How to Make the Willpower Tough?
By: Sayyid Jan Ali Kazmi
To make the willpower strong it is important to perform certain acts. It is because some acts weaken the human resolve while there are other acts, which strengthen the human resolve and determination. Thus the first step in this regard is that a man should begin a downright study of his personality. A study of the human personality means that from the moment a man has attained the treasure of logic (reason) and wisdom, at the age of nine or ten a man has enough sense and logic that he can differentiate between good and bad. If a man recalls all his previous acts and question himself that during these ten years whether he did anything to hurt somebody from such parts of the body like his eyes, ears, tongue, hands, stomach, his feet or from sexual organs. If a person, has in any way done sins with any of the seven organs of the body against the will of God which could annoy his Creator.
It is important to keep a check on the acts of these parts of the body because these are the seven parts from the acts of which the human resolves is either strengthened or weakened. Thus a man should for once recall his past and calculates his acts; if he has hurt a person through his tongue then it is evident that this act is against humanity, logic and nature.
God has not given a tongue to the animals because these are beasts and it is quiet possible that they might express their beastly nature through their tongue. But God has given man a tongue to speak so that he can use his tongue to guide others to the right path and help to preach good things to others by trying to consolidate (unite) the fighting parties or trying to counsel (advice) the conflict between a husband and a wife. God has not given the tongue to a man to abuse others, to hurt some body to slander (insult) or to pinpoint somebody or for allegations (accusation).
Recall Ones Sins
Thus if a man recalls and find out whether in the past nine years, has he ever hurt a person by his tongue and if he has done so, and that person is also accessible (reachable) i.e., he can call him or write a letter or meet him then he should without further delay ask for forgiveness and pardon. It is important to ask for forgiveness so that the same act is not repeated again.
Organs of Sin
We see that many people are caught in the slavery of the tongue that although they resolve many times that they will not fall a prey (victim) to the bad habits of the tongue but they are so helpless to its bad habits that they break their resolve again and again. Thus to make the will power strong it is important that a man should begin from the very initial (early) stages of his life, and apart from asking for forgiveness he should also try to promote the feelings of regret and shame in him, feeling sorry and repentant that he has done something really wrong because God had not given him a tongue to hurt others and their feelings.
There are two advantages of regret and shame firstly from this regret the repercussions (repetition) of the bad habit are washed away and secondly a person gets more heedful and cautious (careful) in the future. And by practicing these two acts for example, to be regretful of the past and becoming careful of the future the willpower of a man gets stronger and more resolute.
After the tongue there are the eyes, and a man should ask himself; that have I ever hurt anybody through the eyes, have I been dishonest (unfair) through the eye, whether I have seen something through the eye which I should have avoided. For example without the consent (permission) of the other person to read a letter is a bad thing, or in the same manner there are so many acts related to the eye. For example a man does not want that his wife should be seen in a harassing (irritating) and lustful way, so he should also take care not to see the wife of another person in a dishonest manner. Human beings do not like that someone should rape their daughters, or hurt them or harass them, then every man should also take care that he should show some responsibility and modesty and not harass any girl, nor rape her because she is also the daughter and the sister of some other person. Thus in the same manner, if a man has been dishonest through the eye or the sexual organs, he should be very sorry for it. The regret should be so great that the repercussions of those acts are cleaned from the depth of his mind and heart, and he does not dare (have the courage) to commit the same act again. And it is from these things that the human resolve or willpower is strengthened.
And now the acts related to the stomach. If we have eaten the belonging of another person by stealing it, this is a very bad act according to logic (reason), by nature, by wisdom and a man should ask forgiveness and pardon from the other person. But the forgiveness should be sought in manner that ones self-esteem (self-respect) is also not hurt, and it is saved, because to save ones self-esteem (self respect) is equally crucial (vital) and in accordance to logic and under- standing. Thus if you have eaten somebody’s money or you have caused some damage or loss to the other person and you know where that person is then you should return that money to that person. And be very regretful of this act and also be careful for the next time.
In the same manner if we have slapped somebody by hands or hurt any one then to seek forgiveness is in accordance to human wisdom. If the other person was weak and we have beaten him then we have denied (rejected) the blessing of God in a way. Because God had not given us this power or strength to hurt the weak, and the person should think, that if God wills He has the power to take away our strength and weaken us even more than that person by some illness or disease. Thus from the hands if we have robbed or committed sin then it is a stage of great regret and shame. The man has been a sinner not only of the person, whom he has beaten without cause or have attacked the other person’s reputation (character). But he has been dishonest to himself. Because by doing so he has shattered his personality weakened his will power and has thrown himself down from the high pedestal (platform) of humanity (humankind). And thirdly he has been a sinner of his Creator his God and his Provider. God has given these powers. To attain the will of God and acquire the highest pedestal (base) that God has maintained for him.
Similarly if we have advanced towards the forbidden, injustice, robbery through the feet, then these acts should also be remembered and regretted.
