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Books- The Constituents of the Divine Assignment- 5th Constituent: Lust
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

Lusts are neutral and they might be your path to Allah:

 Lusts are installed in man, and some people might mistakenly think that lusts are the reason behind mischief in the world, while the truth is right the opposite. Had not lusts been installed in us, we would have never had the chance to enter Paradise. Moreover, lusts are neutral, and they might be the means for man to exalt to the highest ranks in Paradise, or the reasons for him to fall to the lowest of the low in Hellfire.

 If we liken man to a car, the lusts in man are like the engine which moves the car, whereas the steering wheel is the tool which keeps the car on the paved road (man's reason), so if the engine is working and there is not a steering wheel, the car will most likely deflect from the road when it reaches the turns and will end up in the deep valleys on the sides of the road, and this leads to death inevitably. Much in the same line, lusts are neutral, and they are not the reason behind mischief in the world, but rather the mischief is the outcome of abusing these lusts (just like misusing the engine of the car). Hence, do not accuse lusts of falling in sins, for without them, you will never exalt in the Sight of the Lord of the heavens and the earth, you will never enter Paradise and you will never draw close to Allah.

 Is there any way other than lusts through which you can draw close to Allah? Getting closer to Allah can be through money (man has the lust for money), which is endeared to man, so if he spends it in lawful ways, he will exalt in the Sight of Allah. The same goes for man if he owns a sum of money by which he can buy the best tasty food for him and for his family, but he gives it to a poor man (to draw close to Allah). If this money were not endeared to him, he would not exalt upon spending it on the poor.

 Like money, women are endeared to man, so if he passes by a half-naked woman in the road, and he does not lower his gaze, he will not exalt in the Sight of Allah. As you know the Muslims should perform the five prayers daily, but in fact he prays thousands of times in the road each time he lowers his gaze from looking at a strange woman's beauty, and upon doing so, he will exalt in the Sight of Allah.

 Man is created from a whiff from the Soul of Allah and from a fistful of mud, and so he has inside him mundane inclinations and transcendental ones. These two kinds of indications are very clear to every human being, for every man wishes to be pure, chaste, honest, generous and loyal, and these are among the transcendental inclinations that are resulted from the whiff of Allah's Soul breathed in man, whereas man's love to eat, drink and mate are among the mundane inclinations that are resulted from the fistful of mud he is created from. The most crucial matter in the believer's life is the ongoing struggle between meeting his needs and applying the Divine Orders. Actually, every day, every hour and every minute, the believer is in struggle between obeying Allah on one hand and fulfilling a mundane inclination, desire or whim on the other.

 A married man had children, he was socially respectable and he occupied a high position, but once he traveled abroad, and there he backslid (committed adultery). Consequently, he was afflicted with one of the STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), and he could not mention his disease to anyone, lest he would be degraded by the people who knew him. One day, he said, "I suffered from that disease for 16 years, and during that period of time, I was in severe agony." All that pain and grief were the outcome of one hour of fulfilling a forbidden desire:

((It is bad enough that an hour when a prohibited lust is fulfilled causes someone a long-lasting grief.))

 Allah says:

﴾And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah? Verily! Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (wrong-doers, disobedient to Allah, and polytheists).﴿

[Al-Qasas, 50]

 The "Mafhoom Al-Mukhalif" (an implicit meaning on which the text maybe silent but is nevertheless in harmony with its pronounced meaning) of this Ayah, is that the one who follows his own lusts according to Allah's Guidance, is safe. Hence, if man longs to a woman, he gets married, if he longs to money, he makes his living lawfully and if he longs to have a good reputation, he obeys Allah. This is how he can fulfill all his lusts according to Allah's Method. Therefore, there is no deprivation in Islam, but there is regulation, purity, system and spiritual comfort following every desire man fulfills lawfully (according to Allah's Method).

 Man might have a sexual intercourse with his wife, and after a while he might offer night prayers and weep. He can do that because he does not do anything against Allah's Method. On the other hand, if he feasts his eyes on the beauty of a strange woman, he will be veiled from Allah. One look only is enough to veil man from Allah, whereas a sexual intercourse (with his lawful wife) will not veil him from Allah! This is because his relation with his wife is according to Allah's Method, whereas the look (at a strange woman) is against that Method. Hence, being patient on abstaining from fulfilling a forbidden lust is easier than bearing its devastating consequences.

