“The self will not go in gladness and with caresses; it must be chased with sorrow, drowned in tears.”For twelve years, I was the blacksmith of my soul. I thrust my soul into the furnace ofdiscipline and made it hot in the flames of arduous endeavour, then I placed it upon the anvil ofreproach and hammered it with the hammer of self-blame, till I had fashioned out of my soul amirror. For five years I was my own mirror, and I polished that mirror with every manner ofgodly service and obedience. After that I gazed upon my own reflection for a year, and I sawabout my waist an infidel girdle of delusion and coquetry and self-regard, because I relied uponmy own acts of obedience and approved of my own conduct.BÂYEZÎD BISTÂMÎ
The First Station (An-Nafs wa Maqam Matiha al-Amarra) The Nafs (soul) that Orders to Evil"Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone toevil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, MostMerciful.“ (Al Quran 12:53)
The First StationTraits: narcissistic, mechanical, conditioned, non-reflective, impulsive.Habits: pride, enmity, cruelty, lust, stinginessLight/Colour /Aura : Blue
The First Station Soul: Mineral Soul (Ruh Madeni) Located: The Human Skeletal System As-sadr –The Breast/ChestMediation- Dhikr to repeat: La-ilaha ill-lil-lah, no Gods, but One God.
An-Nafs wa Maqam Matiha al-Amarra:The Nafs that Orders to EvilThe First Station“I claim not that my soul was innocent, indeed the soul incites to evil,except in as much as my Lord has mercy.” (12:53)The nafs that orders to evil: its walking, its world, its place, its state, its attributes, its ugly qualities, and howto be free from it and rise to the second station where it acquires the quality of al-lawamma, the state of thenafs that is self-reproaching.The walking of the nafs al-amarra is toward Allah; its world is that world of the seeing; its place is in thechest; its state is inclination ( wa-raiiduha ); and its source of inspiration is the sharia .Know that the seven nafs are one, and it is named differently according to its attributes which are theinciting to evil ( al-amarra ), the reproachful ( al-lawamma ), the inspired ( al-mulhama ), the arrested ( al-mutmainna ), the pleased ( ar-radiyya ), the pleasing ( al-mardiyya ), and the perfect or complete ( an-nafsal-kamala ).Know that the nafs is the heart about which Allah says, “This is a reminder for whoever has a heart.” (Quran50:37)What is indicated by the word “heart” is not a piece of flesh, but is a subtlety established by the Lord whichmay lean toward the physical body and which may become established in following its appetites. By this Imean the animal spirit which loses its preferred qualities and takes on lowly qualities.
It becomes like the animals, and the shaitan (satan) becomes one of its soldiers. Some of itsqualities are ignorance, greed, arrogance, anger, appetite, hatred, forgetfulness, envy, hurtingothers with the hand and the tongue, and other ugly qualities. All this is an evil nafs . TheProphet Yusuf (Joseph), speaking about this, said, “Surely the nafs commands to evil.” (12:53)The Messenger of Allah, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, said, “Your greatestenemy is your self that is between your two sides.” This is because the nafs inhabits thedarkness of the physical world. It does not distinguish between right and wrong (truth, al-haqq )and the force (battle); it does not distinguish between good and evil. The accursed shaitancannot influence humanity except through its venue. So, O seeker, be wary of it. Do not trust it.Do not help it. Do not support it; on the contrary, stop it. Cut down on your food, on your drink,and on your sleep that you may weaken the animal nafs that grow on satisfying its appetites. Ifyou weaken it, then you are closer to release from it.Let your dhikr (remembrance) in this station be la ilaha illallah while extending the laa andemphasize the iil in ilaha and emphasize illallah . (NO God BUT Allah) LAA IILaha ILL Allah, LAAIILaha ILL Allah, LAA IILaha ILL Allah . And do not be lazy in emphasizing the ILL of illa ; LAA IILahaILL Allah, but if you do not, then the ii turns into a ya sound, and this is not the word of at-tawhid and there is no benefit in its repetition. Most of the people who do dhikr are not awareof this point. Do this dhikr standing, sitting, and on your side at all times out loud. The effect ofthis dhikr is only felt after much loud repetition in the nightt ime and in the daytime.
Allah says in Hadith Qudsi , “ La ilaha illallah is My fortress; whoever enters My fortress is safefrom My punishment. And the Messenger of Allah said, “ La ilaha illallah is the best of adh-dhikrand the best of good action. Those most likely to receive my intercession are the ones who say itpurely from their hearts.” There is no slave who says it before he dies except that he enters thegarden ( al-janna ), even if he commits adultery and even if he steals. Allah says in Hadith Qudsi ,“ I am in the good opinion of My slave. I am with him if he remembers Me. If he remembers mein a place, I remember him in a better place.”The Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessing be upon him, said, “When people sit inremembrance of Allah, they are surrounded by angels and they are covered with mercy andthey receive al-sakina , which is the peace inspired by Allah, and Allah mentions them in Hisassembly.”And the Messenger of Allah, may Allahs blessings and peace be upon him, said, “If you pass bythe gardens of heaven, then graze there.” And he was asked, “And what are the gardens ofheaven?” He answered, “ The gatherings of adh-dhikr .”So, O you who seek freedom from your enemies, enter the fortress of your Lord, which is torepeat la ilaha illallah . Release your noble self from the prison of the body so that you mayarrive at the higher stations. Know that the seeker continues with this adh-dhikr until it bringshim to His presence. The seeker continues this adh-dhikr without much pleasure in its meaninguntil the dark veils are lifted from his heart, and he is able to witness with inner sight that allmovement and stillness, all giving and withholding, and benefit and harm are from Allah. Thisbecomes a tasting which is witnessing from the state, not just from belief.
This witnessing through tasting is only known to those who taste. Its outward signs are that youno longer hate any creature, and you do not cause harm to a believer, an unbeliever, an animal,or to your enemy. When you say la ilaha , release from your heart anything that you worshipother than Allah, and when you say illallah , say it with strength and in a state of presence andawe. Close your eyes and listen to what you say. Be in a state of purity and beware of what youeat. All ugly qualities arise from a full stomach, even in the stomach that is full of halal (pure)food; so how much worse if it is full of haram (forbidden) food.Polish the mirror of your heart and remove the rust that stops you from perceiving the realitiesof things and from understanding the finer points. Know that your mirror in this station is veryrusted with the rust of arrogance, envy, hatred, appetite, greed, resentment, and other qualitiesthat you know in yourself. It is very important in this station to clean yourself from theseimpurities that stop the heart from piercing the unseen. Do this by strong dhikr , and byreducing your food and sleep, so that you tighten the roads the shaitan travels in you.Know that this station in which the nafs is called the inciting ( amarra ) is a prison and is thelowest of the low. So it is most important to be freed from it. The raising of the voice isimportant to awaken the nafs from its habitual forgetfulness. So do adh-dhikr strongly, standwith the sharia , take your nafs into account every hour, put fear into your nafs with the thoughtof death and the punishment of the grave and the other difficulties it will have to cross.Know that in this station you go through the two states of fear and hope. When you are donewith this station, your fear turns into constriction ( qadb ) and your hope turns into expansion(bast). Then your state of constriction turns into a state of awe and the state of expansion turnsinto a feeling of being home, a feeling of familiarity.
If you reach to a degree of perfection, then constriction is experienced as al-jalal and expansionis experienced as al-jamal . In this first station you always need to remember the reason for fearbecause this is more useful to you than holding on to hope. But if fear becomes extensive orextreme and you become desperate, then you need to remember the reasons for hope, such asthe mercy of Allah, His forgiveness, and His nobility.You need to be in constant state of humility and surrender. Plead to Allah and ask Him to releaseyou from this station through His gentleness and generosity, and increase you from his stationthrough His gentleness and generosity and increase your dua , your prayers to Allah. Do not evertire of pleading to Allah. Do not ever say to yourself that Allah does not accept your prayerbecause this will cut you off from the Haqq (truth).The Prophet, may Allahs blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Supplication ( dua ) isworship.” And Allah, Glory be to Him, says, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Those who aretoo arrogant to plead with Me will enter the Hell-fire.” (40:60-1) And the Messenger of Allah,may Allahs blessings and peace be upon him, said, “Supplication is the matter of worship.”(1)And he said, “Nothing stops the decree except supplication, and supplication protects you fromharm.” Whoever wants Allah to answer his call in hard times, “Let him plead to Allah in easytimes.”Know that no one turns to Allah in supplication without receiving what he asks for sooner orlater. See the generosity of your Lord-how He makes your supplication affect His order.(2) Seehow generous Allah is, that He gets upset if He is not asked.(3) So how can you turn your back tothe One who has opened many doors of generosity to you?(4) And how can you turn to Hisenemies, the shaitan , the dunya (this material world), and the appetites?
Know that you have been made with a predisposition to the best and that you are made for al-khalifa and to hold the highest authority. Remember that your father (Adam) was the Qibla forthe angels; remember that Allah (swt) taught him the names; remember that he was the vice-regent of Allah on His earth.So my beloved, awake from your forgetfulness that has destroyed you, put you in a lowlyposition, and demeaned you, and turn toward what you absolutely need, and draw nearthrough good action before you are taken to His presence in chains.He said to you, “My slave, if you draw near to Me by the span of a hands length, I draw near toyou by the length of an arm; and if you draw near to Me by an arms length, then I draw near toyou by the span of two arms length; and if you come near to Me walking, I come to yourunning.”So abandon hesitation, and leave what preoccupies you and distracts you from your Lord. Helpyourself by being satisfied with what you have, whether it be much or little, and leave alone thevanishing pleasures. Be preoccupied with what helps you. And do not delay your repentanceand drawing near to Allah because you do not know how much time you have left in this dunya .The Messenger of Allah said, “Leave the dunya to its people. If anyone takes from the dunya anymore than he needs, he is hurting himself without realizing it.”
