Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Reality (Waqi’) and the Concept (Mafhoom) are what agitates the Instincts

The following is the translation of a chapter from the Arabic book 'Al-Fikr al-Islami' (The Islamic Thought) by Sheikh Mohammad Mohammad Ismael Abduh, an Assistant Professor at the Egyptian University (now known as Cairo University) in the past.

The instinct is different from the organic need, though each of them is  natural life energy. The organic need requires inevitable satisfaction, and man dies if it is not satisfied. This is different to the instinct, which only requires satisfaction; and if it was not satisfied; man becomes worried, but he does not die, he rather remains alive. So, if man did not eat or answer his natural call he dies, but if he did not satisfy his instinct he does not die. If he did not have a sexual communication with a woman or did not pray he does not die, because the instinct does not need inevitable satisfaction. Moreover, the organic need is agitated for satisfaction from inside by itself, and it is stirred for satisfaction from outside. This is different to the instinct, it is never agitated from inside, and the feeling for need of satisfaction does not occur except by a external motive. If there is anything that agitates it from outside it is stirred, and the feeling that requires satisfaction exist. If there is nothing outside to provoke it, it remains latent, and there would be no feeling for satisfaction. Thus, hunger comes from inside naturally, and it does not need an external motive to exist. Then the feeling that requires satisfaction for the organic need comes from man himself, so he feels with hunger, even if there is nothing from outside that made it happen. However, the external motive might agitate the hunger. So the pleasant food might stir the feeling of hunger; and the talk about the pleasant food might also stir the feeling of hunger. While the sexual feeling is not agitated from itself at all; it rather needs something from outside to provoke it. Thus, the feeling that requires the satisfaction of the instinct does not arise from man himself at all; and man does not feel it unless there is an external motive that agitates it. So, there will be no wish for sexual communication, nor a feeling for that unless man saw a tangible reality that initiates this feeling; or a person spoke before him about some realities that agitate such feeling; or some meanings came to his mind, which initiated some concepts that agitate this feeling. So, unless there is a tangible reality or thought, this feeling can’t be agitated. Therefore, the presence of instinct does not create by itself worry in man. It is rather the agitation of the feeling that requires satisfaction that causes the worry when satisfaction is not attained. If there were no feeling for satisfaction for the absence of what provokes it, then there will never be worry. Therefore, there is no worry for man due to the lack of satisfying his sexual instinct; and there will be no suppression (of it) if there were no reality or a thought that stirs it. So, it is foolishness and short sight to place amidst people the thoughts that give concepts about sex like the books and plays about sex. It is also stupidity and short sight to make room for initiating the tangible reality that agitates the reproduction instinct through the free mixing of men with women. This is because that means creating that which provokes the sexual feeling; and creating the worry until this feeling is satisfied; then creating such reality which provokes it again, so it is agitated for satisfaction always. Thus he becomes preoccupied with work to achieve satisfaction, or worried when he does not achieve such satisfaction. This is indeed the intellectual decline and the permanent distress. Therefore, the free mixing of men with women is the most harmful matter on society, for it turns the effort for satisfaction and keeps the mind busy with the concepts of satisfaction, or place man in permanent worry. The wide circulation of the sexual books is also one of the most harmful matters on society.

Islam came with concepts that organise the sex in a positive way by the system of marriage and whatever expands from it relates to it. It came to prevent between man and whatever provokes the feeling of reproduction and does not achieve its satisfaction; and between man and whatever might make him use most of his time in thinking or in work to satisfy the reproduction instinct. So it prohibited the khulwah between the man and the woman that is not maharram (ie, marriageable) other than his wife. This is because it provokes the reproduction instinct and he can’t satisfy it according to the system he embraces. This would cause worry for him, or indecently violate the system. The evidence of this prohibition came clear in the authentic hadeeth, where Rasool Allah (saw) said:

”No one of you should be alone with a woman unless (she is) with somebody mahram (not marriageable to her).”

He (saw) also said:

“No man, from this day, should be alone secretly with hidden (woman) except with one man or two with him.”

In another hadeeth, he (saw) explained that the shaytan tempts the man and the woman in case of khulwa, for it will be the third with them.

Rasool Allah (saw) said: ”No man is alone with a woman, then indeed shaytan is their third.”

Therefore, men must remove away from what incites the reproduction instinct and what provokes their feelings, in response to the order of Islam.


khalid bin waleed said...

Jazakallah Khair
Very important subject Indeed.

My Ques. is...
what about other instincts like reverence instinct? Are they also need agitation from outside to get satisfied?

Islamic Revival said...

Yes it also requires agitation, this is explained further in the following article