Understating the nature of our nafs
Monday 12/12/11 Notes:
1) – There are many people who are living their life on “feelings”. They worship Allah (swt) when they feel like it. If they do not, then they do not worship Allah. If they feel like sleeping through salahtul fajr, then they do this. Those who are in this mind frame always living off their “feelings” should ask themselves who likes to do good, or the Amal of the righteous?
- Did imam Husain like to see his family go through the difficult times, being slaughtered and dyeing in thirst? Of course not!
All the saliheen are also like you and I, in respect of being a victim of the whispers of the shaitan & the temptation of the nafs – the ego centric nafs which always feels the inclination to do evil. – To take pleasure in sin.
However, the difference is they (the saliheen) trained their egos for doing good. Which helps them implement the good and act out the righteous deeds. This nonetheless does not mean that they are free from the nafs or the shaitan!
Know that it is the nature of the nafs (ego) to like only evil things, sins, and haram pleasures. IT will not take pleasure in good deeds and practices. Since it’s very existence is evil. How can a evil thing like good things? – only when it has been subdued and trained.
2) – Everyone has done a bayah (allegiance) to something/someone. Some of us have done bayah to shaitan. Some, to their desires – to women for example and others to money. Whatever ways these items/people dictate us to go, we go that way.
- you see, when you give bayah to someone the condition is whatever he/she will say, you will give preference to this than anything else in your life.
Likewise, because the saliheen have given their lives to the command of Allah and his prophet (saw) – it makes them go that extra mile in-order to make sure that the command of Allah & his prophet (saw) is given preference over anything else, unlike us. What we do is, make the commands of our nafs, shaitan, women, desires of dunya, the highest and try to make sure that is given preference over anything else. This is why when our nafs commands us “don’t worship Allah today” we try our best to implement this!
Get this into your mind and hearts that the nafs will never like doing good. – that’s it’s nature. However, like everyone you have to train to make your nafs to become habitual in doing good deeds. Why did imam Hussain manage to go through extreme hardship and still make sure the command/shari’ah of Allah was dominant? Although, his nafs was finding it hard. He still did not become subdued to his nafs. Do not think that, for the pious and the saliheen to do good is easy. They also go through tests and trials inorder to see which solution/answer they go for. The good or the bad. In fact their tests are 10x harder than mine or yours! But, they overcome their laziness, they revolt against their nafs in making sure that the command of Allah is dominant over their feelings & everything. Whereas we do the opposite, revolt against Allah, inorder to make our nafs dominant in our lives.
Another example of how the saliheen carry out the commands of Allah, (no matter what faces them, wether they feel like it or not), is the sister of imam Hussain. Zainab (ra)
- After the ordeal of karbala the whole episode was not over yet. Having been kept as a prisoner in the court of yazeed for one month she was then sent back to madinah. There she still continued to preach the message of islam (the message of imam Hussain (ra)). As a result the people of madinah revolted and nulified their bayah to yazeed. Consequently, yazeed made the governor of madinah banish zainab (ra) to egypt eventually. Even there she preached islam despite being taken to a foreign land as a prisoner once more! When yazeed saw that she is still relentless in spreading the message of imam Hussain, he moved her to Syria. Where she continued to preach, ultimately leading her to become a martyr in the path of Allah. (When she was killed by one of yazeeds men). She was killed whilst preaching & living by the injunctions of islam despite the harsh treatment she was going through! Now, she did not find these paths easy. Or, that she should stop due to her nafs finding it hard to continue.
You see, do you think it was easy for her to leave her home, her locality, being taken to foreign lands as a prisoner, whilst being tortured throughout the ordeal? Eventually, this onslaught of attack caused her to die in that path. Do you even for a second think that all these steps were easy for her? Or, that her nafs was enjoying all this? – her difficulties & tribulations? The answer is clear. So, beware of this. This is also another lesson for us to take from Imam Hussain’s (ra) life and the incident of Karbala. – To understand the nature of our nafs and carry on.