No Dogs Allowed Except On A Leash
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
Whilst taking a walk through a park one morning accompanied by some friends, we passed by a sign generally found in many parks. It read:
‘NO DOGS ALLOWED EXCEPT ON A LEASH'
Considering a deeper meaning to the sign, I mentioned to my companions: Our nafs (ego) is akin to a dog. The nature of an undisciplined unleashed dog is that it barks, relieves itself anywhere, devastates and lays waste on the delicate flower beds as it tramples them, attacks or spoils people's picnics, and runs after that which it should not. Without its leash and training, it can scare, harm, bite others, and cause damage. Therefore the Parks Board insists that dogs be on a leash.
A well-trained dog will obediently remain on a leash, under the control of its master and will not cause inconvenience or damage. It will walk along its master and do as he commands.
The temperament of the nafs (carnal self/ego) is like that of the dog. It also needs to be disciplined and trained, and it requires a leash tied tightly and securely around its neck. This leash is the leash of Shariah, love and fear of Allah Ta'ala, and fear of accountability on the Day of Judgment.
Without this leash, the person will break the commands of Allah Ta'ala and violate the rights of creation. The person will steal, gamble, fornicate, suppress, oppress, abuse his wife, children or parents, and perpetrate various other crimes. Malice, greed, jealousy, pride, and other filthy, vile qualities will also be found in the person's heart. People will distance themselves from such a person for fear of being harmed or troubled.
The person who has disciplined his nafs and controls it with the leash of Shariah will find that it becomes submissive and compliant to the instructions of its master. The person then finds it easy to fulfil the rights of Allah Ta'ala as well as creation since the nafs is compliant with its master's commands. The person will want to do good deeds, assist, and invite others to Deen.
He will not cause harm to people; rather, he will benefit them. People will then love such a person.
When there is a need to go to the shops, factories, airports, hospitals, etc., the person will first leash the nafs with the Khauf (fear) and love of Allah Ta'ala and then go about the fulfilment of duties.
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“ The intelligent person is the one who subjugates his soul/takes account of himself, and works for what is after death and the incapable is the one who follows his desires and thereafter entertains hopes in [the mercy] of Allah”