Inciting Innerself ( an-Nafs )

What is Innerself?

  1. The innerself (nafs) is a hub to all human desires. It gives birth to all the evil desires and rebellious thoughts. It triggers a man to disobey Allah’s ordain and is responsible for all the wild acts that a person commits when he is under the spell of the sensual lusts. It acts bestially in anger; when hungry it loses the difference between the legal and illegal, when sated it becomes rebellious, selfish and arrogant. In short, the inciting innerself of a person is never satisfied. It keeps trying to involve the person in a new trouble every day. Only the one who controls it, reaches the destination of union with Allah. It is not possible to kill the innerself without the help of perfect and accomplished spiritual guide. The life of soul lies in the death of inciting innerself.
  2. In simple terminology, the innerself is the person’s own self. Both Allah and one’s own self is present in man’s inward. If we deny our ‘self’ then the Divine Self becomes visible and dominant inside us and the innerself will be transformed to peaceful innerself (an-nafs al-mutmainnah).

Weapon of Satan

  1. Satan also uses the innerself (an-nafs) of a person as a weapon to divert towards the wrong deeds. The purgation of inciting innerself is possible but the purgation of Satan is not.
  2. The innerself is more powerful than Satan but it can become righteous on sanctification. However, purgation of Satan is not possible, hence it is only evil.

Why is it Important to Conquer an-Nafs?

  1. There remains no distance between Allah and His slave if the veil of innerself (nafs/ an-nafs) is removed.
  2. Chasing the inner lust is like venerating innerself. It is a type of idolatry.
  3. Only the person who understands the ever-changing tricks and temptations of the innerself and conquers over them reaches the destination of ‘union with Allah’.
  4. When a person becomes stronger than his innerself, only then can he dominate it, and he will become stronger than the innerself only when he will have the courage to deny its desires and commands. If he continues to obey its commands and fulfill its desires, he will remain weaker and subdued by it, hence will eventually become its slave.
  5. When the innerself (nafs/an-nafs) is immersed in the Divine light, it is purged and forgiven hence advances to the state of peaceful innerself.

Food for an-Nafs

  1. Excessive prayers indulge the innerself in arrogance, conceit and egoism making it stronger and more rebellious. By doing the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat under the supervision of the perfect spiritual guide and remaining in his beneficent company, the seeker gains spiritual elevation and his innerself progresses on the journey of purgation.

Gnosis of Allah and Nafs

  1. The innerself is both positive and negative. When it becomes completely positive, it finds gnosis of Allah.
  2. To reach the Divine Reality it is important to deny one’s ‘self’. A person reaches Allah only when he breaks the bounds of his ‘self’.
  3. Allah will never be pleased with the seeker until his inciting innerself keeps overpowering him.
  4. A person upsurges only if he disparages his innerself.
  5. One who reaches the state of peaceful innerself is blessed with the purified soul.
  6. A seeker understands Allah’s will when he attains perfection in self-accountability.

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