My beloved, when you are in this station that is narrow and vile, pray for freedom from theconstrictions of the nafs to enter into the expanse of the soul ( al-ruh ). Pray that you should letgo of all the ugly qualities I have mentioned, and take on the beautiful qualities that please yourLord. Substitute pride for humility, hatred for love, ostentation for sincerity, and fame forobscurity until there is no one left who still either commends or condemns you. And know thatif you are busy with releasing yourself from every ugly quality and changing it to every beautifulquality, then you will see what is amazing, and you will reveal the hidden secrets, and you willunderstand the following saying: Your cure is in you, But you do not see; Your sickness is from you, But you do not feel; You allege that you are a small star, While you contain the whole Cosmos. Al ghazzali
The Second Station (Nafs al Lawwamah ) Reproachful selfQuran Ref:“And I swear by the reproachful soul!” (75:1-2)
The Second Station (Nafs al Lawwamah ) Reproachful selfTraits: conscience, capacity for self-observationHabits:backbiting, trickery, conceitedness, hypocrisy, self-consciousness, guilt, fearfulness, wishful thinking, intensedesire to please others.Light/Colour /Aura : Yellow
The Second Station Soul: (Ruh Nabati) Vegetable soulLocated: Liver and related to the digestive system. Al- Qalb – The heart Mediation- Ya Allah O The God
An-Nafs al-Lawamma: The Reproachable NafsThe Second Station“I swear by the day of Arising! And I swear by the reproachful soul!” (75:1-2)This is the study of the nafs al-lawamma, showing its walking, its world, its place, its states, itssource of guidance, its attributes, and the course of treatment to be released from it and toascend beyond it to the third station in which the soul (nafs) becomes inspired.The walking of the nafs al-lawamma is for Allah; its world is the world of al-barzakh (a veilpartition between this world and resurrection); its place is the heart; its slave is love; its source(warid) or leader is the way (at-tariqa); its attributes are: reproachfulness, arrogance, self-satisfaction, abandonment of the company of people because of an objection to creation,hidden pride, the love of appetites, and the love of a high position.The nafs still has traces of the attributes of the nafs al-amarra, but it has the discrimination ofknowing the truth as truth and seeing falsity as false. It knows that these attributes are ugly butis not free of them. It has a desire to struggle and to be compliant with the sharia. It has goodaction in prayer, fasting, and charity, but these good acts are mixed with pride. The person inthis station, even though he hides his good actions, likes to be praised for them and cannottotally remove this desire from his heart.The Messenger of Allah said, “All people except those who know will perish, and all those who know exceptmen of deeds will perish, and all men of deeds except the sincere will perish.” Then he added, “And all thesincere ones are in grave danger.”
This is because the sincere ones still want others to know of their sincerity, and this is thehidden pride. These people perform their good actions for people and not for Allah, and this is ahidden sin. Know that if you have these attributes, you are in the second station and know thatyour nafs are reproachful (al-lawamma), and that it is a dangerous station for the reasons wehave explained.So if you say that this contradicts the saying of the Prophet, “Had the muminin entered a lizardshole (al-juhr), Allah would have sent someone to harm him,” and his saying, “The dunya is theprison of the mumin,” I would say to you that these hadith refer to the righteous people whohave some fear (awe) of Allah, except that they have not freed themselves from the impuritiesof the nafs, and so they are not free from the toil of the dunya (this material world). For thatreason Allah has promised them reward in the Hereafter (al-akhira). As for those very few whoare brought near (al-muqarrabun)(56:11;83:21), what would they be hurt by or imprisoned by?They are free from the dunya.The nearest ones reach the seventh state avoiding this state of danger. Salvation from dangercomes by vanishing. They enter into the presence of Allah Who grants them His grace. This is thedifference between the righteous and the nearest, between the toil of the former and thecomfort of the latter. To illustrate their condition, we say they are like a tree whose branchesbear poisonous fruit. The righteous begin to remove the fruit and the branches, whereas thenearest work to uproot the tree altogether. So, it is the nearest whose work is fruitful. They seekthe fana (annihilation) in themselves and survival in their Lord.
So my beloved, if you wish to be one of them, to be free of all pain, and to have rest at all times,then walk their way and continue to walk from station to station until you arrive at the seventhstation, which is al-nafs al-kamala. There you will see what will amaze you. At every station youwill see what pleases you and what inspires you to keep walking and to ascend the stationsthrough the struggle (al-mujahada) with the nafs. You will busy yourself with the names. Inevery station there is a particular name devoted to that maqam, and the busier you are withyour Lord and His attributes, the closer you get.If you become lazy, you have only yourself to blame. You need to engage in the struggle with thenafs, and to leave your old habits, which are so many that they cannot be counted, but the pathhas well established principles. You need to acquire at least six of them: reducing food, reducingsleep, reducing talk, keeping away from sins, engaging in adh-dhikr, and reflection.These six practices are more important than anything else. If the seeker engages in them withsincerity, they help him to leave old habits. But what is required in these practices is a middleway between excess and lack. So it is said to reduce your food; it is not said to stop eating. Donot eat unless you are hungry and do not eat until you are full. It is useful to leave the habit ofeating a required lunch and dinner.The Messenger of Allah said, “We are people who do not eat unless we are hungry, and if weeat we do not fill up.” He also said, “There is nothing worse that is filled by humans than thefilling of the stomach. And if you need to put something into it, then know one third is for food,one third is for drink, and one third is for breath (air).” The seeker takes on this practice to turnhis nafs toward the Haqq (truth/reality).
But he needs to give himself rest because changes in temperament will corrupt states andstations. For example, if the seeker feels sick, then he needs to relax in his struggle with his nafsand engage himself in taking care of his temperament. After returning to health, he can re-engage in his struggle with his nafs, but with caution.In this second maqam (station), you engage in adh-dhikr of Allah. Do remembrance inabundance- standing, sitting, and on your side, in the night, in the day, and at specified timeswhen you sit facing the Qibla. Repeat the name with strength and with raising your voice, anddo not tilt yourself to the right or the left. Put a stress on the first A, and make the ah quiet, andelongate the name-ALLLah, and do not do it fast. Know that in this station, you have manythoughts, many whisperings, and many ideas, especially if you do the dhikr with a middle voice.If you do it with a strong voice then the thoughts will be quieter.Assign yourself times when you sit facing the Qibla (Mecca).ALLAHThis name is a fire that burns all thoughts and whisperings. Be concerned to preoccupy yourselfwith the dhikr, and do not pay attention to the thoughts. You cannot quickly free yourself fromall thoughts because the mirror of your heart is still facing creation. Your heart is full of thepictures of creation concerned with actions, beauties, ugliness, and movement. These picturescannot be removed until you turn your back to all of creation. Then there is no trace of all thepictures of creation and you do not hear their words. As long as you do not disengage, you willfind these thoughts and whisperings in your heart, and they will trouble you. Know that creationwill veil you from the truth. If you are truly thirsty for arrival, then leave creation alone and say,“I am traveling to my Lord Who will guide me.”
Know that this path is a serious path and a path of struggle. Whoever is serious and struggleswill achieve everything that he desires and more. Whoever is lazy and negligent will have noarrival because of the many obstacles. The greatest obstacles are relying on creation, leaningtoward it, and sitting with others. Whoever does not cut off these obstacles does not havearrival because what is sought is contrary to what the people of adh-dunya are engaged in withtheir words and in their hearts. So if you wish to reach the highest station, leave creationcompletely and forget everything that is an obstacle to you, and busy yourself with your Lord.Then you will become familiar with the Haqq and you will see what amazes you, Allah willing.If you do not follow these instructions, you will spend your time in toil and tiredness and will notreach your desire. So be serious in removing all traces of the nafs al-amarra whenever inmanifest pride, envy, enmity, and bad opinion of the creation. You cannot be free of all thesethings unless you avoid the dunya and cut yourself off from it outwardly and inwardly. In thismaqam you are not bound to the order to command to good and to prohibit evil, because thiscommand can only be exercised with gentleness and modesty, and in this station you do notpossess these qualities. The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever commands to good, let himcommand with goodness,” meaning gentleness. At this stage the most important thing is torelease yourself from destruction and to purify your heart from the evils that obstruct yourwalking and prevent you from witnessing the Haqq. Because the heart is the place of seeing theHaqq, the purification of the heart becomes obligatory and necessary. Let your prayer be, “ODisposer of hearts, turn my heart to Your obedience.” It is good to say this prayer at sunrise andsunset. Ask Allah to turn your heart from forgetfulness to remembrance, from laughter toweeping, from fear to security, and from contraction to expansion. The summation of all theseprayers is to ask to be put on the straight path.
