In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
The Oath of Servitude
As you might know, the aim of man’s creation according to the divine schools is worshipping and servitude; as we read in the Holy Quran:
“I have not created the Jins and Humans except to worship me.”1
But the fact is that on the path toward servitude there are obstacles such as lusts and Satan’s seduction. Man is placed in a world full of strong and deceiving desires; in every step one might be caught in a trap, and in every thought or look one might face a new threat, as is mentioned by the Quran: Beautified for mankind is love of the joys (that come) from women and offspring; and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded (with their mark), and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent goal in life.2
On the other hand Satan, the eternal and sworn enemy of man who explicitly has announced his decision for the debauchment of all the humans, saying:
He said: "Because you have thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on Your straightway;
Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor will You find, in most of them, gratitude (for Your mercies) 3
Therefore we humans are prone to danger by our desire-ridden selves and the deceiving Satan, and confronting these two factors, which are obstacle to servitude, we need remedy and strategy4. In this respect the followers of the Imams (PBUT) always sought remedy. For example, we can point to a man who wrote a letter to Imam Javad (PBUH) and complained about the seductions that came to his head. Imam Javad (PBUH) wrote in response:
“Truly if the Almighty Allah wills He will protect you and will not allow for the domination of Satan upon you. Some complained to the prophet from the seductions that passed through their hearts so that they preferred if the wind would blow them away or be torn to pieces rather than speaking out those seductions. The Prophet of Allah (PBUH&HP) said: Did you understand this (that the seductions are heavy for you)? They said: Yes. He replied: I swear to the one who holds my life, this is in fact the pure faith. So whenever you experienced these seductions say: we believed in Allah (SWT) and his Prophet, and there is no obstacle (to sin) and no ability (to obey) except from Allah.”5
Such spontaneous temptations are unfavorable as they are mutually exclusive with our faith. In such case one must recourse to Allah and like other times one must have vigilance on practicing the duties and not fall short of them. Taking into account the advice of Imam Javad (PBUH) one of the solutions that the Imams (PBUT) have introduced for confronting the dangers of life, is to recourse to Allah’s infinite power. If man comes across a wild animal he will look for an escape or a mean to reach security; confronting the wild animal is not a solution. The wisdom for recourse to Allah is the same; one must recourse to the Almighty Allah against the Satan’s attack.
In other words, for overcoming the obstacles to servitude in the ups and downs of life, having faith in Allah and His prophet and the oath of servitude and recourse to Allah and asking help from Allah is prudent, for all power and determination comes from Him, and it is Him who is the absolute able.
Finally, we should emphasis that this solution, like other solutions, needs vigilance and continuity and probable failures must not make the seeker desperate.
Selection taken from the book The Guiders to the Path of Light, Life of Imam Mohammad Taqi (PBUH) by Ayatullah Sayyed Mohammad Taqi Modarrasi (with minor changes)
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1. Holy Quran, 51:56
2. Holy Quran, 3:14
3. Holy Quran, 7:16-17
4. Obstacles in front of mankind is rooted from wisdom that essentially examines one’s capabilities and provides the ground for growth.
5. Usool Kafi, Vol. 4, Baab Waswasa (Tempations), Narration# 4