Surah Hashar,59:18O ye who believe! Fear Allah and letevery soul look to what (provision) hehas sent forth for tomorrow.Fear Allah: for Allah is well-acquaintedwith (all) that ye do. Hashar 59:18.
What is Nafs? „Nafs‟ lexically means, soul, the psyche, ego, self. Islamic concept of the nafs highlights the intricate and complex composition of the inner self. Our self consists of a conglomeration of wants, impulses, desires, appetites, habits, fears, angers, tendencies and an ego that constructs a self image
3 Types of Nafs NafsAmmarah Lawwamah Mutma’innah
1-Nafs al-Ammara Bissu (the commanding soul)Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human soul)is certainly prone to evil unless my Lord do bestow HisMercy: but surely certainly my Lord is Oft-Forgiving MostMerciful. Yusuf, 12:53 it has allowed its impulses and desires to command it. This nafs intrinsically directs its owner towards the fulfillment of bestial and carnal desires. It acts in a highly selfish manner looking out for only itself. Satan is considered the ally of this soul. He promises it great rewards and gains Some of the traits of this nafs are, ‘gluttony and lustful incontinence’.
The Characteristics of someonewith Nafs Al Ammaratun Bissou a) Man goes after his desires; just like an animal, or even worse. There are three kinds of animals:1. Dont hurt other animals even when starving –domestic, e.g. Cow2-Those that only attack when hungry - predators,e.g. lions (carnivore)3-Animals that will attack at any time, venomouscreatures, e.g. scorpions. b) Hurts people just for the sake of it - has a sadistic nature
The Characteristics of someonewith Nafs Al Ammaratun Bissou c) Indulge freely in sins, and won‟t have any guilt whatsoever d) Just like a predator; when hungry, it will even prey on its own child e) When angry, is like an impatient, blind man: f) Enjoyment like that of Firoun: Firoun was given everything, a whole kingdom at the age of 18. And then he claimed „Ana Rabbukumul Ala‟ g) like Qaroon when it comes to miserliness: h) When it comes to trials; complains all the time i) Is ungrateful for the Blessings that Allah has Bestowed him with j) At the time of sins, like a match: all this person needs is the opportunity to sin
, „Why? After all, how can a man be like this Man consists of 4 parts‘ 1. Fire: This contributes to Mans tendency of being inflicted by the ailment of Takabbur (pride) and Ujb; 2. Clay: This contributes to Mans tendency of being inflicted with miserliness. 3. Water: This contributes to Mans ailment of Hirs, or the tendency to never be satiated. Even after marriage, he will not be able to control his lustful desires, and will not lower his gaze. 4. Air: As you fill a balloon, it inflates. Similarly, this is what contributes to mans tendency of doing Shirk
2-Nafs al-Lawwama (the Soul that Blames)And I do call to witness the self-reproaching spirit.75:2 This nafs is engaged in thought provoking questions At this level there is an inner struggle going on with the self. There is inner battle against all the forces which would prevent man from living according to the God given nature and guidance. We sin, and then repent, crying for forgiveness later on, When we regret the sins we have committed in Ghaflah are forgiven.
3-Nafs al-Mutma`inna (the Soul at Peace)"O (thou) soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction!89:27 This nafs is tranquil as it rests on the certitude of God It is at a stage as if it can see the will of God in all aspects of life. It waits for its time of departure from this relative, physical world into the everlasting reality of life after death without fear. It submits itself to the will of God contentedly It is never dissatisfied or complaining its faith never wavers
7-Stages of development of nafs Nafsul Nafs al Nafs al Ammarah MARDIYYAH Kamilah Nafs Nafs Ar Lawwamah Radiyyah Nafs al Nafs al Mulhimah MUTMAI‟NNAH
7-Stages of development of nafs 1. The nafs in its lowest stage of development is called an-nafs al-ammara. Greed, frivolity, pride, the wish to be famous, jealousy and the lack of any higher consciousness are its characteristics. 2. The nafs in the second stage of development is an-nafs al-lawwama. Its characteristics are amongst others: disapproval, reflection, contraction and self- appraisal 3. The nafs in its third stage of development is called an-nafs al-molhama (the inspired soul or self). Characteristics of this inspired soul or self are detachment, satisfaction (qanaat), knowledge, humility, repentance, patience and perseverance. (91:7)
7-Stages of development of nafs 4. The nafs in its fourth stage of development is called an-nafs al-motmaina (the quiescent soul ) Its characteristics are amongst others: generosity, trust in God, wisdom 5. The nafs in its fifth stage of development is called an-nafs ar-radiyya (the contented soul or self). Its characteristics are amongst others: asceticism, sincerity, scrupulousness, the letting go of everything which is not of your concern and loyalty. 6. The nafs in its sixth stage of development is called an-nafs al-mardiyya (the soul or self experiencing the pleasure of God). 7. The nafs in its seventh stage of development is called an-nafs al-kamila (the perfect soul or self). It manifests all the positive qualities as mentioned above and more than that.
Classification of Nafs by SheikhMukhtar Maghraui (Hafizahullah) BAHIMI MALAA‟IKI NAFS SUBU‟EE SHAYTAANI
1-The bahimi nafs, the cattle-like nafs.Like cows and chickens, this nafs finds ultimatehappiness in consuming food, drink, sleep, and sex. 2-Subu‟ee nafs, the predatory nafs.In addition to the basal desires of food, sleep, andsex, this hyena-like nafs finds pleasure in covetingthe goods of others. This nafs takes part in attacking,usurping, stealing, and killing. Self-satisfaction forthis type of individual is found in accruing wealth,especially at the expense of others.
