Sunday, 18 September 2011
Allah stops the Nafs at the time of its death
There are Three enemies working against every human being.
The first of these enemies is Nafs,
The second is Satan.
And the third and final is Dunya.
Islam's stand, vis-à-vis man's pure nature and its strength and firmness has been discussed.
As regards its dealings with the devil-like natures, that has also been made clear.
Islam warns mischievous-natured people. It entrusts its reins in the hands of the healthy intellect;
it encourages it to bow down to the pure nature and to surrender itself to Allah.
The prophet has hinted at some of these kinds of natures:
"The son of Adam reaches the old age and two of his habits do not leave him.
One is greed and the second is the unending succession of hopes."(Muslim)
"If the son of Adam is given a valley of gold, he will desire to have another one.
And if the other is also given, he will be greedy to have the third one.
The hunger of Adam's son will not be satisfied except when his remains are mixed with the dust.
And the one who turns to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance." (Bukhari)
The holy Quran has mentioned some of the habits in the Surah Ale Imran:
"Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet, women and sons; heaped up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in the nearness to Allah is the best of the goals (to return to)."(Ale-Imran: 14)
The first thing Islam wants man to pay attention to is this that to run after the carnal desires of the self and to follow its unending demands will never satisfy self and make it contented. Truth and right path will not be acceptable to it. The condition of the self is that when its one desire is satisfied, it immediately demands to have some other desire satisfied. It is always busy in eating, drinking, and having a good time, and greedy with desire to have more and more of everything. It has no hesitation in committing sin and acts of aggression and cruelty. Therefore, Quran has forbidden men to follow the desires that have been considered haram:
"Nor follow you the lusts (of your heart), for they will mislead you from the path of Allah; for those who wander astray from the path of Allah, is a penalty grievous, for that they forget the Day of Account."
The policy of the infidels and the necessity of opposing it and its importance have been mentioned in these words: "If the Truth had been in accord with their desires, truly the heavens and the earth and all beings therein would have been in confusion and corruption! Nay, we have sent them their admonition, but they turn away from their admonition." (Muminin... 71)
It is necessary that a distinction be made between the forbidden desires of the self and the lawful desires, because some so-called religious people have mixed up these two very dangerously.
If man wants to enjoy the goods of the world, then there is nothing wrong in it, but it is a very serious error that this kind of lawful demands and desires has also been included in the list of forbidden, wicked acts. Its consequence is this that man satisfies his lawful and respectable desires, but his conscience becomes like the conscience of those people who accept crimes as lawful and adopt them willingly. In this way their conscience
When he realizes that he has committed a mistake, and that sin is an inevitable part of his life, then he commits more serious sins and indulges in the strictly forbidden acts. In other words this time he becomes a criminal and a sinner in the real sense of the word.
The holy Quran has paid special attention to this aspect and has very clearly declared the pure desires of the self and the lawful wishes as proper and lawful, and provided it with a chance to use Halaal and clean things. It declared any interference of narrowness and inhibition in this respectable and lawful sphere by way of any checks on the self as bad and obscene, because it opens the gate for obscene acts and sinning.
"O you people I Eat on earth what is lawful (hala) and clean (Tayyab) and do not follow the footsteps of Satan Indeed, he is an open enemy for you. He will command you (to do) what is evil and indecent and induce you
It is a fact that to put restrictions on the consumptions of what is lawful (hala) and clean (Tayyab) is nothing but leveling false charges against Allah, and this thing amounts to evil and indecency which Satan commands men to do. Islam does not like to repress such natures and inclinations with force and punishment, nor does it want to placate or Batter them, but Islam follows a balanced method which is free of any kind of excess.
Nafs-e-Amara is the evil stage of the Nafs, and it's very important to reform the Nafs in the light of The Holy Quran. For it is mentioned that those who don't struggle to reform themselves are in loss and those who struggle throughout the whole of their life to reform themselves of ill commanding desires are the people of success.
Action of the human lies on his intention. So the consequence of his every action has its impact on his self, even "the treachery of the eyes and what the breasts conceal (Quran, 40: 19)" develop the imprints on the self. This is the Registry of conduct, the debit or credit side of the ledger kept for him: "And on every man we have fastened his record about his neck (Quran, 17: 13)." He will read this same augury at the time of judgment (the time when the consequences are declared). The Quran says: "Read your Register today. Today your self suffices you as a reckon or against you (Quran, 17: 14; and also 75: 14-15)." This establishes the individuality of the human self (Quran, 6: 95; 19: 95). Man bears responsibility for all those actions in which his self was involved. If the action was wrong, he has no option but to submit to the "punishment" which is the necessary result of his action. It will not avail him to offer excuses that he acted heedlessly in a fit of abstraction, or with a good intention. His own heart will bear witness against him ([75:14] (The human being will be his own judge). (Quran, 75: 14 ;) & 6: 165).
