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Types of Nafs

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Topic: Types of Nafs
Posted By: rami
Subject: Types of Nafs
Date Posted: 10 March 2006 at 9:05pm
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

assalamu alaikum

This topic is very important to understanding Human nature.

Types of Nafs (soul, the psyche, the ego, self, life, person, heart or mind) - Praise be Allah, Who has adorned the aspect of man by granting him good stature and proportion, Safeguarding him from increase and decline in his aspect and measurements, We ask for His forgiveness and guidance, We seek refuge from the evils, which are in ourselves and the wicked in our actions, And may the blessings and salutations be invoked upon Muhammad, His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

To proceed:

"As for whoever exceeded the limits and preferred the life of this world, surely his abode will be the Fire; and as for whoever feared to stand before his Lord and restrained the desires of his self, surely his abode will be the Garden." (Sura 79:39-40)

Ibn Kathir says:

"The Mu'min are a people who have been prevented through the Qur'an from indulging in the pleasures of this world; it comes between them and what might destroy them. The Mu'min is like a prisoner in this world, who tries to free himself from its shackles and chains, placing his trust in nothing in it, until the day he meets his Creator. He knows full well that he is accountable for everything that he hears, sees and says, and for everything that he does with his body."

(Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, vol. 9 pg. 276, Cairo 1352)

There are two kinds of people, one are those whose Nafs have overcome them and led them to ruin because they yielded to them and obeyed their impulses. The other kinds are those who have overcome their Nafs and made them obey their commands.

Nafs (pl. Anfus or Nufus) lexically means soul, the psyche, the ego, self, life, person, heart or mind. (Mu'jam, Kassis)

Although some scholars have classified the Nafs up to 7 stages, there is agreement among Ulama' that in the Qur'an, Allah (s.w.t.) has described at least 3 main types of the Nafs. And these are in rank from the worse to better: Nafs al-Ammara Bissu' (the Nafs that urges evil), Nafs al-Lawwama (the Nafs that Blames) and Nafs al-Mutma`inna (the Nafs at Peace).

(Chapter 12 v. 53 in the Tafsir of al-Tabari: Jami' al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, 30 vols., Bulaq 1323 & also in Imam Baghawi's Tafsir: Lubab al-Ta'wil fi Ma'alam at-Tanzil, 8 vols. Cairo, 1308)

A summary of these states of the Nafs are given by Imam Tabari in his Tafsir of Surah Yusuf verse 53:

(1) Nafs al-Ammara Bissu' (The Soul which Commands):

This is the Nafs that brings punishment itself. By its very nature it directs its owner towards every wrong action. No one can get rid of its evil without the help from Allah. As Allah refers to this Nafs in the story of the wife of al-Aziz (Zulaikha) and Prophet Yusuf (as):

"The (human) soul is certainly prone to evil" (12:53).

Allah also says:

"And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure; but Allah purifies whomever He wishes, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing." (24:21)

This Nafs resides in the world of the senses and is dominated by earthly desires (Shahwat) and passions….

Evil lies hidden in the Nafs and it is this that leads it on to do wrong. If Allah were to leave the servant alone with his self, the servant would be destroyed between its evil and the evil that it craves; but if Allah grants him success and help, then he will survive. We seek refuge in Allah the Almighty, both from the evil in ourselves and from the evil of our actions.

(2) Nafs al-Lawwama (the Soul that Blames):

Allah refers to this Nafs,

"And I do call to witness the Nafs that blames" (75:2).

This Nafs is conscious of its own imperfections.

Hasan al-Basri said, "You always see the believer blaming himself and saying things like 'Did I want this? Why did I do that? Was this better than that?"….

(3) Nafs al-Mutma`inna (the Soul at Peace):

Allah refers to this Nafs,

"O Self, in complete rest and satisfaction!" (89:27).

This Nafs is tranquil as it rests on the certitude of Allah.

Ibn Abbas (r) said, "It is the tranquil and believing soul".

