Passion and desire are obstacles to happiness

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Allah reveals in the Qur'an that people's earthly desires contain two distinct elements. One of these is the "conscience," which commands what is good and prohibits what is evil; the other is fujoor, which commands what is evil. The word fujoor means engaging in sin and rebellion: telling lies, turning one's back on what is right, disobeying just laws, moral collapse and that which is an affront to godliness. In other words, the concept referred to here as fujoor includes all the negative features of the human ego. In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that He has inspired both fujoor and conscience, which impels human beings to avoid the former:

And [I swear by] the self and what proportioned it and inspired it with fujoor [depravity] or taqwa [sense of duty], he who purifies it has succeeded, he who covers it up has failed. (Surat ash-Shams, 7-10)

The second important feature of immoral desires drawn attention to in the Qur'an is "passion" and "greed." Someone who contents himself with the life of this world and fails to consider the Hereafter is devoted to all he possesses with "passion" and "greed." He or she starts to live as if death and the Afterlife were far away. In fact, in societies which live far removed from the moral values of the Qur'an, peoples' passions are praised and honored. The more people are attached to the life of this world and the more efforts they make to attain its benefits, the more they are esteemed by others who share the same twisted mindset. Yet this is a grave error. Of course, a person must strive to have a pleasant life and must always seek to do his or her best. Yet that determination and will must be directed at the kind of life approved of by Allah. Otherwise it would be a terrible mistake, in forgetting our Lord, Who gives them all they possess, for people to be caught up in worldly desires and to live a life far removed from the moral values of the Qur'an.

Attention is drawn to unbelievers' passionate attachment to the things of this world in the verse, "And you have an insatiable love of wealth" (Surat al-Fajr, 20). In another verse, "The enjoyment of this world is very brief. The Hereafter is better for those who guard against evil" (Surat an-Nisa', 77), Allah reminds us that the blessings people are so passionately fond of are the enjoyment of the life of this world. The word "enjoyment" in this context means worthless things, ultimately condemned to vanish. The blessings of this world which people so greedily desire are false and worthless compared to those of the Hereafter.

2009-05-31 01:11:17

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