The Sixth Latifah, Nafs/Ego (Spiritual Organ) – Exposition

This Latifah(Spiritual Organ) is located in the forehead that is placed on the ground when performing Sajdah (prostration). The human body has been created from clay, fire, water and air. Nafs(Ego) comes into being out of these four elements. Since it is created through the combination of material elements, therefore, it is basically inclined towards material pleasures. However, if one is blessed with Faith, his Rooh(Soul) becomes alive, and as the Rooh(Soul) grows stronger, the condition of the Nafs(Ego) also undergoes a corresponding change. (Good) Deeds are necessary for (maintaining) Iman (Faith), and sincerity and obedience to the Holy Prophet-saws are necessary for (acceptance of) deeds. This strengthens Iman, and as Iman continues to become stronger, the condition of the Nafs(Ego) also improves. The Quran has mentioned its three degrees: First: Nafs-e Ammarah. It is indifferent to the concept of Deen and Iman(Faith), goodness and sin and remains lost in worldly pleasures. Without caring about the legal or illegal (permitted and prohibited) aspects, it sets up the attainment of pleasure and wealth as its sole objective. This usually happens while in a state of Kufr(Disbelief). Second: Nafs-e Lawwamah. When blessed with Faith, one also receives the ability to distinguish between good and bad, and the Nafs(Ego) tries to do good but due to its intrinsic nature it also indulges in evil, but after doing wrong it realises the mistake and reproaches itself and repents. Now, it could be argued here that some Kuffaar also do good deeds, like constructing hospitals or water reservoirs or helping people, but here it is important to remember that they neither believe in Allah-swt nor in the Holy Prophet-saws and nor in the Hereafter. So the object of whatever apparent good they do, is to acquire the world (worldly benefits), whether it be wealth or fame. Sometimes they believe that their good acts will repel some worldly affliction. Thus they do not deliberately do good per se because their Nafs is Ammarah. However, if a person possesses Faith, and is not a Muslim simply for demographic purposes, he can certainly distinguish between right and wrong. He considers the doing of good as obeying the Command of Allah-swt and the Holy Prophet-saws and for (his future benefit in) the Hereafter. If he falters, he reproaches (scolds) himself and regrets his action. This regret is called Taubah (Repentance), which prevents him from further evil. Third: Nafs-e Mutma‟innah. Faith, obedience and adherence inculcate sincerity and the Nafs(Ego) advances to become Nafs-e Mutma‟innah, meaning that a man feels afraid of sinning and inclines more and more towards doing good. His worship and recitation (of the Holy Quran) increase, and with great enthusiasm and zeal he conducts his affairs in practical life. He not only does good himself, but because of him, thousands of lost and wayward people find guidance, they repent and turn towards righteousness. And that is the (real) purpose of life. There is a misconception that the Aulia Allah(Friends of Divine Being) renounce the world, live in seclusion in jungles and do no work at all. This is incorrect. Actually, having noticed some very special and highly elevated Aulia Allah(Friends of Divine Being) surrounded by the multitude, the rulers of the day banished them from cities and prohibited all meetings with them. Some very great names like Bayazid Bustami-rua are also included in these. But people started considering every useless lunatic as a Wali Allah(Friend of Divine Being), otherwise the amount of work the Aulia(Friends of Divine Being) and Sufis do in their lifetime cannot be achieved by others, as blessings pervade their courage and work potential and these blessings emanate from the Holy Prophet-saws and are reflected down through the breasts of the Sahabah-rau, the Taba‟een, the Tab‟a Taba‟een and arrive at the Masha‟ikh, from where they reach the hearts of the sincere seekers of truth. Divine Lights descend on this Latifah(Spiritual Organ), which sometimes illuminate both worlds and sometimes nothing can be perceived. It is impossible to describe, verbalise, or pen their character (essence) and associated feelings. These can be perceived by only those who have been granted this blessing. Yes, their effect in practical life is that disobedience starts tasting bitter, and if due to human nature, some mistake is made the regret is enormous; and righteousness becomes the desired goal. Owing to a great Divine Favour, man is not a slave of his habits like animals, but possesses the ability to effect changes in his habits and character according to the likes and dislikes of his Qalb(Heart). When his Qalb(Heart) receives Divine Lights and is acquainted with the everlasting pleasure of Divine Nearness, then his personal preferences become subservient to the preferences of the Holy Prophet-saws and this change in personal preferences initiates a very beautiful transformation in his character and habits. Although he does not become an angel, for he is after all only a human being, nor becomes innocent (free) from making any mistakes, because innocence is the attributes of Prophets only; yet, these blessings protect him from making mistakes as he is granted Divine Protection from sin, and he is constantly turning to Allah-swt and remains concerned about the betterment of his Akhirah(Hereafter). Thus he is blessed with success in this world and the next, and this is a very great favour of Allah Kareem. Keep in mind that all knowledge granted to man, whether pertaining to this world or to the Hereafter has been received through the Prophets-as. Therefore, the beneficence bestows not only the aptitude for knowledge, but its treasure troves are also laid open for him. In fact, success in the Hereafter is related to Iman and fulfilling all worldly affairs in accordance with the Sunnah of Holy Prophet-saws and in the manner advised by him, and the Nafs-e Lawwamah proceeds in this direction, and if by Divine Grace it acquires the status of Nafs-e Mutma‟innah, then Subhan Allah, (his lives in) both worlds are ameliorated . Fortunate indeed are such people, in this world as well as in the next. May Allah Kareem Grant this wealth to all Muslims! Ameen! It is a strange concept: it is believed that the Aulia Allah(Friends of Divine Being) are some different type of human beings. According to the Book of Allah every believer possesses a degree of Wilayah(Friendship with Divine Being), and so basically, every believer is a Wali Allah(Friend of Divine Being). Allah is the Friend of the Believers. (Al Baqarah: 257)(Chapter of Holy Quran). Allah is the Wali(Friend) of every believer. Now, effort and righteousness polish this Wilayah(Friendship with Divine Being) even more. Some people achieve such greatness that they become the means of illuminating thousands of other souls. Without doubt, their status is very great; however, basically every believer does receive a part of this wealth. Then some unfortunate ones lose it by their bad deeds, but remember that when this virtue is lost then Iman(Faith) does not remain safe either, and such people join some erring sect and lose their Faith. May Allah-swt keep us under His Protection from such situation! Ameen! Since this Latifah(Spiritual Organ) receives Refulgence from Allah Kareem, neither their colour nor their state (condition) can be determined. It is but a Noor (Light) that sometimes illuminates everything and every side, while sometimes nothing is perceived at all; yes, the light and warmth can surely be felt. The shining light of guidance Also the heat of activity The vigour and the dynamism With men true, you will ever see But, the mean, the lowly, the inactive Will coin excuses, shamelessly Meaning, if the Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) is real and accomplished, then one receives light and warmth, but if the Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) is not accomplished, then there will be no feelings: all he will do is fob off with shameless excuses.

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (RH)

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