In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.

أكْرِمْ نَفْسَكَ ما أعانَتْكَ عَلى طاعَةِ اللّهِ

Imam Ali (as) said: “Honour your soul as long as it aids you in the obedience of God.”

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

ألا إنَّهُ لَيْسَ لأنْفُسِكُمْ ثَمَنٌ إلاّ الْجَنَّةُ، فَلاتَبِيعُوها إلاّ بِها

Imam Ali (as) said: ” Indeed there is no price for your souls other than Paradise, so do not sell them except [in return] for it. “

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

Never lose your soul for that which does not last. The soul is what you bring with you before God. If you lose your soul, you have lost yourself. Today, we see people selling their souls to obtain the superficial and materialistic, while not realizing that the superficial and materialistic will only last for a very short time.

The important thing when it comes to the soul is to purify it from negative and evil qualities. Sometimes the soul has a tendency to urge you to commit evil acts. Here, you should be strong enough to avoid these negative and evil actions that will have a very big impact on your soul. Restrain your soul from lustful desires and you will remain safe from calamities.

Another strange trend that is prevalent among Muslims is that their perception of strength is completely wrong. Our religion has taught us that the strongest of people is the one who has the greatest command over his soul. The strong is not the one who can beat up and wrestle down people, but the strong is the one who can hold his ego when he is experiencing strong emotions of anger and negativity. Keep in mind that these emotions are temporary, and the actions of these emotions are destructive while paradise is forever. The fruits of patience are the fruits of eternal sweetness.

تَوَلَّوْا مِنْ أنْفُسِكُمْ تَأْدِيبَها واعْدِلُوا بِها عَنْ ضَرارَةِِ عاداتِها

Imam Ali (as) said: ” Take it upon yourselves to discipline your souls and turn them away from their harmful habits. “

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

We as ordinary and non-flawless human beings have good habits and bad habits. Islam is a religion that wants you to avoid habits that are destructive to the soul and Islam is a religion that wants you to adopt habits that are constructive to the soul. God encourages man to adopt habits that build the human being and make the human being a stronger and a better human being, while God forbids habits and actions that make man corrupt, evil and reckless.

The cure of the soul is abstaining from vain desires and abstinence from the pleasures of this world and Whoever struggles with his soul to reform it, becomes felicitous.

مَعْرِفَةُ النَّفْسِ أنْفَعُ المَعارِفِ

Imam Ali (as) said: “Cognizance of the self is the most beneficial of all [types of] knowledge.”

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

نَظَرُ النَّفْسِ لِلنَّفْسِ العِنايَةُ بِصَلاحِ النَّفْسِ

Imam Ali (as) said: “Introspection turns one’s attention to self-reformation.”

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

The purpose of this life is to worship our Lord, to come closer to our Lord and to know our Lord. In order for the soul to be cleansed, the soul must be close to God and not close to materialism and the world. Self-cognizance is a gift from God, where God inspires the soul with knowledge and wisdom.

As a believer, you should always be in a stage where you reform yourself into a better person. Being spiritual in this world is not easy, because the world has become more materialistic, and therefore it becomes more difficult for man to be spiritual. It was not like before, where the majority of people in many societies were spiritual and ascetic. Today it does not look like that. Today, the spiritual individuals are a minority in today’s world, in both the western and eastern world.

نُفُوسُ الأبْرارِ نافِرَةٌ مِنْ نُفُوسِ الأشْرارِ

Imam Ali (as):” The souls of the virtuous are averse to the souls of the wicked.”

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

Good souls are different from evil souls and evil souls are different from good souls. Today, you see people saying that all people are equal and that all people are on the same level, where they mean that it does not matter if you are a criminal or a hero in this society. Well, it does matter and not all people are equal when it comes to goodness and good deeds. Here, people differ and that is a fact.

Yes, when it comes to flesh and blood, we humans are equal. All of us are humans and we were all created from dust. But when it comes to spirituality, we are different, and it is the human soul according to Islam that defines the value of the human being and not the flesh and blood.

So, God does not place the wise on the same level as the ignorant or the believer on the same level as the sinner. There is mercy and there is justice. There is good and there is evil. There is light and there is darkness, and the soul of light can never be harmonized with the soul of darkness.

نَزِّهْ عَنْ كُلِّ دَنِيَّة نَفْسَكَ، وابْذُلْ فِي المَكارِمِ جُهْدَكَ، تَخْلُصْ مِنَ المَـآثِمِ، وتُحْرِزِ المَكارِمَ

Imam Ali (as) said: “Purify your soul from every vileness and make an effort to perform every noble deed, you will become free from sins and will achieve noble qualities.”

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

Always seek the good and the good will seek you. Always strive to be as good as possible. Always try to hone yourself. Investigate what deficiencies you have and see how you can erase each defect over time. At the same time, you should reflect on how you can multiply your good deeds. Write down your shortcomings and your strengths and reflect on how you can get rid of your shortcomings and how you can increase your strengths.

Do not let your soul be devoid of a thought that increases your wisdom and a lesson that safeguards you from sin. It behoves a man to guard his soul, watch over his heart and protect his tongue. It behoves the one who wants to reform himself and protect his religion to avoid mingling with people who seek the wealth and pleasures of this world. Control the passion of your soul, the intensity of your rage, the power of your hand and the sharpness of your tongue, and guard against all these by delaying the initiation of any action and refraining from using force until your rage subsides and you recover your senses, because Imam Ali (as) taught us that :

أعْظَمُ مِلْك مِلْكُ النَّفْسِ

Imam Ali (as) said: “The greatest mastery is mastery over the soul.”

[Ghurar Al-Hikam]

Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Holy Progeny (as)

| Amir Zabidi

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