In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ ۖ فَلَا تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا ۚ إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ
O mankind! Verily, the Promise of Allah is true. So let not this present life deceive you, and let not the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah. Surely, Shaitan (Satan) is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire. [Surah Al-Faatir. 5-6]
[يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ-O mankind! Verily, the Promise of Allah is true]-Meaning, Allaah’s promise regarding the resurrection and recompense for one’s deeds is true. There is no doubt, uncertainty and confusion about it because it has been established by the divine and intellectual proofs. Therefore, when it is the case that this is true, then prepare for it, hasten by utilising your precious time to perform righteous deeds and do not be hindered from it by any hindrance.
[فَلَا تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا- So let not this present life deceive you] – Meaning, its enjoyment, desires and pursuits of one’s soul (heart), and thus you are diverted from the purpose of behind which you were created. [وَلَا يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ – And let not the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah] -Meaning, shaytaan is an enemy of yours in reality, so [
فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا ۚ- so take (treat) him as an enemy]- Meaning, take him as an enemy every time and do not be negligent in waging war against him every time, because indeed he sees you whilst you cannot see him and he is always watching you.
[ إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ-He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire]- Meaning, this is his goal and intent for the one who follows him to be severely humiliated through severe punishment. [Ref 1]
Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَٱعۡتَصِمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ هُوَ مَوۡلَٮٰكُمۡۖ فَنِعۡمَ ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ وَنِعۡمَ ٱلنَّصِيرُ -And hold fast to Allah; He is your Maula (Patron, Lord, etc.), what an Excellent Maula (Patron, Lord, etc.) and what an Excellent Helper!]’ [Surah Al-Hajj. Aayah 78]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said: “When you hold fast to Allaah, He will protect you. Allaah will help you against [the evil urges] of your souls and shaytaan – the two enemies that never isolate themselves from a person. Their enmity is more harmful than an apparent enemy. Therefore, being given help against them is the most important thing and a person’s need of it is more than [his need for other things]. And the completeness of this help is [given] based on the level of one’s attachment to Allaah.’’ [Ref 2]
Shaytaan’s Severe Enmity And The Constant Jihaad Required From Us Against Him and Our Souls!
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri [radiyallaahu anhu] narrated that the Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “Indeed shaytaan said, ‘By Your Might O my Lord! I will not cease to misguide your slaves as long as their souls are in their bodies’. The Lord (Allaah) said, ‘By My Might and Majesty! I will not cease forgiving them as long as they keep seeking My Forgiveness’”. [Declared authentic by Imaam Al Albaani in As-Saheehah 104]
Disciplining The Souls
Imaam Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Al-Husayn Al-Aajurree [rahimahullaah] said:
All praise and thanks be to Allaah by way of Whose Grace all righteous deeds are accomplished. All praise and thanks be to Allaah in all circumstances and may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his companions, and we seek Allaah’s Aid and Assistance. To proceed:
May Allaah grant us and you all the path towards right conduct in speech and deeds, protect us from the evils of our souls and the evil consequences of our evil deeds, and truly He is All-Hearer, Ever Near [to all things by His knowledge]. Know that Allaah has mentioned the soul in various parts of His Book [i.e. the Qur’aan] with a notification of many affairs regarding it, and all of it shows that one should be cautious of the soul. Our Generous Protected [.e. Allaah] informed us that the soul tends to incline towards the [evil] it desires, whilst knowing definitely that it is forbidden. Our Generous Protector [i.e. Allaah] made it known and taught us that whoever forbids the soul against the [evil] it desires, then indeed paradise will be his abode. Allaah said:
فَإِذَا جَآءَتِ ٱلطَّآمَّةُ ٱلۡكُبۡرَىٰ
يَوۡمَ يَتَذَكَّرُ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ مَا سَعَىٰ
وَبُرِّزَتِ ٱلۡجَحِيمُ لِمَن يَرَىٰ
فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَىٰ
وَءَاثَرَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا
فَإِنَّ ٱلۡجَحِيمَ هِىَ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰ
وَأَمَّا مَنۡ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّهِۦ وَنَهَى ٱلنَّفۡسَ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰ
فَإِنَّ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ هِىَ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰ
But when there comes the greatest catastrophe (i.e. the Day of Recompense, etc.), the Day when man shall remember what he strove for, and Hell-fire shall be made apparent in full view for (every) one who sees, then, for him who Tagha (transgressed all bounds, in disbelief, oppression and evil deeds of disobedience to Allah). And preferred the life of this world (by following his evil desires and lusts), verily, his abode will be Hell-fire; but as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts, then verily, Paradise will be his abode. [Surah An-Naazi’aat. Aayaat 34-41] [Ref 3]
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 4]
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 5] 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 6]
Fadhaalah Ibn ‘Ubayd [radiyallaahu-anhu] said that during the farewell Hajj the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, “Should I not inform you regarding who the believer is? He is the one who the people feel safe with regards to their wealth, the Muslim is the one who the people are safe from his tongue, the Mujaahid is the one who strives against his soul in obedience to Allaah and the Muhaajir is the one who abandons sin and sinful behaviour”. [Ref a]
This hadeeth is one of the commands and teachings of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] during the farewell hajj. In this hadeeth there a clarification of the meanings of these lofty nouns, namely Al-Imaan, Al-Islaam, Al-Jihaad and Al-Hijrah; a clarification regarding those who are deserving of these names in reality and their perfect outcomes in this worldly life and the hereafter.
