الخميس، أبريل 14، 2005

Jihad - Against yourself

جهاد النفس

Jihaad an-Nafs: Striving Against the Soul

By Shaykh Hasan Ayyoob – may Allaah preserve him - from the first chapter of his book 'Fiqh al-Jihaad fil-Islaam'

(Translated by at-Tibyaan Publications)

The world, in its overwhelming majority, is encountering waves upon waves of evil and is being struck by evil passions and trials and tribulations, and it is being overtaken by various kinds of destructive evils, and it is being governed by Satanic ideas and selfish, imposing laws, and concepts that destroy all aspects of the human being that can be considered virtuous and noble. We are surrounded by an environment that has deviated from the truth, submitted to its desires and has been put to trial by its forbidden passions. And the human being inherits all that those who came before him have left for him of corruption in belief, entrenchment in misguidance, submission to the Sharee'ah of the Devil, permitting the forbidden, forbidding the permissible, and beautifying the lowest of actions and the most disgusting sins. And he is - with this - longing to satisfy his desires as he has been surrounded by the devils of the humans and Jinn.

So, he is a product of the environment, culture, upbringing, thoughts and all that he is surrounded by, and affected by; beginning with his family, his people, all the way to the general human population.

This human being, if Divine Guidance was sent down for his sake, and Allaah showed him ways of living in happiness in this life and the next, and he was given from Allaah a Book, and He favored him – by His Favor – with a Messenger to take him by the hand to that which is better and higher, and organizes the affairs of his life on the basis of justice and mercy, and saves him from everything that could be a cause of his destruction in this life and the next; if all of this occurred, then his situation would be quite different.

From the people, however, are those who have been defeated by this accumulation in evil, and are pressured by these influences, so they don't pay any attention to the religion and give it not the slightest consideration. Rather, he belittles the religion, and mocks it, and has enmity to those who call to it, and fights all those who try to change his ways and plant a pure seed in his head in place of the filthy Satanic seed that is in place.

Allaah – the Exalted – said: {"Rather! On their hearts is the black spot of the sins that they used to earn…"} [al-Mutaffifeen; 14]

And He – the Exalted – said: {"And if it is said to them 'Come to that which Allaah has revealed and to the Messenger!' they said 'What we found our fathers upon is enough for us.' Were it not that their fathers knew nothing and were not guided…"} [al-Maa'idah; 104]

And He – the Exalted – said: {"Verily, those who disbelieve will not believe whether you warn them or not."} [al-Baqarah; 6]

And yet, there is another type of person that you might see who is ready to reflect calmly and with deep insight, and remove himself from any outside influences in order to look at the issues that are important, and puts aside all that he has been fed in order for his research to be upon clarity. So if he is guided and comes to know, he turns and changes and becomes another person.

This human being struggles against (yu jaahid) his soul that commands him with evil, as well as his overwhelming passions and transgressing innate nature, deviated desires, misguided cultural practices, and bad habits.

He says: there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, certain that it means: none is rightly deserving of being served or worshipped except for Allaah, and none deserves to be submitted to or humbled before except Allaah, and none has the right to command or forbid except Allaah, and there is no legislation of laws except by Allaah, and by Him – the Exalted – the Muslim takes his steps, and with this, he submits himself to Allaah in a complete manner – in every way, shape and form – so he is called a Muslim (a submitter).

And he believes in everything that Allaah has revealed - so he is called a Mu'min (believer).

And he stands watch over the devils among the humans and Jinn, so he does not allow them to affect him – so he is called a Saabir (an endurer).

And he stops at the limits set by Allaah, and does not cross them unless in a moment of heedlessness (in which case he repents) – so he is called a Muraabit (one who guards his territory).

And he sacrifices himself and his wealth for the sake of his belief, and he lives as a fugitive who has been uprooted from his home – so he is called a Mujaahid (one who strives).

