In The Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allah [The Exalted] said: [وَٱلَّذِينَ جَـٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَہۡدِيَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَاۚ – As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism)] [Surah al-Ankabut. Ayah 69]
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim [may Allah have mercy upon him] stated: Allah attached guidance to Jihad [striving in Allah’s path]. The ones that carry out a greater Jihad are the ones with the most perfect guidance and the most obligatory Jihad is the one directed against one’s self (footnote a), one’s (evil or vain) desires, Shaytaan, and the Dunyah. (footnote b) Those who strive against these four will be guided by Allah to the paths of His Pleasure that lead to Paradise, and whoever abandons Jihad will miss guidance depending on the extent of what he neglects. Junaid [may Allah have mercy upon him] said, “Those who strive against their (evil or vain) desires through repentance, Allah will direct them to the paths of sincerity”. Only the one who battles these foes inwardly is able to fight them openly. Therefore, whoever is helped in combating them will triumph over his enemy, and whoever is subdued by them will lose to his enemy. (1)
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: Within the soul, there are two strengths: the strength of abstinence and the strength of courage. The reality of patience is that one uses the strength of courageousness to act on what benefits him and the strength of abstinence to refrain from what is harmful to him. There is one among the people whose patience in carrying out what benefits him and remaining consistent in it is stronger than his patience in refraining from what is harmful to him, so he exhibits patience in facing difficulty whilst carrying out acts of obedience but does not show patience in resisting the urge to do what he is forbidden. And among them is one whose patience in abstaining from things that oppose the religion is stronger than their patience in carrying out deeds of obedience, and among them is one who lacks patience in both matters. The best people are those who can fulfil both tasks.
Many individuals bear the difficulties of performing Tahajjud during hot and chilly nights, as well as the difficulty of fasting, but they do not bear the difficulty of refraining from looking at forbidden things. Many people have patience in refraining from looking at forbidden things and inclination towards (forbidden) images, but they do not have patience in enjoining good and forbidding evil. (2)
We ask Allah:
اللَّهُمَّ آتِ نَفْسِي تَقْوَاهَا وَزَكِّهَا أَنْتَ خَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا أَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَ مَوْلَاهَا
O Allah! Grant my soul its piety and purify it, You are the Best to purify it, You are its Guardian and Protecting Friend. (3)
اللهم كما حَسَّنْت خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي
O Allah! Just as You made my external form beautiful, make my character beautiful as well. (4)
اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي
وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي
وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي
وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ
وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ
O Allah! Rectify my religion for me, which is the safeguard of my affairs; rectify my worldly [affairs], wherein is my livelihood; and rectify my Afterlife to which is my return; and make life for me [as a means of] increase in every good and make death for me as a rest from every evil. (5)
Footnote a: It involves making an effort to obtain moral guidance, following it after learning about it, calling to it, and exercising patience when faced with difficulties in that path. [Zaadul Ma’aad 3/9-12]
Footnote b: Jihaad against the Dunyah: In a supplication, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] asked Allah, saying, [اللهُّم لا تجعل الدُنيا أكبر همنا – O Allaah! Do not make the Dunyah our greatest concern”’. [Reported by Imaam Tirmidhee Number 3502 and declared authentic by Imaam Albaani in Saheeh At-Tirmidhee].
Al-Mubaarakfooree [may Allah have mercy upon him] stated in his explanation of this supplication that it means, “Do not make wealth and status our greatest goal or the reason behind our grief, rather direct our greatest goal or the reason behind our grief towards the deeds of the afterlife”. [Tuhfah Al-Ahwadhee 9/475-477]
[Ref 1: Al-Fawaa’id page 97]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from Uddah As-Saabireen. page 37. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: Sahih Muslim 2722]
[Ref 5: Saheeh Muslim Number: 2720: https://salaficentre.com/2020/12/29/o-allaah-rectify-my-religion-for-me-which-the-safeguard-of-my-affairs-a-tremendous-supplication/#:~:text=O%20Allaah!,Tremendous%20Supplication%5D%20%E2%80%93%20Salaficentre.com ]