Avoiding wrong actions with patience

Al-Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim -rahimahullaah- said [1],
“Patience in abstaining from wrong action can be achieved through the fear of the punishment which follows the wrong action, or through a feeling of hayaa’ (shyness or shame) before Allaah -subhaanah wa ta’aalaa- for using His blessings in committing wrong actions."

That feeling of hayaa’ before Allaah -subhaanah wa ta’aalaa- can be strengthened through learning more about Allaah -‘azz wa jall- and knowing more about His Names and Attributes.

Al-Hayaa’ is a characteristic of people who are noble and possess good qualities, so the person who refrains from wrong action because of hayaa’ is better than the one who abstains because of fear.

Al-Hayaa’ indicates that a person is mindful of Allaah -subhaanah wa ta’aalaa- and His Might. The person whose deterrent is the fear of Allaah -subhaanah wa ta’aalaa- has his thoughts focused on the punishment. The fearful person’s main concern is himself and how to save himself from the punishment, whereas the “shy” person’s main concern is Allaah -‘azz wa jall- and His Glory.

Both have attained the status of Eemaan, but the “shy” person has attained Al-Ihsaan, a higher status of Eemaan, in which he conducts himself as if he can see Allaah -‘azz wa jall-, and so his heart is filled with hayaa’.

The reason why it is so important for a believer to abstain from wrong action is because he must protect his Eemaan, as wrong action decreases Eemaan or extinguishes it.

The best way to help oneself abstain from wrong action is to break all bad habits, and forsake all those who encourage one to commit wrong actions. Habits have a strong hold over man’s behaviour, and if habit is accompanied by desires, this means that there are two soldiers of Ash-Shaytaan fighting the motives of reason and religion, which cannot then withstand them.”

[1] Refer to: ‘Uddah As-Saabireen Wa Dhakheerah Ash-Shaakireen of Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawzeeyah rehimahullah