And regarding this, the Exalted says: {"And those who strive in Our cause, we will guide them to Our ways, and verily, Allaah is with those who do good."} [al-'Ankaboot; 69]

And He – the Exalted – says: {"O you who believe! Endure and be patient and guard your territory and fear Allaah so that you may be successful."} [aal-'Imraan; 200]

This kind of person, wherever he is found in a land or amongst a certain group of people, he is like a rising sun who's rays are sweet-smelling perfume; by him, the Earth is connected to the Heavens, and upon him descends the Mercy of Allaah, and surrounding him are the Angels of the Most Merciful.

He has a heart with the innocence of children, and a tongue with the purity of water from a rain cloud, and a helping hand that extends as if it was sent from Allaah, and a face that shines with the truth as if it were the morning light, and firmness upon the religion of Allaah as if he himself was a firm mountain.

If you walk with him he benefits you, and if you befriend him he serves you, and if you consult him he advises you, and if you wrong him he excuses you, and if you comfort him he thanks you, and if you are at odds with him he forgives you. Truthful; easygoing; trustworthy; he fears Allaah, so he is as Allaah says regarding him: {"Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, and those who are with him are harsh against the disbelievers and merciful between each other. You see them bowing and prostrating, seeking Favor from Allaah and His Pleasure. Their distinctive sign is the mark of prostration on their faces."} [al-Fath; 29]

And the struggle of the soul (jihaad an-nafs) is the severest type of struggle, and the hardest and longest-lasting. It is a struggle at night, and during the day; in times of hardship, in times of ease; in times of relaxation and tension. It is a struggle in your beliefs and worship and interactions; while you are secluded from the people as well as when you are mixing with them. And it is a struggle by way of remembrance, prayer, fasting, and patience – as well as all things that strengthen your soul. And it is a struggle that calls for the person to be fully awake, aware and knowledgeable of the weak points of the enemy, the strategies of the Devil, the incoming waves of falsehood, the possible entrance points of doubts and confusions, as well as knowledge of the permissible and forbidden, and the commands of Allaah and his prohibitions, etc.

And without this struggle (Jihaad) that polishes and purifies the soul, and changes everything in the life of the believer, and makes the Muslim a leader not a follower, and makes him a head and not a tail, and one who initiates change in others as opposed to one who is changed by others; without this type of struggle, a person is known simply as a Muslim – not a believer – and this is not a name that he would even be deserving of, and an outer image that does not reflect the inner truth.

And since this Muslim has given up on the struggle against his soul, he has also given up his Islaamic personality.

The struggle against the soul causes explosive changes – both internal and external – that give birth to a person that has been purified the utmost purification in comparison to the entire human race, so that the one who undergoes this change deserves to shine under the saying of Allaah:

{"You were the best nation brought out for the people."} [aal-'Imraan; 110]

I would like to let you know that I have committed most major sins and I am not saying this in order to take pride in my sins; I used to feel this before but not any longer. I have drunk wine twice in my life or perhaps three times, I don’t know.......................; I do not know is it possible that Allah repents on me and forgives me? I don’t know, I have tried to repent more than once and every time I return to the same sins to the degree that I have felt I am a hypocrite who is not afraid of death and being accounted. Sometimes I feel that Allah loves me and that I love Him, but then Satan quickly takes over my heart again. I have defeated Satan in many rounds, but he defeated me in more battles; Is it possible for me to return to Allah once again and how?

I have prayed a lot but more than that I have interrupted my prayers. My weakness has reached points a believer cannot imagine.

I have sworn upon the Holy Quran that I will stop smoking but I haven’t.

I have promised Allah Himself ................. but I have broken my promise to Allah; My will has weakened to a level that nobody can imagine after I used to have strength in performance and the ability to change my personality and my way of life;

I have become a person who does not feel the pleasure of life even though I still maintain my soul and my rounds of vice, sins, lying, cheating; so how do I get rescued?

I want to know what religious people have known but what

I haven’t. I am sure that they know something I don’t know and don’t feel, so why? This is me so what do I do to benefit me, may Allah benefit you.


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise be to Allah, and prayers and greetings upon our prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

The prophet (PBUH) said Allah will repent upon whoever repents before the sun rises from the west [reported by Muslim from the hadith of Abu Hurairah]

I have read your message, and I know that nothing prevents you from repenting, even if your sins reach the sky or fill the whole earth. As long as the human is in this life, the door of repentance is open. I have noted from your letter that you are living a battle between the call of faith in your heart, and the call of desire that is guided by Satan in your heart

Praise be to Allah the Exalted who has retained in your heart some of the light of faith, which blames you for sins, and beautified good deeds to you.