Al-Qatadah (r) said, "It is the soul of the believer, made calm by what Allah has promised. Its owner is at rest and content with his knowledge of Allah's Names and Attributes, and with what He has said about Himself and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and with what He has said about what awaits the soul after death: about the departure of the soul, the life in the Barzakh, and the events of the Day of Qiyamah which will follow. So much so that a believer such as this can almost see them with his own eyes. So he submits to the will of Allah and surrenders to Him contentedly, never dissatisfied or complaining, and with his faith never wavering. He does not rejoice at his gains, nor do his afflictions make him despair - for he knows that they were decreed long before they happened to him, even before he was created…."….

(Al-Tabari: Jami' al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, vol. 13, Bulaq 1323)

Imam Baghawi says,

"The Nafs al-Mutma`inna has an angel to help it, who assists and guides it. The angel casts good into the Nafs so that it desires what is good and is aware of the excellence of good actions. The angel also keeps the self away from wrong action and shows it the ugliness of bad deeds. All in all, whatever is for Allah and by him, always comes from the Soul which is at Peace.

The Nafs al-Ammara Bissu' has Shaytan as its ally. He promises it great rewards and gains, but casts falsehood into it. He invites it and entices the soul to do evil. He leads it on with hope after hope and presents falsehood to the soul in a form that it will accept and admire."

Ibn al-Qayyim also mentioned the states of Nafs:

"The Nafs is a single entity, although its state may change: from the Nafs al-Ammara, to the Nafs al-Lawwama, to the Nafs al-Mutma`inna, which is the final aim of perfection….

It has been said that the Nafs al-Lawwama is the one, which cannot rest in any one state. It often changes, remembers and forgets, submits and evades, loves and hates, rejoices and become sad, accepts and rejects, obeys and rebels.

Nafs al-Lawwama is also the Nafs of the believer….It has also been mentioned that the Nafs blames itself on the Day of Qiyamah - for every one blames himself for his actions, either his bad deeds, if he was one who had many wrong actions, or for his shortcomings, if he was one who did good deeds. All of this is accurate.

(Madarij as-Salikin fi Manazili Iyyaka Na'budu wa Iyyaka Nasta'in, vol. 1 pg. 308)

Sa'id Hawwa says regarding these Nafs:

"Depending upon its condition, the Nafs exist in multidimensional. When the Nafs is tranquil because of obeying Allah, and the soul opposes its desires, this soul is known as Nafs al-Mutma`inna. Regarding this, Allah has spoken about it in the Qur'an (89:27-28). But if the soul does not attain peace with itself, rather being exposed to desires, then such soul is known as the Nafs al-Lawwama because this soul reproaches its owner due to the owner's carelessness in fulfilling out Allah's wishes - Qur'an (75:2). More so, if the soul submits to lusts and allows itself to be seduced by Shaytan, such a soul is known as Nafs al-Ammara Bissu'. Allah tells the story about the wife of al-Aziz (Zulaikha) in Qur'an (12:53).

(Tarbiyatun nar Ruhiyah, pg. 32, Cairo: Dar al- Salam, 1408)

There is a famous Arabic saying:

"O soul..Watch out! Help me with your striving,

in the darkness of the nights;

so that on the Day of Qiyamah,

you will win a good life on those heights."

May this be of benefit.

And the last of our prayers,

"Glory to your Lord, the Lord of Honour & Power! He is better from what they ascribe to Him! Peace be upon the Messengers! Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds." (37:180-182)

Muhammad 'Afifi al-'Akiti

Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.

Posted By: rami
Date Posted: 10 March 2006 at 9:11pm
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

"I have planted love in my heart
and shall not be distracted until Judgment Day.
You have wounded my heart when You came near me.
My desire grows, my love is bursting.
He has poured me a sip to drink.
He has quickened my heart with the cup of love
Which he has filled at the ocean of friendship."

Attributed to Bayazid.

