LESSONS / Compilations

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ

NAFS-SOUL - 2

“When man's nafs eats and drinks just as it pleases, it is both harmful for man's physical life medically, and when it hurls itself on everything it encounters without considering whether it is halal or haram, it quite simply poisons his ma’nawî life. Further, it is difficult for such a nafs to obey the heart and the rûh. It wilfully takes the reins into its own hands, and then man cannot ride it, it rather rides man. By the means of sawm in the Noble Ramadhan, it becomes accustomed to a sort of diet. It tries to riyâzah and learns to listen to commands.

Furthermore, it will not be attracting illness to that miserable, weak stomach by cramming it with food before the previous consignment has been digested. And by abandoning halal by the means of command, it will acquire the ability to listen to the commands of the Sharî’ah and the mind for avoiding haram. It will try not to destroy his ma’nawî life….

Furthermore, the factory of the stomach has many workers. And many of the human senses are connected to it. If the nafs does not have a rest from activity during the day for a month, it makes the factory's workers and those senses forget their particular ‘ibâdah. It makes them busy with itself so that they remain under its tyranny. Also, it confuses the rest of the senses of human with the clangour and steam of the ma’nawî factory's machinery. It continuously attracts their attention to itself, making them temporarily forget their exalted duties. It is because of this that for centuries many of the people of walâyah have accustomed themselves to riyâzah and to eating and drinking little in order to be perfected.” The Letters ( 472 )

 

“At one time, being instructed by Hazrat Ghawth al-A'zam Shaykh Jilânî (k.s.) was the only son of an aged and anxious woman. This esteemed lady had gone to her son's cell and seen that he had nothing to eat but a piece of dry, black bread. Her maternal compassion was aroused by his emaciated condition resulting from his riyâzah. She felt sorry for him. Later she went to Hazrat Ghawth in order to complain, and saw Hazrat Ghawth was eating roast chicken. Out of her concern, she said: "O Ustadh! My son is dying of hunger while you are eating chicken!" Whereupon Hazrat Ghawth said to the chicken: "Kum biiznillah!" 1 At this, the cooked chicken bones assembled and were thrown out of the dish as an entire live chicken. This has been narrated through ma’nawî tawâtur by many reliable and documented channels as a karâmât of someone like Hazrat Ghawth whose wondrous karâmât are world-famous. Hazrat Ghawth said to her: "When your son reaches this level, then he too can eat chicken." Thus, the meaning of this order of Hazrat Ghawth is: whenever your son's rûh rules his body, and his heart rules his nafs, and his mind rules his stomach, and he wants pleasure for the sake of offering shukr, then he may eat delicious things.” The Flashes ( 191 )

 

“Nafs wants to be free and independent and considers itself to be thus. According to the dictates of its fitrah, it even desires an imaginary rubûbiyyah and to act as it pleases. It does not want to admit that it is being tarbiyyah through innumerable ni’mahs. Especially if it possesses wealth and power in this world, and if ghaflah also encourages it, it will devour Allah's ni’mahs like a usurping, thieving animal....

...The human nafs forgets itself through ghaflah. It cannot see the limitless impotence, infinite poverty, and uttermost deficiency within its essence and it does not wish to see them. And it does not think of just how weak it is, and how subject to transience and to disasters, nor of the fact that it consists merely of flesh and bones, which quickly decline and are dispersed.

Simply, it assaults the world as though it possessed a body made of steel and imagined itself to be undying and eternal. It hurls itself onto the world with intense ambition and greed and passionate attachment and love. It is captivated by anything that gives its pleasure or that benefits it. Moreover, it forgets its Khâliq Who does tarbiyyah it with perfect compassion, and it does not think of the results of its life and its life in the âkhirah. Indeed, it wallows in bad moral.....

...Nafs does not want to recognize its Rabb; it wants its own rubûbiyyah, like Pharaoh. However much torment it suffers, that vein remains in it. It is however destroyed through hunger. And so, sawm in the Noble Ramadhan strikes direct blows at the nafs' pharaoh-like front, shattering it. It demonstrates its impotence, weakness and poverty. It makes it realize that it is an ‘abd.

Among the riwâyât of Hadith is the following:

Janâb-i Haqq said to the nafs:

- “What am I and what are you?”

The nafs replied:

- “I am myself and You are Yourself.”

