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THE ART OF DESIRE MANAGEMENT

All men and women are driven by their desires. But they die without fulfilling them. It is this gap between desire and its fulfillment that causes frustration. In spite of every effort, every person dies with the feeling that he has failed to achieve his goal in this world.

Now the question is: how to rescue people from this undesirable state? The solution set forth in the Qur’an is very simple and very practical: in the present, try to live a need-based life and leave the fulfillment of your desires for the future, that is, the world hereafter. There are two relevant verses in the Qur’an. In one of these, addressing people, God Almighty says: He has given you all that you asked of Him; and if you try to reckon up God’s favors, you will not be able to count them. Truly man is very unjust, very ungrateful.  (14:34)

This verse means that the present world was made not to fulfill all desires, but to provide all that you need for a livelihood. So one must begin thinking according to this divine plan. While living in this world, one should aim for a state of contentment. The formula of contentment is the only workable formula in this world. It has been rightly said that nature provides everything according to man’s need, but not according to his greed. Contentment is the only viable formula in that it can give everyone peace and tranquility. If you live with simplicity and lead a necessity-based life, then that will give you instant happiness. Whereas an artificial life creates all kinds of problems, a natural life gives you a problem-free life and also guarantees good health. According to the Qur’an, God Almighty created man as an eternal being. But just as only the tip of an iceberg shows above the surface of the ocean, so only a very small portion of human life pertains to the pre-death period. And the larger portion of this life pertains to the post-death period. The pre-death period is a short period, whereas the post-death period is eternal. What is the situation in the post-death period of life? Giving an introduction to Paradise, the Qur’an says: Therein you shall have all that your souls desire, and therein you shall have all that you ask for. (41:31)

Man has unlimited desires, but the present world is a limited world, it is not possible to fulfill them all. These unlimited desires need an unlimited world in which to be fulfilled. It is such a world that is called the hereafter. Contentment is the only viable formula in that it can give everyone peace and tranquility. If you live with simplicity and lead a necessity-based life, then that will give you instant happiness. If the present world is an imperfect world, Paradise is a perfect world. Paradise is a world where there are no limitations, no disadvantages, no fear or pain, no death, no accidents, no restrictions. It is there that all those things that a person desires will be given to him. The present world is a testing ground. One who passes the divine test in the present world will be awarded Paradise in the next world. Keeping your mind focused on this reality is the best way to manage your desires, thus saving yourself from tension and despair.

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