Aby Yazid al Bistami was one of the Great Wali's of Allah.

Learning Humility from Bayazid al-Bistami

There was a certain ascetic who was one of the great saints of Bestam. He had his own followers and admirers, and at the same time he was never absent from the circle of Bayazid al-Bistami (or Abu Yazid al-Bistami). He listened to all his discourses, and sat with his companions.

One day he remarked to Abu Yazid, "Master, for thirty years I have been keeping a constant fast. By night too I pray, so that I never sleep at all. Yet I discover no trace of this knowledge of which you speak. For all that I believe in this knowledge, and I love this preaching."

"If for three hundred years," said Abu Yazid, "you fast by day and pray by night, you will never realize one atom of this discourse."

"Why?" asked the disciple.

"Because you are veiled by your own self," Abu Yazid replied.

"What is the remedy for this?" the man asked.

"You will never accept it," answered Abu Yazid.

"I will so," said the man. "Tell me, so that I may do as you prescribe."

"Very well," said Abu Yazid. "This very hour go and shave your beard and hair. Take off these clothes you are wearing, and tie a loincloth of goat's wool about your waist. Hang a bag of nuts around your neck, then go to the marketplace. Collect all the children you can, and tell them, `I will give a nut to everyone who slaps me.' Go round all the city in the same way; especially go everywhere people know you. That is your cure."

"Glory be to God! There is no god but God," cried the disciple on hearing these words.

"If a nonbeliever uttered that formula, he would become a believer," remarked Abu Yazid. "By uttering the same formula you have become a polytheist."

"How so?" demanded the disciple.

"Because you count yourself too grand to be able to do as I have said," replied Abu Yazid. "So you have become a polytheist. You used this formula to express your own importance, not to glorify God."

"This I cannot do," the man protested. "Give me other directions."

"The remedy is what I have said," Abu Yazid declared.

"I cannot do it," the man repeated.

"Did I not say you would not do it, that you would never obey me?" said Abu Yazid.

Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.

Posted By: ummziba
Date Posted: 11 March 2006 at 4:02am

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for posting about the nafs, Brother Rami.  I had heard about this before and have in my notes about 4, the fourth being annafs al-wa'iah (the aware soul).  You mention there may be up to 7.  Just out of curiousity, do you know what are the other 3 not mentioned yet?

I like reading about these as they really make one aware that everything we do (our actions) is from ourselves and we've no one else to blame when we do wrong.  The nafs explains very well the struggle we all undertake to do our best to please Allah, our jihad annafs (self-striving).

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~

Posted By: rami
Date Posted: 12 March 2006 at 1:22am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

assalamu alaikum sister

This work explains everything insha allah.

The Attributes and Names
of the Ranks and Stations of the Nafs
in its Striving and Elevation


A Translation of a Classic Text

by Mahmoud Mostafa


As has been made clear to us previously, there are three primary enemies and causes of destruction and misguidance for humanity:

1. The desires of the ego (Hawa Al Nafs). Also known as the hidden lust. This is the first and most dangerous of the enemies for through its existence the other two enemies exist and without it there is no existence to the inner enemies of the Nafs. This enemy is inside the very essence of the human being, i.e. in his nafs, in the left half and is inspired to transgression (Fujur). It is the opposite of the right side of the soul that is inspired to consciousness (Taqwah).

The transgression of the nafs is contained in its desires and its desires mean its lust for immortality (Me!) and sovereignty (boundless greed and covetousness). This enemy is the main cause of the self-oppression of humanity. This oppression leads to either denial and polytheism or to misguidance, disobedience, and sins. There is no remedy for these two desires except through constantly reminding the nafs of its mortality and the certainty of death.

"Verily, the Nafs commands to harm except for those upon whom my Lord has mercy" (Yusuf-53)

2. The desire for the ornaments of the world (Shahwat Al Dunia). This is the second enemy but it is outside of the human being's essence. It is the weapon of Iblis that he displays before the lustful eyes of the ego's desire. Thus he makes it like a mirror that attracts the nafs and seduces it so that it stirs and moves toward inequity and attachment to its desires and the love of the material world that leads it to drown in the world's false and perishing ocean.

