The Battle With Two Wolves

This is a story about an old man who explained to his young grandson one evening after prayers, about a battle that was going on inside himself.

The grandfather said, "My child, the battle inside me is between two wolves, one of whom is so evil, full of anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, hypocrisy, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is so good, full of rememberance of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, faith, taqwaa, joy, peace, love, compassion, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, and truthfulness."

The grandson pondered for a minute and then asked: "Grandfather, which wolf will win the battle?"

The grandfather replied simply, "The one I feed"

~ What the grandfather said is certainly food for thought ~

Imam Ibn ul-Qayyim al Jawziyyah's article entitled "The Ways of Satan in Leading Humans Astray"  explains that one of the ways in which Satan leads human beings astray is by 'feeding' them with  impressions of evil looking good. On this point, Ibn ul-Qayyim wrote the following:


Quote: "From his strategem is that he always bewitches the mind until he can deceive the person. No one is safe from his bewitching except whomsoever Allah wills. He makes good looking to him what harms him the most, until he imagines that it is the most beneficial act for himself. And he makes him flee from the most beneficial act until he thinks it is something harmful to him. Certainly, there is no god but Allah.


How many humans have been tested by such sorcery? How many hearts have been kept from Islam, faith and goodness (by such sorcery)? And how many support and present falsehood in the best form and hate truth and present it in the worst form (because of his deception)? And how much falseness is adorned and shown in a desirious manner to the alert? And how much falseness is spread among the wise?


Satan is the one who bewitches the mind until it follows different desires and various evil opinions. He makes them follow every path of misguidance. He leads them to actions, one after another, that cause their destruction. He makes appealing to them the worship of idols, the breaking of familial relationships, the killing of daughters, marrying one's mother and so on. And he promises them the victory of paradise with their infidelity, wickedness and acts of disobedience. He presents to them polytheism in the most honorable fashion. And he presents rejection of Allah's attributes, of His transcendence and of His speech in the guise of anti-anthropomorphism of Allah. He presents abandoning ordering good and eradicating evil in the guise of having mercy for others, behaving with others in a good manner, and applying the verse, "O believers, you are in charge of your own souls" (al-Maidah 105). And he presents turning away from what has come from the Messenger in the guise of blindly following the Imams (taqleed) and the sufficiency of following one who is more knowledgeable. And he presents hypocrisy and compromising with respect to Allah's religion in the guise of being flexible and mixing admirably with the people." - unquote.


In another of Imam Ibn ul-Qayyim al Jawziyyah's essays "Perfecting One's Character from "The Magnificent Journey," he explains three conditions needed to acquire good manners/character, i.e. proper nature, controlling one's nafs and sound knowledge. He wrote:

Quote: "The Prophet Sall Allahu `alayhi wa sallam used to make a number of supplications related to good character.

"O Allah, guide me to good character, none guides to good character but You..." (Muslim)

"O Allah, I seek refuge in you from bad character, deeds and desires." (at-Tirmidhee)

"O Allah, You perfectly created me, so perfect my character." (Ahmad)

"O Allah, I seek refuge in you from disability and laziness; from cowardice and avarice; from decrepitude and harshness; from negligence and impoverishment, from lowness and humiliation. And I seek refuge in You from poverty and disbelief; from sinfulness, disunity and hypocrisy; from notability and riyaa' (show off)..." (Ahmad, Maalik, Bazaar, Haithami and ibn `Abd al-Barr authenticated it).

Three Conditions to Acquire Excellent Manners

This is one example of the excellent manners with which Allah (ta`aala) has equipped his Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam). He described him as,

"Verily, You (Muhammad) are on an exalted standard on character." (Al Qalam 68:4)

`Aa'ishah, radhiallaahu `anhu, described him as, "His character was just (a reflection of) the Qur'aan." (Muslim, Aboo Daawood, Ahmad).

Such excellent character cannot be attained without three conditions:

1. The foundation must be good. If one has a rough and dry nature, it will be hard for him to submit to this (excellence of character) through knowledge, will, or practice. On the other hand, a mild and smooth nature will be ready and willing to receive the plowing and the seeds (to prepare it for character excellence).

2. The soul must be strong and capable of conquering calls of laziness, transgression, and desire. Those matters contradict perfection, and souls which cannot defeat them will always be defeated and conquered.

3. (One must possess) a discerning knowledge of the truth of matters, enabling one to put them in the rightful position, and to distinguish between flesh and cancer - between glass and jewels.

If these three qualities are present in a man, and Allah's facilitation helps him, then he will be among those whom the best (husnaa) has been decreed and for whom Allah's care has been secured" - unquote. (Published by QSS).

Now that you've finished reading these excellent and beneficial advice, 


 Which wolf would you feed?

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