What can we do to eliminate the feeling of obstinacy ? Is there a special prayer that can make someone give up obstinacy ?

Details of the Question
What can we do to eliminate the feeling of obstinacy? Is there a special prayer that can make someone give up obstinacy? What are the inborn characteristics of man and how should he use them?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We do not know a special prayer that can make someone give up obstinacy.  

Instead of eliminating a nice feeling like obstinacy, it is better to channel it into good ways. For instance, “I will never skip a prayer; I will never be cross with anyone”.

What are the inborn characteristics of man and how should he use them?

Man has thousands of feelings. We ask you to refer to the large books explaining those characteristics. It is possible to use a feeling in both a good way and a bad way.

1- Each feeling that has been given to man does not aim to take man away from Allah. On the contrary, their aim is to make man closer to Allah and to improve him. Those who do not know this aim claim that man must be freed of those characteristics. As a matter of fact, something like that is impossible for some people.

However, most of our scholars think that those feelings were given to us to make us improve. It is necessary to turn these feelings away from the ephemeral and unimportant things and to direct them toward permanent things.

For instance, the feeling of thinking about the future is present in everybody. A person can only think about the world life, which is not under guarantee. And he can work to obtain it. However, that feeling was not given to man for it. Then, it is necessary to direct that feeling toward a more valuable thing. It should be thinking about the hereafter. Instead of being in a situation like that which will make himself responsible, man should aim to be a beloved slave of Allah.

Yes, man has the feeling of obstinacy. When he devotes that feeling to the worldly affairs, he will insist on doing unimportant things. And, He will receive sins. However, if he uses that feeling in a way that Allah wants, he will transform it to worshipping as follows: A Muslim will say, with this feeling, “I am obstinate; I will never miss a morning prayer; I will never be angry with any Muslim; I will worship such and such times every day.” 

Ambition also has two similar levels. One of them leads man to sins, the other to worshipping. Allah does not like the part that is related to sins; if man uses it in the good way, it will be welcomed. For instance, a person is always very ambitious and tries to obtain money and property but does not pay zakah (alms); that feeling (ambition) will lead him to destruction. If a person does not avoid doing anything in order to obtain the post that he targets and if he becomes so ambitious as to sacrifice his holy things, that feeling of ambition is not good for him. Allah damns the person who has that feeling. However, the feeling of ambition will be the sultan among all feelings if a person uses that feeling as follows: “I will use it to save the belief of people, to be useful for people, to elevate my post in the hereafter and to reach the consent and pleasure of Allah.”

From this point of view, we can say that every feeling and trait given to man is good and nice.

2- In a sound hadith, the following is stated, “Every newborn child is born on the innate nature (Islam). Then his parents change him into Christianity, Judaism, or Magianism” (and today into ……..isms).

a. Every person is spotless, clean and suitable for belief and Islam in terms of his/her nature.

He is spotless, clean and suitable for belief and Islam in terms of his/her nature, that is creation; like a spotless white sheet of paper on which everything can be written or a tape on which nothing has been recorded before, paste that can be shaped easily, mineral ore ready to be cast or a sapling that can be bent…  

Pure and clear spring water is clean in terms of its source and nature; it is appropriate to assume a state that is very useful and healing; or it can be turned into a different state by being mixed with dust and soil. Similarly, a newborn child is apt to accept the truths based on the laws of nature and creation and to refuse elusiveness and heresy. Therefore, whatever you tell the children aged between 5 and 15, they record it in their memories and place it in their hearts on behalf of belief and Islam. For instance, when you say, “A village cannot be without a headman; a pin cannot be without a master; then, that huge universe cannot be without an owner; its owner is Allah”, the receiver in front of you is so spotless and he/she is in such a suitable frequency that he will record anything you say without any interference. The vacuum of creation, the magnetic field of nature attracts the message. We see such faces that we say, “that person has a clean nature, high ethics; he is an appropriate and positive person“.

b. Clean and benign nature can be contaminated and blunted by unbelief and sins.