The only remedy for this desire is to become aware and certain of the fleeting nature of this world and of the necessity of losing one's attachment to it. It is to know the world for the temporary abode and place of trial and test that it is. It is to understand that this world is part of a continuum; before it was the abode of the atom (Dar Al Zhar) and after it will come other stages that are the world of the Isthmus (Alam Al Barzakh). The desires of the world are five as explained in the Quran:

"The love of desires has been made beautiful to people; for women, offspring, gold and silver, beautiful horses and cattle, and cultivation." (Al Imran-14)

3. Satan is the third enemy (Shaytan Al Rajeem). He is also external to the human being's essence. His role is to seduce, mislead, and make beautiful all that is false and forbidden and repugnant in this world in order to cause the nafs to become attached to these things through its desires. He has no means other than to embellish and tempt the ego and no weapon except to energize and stir the two inner desires of the ego, the "Me" and "Greed" so that the human being will inflate himself and in turn increase his separation. In this way Satan leads the human being to either denial and polytheism or to disobedience and sins. There is no remedy or prevention for this other than the constant remembrance and seeking refuge in Allah and in putting one's trust in Him.

"Verily, Satan is your enemy so take him as your enemy." (Fatir-6)

The ascent or descent of the Nafs depends on the degree of remedy and protection from these three enemies. So the Nafs either ascends to the station of "…the most beautiful station." Or it may descend to the station of "…the lowest of the low."

The Quran mentions five levels for the human soul. The basic level is the one in which we are born which is called the Blaming Self (Nafs Al Lawwama). If it is neglected and left to its whims and desires it will descend to the station of the Commanding Self (Nafs Al Ammara). And if it is developed and cared for through effort and resistance to its desires it will, God willing, ascend to the highest levels of closeness, contentment, and love for Allah and His Prophet. These higher levels are three, the first one above the Blaming Self is the Secure Self (Nafs Al Muttma'ina), followed by the Content Self (Nafs Al Radiyah), and finally to the Gratified Self (Nafs Al Mardiyyah) and that is the self that reaches its natural place and station which is "…the most beautiful station."

The Gnostics (Arifun) have detailed and explained this matter and made it easy for the Muslim to know it and act upon it thus making immunity and remedy easy. They made the levels seven in number within the scope of the five mentioned in the Quran.

1. The Commanding Self (Nafs Al Ammara).

The remembrance that is appropriate for its treatment is La Illah Illa Allah (There is no god except God). It is the lowest level of the self and the worst. In it is found extreme desire and lust for immortality and sovereignty. Thus it is attached to the worst of characteristics from which we have been warned by Allah and His Prophet. For example self-admiration, arrogance and pride, hardness of the heart, oppression of creatures, love for exposing the faults of others, lying, gossip, back-biting, envy, jealousy, criticism, undeserved self-praise, bitterness, attachment to what belongs to others even if it possesses what is better, lack of contentment, constant complaining, lack of gratitude, blindness to its blessings, wishing for increase without effort, extreme selfishness, greed and covetousness that knows no limit, love of control, and love of self and its desires, hatred for those who criticize it even if it is for its own good and love for those who praise it even if it is in hypocrisy, rejection of advice and counsel, and only talking about itself.

This Commanding Self is generally divided into two levels:

The Animal Self (Nafs Al Hayawaniyyah); this is the self that runs after sensual desires and material possessions without regard for right or wrong, justice or inequity, lawful or unlawful. It is drowned in the pleasures of possessions, sex, and adornments. It is characterized by lewdness, evil, and lack of humanity. It abhors religion and loves itself selfishly. It knows neither fullness, nor humility, nor thankfulness, nor honor, nor manners.