In this station you will understand the secret of the Prophets saying, “The hearts of the slavesare between the two fingers of the Merciful.” Allah is the provider. He alone can make youoblivious to the pain of struggle, and He can increase your desire to walk the path, and He canmake you shun everything other than Allah. This is possible if you do what you have just beentold. If you do not, you will feel the tiredness and toil.If you think that you have received the secret of these works without struggle, then you knowthat this is a false claim from the nafs because that nafs always make claims of perfection andcompletion. Know that completion is only witnessed after struggle with the nafs. So strugglewith your nafs and reveal the hidden jewels. Do not be deceived by the claims of the tongue.Whoever claims to have what he does not have will be put to the test. So test your nafs; do notbelieve your nafs. Be the one who takes the nafs into account every time your nafs does what iscontrary to the tariqa (path). So refute the nafs and inform your shaykh. Do not conceal any ofits ugly qualities from him because whenever you receive the secrets from this tariqa, you willbenefit.You need to be watchful of any traces of arrogance, confusion, and making false claims. Besincere and truthful in your seeking and in your struggle with the nafs (al-mujahada), and in thisway perceive the wonders and the secrets of the heart. This is the doorway to the imaginalworld (al-mithal), which is a world different from the one you are in now. This world is onlyknown to those in the station of the heart, which is at the end of the second station (an-nafs al-lawamma).
This is the first station (an-nafs al-lawamma) of those who are brought or drawn near. Thetraveller (as-salik) begins to perceive what cannot be perceived by the senses. This is becausethe heart of the believer is the throne of Allah and the house of Allah, meaning that it is theplace where the secrets of Allah are kept. So follow the sharia which is al-Quran and al-hadithof the Prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him. Take on the qualities of thetariqa, which are the actions of the Prophet-extreme hunger, little sleep, and silence. If theMessenger of Allah spoke, he only spoke of good things. He was silent much of the time. Helaughed little. So follow his form and his states and act on them. If you do this, springs ofwisdom will gush forth from your heart expressing themselves by your tongue. You will be atraveller walking the path of those who are near, which will confirm your traveling to thepresence of al-jabbar.One of the first stopping places on this journey in the world of the mithal is your encounter withcelestial bodies, which are pictures or forms midway between the coarseness of the body andthe subtlety of the spirit. What you see will strengthen your himma for traveling, increase youryearning, kindle the fire of the love in your heart, and cut you off from all appetites, desires, andpassions of the nafs. But know that entrance into the world of al-mithal is only for the travellers(as-salik). It is a state called the inevitable event (al-waqia), intermediate between wakefulnessand sleep. It is important that you are aware of this place and time, and that you know of theexistence of this intermediary space. If you do not have an awareness of this state, then yoursleep is only sleep and is of no consequence.
In the beginning the travellers are overcome by sleep. Later they are more wakeful, so thatwhen they see spiritual bodies, they think they see them in a waking state. In reality they seethem in this inner space. It is in this state that Jibrail came to the companions of the Prophet inthe form of an Arab carrying the spirit of the Prophet.It is important to purify the nafs and the heart. The sign that the heart has been purified is itsreceptivity to inspiration and divine knowledge, and its agreement with the Quran and thesunnah. Evidence for the purification of the nafs comes when it is free from anger, envy, pride,and hatred of some parts while inclined toward other parts of creation. The right state is whenall creation is equal in your sight; to love everyone, but not so excessively that is cuts you offfrom the Haqq, nor to hate anyone inwardly so that it occupies you from the remembrance ofthe Haqq. It is important in this station for the salik to cut off his appetites for food and clothing.If you see that you have a preference for some foods and not for others, or you have apreference in what you wear, then you need to struggle with your self to avoid excess andnegligence by these two worldly goods. This is the first step toward the nafs al-kamala becausethe perfection (al-kamala) is not arrived at unless you wean yourself from the appetite for foodand clothing. If you find that you still have these appetites, know that you are not on the pathtoward the Haqq, the path of those who are brought near. If this claim to be on the path is madewhile these appetites persist, know that this is the claim of the shaitan. Those who do not stopthese habits will fall into them and stop traveling. If you want arrival, then disconnect fromeverything that stops you form reaching your Beloved. Avoid everything other than Allah. Donot sit with anyone, even if he claims to be al-Khidr, if you see him preoccupied with creation inhis actions and if you do not see him engaged in the actions of the people of traveling, which isthe only way to reach Allah.
Know that the heart has a side facing the outward world which is under the governance of thefive senses, and it does not know anything of this outside world except through these senses.The heart also has a side facing the unseen world which is the world of the malakut. Wheneveryou turn toward the seen world with your five senses, you turn away from the unseen world. Inthe beginning you cannot be turned to both sides at the same time. Whenever you turn towardone side, the other becomes absent, and there is a big difference between the two worlds. Theseen world is extremely far away from the presence of the Haqq. If the heart turns to the seenworld and leaves the unseen world, it becomes like an animal. This is why a person becomescaptive to his appetites, to anger, to engaging in sleep and in what does not concern him, and inargumentation and confrontation without concern for the ending of his affairs. But if he turns tothe unseen world by following the orders, leaving the prohibited, leaving everything that doesnot concern him, leaving excess talk, excess sleep and excess eating, then he takes on theangelic attributes. Anger and appetite come under his command, and he becomes an insan al-kamal worthy of the trust.Know that anger and appetites are like rust. Just as a mirror cannot receive images if it iscovered with darkness, the ruh cannot receive the tajalli (manifestations) if it is covered withanger and appetite, unless these two qualities are governed by the directives of the sharia.The deficiencies of the nafs are many. Only the sincere among the travellers can walk throughthem. This is through al-mujahada, through seeking the aid of Allah in opposing the shaitan andthe resistance of humankind and the jinn. Everyone in existence seeks to stop the traveller fromreaching his Lord out of envy and jealously, because they know that whoever crosses this path isgiven sovereignty over them!
Know that envy only hurts the one who exercises it. The traveller should not pay any attentionto envy, to those who are envious, nor fear envy. This is possible when the traveller knows thatAllah is closer to him than anything else, and knows that he does not move a foot except by thewill and the power of Allah. He holds onto the knowledge that Allah knows everything in theheavens and on earth, and that Allah has a greater mercy toward him than any mother iscapable of having for her child. Only good comes from Allah; evil is only in the outward ofthings. If you were to look inward, you would know that everything is good. What is called evil issimply what does not agree or accord with the nature of people. Goodness is connected to thegreat essence, which is perceived only through the cleaning of the heart, which becomes awitnessing through the cleaning of the heart, which becomes a witnessing through tasting.If you know this, then you know four things: there is nothing that can oppose the power ofAllah; Allah has knowledge of everything; Allah is very tender and the Most Merciful; and allactions of Allah are good.Whoever knows these matters is not afraid of the plotting of the envious and has no fear ofpeople or of shaitan. So, O traveller, hold onto these four knowing, contemplate their meanings,be truthful in your turning to Allah, and do not turn to anything that does not concern you.When you truly know that Allah has power over everything, this increases your himma inturning to Him, in your prayer to Him and in your confidence in His answering you. Any petitionthat is made in this state is never denied.
As for your realization that He has knowledge of everything, that He is gentle and merciful, andthat all His actions are good, these are the qualities or the knowledge that establishes you in thestation on reliance on Allah, acceptance of Allah, yearning for Allah, love of Allah, and othersuch stations and states, and that help you in your ascension to the third maqam, which is calledthe secure and inspired station (al-maqam al-mulhama). From that you ascend to the completerest and satisfaction station (an-nafs al-mutmainna), then to the well-pleased station (an-nafsar-radiyya), then to the well-pleasing station (an-nafs al-mardiyya), and then to the perfectstation (an-nafs al-kamala).Know that it is a custom of Allah that the precondition for ascension from the second to thethird station happens only at the hand of the Gnostic traveller who has knowledge of thestations and the states of the way. Allah does break with customs. It is possible that one canascend if he has understanding and intelligence, especially if he studies the teachings in thebooks. Then Allah will give him the helping hand of one of the knowers. Progression from thethird to the fourth maqam can only happen with the perfect traveller, who is not necessarily theperfect Gnostic. You do not say about anyone that he is the perfect traveller unless he hasperfected the fourth station where the nafs is called al-mutmainna. Progression to the forthstation is only possible with the perfect one (al-kamala) because the third station is one of themost difficult and one of the most dangerous stations. It combines both good and evil, benefitand harm. It is easy to confuse the Haqq with what is false and disbelief with realization, exceptfor those whose worship and whose following of the sharia has become customary, who have anoble disposition of the nafs, who are generous, who are correct in their perception of therevelation, and who see the truth as truth and falsity as false. It will become clear howdangerous this third maqam is.
