Control Yourself

Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “The strong man is not
one who is good at wrestling, but the strong man is one who controls himself in a fit of rage.”
(Sahih Bukhari–6114, Sahih Muslim–2609)


Dear brothers and sisters,
Our whole religion is based around self-control. One of the reasons we pray five times a day is to gain discipline. We fast in the month of Ramadan in order to learn self-restraint. We partake in Hajj, partly, to practice fortitude. We lower our gaze to resist temptation. Even the pursuit of wealth is not by any means necessary: we are stringent about examining the how and why of whatever we earn and spend. We have to regulate what we consume. We have to regulate our speech. We have to constantly exert control over our thoughts and feelings. We have to control our anger, our jealousy; any feelings of pride or arrogance. We constantly have to check our actions against our intentions. If we learn self-control, we can master anything.
In the past few decades, self-restraint has resumed its once-forgotten place at the centre of psychology. Dr. Ellen Galinsky, in a review of thousands of studies, concluded that there are seven essential life skills that every child needs in order to reach his or her fullest potential. The top entry on her list is self-control. More recently, one of the world’s most prolific psychologists, Dr. Roy Baumeister of Florida State University published a book entitled Willpower that basically summarized decades of his and his colleagues’ research in the field. What he essentially found is that success, no matter how you define it, often boils down to two things: intelligence and self-control.
Science is only now uncovering the reality that our religion has taught all along. The secret to success is discipline and self-control. We have always known that the ability to make choices is what separates us from animals. Now we also now that the ability to self-regulate is what separates average people from the truly remarkable. This is the kind of discipline that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught us by this hadith.

Jobayer Al Mahmud, Student, Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey

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