Self-Examination and Stipulation and Guarding Against Evil.
(Musharatah and muraqabah means)
Self-conditioning, contemplation and self-examination are essential pre-requisites for a seeker (mujahid) of truth who is battling with his self. Self-conditioning or stipulation means binding oneself with the resolve not to do anything against God’s commands. This is called musharatah, such as `I will not violate the Law of God today.’ It is very easy to stick to such condition for one day. Try to resolve, abide by your own resolve, and experiment, and you will see that how easy this task is. Satan, the cursed creature, and his legions may magnify the volume of the task in your eyes, but these are the guiles played by the cheat. Curse, and drive the Devil and evil thoughts from within the depths of the heart and the domain of your mind. Experiment for one day and you will verify how easy this task is.
After stipulating about his acts, man should enter this stage. It is essential that throughout the period of stipulation the mujahid struggling against his own self should constantly concentrate upon his actions. If any time any idea of violating Divine commands occurs to him, he should know that this idea has been instilled into his mind by the Satan and his allies, who want to deter him from his good resolutions. He ought to curse them, and seek God’s compassionate protection, and banish those villainous ideas from the realm of his heart, and tell the Satan that this day also he has to abide by the condition imposed upon his own self that he would not go against God’s commands, as He is the One Who has provided him with all the excellences and bounties. It is He, Who has given him the riches of health, security and peace year after year in this world. In recognition of all God’s graces it is not sufficient even if he serves Him till eternity, let alone a trivial thing like this. I hope, that Satan will be driven away, and the Divine forces will prevail. I assure you that this practice of self-criticism and self-examination would not hinder your day-to-day activity. I advise you to remain in the same state of mind till night-the time for introspection and inner deliberation-and evaluate your deeds of the whole day. This is the time to see whether you have been honest to the Giver of all, to whom everybody is accountable. If you have been faithful to Him, you should be thankful to Him, that He has made you successful in your intentions. And realize that you have gone a step forward in His direction and became an object of His attention. God willing, God will help you in performing all worldly and religious duties, and will diminish your pains for the next day. If you repeat this many times, it is imminent that you will be accustomed to the acts of piety. You will see then that all this does not require you to make hard efforts. You will also notice that obedience to God gives ample pleasure. Though this world is not where one is immediately rewarded, yet faithfulness to God and abstaining from sins is fruitful in this world also. God never entrusts His creatures with cumbersome and heavy tasks which are beyond their powers, but it is the Satan and his allies who magnify them in your view. God forbid, if there are any lapses on your part, ask God’s forgiveness, and beseechingly implore Him that you will be more careful in future, so that the Almighty may throw open the doors of His grace and compassion to you, and may guide you in the straight path.
Syed mohammad m Abidi