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Guarding the Soul against Evil

God’s Approval
God is our Creator, and He has control over everything. The highest aim of a person in this world should be to attain the approval of God. In His approval is salvation and success; and in His wrath is privation. A person may only attain the approval of God through obeying Him; fulfilling everything which He orders and forsaking everything which He forbids.

A person’s soul might urge him to disobey the orders of God. Thus, this person might hesitate between two extremities- obeying God or following his vagary. This is where God tests humans.

The Watchfulness of God
The security systems of countries or official quarters monitor people to punish whoever breaks the law, and this is the way to preserve any human law. It is possible that some people who break the law might flee from the watchfulness of the security system of a country or from authorities without being punished. However, has any person asked himself at the moment of commiting a sin if he is able to flee from God’s watchfulness? The answer is definitely no.

God states in the Holy Quran what the Wise Luqman counseled his son: {O my son, even if it were the weight of a mustard-seed, in a rock, or in the heavens, or on earth, God will bring it to light. God is Kind and Expert.} (Luqman, verse 16) Thus, it is absolutely impossible to flee from the watchfulness of God.

There is an anecdote which mentions that there was once a scholar who favored one of his students. The other students criticized him for this, and thus he strove to clarify the reason behind favoring that student. He gave each one of his students a bird and said: “Butcher it where none can see you.”

They fulfilled their tasks and brought their butchered birds to their mentor. However, the scholar’s favorite student brought his bird alive. The scholar asked him: “Why did you not butcher it?”

The student answered: “You said: ‘Butcher it where none can see you’, but there is no place where the One God Who is besought by all does not see me.”

The scholar answered: “Well done” and he turned to his students and said: “This is why I raised him in rank and favored him over you.”

How do we strengthen our sense of God’s watchfulness?
We should discipline our souls in order to guard them against evil and to finally reach the level where we always feel God’s watchfulness over us, and that He is not heedless of our thoughts and actions. We can achieve this through a daily schedule for guarding the soul, and the span of this schedule is from morning until evening, and throughout the night. At the end of the day, a person should reflect on everything he did throughout the day. He should thank God if he performed his obligatory duties and forsook what God forbade, and he should ask Him for success in continuing thus.

However, if his soul which is inclined to evil had defeated him, he should strictly admonish it and ask God for forgiveness. He should make a resolution to go on and should not despair of God’s mercy, for God will doubtlessly aid him. God says in the Holy Quran: {O you who believe! Fear God, and let every soul consider what it has forwarded for the morrow…} (The Mobilization, verse 18)

God Witnesses Everything
In a court of justice, when there is a person accused of a certain crime, the judge first asks to bring the witnesses forward to testify that he committed the crime in order to condemn him. If there are no witnesses, then there is no proof for the indictment of the accused, and thus he flees from punishment if he were actually the criminal.

On the other hand, the watchfulness of God over people is different. Humans cannot escape God’s punishment in the hereafter with the excuse that there were no witnesses. Not only does God witness the actions of man, but He has also assigned numerous witnesses who observe and record every action a person does- whether good or evil.

God says in the Holy Quran: {Not a single word is uttered by one but there is a watcher near him, ready (to record).} (Qaf, verse 18)

God also says: {7.Whoever has done an atom's weight of good will see it. 8. And whoever has done an atom's weight of evil will see it.} (The Quake, verses 7-8)

Not only are the actions of every human recorded, but God also knows people’s secrets and their intentions. God says: {We created man, and We know what his soul whispers to him. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.} (Qaf, verse 16)

The Gate of Repentance
God gives people time in this world, but this does not mean that He neglects their actions. He gives people chance after another and opens the doors for them to return. He calls people not to despair of His mercy and forgiveness. God gave humans the ability to forsake sins, even if they were deeply-rooted in souls. He promised people that He would forgive them if they repented and regretted what they committed.

God said in the Holy Quran: {Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves: do not despair of God’s mercy, for God forgives all sins. He is indeed the Forgiver, the Most Merciful.”} (Throngs, verse 53)

However, humans should be aware of delaying repentance, or delaying performing obligatory duties. Many people see themselves as young and that there is still time to repent-whether tomorrow or after tomorrow. They believe that they can reform when they get older and amend what they committed in youth. However, does anyone know how long he will live? Can he be sure that he will be alive tomorrow? Can he ensure that he will succeed in repenting later on?

1154 View | 20-02-2016 | 11:02

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