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Thought Process and The Effects on Character Building

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 9th February 2018 18:43


(salam)


The following was written by a dearest elder, someone very close to my heart who choses to remain anonymous.


(bism1)




It was sometime ago, I came across a note written by Hazrat Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (rah) , where he had written some points for himself during his course of sulook.

Amongst other things, there was one particularly interesting line :

“Talking to self, in mind,is one of the worst kind of mistakes”.


The message struck me because I realised I was not able to stop the non-stop, almost continuous,noise within my my mind. (I am still not able to do that), and secondly, I could not grasp why it was so significant to ‘stop talking to self? I decided to discuss it with some friends and try to find out the wisdom behind this advise.

The result of my little research were like this :

Thought is the root of all mental process. They control our life, mould our character, and shape our personality.The body follows the mind. We live in a world of thoughts.

First is thought,then there is the expression of that thought into words and actions (and in the final analysis,we will be made responsible for our actions,good or bad).

If we think rightly and keep our intentions pure, we will speak rightly and act rightly. Speech and action simply follow the thoughts.

This way we can shape our character in any way we like. Better and pious thoughts bring better actions. Every man lives in his own ‘thought world’ and perceive everything according to his own imagination,his own attitudes.

Friends and enemies,pleasure and pain, Shukr and Sabr,self respect and pride, Jealousy and vice...take any good or bad attribute and we find the roots of it in our mind. We live in a chain of Desire -> Thought -> Action.

A Desire stimulates a Thought which is then embodies into an Action ( good or bad).

contd..
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 9th February 2018 18:51
(bism1)



That is why, if we keep entertaining Evil or useless thoughts they impede our spiritual growth by keeping us away from positive and useful thoughts. Thoughts gain strength by repetition. If we entertain an impure thought or good thought once, this impure thought or good thought has a tendency to recur, hence by entertaining one impure thought all sorts of impure thoughts join together and attack us.

If we entertain any good thought, all good thoughts join together to help us. If we try to keep our mind busy with divine thoughts, Dhikr,recitation of Qur'an or thoughts of hereafter, similar thoughts will come together and with practice become our second nature leading to a permanent state of attachment to Allah سبحانه وتعالى .

Most of us live in a busy world having no or little time for intense Mujahida, I wonder if by simply changing our mind we can change our bad attributes into good ones and try to establish a long lasting connection with our creator سبحانه وتعالى . After all Hatred, Anger, Pride, Greed, Grabbing, Possessiveness, Vanity, Delusion, Infatuation, Arrogance etc, are all ‘only Thoughts’ to begin with.... And similarly Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, Patience, Humility, Generosity, Contentment, Nobility of heart etc are also ‘Only Thoughts’..

Hazrat Shaikh Ibrahim Ibn Adham (rah) was once informed about some commodity that its price has gone up. He replied : “Don’t buy it, leave its desire. What can be cheaper than the thing you don’t even want to buy ?”

Please keep in mind: Desire leads to Thought which leads to Action

Contd..
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 9th February 2018 18:56

(bism1)



Why do we do backbiting ? It’s root cause seems to be حب جاه or “love of Honour, Glory and High standing”, almost always associated with Pride, Arrogance and Self importance. One can only do backbiting of others if one considers himself clean and superior.

In addition backbiting is done only when one is angry with the one whose backbiting is being done.

Now, if we think carefully, the love of Glory, Self importance and Anger..all are Mental phenomenon.

A controlled mind would have thought of the negative consequences of backbiting in Dunya and Akhira. He would have known that the love of glory and self importance is only in his mind, in reality How can an ordinary mortal consider himself ‘Important’ ?

The cure of backbiting and all other problems associated with tongue also originates in mind :

“Restraint” and “Control” over what we utter. If we pause a little bit before we speak and weigh the negative results of our words in dunya and akhira, InshaAllah we will speak only what is Necessary and keep quiet in situations where we are not sure about what to say.

Contd..
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 9th February 2018 19:01
(bism1)



A little Muraqaba of this Ayat is most helpful :

‎مَّا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ


[Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it)]



Extravagance, for example, is going out of limits in spending. It is apparently a worldly issue but it’s negative effects reaches akhirat.

‎إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ



(Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils).



The root cause is ‘undue interest/ desire in spending on worldly things for pleasure’.

Our needs can either be necessary or unnecessary. Spending is necessary only if by not spending we attract any harm in dunya and akhira. Any spending other than that is for pleasure or comfort. There seems to be no limits to such ambitions and those who succumb to such desires are in danger of ultimately start earning Haram

‎الا ماشاء الله.. The reason being, Ambitions have no end while one's resources to earn are limited.

contd..
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 9th February 2018 19:04
(bism1)



Again the cure is a little control on desires and our way of thinking. We are not in Dunya on a pleasure trip.

All we need is to earn halal and spend it on what is essential. We must keep thinking before spending :

“ Do we really need to spend here ? Will it cause us any harm if we don’t spend here ?”

If not sure, we must wait and consult someone more experienced. We must minimise the love of worldly pleasures, because we don’t have to stay here forever. Let us think if we are on a trip to another city staying in a hotel. Would we like to spend our hard earned money on decorating the hotel room knowing fully well we shall be leaving it the next morning ?

Similarly being ‘Niggardly’, ‘Miserly’ and ‘Penny-pinch’ is also the result of ‘love of Dunya’. One fails to spend even where necessary and due ( like in case of zakat).

duas

wa Assalam..
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 9th February 2018 21:58
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 10th February 2018 00:24
Do desires create thoughts, or do thoughts increase desire or is it both feed of each other?
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 10th February 2018 09:15
(bism1)


(salam)

By the same elder..

Desire comes first or thought ?




If we carefully analyse, our brain is only a processing machine. It processes the ‘information’ gained through senses, categorises it, puts it in relevant files like a very advanced computer, and bring it to surface as we need. Obviously it is not as simple but more or less the same.

The center where desires ‘originate’ seems to elsewhere in our Batin called NAFS. This discussion has been kept simple and non- philosophical. The purpose is to understand how we can mould our own thoughts for character building, how to use thoughts for creating and establishing a connection with Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

Like every thing else, our thought process is a blessing of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and should be used for Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

We will be made responsible for ALL our faculties on the day of judgment :


‎وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا




wa Asslam..
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 10th February 2018 09:25

بسم الله الرحمن اللرحيم



Summarizing above.. Thoughts are like Rain which falls on the barren land below called Nafs.. where sprouts of Desire germinate.. which when nurtured.. grows.. and grows leading one day to bear fruits of action..

duas..

wa Assalam..
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