The Tyranny of The Nafs

Ramadan Mubarak to all. The most Blessed of all Months has begun. What we intend to do with it now that it has, is entirely upto us. Or is it upto our Nafs’?

The demanding persona of our Nafs, that which Western Psychology refers to as our Ego, can be likened to that of a Tyrant. Because ultimately, the Tyrant wants it all for himself. We live to serve him. If by our misfortune we find ourselves under his leadership, our every freedom becomes a non-entity. Shaykh Ragip Frager, the West Coast representative of the Jerrahi-Halveti Order, likens this Tyrant to the Pharaoh, as well as the potential of our Nafs to become as Prophet Moses (AS). What does he mean? Well, just that our Nafs can either become a power hungry, megalomaniac like the Pharoah, wanting nothing more than to bask in perpetual adulation and worship of the world(This is the natural state we find the nafs in, willed by the myopic love for the material baubles surrounding it and us).


the capacity to be transformed to detach from the world and to love Allah, and to desire love from Allah. This potential can then be translated into the dignified, understated strength and taqwa personified by Kalim’Allah, Prophet Moses (AS). If and when this occurs, the practice of Remembrance (Dhikr) rather than self-praise is given creedence by this motley sentience which resides in all of us.

It is the only thing constant with the Nafs. Change. It may degenerate beyond Pharoah-like qualities into a wild, animalistic mentality if we indulge it enough. Because there are no limits for the Nafs. It ALWAYS wants more. More Praise, More Lust, More Wealth and More Gratification. However, we can mold our Nafs with Remembrance, Prayer, and Love for Allah rather than the rotting transigience of this world. Remember: That’s with true Repentance and true Remembrance.

Shaykh Frager describes that True Repentance will not only expiate sins(Insh’Allah) but transfom the Nafs to become regretful and with time, inspired.

Repentance is only True, when we make no justifications for our past sins, we ask humble forgiveness for our present sins and status after our own aknowledgement of the fact, and finally we sincerely intend NOT to repeat them in the future.

How do we know if our Repentance is indeed True and has been accepted by Allah? Shaykh Frager goes on to say that when it is, those things hated by Allah which we were so attracted to and driven to committing, now are hated by us. We feel a disdain for those things deep within our hearts. This, dear brothers and sisters, is true Progress. Insh’allah may Allah give us Tawfiq this blessed Ramadan to become productive in the way of the Light. Ameen.

For further reference, I request all to try and pickup Shaykh Frager’s “Heart, Self, and Soul”. Oh, and also to read it sincerely. It is a Rare Gem in any time, or place, and I recommend it to all those who claim to possess a brain.

Additionally, as my work occupies most of my time, and the time that is left over I must devote to my family, I regret I may not have any to give this blog(Plus, rural India has a way of throwing wrenches in the gears of technology) Please excuse this, as I hope to contribute much more in the future.

To conclude, here is a thousand + words on who I am.
Again, may Allah bless all our homes with peace and barakah this Ramadan, in the months to come, and in this life and the hereafter.

Unaysah with her Father.

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