Temptations and Ways to Resist Them
Every believer have to find the path of Sirat-al-mustakim (the straight path) to success in worldly life and the life after this.
The path itself is straight and clear. But there are more and more dead ends put in our path by Satan, until it ends up looking like a complex barrier puzzle.
Temptation is a universal experience. You may not find any human or even animals who have no temptation. Every single person commits sins—yes, even the religious person at the masjid with a long beard, and the straight-A student who comes from a good family. Even Adam and Hawa (peace be upon them) were tempted and persuaded by Satan to eat from the tree. And they are some of the best humans to have existed.
Attitudes towards sins differ from person to person. Some people rely too heavily on Allah’s mercy, to the point that they think it is not a big deal to commit sins. While others despair after committing sins and think they will never be forgiven. But this both approach is wrong.
You have to remember that, Islam is a religion of perfect balance. We have to rely on Allah’s mercy but only after we have sinned. Not when we are planning or actively committing a sin. So, repentance means feeling ashamed, asking forgiveness from Allah and intending never to do it again.
Sometimes avoiding to commit a certain sin can seem like an impossible task. The concept of ‘temptation’ comes from here. The sins that we commit that are most alluring to us or that are hardest to resist.
For example, a person might be more prone to lying, lewdness or showing off, depending on his personality. It may be hard to resist these areas of weakness, but not impossible. Keep in mind that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us that the best of human are those who repent for their sins.
There is no doubt about this phrase, prevention is better than cure. That means, rather than ending up in a tough situation, it’s better to just avoid paths that lead to sin at first.
Here are some tips that may help you to resist temptation and avoid sins:
1. Keep Good Company
I cannot stress this enough. It is also the advice of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). If you have good company who practice Islam in their life and have good relationship with Allah, you are more likely to do the same.
The opposite is also true. In that if you have friends whodon’t care about religion or shamelessly commit sins, you have to end up following their path. For example, if your friends enjoy backbiting, you might end up doing it while you are in their company.
2. Remember Death Often
This may sound morbid. Most people avoid talking about death because they think it is a frightening and depressing topic. As a Muslim, we are advised to do the exact opposite. In fact, we are encouraged to think of death often, because it keeps us from chasing our temptations and forgetting the hereafterlife. Remembering death reminds us the ultimate return to our Creator.
3. Engage in More Worship
This might seem like common sense but it may be tough to do. Praying daily 5 prayers on time, doing willful fasts, reading Quran- all of these things require discipline, dedication and sacrifice.
This doesn’t mean that the people who spend more time on worshiping Allah are sinless. But if we make intention to engage more in worship for the sake of strengthening our faith, this will help keep us away from sins InshaAllah.
These are just a few tips based on experience. You have to remember staying away from temptation and sin is not easy; but it is also rewarding in both this life and the next.
May Allah make us of those who are sincere in faith and stay away from temptation.Ameen.