Why Should I Be More Careful of My Nafs Than An Enemy?! [An Admonition By Imaam Al-Aajurree]


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Imaam Al-Aajurree [rahimahullaah] said: It is obligated on the one who hears this from Allaah [i.e. the affairs stated about the nafs in the Qur’an and Sunnah] that he is more careful or cautious about his nafs than an enemy that wants to kill him, or take his wealth, or violate his honour. If someone says: “Why do you obligate – on me – this precaution about the Nafs until you place it in a situation that is more severe than an enemy whose enmity is certainly very manifest? It should then be said to him, “The enemy of yours who wants to kill you, or wants to take your wealth or violate your honour, if he overcomes you with what he does to you, then indeed Allaah will expiate some of your sins and raise your status, but this will not be the case with the nafs because if the nafs overcomes you by way of that which you desire – that which you have been forbidden, then this contains destruction for you in this Dunya and the Aakhirah- disgrace and severe punishment in the Dunyah, an evil state in the sight of Allaah and destination in the Aakhirah.

Therefore the Aaqil- may Allaah have mercy upon him – compels or obligates caution on his Nafs and strives against it in a manner more severe than striving against an enemy who wants to take his wealth and his life. So, he strives against his nafs in times of anger and in times of happiness. This is how our prophet disciplined us in various hadeeth, saying: The Mujaahid is the one who strives against his Nafs in obedience to Allaah – The Mighty and Majestic.

Shaikh Abdur Razaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said: When a person hears the statement, “Be more careful [or cautious] about your Nafs than an enemy who wants to kill you”, he  might be amazed as to how can be the case?! Say to him,  “If someone kill you or took your wealth, Allah will expiate your sins, because have you not heard about the hadeeth about the Muflis?!

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ أَتَدْرُونَ مَا الْمُفْلِسُ قَالُوا الْمُفْلِسُ فِينَا مَنْ لَا دِرْهَمَ لَهُ وَلَا مَتَاعَ فَقَالَ إِنَّ الْمُفْلِسَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَأْتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِصَلَاةٍ وَصِيَامٍ وَزَكَاةٍ وَيَأْتِي قَدْ شَتَمَ هَذَا وَقَذَفَ هَذَا وَأَكَلَ مَالَ هَذَا وَسَفَكَ دَمَ هَذَا وَضَرَبَ هَذَا فَيُعْطَى هَذَا مِنْ حَسَنَاتِهِ وَهَذَا مِنْ حَسَنَاتِهِ فَإِنْ فَنِيَتْ حَسَنَاتُهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُقْضَى مَا عَلَيْهِ أُخِذَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُمْ فَطُرِحَتْ عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ طُرِحَ فِي النَّارِ

Abu Huraira [radiyallaahu-anhu] reported that the Messenger of Allaah [sallal laahu-alayhi- wasallam] said, “Do you know who is bankrupt?” They said, “The one without money or goods is bankrupt.” The Prophet said, “Verily, the bankrupt of my Ummah are those who come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, and charity, but also insulted this one, slandered that one, ate the wealth of this one, shed the blood of that one, and hit this one. So, this one will be given from his good deeds and hat one is given from his deeds. And if his good deeds run out before justice is fulfilled, then their sins will be cast upon him and he will be thrown into the Hellfire.” [Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2581]

So, you will take his deeds and if he has no more deeds to give away, your sins will be given you him and he’ll be in the fire; but as for when our own nafs overcome us by way of that which is haraam, then we gain nothing.  [Ref 1]

So, Imaam Al-Aajurree [rahimahullaah] said: One should strive against his Nafs in times of happiness as well as when he is happy. In  supplication: [وأسألُك كلمةَ الحقِّ في الرِّضَا والغضب – I ask You (O Allaah) to make me true in speech in times of pleasure and anger]. [Ref 2] Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq [hafidhahullaah] said: The one who does not utter except the truth during anger and pleasure, then this is a proof of his strong Eemaan and that indeed he is in control of his Nafs. [Ref 3]


[Ref 1: Sharh Adabun Nufoos. Lesson 1. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah) https://al-badr.net/sub/358]; Ref 2: Source: Part of a supplication narrated by Ammaar Bin Yaasir (radiyallaahu-anhu) from the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam). Reported by An-Nasaa’ee Number 1305 & found in Saheeh Al-Jaami Number 1301]; Ref 3: Fiqhul Ad’iyah Wal-Adkaar’ parts 3 & 4’ page 167]

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