Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pursuit of Pleasure: At What Cost ?


Man’s future, our future rests in our Creator, in our pure relationship (between Him and us) which existed long before our existence on this ephemeral earth. So why is there this distance, now that we exist on this earth? Certainly the pursuit of pleasure associated with uncontrolled freedom has made the society as it is today. We profess to be free, but free from what? (Sadly) We have liberated ourselves from the bonds that bind us to our Creator! It is what we now observe worldwide on the concept of freedom; to be free of anything related to the nobility of the soul, to be free of the magnanimity of the heart that creates in man his sense of responsibility and limiting his unbridled pursuit of pleasure. It’s that kind of freedom that the Muslim world and the world in general now continue to pursue – a mad pursuit of this pleasure – anywhere he can find it and forgetting limits that must not be exceeded.

Man is born with capabilities, resources and a limited imagination; and thus should his pursuit of pleasure be limited, for if unchecked, shall lead him to a dead end. Numerous side effects then stand in his way and society becomes increasingly nervous and turbulent. The Muslim world is unfortunately not spared today.
But compared with other Western countries who claim to be advanced and modern, oriental societies and particularly those that are Islamic still retain to this day a certain moral dignity.

For example, in Eastern societies, especially those under the influence of the Islamic religion, men and women are usually separated from each other and there exists within these societies standards of conduct so as to curb to a certain degree the attraction between opposite sexes. The negative wire of an electrical cable is different from that which is positive – so we can imagine what can happen if these two wires are not isolated?

Islam advocates that humans control their natural urges and put them at its service. According to Islam, giving vent to impulses and desires is synonymous with destruction, because not all desires are holy for the physical, moral and spiritual health of man. There are animal instincts which drift him away from their Creator, and thus suffocating him in a lawless world.

In societies where women are separated from men, beauty is not captivated by the entire physique of the woman but just a small gaze on a beautiful face can give pleasure to the people of those societies, such pleasure that the so-called liberated countries could never offer even today despite the many completely stripped Eves (women), however beautiful they are, because in those restrained societies (the oriental/Muslim ones) a gaze suffice (and not the whole physical traits of the women). The search for pleasure and passions are fleeting. The euphoria fades gradually, like for the alcoholic. The first sip of alcohol gives the drinker euphoria at the beginning, but little by little he derives relatively less pleasure until he becomes an addict, a sick person. This (initial source of pleasure) becomes for him a source of pain. That’s what has happened to the global society today in its philosophy of taking as principle of morality the pursuit of pleasure. In the name of freedom, and their liberation from all that appear to them as old games, the west create, invent new sources of pleasure, and gradually they infiltrate their thoughts and cultures in the Islamic community.

So just as our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) had once predicted a day would come when Muslims will follow the Jews and Christians (People of the Book) in their actions. Moreover, Muslims shall increasingly be indifferent to the faith and practice of Islam. Ignorance will reach unprecedented levels – that is to say, ignorance in matters of religion, otherwise, writings will be widespread. Many Muslims will not know how to perform prayers or fast in Ramadan, and they shall even forget the profession of faith. Muslim Believers are a small minority; despised, they conceal their faith like formerly the Hypocrites faced the believers in the times of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

By studying the world’s societies, especially the American society (USA) which takes itself as the superpower of the planet, that nation had, at one stage in its history, started to work on new ways to bring pleasure to its citizens. All magazines lent their support and institutions of psychological studies felt concerned by this phenomenon. In the name of science, America advised its people to blow off steam, to get high – sadism and homosexuality became rampant... this was that type of message that this so-called modern nation had launched, by being a permissive society in which the American people were called to indulge body and soul and the latter did not lose time in putting into action this type of freedom and nothing was taboo for them. The path that the Americans took led them always to a dead end and they were aware of that. A kind of madness took hold of this nation and therein flourished hippies and skinheads. Drugs Addicts increased considerably, so much so that for fear that America become a nation of drug addicts, the government after having tolerated drugs amidst its lands decided to deal with the problem seriously, but it was a losing battle because it was finally the addicts who won.