But this light is weak, because the darkness of sins, which are the blowings of Satan, has weakened this light. This is why it sometimes shines, making your conscience awake a little, only to extinguish again and you return to committing sins.

I will clarify to you the illness that you are suffering from, then I will describe the treatment, so please read this with reflection and interest, may Allah benefit you from it.

Dear brother, the heart is the place of will in the human; sometimes it wants good, and sometimes evil, and the body parts are nothing but soldiers that obey the heart according to what it desires.

The difference between religious people and yourself is that the hearts of the former firmly want good, so their body parts obey this will and are thus persistent in obeying Allah the Exalted. As for yourself, your heart knows good and evil, and differentiates between good and bad deeds, but it cannot want good, so you find that it wants desires even though it knows they will harm it, so it commands the body parts so they obey it, but what is the reason?.

The reason is that the hearts that are immune to Satan easily want to do good because these hearts are healthy and strong. On the other hand, in hearts that Satan can enter and wonder in freely, Satan can easily achieve making the heart want sins, after he has made them look attractive to the heart, because the latter is ill and full of satanic germs.

For some people, Satan only briefly enters their hearts owing to the strong immunity surrounding them. For example, those who commit minor sins then quickly repent from them, and those are the ones about whom Allah (SWT) has said (interpretation of the meaning): {The pious ones, when a visitation from Satan afflicts them they become mindful, then lo! they see.}.

There are some people whom Satan never comes close to their hearts, as they are like the sky, which is guarded from devils by flames; likewise their hearts are guarded from devils.

The Prophet (PBUH) has said about this heart white like a smooth rock not harmed by temptation as long as the heavens and earth exist [reported by Muslim from the hadith of Huzaifah (RAA)]. Satan has entered the hearts of other people and has dwelled there and created a nest for himself in which he lays his eggs and hatches them. So he has controlled these hearts, commanding them to do forbidden desires, so their hearts want these desires and command their body parts to commit them and they indeed do that. This is because Satan has found hearts that have no immunity, their doors open, weak and ill owing to committing sins, and this is why Allah the Exalted has said about this type (interpretation of the meaning) {Satan has gained the mastery over them, so he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah}.

Because the zikr (remembrance) of Allah is immunity from Satan, Satan has made them forget it in order to control and drive their hearts, which their body parts will then follow.

The heart is not immunized from Satan except with the zikr of Allah the Exalted, and it does not have the strength to want good except by doing good deeds.

Satan does not defeat the heart unless it is inattentive of the zikr of

Allah the Exalted and weak because of committing sins and vice.

And now, after you have known the reason why your heart does not obey you in wanting to do good and avoid sins, and cannot preserve its righteousness, the treatment is in the following medical prescription. Take it and maintain it as its results are guaranteed -Allah willing - if you persevere it honestly:

1. Maintain the five prayers in congregation, especially the fajr prayer and never miss it. Allah the

Exalted says {and the fajr reading, for the fajr reading is witnessed} i.e. the fajr prayer is witnessed by angels.

2. After the fajr prayer remain in the mosque to read the Quran until sunrise, and then offer 2 rakas 10 minutes after sunrise.

3. Say subhan Allah wa bi hamdih (may Allah be glorified and praised) one hundred times a day at any time in the mosque or house, whether walking, sitting, in the car, etc. This zikr wipes out sins.

4. Ask forgiveness of Allah one hundred times each day, saying astaghfirullah wa atoobu ilayh (I ask forgiveness of Allah and I repent to Him), once again at any time you wish and in whatever condition you are in.

5. Say this zikr: la ilaha illa Allahu wahdahu la sharika lah, lahulmulku wa lahulhamdu wa howa ala kul shayin qadeer (there is no god but Allah; He has no partner; He has the possession and praise, and He is capable of everything) one hundred times each day at any time you wish and in whatever condition you are in. It doesn’t necessarily have to be said in the mosque. The prophet (PBUH) maintained these zikrs, as they are the life of the heart and its indispensable nutrition.

