Jul 11, 2015

Ramadan Diaries: Training Of The Psyche (Nafs)


The human body is simply a capsule that contains our soul and it will rot away in the ground once we are buried after death. The real deal is the soul and the psyche (nafs) is the foundation that it is made of. It comprises of our intentions, emotions, and attitudes and commands the human body. In my article Train The Bull That Satan Rides for Habibi Halaqas Self-Esteem Series, I explained how an untamed nafs is like a raging bull that is a threat to everything and everyone around it. Satan rides this bull and works through our psyche to destroy our present and Hereafter. Ramadan is one of the buttons on our remote control that can help restrain this bull and tame it. It is a month of abstinence from not just food, water, and sexual desires, but also from any malicious or wrongful intention that is provoked by Satan. 

Understanding The Psyche during Ramadan

We need to read the instruction manual of our nafs in order to tame it. It is human to be visited by wrong intentions. That is a test of character from Allah and a poking from Satan who is trying to ruin our act. Satan acts through the inciting nafs (nafs-i-ammara) which lures you into evil doings. During the state of fasting, in order to prevent the fast from going void, the opportunity is best to identify wrong intentions. They could be as simple as the need to gossip at an Iftar party, show off charity measures, or hurt people's feelings. The minute you commit those acts, the fast is void. 

Switching On The Training Mode

The Prophet said: 

"Do not invoke Allah's curse, Allah's anger, or Hell." Sunan Abi Dawud 4906
Become your own critic during Ramadan and correct yourself. The self-accusing nafs (nafs-i-lawwama) is going to help you disengage from anything and everything that can help Satan win over you. You need to develop a conscious thought that is going to judge each intention that springs up in your heart. Then, your mind will evaluate it; in fear of Allah, and decide whether you will commit. An act or not. So if you are tempted to lie you will re-think! You will consciously remind yourself that Allah is watching and there are consequences. Training is not easy because the glitz and glamour of the world and material life is powerfully blinding. When you hear an upscale music beat you may want to tap your feet and roll out of control, when your mother inquires where you are and wants work done you may want to lie, and a slightest argument may ignite your temper and you may verbally or physically harm someone.  

Ramadan For Life

The correct, pious, and spiritual lifestyle developed during Ramadan should be continued for life. The pleasing nafs nafs-i-mardiyya) should be gauged to do good and nothing but good to others and yourself. The same level of fear, as that experienced during Ramadan, should be realized throughout life.

Have a blessed Ramadan.


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