The Satanic Self (Nafs Al Iblissiyyah); is even lower than the Animal Self because its love for itself has taken it to the stage where it competes with Allah in His divinity and lordship. "I am your lord supreme…" as Pharaoh proclaimed, and "I am better than him…" as Iblis contended.

The Commanding Self is the one with the ill heart. If the heart is not healed, the nafs continues in its ways until the heart is blinded and then it is finally sealed.

The root of this level of the self is that it's convinced that it is perfect and that others are flawed and that everyone will die but it will remain immortal. It got its name because of its constant demands and its numerous calls to satisfy its desires. So it demands a thing and before it attains it, it demands another thing and so on without end. The human in this state is the friend and beloved of Satan and the enemy of the Merciful. "Except those upon whom Allah shows mercy."

2. The Blaming Self (Nafs Al Lawwama)

Its healing remembrance is Allah (God). This is the self in its original state of birth into the world as Allah says, "By the One who brought the self to equilibrium inspiring it with its transgression and its consciousness." (Shams-7:8)

This is the self that has been touched by Allah's Mercy so that when it commits a sin or falls into disobedience, it blames itself and turns to forgiveness and repents to its Sustainer. Then it holds on to obedience until it slips back into sin then it turns to forgiveness and repentance and so on.

It has grasped what the Prophet said, "All humans are prone to sin and the best sinners are those who repent."

It is a self that is in constant fluctuation between obedience and disobedience. One time it is heedless and falls and another it is aware and resists.

This is the natural station which we start from at birth and from there we descend or ascend. Its sign is the fluctuation between the characteristics of the people of this world and the people of the next world. It is not in the same evil condition as the Commanding Self but the two desires of immortality and sovereignty are still active in it although in a much reduced or weakened condition. This is the first stage of salvation for the self and the first step toward its purification and success.

3. The Inspired Self (Nafs Al Mulhamah).

Its remembrance is Hu (The Divine Pronoun HE). This is the self that has ascended through effort and commitment to its true way from the station of the Blaming Self to the station of the self that is constantly seeking forgiveness and repentance regardless of its guilt or innocence. This is due to its certainty that the root of its attributes is imperfection, fault, weakness and incompletion.

At this level the self is inspired with the early stages of love for good wholesome deeds (Amal Saleh), and for the Quran and Traditions of the Prophet. It is also inspired with love of remembrance (Zhikr) and to seeking forgiveness (Istighfar) and to correcting its intentions (Niyyah) and renewing its repentance (Tawbah).

This is the last level of danger for the self for it is still vulnerable to descending to the lower stages of Blame and Commanding. At this stage the two desires for immortality and sovereignty are dormant except in passing thoughts.

4. The Secure Self ((Nafs Al Muttma'ina)

Its remembrance is Haqq (Truth). It is the self that has ascended to the first station of development and the ladders of light toward intimacy, contentment and love for Allah. Its refinement is attained through increasing commitment and honest and sincere fulfillment of its obligations with respect to the true way in all its aspects particularly with respect to human relationships and conduct before acts of worship as the Prophet said, "The Way (Deen) is in conduct," and, "The best of you in character is the best in faith."

The Secure Self has entered the pathways, methods and means of protection and healing through self-accounting, resistance, striving, and devotion. These efforts bear the fruit of certainty in the truth that Allah alone is the Actor. He is the cause and motivator of everything for there is no god but Him and no Lord but Him. And that Allah in all of his actions is merciful and generous. He knows the best interests of the self. This certainty leads to confidence in Allah. It leads to confidence in His mercy and generosity. The self becomes confident that what is with Allah is better and more enduring than whatever is in its possession or in the possession of others. In this way it reaches complete confidence in its Lord; He is the one who knows what is best for it and He is the best of Sustainers (Rabb) and the best of Trustees (Wakeel). So the self becomes secure and ceases to occupy itself with anything other than what it has reached confidence in, that is its Lord Allah.

