Some people put everything they feel like into practice in the first impulse. They say everything that comes across their minds without ever thinking. They do not feel the need to assess the results of their behaviors or their words. If they feel angry, they express their anger without ever feeling the need to calm down. If they feel resentment, they express it instantly. When a situation that might make them uncomfortable, they make it felt that they are upset about it. If they feel like crying, they do cry. If they feel like feeling sad, giving way to despair or touchiness, they instantly surrender to these states of mind.
The difference of a Muslim shows itself at this point. A Muslim does not act by every spontaneous feeling he has. This is because "to feel like" means giving way to the "desires of the lower self". A Muslim first evaluates those with the Qur'an and put into practice only if they are in compliance with the morality of the Qur'an. This is because a Muslim is not someone who leaves himself to the control of his lower self. He manages his lower self, not the other way round.
Consequently a faithful person does not get angry whenever he feels anger inside. He does not get jealous whenever he feels jealousy inside. He does not surrender to resentment whenever he feels like resenting. He does not display an egocentric behavior whenever he feels conceited. He does not get defeated by his pride whenever he feels the urge to take an empty pride in something.
Whenever he feels similar evil urges of the lower self, a Muslim should definitely "take refuge in Allah". He takes refuge in Allah, defeats these wrong spontaneous feelings and instead adopts the attitude he should according to the morality of the Qur'an.
This is a very important superiority in the morality of a Muslim. Muslim's ability to control his lower self to this extend, is doubtless only possible with the profound love and fear he feels for Allah. This is because the lower self- unless wisdom and conscience is used- is really effective on humans. This is how Allah had created the lower self –as a necessity of the test in the life in this world. People who do not fear Allah, who do not believe in the Hereafter, do not have the power to struggle with their lower selves, to stand up to the instillations coming from it and to defeat them. They are under the complete control of their lower selves. And have left the course of their lives be directed by their lower selves.
Muslims on the other hand are completely aware of the fact Prophet Joseph(pbuh) had voiced : "'I do not say myself was free from blame. The self indeed commands to evil acts – except for those my Lord has mercy on. My Lord, He is Forgiving, Merciful.’" (Surah Yusuh: 53) They know that "feeling like doing something" does not constitute a reason to surrender to that feeling. They know that Allah will hold them responsible of using their intelligence, abiding by their conscience and living by the morality of the Qur'an. For that reason no matter how much their lower self force them, they do not surrender to the spontaneous desires of their lower selves.
Some people think that they are only capable of resisting some of the spontaneous feelings of their lower selves; but that they are weak in the face of some others. For instance, such a person would believe that he can defeat the urge, if his lower self suggests him to act rude. He feels sure that he has the power to resist the feelings like indifference, laziness, selfishness. But he believes that he cannot defeat his anger. Or when he feels sad, when he feels like crying, he thinks that he cannot do anything to stop that. He thinks that these are not spiritual but physical things; and that these desires are the reactions of his body and thus he cannot resist them. He is of the idea that there are tens of other points in his lower self that he cannot intervene with. He tries to convince people around him of his ideas with words like; “What can I do, this is who I am, I cannot keep my temper", "Everyone has a flaw and this is mine, accept me as who I am."
But of course these beliefs of such people are completely wrong. Allah had informed us in the Qur'an that He had inspired depravity to the lower self but that He had given man the power to defeat such evil;
and the self and what proportioned it
and inspired it with depravity or taqwa,
he who purifies it has succeeded, who covers it up has failed.
(Surat Ash-Shams: 7/10)
Therefore anyone who carries a belief contrary to the information revealed in the Qur'an, is only fooling himself. In truth, everyone - by the will of Allah- possesses the strength to defeat every kind of evil, depravity and flaw he has in his lower self, if he really wants to. If he fears and obeys Allah, there is a way out, for everyone, even for the most powerful and most compelling suggestions of one's lower self. It would be a grave weakness to surrender to one's lower self instantly, thinking that "he is not able to cope with" and to resign himself to live with that mistake, instead of striving hard and being determined to defeat his lower self. Allah had shown man the true path for everything in this world. Every person seeking the solution in Qur'an, can easily find these ways and put them in practice without any difficulty.
In the light of all this information, one should comprehend this truth thoroughly: Every person would face thousands of suggestions coming from his lower self all through his life. A person's living according to these tens of suggestions of his lower self, every hour of every day would drag him to a very dangerous line. A person's surrendering himself to every spontaneous urge of his lower self is a grave mistake that would drag him to frustration both in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah had created lower self for man to fight with the evil in himself. For that reason a person should never let such desperate (Allah is beyond that), ignorant wordings that conflict with the truth revealed in the Qur'an, come across his mind or use them: "This is my character", "This is who I am", " I struggled a lot but I could not succeed", "These are beyond my control", "I am doing the best I can, but I cannot defeat such and such feature in my lower self." A Muslim should know that if he still has a depravity that he could not defeat in his lower self, the solution to this is in him "fearing and obeying Allah more deeply" and "holding on to the Qur'an more tightly". When he sincerely lives by this morality, Allah will bestow him the strength to defeat depravity.
The truths that a Muslim should be aware of about this matter are revealed in the Qur'an as follows:
Allah does not impose on any self any more than it can stand. (Surat Al-Baqara: 286)
... We impose on no self any more than it can bear...
(Surat Al- An'am: 152)
... Whoever has fear of Allah – He will make matters easy for him.
(Surat Al-Talaq: 4)
For truly with hardship comes ease;
Truly with hardship comes ease.
So when you have finished, work on, and make your Lord your goal!
(Surat Al-Inshirah: 5-8)