So He punished it and cast it into Jahannam, then asked it again. Again it replied:

-"Ana ana, anta anta." 2  

However He punished it, it did not give up its ananiyyah. Finally, He punished it with hunger. That is, He left it hungry. Then again He asked it:

-"Man ana? Wa mâ anta?"3

And the nafs replied:

- وَاَنَا عَبْدُكَ الْعَاجْزُ - اَنْتَ رَبِّى الرَّحِيمُ   That is: “You are my Rabb Who is Rahîm and I am your impotent ‘abd.” The Letters ( 468- 473)

 

“The worst dhalâlah of the students of philosophy, the people of kufr and nafs al-ammarah, lies in not recognizing Janâb-i Haqq.” The Words ( 70 )

 

Since their own nafs, became a Pharaoh and possess nothing apart from absolute impotence and a juz’ al-ikhtiyârî, can neither annihilate anything nor create anything, and cannot create any particle or material out of nothing, and the causes and nature to which they rely on does not have the ability to create out of nothing, those unfortunates say, out of their stupidity: “Nothing can exist from non-existence and neither can what exists in no way become non-existent” and they want to extend this void (bâtil) and erroneous principle to the Absolutely Qadîr.” The Twenty-Third Flash

 

“Then, before everything, I had recourse to the ‘ilm I had studied of old, I began to search for a consolation, a hope. But unfortunately, up to that time, I had filled my mind with the ‘ilms of philosophy as well as the Islamic ‘ilms, and quite in error had imagined those philosophical ‘ilms to be the source of progress and means of illumination. However, those philosophical matters had greatly dirtied my rûh and been an obstacle to my ma’nawî development. Suddenly, through Janâb-i Haqq's rahmah and munificence, the sacred hikmah of Al-Qur'an Al-Hakim came to my assistance. As is explained in many Risales, it washed away and cleansed the dirt of those philosophical matters. For instance, the darknesses of rûh arising from the hikmah of science plunged my rûh into the universe. Whichever way I looked seeking a nûr, I could find not a gleam in those matters, I could not breathe. And so it continued until the instruction in Tawhîd given by the phrase from Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm "Lâ ilâha illâ Hû" dispersed all those layers of darkness with its brilliant nûr, and I could breathe with ease. But relying on what they had learnt from the people of dhalâlah and the people of philosophy, my nafs and shaytan attacked my mind (aql) and my heart. Lillâhilhamd, the ensuing debate with my nafs resulted in the victory of my heart. Those exchanges have been described in many Risales. And so, deeming them to be sufficient, here I shall explain only one proof out of thousands in order to show one-thousandth part of that victory of the heart. In this way it may also cleanse the rûhs of certain elderly people which have been dirtied in their youth, and their hearts sickened and nafs spoilt, by matters which though called foreign hikmah or the sciences of civilization, are in part dhalâlah and in part trivia. And through Tawhîd, they may be saved from sharr of shaytan and the nafs. It is as follows:

My nafs said in the name of the sciences of philosophy’s proxy: "According to the nature of things, the beings in the universe intervene in other beings. Everything looks to a cause. The fruit has to be sought from the tree and seed from the soil. So what does it mean to seek the tiniest and least insignificant thing from Allah and to beseech Him for it?"

Through the nûr of the Qur'an, the mystery of Tawhîd then unfolded in the following way. Then my heart said to my nafs which became a philosopher: “like the greatest thing, the tiniest and most particular proceeds directly from the qoudrah of the Khâliq of the whole universe and emerges from His treasury. It cannot occur in any other way. As for causes, they are a veil. For in regard to art and creation, sometimes the creatures we suppose to be the smallest and least important are greater than the largest creatures…..” The Flashes ( 305 )

 

“Indeed, lowly and heartless men who perform ‘ibâdah to their nafs unite and concord around worldly and immediate pleasures and benefits. Since the people of hidâyah turn toward the results and perfections pertaining to the âkhirah which concern the âkhirah and the future through the elevated principles of the heart and the mind, it is possible to have a union and concord with a true istiqâmah, a complete ikhlas and great self-sacrifice. But because they have failed to rid themselves of ananiyyah, and on account of ifrât and tafrît, they lose the union which is an elevated source of power, ikhlas is also shattered and the duty pertaining to the âkhirah is also harmed. Allah's pleasure is not gained easily.

