9th-13th October 2019
Human vices and sins are often portrayed as reprehensible without acknowledgement that they are inextricably linked to human nature making then necessary for growth. During the Arbaeen 2019 five-night lecture series, held at Al-Mahdi Institute, Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain explored how our vices can be a source of enlightenment. Beginning with the narration, ‘If the son of Adam were to stop sinning, Allah would destroy him and create a new species’, Shaykh Arif presented the theory that our sins are an opportunity to awaken when they are followed with humility. The deadly vice is pride, which causes us to justify our sins and make excuses for ourselves; this prevents us from introspecting and realising the need to reform. However, when we are humble, we acknowledge our faults and become motivated to improve like a student who strives to do better after a failing a test.
It is important to change the way that we perceive our faults, as often the feeling of unrelenting guilt and worthlessness becomes self-perpetuating resulting in further failures. If we recognise that we are not synonymous with our vices, that we are not defined by our sins, we are able to evaluate the causes of our sins. This level of introspection and self-awareness is required to understand the inner lack which causes us to make mistakes. After this appreciation we are able to let go and forgive ourselves so that we are free to move forward with a clean slate.