Your Nafs is Your Greatest Enemy

Shah Abdul Ghani (RA) used to say that if you light a fire a green tree, its leaves would be scorched. Then it is very difficult for the tree to become green again. Perhaps if you apply fertilizer for a year and water if properly, then only will it recover. Similarly, the illumination created by zikr, worship, and the company of the Ahlullah is effected by an evil glance. The interior of a person is destroyed. It takes a lot of time to revive the sweetness of Iman and the noor of zikr into the heart that has been deadened due to an evil glance. The darkness created by an evil glance is extremely difficult to remove. Only after much repentance, lamenting, and protecting one’s gaze can the heart be once again enriched by the sweetness of Iman.

The reason we cannot leave sinning is that we are not using our courage and willpower. If it was impossible to leave sin, Allah would not have commanded us to leave the “zaahir (external) and baatin (internal)” of sin. Giving us this command is proof that we have the ability to abstain from sin. Allah does not issue a command that is beyond our ability, as it is understood from the last ayah of Surah Al-Baqarah. In fact, we are supporting our nafs. We are doing our nafs a favor. We are happily pleasing our nafs. When in reality our nafs is our greatest enemy. The one who announced this is none other than Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) who said, “Your greatest enemy is your nafs which is between your two sides.”

If your enemy presents you with a gift, will you accept it immediately or will you be a little hesitant. You think that perhaps it may be something harmful. However, our enemy the nafs shows us a little pleasure of evil glances and we readily accept. In reality, it seems on the surface that the nafs is presenting us with pleasure whereas it is punishment. After casting evil glances, leave alone the punishment of the hereafter, in the dunya one’s heart is never at ease. The mind will keep on thinking about the person and he/she will lose sleep. The nafs will fling you into the punishment of Allah. The sin of casting evil glances is a sin of stupidity and foolishness. You achieve nothing while you make your heart restless. Is it not pointless and dumb to glance at other people’s property? Will you obtain merely by looking? Is it not dumb to make the uneasy by looking at something you are not going to get? Even if you do get it, you will not attain peace because the joy obtained in displeasing Allah is full of grief and anxiety. The make Allah upset and dream of peace is foolishness because Allah is the Creator of happiness and grief. Whoever pleases Allah at the expense of the nafs’s displeasure, Allah will fill such a person’s heart with happiness. Even without the apparent causes of happiness, Allah will cause rivers of joy to flow in this person’s heart. Kings can only dream of the joy that Allah will grant this person. Whereas, the person who pleases the nafs at the expense of displeasing Allah, Allah will make their life bitter. Allah says, “And whoever turns away from my remembrance, then for him is a bitter and narrow life.” (Surah Ta-Ha)

Explore posts in the same categories: Muraqabah, Razaail, Spiritual Diseases and Their Remedies

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