The cure and remedy for this serious disease is the following: to be proud of the company of all those travelling the path of Haqq in accordance with the mystery of “AL-HUBBU FILLAH”4 ; and to walk behind them and defer them the honour of being Imam; and gaining ikhlas through abandoning the ananiyyah by considering the possibility that anyone on the path of Haqq is better than oneself; and by knowing that an ounce of deeds with ikhlas is preferable to a ton of deeds without ikhlas; and by to prefer being a follower to being followed which is perilous and the cause of responsibility, he will be saved from that disease and gain ikhlas, completely perform his duty pertaining to the âkhirah.” The Twentieth Flash-4th Cause

 

Thus the cure and remedy for this terrible disease is ikhlas. That is, one will be successful in gaining ikhlas with the preference of ‘ibâdah of Haqq to the ‘ibâdah of one's own nafs, and manifesting the mystery of اِنْ اَجْرِىَ اِلاَّ عَلَى اللهِ 5 by vanquishing the sake of Haqq over the sake of the nafs and ananiyyah, and manifesting the mystery of وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ اِلاَّ الْبَلاَغُ6    by istighnâ from the material and ma’nawî reward to be had from men... {To take as a guide Sahâbah’s trait of îsâr7 which is praised in the Qur'an. That is, to prefer others to one’s self when receiving a present or sadaqa, and to never request or expect by heart the material benefits which come in return for the service of religion, by knowing them purely as an Ilahî favour, not becoming indebted to man and to not take them as a return of the service of religion. Because nothing should be sought in return for the service of religion in the world, lest ikhlas is lost. Although they have the right in their livelihood is provided by the ummah, also, they deserve zakât, however, it is not requested, but rather given. When it is given, it is not said that this is a reward for my service.One can be saved from this terrible danger and gain ikhlas by manifesting the mystery of وَ يُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَى اَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ 8 by preferring contentedly others’ nafs who are more deserving and qualified than his own nafs, as much as possible.} by knowing that goodly acceptance and impression and gaining the attention of men are Janâb-i Haqq’s duty and His favour, they are not part of the tablîgh, which is one's own duty, nor are they necessary, nor is one charged with gaining them, otherwise, it will vanish.” The Twentieth Flash – The First

 

“Two years ago, without reason, an official spoke insultingly and contemptuously about me behind my back. They later told me about it. With the temperament of Old Said, I became saddened for about an hour. Then through rahmah of Janâb-i Haqq, the following haqiqah came to my heart. It dispelled the distress and made me forgive the man. The haqiqah is this:

I said to my nafs: If his insult and the faults he expressed are about my personality and nafs; then may Allah be pleased with him, for he tells the faults of my nafs. If what he said was true, it will drive me to tarbiyyah my nafs and will help to save me from pride. If what he said was a lie, it will help to save me from riyâ and superficial fame, which is the basis of riyâ.  Indeed, I have never made peace with my nafs, for I have not tarbiyyah it. If someone was to tell me I have a scorpion on my neck or my chest, or points it out to me, rather than be offended it is necessary that I be grateful to them. However, if that man's insult was direct at my attribute of being the servant of the Qur'an and îmân, then it is not directed at me. I refer that man to the Qur'an's Owner, Who employs me. He is ‘Azîz, He is Hakîm.

If it was said merely to curse, insult and destroy me; that is also not my concern. For since I am an exile, a prisoner, a stranger, whose hands are tied, restoring my honour is not my responsibility. It is rather the responsibility of the authorities of this village in which I am a guest and kept under surveillance, then of the district, and then of the province. Insulting a man’s prisoner is the concern of that man; it is he who will defend the prisoner. Since this is the haqiqah, my heart found peace. I said, وَاُفَوِّضُ اَمْرِۤى اِلَى اللهِ اِنَّ اللهَ بَصِيرباِلْعِبَادٌ  9

I considered the incident as if not having happened and forgot about it. But unfortunately, it was later understood that the Qur'an had not forgiven him...

…And so, in response to these two incidents I was confronted with, I showed the same patience and forbearance as I had exactly towards the treatment of that official two years ago. Inshaallah I will continue to do so. I also think and will say this: if this torment, distress, and pressure inflicted on me by ahl ad-dunyâ is directed at my faulty deficient nafs, I forgive them. Perhaps my nafs will be reformed by this. It will be kaffârah adh-dhunûb. I have for a long time seen the delights of the guest-house of this world. Even if I experience a little bit of its suffering, I will still offer shukr. If ahl ad-dunyâ are oppressing me with respect to my role and servitude to îmân and the Qur'an, defending that is not my responsibility. I refer that to Al-‘Azîz Who is Jabbâr. If what is sought is turning the public regard against me to destroy a false fame, which is baseless and is the cause of riyâ and can destroy ikhlâs, then may Allah bless them! Because I consider it is harmful to receive the attention of people and to gain fame in the eyes of the community for people such as myself. Those who have been in touch with me know that I do not want respect to be shown me; rather, I detest it. I have even scolded a valuable and important friend perhaps fifty times for showing me excessive respect. If what they seek through controverting, degrading and throwing me down in the public view relating to the haqiqahs of îmân and the Qur'an which I am the interpreter, is futile. The stars of the Qur'an cannot be veiled. One who shuts his eyes only blinds himself. He cannot make it night for anyone else." The Sixteenth Letter/Third Point

