The most prominent Aya that is always recalled when the talk is raised about the reform is mentioned in Surah Al-Rad, Ayay 11, ”Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ). Self-knowledge is critical to any change. If you seeking to change and reform the soul, you need to know more about how the whole reform process is done and what are types of souls that human beings witness. Allah leaves no question that the Man may wonder without answering it. Allah, the Almighty, mentions in Quran 3 types of souls, the one that incites evil, the reproachful soul, and the one that is serene.((These are, respectively:Al-Nafs Al-Amāra, Al-Nafs Al-Lawwāma, and Al-Nafs Al-Muṭmaʾinna.)).

The three nafs (souls) in the Quran

the nafs that incites evil

al-nafs al-āmāra

                  It is mentioned directly and clearly in surah Yusef, Aya 53, ” Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy”. From this Aya we can understand that this is the nature of Nafs (soul), it has an authoritarian power over the person, as it commands evil and tells us what to do. When it desires something, it tells the Muslim to do it without paying attention to any boundaries or prohibitions. It sins without any delay, puts plans to achieve its goals. It commands Muslim with all evil feelings and actions, it tends to the primitive nature of Man, that is guides Muslim to lusts, losses, and following desires. If Muslims follow it, doubtfully it will lead him to his doom and end. He can do whatever he desires but his action’s results will destroy his life and the people’s lives around him. 

the reproachful soul

Al-Nafs Al-Lawwāma

                     It reproaches good and evil, and drifts between what is right and wrong. It fights not not fall, sometimes it survives and other times it falls. It regrets what it has missed and reproaches for [missing] it. When it sins, it repents. It recalls Allah’s pleasure and displeasure. It remembers the hereafter and the day of judgment, and what Allah has prepared there, the Jannah and hellfire. Once the soul commands something, you will hear an inner voice warning of this action’s consequences. And, if it asks to do good, it encourages this action and shows its advantages and fruits. Allah mentions this Nafs in surah Al-Qiyamah, Aya 40 ”And I swear by the self-reproaching person (a believer)” (وَلَآ أُقۡسِمُ بِٱلنَّفۡسِ ٱللَّوَّامَةِ). This type of soul is good, as it goes back to Allah and asks His Forgiveness and Mercy. It never challenges the fate of good and evil.

The serene soul

Nafs al-Mutma’innah

                  Allah mentions this soul and says about it ”O rightous soul, return to your Lord well-pleased, well-pleasing” (يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ. ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً). It may refer to two ways of calling this soul in this way that it is content with Allah’s commands and that it follows Allah’s commands in life. It believes that Allah is its Lord, and found peace in the path of Allah because of its faithfulness. It fears and loves Allah, asks His Forgiveness and works practically to show its love to Allah. It goes through daily conflicts to disobey Allah, even in the most difficult moments, it repents and attempts to make up for this sin.

                 In summary, The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: The one who strives in jihad is he who strives against his ego. (Sahih). Throughout your life, you need to fight and challenge your desires. Assigning the purposes of your life is what protects you from being lost. We were created to worship Allah, and Allah said this fight won’t be easy but Allah promised that whoever fights Allah will be with him. Your soul will never stop pushing you towards evil and you in return should not let it lead you. Allah gave us our provisions for this journey which is Quran, Zikr, Dua, Saddaqah, and prayer. Flee to Allah and tell him your weakness and exhaustion, ask His help and support. Know that we are not good because we are strong but we are strong because of Allah.



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