The (complete) believer is that one who the people feel safe with regards to their blood and wealth, for indeed when Imaan is firmly established in the heart and the heart is filled with it, it then compels a person to fulfil the rights of Imaan, and the most important of it is to preserve the Amaanaat [trusts, moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained], truthfulness in mutual dealings and having fear of Allaah which stops a person from oppressing the people physically and financially. Whoever is as such, the people will know this about him, feel safe with him with regards to their blood and wealth, and trust him due to that which they know about him with regards to fulfilment of trusts.
And the Muslim is the one who the Muslims are safe from his tongue and hand. This is because real Islaam is to submit to Allaah, perfect one’s servitude to Allaah and fulfil the rights of the Muslims. A person’s Islaam will not be perfect until he loves for the Muslims what he loves for himself, and this cannot be accomplished until they are safe from the evil of his tongue and hand, because it is the basis of this obligation owed to the Muslims. Therefore, the one whom the Muslims are not safe from his tongue and hand, then how can he fulfil the obligation which he owes his Muslim brothers. Whoever unleashes his hand and tongue by way of harm and transgression against the Muslims, then where is his fulfilment of true Islaam? Therefore, their safety from his evil by way of speech and deeds is a symbol of the perfection of his Islaam.
And in this hadeeth there is evidence to show that a Mu’min [true believer] is higher in status than a Muslim, because the one who the people feel safe with regards to their blood and wealth, they will also be safe from his tongue and hand, for they would not have trusted him had they not been safe from him. However, not everyone who the people are safe from his tongue and hand is a believer, because indeed one might abandon oppression, but the people are still not safe from him; rather he abandons oppression out of fear of something he hates, due to desiring something or out of extreme fear of something that is in opposition to what he desires, and not that he abandoned oppression due to the Imaan in his heart.
And the Mujaahid is the one who strives against his soul in obedience to Allaah, because the soul inclines towards laziness and is diverted from good, commands evil and is quickly affected during calamities; therefore it is in need of patience and striving to make it adhere to obedience to Allaah, keep it firmly upon that, make it strive against disobedience and turn it away from it, and strive to exercise patience during calamities. [Ref b]
Striving against the Nafs is four levels as follows: Firstly: striving in the path of learning Allaah’s Sharee’ah – learning the religion ordained by Allaah, exercise patience whilst learning and seeking understanding. If you do not strive to acquire Ilm, your soul will remain upon ignorance; and even if you perform acts of worship and preoccupy yourself in worship, you’ll do so based on acts of worship that are unacceptable, because one of the conditions of worship is Al-Mutaaba’ah [i.e. adherence to the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger], and one cannot be acquainted with Al-Mutaaba’ah except through Ilm. And due to this, it has been reported in a hadeeth: ‘’Whoever Allaah wishes good for, He grants him understanding in the religion’’. In another narration: ‘’Whoever follows a path towards acquiring knowledge, Allaah will make easy for him the path to paradise’’. Therefore, one must acquire a portion of knowledge every day, and let not a day elapses except that you gain a portion of knowledge. Everyday the Prophet used to supplicate – after the fajr prayer- saying: ‘’O Allaah! I ask you for beneficial knowledge, good provision and deeds that are accepted’’. This shows that seeking knowledge is a daily pursuit.
Secondly: striving against the soul to act upon the knowledge you have acquired and adhering to it. This is the purpose of knowledge, because the purpose of knowledge is to act. If one does not act upon the knowledge he has acquired, then even if does not harm him, it will not benefit him. The Prophet sought refuge with Allaah against the knowledge that does not benefit. Therefore, after a person strives to acquire knowledge, he must strive to act upon it.
Thirdly: A person should call to knowledge [i.e. convey what he has learnt]. [Ref c]
Fourthly: He should exercise patience in this path.
And the Muhaajir is the one who abandons sins and sinful behaviour.
This is obligated on every Muslim and its obligation is not lifted from anyone who has reached the age of responsibility, because Allaah has forbidden the servants from committing what He has forbidden and obligated on them to obey Him and His Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]. This Hijrah is based on leaving something and proceeding towards another thing; therefore, a person abandons – by way of his heart – love of other than Allaah and turn towards love of Allaah, abandons servitude to other than Allaah and turns towards servitude to Allaah etc [Ref d]
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The strong are not the best wrestlers, rather the strong are only those who control themselves when they are angry.” [Ref e]
If one says, “By way of what should I strive against my soul until I overcome it?” It is said to him, “Strive against it until it fulfils the duties obligated by Allaah and keeps away from what Allaah has forbidden”. If the person says, “Describe for me the traits that the soul tends to incline towards, which are not good, so that I can be cautious of them, hate them and strive against them if I know that there is something of these traits in my soul”; then it is said to him, “The (evil of the) soul is deserving of being hated for the sake of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic], and whoever hates (the evil) of his soul for the sake of Allaah, it is hoped that he will be saved from being hated by Allaah, just as it has been reported from Imaam Fudayl Ibn Iyaadh [rahimahullaah] that he said, ‘Whoever hates (the evils) of his soul for the Sake of Allaah is saved from being hated by Allaah’”. [Ref 7]
If someone said, “Clarify the ugly traits of the soul for me”; so it is said to him, “They are traits that may have already settled in the soul and it does not love to be separated from them. They are numerous traits and if a person examines his soul he might find them as well.
