Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On the Nafs

From the Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order teachings on Levels of the Nafs

1. Nafs-i-Ammara, the Commanding Nafs
Behold!  The commanding nafs encourages evil, except when my Lord bestows mercy. (Qur'an 12:53)
Traits: narcissistic, mechanical, conditioned, non-reflective, impulsive.
Habits: pride, enmity, cruelty, lust, stinginess.

2. Nafs-i-Lawwama: Blaming Nafs
But I swear by the accusing nafs that this Scripture is true. (Qur'an 75:2)
Traits: conscience, capacity for self-observation.
Habits:  backbiting, trickery, conceitedness, hypocrisy, self-consciousness, guilt, fearfulness, wishful thinking, intense desire to please others.

3.  Nafs-i-Mulhama: Inspired Nafs
And a nafs and Him who gave order to it and inspired it with a sesnse of what is wrong for it and what is right for it.
Traits: generosity, gratitude, modesty, empathy, ardent desire.
Habits: liberality lacking discrimination, mystical inflation, tendency toward spiritual greed.

4.  Nafs-i-Mutmaina: Tranquil Nafs
To the righteous soul will be said, "O you nafs in complete peace and satisfaction!" (Qur'an 89:27)
Traits: dignity, sincerity, courage, compassion, complete loyalty.
Habits: Attachment to spiritual ambition.

5.  Nafs-i-Radziyya: Satisfied Nafs
Return to your Lord, content (Qur'an 89:28)
Traits: knowledge of Allah, sincerity, unbounded faith and hope in existential communion.
Habits: mystical intoxication, lack of sobriety and balance.

7. Nafs-Safiyya: Purified Nafs
This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor to you, and chosen for you as your religion Islam. (Qur'an 5:3)
Traits:  freedom from duality, acceptance of Allah's will, joy of union, freedom from expectation, contentment.
Habits: None remaining

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