The Effective Tool for Achieving Self-Domination
By:Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini
In order to be victorious in attaining self-refinement and abstinence from sins, we may use the reward and punishment method. In the beginning, we must address the self: I have decided to abstain from sins, if you do not’ cooperate in this matter and committed sins; I am going to punish you with such and such punishment. That is, if you committed back-biting, I will take a fast for one day, or will speak only the minimum required for one week, will donate such amount for charity, will not drink water for one day, will deprive you from one diet, and will remain under the sun during summer, so that you should not forget about the temperature of Hell’s Fire.
After that, we must watch over the self strictly, so that he does not commit backbiting, and in case he commits it, we must take a bold stand against it without being lenient, and must execute the promised punishment against him. Once, the imperious-self realized that we are serious in refraining from sins and will strictly execute the punishment without least compassion; he will surrender himself before our genuine demands.
If, we implemented this program without any negligence, we may close the paths of Satan’s entries, and achieve absolute domination over the self, with the condition that we must take a definite decision and must punish the rebellious-self without showing least compassion. It is strange that regarding minor violations of civil laws, the violators are indicted and punished, but unfortunately for self-cleansing and refinement this method is not practiced, in spite of the fact that our prosperity and eternal salvation depends upon it. Many of the God’s deserving servants by utilization of the same method were able to attain self-refinement, self-cleaning, and self-domination.
The Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali (A.S.) said:
“Hunger is the most effective tool for achieving self-domination and breaking habits.”
Gharar al-Hukm, p-773.
“Whoever practices self-asceticism is bound to earn benefits.”
— Gharar al-Hukm, p-647.
One of the Prophet’s companion said:
“Once on a hot summer day the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was sifting under the shade of a tree; suddenly a man appeared who after taking off his clothes laid down with bare back upon the hot sand and started rolling over it, alternatively making his back and stomach to bear the hot sand, occasionally covering his face with it, said: ‘Oh my imperious-sel.fi You better taste the heat of this hot sand particles , and know it —that the heat of Hell’s fire is for severe and painful than this.’
“The holy Prophet (S.A.W.) witnessed the above scene with interest, and having worn his clothes when the man wanted to return, the Holy Prophet asked the man to come near him, and said: ‘I saw you doing some thing strange which is not done by any other person. What was the motive behind this act.?’
“The man replied: ‘Oh Prophet of God: The fear of God forced me to perform this act. By performing this act I said to my self taste the temperature of this hot sand and know that the heat of Hell’s fire is much more severe and painful than the temperature of this hot sand.’
“The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said: ‘Yes! you feared the God-Almighty the way one should be really be fearful of Him, and he with this
act has glorified you over the angels of His Thrown.’ Then he said to his companions: ‘Come and stand closer to this man and ask him to pray for you.’ The companions assembled around the man and requested him to pray for them. The man raised his hand for prayer and said:
‘O God! Guide our affairs, make piety provision of our journey, and bestow upon us Paradise in the Hereafter.’”
— Mohajateh al-Baiza, vol. 7, p-208.
The Commander of the Faithful Imam ‘Ali (A.S.) said:
“Arise against the self and by chastisement prevent him from becoming addicted to various habits.”
Gharar al-Hukm, p-350.