KNOWLEDGE of self is the key to the knowledge of God, according to the saying: “He who knows himself knows God,” and, as it is Written in the Koran, “We will show them Our signs in the world and in themselves, that the truth may be manifest to them.” Now nothing is nearer to thee than thyself, and if thou knowest not thyself how canst thou know anything else? If thou sayest “I know myself,” meaning thy outward shape, body, face, limbs, and so forth, such knowledge can never be a key to the knowledge of God. Nor, if thy knowledge as to that which is within only extends so far, that when thou art hungry thou eatest, and when thou art angry thou attackest some one, wilt thou progress any further in this path, for the beasts are thy partners in this? But real self-knowledge consists in knowing the following things: What art thou in thyself,
[1. Traditional saying of Muhammad.]
and from whence hast thou come? Whither art thou going, and for what purpose hast thou come to tarry here awhile, and in what does thy real happiness and misery consist? Some of thy attributes are those of animals, some of devils, and some of angels, and thou hast to find out which of these attributes are accidental and which essential. Till thou knowest this, thou canst not find out where thy real happiness lies. The occupation of animals is eating, sleeping, and fighting; therefore, if thou art an animal, busy thyself in these things. Devils are busy in stirring up mischief, and in guile and deceit; if thou belongest to them, do their work. Angels contemplate the beauty of God, and are entirely free from animal qualities; if thou art of angelic nature, then strive towards thine origin, that thou mayest know and contemplate the Most High, and be delivered from the thraldom of lust and anger. Thou shouldest also discover why thou hast been created with these two animal instincts: whether that they should subdue and lead thee captive, or whether that thou shouldest subdue them, and, in thy upward progress, make of one thy steed and of the other thy weapon.
The first step to self-knowledge is to know that thou art composed of an outward shape, called the body, and an inward entity called the heart, or soul. By “heart” I do not mean the piece of flesh situated in the left of our bodies, but that which uses all the other faculties as its instruments and servants. In truth it does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible, and has come into this world as a traveller visits a foreign country for the sake of merchandise, and will presently return to its native land. It is the knowledge of this entity and its attributes which is the key to the knowledge of God.
Some idea of the reality of the heart, or spirit, may be obtained by a man closing his eves and forgetting everything around except his individuality. He will thus also obtain a glimpse of the unending nature of that individuality. Too close inquiry, however, into the essence of spirit is forbidden by the Law. In the Koran it is written: “They will question thee concerning the spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit comes by the command of my Lord.'” Thus much is known of it that it is an indivisible essence belonging to the world of decrees, and
By: Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed
In the Qur’an-e-Kareem the word nafs is used in two ways.
The first way that the word nafs is used is to indicate our own-self. Some people would translate it in English as “self,” some people would translate it in English as “soul.” An example of this is when Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:
وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ
“And remember your Rabb inside yourself.” (7:205)
The second way the nafs has been used in the Qur’an, which is quite frequent, is that the nafs is referring to a specific part of our self and it is that part of our self that has desires, appetite, and some people call it ego. It has anger, it has passion, it has lust, desire, it has all these things. Some people may even call it the carnal self or the carnal soul. This nafs is not part of the rūh, [rather] its part of the physical human being. So if we wanted to say that we have some physical part of our creation, that is our body and ournafs and then Allah Almighty has also put inside of ourselves an inner or spiritual part of our creation, that is our rūh. This nafs is part of our physical self, even though its not part of our physical body.
Three adjectives have been used in the Noble Qur’an to describe three different types of nafs.
KRS-One says “Your perception of yourself and your environment blinds you from your opportunity and achieving your dreams.”
By: Dr. Travis Bradberry
TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). The hallmark of emotional intelligence is self-control—a skill that unleashes massive productivity by keeping you focused and on track.
Unfortunately, self-control is a difficult skill to rely on. Self-control is so fleeting for most people that when Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed two million people and asked them to rank order their strengths in 24 different skills, self-control ended up in the very bottom slot.
And when your self-control leaves something to be desired, so does your productivity.
By: Muhammad ‘Afifi al-‘Akiti
Praise be Allah, Who has adorned the aspect of man by granting him good stature and proportion, Safeguarding him from increase and decline in his aspect and measurements, We ask for His forgiveness and guidance, We seek refuge from the evils, which are in ourselves and the wicked in our actions, And may the blessings and salutations be invoked upon Muhammad, His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
“As for whoever exceeded the limits and preferred the life of this world, surely his abode will be the Fire; and as for whoever feared to stand before his Lord and restrained the desires of his self, surely his abode will be the Garden.” (Sura 79:39-40)
Full lecture: http://wp.me/p44bDA-34J
By: Al-Khaadem AKYMEDIA
Speaker: Hussain Yee
Do you find that you have a lack of self motivation at times? You can learn a hundred ways to improve your life, but then hesitate to act. Something less important catches your attention, or you just don’t feel like doing what you need to do. Even if you are normally a motivated person, there may be times when you have a hard time getting started on an important task.
There is a solution. Actually, there are probably dozens of solutions. Here are six of the best. These are self-motivation techniques that work for others. Try them, and if you find even one or two here that work for you, you’ll be on your way.
By: Wendy Shalit
The pressure on girls today to take sexy selfies comes out of a culture that routinely equates modesty with shame, instead of recognizing it for what it really is: an impulse that protects what is precious and intimate. Teenage girls need to know that when boys ask them for naked pictures, they can—and should—say no. It’s not merely because those pictures can find their way onto social media. (Even without the aid of hackers, such photos seem to have a way of slipping their iPhone collars and circulating with astonishing ease). A better reason to say no is that, having set a higher standard, maybe someone will write a love poem for them instead.