How Can You Prevent Yourself From Cheating on Your Wife?
By Amr Khaled
• Does the instinct of loving oneself in humans always lead to selfishness?
• Why did God create us with this instinct?
• Does this instinct prevent us from sinning, or is it the one which urges us to sin?
We can find the answers for these questions in this conversation between Mr. Amr Khaled and Essam Elghazy who made the interview in 26/11/2003.
This is the conversation:
A lot of people do not understand the true meaning of self esteem and they do not know its important role in protecting them against sins, achieving success in life and winning God’s love! The preacher Amr Khaled says that self esteem is an instinct given to us by God to protect us from sinning and to keep us away from great sins. This is because the one who keeps self esteem hates to be scandalised and hates to be offended. Also the one who appreciates himself hates failure and tries to be successful to preserve his self esteem.
There is a question here: how come God honoured Man and ordered angels to prostrate to him and at the same time Man is offending himself and lives his whole life afraid of coming to terms with his sins?
How Do You Love Yourself? I asked Amr Khaled: can Man love himself without being selfish?
He answered: loving one’s self can mean that one appreciates himself and keeps self esteem. When God created Man, He created him with main instincts: these instincts are: eating and drinking, sex, self esteem and appreciating oneself. Every one of us is proud of his name and his achievements in life. At the same time everyone tries to escape from his faults and failures. Since everyone has this instinct, everyone tries to hide himself when he does a sin and hates to be scandalised if people knew about his sins as this offends him. Also, we all hate tale bearing and speaking about people in their absence because this offends us. Why do you think we all love success and hate failure? The main reason for this is that we have the instinct of self esteem and appreciating the self.
• Are there any scientific studies that prove Man’s love to himself?
Yes there are. In Europe, there were statistics about the most frequently used word on the phone. They put a thousand telephones under observation for this purpose. Thus they found out that this word is “I”. It is impossible that all those people are selfish. But in fact, those people want to fulfill their instinct of self esteem and self respect.
The Secret of Success and Uprightness
• Why has God created Man with this instinct? God has created Man with this instinct because He loves him. As long as Man has this instinct, then corruption will decrease because every human being tries to keep respect himself and to keep his self esteem and is afraid of scandal. Thus, he tries to keep away from sins. Man always tries to be respectful in front of his children. Thus, he tries to do his best so as that they will not see his sins. Man also avoids wrong deeds at work because he is afraid his colleagues and his manager will look down at him. But if Man was born without this instinct, then Man will commit sins easily and will say: what is it if I go to jail? What is it if people discover my sins? In this case, corruption will prevail in the society and the society will be lost.
Thus, this instinct urges us to hide our sins and by doing this, we preserve our society. Western society has the privilege of knowing the importance of this instinct more than us, the Eastern society. Thus, you are so precious and valuable. If you know the true value of the self, you would have never offended it.
The Shame of Sins:
• Why does Man commit sins although he possesses this instinct?
Psychologists believe that this happens once Man loses his self esteem. i.e. Man commits great sins when he loses his self esteem.
• Why are great sins called so? Great sins are the greatest things that can offend the human self and arouses God’s anger. Great sins expose Man and offend him, while God wants you to be honored. Great sins are called so because they offend the human self. People feel so disgusted when they see a drunken man vomiting or while urinating in the street. The one who commits the sin of adultery offends himself a great offense. Thus great sins are called so because it causes the greatest offence to the human self. The boy who steals money from his father, how does he feel while sitting amongst his family? Does he not feel offended within himself, even if his father does not know about what he did? In fact, I am addressing my words to the youth aged 16 years old and above, who dishonored themselves by doing this.
The Price of Treason
In fact we have many examples. One of these examples is the drug addicts who have dishonoured themselves and lost their self esteem by doing this. Another example is the Europeans on Saturday where they are drunk in the streets . You can also find advertisements on the walls saying: “Be a man and drink wine”. The concept of manhood for them is to offend your self. We also have the man who cheats on his wife. When he does this, he overacts in trying to gain her satisfaction. Thus, by doing this, he offends himself to hide his own sins. I know a married man who wants to commit all kinds of sins with women. For this purpose, he gave his wife the permission to do what she wants so that she may leave him to commit sins with women. Then one day, he found out that she turned to be the mistress of another man. He cried out of humiliation. It is you who humiliated yourself so your wife humiliated you. He told her family about her to make her a scandal and they divorced. Another example is the young man who drives and keeps on flirting with girls and ladies on his way. They insult him for this so he laughs. In fact this laugh is a feeling of humiliation and he tries to hide it through this vague smile.
