Suppressing the ego is the essence of a Muslim’s life

Summary of discourse by Shaykh Abdul Mueed Saheb (Hafizahullah)

Thursday, 9 April 2020 – Khanqah Maseehiyyah, Sukkur, Pakistan

Suppressing the nafs (ego)

Once Taubah (sincere repentance) has been accomplished, now its preservation is necessary. This entails monitoring and supervising the nafs (ego). This is a very important aspect of reformation. If the entire purpose of Shariah, the essence of Islamic law and life has to be condensed in one statement, that statement would be – to suppress and tame the ego. The control of the ego is critical at the time of sin, at the time of doing good and for every action. The ego must be kept in check and restrained from its mischievous tricks – this is regarded to be the essence of Shariah (Islamic practice). When doing anything, it  becomes imperative to determine whether that action is being done for the pleasure of one’s ego or for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. If it is for Allah Ta’ala, then go ahead, and if it is for the ego then reconsider the motive.

Clean your slate 

The other aspects of importance are to evaluate one’s actions at the time of going to sleep and to remember death. To seek sincere repentance of the sins of the day and to clean one’s slate with Allah Ta’ala before sleeping. One great benefit of pondering over death is that a person’s appetite for materialism is stunted and the desire for the hereafter is strengthened. Evaluate the weight of your deeds and good actions – think over this. Reflect over how death will be. Every person can to some degree ascertain the state of his death from the actions of his life. The way a person lives so shall he die.

The grave is alive

Whatever a person does will be taken with into the grave. Hadhrat Ali radiyallahu anhu use to refer to the grave as a box of deeds. Hadhrat Usman radiyallahu anhu use to cry so profusely by the grave that his beard would get wet and the tears flowed onto his chest. The grave addresses the pious person: ‘of all people on earth you are most beloved to me’ – the grave is not a dead piece of earth – it is alive and interacts with its inmate.

Reflect over the earth

Hakeemul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Thanwi rahimahullah advised the practice of muraqabah ard – to think over your origin, which is sand. Man is closest to his origin as he walks on and traverses the earth. He is in touch with the place of return.

When man walks on the face of the earth, he walks with pride, thinks low of others, thinks himself to be someone, denigrates others, etc. When walking on the earth, reflect over the day when this body will be inside the earth, how will this earth treat me?

How will the grave treat me?

Hadhrat Ali radiyallahu anhu advised that when visiting a grave, consider how the person lying in the grave was just like us – living, walking, talking and enjoying life.  Tomorrow, very shortly, I will be where he is. How will this grave treat me? The grave addresses its inmate whether we understand how or not. An obedient person is addressed with compassion, that you have been obedient, the entire creation is happy with an obedient person, even his grave welcomes him. The grave addresses the obedient person saying to him : ‘you did everything to keep Allah happy, today see how i will treat you’ and the grave expands as far as his eyes can see, he is embraced by the grave, the breeze of paradise enters his grave and he is asked to sleep like a bride on her first night.

The grave terrorises the disobedient person

The disobedient person has the opposite experience. The tone of the grave is frightening. He is terrorised by the address of the grave: ‘You are the most despised person on earth. You enjoyed the favours of your Creator on earth and still continued rebelling against Him.’ His body is squeezed till his ribs intertwine and the grave is darkened and narrowed. The Hadith teaches us duas to protect us from the terrors and narrowness of the grave.This is the result of his actions. 

So let us live in the obedience of our Creator and be grateful for His favours. Avoid ingratitude and disobedience as the day of reckoning is close. Most of our life has passed, we have this little time to make amends and prepare for our eternal life.

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