Tug of War
Once, I had the opportunity to spend time, at a park, with some young boys. They were all students of a Hifz class and were having a picnic. …We all require rest, exercise and some entertainment – but of the Halaal kind.
One of the games that these youngsters were playing was ‘Tug of War’.
After their game, I mentioned that in tug of war, there are two parties pulling a rope. Winning is based on the side that pulls stronger. And I mentioned that we should take a lesson from this:
In life, there is always a tug of war. There is the pull of temptation and sins, and there is the pull of Deen and Shari’ah; there is the pull of the nafs and shaytaan, and there is the pull of the Rooh (soul).
From our side, we have to suppress and overcome the pull of temptation towards Haraam. We have to resist the nafs when it demands and commands to anything Haraam.
To be able to come out as the victorious party – as the champions – we will have to strengthen our Imaan, Istiqaamah and Yaqeen in Allah Ta’ala. In this way, we will be the dominant and stronger side.
If we do not give any attention to building our spiritual stamina, strength and prowess, then we will easily be defeated by the other side. Nafs and shaytaan will not have to pull very hard because spiritually, we will be weak.
So, to maintain the upper-hand at all times, we draw our strength – and great spiritual strength will be drawn – establishing Salaah, five times a day. …For us men, this must be performed in the Masjid, in Jamaat (congregation). Together with this, we need to maintain our identity as Muslims and work towards fulfilling the Commands of Allah Ta’ala – especially, staying away from all those actions which are displeasing to Him.
We should also be selective of the company we keep and seek out friends who are concerned about their Deen and are also trying to be obedient to Allah Ta’ala. If not, then a bad ‘friend’ is no friend. He belongs to the opposite party, with nafs and shaytaan – and will pull hard to draw us into sin. Then we will be defeated.
If the friend is a good friend, then he will assist us and will be on our side, in overcoming the opposition.
In the game of “Tug of War”, there are occasions and times when there is a balance or the other side is stronger.
The weaker side gets the upper-hand when there is a slight lapse. In our day to day lives, this is what we term as ‘accidental’ sins: There is a lapse in our hold of the rope of Taqwa. We lose our grip and shaytaan and nafs gain the upper-hand. To regain control, there is a need for plenty of remorse and Taubah. In this way, we redeem our position of being the stronger side.
Of course, we should allow the nafs Halaal pleasure and entertainment. Having a picnic and playing for a little while is important to keep us refreshed, re-energised and happy. However, we should always be on guard that nafs and shaytaan don’t get any leeway and pull us away from Allah Ta’ala and Deen.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of becoming tough and strong against nafs and shaytaan.