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Spirituality

An Open Letter To My Nafs (Soul)

I am not going to start this letter with the conventional “how are you?”, because I know how you are. Recently, I have been writing down all the times I fell short and disappointed myself but even more so my Creator, both knowingly as well as unknowingly. It didn’t make for a pleasant read. It was so hard to swallow— the fact that once again, I had failed myself.

But, then something happened, the embarrassment transformed into anger and further extended into me admitting that I, hadn’t exerted myself, as arduously in worshiping Allah and taking care of my spiritual affairs as I did with matters pertaining to this world and achieving what I believed I was entitled to.

For all the days I was harbouring hate, pride, resentment, jealousy, ungratefulness in my heart, I was only feeding you (my ego). Those were the days I pushed my soul to the brink of starvation, infested into my heart ailments and rust that kept eating away at my soul day in, day out.

After doing much of what I wish I hadn’t done and not doing what I wish I had – this very realisation has made me recalibrate my balance and scoop up of what’s left behind of my spiritual energy. And I’m fully aware that’s no-good news for you!

What upsets me is how, at times, you have made me give in to whatever problems I encountered in life. It gives me pleasure to let you know that it was Allah who, due to His infinite mercy, never let me lose the will to fight; but thanks to you, I am guilty of losing sight of why the problem had been planted in my life in the first place. You made me forget the Divine words that we shall be tested just like the people of faith before us were tested.

Why then, did I fail to see my troubles as part of a bigger plan? I found the easy way out of this context and viewed the occasional roadblocks as lifelong deterrents by letting negativity brew inside my heart and tired myself out by upholding the myth that happiness is a by-product of worldly gains and accomplishments, I thought I was elated but deep inside I was deeply depressed and sooner than I could ever comprehend, my happiness faded away ..

It is Allah who has saved my soul every time i inflicted pain upon myself due to my own weakness in faith and lack of trust in the Divine decree. But don’t think that I’m all glum and blah because I’m not. Rather, I’m absolutely determined to be mindful of not letting you take charge of my life as you always did in the past.

Today, as I write these words, I reinforce myself to renew the intention to acknowledge, both physically and spiritually, the Heavenly purpose of my being— to purify and even mandate myself to achieving a much greater achievement in life; which is to meet Allah with a nafs/soul that is moulded, trained, and disciplined to be happy with the will of Allah. A soul whose prime concern is to care for and protect that which matters to Allah and disregard that which doesn’t. A soul so pure and humble that it finally becomes a dignified & deserving recipient of Allah’s infinite mercy, forgiveness and recognition.

With this spirit in my heart & tears in my eyes, the reality beckons me to never forget that every noble endeavour in life begins with Divine Approval- I ask Allah to empower me to disempower you – and make me work for and toward the final goal.

Say, “Is it other than Allah I should desire as a lord while He is the Lord of all things? And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” [Al-Ana’am 164]

I ask Allah to help me turn all my efforts to nourish my soul with such intensity that it drowns out your self-deluding arrogance and refashions you into what you were always meant to be, from the day you were first created and infused into me; do you remember this covenant?!

“And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” [Al-A’raf 172]

In my mind’s eye, deep inside the recesses of my heart of hearts, bi izn Allah, I envision you in crystalline clarity, hustle across an ocean of nameless masses as the finality of existence strikes, and as you wait breathless, Allah announces for you the gift of tranquillity and bliss to be unwrapped only in the Gardens of Paradise.

Could you possibly conceive a reward any bigger than this? Picture the magnitude of happiness that exceeds beyond all material pleasures combined? Could you ever imagine hearing Allah, on the day on which skies will burst asunder, call you Nafs-ul-Mutmainna’ah; (content and reassured soul)? That would be the day oh deluded nafs! that would be day!

“O soul that is at rest satisfied. Return to your Lord well-pleased (with Him), well-pleasing (Him). So, enter among My servants, and enter into my Paradise”. [Al-Fajr 27-30]

Don’t wither away in anonymity my dear self.

Strive to Surrender and Surrender to Succeed.

Sincerely,
Yourself

Aisha is a Melbourne based blogger, editor and writer. Her writings are grounded in the quest for self-identification, and striving to reach the pinnacle of our aspirations - that is, loving Allah swt and His beloved Prophet (PBUH). An INFJ to her core, she is happiest when around kids and pets. You can find her at: https://www.facebook.com/aisha.mohsin.94 www.aishamohsinblog.wordpress.com

2 Comments

  1. Nafs-ul-Mutmainna’ah; (content and reassured soul)
    Learned this word today. Thank you for writing this piece. Alhamdulillahi Rabil Alameen. God bless you.

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