The American society today feels helpless; it is delivered into the hands of the Mafia. Crime in America is an ordinary occurrence and there killing is done purely on basic instincts, just to feel the emotion it brings (to kill). There is not a minute that goes by that without a crime being committed there. One wills and one kills, not for a piece of bread but for the pleasure it gives to the killer. In the name of freedom, Americans have put themselves in chains, such chains which they shall never be free thereof. No longer being able to go without these moments of madness, they head to their total destruction. They forget their dependence on God, they do not want Him, and materialism leads them increasingly to their annihilation. They do not know where to go in that pursuit of pleasure which they had chosen as their lifestyle. It is not anymore pleasure they feel but only bitterness and disillusionment.

America is today confronted to new forms of sexually transmitted diseases and also other diseased which show resistance to all that can be used to combat them and doctors see themselves helpless before these diseases. Herpes, AIDS, Cancer, H1N1, H5N5, and Zika etc. are ravaging America and other countries. Regarding venereal diseases, the pursuit of pleasure thus became a source of terror to the American people and no American would feel safe in the company of another of his countrymen – making them unstable and nervous people. This attack of fleeting pleasure is leading the world into darkness; nay, I need to say that the world is already in darkness and feels helpless and hopeless.

So what is the answer to all this? It can be summed up like this: the real pleasure, the pleasure that lasts, the real satisfaction, true contentment comes to us through our relationship with our Creator. This is the purpose of our creation. The human society is now skewed and man has lost his bearings. That is why when darkness invaded the whole world, He (Allah) found the need to send His Messenger, His Caliph (representative) on earth to guide people back to the right path.

Allah (Almighty God) loves His creatures, especially the human race that He created in His own essence (from His own breath). As He promises in the holy books and in the last code of law, the Qur’an, He does not punish without first sending a Warner to the nations. If these people do not take into consideration the divine message and the messenger, then why must God be interested to protect and save the one who cease to fulfill the duty that was assigned to him and who rejects guidance He sends to those kinds of people so that they may find the right way and the desire to get closer to Him?

Therefore, everything is created for a purpose, and man, according to the Holy Qur’an was created to make himself known by the Almighty. During the stages of evolution no animals have developed to the extent that humans could attain.

The first specie that could come into contact with his creator was man – understand that I am referring to direct contact with God (i.e. divine revelation). The Holy Qur’an teaches us that we must to make efforts to get in contact with our Creator as soon as possible and we must persevere in this direction in order to feel His presence. The Qur’an tells us that this is the real joy and pleasure. God is noble and it is in His company that we become also noble.

The only way to improve the quality of a nation/ community is to bring it to God, because God belongs to all without distinction of class or race. Those who are close to God have compassion for men. These types of people do not distinguish between black and white, north and south, east and west.

Here is the message I want to give you: Act now. Strive to reform yourselves. Serve humanity with love and pray much because prayer is the sure way to get in contact with our Creator. We humans are powerless, but we must keep in mind that we have a Creator who is Almighty. Trust in Him and the effort made in His direction will allow us to win many victories: 

Victory over our own ego/ passions/Seeking of ephemeral pleasures (in other words, our nafs) and the victory over evil that are found all around us. God raised me in this world as His Messenger, His Caliph (Khalifatullah), and thus despite the tough mission given to me, but I do not lose hope because we must never despair as long as we ask the assistance of God, as long as He listens to us with mercy. It is not allowed for us to lose hope, but things are really going wrong nowadays, and thus my call is that the world needs to shake off its lethargy because Islam calls it (all mankind) to a God Who wants his submission, his love and gratefulness forever.

The world is in danger, humanity is in danger, and awareness to the sole existence of a merciful God is required for saving the people of the world. Oh Lord God (Allah), the world is plagued by doubts about Your existence. They prefer abandoning You in their ignorance for ephemeral things, but Oh Lord God (Allah), have mercy on them and removed the veil of ignorance from their eyes so that they can finally find the real image of Your love and existence, and that they may finally agree to submit themselves body and soul to You. Ameen.

---Friday Sermon of 19 February 2016 ~(09 Jamad’ul Awwal 1437 Hijri) delivered by Hazrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al-Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.