As for the ascension from the fourth to the fifth and then on to the sixth and seventh, except fora few, the traveller does not need the hand of the guide because when Allah lights up the lightin the heart from the light of the Perfected One, then the traveller sees all the perfections, andall he needs is the himma (spiritual striving/aspiration) to reach them. He does not need theguide so much. This is how you know that the fourth station is al-kamil even through it is of thelower rank of perfection. On the Day you will see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], "Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally." That is what is the great attainment. Quran Al-Hadid (57:12)
The Third Station (Nafs al Mulhimah) Inspired SelfQuran Ref:And a Soul (nafs) and Him who perfected it and inspired it with a sense ofwhat is wrong for it and what is right for it. (Quran 91:8)
The Third Station (Nafs al Mulhimah) Inspired SelfTraits: generosity, gratitude, modesty, empathy, ardent desire.Habits:Liberality, lacking discrimination, mystical inflation, tendencytoward spiritual greed.Light/Colour /Aura : Red
The Third Station Soul: (Ruh Haywani) Animal soulLocation: Heart & Circulatory system Ar-Ruh -The Spirit Mediation-Ya Hu! O He
An-Nafs al-Mulhama: The Station of the Inspired NafsThe Third Station“By the soul that which shaped it and inspired it with its dissolution and its piety.” (91: 7-8)The inspired nafs: its walking, world, place, condition, source (warid), and qualities as well as theremedy to walk through it and be elevated to the fourth station.Its walking is helped by Allah. This means that the traveller in this station sees only Allah, theExalted, and this is because the reality of his faith has permeated his inward, and in the outwardhe annihilates everything other than Allah in his witnessing.Its world is the spirit world; its place is the spirit; its state is deep love; its source (warid) isgnosis (marifa); its attributes are generosity, acceptance of what is, knowledge, modesty,patience, gentleness, and the capacity to withstand pain, to forgive people, to encourage peopleinto concordance, and to witness that Allah has everything in His grasp. So an-nafs al-mulhamahas no objection to any of Allahs creation. Also among the qualities in this station are yearning,weeping, restlessness, withdrawing from creation, being busy with the Haqq, constantly underthe turning of contraction and expansion, the absence of fear and hope, the love of beautifulsounds, the love of dhikr, joy with Allah, and speaking with wisdom, gnosis, and witnessing.These are the descriptions of the nafs al-mulhama. It is called this because Allah inspired it toknow its weak and strong sides, to know what is good for it and what is harmful to it. It hearsthe whisperings of the angels and the devil.
This maqam is very dangerous and very difficult. The seeker or the traveller requires someone tohelp him leave the darkness of ambivalence and enter into the light of the tajalli (manifestation).He needs this help because in this station he is weak, he does not distinguish between jamaland jalal, and he does not distinguish between what comes through the angel and what comesthrough the shaitan, as he is not totally free of his humanity. It is feared for him in this stationthat if he forgets himself he will descend to the lowest of the low, by which I mean the firststation, which is the station called the one inciting to evil. If this happens, he returns to his oldhabits regarding eating, drinking, sleeping and mixing a lot with creation. His beliefs may becorrupted by leaving his obligations, taking on prohibitions, claiming that he is in the state ofunity, and claiming that he has revelation (al-kashf) from Allah. He may look at the people ofobedience and say, “They are simply veiled from this witnessing.” If his belief system iscorrupted, he will be destroyed along with the others, and he will become one of theunbelievers (al-kufr), or the mushrikin, those who associate with Allah. The fire of the physicalaspect will ignite one more time and burn up any traces of faith. He will lose all his efforts. Hewill gain nothing. On the contrary, he becomes a shaitan who is lost and who makes others losetheir way. He will have imaginings of the shaitan which he will think are tajalli (manifestations)from the Rahman (the Merciful one). This can all happen after he has succeeded in pulverizingmuch of his humanity, strengthening his spirituality, clearing many of the veils in his heart, beingclose to success, with little left to continue his walk to enter into the presence of the king. Hemay have drawn very close to the unity and become strong in his struggling against his nafs. Thiscalamity may ensure when he is very close to the station of the maqam of perfection, becausehere he loses all sense of fear, which in the earlier stations kept him from acts of disobedienceand encouraged him to take on acts of obedience. When they lose their fear there are very fewwho still hold on to the sharia.
So, O seeker, follow your shaykh even if your nafs start telling you that you are more advancedthat your shaykh and that you are in the state of unity, while your shaykh is still veiled.You need to follow the sharia and you need to hold onto al-adab (manners/respect).So, O seeker of completion, let go of any traces of the nafs. Do not let what appear to you to bestates of unity be the cause for you to turn back and be cut off. Continue to tear the veils of lightand ask for the presence of the unity. Do not pay attention to the manifestation of celestiallights because this is a veil that stops you from reaching the essence. If you do this, it will causeto your return to the station of the animals. So keep the practices that allowed you to reach thestate of unveiling, and this will help you to remove more veils. Continue staying up at night,continue with hunger, continue with seclusion, continue to speak little, and hold onto thecoattails of your shaykh, if your shaykh is one of the complete ones. Keep telling him whatcomes into your mind whether it is beautiful or ugly. To the extent that you continue your trustin your shaykh, this will increase your attraction to the holy world (‘alam al-quds) and this willweaken your humanity. It is very possible in this station that you start to believe that you aremore knowledgeable than your shaykh. This will only cut you off from his spiritual help. So let goof this thought and know that your shaykh is complete and is following the prophet Muhammad(pbuh). Enter under his protection and be convinced that your freedom is in his hands. Be in hishands like the dead with the washer. Do not object to any of his states. If you find yourselfobjecting, then let him know and repent your wrongs. If it has not been given to you to keepthe company of the complete one, then treat yourself by following the sharia and the practiceof reading the invocations (wirds) that were given to us by the prophets, peace and blessings beupon them. Increase your salaams on the Prophet, increase your asking for forgiveness, andgenerally increase your dhikr. Keep the company of holy people and keep the company of thosewho are seeking what you seek. Keep the company of those who have made their migration toAllah.
In summary, this third station combines both good and evil. If you find that the good in your soulovercomes the evil, then you are able to walk through the higher stations, but if the evilovercomes the good, then you will descend to the lowest of the low. If you find this then youneed to put your self down and not give your self any credence. You know that your goodness isovercoming your evil if you find in your inward a lot of evidence of the faith that emanates fromthe reality, if you see that your outward is in accordance with the Islamic sharia, if your inwardcarries the certainty that everything that is in existence is under the will of Allah and held by Hispower, and if your outward is busy fulfilling the orders of Allah avoiding the grave sins and mostof the smaller ones.The sign of more evil than good is that while there is a strong witness of the reality in theinward, his outward is not in accordance with the sharia. He leaves his obligations, and it wouldnot be surprising if he committed sins. This is because of the effect of witnessing the realitywhich makes him believe that all his actions are in accordance with what Allah wills. The lightthe haqiqa veil him from the secrets of the sharia. The effect of this is that he is discharged fromthe presence (al-hadra). The end result is that he will lose his dunya and his religion (ad-din).The evil overcomes the good, he becomes an unbeliever (zindiq), and he does not adhere to anyreligion. At this point it is hard to distinguish between him and an animal.If you leave everything that is not pleasing to Allah, you will be given insight and every good,because then you will see with the eye of Allah, you will hear with the ear of Allah, you willbecome a gnostic by Allah, walking in Allah or by Allah. In this spiritual station you will have thesubtleties, you will be close to completion, you will be close to arrival, most veils will beremoved from you, especially the darker or coarser ones, and you will have let go of most of theappetites of the nafs because this maqam is for the spirit.
Even though there is still some veiling, the veils here are from the light, and its appetite isacceptable, because the appetite here is to see the Haqq, to seek witnessing, and to seekarrival, and this is because love has overtaken it.In this station you are one of the people passionately in love, overtaken by love, who have nopatience with being separated from their Beloved. In this station, let go of the mixing withcreation. So that you may not be concerned with them, you have to stay away form them byAllah.Know that many claim this love but few are truthful. The truthful ones are the ones who havenothing in their hearts except their Beloved. They forget all of creation. What people do nevercomes to their minds. They do not mention the dunya. They are not concerned with dunya.People may see such a person and say that he is mad, but they are not aware of his elevated andstrong state. Know my beloved, that the condition for any lover is to be totally in obedience tohis Beloved. Do not think that throwing off restraint mean abandoning the Sharia. You disobey your God and you claim his love; This is indeed very strange! If your love were true, you would have obeyed Him; Surely the lover is totally obedient to his Beloved.
Beware of slipping. Do not think you that you need “to remove all restraint” i.e. Even leave theorders of the sharia. This is what those who are misguided think. These are the people whohave not left the world of the humanity. They have no knowledge of the haqiqa or of thefollowing of the sharia. They abandon ritual prayers and fasts, pursue their appetites, andcommit sins while they claim that they are in the unity and lovers of the Haqq. They say whatthey are doing is simply an example of having no restraints, and that they are not obligated bythe sharia. Beware, O murid, O seeker, that you are not overtaken by the shaitan in thiswitnessing. Know that the restraints that you need to remove are of the nafs and evil passion.What is meant is that you should be in concordance with the sharia, which discourages yourhaving a high station in the world of creation. You should do everything to belittle yourself withcreation. You may do things like carrying your shopping on your back or carrying the bread onyour head. The reactions to these things vary. For some these actions may look abased; toothers they may look more esteemed. So you need to take on the actions that make you looksmall. You do them, trusting your affairs to Allah. If you do good, you do good to yourself, and ifyou do evil, you do it against yourself.Do not do what is contrary to the sharia as a means of belittling the ego i.e. belittle yourself inthe eyes of people, such as drinking wine or doing anything else that is haram. This is a ploy ofthe shaitan that will cut you off from higher aspirations. Everything that is haram causesblackness in the heart. Whenever the heart is darkened, the way things are seen is contrary tothe reality. If you are sincere in seeking what demeans you and belittles you in the eyes ofpeople, then do those things that are allowed by the sharia. There are many things that areuseful in this way, yet are still halal. If you take on the haram, this will only harm all the goodwork you have done so far.