Indeed, it is a soul that follows [evil or excess] desires and is engaged in the [evil or excess] pleasures of the worldly life.
Has prolonged hope for that which is shot lived and does not show little concern for a lifespan that will inevitably come to an end.
It has a fervent desire to love this worldly life and when it loves it [by preferring it over the afterlife], the heart becomes hard and turns away from an abode whose bliss will never come to an end [i.e. paradise].
It loves traits which it knows will harm it tomorrow.
It laughs and rejoices, enjoys itself with that which its Lord has forbidden.
It grieves – morning and evening – for that which was not decreed for it of those things it hopes for from the worldly life.
It is a soul facilitated with ease to seek after the [good] things of the worldly life.
It finds enjoyment in falling short in good deeds which its Lord calls to [or commands].
It has a desire to spend wealth in obedience to Allaah, but Satan threatens it with poverty, so it inclines towards that which Satan calls to.
Allaah promises it forgiveness and bounty, but it neither has certainty about it nor pleased with it.
It has firm hope in the promises of the people, but reluctant when the threat of its Lord reaches it.
It pleases the people at the expense of Allaah’s anger and hesitates to please its Lord.
Allaah calls it to have patience during calamities – a means of consolation and means to solace, but it does not accept.
It pretends in the presence of the people that it fulfils obligations, but fulfils little of that which Allaah obligates on it.
It abandons disobedience after being able to do so out of being shy of the people, but has little shyness whilst Allaah [The Most Great] watches it.
It gives little thanks to the innumerable blessings of Allaah.
It utilises the blessings of Allaah [The Most Generous] – day and night – as an aid to disobey Him.
It finds it easy to sit with idle people, but finds it difficult to sit with the scholars.
It obeys [or follows] a deceiver, but disobeys the most sincere advisers.
It hastens to evil desires, but delays repentance today and tomorrow.
Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan [rahimahullaah] said, ‘Whoever realises these traits in his soul and other than them, he should hasten to discipline it through good behaviour in order to return it to that which is more worthy regarding fear of Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic]- in private and public – having great regret, refrain from the repugnant traits which he knows for sure is with him and continue upon rectification throughout his lifespan’”. And Allaah is the Bestower of this affair. [Ref 8]
If someone says, “What directs to the subject matter related to disciplining the soul?” It is said to him, “The Qur’aan, the authentic Sunnah and the statements of the upright scholars of the Muslims”.
If he says, “Mention it”, say, “Yes, InShaaAllaah. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَأَهۡلِيكُمۡ نَارً۬ا – O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families from the Fire (Hell)]”. [Surah At-Tahreem. Aayah 6] [Ref f]
Meaning: protect the soul by fulfilling the commands of Allaah and keeping away from prohibitions. Protect your family by commanding them to obey Allaah and keep away from disobedience. [Ref g]
Command them with what Allaah has commanded them and aid them in that. If you see them disobeying Allaah, prevent and turn them away from it. And indeed Allaah [The Exalted] said to His Messenger: [وَأۡمُرۡ أَهۡلَكَ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ عَلَيۡہَاۖ – And enjoin As-Salat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salat (prayers)]. [Surah Taa Haa. Aayah 132] [Ref h]
So whoever hears this, then it is obligated on him to seek knowledge of it and not to be heedless of it. Have you not seen that Allaah urges and commands you to discipline your souls and your families?! Therefore, acknowledge – may Allaah have mercy upon you – this from Allaah and adhere to the knowledge regarding it. [Ref 9]
Imaam al-Aajurree [rahimahullaah] said: I am going to give a similitude whose affair is not hidden from you. Know that the example of the soul is like a fine foal from a horse and the beholder is amazed when he looks at it due to its good appearance and beauty. The people who have insight regarding its affair say, “Benefit will not be acquired from it until it is trained properly and disciplined, then it will be of benefit- good enough to gallop and be of service, and thus its rider praises the outcomes of its training and discipline. But if not disciplined, its good appearance and beauty will be of no benefit and its rider will not praise its outcomes when in need of it.
If the owner of this foal accepts the advice of those who have insight regarding its affair, he will know that their speech is sound and then gives it to a horse trainer to train it. And the horse trainer cannot be worthy of being a trainer unless he is well-acquainted with the method of training as well as having patience. If he has knowledge of horse training as well as knowledge of the right course of action, the owner will benefit from it; but if the trainer neither has knowledge of horse training nor knowledge of how to discipline a horse, he will ruin this foal, exhaust himself and the rider will not praise its outcomes.
If the trainer has knowledge of horse training and how to discipline a horse, but he has no patience to bear the difficulty accompanied with the training, wishes for comfort in the affair and negligent regarding the right course of action required of him, then he will ruin this foal and treat it badly, and thus it neither becomes worthy of service nor good enough to gallop, so its appearance will not be in conformity with its true reality.