3-The shaytaani nafs, the devilish nafs.This type seeks to mischievously plot and scheme increating evil and causing harm to others. This nafsdesires to lord over others and become an object ofworship. The greedy amassing of property has leftthis nafs wanting more, so it seeks to subdue andcontrol and manipulate others – like the Shaytaanhimself. Additionally, this nafs finds satisfaction inenhancing and strengthening the lower qualities andvices 4-Malaaiki nafs, the angelic nafs.This nafs finds its greatest pleasure in nearness to itsCreator. It aspires to become closer to Allah (swt) bydetaching itself from all other forms of attachment. Itis nourished by and satisfied with Divine guidanceand Prophetic example.
What is Muhasabah Nafs?It means to take account of oneself, that is, toundergo honest self criticism.Honest self-criticism is an important way to purifyour souls and to light the path of blissful success."By the Soul and the proportion and order Given to it;And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right;Truly he has succeeded who purifies it. " [91:7-9].
Significance of MuhasabahSayyidina Umar ibn al-Khattab RA (MayAllah be pleased with him) once said: “Take account of yourselves before you are brought to account, and weigh your deeds before they are weighed before you, and prepare yourselves for the Day of Revelation.”
Maymun ibn Mahran (RA)"A pious person cautiouslyexamines and adjudgeshimself more than hewould a tyrant ruler or atight-fisted partner!“
Al-Hasan Al-Basri (RA) "A believer polices himself [or one might say, his own soul]. He assesses and adjudges [himself] for the sake of Allah. The Final Judgment [of God] may end up mild for some simply because they were quick to adjudge themselves in this life. Or the Final Judgment on the Day of Resurrection may end up a tough ordeal for some who were unconcerned about what they did in this life, thinking they would not be called to account."
Dhul-Nun (RA) Dhul-Nun was asked: "What causes a devotee to be worthy of entrance to paradise?" He said: "One merits entrance to paradise by five things:1. Unwavering constancy,2. Unflagging effort,3. Meditation on God in solitude and society,4. Anticipating death by preparing provision for the hereafter, and5. Bringing oneself to account before one is brought to judgment."
Pre Requisites of Muhasabah Nafs Honesty with oneself-is exceedingly hard to come by. Acknowledgement within ourselves that we have committed a sin, whether against our own souls or others, be it our Creator or anyone or anything in creation Genuine (and frequent) meditations in self- criticism Verbalizing these unpleasant realities about our deeds and ourselves is invaluable Planning to counteract these unfavorable tendencies until they are altogether eliminated.
Impediments in the way of Muhasabah Nafs Pride prevents some of us from owning our faults, especially before people when that is necessary Justifying any indecent behavior or false belief. Misconception that honest self-criticism prevents us from that ultimate youthful quest, "having fun.“ It is redundant to say all human beings err. Admitting sin is first step to disburdening ourselves of guilt, which left to fester can quickly and lethally metastasize. Denial: A famous French proverb puts it: "A fault denied is twice committed."
1-Mushâratah: To make an agreement or contract. („shart‟ = stipulation) In this step one must identify and set: standards, conditions, limits, terms and guidelines for one‟s own thoughts, feelings and actions one is trying to achieve.
2-Murâqabah: Murâqabah: to guard. („raqab‟ = guard) In this step one must meditate before one‟s actions. This involves that one must think, contemplate, be introspective and keep watch over one‟s own self. We function as our own observer.
3-Muhâsabah To evaluate self, taking account. („hisab‟ = account) This step involves self-examination One takes account of one‟s own actions One continuously checks if one is upholding the agreement
4-Muâqabah To punish, to control. („aqabah‟ = punish) For the contract to work we set consequences for ourselves when we have done something wrong When we fail to keep the stipulations we agreed to uphold, we must pay the penalty
5-Mujâhadah To make effort, striving. („jahd‟ = effort) In this step one is fighting against one‟s own lower self and inclinations. This is the stage of continuous and consistent struggle to overcome one‟s nafs.
6-Muâtabah To rebuke. („atab‟ = repent) In this step, if one has failed to maintain the contract, we make the effort to turn around, Regretting and changing one‟s ways on recognizing the error.
Analogy of a business partnership Business is done to make profit and to gain something from it. We start by setting guidelines and make an agreement for conducting that business, Rules and stipulations are established for what to do and what to expect.
Guard and honor that contract The next step is to guard and honor that contract and to keep a watchful eye on the process to ensure its success. We need to continually evaluate all our thoughts, actions, decisions and choices. Usually in a business there are consequences when the contract is not honored. If we do not honor our own contract to change, we must set some consequences for ourselves for failing.
Constant effort and struggle Constant effort and struggle is necessary for the business to succeed and that is what we need to do if we want to be successful in bringing about change. Finally when there are mistakes we correct them, make amends and try to turn the business around so it can become profitable. In the same manner we must correct our errors and make amends as soon as we recognize the error.
Practical Steps for Muhasabah Nafs We must take a few minutes in the morning Make a contract with ourselves about how we will conduct this business of life, Consciously try to maintain it, and Spend some time at night evaluating how we did during the day; We will then live with more awareness We be able to improve the quality of our life.
Long Term Muhasabah Nafs If a Believer fails to observe this brief period of soul-searching daily, then he should at least try to do so once every few days, or once a week. In this way, he draws up his life balance sheet, depicting to him his (spiritual) assets and liabilities. A Believer should also have a longer period of this practice at the end of each month It should be done at an even longer period at the end of the year, when he bids farewell to one year and prepares for and welcomes another.
DUA Allahumma aati nafsi taqwaahaa wa-zakkihaa, anta khayru man zakkaahaa, anta waliyyuhaa wa- mawlaahaa Allah grant me a nafs which has taqwa and purify it, you are the best of those who purify it, you are its wali and mawla... Allahumma alhimni rushdi wa-aidhni min sharri nafsi Allah guide me straight and save me from my nafs