You should take on things that do not undermine all your good work. Do things that benefit youand help you on your way to arrival. The means of removing restraint that is acceptable by thesharia and helps you on your way to meet your Beloved are many. For example: Wearing fancyclothes may be a reason, impeding you because you need to expend much energy to be able toafford them. This takes up time that you could be using in your walking on the path to Allah.Know, my beloved, that in this station it is not so difficult for you to remove all restraintsbecause this maqam is the maqam of the deep love. Know that when you are done withremoving restraints, your nafs that follow ash-shaitan and prevent you from reaching the Haqqare dead, and you are capable of receiving messages from the spiritual world. It says in a versein al-Quran, “Say Allah and let them plunge in their playing.” They all mean to distract you, sodo not be engaged in anything but your Beloved. And if you do not lend your ear to what theysay, this is better for you.The seeker may stop walking because of his listening to something. When the seeker hearssomething, he is disheartened and reverts to the world of humanity. This is one of the dangersof this maqam. Be careful of it. Do not allow anything to distract you from the light. Rememberthat the end is to your Lord. Do not stop with anything except Allah. Ask Allahs help to discardeverything that stops you on your way. There is no arrival to Him except by Him. Do not bedeceived by anything revealed to you that makes you stop striving once you have become atease with striving. Remember that your aspiration is to something very dear and very high.Remember that your way is full of dangers. No one does all the walking except those who havegreat himma (spiritual aspiration). No one reaches Him except those who have a strong will. Soalways be aware.
In this station you are given the state of extinction (fana) which will help you in your ascensionto the next station, in which the nafs become serene (al-mutmainna). The fana in this maqam isa state (al-hal) that is experienced by the traveler (as-salik), which makes him absent from allsensory perception. This is not an absence like sleep or unconsciousness. This is like a person inshock who goes past someone who he sees but does not really see, or like hearing things butnot really hearing them, and this is true with all the senses including the mind. No one knowsthis state except the one who experiences it. From this station, the gnostic of Allah said, “A manstopped me and said, ‘Show me this knowledge that is not opposed by loss, because anyknowledge that is opposed by loss is loss.” *This is extinction.+This fana is the first fana. The second fana is given in the sixth maqam which is called themaqam of an-nafs al-mardiyya. As for the third fana, it involves the destruction or oblivion ofhuman attributes in the rank of Oneness, and this is through certainty, and this is the third fanaand it is also the baqa. As it is said, “He annihilates, then he annihilates, and then heannihilates,” and this annihilation is the baqa itself.Know that in the first fana, you hear the discourse of the spirituals (rohanis) not through thehearing sense, but through the mirror of your heart. You do not understand what they say, butwhen the state of extinction subsides and you regain consciousness you begin to understandwhat they said to you in your secret, and you begin to see what they engraved in the mirror ofyour heart. Then if you speak, you speak with wisdom.
The messenger of Allah, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, referred to hissecret by saying, “Whoever is sincere with Allah for forty days, springs of wisdom will gush forthfrom his heart and upon his tongue.”The talk of the spirituals in this manner is called the “ringing of bells.” “O Allah, You Who givewhen asked, do not deprive me and the lovers of this fana. And do not make our lot to be in toiland to satisfy our nafs. Do not make the dunya our main concern nor the limit of ourknowledge. And remove everything that impedes us from reaching you.”You may ask, “Is there a cause of this fana?” The answer is that it is caused by six matters whichmake the travellers into Gnostics. They are remembrance (adh-dhikr), reflection (al-fikr), hunger(al-jua), night vigils (az-zahar), silence (as-sond) and seclusion from creation. The most powerfulof these things is hunger, O you who seek this fana. Do not leave your spiritual exercises andyour struggling in this station. If they (the exercises) become hard for you, remind yourself oftheir benefits. Do not be satisfied with illuminations. In this station you do not know whetherthey are shaitanic or spiritual. Now you understand why the third station is a place of confusion.The salik does not know if what he receives is from the angel or the accursed Iblis.So, O seeker, do not be deceived by what appears to you and thereby leave the practices thattook you so far. Know that your nafs is your enemy. Do not be trusting of it, despite the highstations you think you have reached. Continue in your spiritual exercises and in your struggling,and increase your love and increase your himma, and take pleasure in the states of yearning andintoxication.
Know that this station of the passionate love is a station of delight. It is so delightful that thesalik is reluctant to continue his ascension of the stations. Know that love is a veil between youand the Beloved. This state of love is acceptable to the lovers, yet when you compare it to whatis above it, it is inferior. When the complete one remembers the state of love and his times in it,he regrets what he experienced in it of removing all restraints and lack of concern. Yet the stateof passionate love, if it is accompanied by spiritual exercises of self discipline and effort, is a truestate. It is from this state that the lovers compose their poems. They express themselves withanguish and pining. But if this poetry is not accompanied by struggle with the nafs, then knowthat all these words are lies, because they have not had the true tasting of the heart.In this station which belongs to the spirit, the traveler in the place of passionate love is in a stateof being oblivious to himself and even to his Beloved. This explains why the salik continues inthis station for a long time, because he is absent from himself. He is busy with uttering the nameof his Beloved; singing His praises and delighting in describing His beauty in poetry. This allhappens when the state is one of expansion (bast). But if he is in the state of contraction afterexpansion and he awakens from the sleep of passionate love, his chest becomes constricted, hisheart severely aggrieved and he becomes humble, and surrenders in the true surrender. Thesetwo states of expansion and contraction keep alternating in this maqam until the seeker is takento the fourth maqam, where his love is completed and the qualities of expansion andcontraction are replaced by awe (hayba) and intimacy (al-‘ans) *pronounced unce; this is like thesense of belonging, being comfortable and living in a beautiful time.]
These are two states that arise upon the complete ones and they are only known by directtasting. The difference between expansion and contraction is that through contraction the nafsis squeezed [a person becomes impatient in constriction], whereas through attraction this is notso. The difference between intimacy (al-‘ans) and expansion is that expansion is anoverpowering state which may cause the seeker to have bad adab (manners/respect) with theHaqq, but with ‘ans it is not like that.In summary, fear and hope, contraction and expansion, awe and intimacy, and majesty andbeauty are really two states only. The difference in names comes because of the difference inthe people and the difference in the stations. If these two descriptions are given to the nafs thatcommands to evil and to the reproachful nafs (al-lawamma),they are called fear and hope. Ifthese two states come upon the inspired nafs (nafs al-mulhama), they are called contraction andexpansion. If they relate to the higher stations of nafs al-mutmainna, radiyya, and mardiyyathey are called awe and intimacy. And if they are established by the nafs that are complete, theyare called jamal (beauty) and jalal (majesty).So fear (al-khawf) and hope (al-raj) are for the beginner, expansion (al-qabd) and contraction(al-bast) are for those in the middle station, reverence (al-hayba) and cordiality (al-‘ans) are forthe complete one, and beauty (al-jamal) and majesty (al-jalal) are for the Khalifa.
So keep striving, O seeker, to ascend from where you are in fear and hope, to arrive at expansionand contraction, and from these states you will ascend to beauty and majesty which are bothcomfortable states to you. Both are beautiful to you. Both are useful to you. Whenever you turnto something in a state of majesty, it happens by the permission of Allah, because then you arethe khalifa of Allah on His earth as His true slave, and Allah is angry at your anger; Allah isrevengeful at your feelings of revenge. So when you see the order of Allah, see things inexistence running through your hands, and have no doubt. This increases you in adab(manners/respect) with your Creator, increases you in at-tawba from your sins, and increasesyou in making astafir for the forgetfulness of your heart which takes you away from the stationof slavehood (al-‘ubudiyyah).When you see yourself in this third station on the straight path doing al-jahad with you nafs, behappy with that and be straight as you have been ordered, and worship your Lord until youarrive at certainty. When you follow in this way, you open yourself to completion and to divineattraction. Do not allow your chest to be constricted, because you are doing well and you areopening yourself to happiness. If you do experience constriction and tightness in this station,know that this is because in this station you are in the station of the ruh. The ruh hasascendancy. In the hours of constriction the spirit wishes to break through the cage of the bodyin order to connect to its world, the world of al-jabarut (The world of Omnipotence), and youare not yet capable of this. So have patience in these hours of constriction and difficulty,because in this constriction there are innumerable benefits. Had it not been for the fire ofconstriction, the nafs would not be cleaned of what is ugly in it, for surely the separation ofgood and bad is only through fire.
If you see that you are not being straight in your struggle with yourself, and if you see that yourappetite is strong and that you are keeping too much company with creation and are attractedto people, weep for yourself. Weep for what has happened to you. Weep about your descentfrom the highest station to the lowest of the low, and ask Allah to take you back where youwere, and ask for increase to arrive at the station of completion. Many seekers are not straight,and they slip. They do not have patience, and regret does not avail them of anything. So opposeyour nafs in this station. Do not slip. Whenever you see yourself leaning toward something inthis station, struggle with it. Do not agree with it. Whenever you nafs asks you for somethingthat is agreeable to the way, then give it to you nafs. Even if your nafs asks for extreme hunger,extreme sleeplessness, extreme separation from creation, and extreme lack of talk, give this.Even though the intention in these things may not be totally pure and seek only a good opinion,give, because this is your mount toward sincerity. The seeker will always have a portion ofspiritual pride until he arrives at total sincerity with the help of Allah.Some of the knowers say that there is no harm in deceiving the nafs by promising it minormiracles and promising it that it will become beloved to all people. So it is encouraged in theacts of mujahada to break norms, even through these things are disliked. So the seeker may sayto himself, “If you turn to Allah in your struggle with your nafs, you will be able to performmiracles.” Yet he needs to be wanting the pleasure of Allah in all of this, and he must be wantingto purify himself from his deficiencies. And he needs to want to truly beautify his self withperfection and good qualities.
