Master your own self – discipline

Ibn Battaal  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Striving against one’s self is the most perfect type of Jihaad, as Allah The Almighty admiringly mentions saying

But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination…} [Quran 79:40]

This is achieved by preventing oneself from committing acts of disobedience, avoiding doubtful matters and abandoning excessive enjoyment of lawful desires in order to revel in them on a greater scale in the Hereafter, where they will be in abundance for him.”

The Prophet (SAW) said “Shall I not inform you about the Mu’min? He is the one whom people trust with their wealth and lives. The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand the people are safe. The Mujaahid is he who struggles with his own soul to obey Allaah. The Muhaajir is he who abandons misdeeds and sins.” Musnad Ahmad (6/21)

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself”
– Leonardo Da Vinci

How do you gain self-control?

  1. Perserverance
    This is the most powerful weapon a Muslim can employ in his or her quest for self-discipline. Whoever is determined to overcome his or her fancies, desires and evil companions, will be able to control him/herself and boost his/her self-esteem, thereby overcoming and gaining victory over them. On the other hand, a person who becomes easily vexed and impatient in demonstrating restraint, is defeated and subjugated, and becomes a slave to the devil accompanying him and his or her desire.
    Ziyaad ibn Abi Ziyaad, a freed slave of Ibn ‘Ayyaash  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them would often confront himself in the mosque, saying: “What do you want? Where do you want to go? Is there a place better than this mosque that you want to go to? Take a look at what is inside [here]. Do you want to look at the houses of so-and-so instead?” He would also address his soul reproachfully, saying: “You have no food other than this bread and oil, and no clothes besides these two garments, and no other wife but this old woman. So, would you prefer to die?”He  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him then said: “[I felt that] it replied: ‘No, I shall be patient with this lifestyle’.”
    Similarly, when Maalik ibn Dinaar  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him used to wander in the market and spot something that he liked, he would say to himself:“Be patient; by Allah, I only prevent you [from that] to preserve your dignity.”These are examples of some righteous people who exercised self-discipline by displaying patience and perseverance.
  2. Evaluate yourself honestly
     When a person realizes his or her own true nature, he or she would not incline or surrender to it, but rather evaluate it often. Indeed, how could a person have good expectations of a bitter enemy who waits for the opportunity to suddenly attack him or her, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“And I do not acquit myself. Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy.} [Quran 12:53]
    That is why when Abu Bakr appointed ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, as his successor, he advised him saying: “The first thing that I warn you against is your soul that is contained within your two sides.”
  3. Seeking help from the only One who can truly help through dua

    Rabee‘ah Al-’Aslami, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “I used to spend the night with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ); I would bring him water for his ablution and other necessities. He said to me: ‘Ask of me.’ I said: ‘I request your company in Paradise.’ He said: ‘Is that the only thing you ask for?’ I said: ‘That is it.’ He said: ‘Help me [in making that possible] for you, by performing frequent prostrations [to Allah The Almighty].’

When Allah The Almighty helps His slave succeed in his or her ability to control his or her self, that person will have attained an everlasting victory after which he or she will know no loss. However, if he or she fails and is defeated, his failure would be profound.
The Messenger,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: “Satan places obstacles in every way the son of Aadam undertakes to obey Allah. He obstructs his way to Islam, saying: ‘Will you adopt Islam and abandon your religion and the religion of your father and grandfather?’ Yet, he disobeys him and embraces Islam. Then, he hinders his path to doing Hijrah (emigration), saying: ‘Will you emigrate and abandon your land and sky? Surely, an expatriate [lives] like a tethered horse.’ However, [the man] defies him and emigrates. [Satan] then thwarts his attempts to perform Jihaad and says: ‘Will you do Jihaad and sacrifice your life and wealth, when you could be killed, your wife will get married to someone else and your wealth will be divided [amongst your heirs]?’ Still, he goes against him and performs Jihaad.” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), added:“Hence, Allah has made it a right upon Himself to admit such a man into Paradise. Whether he drowns or is cast off his mount [on his path of Jihaad], Allah will let him in Paradise.”

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