The Thoughts of Sinning
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
Many people are anxious and troubled when the thought of sinning comes to their minds. Whilst Shaytan whispers such thoughts, inviting and tempting towards sins, we should not entertain them.
I often present the analogy that our minds can be likened to a national highway. Whilst travelling on the highway, we find different kinds of vehicles and conveyances – luxury cars, old cars, trucks, bicycles, motorbikes, etc. Many times, animals are seen being transported – horses, cows and even pigs. If we find ourselves driving behind a truck transporting pigs, even though it disgusts us, we don't have to leave the highway. All we have to do is, indicate, accelerate, overtake and continue driving.
Similarly, our mind is like that national highway, and all kinds of thoughts begin travelling through the mind – good and bad. When evil thoughts visit our minds, we should pass them. We should not intentionally bring them into the mind or entertain them when they come to mind. Simply ignore them. Despite the thought being bad, no sin is recorded.
In fact, Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) mentioned that Nabi (sallallahu' alayhi wa sallam) had said that if a servant has an inclination towards some evil but does not act upon it, one good is written of good deeds.
The following is another analogy which I have also presented ad an explanation: If during the blessed month of Ramadan, whilst sitting at the Dastarkhan (tablecloth), waiting for Iftar, many delicious foods are placed before a person, and the thought comes to his mind to eat this or partake of that, then there is no sin concerning those thoughts. As long as the person does not eat anything, his fast will not break, and there will be no sin at the mere thought of eating the different delicacies coming to his mind.
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 Sahih Al-Bukhari