Dispraise of Desires

Desire or Hawa is the inclination of one’s nature to what suits it. This is not a matter for concern when what is sought is lawful. However, it must be dispraised when it is used to pursue impermissible acts or indulge in excess.

We should know that part of our inner self is intellectual, the virtue of which is wisdom, the vice of which is ignorance. Part of it is elicited, the virtue of which is poignancy, the vice of which is cowardice. Part of it is lustful, the virtue of which is chastity and the vice of which is unrestrained Hawa.

Restraining oneself and practicing patience in the face of vice is a merit of the inner self, and through it a person can endure both goodness and evil. Whoever lacks patience and allows their Hawa to lead their mind has been made the subject of their own desires. Ultimately, even if they were to get all the things that they desire, they will be harmed by them instead of benefitting from them, and experience sadness where they expected happiness to be.

Human beings are favoured over animals because of the intelligence or their mind. The mind is designated to enable us to retrain ourselves from following our desires. Therefore when one rejects both Divine commandments and the better judgement of their own mind in order to follow their desires, they become no better than animal.

A person of sound mind should comprehend that enduring hardship when contradicting their Hawa is easier than enduring what comes from following it. Know that the example of Hawa is like a rampant flowing water leading the ship of one’s nature. If we allow Hawa to lead our actions it will take us into troubled waters. Contemplating these matters makes it easier for us to reject the callings of our Hawa.

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