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Understanding the Role of Emotions and Intelligence

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(Highlights of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 20th December)

When Shaytaan was rejected he was disturbed because he served and worshipped Allah Ta‘ala for so many years, yet Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) was given all the recognition. When we analyse the situation, we will realise that it was his fault and incorrect rationale. What he should have thought was that I had dedicated myself for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, and my personal pleasure is something else. So it is at the time of the crunch that we find where one’s loyalty lies.

We should also understand that man has emotions and we will need to allow a person to express it; at occasions of happiness he will express happiness and on occasions of grief he will express grief. Nabi (sallalalhu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself was also overcome with conditions of grief and happiness and expressed his emotions.

When you endure for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, then that is when you will secure the future of yourself and child. If there is a valid reason to suppress the grief then there is no harm. It is also acceptable. However, above emotions is aql and intelligence. We need to understand that aql needs to overrule emotions. A person sees a jacket on display. So his emotions get the better over him and he uses all his money to purchase the jacket, thus leaving him without any money for the rest of the month. So here emotions overrode his intelligence, for intelligence will demand that you must first have sufficient for the future. Hence, you will have to make intelligence reign over emotions. But then, above intelligence is sharee‘ah. Intelligence will tell you that if you keep your shop open at Jumu‘ah you will be able to make 20 000 more profit, but then the sharee‘ah’s command is to close the business. Therefore, don’t ask why do I have to close and why can’t I do business.

Emotions are like a garden boy, intelligence is like the manager and sharee‘ah is like the boss and employer. The garden boy cannot question the manager and nor can the manager think he is above the employer. He cannot question the employer and ask the employer the reasons for doing whatever he decided to do. So this was the collapse of Shaytaan. He employed his intelligence against the command of Allah Ta‘ala. He asked Allah Ta‘ala the reason for Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) being given superiority over him. He did not realise that his intelligence also needed to bow down before Allah Ta‘ala. So if it is the law of Allah Ta‘ala then just accept it and let it be. Shaytaan was then thrown out. Therefore, they say that when Allah Ta‘ala pulls away His assistance from a person, his intelligence crashes. It cannot work properly anymore. You begin to see wrong as right and right as wrong. Could one have ever imagined a man with a man, a woman with a woman, and having nude beaches etc.? This is an indication that Allah Ta‘ala has pulled away His assistance. A person feels proud about the interest that he has in the bank and the overdraft facility that has been made available to him. In reality, he is proud of the divine curse that he is taking upon himself.

Now when Shaytaan was rejected and his intelligence was turned upside down he took the path of defiance and promised Allah Ta‘ala that he will mislead the progeny of Adam (‘alaihis salaam). Shaytaan will first make you feel that the aakhirat is just an illusion, whereas it is a reality and permanent. Allah Ta‘ala says: “Aradheetum bil hayaatiddunya minal aakhirah” – do you allow the love of this world to enter your heart and totally forget about the aakhirat. This is what is meant by hubb-e-dunya. So he makes you feel that the dunya is so important that you forget the aakhirat. Hence, what you need to do is make the aakhirat the real goal and make the dunya like a dream. We normally say that the standard of one’s lifestyle needs to improve, so improve the standard of that life. The second thing that Shaytaan will do is confuse and complicate things for you. Allah Ta‘ala instructed Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) not to go close to the tree. So Shaytaan confused Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) by telling him that the reason why Allah Ta‘ala stopped you was that you will be here forever if you eat from it. The hadeeth says it very clearly: “Halaal is clear and haraam is clear.”

It does not mean that if you are old then you should no more show love to your wife, and if you do show it then it is against nobility. Who can be more noble than Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), yet he himself showed love and amused himself with the azwaaj-e-mutahharaat. He even raced with ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha). However, we should understand that it was not in view of others. The hadeeth clearly states that the rest of the Sahaabah were gone far ahead and it was only Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and Hadhrat ‘Aaishah that were at the back. So cheer up with them instead of turning to haraam sites and other women.

Haraam is clear. How will you know if something is haraam? When a person commits the haraam then at the bottom of his heart he feels the guilt and understands that he has committed a wrong. Then between the halaal and haraam there is the grey area. So how are you going to balance yourself? You will also abstain from that which is doubtful.

When one starts going into the doubtful areas and he breaks all the barriers before the haraam then eventually the only thing that gets left is the actual haraam. The original Islamic ethos is that a woman needs to remain at home. Look at your grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They did not have toiletry problems etc., but now women have problems that the husband will not bring the right thing. So she finds an excuse to leave the home. But then it does not stop there. Then when she comes out she will find that people are dressed up and she will get attracted. Thereafter, she will want what they have and what they do. Hence, the safest is to remain within the home.

Nobody says that Islam does not make provisions for enjoyment. Yes, it does, but do it in the right manner and at the right time. So Shaytaan confuses you, from one direction an action looks permissible and from another direction it looks haraam. So just abstain from it. When you keep yourself away you will be blessed in two ways. Firstly, your deen will be protected and secondly your ‘izzat and respect will be secured.

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