If the owner of the foal was its trainer, he will become regretful when regret will be of no benefit due to his [prior] negligence. And at a time in which a service is needed, he looks at another horse whose service is sought and received, and gallops when required; then he seeks the service of his horse and requires it to gallop, but neither receives a response to the service nor does the horse accept to gallop. All of that is due to his negligence whilst training the horse and his lack of patience after acknowledging it. Then he began to blame himself, saying, ‘Why was I negligent and why did I fall short? Indeed, my lack of patience has brought on me everything I hate’”. And Allaah’s Aid is sought!
Give thought to this similitude – may Allaah have mercy upon you – and understand it, so that you will be successful and saved. [Ref 10]
Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [rahimahullaah] said: know that desires [i.e. unrestrained or forbidden desires] urges a person towards [engagement] in immediate pleasures without him pondering upon its evil consequences- urges him towards short-lived pleasures, even though it is a cause of pain and harm in this life and a barrier to pleasure in the afterlife. As for a sensible person, he keeps away from pleasures whose result will be pain and desires whose result will be regret. This is enough as praise regarding what sound intellect necessitates and a rebuke against uncontrolled desires.
Know that desires [i.e. forbidden desires] can overcome a person in the different fields of study, exits him from the confines of sound reasoning and enters him into behaviour that is tantamount to madness [or folly]. It might enter affairs of knowledge and thus leads a person to oppose that which sound knowledge commands, and it might enter Zuhd and thus leads him to Riyaa.
A sensible person should know that those who are addicted to lowly desires reach a state in which they no longer enjoy themselves, but at the same time they are unable to abandon those desires, because it becomes as if it is a necessity of life. And due to this, you’ll find that alcoholics and sex addicts do not even enjoy a tenth of those desires, but they put themselves in a perilous situation that compels them to keep on returning to the act. However, if- based on clear-sightedness- the [false] beautification of those lowly desires cease, a person realise that he [or she] has exposed himself [or herself] to some ruin that is contrary to wellbeing- a situation of grief instead of happiness and [exposed] to pain, whilst seeking after pleasure; so, he [or she] resembles an animal that was led to a trap- neither reached the thing that was utilised to lure it into the trap nor is it able to escape.
A person should ponder upon the fact that a human being was not created so that he can fulfil desires; rather he was facilitated [with sound knowledge based on the divine revelation and uncorrupted perception] to reflect on the consequences of his actions and perform righteous deeds for the Afterlife. An animal receives pleasure through eating, drinking and sex much more than a human being, whilst living a life devoid of reflection and concern. Therefore, it is drawn towards its desires due to being ignorant of the outcomes of its actions [i.e. it does not possess the knowledge given to humans through sound reasoning and reflection guided by the divine revelation].
A person should ponder upon the consequences of [unrestrained] desires, because many people are deprived of virtue and find themselves in a state of depravity due to it. And how many types of [unhealthy] food are there that leads to illness due to an unrestrained desire [for them]! And how many mistakes violates the honour of a person, leads to an evil mention of him as well as the guilt of sinning due to unrestrained desires, yet he still does not give thought to anything else except his desires! The best description regarding him is that of one who finds himself in a tannery, for he does not really notice its smell properly until he exits it and then realises where he was.
A sensible person should imagine the dishonour that will come to him due to his [unrestrained] desires and the harm that results from those [unrestrained] pleasures, for indeed he will see that- in most cases- they occur as result of those desires and pleasures.
A person should think about how [the consequences of unrestrained desires and pleasures do affect] others, then he should ponder and get a hint of its [unpraiseworthy] end results, for indeed he will see the blameworthiness of that which is known regarding them if he were to be guilty of it. A person should reflect upon those [unrestrained] pleasures, because [sound] intellect [or sound perception guided by the pure divine revelation] will make him realise that they are nothing more than [lowly] desires and a state of blindness.
A person should contemplate on the honour a person receives due to been given the upper hand and the humiliation found in subjugation, for indeed there is none who overcomes his [lowly] desires except that his honour is strengthened; and there is none who is subjugated by his desires except that he will find humiliation and subjugation in his soul.
A person should contemplate on the benefits of opposing one’s [lowly] desires, such as the commendation attached to it in this worldly life, safety of the soul and safeguard of one’s honour, as well as reward in the afterlife. [Ref 11]
The Extremely Difficult Circumstances That Surrounded Yusuf [alayhis Salaam] When The Wife of The King Sought to Seduce Him!
Imaam Sadi [rahimahullaah] said: Allaah has placed in man’s nature an inclination towards a woman, just like the inclination of a thirsty person towards water and that of a hungry person towards food. And even though many people do exercise patience with regards to their [desire] for food and drink, but not with regards to their [desire] for women. This is not blameworthy if it is in accordance with what is permissible, rather it is something praiseworthy.