The very important phenomenon of the human self is that it is proficiency, potentiality, capacity or a realizable form, neither good, nor evil in itself. Its use, like other entropies, makes it good or evil. When the human makes its use for the solidarity and preservation of higher values, it becomes the cause of good (it develops with this process.) When the human makes use of his "choice and will" for achieving the low/mean self-gains (where the higher values are neglected) it manifests evil. In this case, just for discrimination from human self, we call it as "ego". Ego is extant at the animal level whereas self is at the human level. When human emotions operate under the command of ego, the Quran interprets it with the term "Hawa" (The very root of this word connotes the concept of "mean-ness, low-mindedness, and mean-spiritedness".) And when the human intellect serves the purpose of ego, it is called ruse, craftiness, and feigning, deceived ness. On the contrary, when the emotions operate under the command of human self, it becomes the highest essence of humanity. And when the intellect becomes subordinate to the self, the human life and the society become a heaven.
Some times it so happens that the Nafs of the human commits an evil, then there emanate the feelings of shame, of remorsefulness. This, in fact, is a kind of conflict between the ego and the self. The Quran calls this condition as "Nafs-e-Lawwaama" (Quran, 75:2) i.e., the reproaching Nafs, the remorseful Nafs. This must be understood, in this connection, that the human self has no proficiency, no capacity, no capability, to distinguish between good and evil in itself. Discrimination between good and evil can be done by means of Revelation of Allah alone. "Nafs-e-Lawwaama" will reproach that alone which it considers as evil. But it is not necessary that the one which it considers evil is evil in real sense. And the one it considers good is good in reality (consult the Quran's concepts of La Ha Meem and Fa Ta Ra). In this way the human conscience is no criterion for judging the good and evil.
When man obeys the Laws of Allah, the conflict between good and evil vanishes.
The self overpowers the low and the mean attractions. The Quran calls this state as "Nafs-e-Mutmaenna" (Quran, 89: 27). This phase, in the terminology of the contemporary Psychology, is called Integrated Personality. The reverse of it is called Disintegrated Personality. The Quran has interpreted both these conditions as Fojooraha WA Taqwaha (Quran, 91: 8-9) and has called the development of the self as the ultimate goal of human life. According to the Quran, this is the achievement of life (Quran, 91: 10). Since every human child gets the human self by birth, every human is respect worthy (14: 70). And none enjoys the right to make anyone subordinate. "Choice and will" is the basic facet of the human self, so getting anyone obey one's orders, exploiting others' option of "choice and will", is depriving one of one's prestige and dignity. According to the Quran, obeying is only to the Laws of Allah. (The Quran calls it as Ibadah.) It is not the obeying of the orders of any despot or of any tyrant ruler. This obeying is the acting upon the Laws of Allah from the core of one's heart. 'This acting upon' is the self-imposed limitation of the human being on himself. It is because it makes one's self develop. It is only the Quranic Social Order that establishes the milieu in which no one remains subservient to any one else. This makes the self go on growing higher and higher. The human self can not grow in the solitary life of the monasticism.
There is one verse in Sura Zumar: "Allah stops the Nafs at the time of its death, and that, which does not die, makes it so, in its state of sleep; then He withholds that for which He has decreed death, and sends back the other for a stated term (39: 42)." The question is: "What does the term Nafs -which is made to stop during the state of sleep and death both; and when the human awakes, sends it back, but in case of death is not sent back - mean in this verse?" So far as sleep is concerned, we know it well that every thing except consciousness is extant in the human; even the subconscious ness remains present. It is evident that Nafs in this verse means the state of its consciousness. It means the consciousness does not remain present in both the states of sleep and death. When the sleeping person awakes, his consciousness again starts operating. But in case of death, consciousness loses its link with the body. After death, the reactivation of consciousness is called "the life after death." How does the consciousness (or Nafs) reactivate in this life, we can not understand it at this level of our consciousness? It is because the only mean of activation of our consciousness today is our material body. We can not imagine the operational state of our consciousness without the body; it is because the body is the mean at this stage of life through which the consciousness operates. The Quran has never told as to what will be the mean for activating consciousness in the life hereafter, nor was it of any use. But the activation of Nafs after death is the reality which the Quran describes as an established fact. And we have fervid faith (conviction) in it. This is the genuine base on which the edifice of Deen is erected.
