The Guilt Consciousness
…. Our feelings are not unrestricted to remorse or guilt; at times we are subjected to cognitive experience that let us realize what we did and what went wrong. Guilt, an unexplainable emotion, is priceless if it humbles. Here, dealing with the same, a rewarding and perceptive emotion, in view of some pragmatic queries:
(18) Guilt for Rejection – A guy asked that he has guilt feelings because of rejecting a proposal of his roommate:
When you are at discomfort for not providing comfort to others is a blessing in disguise. I would say you are blessed with a soul that knows how to get back to its Fitrah (nature) by expressing strong displeasure over an indecent act. It has been termed in the Quran as النَّفْس اللَّوَّامَةِ the reprehensive / rebuking soul.
When your heart gets softened with your pious nature, it tends to feel for everyone and for every act. It doesn’t depend on the gravity of the feelings; it simply obliges the inner self. Same is the case with you. You don’t care about the size of an act; it just prompts you to feel that way. Keep it up. It shows that your heart has been embellished with softness. Be soft and kind, always. God is Kind and He love kindness.
If possible be with that roommate. If living with someone else is inevitable because of some reasons than build a good friendship with that person. Help him. Be a true well -wisher. Arrange occasional treat for him. And never let him know the reasons why you have preferred other over his companionship. Just be a good friend.
(19) Getting away from the Guilt – another guy unable to forget the guilt feelings so he asked how to get rid of them:
The feelings of getting away from a guilt consciousness are a biggest strength. When the innerslf is at unease, it simply indicates a virtuous act in the offing. If you focus on yourself, things will improve. If the feelings of guilt are:
• … because you are not worshipping your Creator as He ought to be, then turn back to Him, He is the Compassionate and Merciful.
• …. because you are not performing well, or have some bad habits, or not getting success or what? Just analyze and move. Every new day appears before you with a message that says aloud; move your life has been extended. Your God has faith in you. So be confident and optimistic.
• …. because you hurt someone or deceived someone or what? Go ahead and ask for forgiveness. Be humble and beneficial to others. Try to repent and rectify your mistakes. Remember, Allah loves the one who repents:
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
He who does either evil or wrongs himself, and then asks for the forgiveness of Allah, will find Allah All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. (Ch 4 – An-Nisa: 110)
The negative traits will always be there with us, we just need to learn how to translate them into positive ones. Now, you have been surrounded with guilt feelings, stand up and convert them into innocence and passion. If you succeed this time, articulation of other negative traits will be within your grasp.
(20) Guilt of the past – a young man is unable to forget the wrong doings of the past:
I think most of us have some or the other kind of guilt feelings, whose origin varies from a time being incident to a big mistake. I too have some. Feel like rectifying those mistakes by reversing the time and get back those moment. But this doesn’t happen, and an imperceptible pain rules the heart. I do the following to avoid guilt feelings.
• I often remember and resolve not to commit those mistakes again.
• I ask forgiveness to God and pray for that person too. A short and simple prayer, taught by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is quite befitting to this situation:
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لنا و لکم
May Allah forgive us and you.
• If that person happens to be unaware of my act for which I have guilt, I try to serve him without letting him know.
This life is all about realization, accurate or inaccurate doesn’t matter but there is a track record of its own. If the realization is an eye opener and opens the doors of heart too, then there could be no greater virtue than this cognitive emotion called guilt. Amidst remorse feelings, what prompts a person to be optimistic and hopeful is a belief that when he returns to God, the Compassionate and Merciful will always be there to welcome with His open hands.
Look at the magnificent sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and adorn your heart with an obstinate belief that Allah is the Most Merciful and He awaits your return:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِاللَّيْلِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ النَّهَارِ وَيَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِالنَّهَارِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ اللَّيْلِ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا
Allah spreads out His Hand at night to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the day, and He spreads out His Hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who did wrong during the night. (This will continue) until the sun rises from the west. (Muslim)
الَلَّهُ أَشَدُّ فَرَحًا بِتَوْبَةِ عَبْدِهِ حِينَ يَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ أَحَدِكُمْ كَانَ عَلَى رَاحِلَتِهِ بِأَرْضِ فَلَاةٍ فَانْفَلَتَتْ مِنْهُ وَعَلَيْهَا طَعَامُهُ وَشَرَابُهُ فَأَيِسَ مِنْهَا فَأَتَى شَجَرَةً فَاضْطَجَعَ فِي ظِلِّهَا قَدْ أَيِسَ مِنْ رَاحِلَتِهِ فَبَيْنَا هُوَ كَذَلِكَ إِذَا هُوَ بِهَا قَائِمَةً عِنْدَهُ فَأَخَذَ بِخِطَامِهَا ثُمَّ قَالَ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْفَرَحِ اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ عَبْدِي وَأَنَا رَبُّكَ أَخْطَأَ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْفَرَحِ
Allah is more pleased with the repentance of his servant than one of you who have lost his camel on a journey in a water-less desert while it carries his food and drink. Having lost hope, he lies down in the shade and despairs over his camel, but all of a sudden he finds the camel standing over him. He takes hold of its reins and out of joy he proclaims: O Allah, you are my servant and I am your Lord. He makes a mistake due to his extreme joy. (Muslim)
© Muhammad Abdullah Javed – March 2016
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