Yusuf- at the time- was a young man and the sexual desire of a young man is much stronger. He was a bachelor, a slave of the king’s wife and was bought for a few dirhams. And a slave has no control over his affairs. He was a stranger in the land and a stranger in a strange land can fulfil his [evil] desires, which he is not able to fulfil in his own land, in the presence of his family and those who know him well [i.e. because he feels ashamed]
The wife of the King was a woman of high status and beauty; so one these two [affairs] would urge a person to agree with her request. The wife of the king was accessible [i.e. she was willing to commit the evil act of zina]. She sought after Yusuf; she desired him and was infatuated with him. Yusuf was living in her house, under her authority and would have feared being harmed for refusing to obey her. Yusuf was safe from being exposed because she sought after him and locked the doors. She also appeared in her best adornment and said to Yusuf, ‘Come on O you!’ She also threatened Yusuf with imprisonment and belittlement. She sought the assistance of the rest of the women and Yusuf sought the assistance of Allaah against them. Despite all these difficult circumstances surrounding Yusuf (alayhis-salaam), he exercised patience and preferred obedience to his Lord. He preferred the pleasure of Allaah and fear of Him. His love of Allaah made him choose imprisonment over committing zina. He said: [قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ ] ‘He said: ‘O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me.’ [12:33]
So What Was The End Result? Yusuf was granted honour and authority in the land. He was mentioned with good and beautiful praise. This was his reward in this worldly life and his reward in the hereafter is Paradise. [Ref 12]
The Man Who Came to Imaam Ibraaheem Bin Ad’ham to Seek Advice Regarding How to Abandon Sin!
Imaam Abdul Ghaniy Al-Maqdisi stated in his book At-tawwaabeen that a man once came to Ibraaheem Bin Adham and said, “O Abu Ishaaq! Indeed I have transgressed against my Nafs [through evil deeds], so present to me that which will be a deterrent for my nafs and will save [or rescue] my heart”. So, Ibraaheem said to him: “If you accept five affairs and fulfil them, neither will you be harmed due to sinning nor will the enjoyment [or delight from it] bring you destruction. The man said, “Mention them to me O Abu Ishaaq”.
Ibraaheem said: “The first affair is that when you want to disobey Allaah – The Mighty and Majestic- do not eat His provision”. The man said, “Where would I eat from when it is case that all that is in the earth is from His provision?” He said, “O you! Is it right that you eat His provision and disobey him?” The man said, “No; mention the second affair to me”.
Ibraaheem said, “If you want to disobey Allaah, do not live anywhere in Allaah’s earth”. The man said, “This is greater than the first affair! When it is the case that the east, the west and whatever is between them belongs to Him, then where would I live?” Ibraaheem said to him, “O you! Is it right that you eat His provision and live on his earth, yet you disobey him?” The man said, “No; mention the third affair”.
Ibraaheem said, “If you want to disobey Him whilst you are being provided from His provision and living on his earth, then do so in a place where He cannot see you”. The man said, “How can that be when it is the case that He knows everything that is hidden”. Ibraaheem said, “O you! Is it right that you eat his provision, live on his earth and you disobey him whilst he sees you and what you do?” The man said, “No; mention the fourth affair”.
Ibraaheem said, “When the angel of death comes to take your soul, tell him, ‘Delay its departure until I perform sincere repentance and perform righteous deeds for the sake of Allaah’”. The man said, “He (the angel) will not accept that from me”. Ibraaheem said, “O you! When it is the case that you cannot repel death until you repent and you know that there is no delay when it comes to you, then how do you hope to escape?” The man said, “Mention the fifth affair”.
Ibraaheem said to him, “When the Zabaaniyah [i.e. guardians of hell] come to you on yawmul qiyaamah to take you to the fire, do not go with them”. The man said, “Neither will they leave me nor accept that from me”. Ibraaheem said to him, “So, how do you hope for safety then?” The man said, “O Ibraaheem! This is enough! This is enough! I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him.” [Ref 13]
How The Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] Dealt With The Young Man Who Sought His Permission to Commit Zinaa
Listen carefully to this affair! By Allaah! Sometimes it is very easy for those who have not experienced the difficulties of guiding teenagers to offer haphazard solutions without much contemplation. One must take into consideration – as the Shaikh stated in this short audio- that the youth of today face greater trials, so they are in need of advice and rifq. And most important of all, they are in need of supplication. May Allaah guide our children and make them the coolness of our eyes in this Dunyaa and Aakhirah Aameen.
Abu Umaamah [radiyallaahu-anhu] said: A young man came to the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, give me permission to commit fornication’’. The people turned to him to rebuke him, saying, “Shh, shh.” [The Prophet (sallal laahu alayhi wasallam)] said, “Come here’’, so he came close to him and he told him to sit down. He said, “Would you like that for your mother?” He said, “No, by Allaah, may I be sacrificed for you’’. He said, “Nor do people like it for their mothers’’. He said, “Would you like it for your daughter?” He said, “No, by Allaah, may I be sacrificed for you’’. He said, “Nor do people like it for their daughters’’. He said, “Would you like it for your sister?” He said, “No, by Allaah, may I be sacrificed for you’’. He said, “Nor do people like it for their sisters’’. He said, “Would you like it for your paternal aunt?” He said, “No, by Allaah, may I be sacrificed for you’’. He said, “Nor do people like it for their paternal aunts.” He said, “Would you like it for your maternal aunt?” He said, “No, by Allaah, may I be sacrificed for you.” He said, “Nor do people like it for their maternal aunts’’. Then he placed his hand on him and said, “O Allaah, forgive him his sin, purify his heart, and guard his chastity.” And after that, this young man never did anything. [Reported by Ahmad 21708]
Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said: The trustworthy adviser, the one sent as a mercy to the Aalameen – may Allaah mention him with praise and sends salutations of peace upon him- placed his hand on the chest of that young man and said, ‘’O Allaah! Forgive him his sin, purify his heart and guard his chastity’’.
