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Monday, 28 April 2008

Different Categories of the Nafs

Different Categories of the Nafs

Nafs is man’s enemy and must be trained so it is brought towards righteousness. Mujahida of the lovers of Allah today and through the ages has been to train this nafs so that it becomes an ally in serving Allah rather than an enemy. There are three stages or types of nafs.

Nafs ul Ammara is the worst category of nafs, in which a person not only commits sin but boasts of his sins and thus challenges Allah. This is an animalistic nafs that does not care about anything or anyone, least about pleasing Allah. This nafs is a close ally of Shaitan in pushing people away from Allah and Muslims should pray for deliverance from this type of evil.

Nafs ul Luwwama is a stage somewhat improved from this such that this type of nafs feels shame when it commits sins and repents to Allah. This describes the average Muslim who desperately wants to obey and please Allah but slips into sin because his nafs overpowers him at times. However, after falling into sin he immediately repents because he feels deeply ashamed. Although this nafs is definitely an improvement from the previous one, man should always keep striving to improve his nafs beyond this.

Nafs ul Mutma’inna is the best kind of nafs. It has been rectified and trained to obey Allah. Only the special lovers of Allah who have struggled their whole lives against their nafs are so blessed. This type of nafs now remains preoccupied with the sunnah and other ways by which to please Allah. Moreover, people with this type of nafs not

only run from sin but Allah protects them from sin and keeps them on the path of the shariah. This nafs struggles so hard to improve itself that Allah will admit it into Paradise on the Day of Judgment as He promises in the Holy Quran. This is the nafs that man should beg for and beseech from Allah.

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَنُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَحْسَنَ الَّذِي كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Those who believe and do righteous deeds, We will expiate their bad deeds and will give them a better reward (than their expectation) for what they used to do. [29:7]

By Zulfiqar Ahmeh (Hafizahullah)

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