Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had mentioned a story in his Mathnavi Shareef, of a worm, which was told: “You will find a delicious, juicy grape on the grapevine.”
Having heard this, the worm began its journey up the grapevine. It soon came across a green leaf, and thinking it to be the delicious grape, it whiled away its entire life eating off that leaf, until it made its ‘qabr’ (grave) on that same green leaf.
Had the worm gone just a little further, it would have come across the delectable grape, and would have enjoyed the sweetness of that grape. It would not have spent all its life on a green leaf.
The anecdote illustrates our similarity with that worm….
Like that worm which landed on the green leaf, many have landed in front of some filthy television programmes, many have landed in Interest transactions, enriching themselves with Haraam; or have landed in fraud and theft, others in some illicit relationship, or in a casino, or in raves, or drugs, or homosexuality, or indecent and obscene novels and magazines, or some porn website on the Internet, or Haraam video games and a multitude of other sins and illusions - and they ignorantly think that that is the sweet grape. …These were the leaves before the juicy grape or the thorns before the petals of the fragrant rose flower.
Many set out for the juicy grape of Imaan but have been waylaid and trapped by shaytaan and nafs in Haraam pleasures, in which they while away and waste the very precious time of life. Yet, there are just two steps to be taken to taste of this delicious grape. The first step is on the nafs and the second step, on shaytaan. With these two steps we will enjoy such sweetness of Imaan that we would never want to return to the temporary and sinful pleasures of this world.
Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said that in reality, there is just one step, and that step is suppression of the evil desires of the nafs, since shaytaan became shaytaan because of his nafs.
…It will not be denied that there is some temporary enjoyment in consenting to the evil demands of the nafs. However, this Haraam ‘pleasure’, which is so short-lived, should be weighed against the anguish and punishment that awaits one in the Hereafter for having earned the displeasure and wrath of Allah Ta’ala.
This punishment is not reserved for only the Hereafter. It descends and pursues a person even in this world, in the form of restlessness, anxiety, fear, humiliation, disgrace, and sometimes, everlasting regret.
My Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) said in poetry:
“Agreed, there is a little stolen pleasure in sin,
But what great rebellion is this against the Sustainer
(That you use His bounties to disobey Him).
A little while of pleasure and everlasting regret;
What stupidity it is to bury
the Janaza of respect and honour.”
Even though some difficulty is incurred in opposing the dictates of the evil nafs, the consequence in the Hereafter is eternal pleasure. In this world as well, the person will enjoy tranquility and satisfaction.
And when there are so many forms of Halaal (lawful) pleasures that one could enjoy, why foolishly go toward Haraam?
By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)