Understanding lustful desire and how it can corrupt us

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My dear readers, this is the first of a series of articles that will inshallah helps us to attain the pleasure and closeness of Allah, the Lord of the worlds. In this article, I will explore lustful desire and its danger in our society, and then will follow up with a couple of other articles that will help us to develop a practical spiritual and psychological self-awareness approach to avoid lustful thoughts and all vices and sins related to it.

Lustful thoughts are when a person deliberately uses his mind to make fantasies about someone other than one’s spouse, and for singles it is intolerable to indulge in any kind of lustful fantasies if one wants to keep a chaste spirit to please Allah. It has well been illustrated in the Gospels of Isa, when we are informed that:

“Anyone who looks on a woman to lust for her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28)

Lust occurs mostly at the sight of a person who looks attractive to us. Unfortunately in the sex-saturated world that we are living in today, unfortunately the global secular culture promotes being sexy as the zeitgeist. Indeed the visual distractions around us leave no choice other than to easily fall into lustful fantasies, since what we are supposed to see of someone’s body only in private becomes exposed publicly, taunting and haunting us all the time. It fuels sensual lust within us, creates tempest in our blood and activates restlessness and turmoil in our heart.

“The command of lowering the gaze is directed to both men and women, married or unmarried. In this lies the protection of one’s marriage, one’s chastity, one’s happiness and one’s peace of mind,”

For those who are unable to control themselves, unfortunately most use back alleys to satisfy this terrible craving, and those back alleys can be many. Single Muslims without an outlet for this biological urge may use pornography on the internet and masturbation in secret, fooling themselves by believing that it is a lesser sin than to actually commit the physical fornication with a person, whereas in reality this mindset only multiplies and perpetuates the sin, since it leads us most of the time to many forms of addictions related to sexual acting out. This contributes to the reason why marriages have become more scarce than ever before. Indeed we are the loneliest generation in human history and singlehood is being normalized.

Concerning married couples, added to the bad habits mentioned above, spouses may not be able to replace in the mind of the husband or wife the image of the person that the latter fantasized about and lusted over. Also sadly, most of the time they are unable to meet the expectations and unreal pleasures that the fantasy promises. This leads them to seek out satisfaction outside the household, increasing the lack of attention, affection and devotion in the household, which is also one of the main reasons the divorce rate in our society is the highest in the history of mankind; indeed more than fifty percent of marriages end by a divorce in our modern society.

In a must read article for married couples, the author made this beautiful statement:

“If the gaze and thoughts are kept pure and clean, then Walaah, I guarantee that Allah Ta’ala will make the person’s wife look like a Houri of Jannah. …There will be no question of looking at other women. One’s wife will be the coolness of one’s eyes.… The command of lowering the gaze is directed to both men and women, married or unmarried. In this lies the protection of one’s marriage, one’s chastity, one’s happiness and one’s peace of mind,”

Moreover, this situation of ours creates many vices in our society such as cat-calling, stalking, harassment, rape and finally the objectification and the degradation of the value of women. Indeed modern men are losing all respect for women, at the first sight of someone who is trying to be sexy, the only message one receives is sex! And this is called animalism! What happen to the dignity that Allah gives us as sons of Adam?

In his tour de force “Sea Without Shore: A Manual of the Sufi Path,” Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller conveyed us a warning from Hajji Baba concerning this reality of our modern society and its imminent danger for the survival of human race by stating:

“Sexual license and the ‘virtual license’ of cyber-porn encouraged by purblind myth of ‘personal freedom’ in our modern society is a viral infection in the body of mankind. It produces utterly selfish men and women who lack the patience to have and care for families sufficient in size and psychic stability to maintain a people’s survival, leading humankind to an evolutionary dead end.”

Moreover the Wise Spiritual Guide and philosopher went on and tells us in the same book that:

“Where there is no respect, there is nothing any woman would want to regard as a man, making friendship and intimacy impossible. Time alone will tell how love or trust or marriage can exist between a woman and a man for whom her respect is absolutely zero. The northern peoples of the world appear threatened today by nothing if not this, a ‘victimless’ crime that merely extinguishes whole races.”

We have been warned! My brothers and sisters, and if we really care for our survival and the future generations to come, we need to raise awareness and strive together to halt this corrupted, “spiritual genocidal” and “victimless criminal” global secular culture of our time.

In the next articles to come, I will try to elaborate on some practical psychological self-awareness and spiritual approaches that will inshallah help us to overcome impure thoughts, temptations, lustful thoughts and compulsive behaviours to attain the pleasure and closeness of Allah. To be continued….

 “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” (Quran 2:32)

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