Why Would You Humiliate Your Precious Self?
I knew a guy who used to flirt with girls. If one of the girls insulted him, he would drive so fast and then step on the brakes suddenly. In one of those times, the brother of one of those girls caught him. So he cried in great humiliation and said: "Please forgive me I will not do this again." I am telling you all this so that the youth will not humiliate their selves after being honoured by God.
The liar is a humiliated person and his humiliation is revealed when his lies are discovered. The girl who speaks about her friend on the phone in her absence, this girl becomes humiliated when her she is confronted with her friend whom she spoke about. The self is so precious, so you should never humiliate it. The thief who betrayed his partner and stole his money becomes humiliated when his theft is revealed. I know a trader who has a worker working for him. This worker started to steal from him and the trader felt suspicious. Thus, he asked one of his friends to go to the shop during his absence and to buy a lot of merchandise. Then, he asked him to come at night during his presence to give back all the merchandise he bought and to get back his money. The friend did that and the trader realized that the worker was really stealing. He knew it because he did not pay him the money of the merchandise that his friend bought during his absence. When his friend came again at night to give back the merchandise, the worker was completely humiliated.
Also the youth who do not lower their eyes and who go to the Mall to flirt with girls, these youth are humiliated. On the other hand, those who lower their eyes have self esteem and are honoured. Another example is the woman who accepted the fact of putting on very tight clothes or naked clothes when she goes out. The young men keep on flirting with her with very bad, humiliating words. This woman humiliated herself by doing this. You should not humiliate yourself by putting on such tight, indecent clothes.
The Fear of Scandal
Sometimes God keeps you away from the eyes of people while committing the sin. But after doing it, you live in great horror and guilt, and whenever the one whom you committed the sin against looks at you, you think that he has discovered your sin. This is because you have cheated him and the cheater is a coward and a humiliated person.
The girl who tries to call a boy at 2 o’clock in the morning without telling her parents about it, this girl is a humiliated girl. She is afraid that her parents may discover what she has been doing. She is terrified when her parents discover it.
The boy who failed in the exams and lied to his father and said that he succeeded, can you imagine how he looks in front of his folks when his lie was revealed? I would like to address the youth of 16 years old and above, and would like to tell them: you should be proud of yourself, do not think you are still a kid, you are a man and you are honoured.
I would like to say to all Muslims: we should stop humiliating our nation. Humiliating one person is just like humiliating a whole nation. We are the nation of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) and we are an honoured nation, what happened to us? And how can we humiliate ourselves like that? How come we cannot feel the love of dignity and self esteem while we are the nation of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)?
Do Not Profane Your Purity
• Does Man go on committing sins when God does not reveal his sins to other people?
If they just know how much God has honoured them, they would not have done that. We have also another chapter in Qur’an: “By the fig and the olive, By Mount Sinai, And by this land made safe; surely We created Man of best stature, Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low, Save those who believe and do good works”. [Qur'an: Surah 95. At-Tin]
By looking at this chapter we will notice that God here swears with three things: “Fig and olive” in Palestine, “Mount Sinai” where God talked to Moses, peace be upon him, and “This land made safe” and here He means Makkah which is the purest place on earth. Thus, God swears that we are as pure as these places because He created us of best stature. If Man dishonours himself, this is what happens to him, “We reduced him to the lowest of the low, Save those who believe and do good works”. Almighty God has created us from dust and water. He did not create us from rubber or iron because dust and water are the purest materials in the whole universe. Thus, you are so pure and you shouldn’t profane your purity with sins. God has not just created you with His blessed hands and blew into your soul.
God has honoured you by ordering the angels to prostrate to you. So how can you dishonour yourself with sins after attaining this great honour? God has created paradise for you. He also gave us the chance of ultimatum to regain your sense of honour if you disgraced yourself by committing sins.