By going into unbelief and denial, man closes his eyes to the universal evidences, suppresses his conscience, blunts his nature; he deprives himself of all of the sources of light and buries himself in darkness; thus, he smears the clean nature with black stains that Allah dislikes. However, man preserves his nature, which is clean, with belief and deeds and maintains his uprightness. Then, belief is original and unbelief is incidental. The nature of man, which is clear in the beginning, is contaminated afterwards. If the original state of the nature is not preserved, supported and if necessary measures are not taken, a person can become a Christian, Judaist or Magian, or any member of the currents of unbelief that can be thought of.   

c. When the clean nature is spoiled by being contaminated, man obtains a second nature. 

The young bird that comes out of the egg is a bird even if it cannot fly. It is apt to fly naturally. When we see it run, spring and try to fly in the period of growing up, we say, “this bird is going to fly”. However, if an external cause interferes and eliminates the bird’s ability to fly, the bird cannot fly. Unbelief is like that, too; breaking the wings of a bird that is apt to fly or crippling it means blunting its nature and making it unable to fly with a second nature. A person whose nature is blunted due to the misuse of the will, external reasons and motives obtains a second nature, contaminating his clean and benign nature. We say, “this is a bird; it can fly” when we look at the first state of the bird; similarly, we say, “this is a Muslim; he/she will be a Muslim, for a newborn child”. However, some adverse winds blow toward that child in the course of time; and if he uses his will to help those winds, then, his extremities are broken; the seed of his creation is buried in the darkness of unbelief; it cannot receive sufficient heat, light and rain to germinate, burgeon and become a tree that can bear fruit. Then, he obtains a new nature in the darkness.

d. Two issues related to destiny will always come before us about the topics that we have mentioned above: external causes and will. 

Every newborn child is born on the innate nature (Islam) but the will uses the external effects like parents, friends, the environment, the community and school favorably or unfavorably and interferes the nature positively or negatively. In the destiny, all of them are taken into consideration and that person is recorded as sa’id (happy: Paradise-bound) because he will preserve his nature or as shaqi (unhappy: Hell-bound) because he will blunt his nature and plunge into unbelief.

3- Man has been created for some lofty aims like the following: To use the attributes like knowledge, will, sight and hearing that have been added to the human spirit as a divine grace as a means of knowing the attributes of Allah. To evaluate in a good way those windows of knowledge that are opened in his spirit to know the divine attributes.

- To use the faculty of the mind in the scope of wisdom, the faculty of the lust in the scope of chastity and the faculty of the wrath in the scope of heroism. 

- To love only Allah and to love the other creatures on behalf of Him and because they are mirrors of His names, because they indicate His perfection and because they inform us of His beauty.

- To have the consciousness that “man has been created appropriately for all kinds of worshipping” and to try to benefit from the bounties of all kinds of worshipping in the best way.

- To turn the faces of the heart, secret, spirit and even the mind and other faculties that have been given to him to the eternal life. Thus, to keep each of them busy with the worshipping peculiar to them. 

- To open one of the treasures of the mercy of Allah with each of his feelings and to benefit from it in the best way and to give thanks generally.

- To meditate on the power of Allah, by taking his weakness, the mercy of Allah by taking his poverty and the perfection of Allah by taking his deficiency into consideration. To know that his Lord has endless perfection, mercy and power and that his own soul has endless weakness, poverty and deficiency.

- To stand in the presence of Allah by cleaning his spirit from sins and his body from all kinds of dirtiness and spots.

- To present himself in the best way for the observance of the angels and spiritual beings since he is the perfect work of Allah.

Man has been created for the lofty aims like the ones above but many people have forgotten about them and try to live a comfortable life in the world by being heedless of those aims. Although he has the ability to represent the worshipping of the whole universe, he tries to win the courtesy of a group of people around him and he makes it his aim to make himself liked by them.

After a while, he and the other people pass away and all of those aims are buried in the ground together with his body and disappear.

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