Is man self seeking? What does quran say about desires?
The Qur’an declares:
“And when We let the people taste mercy, they rejoice therein, but if evil afflicts them for what their hands have put forth, immediately they despair.” (Al-Rum, 30: 36)
Man is not forbidden from rejoicing in things he is blessed with through Allah’s mercy. He is in fact commanded to be happy about them. However, these should be celebrations of the One who gives him these blessings. They should inspire feelings of gratitude towards Allah. So, the above verse refers to only those who follow their desires and bask in their own glory. As the Qur’an says:
“Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant.” (Al-Qasas, 28: 76)
These types of people, even when they do worship, they do so to get ahead in the world. Because they trust their own personal powers alone, they immediately fall into despair the moment they eventually fall into trouble through their own doing. They lose complete hope in Allah (jj). That happens because they have placed their trust not in Allah who is eternal but petty things that are mortal. The Qur’an perfectly illustrates this self-seeking nature of man, when it says:
“And there is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns his face to the other direction. He has lost this world and the Hereafter. And that is a clear loss.” (Al-Hajj, 22: 11)
There are others unable to release themselves from the clutches of their egos and who therefore worship Allah only reluctantly. They do so not because they are sincere but because there is a worldly benefit to be had. For these people, Allah’s name remains only on the tip of the tongue and never makes its way down to the heart. They do rejoice and half-heartedly thank Allah if they taste personal success. However, if they fall on hard times, they completely turn away.
. See, Yunus, 10: 58.
Source: The History of Prophets in Light of The Qur’an, THE CHAIN OF PROPHETS, Osman Nuri TOPBAŞ, Erkam Publications