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Tazkiyah SINGLE PAGE

The Soul and its Purification
  I Want to Fight My Soul So What Is The Way?
Author: Nawwal Bint Abdullaah
Source: Trans. Abu Iyaad
Article ID : TZK030001  [33540]  
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The third: A person calls himself to account for a matter that is mubaah (permissible - with no reward or punishment resulting from it). Why did he do it? And did he desire the Face of Allaah and the home of the Hereafter by it so that he will have profited and succeeded? Or did he desire by it, the world and its temporary rewards and delights as a result of which he loses that success

A person will call himself to account so that one day when he is sixty years old he will be counting his days and will find that they are twenty-one thousand and six-hundred in number. He lets out a scream and says: "Woe be to me, I will meet my Lord with twenty-one thousand sins. How will it be when there are thousands of sins in a day?!" Then he falls to the ground unconscious, and dies.

Let us therefore, look at the strictness and intensity of the way he called himself to account and the way in which he saw his sins to be against him. What then, will our condition be?!

One amongst the Salaf would choose a certain time, late at night, to call his soul to account. He would ask himself about the obligatory duties first and if he found any deficiency in them, he would complete them, either by fulfilling them or by making up for them.

Then he would call his soul to account with respect to the forbidden matters since he did something which the Sharee'ah has forbidden or which the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) warned against. So he would make up for it by seeking forgiveness from Allaah and then being remorseful and repenting from it.

Then he would hold his soul to account for its heedlessness. If he had been heedless of what he had been created for he would make up for it with the remembrance of Allaah, directing his attention towards Him and performing His worship. If he had been heedless with respect to a certain sin and went on to commit it, he would return to Allaah, seeking forgiveness from Him, repenting to Him.

He then goes on to call himself to account about what he said and uttered on a certain day, or to what his feet walked towards or what his hands grasped or what his eyes saw or what his ears heard and so on. He would therefore, see whether his action was in agreement with what Allaah is pleased with and whether he desired Allaah with his action and made it sincerely and purely for Him. Or did a blemish or impurity mix with his action such as showing off or seeking to be heard of, or opposing the command of Allaah (in the way that he performed his action).

Therefore, he throws against every one of his actions or his words two questions: For whom did I do it?! Was it for Allaah or other than Him? This a question about sincerity to Allaah. The other question: How did I do it?! Was it in agreement with the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah? Was it in agreement with the Sharee'ah or did it oppose and contradict the Sharee'ah (this is a question about following and imitating the way of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)).

There are Great Benefits in Calling the Soul to Account

Amongst them are:

1. Realising the shortcomings and weaknesses of the soul. Whoever does not know the weaknesses of his soul will not be able to put an end to them.

We can observe this quality in our Pious Predecessors. Due to the intensity with which they called their souls to account, they knew all their shortcomings and faults. Yoonus bin Ubaid said: "Indeed, I know of a hundred characteristics from among the characteristics of goodness and I do not know whether I possess a single one of them." Therefore, we find him to be the most knowledgeable of people of his own self. He knows what his soul is in need of and what it hopes for and other such matters.

And Muhammad bin Waasi' said: "If sins were to produce a smell, no one would be able to sit next to me"

2. Knowing the right of Allaah upon oneself. This will instill in the servant hatred of his own soul and its contempt. It will purify him from being amazed with his actions and also from showing off. Ibn al-Qayyim said: "Verily, hatred of the soul for the sake of Allaah is one of the characteristics of the Siddeeqoon (the truthful and the sincere)."

Imaam Ahmad has mentioned in his book az-Zuhd that Wahb (ibn Munabbah) said: "It has reached me that the Prophet of Allaah, Moosa, passed by a man who was calling upon Allaah and was humbling himself. He (Moosa) said: O my Lord, show mercy to Him as I have shown mercy to Him. Then Allaah inspired to him: If he calls upon me until his...... I would not respond to Him until He looks at My right over Him."

Looking at the right of Allaah opens the door towards submission, humility and defeat in front of Allaah. The one who reflects about the condition of the people nowadays will find that most of them do the opposite of this. They look at their own rights upon Allaah, at their needs from Him but do not look at the right of Allaah upon themselves.


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