So keep striving, O seeker, to ascend from where you are in fear and hope, to arrive at expansionand contraction, and from these states you will ascend to beauty and majesty which are bothcomfortable states to you. Both are beautiful to you. Both are useful to you. Whenever you turnto something in a state of majesty, it happens by the permission of Allah, because then you arethe khalifa of Allah on His earth as His true slave, and Allah is angry at your anger; Allah isrevengeful at your feelings of revenge. So when you see the order of Allah, see things inexistence running through your hands, and have no doubt. This increases you in adab (Islamicmanners, character traits and respect)with your Creator, increases you in at-tawba (turningaway) from your sins, and increases you in making astafir (ask for forgiveness) for theforgetfulness of your heart which takes you away from the station of slavehood (al-‘ubudiyyah).When you see yourself in this third station on the straight path doing al-jahad with your nafs, behappy with that and be straight as you have been ordered, and worship your Lord until youarrive at certainty. When you follow in this way, you open yourself to completion and to divineattraction. Do not allow your chest to be constricted, because you are doing well and you areopening yourself to happiness. If you do experience constriction and tightness in this station,know that this is because in this station you are in the station of the ruh. The ruh hasascendancy. In the hours of constriction the spirit wishes to break through the cage of the bodyin order to connect to its world, the world of al-jabarut (The world of Omnipotence), and youare not yet capable of this. So have patience in these hours of constriction and difficulty,because in this constriction there are innumerable benefits. Had it not been for the fire ofconstriction, the nafs would not be cleaned of what is ugly in it, for surely the separation ofgood and bad is only through fire.
As for you, O seeker, beware of stopping with any of this because all of these things prevent youfrom arrival with your Beloved. Know that whenever your himma (spiritual striving) stops withany created thing, the realities of these things will tell you, “We are a trial. So do not stop with us.”Some of the seekers do not experience any of this because of the true sincerity of theirattention to their Lord. Their hearts are not troubled by these trials and tribulations, nor do theystop with any created thing. Those who receive revelations (al-kashf) early on in their walkingare prone to stop in their walking, unless Allah covers them with His greatness. The greatestthing that can happen to the salik is that his inferior qualities are substituted by good qualitiesthat save him from what can cut him off from the way. The whole point of this traveling orwalking is to reach the King of Kings. You cannot reach Him except with the lifting of the veils.Another way of describing veils is to say that they are not what is suitable, or one can say thatthey are an obstruction between the seeker and the sought. So the changing of these qualities iswhat makes for a better relationship. Understand this because this is one of the secrets. So workhard to change your qualities. Replace satiety with hunger, sleep with staying up at night, talkwith silence, majesty and grandeur with humility, and so on. Be a real human being, not ahuman animal. If you keep to your ascension, you will reach what even the angels have notreached, and you will come face to face with the mirror of your slavehood to reach the mirror ofHis Lordship, may He be Exalted. The highest perfection in all of perfection is to be the ultimatein slavehood. This is why it is said that the farthest station in slavehood is a station that isparticular to our Master Muhammad, may Allahs (swt) blessings and peace be upon him, butyou will not attain this, so do not be greedy for it.
What you need to ask for is that which draws you near to that station. If you know this, then youknow that being humble for Allah is the source of greatest happiness. You will also know thatthe secrets of Lordship are placed in the station of slavehood. So understand and reflect uponthis, and walk the way of humbleness, poverty, and need of Allah. You will become one of thosepure free slaves who is free from the slavery to others. You will not arrive at anything exceptthrough slavehood (al-‘ubudiyya) to Allah.In relation to this, Ibn ‘Ataillah says in his Hikam, “Bury you existence in the earth of obscurity(al-khumul). Nothing grows unless it has been buried. So bury your existence and hide youridentity so that the saying of the Prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him,becomes true for you, “Die before you Die.” This is the fana. When the salik has theseattributes, he has no attraction to money, to children, nor to anything, nor does he fearanything. This is undoubtedly the state of the dead, which prepares the wayfarer for the worldof the barzakh (the intermediary world to resurrection). [Both are part of the malakut] So if thesalik enters into the world of similitudes (alam al-mithal) he will witness what is in accordancewith his perception.So, O seeker, if you are not ready for this, then at least thirst for it and be a seeker of it. Whoeverhas a desire for something and strives for it with sincerity and determination will reach it by thepermission of Allah and by the power of Allah. So keep doing adh-dhikr. Through this, Allah willlight a candle in His malakut world which will help you to see the darkness of your nafs thatincites to evil. And this will help you to see all of the deficiencies of the nafs, and it will help youto deal with them. Know that the benefits of adh-dhikr only happen through much dhikr, strongdhikr, and hidden dhikr with adab (respect/manners).
This means that the person doing dhikr should be facing the Qibla (Mecca) if he can, sitting onhis knees or standing, and he must not be distracted but must listen to the words hepronounces, in order to be clean outwardly and inwardly and to maintain his ritual purity. If youhave this adab (respect/manners) holding onto the sharia, then you are doing well. Do not beimpatient and do not be restless if the opening is not forthcoming. Know that the opening hasto come, no matter how long it takes, as long as you are straight, as long as you hold onto thesharia and the tariqa, and as long as you make your dhikr with this name at all times and it isthe dhikr of Allah. Use the invocation La Hu illa Hu some of the time.This is the majestic name. So when you are doing dhikr, behave as if you are addressing all thelimbs of your body, and know that there is nothing in existence except Allah, al-Haqq. Know thatother than Allah is not to be found. If you hold yourself to his witnessing and you continue in it,you will be given a higher state which will never leave you, and this is the highest aim. Theperson in this state is not veiled from creation and he is not veiled from Allah by creation, nordoes the Haqq veil him from creation, nor is he veiled by multiplicity from unity, nor is he veiledby unity from multiplicity. He witnesses the Haqq, Glory be to Him, outwardly in everymanifestation. He does not witness His name, the Outward, without the places of manifestation,as some of the unifiers do.
There are three types of witnessing: complete, deficient, and more deficient. The complete is asI have just mentioned. The witnessing is deficient with those who, in witnessing the Outwardand witnessing the place of manifestation, do not witness many, nor do they witness creation,nor do they witness his secrets, because this witnessing negates the specific qualities of theattributes of Allah. But the one who holds to this is forgiven because he is in the third stationand he is overcome by this. As for the more deficient, it is the witnessing of the beginners whoare veiled by creation from the seeing of the Haqq, so they see only creation and they see onlymultiplicity. Perfection is to see multiplicity in the Oneness and to witness the Oneness as itmanifests in multiplicity, without either veiling each other. So the complete one is not veiledform the haqq by creation, nor does creation veil him from the haqq. And the first stage of thecomplete one is the fourth station, the maqam of the nafs al-mutmainna.LA HU ILLA HUAllah
The Forth Station (Nafs al Mutmainnah) Tranquil SelfTraits: dignity, sincerity, courage, compassion, complete loyalty.Habits: Attachment to spiritual ambition.Light/Colour /Aura : White
The Forth Station Soul: (Ruh Nafsani) Personal SoulLocation: Brain and nervous system. As-sir The Innermost being Mediation: Ya Haqq O Truth
An-Nafs al-Mutmainna: The Serene Nafs:The Nafs in Complete Rest and SatisfactionThe Fourth StationThe satisfied nafs: its walking is with Allah, its world is the Muhammadan Reality (al-haqiqa al-muhammadiyya), its location is the secret(1), its condition is sincere serenity, its source (warid)is some of the sharia secrets, and its qualities are generosity, putting ones reliance on Allah,forebearance, worship, gratitude, satisfaction with the decree, and fortitude during hardship.The sign of the seeker (as-salik) entering into this fourth state is his steadfastness with thecommands of the sharia. He finds pleasure only in the character traits of the Prophet, may theblessings and peace of Allah be upon him, and he finds serenity only in following his wordswhereas the previous maqam was one of coloring (talwin, meaning change)(2). In this maqamthe salik gives pleasure to whomever looks at him or listens to him. Even if he were to talkwithout ceasing, no one would be bored with what he has to say. This is because his tongueexpresses what Allah has given him to know in his heart about the reality of things and thesecrets of the sharia. Whatever he speaks is in conformity with what Allah and His Messengerhave said. He knows this, not through the study of books, but by virtue of what Allah has placedin his secret. “I am your secret, My beloved, and You are My secret, so be at rest.”Everything comes to rest in him, and he drowns in the ocean of modesty and adab. His state isone of awe. He has presence and acceptance. He has realized the reality of creation and thefana, and has come to understand Allahs words, “Everything in annihilation.”
