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Do not suppress your desires, but channel them the right way

There’s a reason why God never taught humans to run away from desires. Instead, desires are simply mechanisms of survival, and when used in the right way, can bring us closer to God.

Have you ever thought about why paradise is used to reward humans for good behavior? And why hell is used as a punishment for bad behavior?

It is because God understands humans. God knows what happens if humans were to go against their primal nature. So what will happen if humans are supposed to act unselfishly? We can see what will happen from history.

During the rule of the Soviet Union, the people were forced to do charity work (which then no longer means charity because charity by definition is voluntary). This means that farmers had to farm not for profit but because the nation needed it. The farmer only gets what he needs to survive without the profit.

This leads to a lack of motivation for the farmers to do work, which leads to decreasing productivity. Finally, there was mass famine because not enough food was produced.

On the other hand, the economy in the West was flourishing because of capitalism. As a result, they won the war because humans were motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

Lesson: Desires, pain, and pleasures are essential to humans and humanity.

Now here comes the big question.

If you suppress your desires, how would you be motivated to enter paradise? You might answer that “by suppressing desires we become strong enough to overcome the temptations of evil.”

Now here comes the bigger question.

If God baits His servants to do good by leveraging human desires, why can’t we bait ourselves to do good by leveraging our desires as well?

Just like how the desire to eat motivates us to hunt for food, love can be channeled into making a strong and religious family. The desire for accumulation can be channeled into doing good deeds. The desire for wealth can be channeled to free the slave, feed the poor, and finance your community’s defense.

My point is, you are most successful when you understand the dynamics of human nature. How to make use of it, and how to tame it too.

That said, we have to find a way to desire and love God more than anything else so that the temptations of evil have a lesser effect.

So whatever thing you are given, that is only a provision of this world’s life, and what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and rely on their Lord.

Quran, 42:36

This is exactly why God taught us to remember Him at all times so that we develop our love for Him.

Suppressing your desires will make you weak

No one has ever become wealthy just by saying they do not want to become wealthy. This is a fact in the study of the human psyche. If a person wants something bad enough, he will do anything until he gets it.

On the other hand, if he is complacent, he will not have the motivation to get it. In the end, he becomes weak and is destroyed.

This is what evolution is, where the strong will win, and the weak will lose. And the strong wins because they have enough desire to win (evolution is not an atheist concept, Darwinism is).

Having the strongest desire to enter paradise and its glory, will undoubtedly make you the best in your deeds.

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