There is no deprivation in Islam, but there is discipline and regulation:

 The lusts installed in man by Allah are regulated by a Method He sent to us. Every lust installed in man but has a lawful way to fulfill it, and when man fulfils it lawfully, he will be rewarded twice. You are allowed to fulfill any desire in a range of 80 degrees (the allowed range in Islam) out of 180 degrees. Religion is about discipline whereas corruption is about dissoluteness.

 Man tends to like the opposite sex, and this is something Allah has installed in mankind, but the male and female believers follow the Divine Method, so this lust is their motivation to reach Paradise. Accordingly, religion and faith are all about being disciplined. Allah says:

﴾ 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.﴿

[An-Nazi'aat, 40-41]

 Because of fuel's combustion (the burning of the fuel), the car moves, and if the fuel is put in the fuel tank, runs in the tubes and is ignited at the right time, the car will move safely. Hence, when the fuel is used properly, you can go with your family on a nice spring day to a park and have a good time, but how do we reach this result? We reach it by a series of controlled combustions in the design of the car. However, the same fuel can be poured on the car, and by giving it a light, the car and the people inside it will burn.

 Man will not be in remorse because of the lust itself, but because of fulfilling it unlawfully. Sugar and salt are valuable ingredients, but if you add a lot of salt to sweets, will you be able to eat them? On the other hand, if you add sugar to a very expensive stew, will you be able to eat it? You will spoil it by adding the sugar to it. Hence, both sugar and salt are needed in most food industries, but misusing them will spoil things. Therefore, mischief comes from misusing things.

 Consider the lust for woman, woman is created to be your wife and to bring you children which will bring happiness and fun to the house, but if you fulfill the lust for her unlawfully, you will be in misery, and this misery is the outcome of misusing and abusing your fortunes and lusts.

Lusts exalt you in the Sight of Allah twice:

 Lusts exalt you in the Sight of Allah two times; the first time when you are patient (you abstain yourself from fulfilling them unlawfully), and the second time when you are grateful to Allah for allowing you to fulfill them lawfully. When you look at your lawful wife instead of looking at a strange woman, you will be thankful to Allah (for fulfilling this desire lawfully). Likewise, when you earn your money lawfully and spend it lawfully, such as bringing fruits to your children, and making them happy about that, you will exalt in the Sight of Allah as a thankful person. Also, when you refrain from taking unlawful money despite your need to it, given loving money is installed in you, you will exalt in the Sight of Allah as a patient servant.

 Accordingly, lusts are the reason behind being rewarded twice; if you fulfill your lust through the way Allah permits, you will exalt in the Sight of Allah as a thankful servant, and if you avoid the unlawful ways of fulfilling your lust, you will exalt in the Sight of Allah as a patient servant. Man exalts in the Sight of Allah when he refrains from taking unlawful money, when he follows a lawful way to earn them, when he lowers his gaze from looking at a strange woman and when he feasts his eyes on the beauty of his wife. This is the exact meaning of the following Ayah:

﴾ Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world's life; but Allah has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers, etc.) with Him.﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 14]

 As if all the pleasures of the worldly life are summarized in the following word:

﴾This is﴿

 "This" refers to the pleasures which are available to you:

﴾This is the pleasure of the present world's life; but Allah has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers, etc.) with Him.﴿

 When man fears Allah while fulfilling his lusts, and then the angel of death comes to him to take his soul, and he dies on the state of having sound faith and being obedient to Allah and his Messenger PBUH, he will return to Allah in a very happy indescribable state:

﴾But Allah has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers, etc.) with Him.﴿

 When you return to Allah after you fear Him while fulfilling your lusts in the worldly life, you will be extremely happy (in the Hereafter). This is why it is said that death for the believer is like his wedding ceremony. It is proven that the happiest moment for the believer is the moment when he meets his Lord.

 Keep in mind that you are not forbidden from getting married, having children, having a job and earning money, only you should do all that lawfully and according to the Divine Method. Therefore, go ahead and study, acquire the highest scientific degrees, establish a business and open a store, but do that according to Allah's Method, so you have to be honest, you should not deceive sh3er, you should not hide the flaws in your goods and you should not deal in Riba (usury), for all your earnings should be according to Allah's Method. Allah does not forbid you from enjoying the worldly life (lawfully). The Prophet PBUH said:

((He is not the best among you whoever neglects his worldly life at the expense of the Hereafter, or whoever neglects the Hereafter at the expense of the worldly life, unless he makes use of them both (according to Allah's Method). Indeed the worldly life is a journey that leads to the Hereafter…))

 The worldly life is man's ride to the Hereafter. The Prophetic supplication goes as follows:

((Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to say, "O Allah! Set right for me my religion, which is the safeguard of my affairs. And set right for me the affairs of the world wherein is my living. Decree the Hereafter to be good for me. And make this life, for me, (a source) of abundance for every good and make my death (a source) of comfort to me and protection against every evil."))