That is why the Deen is said to be a Social Order where the dualism of personal and private segments of life, of Deen and Dunya, or of religious and 'worldly' matters etc. does not exist.
It must be remembered here that there is at least one marked distinction in the way of development of the self from that of the body. The body grows by taking and assimilating nutrient substances from the environment. The more nourishment it gets, the better is its growth. Paradoxically, the self grows not by receiving but by giving. Generosity promotes its growth and meanness checks it. The more the self gives of its riches, the richer it grows. If this basic truth is clearly perceived, men will rush to the help of those in need. They will think more of what they can give than of what they can keep for themselves. The acquisitive instinct will be weakened and the impulse to give will gain strength. The Quran extols men who put the interests of others above their own: "They prefer others before themselves, although there is indigence among them; and whosoever is preserved from the covetousness of his own self, these shall prosper (Quran, 59: 9). That is why the Quran has laid down the standard that "Only the most munificent is the fittest to survive". Those who have imbibed the true spirit of the Quran will eschew selfishness and will dedicate themselves to the service of humanity. These are the real Muslims manifesting the Quran's true concept of human self.
As the rules and regulations of the healthy nature are secure in faith and reform and they have no connection with heresy and agnosticism, similar is the case of the rebellious natures and habits.
In both the cases only a strong and firm moral character can control it. Where the holy Quran has mentioned man's weakness, his anxiety, his richness and indifference, there it has also made it clear that the remedy of these indignities lies in following the path of religion.
"Truly man was created very impatient; fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him ; not so those devoted to prayer, those who remain steadfast to their prayer; and those in whose wealth is recognized right for (the needy) who asks and him who is prevented (for some reason from asking) ; and those who hold to the Truth of the Day of Judgment; and those who fear the displeasure of their Lord or the Lord's displeasure is the opposite of peace and tranquility; and those who guard their chastity." (.41-Ma'arij... 19-29)
It is common knowledge that good moral character does not develop suddenly. Nor does it become strong and firm in the beginning. It requires consistency and gradualness. And in strengthening it there come many stages.
That is the reason why in its nourishment and growth it is required to perform such acts that have to be repeated. The quality that is developed should have consistency, e.g. prayer, fasting, Hajj, Zakat, and the performance of other forms of worship, confirmation of the Day of the Judgment, and to be fearful of its punishments, etc.
When the rebellious natures insist on their acts and are steadfast on their wrong stance, and continue to attempt to traverse the wrong path from time to time, then to check and prevent it no fixed and temporary remedy can be found.
Their transgression and intensity can be brought to the normal level only by such an activist who is more strong and powerful than them and who may be able to bring them to a balanced level.
The long and short of the discussion is that Islam respects the human nature and considers its teachings as the voice of that nature. It warns the rebellious natures and reforms their point of view. Those forms of worship which have been made compulsory in Islam are such as strengthen the human nature and turn the wind of desires to the right direction.
And these forms of worship do not perform their duties satisfactorily and the desired objective cannot be obtained from them unless they generate the excellent moral character and the tendency to exemplary treatment of others.
Shaitan always attacks us when we are migrating spiritually towards Allah. This is obviously a very vulnerable stage and it causes lack of peace in the heart and something keeps bugging you inside. It’s not anything to worry about its just that your faith is growing stronger Alhamdullilah.
A brother once advised me, to not let the whisperings of Shaitan pull you down, rather work according to the intellect. Other things are:
1) Open the eyes of your heart
2) After your Salah, ponder, feel the humility before Allah (swt) and constantly repeat 'La ilaha illaa anta Subhanaka inni kuntu mina dhalimeen' (There is no God but you, Glory be to you, I am from the transgressors).... keep taking deep breaths and you feel InshaAllah feel the peace and security in your heart
3) Read a Makki Surah (Surah that is revealed in Makkah) its translation as well... This will definitely (InshaAllah) bring peace to the heart
4) Try meditation
May Allah protect you and Guide you
Shaitan won't care for you if you are sinning or not doing your wajib. He will start to care when he sees you trying to get away from him and wanting to get closer to Allah. That's the weakest link for most people. They break when they are at their spiritual peak. But don't worry. Even the most learned, pious men have it. Don't let fear guide you. Leave guidance for Allah.
Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after you have guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from your grace.
Verily you are the Giver of bounties without measure. (3:8)
Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings, and make firm our steps and succor us against those who deny the truth. (3:147)
Our Lord! Behold we have heard a voice calling us unto faith:
"Believe in your Lord" and we have believed.
Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and efface our bad deeds and take our souls in the company of the righteous. (3:193)
May Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’aala (GOD) make our efforts sincere and keep us all on the straight path...........
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