 

“the haqiqahs of îmân and the principles of Qur'an cannot be delivered like worldly dealings in an official way and in return for a wage. Rather, those mysteries which are Ilahî gifts can be received by means of sincere intention, by becoming free from this world and pleasures of the nafs.” The Letters ( 93 )

 

“Janâb-i Haqq has compassionately demonstrated His Qoudrah in me so that He employs my personality, which is like that of the lowest common soldier, in serving the mysteries of the Qur'an, which resembles the most exalted position of a field marshal. Shukr to Allah a hundred thousand times! The nafs is baser than everything, and the duty higher than all...” The Letters ( 378 )

 

through jihâd against the nafs and shaytan, the benefit, honour and value which is given to mankind due to the ten perfect men like stars who enlightened and honoured the human species, indeed make unnoticeable and reduce to nothing the harm which is given to mankind through the people of dhalâlah embracing kufr who are base as to be thought of as vermin. Since this is so, Ilahî rahmah, hikmah and justice have permitted the existence of shaytan and allowed him to pester men.The Thirteenth Flash-2nd Indication

 

“Moreover the Islam that emerged from the deeds, sayings, and states of that unlettered being (asm) which in each century has been for three hundred million people the guide and refuge, the teacher and murshid of their minds and the illuminator and purifier of their hearts, the cause for the refinement and training of their nafs, and the source of progress and advancement of their rûhs; has never been rivalled, and nor will it.” The Rays  ( 152 )

 

“The Qur'an, in this world, brought about in so luminous, felicitous and truthful a fashion, a revolution in the social life of humanity, as well as in the nufûs, hearts, rûhs and minds of men, in their individual, social, and political lives, and having caused this revolution perpetuated it in such a fashion, that for fourteen centuries at every moment it’s six thousand, six hundred and sixty-six âyahs have been read by the tongues of more than a hundred million men, does tarbiyyah them, does tazkiyyah their nafs and purifying their hearts. To rûhs, it has been a means of development and advancement; to minds, istiqâmah and nûr; to life, it has been life itself and happiness. Such a book is of a certainty unparalleled; it is a wonder, a marvel, and a miracle.” The Rays  ( 157 )

 

“As for the medicine of îmân, it shows its effect by carrying out fardh as far as is possible. Ghaflah, dissipation, the lusts of the nafs and illicit amusements prevent the effectiveness of that remedy.” The Flashes ( 285 )

 

Repelling sharr is always superior to attracting good. And in the age of such destruction, dissoluteness and alluring desires, taqwâ, which is this repulsion of evil and abstaining from kabâir is a fundamental principle and has gained significant precedence.

Since the destruction and negative current are terrifically intensified in this age, taqwâ is the greatest principle against this destruction.” Kastamonu Addendum (164)

 

“And the result of reining in and tethering the nafs and leaving the rûh free and urging it towards perfection is happiness in this world and the next.” The Words ( 421 )

 

“…through forming a barrier against the transgression of nature, the Sharî’ah modifies and tarbiyyah the nafs al-ammarah…” The Words ( 501 )

 

“Some people say that Islamic Unity, which makes the Sunnah of the Prophet (asm) its aim and mark, limits freedom and is opposed to the requirements of civilization.

The Answer: The true, mu’min is truly free. One who is the servant and ‘abd of the Sâni’ of ‘âlam will not condescend to lower himself before His creatures. That is to say, freedom is increased to the degree îmân is strengthened.

Absolute freedom, however, is absolute savagery; indeed, it is animality. From the point of view of humanity, too, freedom has to be restricted.

Secondly: Some careless and dissolute individuals want not to be free, but to be the vile slaves of their nafs al-ammarahs.