If from the ears we have heard some forbidden talk or words, the words which have no advantage either in the world or the here after, if we have heard these words from our ears then we should be regretful of these acts also. If we have hurt anyone we should ask for forgiveness from that person and be careful the next time.
Summing up ones Sins
The greatest computation (totaling) in this world is the computation (calculation) of a person’s own acts, from which many people are ignorant. The greatest philosopher, intellectual, abstemious (moderate) person of the world Great Scholar Musa Kazim (pbuh) states:
“Every person should audit (check) every day. Before sleeping a man should go to a corner and check what he has done that day… a day which, God had given with good health and security (precaution).So he asked himself what good have I done with these eyes, from the hands, the feet, the stomach? And if he has sinned then he should regret, to the extent that tears should come out of his eyes. And to strengthen his will power he should pray to God… that God should give him the strength that he should be saved from these sins. Moreover his willpower is strengthened in this way. If person commits mores and more sins then his will power or resolve weakens.”
Thus when for ten or five minutes before sleep if a man computes the acts of the seven parts of the body it is an excellent practice to strengthen the will power or the resolve. Thus through such computation (calculation) every day the willpower gets stronger and resolute (firm). Things like after the computation how to regret on the previous acts, prayer to God and to strengthen the willpower, if God’s wills, would elaborate (give details) in the next chapter.
Reason for coming in this World
Poor man is so much engrossed (absorbed) in the activities (actions) of the world that he has maintained an account of all the trivial (small) things. For example, the account of his bills his schools etc. Nevertheless the greatest business and trade for which man has been sent to the world is undertaken through the seven organs of the body. These are the hands, the feet, the ears, the eyes, the tongue, the stomach and the sexual organs. It is through these parts that man undertakes the greatest of all transactions (trade). If a man is successful in this trade then not only the life of the world is spent in a successful way but he is greatly rewarded in the life of the hereafter also. But the tragedy (disaster) is that man is completely ignorant of his acts and he does not have any account of his acts and deeds, and the future of a man can neither be successful nor improved unless man does not check and keep an account of his acts. A successful man is he, who’s every coming day is better than the previous (earlier). Moreover it is impossible that if a man does not keep a check on his acts that the coming (future) day can be made better than the previous day.
Account of Actions
When a person will keep an account and a check on his deeds and acts then he will be regretful of his wrong doings. Now there are two advantages of this regretful ness, that it lessens (reduces) the repercussions or effects of the bad habits and if this regret is so great that tears come out of our eyes like when we think, why did I slap that child who was innocent? Even if a person has done such an act but, he feels sorry after- wards and tears come in his eyes then the effects of this act are lessened or purged (cleaned) away from him.
If a person does not keep a check on his actions then every coming day would become worse than the previous day. If a person is caught in this happy notion (idea) that he is quiet successful and doing well in the world, then sadly enough, he has not been able to understand the actual purpose of his life.
He should realize that the success of a man does not lie in attaining worldly wealth, because wealth is not a part of human personality. It can be parted or taken away from man at any time of his life and after death it is eventually taken away from him. In the same manner other things of the world like popularity (fame) or high status of the world these cannot be a part of our personality. The true parts of our personality are those habits (behaviours) which our inner self, which has become strong and resolute.
Difference in Personality
Now if a man is generous (charitable), while the other person is cruel or a tyrant (oppressor), and by repeating his cruel acts repeatedly it has become his habit. While another person is forgiving and by repeating this act again and again, this forgiveness has become a permanent (unending) trait (quality) of his personality. If a person is rude then by continuously (constantly) repeating his bad habits this rudeness has become a part of his personality. And if a person is good tempered and well mannered then by showing good behaviour again and again and by practicing this act constantly it has become a part of his personality. If a man is impatient (intolerant) then this impatience is a part of his personality and on the other hand a person is patient (tolerate) he can endure great difficulties with patience which is a part of his personality.
Daily Check on Deeds Success
Thus the greatest assets of a man are these effects which help to make a man successful. By daily calculation and keeping an account of our deeds a certain restlessness and uneasiness (discomfort) is created in our willpower when we realize that we have done something wrong, and this leads to regrets and repentance (penitence). This means that when a man thinks that he had determined not to abuse (mistreat) any one and that he will not misbehave but despite his determination he has repeated the same acts again. Because his willpower is weak and so he has no control even on his tongue, this shows that a man with a weak resolve appears weak in his own eyes and opinion. He is so weak that he is helpless before his tongue, that he cannot control his tongue and cannot control his hands and stomach. For example, a doctor says not to eat things containing cholesterol which is dangerous for health. The person who is weak in his resolve is destroying his life if he cannot stand against the demands of his stomach. Thus he is degraded before his desire of the stomach and his life is wasted because of his weak resolve.
It thus means that the weakness of the willpower affects not only his ethics (belief) and his morality but also his body and health. The success of the world and the hereafter is dependent on the strength of the willpower