6. Between Maghrib and Ishaa remain in the mosque and do not leave it, and recite as much as you can of the Quran while concentrating

7. You should totally avoid watching TV and reading magazines, and going to places where there is vice, as you are in quarantine in order to restore health to your heart, and the medicine (good deeds) will not benefit you if you induce disease (sins) into your heart during the treatment period.

8. Continue this program for at least a month: living with the Quran reciting it with consideration, and acting upon what is in it; spending time alone for long hours for the zikr of Allah the Exalted. The proof of doing this for a month is that the prophet (PBUH) ordered that by saying “Recite the Quran in a month, in 25 days, in 10 days, in 7 days” [Bukhari & Muslim from the hadith of Ibn Omar].

9. If the environment in which you live does not support you in applying this program then change this environment: abandon bad friends, and avoid places in which you spend your free time if they encourage you to commit sins, and if you can travel to Makkah for example to follow this program then do it.

10. Donate part of your money as a form of repentance to Allah the Exalted, as secret charities are seen only by Allah the Exalted. In the authentic hadith “Secret charities extinguish the anger of the Lord” [narrated by ibn Hibban from the hadith of Anas].

11. Try to perform umrah with the intention of renewing your faith and cleansing your past with the water of this blessed trip. The prophet (PBUH) said A umrah causes forgiving of sins since the previous umrah, and an accepted hajj has no reward other than paradise [Bukhari & Muslim from the hadith of Abu Hurairah (RAA)].

12. If you owe anything to others return everything, and do not retain anything you will be accounted for, as a form of repentance to Allah.

13. Ask Allah every night during the sahar (prior to fajr) with this supplication Rabbi inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kathiran wa la yaghfir uzunuba illa Ant, faghfir lee maghfiratan min indik warhamni, inaka Anta Alghafoor Urraheem (My Lord, I have oppressed myself a lot and only You forgive sins, so forgive me a forgiveness from You and have mercy upon me, You are Most Forgiving, Most Merciful), and also Allahuma alhimni rushdi wa qini shar nafsi(O Allah, grant me my the right way and protect me from the evil of myself), as the prophet (PBUH) taught these two to some of his companions.

In addition, perform a lot of istighfar and supplication, as the sahar is a time of acceptance of supplication.

This is your prescription, and one month is not necessarily the period required, as change might appear on you before that, or you might need more than a month in this quarantine. The goal is to expel Satan from the heart and clean his traces and dirt and the filth that he has placed there, as this is the reason behind the weakness of your heart and its incapability of wanting good and doing good deeds, and its quickness to follow desires.

So if health returns to your heart and you become fit and strong when it comes to the zikr of Allah the Exalted, immune from the cunningness of Satan, then you may slightly reduce this program to the extent that you can withstand, as the prophet (PBUH) said “You should do what you can withstand” [Bukhari & Muslim from the hadith of Aisha (RAA)], unless you can withstand more than this, for in this case you should increase doing good as long as your heart loves good deeds.

These faithful duties are the levels as considered by Allah: the more a servant does, s/he ascends in the levels of piety. The best things to perform are what Allah has prescribed upon you (obligatory forms of worship). You will notice that things have changed in a surprising manner, as long as you maintain the prescription I have given you, and you will find yourself hating to commit sins and your heart not wanting them, looking at them with inferiority and disdain. You will also like good deeds and feel enthusiastic about them, and feel their good taste in your heart. The secret behind this change is that you have treated you heart with the zikr of Allah the Exalted and good deeds until your heart has become healthy wanting good and loving it after it was ill, wanting evil and sins and loving them. Allah, the Truth and

Exalted says (interpretation of the meaning) {but Allah has endeared the faith to you and has made it seemly in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you unbelief and transgression and disobedience; those are the followers of the right way).

By grace from Allah and as a favor; and Allah is Most Knowing, Most Wise} and Allah knows best


Sh. Hamed ibn Abdullah Al-Ali, who loves good for You.

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