In Short: The freedom outside the bounds of the Sharî’ah is either despotism, or slavery to the nafs, or beastly animality, or savagery. Such careless and zindiqs should know that they will never make any foreigner with a conscience love them through irreligion and dissoluteness, nor will they resemble them. For no one loves the dissolute and the unprincipled. And if a man wears a dress that suits a woman -liked by them-, he merely becomes ridiculous.” The Damascus Sermon ( 86 )

 

Q-They have interpreted freedom to us in an extremely improper manner. In fact they have told us that, on the condition that others are not harmed, ‘freedom’ allows humans to commit any kind of dissolute and debased action without anyone reacting to it. Is that the case?

A- Those who say that are actually announcing their dissoluteness and debasement, not their freedom. Like childish excuses, they talk nonsense. For it is necessary that this delicate freedom be mannered and adorned with the âdâb of the Sharî’ah. Otherwise, freedom in dissoluteness and debasement cannot be classified as freedom. It is rather, an animality, a tyranny of shaytan, and enslavement to the nafs al-ammarah.

General freedom is produced from freedoms of minute particles of individuals. Freedom necessitates that: Neither should others be harmed, nor his nafs be harmed.” Biography (81)

 

You ask: "So long as they are in the form that the Qur'an commands, what are the results and benefits of all my different and various loves? That is, my love for food, my nafs, my wife, parents and children, my friends, the awliyâ, the prophets, beautiful things, the spring and this world?"

Your love of your nafs is to pity it, to tarbiyyah it, and to prevent it from harmful desires. Then the nafs will not ride you, it will not make you a prisoner of its desires, rather, you will ride it. You will drive your nafs, not to desire, but to right-guidance.

Licit love for your nafs in this world is not a love built on its good qualities, but rather one that sees its short-comings and tarbiyyah it with a compassion that seeks to perfect it, and that impels it towards khayr. This love results in giving to the nafs objects of love worthy of it in Jannah.

As is explicitly stated and proved by a great number of âyahs in the Qur'an, when the nafs utilises its desires and wishes correctly and employs its faculties and senses in the best way in this world, that is, in the way of Janâb-i Haqq, as a result of this licit love in a manner of ‘ubûdiyyah, the Absolutely Karîm will bestow on it houris in Jannah, the everlasting realm. He will clothe these houris in seventy varieties of the finery of Jannah. He will adorn their beings with seventy kinds of beauty that will caress and gratify all the senses of the nafs. Each houri will be like a miniature Jannah with rûh.” The Words ( 673 - 678)

 

O My Rabb, Oh Rabb As-Samâwât and Aradîn! O My Khâliq and Oh Khâliq kulli shay! For the sake of Your Qoudrah, Irâdah, Hikmah, sovereignty, and rahmah, which subjugate the heavens and their stars, the earth and all it contains, and all creatures together with all their attributes and acts, subject my nafs to me and subjugate to me my wishes! Subjugate the hearts of people to the Risale-i Nur, so they may serve the Qur'an and îmân! And grant me and my brothers-sisters perfect îmân and husn al-khatimah (death with îmân)! As You subjugated the sea to Hazrat Mûsâ ‘Alayhissalâm, fire to Hazrat Ibrâhîm ‘Alayhissalâm, the mountains and iron to Hazrat Dâwud ‘Alayhissalâm, jinn and men to Hazrat Sulayman ‘Alayhissalâm, and the sun and moon to Hazrat Muhammad ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, subjugate hearts and minds to the Risale-i Nur! Preserve me and all the students of the Risale-i Nur from the sharr of the nafs and shaytan, and the torment of the grave and Jahannam-fire, and grant us happiness in Jannah al-Firdaws!

Amen. Amen. Amen.

 

سُبْحَانَكَ لاَعِلْمَ لَنَۤا اِلاَّ مَاعَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيم

وَاٰخِرُ دَعْوٰيهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

اَللّٰهُمَّ احْفَظْنَا مِنْ شَرِّ النَّفْسِ وَالشَّيْطَانِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ الْجِنِّ وَاْلاِنْسَانِ

 

 

 

1 (Rise up, with Allah's permission!)

2 (I am myself and You are Yourself.)

3 (Who am I and who are you?)

4 (Love for the sake of Allah)

5 (Verily my reward is from Allah alone)

6 (No more is the Prophet bound to do than deliver the message)

7 (Using preference in giving. To prefer others to one’s self whilst  being in great need)

8 (They prefer others’ nafs to their own nafs, though poverty be their lot)

9 (My [own] affair I commit to Allah; for Allah [ever] watches over His abds.)

 

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