The salik in this maqam may meet with creation from time to time, so that he may benefitcreation with what Allah has bestowed on him and share the wisdom in his heart. O completeman, come out to them and benefit them in the manner in which Allah has bestowed Hisbenefits on you.Make sure you leave or make time for retreats because in this maqam you are in the beginningstages of completion. It is not suitable for you to mix with creation at all times, for this willimpede your ascension into the remaining stations, and by that I mean the fifth and sixth andseventh.See where your benefit is. If it is in seclusion, be secluded, and if it is in mixing or socializing,then socialize. The sign for benefitting and mixing is that those who are present with you will bebenefitted from you in receiving knowledge that Allah has given you, not the knowledge foundin books. In this maqam busy yourself with the remembrance of His name by saying Haqq, YaHaqq or Ya Allah. Be busy with the remembrance and do not be distracted by what appears toyou. Pray to Allah to not be shown what can become a distraction that will stop you fromserving Him and from standing by His door. If you receive revelation without protection, this canlead to being distanced from Him. Know that nearness is only given to the pure slaves who arenot delighted by the extraordinary (karamat: miracles, etc.). So you find that the complete oneswho have protection are not aware of any breaking of norms. (So they have miracles, but theyare unaware of them and do not know whether or not something extraordinary has happened.)
Ask Allah for victory and protection to go through what remains of the veils. One of the veils inthis station is the love of miracles (karamat). Remember that the end is to your Lord. Know thateverything other than Allah is a trial, so do not stop with it.An example of this is a man who intended to travel to the house of Allah in Mecca. He departedwith the pilgrims. He went most of the way, and then met a woman who stripped him of hismind. He decided to stay with her. The leader of the caravan said to him, “Do not stop here; thiswill prevent you from doing the Hajj. Come with us and visit the house of Allah. On our way backwe can marry you to his woman, but if you do not go with us, you will not reach the house ofAllah and you will be in disobedience to your Lord.” But this man was overcome by passion andhe never made it to the House of Allah. When he drew nearer to the woman and lifted the veilof her face, he found that she was very ugly. He regretted his decision, but it was too late. Hetried to catch up to the caravan, but to no avail. He cried day and night.The woman here is like the breaking of norms, or minor miracles, and the House of Allah is thenearness to Allah, and the caravan route is like the way to Allah. When the traveler finds himselfnear the presence of nearness to Allah, many miracles become manifest. If his passion becomesattached to them before the time has matured for them, he only exhausts himself and missesthe mark. These miracles are part of this creation, this dunya, which have no benefit in thisdunya or in the next world. When he realizes this, he regrets his attachment to them and weepsbecause they took him away form the maqam that he had worked so hard to attain.
Know that the nafs in and of itself is not an ugly thing. It is a gift from Allah, but if you areattracted to it and this attraction stops you from drawing nearer to Allah, then it becomes ugly.Remember that nearness is only possible through slavehood, which contains the secret ofLordship. So understand and do not stop with creation; otherwise that will be all you have.Know that in this station you will have an attraction to litanies, recitations or invocations (al-awrad) and to prayers (tawhid) and to the presence of the incoming light, the Prophet, may theblessings and peace of Allah be upon him, in a different way than in the previous stations.Beware of being secure with the nafs at any station. It is your enemy, and you should never besecure for it attacks, even if it feigns friendship with you. Know that you are at risk from it allyour life. For example, you may be given the wish for money to help you in your worship or inyour servitude to Allah and to help your beloveds. This in itself will not harm you if you followthese conditions:1) Make sure that this is truly your intent.2) Do not be distracted from your Lord by the acquisition of money.3) Should you acquire wealth, you should not hide it from people and pretend that you are poor.
In this maqam you may develop the desire of leadership, fame, and guiding others. You maystart assuming that you are a shaykh and seeking this position so that people may gather aroundyou and find guidance with you. Beware of opening yourself to this and of being attracted to itbecause it is one of the tricks of the nafs. But if Allah establishes you in this station, makes youwell-known or famous, and puts the robes of a shaykh on you without your aspiring to it, thenbe where Allah has put you. This would be better for you than seclusion. You know this is theorder of Allah if you find that the beloveds around you love you and are obedient to you. Itssigns also are that when you look at them, you do not find yourself superior to them or theyinferior to you. If you find yourself like this with your brethren, then guide them and counselthem and beautify the Sufi way for them, because this is the way of Allah. Be humble with themand thank God who has made you qualify for this position of which you are unworthy. Alwaysfeel indebted to them, and if you ever think they are in your debt, then know that you are notone of the servants of this field, abandon this position, leave them and strive to free your ownsoul from its remaining blemishes, for this is more important for both you and them.When some souls cross the stations and reach this fourth station they are beginning to bequalified to be a guide because they are gentle, affable, patient (al-latif, al-rifq and al-halim).While crossing the stations, they purify themselves. When you arrive at the fourth station, youhave the quality of al-mutmainna. Then there is no harm in guiding your brothers andprescribing beneficial remedies of the path in the absence of a more perfect guide. Do nothasten and do not put yourself ahead, but complete your walking by advancing to the fifth,sixth, and seventh station.
Know that if you complete the fourth station and find yourself tasting this rest from your Lord,and you find that your foot does not slip from following the Book of Allah and the sunna of HisMessenger, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, you will find that gentle divinehands will attract you to completion. This is different from the first attraction, which youreceived at the beginning of your walking. You will hear a call from the secrets of the secrets, “Omutmainna, return to your Lord.” This will make you forgetful of everything in the dunya and inthe Hereafter unless it is present with you. If it is absent from you, you are absent from it,because in this station you continuously contemplating or witnessing the Beauty and Majesty ofthe Haqq.Allah (swt)1. The secret is the inner aspect of the spirit and when it descends one degree it is called the soul and when it descends another, it is called theheart.2. This is the station of mastery, of the eye of certainty, and of perfect faith
The Fifth Station (Nafs ar Radiyyah) Content SelfQuran Ref:Return to your Lord, content (Quran 89:28)
The Fifth Station (Nafs ar Radiyyah) Content SelfTraits: endurance, resignation, constancy.Habits: personal identification with affliction.Light/Colour /Aura : Green
The Fifth Station (Nafs ar Radiyyah) Content SelfSoul: (Ruh Insani) Human SoulLocation: Inner or Spiritual heart. As-sarair – The Consciences Meditation: Ya Hayy O Everlasting
An-Nafs ar-Radiyya: The Contented Well-Pleased NafsThe Fifth StationThe nafs ar-radiyya: its walking is in Allah, its world is divinity (al-lahut), its place is the secret ofthe secrets(1), its state is extinction (fana) of a different kind from the above-mentioned, but notas previously explained, as that was the fana of the middle stage(2). Know that the weakness ofthe senses is for those who are close to entering the state of baqa, who are at the last stages oftheir walking. By this is meant the effacement of human qualities in preparation for the baqa,which will follow it immediately because this fana is the truth of certainty and happens at theseventh station. The nafs ar-radiyya does not have a warid because the warid is only when theattributes remain. In this maqam there is no trace of the attributes, so in this station, the salik isin state of fana, not baqa. He has no baqa with himself, as was the case prior to this station,neither does he have the baqa in Allah, as will be the case in the seventh station. This state canonly be understood by tasting. However the Perfect Guide (kamal) may explain it to the seekerwho is close to the degree of perfection.This nafs is detached from other than Allah. Some of its qualities are al-ikhlas (sincerity), al-wara, which is like being careful or impeccable, forgetfulness, and al-rida (acceptance) witheverything that happens in existence without disturbance or distress to the heart, nor beingmoved, nor having the desire to remove the source of pain, nor is there opposition to whathappens because he is deep in witnessing the absolute beauty. This state (hal) does not impedehim from giving guidance or counsel to creation nor from ordering them or forbidding them.
Everyone who listens to his words is benefitted by them, yet his (al-salik) heart is completelybusy with the world of divinity (al-lahut) and the secret of secrets. The person in this station isalso in the utmost of courtesy (adab) with Allah. His prayers are answered, he has authority withcreation, he is respected by everyone high and low. This is because he was told from thePresence of Nearness, “And today you are established with Us.” (12:54) So he is held inexaltation by creation by force. (He has no choice.) Those of the creation do not know why theyhold him in such high esteem and respect. However, he should not rely on this phenomenon,especially from unjust people, as he will be touched by the fire of their qualities.The danger here is if they are good to you. Beware of endearing yourself to them due to thegoodness they show you because of the nature of the heart. Allah says, “Do not rely on thosewho are unjust, or else the fire will touch you.” So busy yourself with your Lord. Do not turntoward them. The more you turn away from them and the more you are busy with your Lord,the more they are attracted to you. If Allah has written for you a share in their wealth, this willreach you by force. So do not turn to them hoping to receive something of what they have, norshould you turn away from them because of their attraction to you.In this station you are still not totally secure from the devices of the nafs, so it is best to be waryand not to be deluded or enchanted by peoples turning to you or peoples attraction to you.Surely the one in this maqam can take safety or refuge only with Allah. So if you find that youhave rest in other than Allah, you are not in this maqam. The person in this maqam in under theauthority of the inward, which has total dominion over the outward. So how can the personhave any rest in or be in alliance with a portion of his outward?
So understand and be busy in this maqam with the dhikr of Allah Hayy. Do much dhikr of this sothat you may get through the fana and attain to the baqa with the Hayy in the sixth station. Youprogress from standing at the door to entering the stations of the Living. The more you do thisdhikr, the more your fana begins to recede, and you start having the baqa in the Living. Youtake on the attribute of perfection, which is the meaning of, “I am the hearing by which he hearsand the seeing by which he sees.” This is also expressed as the nearness arrived at bysupererogatory (al-nawfl) prayers.Know that among the names, there are names called subsidiary names, such as:The Bestower al-Wahhab : The One who gives without being asked,The Opener al-Fattah : The One who opens the treasures of His Mercy for all His servants,The One al-Wahid : He in whose Essence there is no multiplicity,The Unique al-Ahad : The One who can be neither divided nor qualified,The Self-Sustaining as-Samad : The One to whom everyone turns for the fulfillment of all theirwishes.Do adh-dhikr with these names(3) and with al-Hayy and this will help you to move to the sixthstation, which now you need very much.Allah (swt)1. That which is known only to the Haqq2. In the middle stage the senses are unaware of the objects of perception3. Note that invocation using all these names and their subsidiaries should be with no vowel (sukan) following the last consonant.