((Al-Hasan said: "The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) taught me some words to say in witr in Qunut: "O Allah, guide me among those whom You have guided, pardon me among those You have pardoned, turn to me in friendship among those on whom You have turned in friendship, and bless me in what You have bestowed, and save me from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can influence You; and he is not humiliated whom You have befriended. Blessed are You, O Lord, and Exalted.)'))

[At-Tirmizi, Abu Dawod and Ad-Darmi]

 The Prophet PBUH is a realistic and a practical man. Some people taste the graces of having wealth, getting married, having comfortable houses, owning luxurious vehicles and having summer resorts, but if you pay attention to the following Ayah, you will notice that there are greater graces than these. Allah says:

﴾Say: "Shall I inform you of things far better than those?﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 15]

 If you believe that what Allah says is the truth, then read the following Ayah:

﴾Say: "Shall I inform you of things far better than those? For Al-Muttaqun (the pious - see V.2:2) there are Gardens (Paradise) with their Lord, underneath which rivers flow. Therein (is their) eternal (home) and Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives) [i.e. they will have no menses, urine, or stool, etc.]﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 15]

 What is better than all of that is:

﴾And Allah will be pleased with them. And Allah is All-Seer of the (His) slaves".﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 15]

 Hence, whatever you take from the worldly life would not decrease that which in the Hereafter any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it. The Prophet PBUH said:

((What is the example of this worldly life in comparison to the Hereafter other than one of you dipping his finger in the sea? Let him see what he brings forth.))

 This is what the Prophet PBUH told us in the Hadith, and as you know whatever the Prophet PBUH says is a Revelation from Allah as mentioned in the following Ayah:

﴾Nor does he speak of (his own) desire* It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.﴿

[An-Najm, 3-4]

Money and women:

 The longest story of a Prophet in the Quran is the story of our Master Yusuf PBUH. The plot of the story revolves around a high class beautiful woman who tempted this noble young chaste Prophet PBUH, but he responded to her by said, "I fear Allah, the Lord of Worlds".

((Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The world is sweet and green (alluring); and verily, Allah is making you to succeed each other, generations after generations in it in order to see how you act. So beware of this world and beware of women".))

[Muslim, At-Tirmizi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad]

 The lust for woman has a glittering and attractive power that affects man even remotely through an image, a TV screen or a story, so if man does not leave a safety space between him and this lust, its effect will reach him.

 Some submarines moves by atomic power, and a small amount of uranium is enough to provide a submarine with power for two years. The lust for woman is like this uranium, it motivates man to work, to perfect his job and to earn lawful money, so that he can get married and feed his children. However, if this lust turns into a target rather than a motivating power, and if man does not follow the Divine Method in fulfilling it, it will become a destructive power.

 The two things that make man backslide are the woman and money. In fact, they are the soft sides in his character, so you can notice how all scandals in history were caused by money or women. Hence, the best thing in Shari'ah is that Allah puts a safe zone between man and the major sins. This safe zone is like the dry bank that is next to a very deep drifting river that has a slippery edge, so if man walks on this slippery muddy edge, most likely he will slip into the river, but if he walks on the dry bank, the possibility to survive falling into the river is very great. Allah says:

﴾And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse.﴿

[Al-Isra', 32]

 Pay attention that Allah does not says, "Do not commit adultery". Regarding this Ayah, I came across an amazing fact mentioned I in an article, and according to it, when man crosses the red lines in his connection with the woman like staying alone with her, befriending despicable people or listening to and watching obscene stuff, his brain discharges a substance which dysfunctions his judging power. This explains why respectful people backslid some times; when man exceeds the limits, the judging power of his mind will stop working, and he will fall into the major sin and will be destroyed thereof. The Prophet PBUH said:

((Behold! A man is not alone with a woman but the third of them is Ash-Shaitan.))


 The Prophet PBUH did not say "A Kafir" or "A Fasiq", but rather he said, "A man", which means that anyone, regardless who he is, might fall into the major sin if he crosses the red lines.

((Behold! A man is not alone with a woman…))

 It is deemed important to surround yourself with good environment and with believers who are chaste, honest, pious and upright on the Path of Allah.

﴾O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).﴿

[At-Taubah, 119]

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