Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Strategies on Battle of the Nafs


O son, if you could do this math, you will win the battle of the nafs. The reward is Tajalli - Allah's manifesting His attributes on His chosen servant i.e. the winner. Now who does not want to be clothed with the Lord's holy 'garment'?

The first strategy is called Takhali. The formula is 'minus 10'.
The second strategy is called Tahalli. The formula is 'plus 10'.

Takhali means emptying/ridding oneself of negative traits. There are ten bad traits known as Sifat Mazmumah:
1. Ghadab (bad tempered)
2. Hasad (envy)
3. Bakhil (stingy)
4. Sharrut Ta'am (eat too much)
5. Sharrul Kalam (talk too much)
6. Hubb al-Jah (love having power)
7. Hubb al-Dunya (love the world)
8. 'Ujub (flatter oneself)
9. Takabbur (proud)
10. Riya' (show off)

Tahalli means to fill/input oneself with positive traits. There are ten good traits known as Sifat Mahmudah:
1. Taubat (repent)
2. Khauf (be fearful)
3. Zikr al-Maut (remember death)
4. Mahabbah (love)
5. Zuhud (live simply)
6. Tawakkal (trust in Allah)
7. Ikhlas (be sincere)
8. Syukur (be grateful)
9. Redha (be content)
10. Sabar (have patience)

You will know that this battle against the lower self (jihad al-nafs) is not as simple as this over-simplified formula: Minus 10. Plus 10.
Imam Ja’far al‑Sadiq said: The Prophet s.a.w dispatched a contingent of the army (to the battlefront). Upon their (successful) return, he said: ‘Blessed are those who have performed the minor jihad and have yet to perform the major jihad.’ When asked, ‘What is the major jihad?’ the Prophet replied: ‘The jihad of the self (struggle against self)’.

Al-Junayd al Baghdadi said: Those who have striven against their desires and repented for our sake, we shall guide them to the ways of sincerity, and one cannot struggle against his enemy outwardly (i.e. with the sword) except he who struggles against these enemies inwardly. Then whoever is given victory over them will be victorious over his enemy and whoever is defeated by them, his enemy defeats him.

The Beloved Prophet s.a.w said in the Farewell Pilgrimage: "... The mujahid is he who makes jihad against himself (jahada nafsah) for the sake of obeying Allah."

O son, be a mujahid! Be a winning warrior! My love and prayers are with you!
Further reading: Jihad al-Nafs, The Nafs,
Credits: Ustaz Shamsul Mohd Noor, Info Islam

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