Rafed English

Weakness of Will

A weak will is the product of irrational fears. Doubt and vacillation may be the first signs of a deep-seated fear. Wherever there is doubt and hesitation, faith is absent, for one who lacks a perfect faith is constantly troubled by doubt and uncertainty. Vacillation and indecisiveness become his habitual traits. A person possessing faith does not fall victim to doubt and vacillation in his activities and goals, and there is no room in his mind and consciousness for vexing anxieties.

A human being whose spirit is full of faith and sincere intentions and who has established an unbreakable bond with God's infinite power is more powerful than any degenerate power in the whole world. Even if he should suffer a setback and defeat in his confrontation with the material power of evil, he will not consider himself insecure and abandoned; for with all his being he relies on the great power of God and is led by His guidance, which is true guidance.

Overcoming corruption and guiding the lost ones to the right path are fundamental elements deeply rooted in the Islamic faith, traits which become the part of the spiritual make up of the persons. By relying upon the everlasting power of God, they can subjugate to their will material powers, which are not the sole reality of the world.

In a letter that he wrote to the people of Egypt, Imam 'Ali, the Commander of Faithful, may Peace be upon him, commends spiritual strength and courage of his newly appointed governor, who was a man of perfect faith, in these words:

O people or Egypt! I have appointed for you as governor a man from among the servants of God who allows himself no sleep in times of danger, nor has the smallest fear of the enemy in times of panic. He is severe against the wicked like a blazing fire. He is Malik ibn Harith, of the clan of Banu Mudhij ... He is a sword from among the swords of God: its edge never loses its sharpness, nor its blows ever go amiss. 9

In the Battle of Siffin, the forces of Mu'awiyah took over the control of the river-bank and intercepted the supply of water to 'Ali's camp. The Commander of the Faithful tried to solve the problem through negotiations. Refraining from armed conflict so long as possible. But Mu'awiyah considered his possession of the river bank as a major military gain, and taking advantage of his position he refused to negotiate. 'Ali's companions had a hard time due to the lack of drinking water. Thereat 'Ali addressed his soldiers as follows:

They are hungry of battle and are asking for it. Now you have no more than two alternatives before you: either to submit to disgrace and indignity, or to drench your swords in blood and obtain water. To live in subjugation is death. Real life is to die while overpowering the enemy and without yielding to indignity. Mu'awiyah leads a party of deceived persons whom he has kept them in the dark about the truth, to the point that they have made their arrows a target of your throats. 10

This fiery speech created a wonderful change in the morale of 'Ali's soldiers and filled them with the spirit of courage. With a lightning attack they threw back Mu'awiyah's forces from the river bank and took control of it. But, then, with a manly spirit they allowed the enemies to have access to water for their needs.


9. Nahj al Balagha, Khutab 38

10. Ibid, Khutab 51

Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"

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