Three supplications; write them down, memorise them and give them importance: ‘’O Allaah! Forgive him his sin, purify his heart and guard his chastity’’.
I say: Write them down and memorise them, for indeed the youth at present are in an era of Fitan [trials and tribulations]. I don’t think that youth who was [present] during the era of the Prophet [sallal laahu-alayhi wasallam] encountered Fitan [i.e. trials and tribulations] similar to that which is encountered by the youth at present in this era; therefore -in this era- the youth [i.e. male and female] is in need- [Shaikh pauses and cries]- of being shown mercy by the people of virtue, compassionate towards him, show him love and supplicate for him sincerely from the [bottom] of their hearts. The supplication of a father for his child is answered and the supplication of a mother for her child is answered.
A father should not say about his son, ‘’May Allaah humiliate him’’ or ‘’May Allaah prevent him from receiving good or despised him’’ or ‘’May Allaah curse him’’. He [i.e. the father] should not be a helper of shaytaan against him [i.e. the child]. The youth are in need of mercy- the father’s mercy, the mother’s mercy, the mercy of relatives, the mercy of colleagues [and] friends. The youth are in need of these sincere supplications from the truthful [or sincere] hearts- out of hoping for Allaah’s [Glorified and Exalted be He] reward.
Due to the effect of this sincere advice, mercy and supplication of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam], this youth who was present in that era of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] departed from the presence of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and nothing [i.e. that sin] remained in his heart; the desire left his heart. He got up, whilst the slightest desire for this affair [i.e. fornication] – which the hearts are inclined towards and are greatly put to trial by way of it – did not remain in his heart. He got up, whilst there was nothing in his heart. Three affairs [i.e. regarding the manner in which the Prophet (sallal laahu alayhi wasallam) dealt with him]: Mercy, fine advice [or admonition] and truthful [or sincere] supplication, and the effect [or fruitful outcome] is great indeed; the effect [or fruitful outcome] is great indeed.
By Allaah! The youth nowadays are in need of those who show them gentleness; those who truthfully [or sincerely] supplicate for them; those who give fine advice [or admonition] and clarification to them, and those who are not helpers of shaytaan against them.
In relation to the likes of this advice, the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi- wasallam] said: ‘’Do not be helpers to shaytaan against your brother’’ when they – [i.e. some of the companions said about a man who was brought to the Prophet several times due to consumption of alcohol] – said: ‘’May Allaah humiliate him’’, ‘’May Allaah curse him’’, (so) the Prophet said, ‘’Do not be a helper to Shaytaan against your brother’’, so he guided one towards saying, ‘’May Allaah forgive you’’, supplicate for him [i.e. the sinner].
In a nutshell, the [intended meanings of these admonitions] – which the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] detailed – awakens the hearts when they have a heartfelt effect; it awakens the heart; ‘’Do you love that for your mother; do you love that for your daughter; do you love that for your sister etc….’’ This awakens the heart – a great and blessed awakening; so he leaves with this detailed and fine advice [or admonition], truthful [or sincere] supplication to Allaah [Glorified and Exalted be He]; it brings about a tremendous and blessed outcome, for indeed Tawfeeq [i.e. being granted guidance and the ability to act upon it], rectification of the hearts and purity of the souls is in the hands of Allaah, who guides whomsoever He pleases to the straight path. [Paraphrased. Listen to audio] [Ref 14]
Do not cease being repentant to Allaah! [By Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah (hafidhahullaah)]
The Virtue of Remembering Allaah And Asking For Forgiveness After Falling Into Sin
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـٰحِشَةً أَوۡ ظَلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَہُمۡ ذَكَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ فَٱسۡتَغۡفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمۡ وَمَن يَغۡفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَلَمۡ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ
And those who, when they have committed Faahisha [illegal sexual intercourse etc.] or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – and do not persist in what they have done, while they know. [Soorah Aal Imraan’ Aayah 135]
[وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـٰحِشَةً أَوۡ ظَلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَہُمۡ ذَكَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ فَٱسۡتَغۡفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمۡ – And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins]- Meaning: When they commit sins, they return to Allaah in repentnce and seek His protection from the evil consequences that might reach them in future due to their evil deeds and seek forgiveness for the evil deeds which they have already committed. [وَلَمۡ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know]- Meaning: They repent from their sin, turn to Allaah in repentance soon afterwards, refrain from persisting upon disobedience and they know that Allaah forgives whoever repents.
أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ جَزَآؤُهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّهِمۡ وَجَنَّـٰتٌ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَاۚ وَنِعۡمَ أَجۡرُ ٱلۡعَـٰمِلِينَ
For such, the reward is Forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s Orders). [Ref 15] And they know that persisting upon sin is harmful and abandoning it is a foremost obligation. [Ref 16]
When they commit evil deeds -be it major or minor- they hasten towards repentance, seek forgiveness, remember their Lord, the promise given to the disobedient ones and the promise given to those who fear Him, so they ask for forgiveness, ask Allaah to hide their faults, stop committing the sins and are regretful. And due to this, Allaah said about them: [ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ جَزَآؤُهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّهِمۡ وَجَنَّـٰتٌ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَاۚ وَنِعۡمَ أَجۡرُ ٱلۡعَـٰمِلِينَ – For such, the reward is Forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s Orders)]. [Ref 17]
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (radiyallaahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: Indeed shaytaan said: ”By Your Might O my Lord! I will not cease to misguide your slaves as long as their souls are in their bodies”; The Lord (Allaah) said: ”By My Might and Majesty! I will not cease forgiving them as long as they keep seeking my forgiveness.” [Ref 18]
Shaddaad Bin Anas [radiyallaahu-anhu] said that the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: The best way to seek the forgiveness of Allaah is to say:
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ
O Allaah, You are my Lord! There is no one who has the right to be worshipped except you. You created me and I am your slave, and I am [upon obedience and agreement] to my covenant and promise (to You) as much as I am able. I seek refuge with You from the evil I have done. I acknowledge in your presence all the blessings You have granted me, and I confess to You my sins. So forgive me, for indeed none is able to forgive (a slave his) sins, except You]. [Ref 19]
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [rahimahullaah] said regarding the Messenger’s statement: ‘’I acknowledge in your presence all the blessings You have granted me, and I confess to you my sins’’; he [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] combined – in this statement – a testification to [Allaah’s] blessings and a notification of the flaws in one’s self and actions. He [rahimahullaah] also said: The domain of servitude to Allaah is based on two principles and they are its foundation: Complete and perfect love of Allaah and Complete humility in Allaah’s Presence. The origin of these two principles emanates from two other principles and they are: Attesting to [Allaah’s] blessings and this brings about love of Allaah, and being aware of the flaws in one’s self and actions which brings about one’s complete humility [in Allaah’s presence]. If the slave establishes his path to Allaah based on these two principles, his enemy [i.e. shaytaan] will not defeat him through them, except as a result of unawareness and inattentiveness, and how quickly Allaah makes him recover, notifies him and reaches out to him with His Mercy [i.e. when he falls into error or forgets]. [Ref 20]
The Three Main Conditions of Repentance, and a Fourth One Related To Rights Owed To the People
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: Know that Allaah’s Mercy is extensive and His Kindness is tremendous, and that He is [الجواد – (The Munificent, Bountiful); الكريم (The Bountiful, The Generous One Abundant in Good)]. He is the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy and the best of all those who forgive [Glorified and Exalted be He]. And know that also to have (the audacity to commit acts of) disobedience is a great evil, a great corruption and a cause of (incurring) the anger of Allaah; but when a servant repents to his Lord –a truthful repentance-Allaah accepts his repentance. Indeed, the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) was asked many times about a man who (committed) a lot of such and such faults, (acts) of disobedience and various types of kufr, and then he repents; so Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’Repentance wipes away what was (committed) before it (i.e. sins)’’ and ‘’Islaam (i.e. when a person abandons kufr and becomes a Muslim) wipes away what was (committed) before it (i.e. sins).’’ Therefore, you should know -with certainty- that by way of truthful sincere repentance, Allaah wipes away sins and evil deeds, even kufr. And because of this Allaah [Glorified Be He] said: [وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ – And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful. [24:31] So He (Allaah) connected success to repentance.
Allaah (Glorified be He) said: [يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحًا عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ – ”O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) [66:8]
Therefore, O brother! Truthful repentance is (incumbent) upon you- cling to it; be firm upon it and be sincere to Allaah in that. And (receive) glad tidings that it wipes away your sins, even if they are like a mountain.
The conditions (to be fulfilled in order for repentance to be accepted are) three: [a] To be regretful and remorseful regarding the past (acts of disobedience you committed); [b] To renounce and abandon the sins – the big and small (of them); [c] To have a firm resolve (or determination) not to return to it (i.e. not to commit them again). If you owe the people their rights- wealth or (you committed offences related to blood-shed, murder or causing injury etc) or violating their honour, then their rights must be given back to them. This is a fourth affair related to a complete repentance. It is incumbent upon you to give the people the rights they are owed. If the affair is related to retribution, then retribution is established (i.e. by the state), unless they (i.e. the people) permit that you give blood money; if related to wealth, you give them back their wealth, unless they forgive; if related to their honour and you did backbite them, you should seek their forgiveness; but if seeking their forgiveness will lead to evil, then there is no hindrance in refraining from (informing them that you did backbite them and that you seek their forgiveness); rather you should supplicate for them and seek Allaah’s forgiveness for them, and mention the good you know about them in the same place you did mention them with evil. This will be expiation for (that sin of backbiting). And it is incumbent upon you to proceed –without delay- towards repentance before death, and then exercise patience and be truthful. Allaah (Glorified and Exalted Be He) said: [وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ – And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know. [3:135]
(So) understand the meaning of the (statement): وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ – And do not persist in what (wrong)]- this means that they do not persist in sin, rather they repent, show regret and abandon the (sin) they committed; and they know [i.e. that persistence in sin is harmful, or that Allaah forgives the one who repents.
Then Allaah [Glorified Be He] stated thereafter: [أُوْلَئِكَ جَزَآؤُهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَجَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ – For such, the reward is Forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s Orders). [3:136]. This is the reward for those who repent and do not persist in (sin)- for them the reward is paradise. [Ref 21]
Reminders From This Supplication By Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah]
[اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي – O Allaah! You are my Lord]. The suppliant affirms Tawheed Ar-Roboobiyyah which necessitates singling out Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] as the Creator- the only One with All-Encompassing Will [i.e. whatever Allaah wills takes place and whatever He does not will cannot take place], All-Encompassing Authority [and control over everything].
[لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ – There is no one who has the right to be worshipped except you. You created me and I am your slave].
The suppliant affirms Tawheed Al-Ilaahiyyah, which necessitates having love for Allaah and worshipping Allaah alone without any partner; acknowledges his servitude to Allaah, which necessitates declaring his absolute poverty and need in the presence of Allaah -in all [affairs, situations, circumstances, instances].
Then suppliant says: [وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ – And I am [upon obedience and agreement] to my covenant and promise (to You)].
This necessitates adherence to Allaah’s Sharee’ah, His command and the religion He has ordained, the covenant which He has enjoined on His servants; affirmation and belief in Allaah’s Promise, which is His recompense. So, this [part of the supplication conveys] adherence to Allaah’s command, affirming and belief in Allaah’s Promise which necessitates Eemaan and hoping for Allaah’s Reward. [However], the servants knows that he cannot fulfil this affair in the manner it truly deserves, so he mentioned his limited ability and power alongside it, saying: [مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ – as much as I am able]- Meaning: I adhere to it based on my limited ability and power. So, he testified to two affairs – [his limited] ability and power. Then he testified to his shortcomings, saying: [أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ – I seek refuge with You from the evil I have done].
Then he testified that all blessings come from Allaah – Allaah is its owner, the One worthy of [being its owner, Bestower etc] and the One who brought it into existence prior to its non-existence], saying: [ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي– I acknowledge in your presence all the blessings You have granted me, and I confess to You my sins]- Meaning: You [O Allaah] are The One Who Deserves All Praise and Thanks- the One Who Deserves be to exolted, all good comes from You and all blessings are from You. You are the Owner of all praise, all exoltation belongs to You and all bounty is Yours; and I am the sinner, the one who commits wrong, acknowledges and accepts his mistake, just as has been stated by one of the Aarifeen [i.e. those who truly know their Lord] that, “The one who truly knows his Lord follows the path [i.e. the upright religion] through acknowledging and bearing witness to Allaah’s blessings as well as being well aware of the faults of his soul and the faults in his deeds”. So, acknowledging and bearing witness to Allaah’s blessings [or favours] necessitates that one loves his Lord [Glorified be He], praise and extol Him. And being well aware of the faults of one’s soul and deeds necessitates constant Istighfaar [i.e. seeking forgiveness], repentance, humility, obedience and submission.
Then after this is established in the heart of the suppliant and he seeks a means of approach to his Lord through these affairs [i.e. after affirming Allaah’s Ruboobiyyah and Uloohiyyah; affirming his servitude to Allaah, affirming that he has limited ability, acknowledges that all blessings belong to Allaah, accepting his faults, sin etc], he then says: [فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْت – So forgive me, for indeed none is able to forgive (a slave his) sins, except You]. [Ref 22]
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Jalaa Al-Af’haam. Page 154]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt From Adabun Nufoos. Page 1. Slightly paraphrased
[Ref 4: Sharh Adabun Nufoos. Lesson 1. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah) https://al-badr.net/sub/358]
Ref 5: 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 6: Fiqhul Ad’iyah Wal-Adkaar’ parts 3 & 4’ page 167]
[Ref a: Tirmidhee. 1621]
[Ref b: https://www.al-badr.net/muqolat/2755. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah). Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref c: Sharh Adabun Nufoos. Lesson 2- By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah)]
[Ref d: https://www.al-badr.net/muqolat/2755. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah). Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref e: Ṣaḥeeh al-Bukhari 5763 & Ṣaḥeeh Muslim 2609]
[Ref 7: An Excerpt from Adabun Nufoos. Pages 2-3. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 8: End of quote: An Excerpt from Adabun Nufoos, page 3. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref f: Adabun Nufoos. Pages 3-4]
[Ref g: Zaadul Maseer Fee Ilmit Tafseer by Imaam Ibnul Jawzi]
Ref h: Tafseer At-Tabari
[Ref 9: Adabun Nufoos. Pages 3-4]
[Ref 10: An Excerpt from Adabun Nufoos. Page 5. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 11: Source: An Excerpt from Dhammul Hawaa’ pages 36-38. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 12: Source: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Asbaab Wal A’maal Allatee Yudaa-afu Bihaa Ath-Thawaab’ by Imaam Sadi (rahimahullaah) pages: 55-58]
[Ref 13: Source: At-taleeq Alaa Bawaa’thil Khilaas Min Adh-Dhunoob. Lesson 1. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (hafidhahullaah). See here: https://al-badr.net/sub/369]
[Ref 15: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Misbaah Al-Muneer Fee Tahdheeb Tafseer Ibn Katheer’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 16: An Excerpt from ‘Zaadul Maseer Fee Ilmit Tafseer’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 17: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam al-Mannaan’. Slightly paraphrased];
[Ref 18: Declared authentic by Imaam Al Albaani in As-Saheehah 104]
[Ref 19: Bukhaari Hadeeth Number 6306]
[Ref 20: An Excerpt from ‘Sharh Al-Waabil As-Sayyib’ page 8′. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 21: An Excerpt from this link: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/fatawa/4251 slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 22: An Excerpt from Tareequl Hijratayn pages 210-211. Slightly paraphrased]