The self in this station expands in its capacity beyond efforts and devotions toward repentance. Once it is secure with Allah it occupies itself with additional stations such as hope (Rajaa') and fear (Khawf) and trust in Him (Tawwakul). In this station the Secure Self is in constant remembrance of Allah both on the tongue and in the heart.

"Is it not through remembrance of Allah that hearts become secure?" (Raad-28)

This is the first level of completion (Kamal) of the self. The heart begins to shine with the light of consciousness. The ego's power begins to shrink so that purity, refinement, clarity, and light dominate the heart so that it becomes the Secure Self. In this station the desires of immortality and sovereignty become completely veiled and they are returned to their true owner who is Allah. Now the self begins to show its true attributes that were previously hidden; these are the attributes of servanthood (Ubudiyyah), helplessness ('Ajz), humility (Zhull), poverty (Faqr), need (Ihtiyaj), and annihilation (Fana').

5. The Content Self (Nafs Al Radiyah).

"Return to your Lord content…" (Fajr-28)

Its remembrance is Hayy (Living). As the Secure Self ascends to its Lord the lights of the heart increase and fill the entire body transforming the sensual desires of the ego to the desire for what the Prophet brought in the Quran and Traditions. Its desires are now solely for these things and it is totally content with its Lord. Now hardship and ease are the same to it as are harm and benefit, and withholding and giving because it has become certain after becoming secure that every action and deed is from Allah alone; He is its Master, Sovereign, and Creator. He is the one who grants it Mercy and Compassion. He is the one who is Tender and Benevolent toward it. Everything that is from its Beloved is accepted by it and it is content with it. It is content with whatever Allah wishes to do with it.

At this level the self's creed is that if it is tried it is patient, and if it is given it is thankful, and if it is deprived it is accepting, and if it is wronged it is forgiving. It has now become the self with a wholesome and sound heart. It fluctuates in all its states between trust (Tawwakul) and relegation (Tafweed), and contentment (Ridah) and surrender (Tassleem) to Allah. The characteristic of this self is constant cheerfulness, gratitude, and thankfulness no matter what happens.

This is the second stage of the Complete Self (Nafs Al Kamilah), which is the station of servanthood. By ascending to this level the Content Self has entered into the first stage of "…the most beautiful station." This station is connected to the station above it.

6. The Gratified Self (Nafs Al Mardiyyah).

"Return to your Lord Content and Gratified." (Fajr-28)

Its remembrance is Qayyum (Self-Subsistent). At this stage the self is not only content with its Lord it is also gratified by Him.

"Allah is content with them and they are content with Him." (Bayyinah-8)

The Prophet was asked "When shall we attain Allah's contentment with us?" he replied, "When you are content with your Lord."

At this stage the light of the heart is completed. The heart advances from wholesomeness (Qalb Saleem) to a heart that is in total awe (Khashiyah) of Allah, constantly inclined (Muneeb) toward Him, imbued with modesty (Hayaa') toward Him in every condition.

"Whoever is secretly in awe of the Merciful and comes to Him with a sound heart. Enter it in peace! This is the day of immortality. In it they shall have whatever they wish, and with Us is more." (Qaf-33:35)

The folk of this station are the people of witnessing of the manifestations of the actions of the names of Allah (Mushahadat Tajalliyyat Afa'al Allah). Their witnessing in their hearts to the manifestations of Allah's power results in their awe in the face of Allah's greatness and majesty in all of His actions that are essentially the manifestations of His names. The folk of this station are also gifted with unveiling and miracles to enable them to call people to the love of Allah. These miracles are essentially for those who deny and reject the truth but who are at the same time called to Allah. So He sends to them miracles through the folk of this station so that the egos of these people will submit to these miracles and thus return through Allah back to the path of Allah. For when Allah loves one of His servants He seeks Him and calls him to Him. If once called the servant responds then he is brought near otherwise Allah seeks him through trials, or through miracles. For Allah's command must come to be and is utterly irresistible.

