Acts that Develops Man’s Reason
By: Sayyid Jan Ali Kazmi
To strengthen the willpower means to perform acts, which help to mature the human wisdom and reason, and which result in the dominance of man’s wisdom and reason over his actions.
There are four different powers and forces in a human being. The first among these is the power of imagination. When this power dominates the thought process of man then he might fear even his own shadow, or might even fear a dead body though it is completely harmless and cannot hurt any one in any way. It is due to the domination (control) of the power if the imaginations that people fear such things as a corpse (dead body).
The second force in a man is the force of anger, wrath or violence and when this power overtakes a man then he might even commit the murder of his near and dear ones in rage and anger. Thus it is very important to make the willpower strong or else a man can even become a murderer and kill his friend, his wife or even his own children in anger. These are people who lack a strong sense of determination and they make no effort to strengthen their willpower and determination.
The Most Precious Possession - Willpower
The most precious thing that a man possesses is the willpower of man. People who are unable to strengthen their willpower are considered to be very weak and degraded people. Thus if mans willpower is weak the power of anger can easily take control over the human wisdom and reason.
Next is the power of sexual desire in a man and when this force dominates the human reason then it can turn him into a wild beast and as a result he can attack somebody and commit crimes like rape for the sake of temporary pleasures and satisfaction. And to hide this sin he commits even greater crimes and kills some body that is innocent. Thus when the will power will be strong which means that the reason and wisdom would be in control of these forces only then can a man attain excellence and a perfect control over his actions.
Some times one of these three forces is greatly roused (stir up), for example when the force of lust and desire is roused then the reason becomes weak. When the force of passion and violence and the force of intuition (reasoning) are stirred then logic and reason are no longer in control of human actions.
At present it is very important that a man should contemplate and meditate on how to dominate these three forces through self-control and strong will power.
This meditation is of different types, as it has been mentioned earlier that a man should ruminate (think over) and ponder over the cause of the creation of man and the universe etc. But the type of meditation and rumination, which is required to control and suppress these three types of forces, is that of death and the end of man.
No Denial to Death
Death is a reality, which no man can deny, but there are very few people who ponder over the inevitable reality of death or who make any preparations for death. When we are certain that we are to die then why are we not prepared for it? When it is certainly that we are going to be questioned then it is useless to try to run away from it.
It is impossible for man to escape death. With the passage of time the various parts of our body get old and fade away, and the eyes the tongue cease to function after a hundred years or so and life itself become a burden for man, and he himself desires that he might die. This means that with this body a man cannot live in this world forever, and the soul requires another body which would be permanent and everlasting. Thus death is a sort of a journey which has to be undertaken, then why is man hesitant (cautious) to thinking about this journey? Because every living thing is to face death, it is a reality, which cannot be denied.
The life of a man begins from a mother’s womb and from that very moment the life of a man is uncertain and insecure. When a mother conceives a child, no one can rightly predict (foresee) whether the child would be born safe and healthy. It is possible that the child might die in the mother’s womb or the mother might also die. Moreover, even if the child is born no one can say with certainty that the child would live for two years or three years. It is possible that he might die in the first year of his life, but even if the child reaches two years of age by the will of God, no one can be sure that the child would study till the primary class or the secondary. And even if the child reaches the primary class no one can be certain whether the child would grow old enough to reach O Levels and A level, it is possible that the child might die before all this in an accident etc. If admitted that the child is able to complete his education even then no one can be certain if he would live long enough to get married and if he would bear children, because it is possible that he might die before all this.
This proves that the beginning of a man is uncertain and dubious (doubtful), because there is always the possibility of death hovering over life and likewise the end of a man is also vague (unclear) and uncertain, this means that death can come at any time. But if a man remembers his death then his will power can be strengthened. The question is how is this possible?
This is possible because if a man would remember his death then he would not dare to hurt somebody through the force and power of passion and aggression (hostility).
This is because he would remember that he is to die one day, and his body would be buried under tons of dust and sand. Then man would think twice before committing any sin, and fearing that after death he would be questioned and punished for every evil deed and sin.
