What can you do when struggling with desires, feeling the constant urge to go after whatever your heart desires, where it consumes your mind, distracting you from other important things in life.

What can we do to resist the temptation our desires? It’s Important to understand that Allah the Most High, created us all with the desire for wealth, sexual desires and the desire for family relations in general. It is not Haram (impermissible) to love wealth and Dunya, and it’s not a feeling that you can just get rid of. However, Allah guides us through the Quran and Sunnah on ways to manage and fulfil these desires in a Halal way, that is pleasing to Allah, and a way that will help you.

First let’s understand the Reality of this World as Allah, The Most High says:

“Wa ma alhayatu dunya ila mataul ghuruur”

وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ

“And what is the life of this world except a fleeting enjoyment.”

Quran 3,185

And the reality is, it is a fleeting enjoyment where we chase the things that we enjoy, but after a time all of those things leave us and the joy comes to an end.

It’s important to note that there’s actually nothing wrong with wanting the Dunya. In fact, it’s natural and the way that we have been created. The problem is, when you become consumed by it, and it begins to have a negative effect on you.

Why is that a problem? because it takes a hold of your heart and it drags you into the depths of the Dunya, where you lose sight of what you’re really here to do, why you were created.

That’s the casualty in this pursuit of fulfilling desires. We can end up wasting all efforts and time on fulfilling these base desires, and the actual purpose of life goes unfulfilled.

What every Muslim should strive for according to the Quran, is to become the best they can possibly be. Allah refers to this type of Muslim in the Quran as the Muttaqun. This type of Muslim fulfils their desires also but the focus of life is far greater than base desires. It is to fulfil your purpose in life and become the Best version of you.

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The ‘muttaqun’, they are the successful ones. The ‘muttaqun’, they are the elite Muslims who get the highest paradise in the hereafter whilst at the same time, they attain first in this life. Allah never asked you to give up the dunya.

Rather He subhanahu-wa-tala says:

“Al-malu-wal-banona-zenatul-hayatid-dunya”

“ Wealth and children are the adornments of this world.”

Surat Al Kahf

Allah has created wealth & children as an adornment

They are things that we’re attracted to in life. The wealth that we go after is everything that we desired. Wealth is everything from your money, your car, your house, your clothing, whatever it may be. In Islam all of this considered wealth. We adorn ourselves with these things to feel wealthy and comfortable in life. Allah is the One who created life this way.

Allah says also in this verse, that Children are an adornment, something that beautifies your life. Children bring fun, joy, love and laughter into our lives. The route to having children is of course, sexual desires.

Allah, instilled in us all sexual desires so that we would procreate and have children. The human race would continue generation after generation. Without sexual desire, we would become extinct and so Allah made this the object of human desire.

Ok so, we all want for wealth and children but this desire can really consume your life if you let it get out of control. The key is to control these desires and to resist excess desires. In other words, resist greed.

So, Allah, The Most High tells us very clearly:

“Wamain-yuka shuha-nafsihi-faulaika-humul-mufleehun”

“and whoever is saved from their own greed, then indeed they are the successful ones.”

وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُون

Surat Al Hashr,9

The world and anything in it can become the object of desires and we’ve already established that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless you seek impermissible ways of fulfilling your desires.

How Do You Save Yourself from Greed?

The best way to save yourself from love of wealth and Dunya, and is to set your heart free from this greed by Giving from what you Love and desire. This is explained to us in this verse where Allah says:

“Wa anfiqu khairan le anfusikum”

“And spend because that is what is best for you.”

وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْرًا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ

Surat At-Taghaabun,16

If you’re someone who like to watch, this is a quick video where I go into this subject and the meaning of the Quranic verses surrounding this topic:

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How Do You Save Yourself from Greed?

The best way to save yourself from love of wealth and Dunya, and is to set your heart free from this greed by Giving from what you Love and desire. This is explained to us in this verse where Allah says:

“Wa anfiqu khairan le anfusikum”

“And spend because that is what is best for you.”

وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْرًا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ

Surat At-Taghaabun,16

Giving away what you love unties the wealth from your heart. And spending in this verse means spending in charity, not on yourself.

To become the best you, or one of the ‘Muttaqun’, you have to have the characteristic of giving, and here Allah informs us that spending in charity is better for us if only we understood.

By giving away what you love, you weaken the power that thing has over you. It’s the opposite action of the Greed. In order to set yourself free from love of wealth, give in charity and you will become free.

Charity doesn’t have to be a lot, but it has to be enough that you Soul is trying to stop you, and you exercise resistance against those desires and just give anyway. The more you do this, the more you set yourself free from love of wealth and dunya.

How to Control Sexual Desires

As we’ve already established it’s a natural inclination that we all have. There are two ways to deal with sexual desire according to the guidance of Allah and his Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). One is Marriage and the other is Controlling your eyes.

Sounds too simplistic, but they are both the most powerful ways to control it. These urges do not disappear, but you fulfil them in a Halal way through marriage or you weaken them by controlling what you look at.

To weaken your desires and get them under control is the most powerful tool for both married and unmarried people. When you look at the opposite gender and see something that arouses your desires, that image your eye captured, is like a seed in your heart.

When you remember that image, its as though you are watering the seed, and it begins to grow. If you can prevent having that image in your mind in the first place, then you prevent those desires from growing.

This may sound very theoretical,  but I suggest you actively force yourself to control your gaze for the next 30 days. Every time you see something you shouldn’t be looking at, remind yourself that Allah made this haram for you.

Look away, and don’t look back. Take yourself out of that situation if need be. If you do this for 7 days, you will insha’Allah feel much happier. Your desires will start to weaken and insha’Allah come under your control.

Don’t underestimate this, as it will be your number one strategy in controlling and curbing sexual desires insha’Allah.

If on the other hand, you continue to look at what you shouldn’t, then that urge will become stronger until it consumes your mind. That’s a terrible situation, but again you can bring it back to manageable levels by immediately exercising the lowering of your gaze.

By the way, this includes looking at your social feeds, movies, magazines and anywhere where you see the opposite sex.

Just try it, insha’Allah you’ll see how powerful it is.

Important Question to Ask yourself

When it comes to wealth, are you giving or are you always taking? Do you give a lot in voluntary charity?  

If you’re always taking from the world, always looking to feed your own desires, isn’t it time that we change this? You have the power to control your desires, all you have to do is become a giving person.

When you give from what you love, then that act will set you free. And that’s what we’re looking for, to have highest level of Iman, and become from the best of people, the Muttaqun.

The Muttaqun are the best of the Muslims, those who strive to better themselves every day. They will also be the people of Al Firdous, the highest level of Paradise.

If you’re wondering how to become of the Muttaqun, check out this Free e-Course where I cover the Quranic lessons on how to become the best insha’Allah.

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  • ​Quranic guidance on Optimising Your Life
  • ​Become the Best version of​ your​self this Month
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