7.EXAMPLES OF DEFEAT
Through these series, we will illustrate examples from our daily lives to emphasise the amount of defeat we have within, caused by the absence of strong faith. Once we are defeated, we are not free and defeat after defeat repeats itself, dunia and akhirah.
Insignificant acts can cause massive defeat inside of us. One of the symptoms and elements of defeat is the diseases of the heart. These diseases makes one anchored to dunia, and have disastrous and destructive consequences, dunia and akhirah.
One of the diseases of the heart is anger. When this occurs, a person becomes emotional, irrational and takes a long time to calm down. We are defeated because during this moment, we are slaves of our nafs and of shaitan, and lose focus on Allah and our spiritual journey.
Today, many of us are unable to humble ourselves to listen and obey. Relationships are often fraught with stress and tension due to misplaced anger. In times of dispute, we become like water boiling over a stove: unstable and dangerous.
A characteristic of a mu’min is stability due to his focus on the commitment between he and Allah. Surah Al Ahzab says:
Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration.
Linguistically, in Arabic, the term “men” above also applies to women who fulfil the criteria. Allah loves them for holding tight to their covenant to Allah. Such people are responsible, and keep their word. Bearing this verse in mind, one will not succumb to mood swings and anger, because slavery of Allah takes precedence above all other emotions. By keeping to this verse, one is reminded to keep things in perspective and rise above his natural inclinations, habits, and weaknesses.
When something is so important and pressing to us, we cannot even go to sleep. Think of that important exam or project deadline where we are so committed that we willingly lose nights of sleep over it. During this period, we do not have the time to pick fights and waste time arguing over insignificant things. Instead, we push ourselves more when we visualise the income and the rewards, especially if it is a make or break situation.
Similarly, when our faith is strong, it makes us vigilant, alert and aware. Shaitan cannot hijack our attention for too long, because we will go back to the roots of iman, and not to our genetics.
Yet, if most of the day we relapse to our inborn pattern of behaviour – nafs, anger, negativity or insecurity, we are defeated.
By not belonging to Allah, every aspect of our life is adversely affected. This often happens during marriages. When choosing a husband or wife, we are willing to compromise and marry someone who destroys our faith for the most materialistic reasons – the other person is so beautiful, sexy, popular, rich or well connected. The faith is compromised because we give priority to our desires, instead of the principles prescribed by Allah and His messenger.
Later on, we will resent the man or woman that we chose, and the marriage will become an institution of emotional torture, and not joy. A lot of unhappiness follows, originating from the lack of belonging to Allah in the original decision making process. The marriage is defeated, and this defeat will permeate to and affect the children.
Other examples are during Islamic gatherings. We get bored and restless after a few minutes, and start fidgeting, daydreaming or playing with our phones, and then sneak outside for a cigarette break! Or, an incident happens during visits to family or friends, which makes the environment is not to our liking. We react emotionally, and then re-enact the melodrama for one or two days instead of just getting over it and moving on.
If we are restless and cannot bear our surroundings, or even stay calm for a few minutes, then how can we succeed in life? What if we become so weak and defeated that every segment and point in our lives triggers off sourness, tension and drama, even on matters which are irrelevant us? This happens we do not have strength, depth, wisdom and purpose in life to anchor us. Our nafs, Shaitan and diseases of the heart overwhelm us and lead us to defeat.