Hence through the remembrance (memory) of death a man can very easily strengthen his willpower by making his reason and logic gain control over his passionate and violent forces. If a man is certain that he is to die today then would he dare to attack some woman, would he injure someone or would he not ask for the forgiveness of his sins? Thinking that if he hurts somebody then as
a result of this act he can be punished in the grave and this punishment can be in the form of fire or snakes and scorpions. Thus through the remembrance of death a man can control his force of passion and wrath (rage).
In the same manner the force of whim and doubt can be controlled through the remembrance of death. Remembering that death is a reality (true) and one-day he has to reach the grave, and he should not fear death and if he does not get rid of his imagination (thoughts) and whim then this fear of death can become a means to his punishment in the grave. Thus through the remembrance of death a man can spend a successful life and make the will power strong and resolute.
Death is not complete Destruction
A man should ponder and think over the reality of death. Death is not total extinction (destruction) but it is conversely, a way of getting rid of mortality (death). The human body has a temporary existence and after a span (duration) of hundred or more years the various body parts cease to function properly. The reality of man is not the human body; it is rather the human soul. The human body is like a vehicle, which can run and function satisfactorily only till all its parts are working well. However, when the vehicle gets old and worn out, we buy a new one and replace it for the old one. In the same manner the human soul leaves the human body when the body parts like the heart, the lungs and the liver ceases to function properly. Thus in the process of death the soul leaves the body and the soul requires another body and another dress to wear. In this respect death means changing the dress worn by the soul and a changing the mortal body.
Till a man is alive in this world his attention remain diverted to other human beings and he keeps observing other people, their houses, car etc. and there are very few lucky people whose who care to take interest their own- selves. Now the question is that what is actually the reality of death?
According to a philosopher “Death means to break all the human bonds with strangers and getting acquainted (familiar) with ones own self”
Until death approaches man, he does not pay any heed to himself and his own being as to whom he is and where did he came from? Or why did he come into this world? What is the purpose of his life? Who created him? How does he correspond (keep contact) with his Lord, and how does he show his indebtedness (thanks) to his Lord for all that He has graced him with?
Most of the people come to realize the reality of their life when they reach the last stage of their life, when death is visible and all medication and cure have disappointed them. It is for this reason that God states in His Holy books that “O man I have created life and death so that you may perform good deeds”
Death is a Blessing
Death is in fact a great blessing of God. In the absence of death man would have become a great oppressor and tyrant. It is death, which attracts man towards his own person and forces him to think about himself. Thus a definition of death is that it is an act of breaking all the connections and bonds (ties) with strangers (people we know in the world) and getting acquainted (familiar) with oneself, our own person and our own reality.
Although if this attention and interest is developed in man after his death during the interval between death and resurrection, which is called the transit between grave and resurrection Then it is of no use at all, since man is helpless there because life is granted only once to man. The life of the world is a sort of preparation for the after world to make it successful and prosperous.
The life of the world is not more that one hundred years, but the life of the hereafter is eternal and everlasting, it cannot be narrowed to figures and numbers, because it is eternal and is to last forever and ever, it is a life where death would not exist at all.
But man is such a fool who wastes away the pleasures of his eternal life for the temporary and trivial pleasures of a life, which are no more than sixty or seventy years. If once a man fills his mortal life with punishment then this is exactly what he is to receive in the hereafter also. Because what ever we sow in this world we will reap in the hereafter. If we sow (plant) the seeds of good deeds in the world then we would enjoy eternal pleasures in the Heaven. If we sow the seed of sin and oppression in the world then its punishment is the fire of hell. Thus a man should work hard and endeavour to avoid those acts, which would have an everlasting effect, he should not live a life of ignorance and try to remember his death all the time to save him from the acts of oppression, indecency (unsuitability), lust and injustice in the world.
Waking up the Next Morning
Every night before sleeping a man should remember his death and ask for forgiveness for his sins thinking that it is quiet possible that he would not be able to rise again. In this process of sleep there is guidance and instruction for man, sleep is called the sister of death. At midnight if we visit the graveyards or the big cities we would find a similar stillness (motionless) and quietness in both the places. Sleep is similar to death, there are many people who die in their sleep they may die of a heart attack, or an earthquake, or a poisonous animal might bite them. Thus when a man goes to bed he should remember his death and repent on his sins and seek forgiveness. Similarly when he wakes up from his sleep he should bow his head before God in adoration (respect) and remember his death again.
