وَمَا أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِي ۚ إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (53)
ﷺ قَالَ: الكَيِّس مَنْ دَانَ نَفْسَهُ، وَعَمِلَ لِما بَعْدَ الْموْتِ، وَالْعَاجِزُ مَنْ أَتْبَعَ نَفْسَه هَواهَا، وتمَنَّى عَلَى اللَّهِ
Nafs is the inner source of negative emotions, illegitimate wishes, bad habits and acts of the servants. This feature of the nafs is described in the Holy Qur’an by the words of the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) as follows: “And I do not acquit myself. Indeed, the nafs is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.” 1
People who make right choices, control their own will, say “Stop!” to their nafs, purify themselves of their sins, and correct themselves can attain salvation. Those who succumb to the
desires of their nafs, who are captived by their evil desires and cannot control them by using their mind are doomed to be disappointed. Our Sublime Lord (swt) reminds us of this issue in the Holy Qur’an as: “And [by] the nafs and He who proportioned it; and inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its
righteousness, He has succeeded who purifies it, and he has failed who instills it [with corruption].” 2
Nafs is the battleground between the good and the evil. The history of humankind is full of examples of people and societies who have driven themselves to devastation by following their nafs. One of the sons of the Prophet Adam (as), Qabil killed his brother Habil, motivated by his ambition, malice, or following his nafs in other words. The sons of the Prophet Yaqub (as) (Jacob) threw their brother Yusuf into the well because of their jealousy and becoming captives of their nafs. Fir’awn, Namrud, Qarun, Abu Jahl, and similar people all followed their nafs, turned their back on the guidance of the revelation, and by feeling confident in their throne, power, wealth, and own self, they finally became destroyed in this world and doomed to the punishment in the Hereafter.
“The clever person is the one who subjugates his soul, and works for what is after death. And the incapable is the one who follows his desires and merely hopes in Allah.” 3 said the Messenger of Allah (saw). So let us not pursue our nafs that fancies the deceptive colors of the temporary world. Let us always keep our mind, our will, and our patience alive. Let us always keep in mind that life is a test, and that death and the account of the Hereafter may come suddenly. Let us live with the awareness that our Sublime Lord (swt) sees each and every state of us whether it be secret or open. Thus, away from the darkness of the kufr or denial of the truth and free from the burden of the sins, let us become peaceful, perfect and absolute believers. I would like to conclude my khutbah with the following prayer of our Beloved Prophet (saw): “O Allah grant to my soul the sense of piety and purify it, for You are the Best Purifier thereof. You are the Protecting thereof, and Guardian thereof. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from the knowledge that does not benefit, from the heart that does not entertain the fear (of Allah), from the soul that does not feel contented, and from the supplication that is not responded.” 4