This station is the last of the stations of faith (Iman) and through it the self enters the presence of the station of "…the most beautiful station" (Ihsan) which is the goal and desire of the heart of every servant.

7. The Complete Self (Nafs Al Kamilah).

Also known as the Self of Light (Nafs Al Nuraniyyah), the Muhammadan Self (Nafs Al Muhammadiyyah), and the Loving Self (Nafs Al Muhibbah).

"Allah will bring folk whom He loves and who love Him; they will be humble towards the faithful and stern toward the deniers. They shall strive in the way of Allah and will not fear any blame from the blamers. This is the favor of Allah that He grants whomever He wishes among His servants. Allah is All-Encompassing and All-Knowing." (Maa'idah-54)

"Then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins. Allah is the Forgiving and Merciful." (Al Imran-31)

Its outer remembrance is Qahhar (Compelling) and its inner remembrance is Wadud (Loving). This is the station of the completeness of servanthood to Allah through the completeness of following the teachings of His beloved, Muhammad, peace be upon him. The one who reaches this station is blessed with knowing the complete love of Allah for him and for His Prophet.

This is the Station of Beauty (Maqam Al Ihsan) and it is above all the stations of faith that preceded it. In this station the servant has completely attained the level of "…the most beautiful station." And so enters into the light of His beloved, the Chosen, in the station of "Two bow's lengths or nearer." in the footsteps of the beloved, Muhammad, peace be upon him.

It is the final level in the stations of the self. This station has no end to its ascension and refinement. The people of this station have nothing in their hearts but the love of Allah and His Messenger and those who are loved by Allah and His Messenger. At this level the Completed Self becomes the mirror of the light of the essential Prophetic Muhammadan self so that it attains the complete attributes of love and servanthood. In this station the self enjoys the lights of manifestation of the Attributes and Essence of Allah (Tajaliyat Al Siffat wa Al Zhat Al Illahiyyah) so that it fluctuates in the lights of bliss in all its stations and states. It is an angelic self of light inside human bodies. The truth is that it is selfless; it has no choice and if given a choice it would chose only what Allah loves and is pleased with. If it is asked whether it is receiving or deprived it would not know because love has overpowered it and so it is totally unoccupied with causes. It is annihilated through love (Hubb), fascination (Walah), and passion (Ishq) into the light of the beauty of the essence of the Lord of causes who is its Beloved and Protector. The people of this station are the people of Divine Love and Passion. They are the people who follow the true footsteps of Muhammad.

They are busy with their love and worship of the Truth and are not distracted by creation except to fulfill their obligations. And since they have become a mirror of the Muhammadan light they are constantly in the Prophetic Presence. All their motions, stillness, words, and deeds are from Allah, through Him, to Him. All of their hearts follow the Beloved and Elect, peace be upon him because they have come to know through Allah that he (the Prophet) is the first beloved, the first light that prostrates, worships, and serves Him. Whoever of the lovers obeys him, and loves him, and models his example in character, deeds, and worship, gains the love of Allah.

The likes of these folk are the servants of Allah who have been brought near (Muqarrabun) and have been selected and have gained certainty that their first obligation, after servanthood, is to love Allah and His Messenger. This is while keeping the Law, and upholding its tenets. They are leaders of religious knowledge and they are lights of gnosis in Truth. Through the lights of their hearts the hearts of those around them are illuminated, and through their remembrance mercy descends. They have all they desire and they only desire love of Allah and His Messenger. They do not seek this world, nor are they occupied by the next world. All their concern is intimacy with Allah, to hear from Him, to be near Him for they regard even a moment of separation as torment greater than Hell.

"Truly, the God-conscious ones are in gardens and rivers, in a place of truth in the presence of an Able Sovereign" (Qamar 54:55)

Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.