God had roused him from sleep without any harm to his life but it is equally possible that this might be the last day of his life and he should thus avail (reward) this opportunity and seek forgiveness of his sins and repent his evil deeds.
In the same manner if possible a man should visit the graveyard daily and meditate for some time on his plight when he himself would be buried under tons of mud and sand, a place where there would be not a single beam of light and no air to breath. It is true that the remembrance of death teach us the lessons of purity, abstemiousness and humanity. Only those people dare to commit sin, which are forgetful of their death.
How to Kill the Desires?
It is for this reason that Prophet David (pbuh) was sent a revelation from God, that he should go and visit a certain person in the jungle and learn a lesson from his life. When Prophet David (pbuh) started to recite verses from the holy book which was revealed to Prophet David), the man came out of his cave to Prophet David (pbuh) and sent peace upon the Prophet. When the man came close to Prophet David (pbuh) he asked to instruct him how a man can kill the desire of the world from his heart, because it is the world which attracts a man towards sin and become the cause of man’s ruin. The man asked Prophet David (pbuh) to follow him to his cave because the answer to the question would be better given there. When Prophet David (pbuh) entered the cave he saw the skeleton of a devoured (demolish) corpse placed on a huge stone and on the stone were engraved (carved) these words:
“I am king Arvah, God gave me a life of thousand years, I conquered (dominated) a thousand of cities, I had immense wealth, I married thousand women. But O people do not be deceived by the life of the world, because the thousand years of my life passed away like a dream and an illusion (fantasy). My reality is what you see before you. Today the scorpions of the grave are my companions”
The pious man said that, whenever I am attracted towards the worldly activities. I come to this corpse and beseech my Bad soul not to make me an enemy of God, not to indulge my mind and body in the temporary pleasures of the world, and not to label me as an inhabitant of the hell. Moreover in this way my willpower is weakened
Thus remembrance of death is a very good practice. If it is not possible to visit the graveyard daily then once in a week a man should go and meditate over his plight in the grave. You know what a corpse passes through in the grave, how the eyes burst out the stomach and other parts of the body rot (decay) away and are wasted, and this beautiful and fragile (delicate) body is dissolved and rotten in the earth. There is a great instruction for man in this plight of man in the grave, that if we do not have mercy on others in the world then God will exempt us of His mercy in the grave. It is for this reason that God State:
“O man if you wish that I should have mercy on you on the Day of Judgment then you should have mercy on my people”
It is for this reason that God states in His Holy books, “O man if you wish that I should forgive you on the Day of Judgment then forgive my people in the world.”
These are the golden principles through the practice of which a man’s grave can be illuminated.
Control devilish Forces
It would be possible for man to strengthen his willpower and resolve when the Godly forces in a man take full control over the devilish forces. For this a man will have to continuously resist the assaults of these devilish forces, and if a man succeeds in this then his willpower is satisfactorily strengthened.
To be able to resist the devilish forces, it is important that a man should be able to identify and distinguish between the satanic and the Godly forces. Every man has an instinctive and natural sense of the good and the bad in him and he is able to differentiate between good and bad without any great study and research. For example oppression is an evil practice and every man detests oppression, similarly to devour (consume) the rights of the other person is an evil practice and even a dishonest man does not wish that his right should be violated, in the same manner every one knows that it is wrong to be unkind and ungrateful to ones benefactor (sponsor) and patron (supporter).
Thus it is important that a man should have some information and knowledge about the acts which God disapproves of and the acts which God appreciates. God dislikes oppression and all sins whether big or small, any acts which are against nature and which has no benefit either in the world or the here after is disliked by God. Similarly to torture oneself by intoxication or drugs is an act, which God dislikes and disapproves. A man should also have some knowledge about what is sin.
In the next volume we will give you a detailed list of the acts which God likes and which God dislikes. Furthermore we will also relate the various ways of highest level as to how a man can make his will power strong. For the beginners the methods which have been related in this volume are sufficient enough if they are regularly practiced. However, still a detailed and deep study is needed to understand the true mechanics of making the will power strong which will be provided in the next volume.