicated to Allah by saying, ‘My Lord! Increase my knowledge’. Continuing a search for knowledge is necessary to help man out of his psychological distresses and bitter memories. Eighth, forget the bitter past, pardon whoever has done you wrong, expect your reward from Allah tomorrow (on the Day of Resurrection), and ask Him to forgive you if you are mistaken or unjust while unaware of this! Pardoning and leniency make your life easy and relieve your heart, so why do you not pardon those with whom you have disagreed? The Prophet (S) has said, ‘Whoever casts spite out of his heart, Allah increases his livelihood.’ Livelihood here is more encompassing than material and moral blessings. Dear brother, it is a big mistake to trouble our lives and cause pain to those around us in our family or workplace because of the sufferings of our past or because of spite towards others. Come on! Let us cast hatred, spite, and our failed experiments out of ourselves and live the rest of our lives peacefully and happily! Dear brother, be merciful to the remaining hours of your age and do not burn them in the fire of your nervousness! Throw those painful scenes and sad memories away! You cannot change them, for they have already happened and are out of your control! However, you can change yourself for what remains of your future because it has not happened yet. Your future is still under your control and the change begins from the present, which is this moment and not a moment later! Ninth, not all people are bad. Get married again and be more particular in choosing your wife! Tell her frankly about your past and that you have determined to lead a good and honest life! Tell her that you are looking for a helper with whom to spend your life, with love and mercy, and this is also the right of your innocent child! Tenth, adhere to supplication and pondering over the words of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), for mentioning Allah according to the way of those whom Allah has purified from uncleanness relieves the heart. Then, you will drive the evil whispering of the Satan and your bad thoughts of suicide, which will throw you into the eternal Fire, away from your self. Patience with the problems of this life is much easier than patience with the fire of Hell. The first patience is possible and it leads you to Paradise and the eternal bliss, while the second is bitterer than bitterness and it keeps you in the eternal torment of Fire. Eleventh, be certain that (Surely with difficulty is ease. Surely with difficulty is ease) (Holy Qur’an, 94:5-6). This repetition of the verse emphasize that distresses have ends. Imam Ali (a.s.) said to Qayss bin Sa’d, who had come to him from Egypt, ‘O Qayss, distresses have ends that they must get to. A reasonable one must be patient with them until they end, because suffering from them when they come increases them. (Bihar al-Anwar, vol.78 p.79)’ Twelfth, always think of the reward you will get for your patience when you will come to Allah alone! Will the patient not enter into Paradise without reckoning?
How can a young person suppress lust and the sins that come from it?
Question : I have a friend who is lustful. Once, he asked me how he should suppress his lust lest he should become involved in even more sins. I told him, ‘I do not know, but I shall bring you an answer that benefits you inshallah.’ O Sheikh, would you please explain to him and those like him what can save them from these dangers? I myself know that, in general, many young men secretly practice different kinds of unlawful lusts without thinking of their destructive ends.
The answer : The sexual lust is one of the most dangerous lusts in man. This does not mean that Islam wants to suppress or extinguish it. Islam has a moderate method in guiding this lust towards the aim that it has been created for, which is marriage and then reproduction in order to keep the existence of humankind continuous on the earth. Without this great aim, there would be no need for this lust to be created by Allah the Almighty and consequently there would be no continuance of life for man at all. The sexual lust is planted in man for the sake of this noble purpose. As for your friend, his case may be irregular; therefore, he should:
1. visit a specialist doctor.
2. avoid looking at what excites his lust.
3. always remember the terrible end of unlawfulness and its perishing consequences.
4. know the value of himself as a human being and that he is not a beast and should know that panting after lusts degrades him.
5. prepare himself to get married at the first opportunity and without difficult material conditions and if he cannot, he should practice temporary marriage, but not make it as his basic aim.
6. practice sports that fit his wish and physical abilities.
7. starve himself (by fasting, for example) because hunger weakens lust, whereas food nourishes it.
8. ponder on the following Qur’anic verses and act according to them, (But there came after them an evil generation, who neglected prayers and followed lusts, so they will meet perdition. Save him who shall repent and believe and do right. Those will enter the Garden, and they will not be wronged in aught. Gardens of Eden, which the Beneficent hath promised to His slaves in the unseen. Lo! His promise is ever sure of fulfillment. They shall not hear therein any vain discourse, but only Peace, and they shall have their sustenance therein morning and evening. This is the Garden which We cause the devout among Our bondmen to inherit) (Holy Qur’an, 59:63).
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