The Sixth Station (Nafs al Mardiyyah) Pleasing SelfQuran Ref:for His being pleased with you! (Quran 89:28)
The Sixth Station (Nafs al Mardiyyah) Pleasing SelfTraits: knowledge of Allah, sincerity, unboundedfaith and hope in existential communion.Habits: mystical intoxication, lack of sobrietyand balanceLight/Colour /Aura : Black
The Sixth Station (Nafs al Mardiyyah) Pleasing SelfSoul: (Ruh Sirr) Secret SoulLocation: Innermost Spiritual Heart.Al-Akhfa –The Hidden Meditation/Dhikr: Ya Qayyum O Eternal
An-Nafs Al-Mardiyya: The Well-Pleasing NafsThe Sixth StationThe nafs al-mardiyya: its walking is to Allah, its world is the visible world, its place is the secretsor the hidden, its state is acceptable perplexity, the source of its warid (arriving, finding, sourceof light, pl. al-wurud) is the transcendence (tanzih), its attributes are good character, leavingeverything other than Allah, gentleness with creation, making peace with creation, and theforgiving of sins, mistakes, and wrong action. This nafs also unites the love of creation with thelove of the Creator. This is something amazing which is possible only in this station. This is why,in this station, the traveler does not appear outwardly different from the common person. As forhis inward, he is the mine of secrets or the repository of secrets. He is the leader of the best. Hedoes not witness otherness at all, insofar as they are other. He is the circumference of all divineknowledge, but not of outward or formal knowledge.This nafs is called al-mardiyya because the Haqq is pleased with it. Its walking in from Allah,meaning that it takes whatever it hears of knowledge from the presence of al-Haqq, Al-Qayyum.It has returned from the unseen world to the seen world with the permission of Allah, to benefitmankind with what Allah has bestowed upon it.Its state is acceptable perplexity. This is referred to in the hadith, “O Allah, increase me in myperplexity in You.” This is not to be confused with the confusion or doubt that one has at thebeginning of the path. In this maqam the salik fulfills his promises. He places everything in itsright place, so he may spend a lot if he finds that it is appropriate. The ignorant one may thinkthat he is being a spendthrift.
The salik may spend very little if he sees that it is inappropriate to give. The ignorant one maythink that he was just being miserly. So whoever extols the virtues of the one who is in thismaqam, in greed of receiving more from him, he is only wasting his time. If the salik is abusedby someone, this does not stop him from giving to that one if he is deserving. This is the hal ofthose who are complete.With regard to appetites, he holds the middle way. This quality sounds easy, but in fact it is oneof the hardest to hold on to, and not everyone who desires it can attain it.Know that at the beginning of this station the traveler shows the first signs of the greaterviceregency (al-kubra) and at its end he is invested with it, expressed by. “I am the Hearing bywhich he hears and the Seeing by which he sees, and the Hand by which he grasps, and by Mehe walks.” (Hadith narrated by Imam al-Bukhari) This state comes from nearness to Allah, whichis arrived at through worship and supererogatory practices (nawfl) [nawfl refers to everythingfrom the orders of Allah]. Be careful not to misunderstand and to think that you are al-Haqq.(1)So this maqam is arrived at after finishing with the previous maqam, in which all of the humanattributes, which are the cause for all reaction and suffering, have been obliterated. Through thenawfl acts, he draws nearer to Allah because the nawfl involves the struggle (jihad) with thenafs. Allah gives the attribute of certainty as a grace, so beware of following the wrong way andbeware of believing in incarnation because our Lord, the Exalted, does not enter into anythingnor does anything enter into Him.
The truth is that these matters cannot be understood by the mind(2); whenever the mind tries,it leads to disbelief and to losing the way because these matters can be understood only withdivine support(3). The fana is not something on the outside, so it cannot be measured orcompared to anything else. The same is true for the baqa in Allah, and for the nearness of theobligatory acts or the nearness from the nawfl. All speech in this maqam is for the people in thismaqam who have an understanding through tasting, Allah willing.Know that the destination of these stations is for the traveler to arrive at this Adamic form,which was the Qibla for the angels. This reality is the Muhammadan reality, which is Allahsgreatest secret, and the Muhammadan subtlety. This is the ultimate in nearness to the presenceof the Lord.If he reaches this, he realizes pure slavehood and incapacity, and he knows himself by thisdescription, and he knows his Lord through the attributes of the Lord. If he knows himself insubmission to Allah and in annihilation to Allah, he knows his Lord by might and baqa. This isbecause of the polarity of the ranks of slavehood and the engraving of that in the Adamic world.This is the meaning of, “Neither My Heavens nor My earth contain Me, but I am contained in theheart of My believing slave.”
All the attributes and names of Allah are in the Adamic form. Whenever the slave knows hisLord through divine knowledge, he knows the secrets that are placed in the reality ofeverything, and this is expressed His saying, “And He taught Adam all the names.” Here we cometo a place where expression cannot carry the secrets. When this is revealed to you and yourealize that this is the greatest any traveler can seek and the highest of stations, and the mostprecious in existence for the Perfect Ones, you will rush to seek it through being straight on thepath, and by holding onto the sharia, and by remembering the name al-Qayyum. You continueholding onto the courtesies (adab) of the sharia, the tariqa, and the haqiqa, not to bepreoccupied by one over the other, until you move into the maqam of realizing the Adamic formand the Muhammadan reality. Ya Qayyum! The Sustainer, the One who is constantly sustaining creation and running its affairsAllah1. Because al-Haqq neither penetrates into anything nor is penetrated by anything2. They lie beyond the reach of reason unless by Divine Grace3. There is nothing that resembles extinction that could serve to demonstrate what it is. The same thing applies to the baqaand to the nearness brought about by spiritual practices
The Sixth Station The Pure /Perfect Self (Nafs al-Kamila)Quran Ref:This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour toyou,and have chosen for you as your religion Islam. (Quran 5:3)
The Sixth Station The Pure /Perfect Self (Nafs al-Kamila)Traits:freedom from duality, acceptance of Allahs will, joy of union,freedom from expectation, contentment.Habits:None remainingLight/Colour /Aura :Colourless
The Sixth StationThe Pure /Perfect Self (Nafs al-Kamila) Soul: Sirr Al Asar- The Secret of SecretsLocation: Innermost Spiritual Heart of Hearts Al-Khafa – Secrecy Mediation- Dhikr to repeat: Ya Qahhar O Omnipotent
An-Nafs al-Kamala: The Perfect NafsThe Seventh StationThe walking of an-nafs al-kamala is by Allah, its world is multiplicity in unity, and unity inmultiplicity, its place is the Most Hidden that is the most hidden secret (1), its state is thesubsistence (baqa), its source (warid) is all the previously mentioned of the waridat(places, sources of arrival) of the nafs, and it combines all of the aforementionedqualities. The name with which he is engaged in, “Ya Allah! Ya Qahhar!” [O Compeller,the One who imposes His wishes on the creation without resistance.]This is the greatest of all stations because the inward has total dominion, and al-mujahada has been brought to completion. He has no other desire and attainted thegood pleasure of Allah. All his movements are acts of goodness, his every breath is anexpression of power and wisdom and worship. When he is seen by people, they arereminded of Allah, and how could they not, when he is the friend of Allah, and he is theFriend.This is the fourth station in the stations of friendship with Allah, and the fourth station isthe station of common awliya, and the fifth station is the station of the elect awliya, andthe sixth station of the elect of the awliya. So glory be to Him. Nothing withholds what Hegives, and nothing can give what He withholds.
Know that his names Ya Allah and Ya Qahhar are the names of al-Qutb (the spiritualaxis), and this name al-Qahhar is granted to him by his Lord or Master. The gnostics saythat with this name, the qutb gives his disciples whatever he needs to give them from thegifts of the lights and the good tidings. From this the seekers experience happiness, joy,and attraction in their hearts, in addition to what they gain from doing dhikr and fromturning to Allah.The person in this maqam never tires of worship with the body, the tongue, the heart, thehand, or the foot. He asks forgiveness in abundance. He is immensely humble. His joyand delight are in seeing creation turn to the Haqq. His sorrow and anger are in seeingthen turn their back to the Haqq. He loves the seekers of truth more than he loves hisown children. He has no hatred for any creature even though he commands to good andforbids evil. He expresses his love to those who deserve it and upholds the truth of Allah,regardless of blame. He puts everything in its place. Whenever he turns his attention toanything, Allah makes it for him as he wills, because his will is inside the will of Allah. Soif he wills something and he asks for it, Allah does not deny it because he is a slave byhis Lord. His hearing is divine hearing, and it is so with his seeing and with his will. If hewills something, it becomes by the permission of Allah. Allah is our support, and successis through Him, wa al-hamdulillahi rabbi-l- „alamin.Allah Ya Allah! Ya Qahhar!