One of the important realities of Ramadan is self-confrontation. It’s a very known and celebrated fact that – Shaitan is locked up and his wasawas are not going to deter us from beautifying our acts of worship.
But here comes the question, if shaitan is locked up, why then do we still feel lethargic in our Ibadah and slacking in our Imaan?
The answer is simple, we’re the ones at fault. It probably wasn’t shaitan all this time deterring you from praying on time or portraying good manners to your parents, it was your nafs, your soul.
We need to understand that, shaitan only has the power to whisper in our chests but it’s on us whether we allow the whispers to reach our heart or not. We’ve let shaitan toy with our Imaan to the extent that, whether shaitan is locked up or not, our hearts still feel the same. There are a number of Muslims that enter Ramadhan with the mindset that, we’re going to wake up for the first suhoor of the month with perfectly clean and milk white souls. This isn’t the reality.
Ramadan is the time where we can fight and conquer our nafs without the interruption of Shaitan! Our ibaadah and our hearts are only going to be purified during month by fighting off nafs and reaching a brand new stage in Imaan.
This Ramadhan, let’s make it a point to purify our soul through 3 phases – Understand, Untie & Unite.
Understand that Shaitan has Hardened our Hearts
- Forgiveness is indeed a very beautiful aspect of our deen. From all the benefits that come from forgiveness, one of them is – Allah gives us the tawfeeq to realize that we were in fact sinning. And this is important, because there are Muslims out there who do certain actions that are impermissible, without even realizing that they’re sinning! Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, and during this time Allah is giving us the opportunity to seek sincere forgiveness, as a result of which somewhere down the month, our sins will get clearer to us. Knowing our mistakes is half the problem solved!
- When we realize our mistakes, this is when we are brutally confronted with our nafs. There are muslims who fast during the day but also miss their fardh prayers. Why does that happen? Because we’re tainted with the evil of shaitan. And the first step to cleansing it is acknowledging the taintedness in our hearts.
Untie Your Nafs From Bad Company
- To give you an imagery, imagine yourself unconscious and drowning in water, you’re dying and everything is dark. What do we do first? Wake up. And then we try to move every muscle in our body to find a way out because although you’re awake you’re still drowning. You try every move that can get you out, some movements get you further in and some let you move to the surface. Now, when we know what gets us up to the surface, we keep doing that continuously, until we get to the top and take a breath. You then try to get out of the water but you realize, your chained down to those with whom you spend most of your time with. And you instinctively go down to them but you see that, they too are unconscious and drowning. This is the reality of your company. Bad company will always drag you down with them.
- You have acknowledged the real focus of your life but your bad company has such a heavy influence on you that you may put back the acknowledgement. Being the wrong person can literally uproot your Imaan. The scary part is, being with the wrong person leads to everything else that is harmful for us! From disobeying your parents to leaving your prayers, bad company is capable of anything.
- This Ramadhan you’ve set down goals that might change your nafs but one of the mistakes we do is, continuing to spend time with the people who don’t value Iman as you value it.
Unite Your Nafs With Righteous Deeds
- At this point in the water when you see your asleep and drowning friend and your chained to him, you have two options – either you stay in the water and give up your life or you wake your friend up and bring them up to the surface too. So you swim back down, and you try to wake them up but they don’t budge. You try repeatedly but it’s the same. The reason you try over and over again is not to benefit them, but because benefiting them helps purify your nafs. You repeatedly nagging them will purify your heart with attributes like sabr, hope, righteousness, stopping each other from committing mistakes etc. This is why islam doesn’t stop at you purifying yourself and but rather it goes on for you to benefit other with yourself.
- You will be successful at pulling your friend out, and you’ll benefit immensely from this by creating for yourself a righteous companion. A righteous companion who will grow with to being a better version of themselves everyday, from picking a rock off the path to praying tahajjud, a righteous company will have this barakah in your nafs.
There is so much more to replenishing your nafs in this month. From a day to day basis, our companions will affect us left, right & center. So, why not choose those who will benefit and keep us from following our desires left, right & center?