– Abuya Imam Ashaari At Tamimi during expedition in Uzbekistan –
Human beings are creatures with emotions. When we mention emotions, these are feelings that are based in the spiritual heart and are trapped in the physical heart.
These emotions include love, hate, disgust, sympathy, anger, vengefulness, yearning, shame, pride, arrogance, fear, guilt and indecisiveness.
Emotions are part of the natural instinct or habits of human beings, are not easy to guide, discipline or manage because there are the positive and negative. The positive have to let free, while the negative have to be reined in.
Letting go of the positive is a sacrifice, as is the reining in of the negative. Sacrificing emotions is considered a type of struggle or jihad, which is spiritual jihad. In fact it is even greater than the sacrifice of physical things such as energy, wealth and even life.
Sacrifice of the physical will not happen unless one starts with sacrificing the spiritual. It is from the spiritual that the physical can occur. If one cannot even sacrifice the spiritual, then they would definitely not be able to sacrifice the physical. Truth be told, sacrifice the physical is but implementation of spiritual sacrifice. In other words, sacrificing the physical is the result of the spiritual sacrifice, which is sacrificing emotions.
In needs to be remembered that in order to obtain Allah Taala’s acceptance (keredhaan) sacrifices have to be made. Without sacrifice, there is no acceptance. Without sacrifice, it is all but fanciful daydreams and nonsense. Without sacrifice, there would be no success in this world or the next.
Sacrificing emotions is very difficult to do. It hurts a great deal and the burden of its challenge bears heavily. Here I present a few examples:
We love our husband. We love that he would just stay at home taking care of us. Would it be easy for us to sacrifice our love so that he would be able to go out and continue on his responsibility to struggle for God, until he has to leave the home for quite some time.
We love our husband. Would it be easy to sacrifice our love so that it may be shared with others by allowing our husband to marry another. So that our husband can share his love with others.
We are angry with someone. Can we sacrifice our anger until we are able to forgive or ask for forgiveness from that person? Willing to forgive or ask for forgiveness means that we are able to sacrifice our ego or pride.
We love our wealth and property. We can sacrifice our love for what we own by using it for Allah. That feeling would definitely torment us.
Sometimes we yearn to rest. We want to take it easy and just let our body rest a moment. Suddenly a guest or neighbour arrives who needs our help. Would we able to sacrifice our desire to rest by inviting our guest in respectfully or going to help out our neighbour in need?
We are constantly being tested in all sorts of ways, such as being poor, as well as suffering from accidents and natural disasters.
Of course our heart would be trouble, for that would be our feelings at the time. If we cannot control or sacrifice our feelings, then of course we would be overcome with worry and distress. Our thoughts will be in so much of a mess that everything else in our lives will also be duly affected. Other people will also suffer in the process. But the problem itself is not solved, but may in fact lead to the forming of other problems. But if we can sacrifice this feeling of worry, then peace will come upon us. Our thoughts will become stable. Anything else that we need to do will not be affected. Others will not suffer either. In fact, by sacrificing these feelings will gain the sympathy and kindness of others.
If we are rich or knowledgeable or of a high status and powerful, naturally the feelings that we have will flourish. We will start to feel proud and arrogant. If we are unable to sacrifice these feelings, other people will get offended. Many will be suffer. Of course there will be other side effects, such as the inciting of hatred and trouble for the community. Then maybe there are those who hold grudges and cause trouble for the person. In the end both parties are become unsafe and suffer the consequences. But if the previously mentioned rich or powerful person had been able to sacrifice those negative emotions, the side effects would be good. The people would love and respect them, and give them their hearts. So everyone would benefit, gaining love and harmony. This is the advantage of sacrificing emotions.
Due to this, sacrificing feelings is the secret of all good things. It is from sacrificing such emotions that love, patience, sympathy, protectiveness, helpfulness, togetherness, tolerance and acceptance will arise. So, the sacrifice of emotions is a form of jihad, for here the nafs have to be battled against. Fighting nafs is greater than jihad on a battlefield.
Hence, the sacrifice of emotions is vital. If one is not willing to sacrifice their feelings, then they will never gain patience, let alone acceptance. If one is unable to sacrifice their emotions, they will be constantly angry and unwilling to compromise. It is this inability to sacrifice feelings that people are unable to help others, sympathise, unite and be harmonious. So, the sacrifice of feelings is extremely important in the community lives between people.
So, constantly ask Allah for His hidayah and taufik so that we are able to sacrifice our feelings, so that all that we have will be able to be sacrificed for God.