Posted By: rami
Date Posted: 12 March 2006 at 1:58am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad
peace and blessings upon him

Selected and Translated by Kabir Helminski

ISLAM began as something strange, and it will become thus again, as it was at the beginning.
Blessed, therefore, are the strangers.
(He was asked who the strangers are:)
The strangers are those who restore what the people have corrupted of my law,
as well as those who revive what has been destroyed of it.

You will not enter paradise until you believe,
and you will not believe until you love one another.
Let me guide you to something in the doing of which you will love one another.
Give a greeting to everyone among you.

I was delegated as a prophet to perfect moral virtues.

Good character is half of faith.

God is merciful to those who show mercy to others.

Power consists not in being able to strike another,
but in being able to control oneself when anger arises.

Honor your children and thus improve their manners.

The three best things:
to be humble amidst the vicissitudes of fortune;
to pardon when powerful;
and to be generous with no strings attached.

Whoever does not express his gratitude to people will never be grateful to God.

The best people are those who are most useful to others.

Living among others is a cause for blessing,
while seclusion is the cause of torment.

Happy is the person who finds fault with himself
instead of finding fault with others.

From morning until night and from night until morning
keep your heart free from malice towards anyone.

A perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands mankind is safe.

Islam is purity of speech and hospitality.

Every religion has a distinctive virtue
and the distinctive virtue of Islam is modesty.

Greet those whom you know and those whom you don't know.

When asked what was most excellent in a human being, he answered,
"A friendly disposition."

The best of God's servants are those who when seen remind you of God;
and the worst of God's servants are those who spread tales
to do mischief and separate friends, and look for the faults of the good.

Whoever believes in one God and the Hereafter,
let him speak what is good or remain silent.

He is the best Muslim whose disposition is most liked by his own family.

Respect the guest and do not inconvenience your neighbors.
The faithful are as one person.
If a man complains of a pain in his head, his whole body complains;
and if his eye complains, his whole body complains.

He is not of us who is not affectionate to the little ones
and does not respect the reputation of the old.

Truly, the farthest seat from me on the day of resurrection will be
the garrulous, those who talk glibly, and those who talk tall.
And who is it that talk tall? The vain-glorious.

God is gentle and loves gentleness.

Inscribed on the prophet's sword:
Forgive him who wrongs you; join him who cuts you off;
do good to him who does evil to you;
and speak the truth even if it be against yourself.

Whoever restrains his anger when he has the power to show it,
God will give him a great reward.

Backbiting is more grievous than adultery,
and God will not forgive the backbiter until the one wronged has forgiven him.

Keep yourselves far from envy, because it eats up and takes away good actions
as fire consumes and burns the wood.

What actions are most excellent?
To gladden the heart of a human being,
to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted,
to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured.

Preserved by Hazrati Ali

Meditation in God is my capital.
Reason and sound logic are the root of my existence.
Love is the foundation of my existence.
Enthusiasm is the vehicle of my life.
Contemplation of Allah is my companion.
Faith is the source of my power.
Sorrow is my friend.
Knowledge is my weapon.
Patience is my clothing and virtue.
Submission to the Divine Will is my pride.
Truth is my salvation.
Worship is my habit.
And in prayer lies the coolness of my eye and my peace of mind.

Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.

Posted By: ummziba
Date Posted: 12 March 2006 at 5:22am

Assalamu alaikum,

Jazak Allah Khair - thanks so much Brother Rami!

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~

Posted By: Alwardah
Date Posted: 12 March 2006 at 9:37am

As Salamu Alaikum

Jazakllahu Khairan Bro Rami

I only knew about the first three types of Nafs- the soul that commands, the one that blames and the one at peace.

once again thanks


“Verily your Lord is quick in punishment; yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful (Surah Al-An’am 6:165)
"Indeed, we belong to Allah and to Him is our return" (Surah Baqarah 2: 155)

Posted By: peacemaker
Date Posted: 15 March 2006 at 12:13am

Assalamu Alaikum!

Jazak Allah Khair brother Rami for excellent post on Nafs.


Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Qur'an 55:13

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