Striving against your nafs- Br.Munir Qtaish

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Wa salatu wa salam ‘ala Rasul Allah sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam


THE STRUGGLE: Striving against your nafs

Br.Munir Qtaish//MAS/MCA Exemplary Muslims series


JULY 10- Taking Initiative, Mujahada, Muhasaba



  1. Taking initiative
    1. if you want to see that change, you need to take the initiative!
    2. If want to get into Jannah, you need to take the right steps to get there
    3. What kind of practical steps I need to take in order to achieve the goal I need to achieve


  1. O you who believe! Be mindful of Allah! Look each of you for what you have prepared in front of you!
    1. Muhasaba- accountability need to keep in mind.
    2. Why? There is tomorrow. When you are 6 feet in the ground.
    3. Allah wants us to hold ourselves accountable before we get into that grave!
    4. Hold yourself accountable and be mindful of Allah in everything you say and do
    5. And He says: be mindful of HIM. Because He knows what you do in secret, and He knows what you do in public.
  2. Mujahada
    1. There is effort being put
    2. You are doing something…taking that initiative. Not sitting passively. There’s this EFFORT that you put into yourself in order to get to where you want to get to.
    3. If we want to be obedient servants to Allah, we have to put this fighting of the soul, this effort we have to put.
  3. The nafs
    1. 3 different types of the soul

i. Surah Yusuf, v 54: the evil soul that pushes you always to do the haram, constantly. Utter a foul word, won’t be satisfied until say more foul words. It keeps indulging in haram.

ii. An nafs lawamah- surah al Qiyamah

1. this soul is mentioned in surah al qiyamah. This self reproaching soul talks back to its owner. It talks back to her. It tells her when she does good, when she does bad.

a. Why would this soul talk back to me?

b. This is self-reprocahing. It wants you to do the BEST. Were you totally concentrating in salah? Did you do the best of your ability? It always wants you to do your best.

c. and will always talk back to you when you do the haram. ‘it’s ok.’ “NO. it’s NOT OK! REPENT TO ALLAH! It wants this perfection for you. WHY? It understands there is this DAY OF JUDGMENT. You and I will be standing in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It can be 50000 YEARS for some….and for others, as quick as 2 rakat sunnah! [missed the source?]

d. Allahuma, nafsey, nafsey

e. The sun is only 1 mi away from our head!

f. It knows there is a day of reckoning. It wants you to do your best.

iii. an nafs mutmaninah- surah al Fajr

1. “…irjeey ila Rabika” … O you content soul. Happy with what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gives you.

2. not envious, not jealous. Don’t have animosity in heart for others.

3. Look at Nuh alayhis salam. He never gives up! 950 years! He alayhis salam strives to do the best!

iv. merges between 3 levels

1. the soul can fly between these 3 levels…sometimes in the mutmaninnah, sometimes in the lawamah.

v. question to ask yourself

1. which one are you in?

2. DON’T go lower than the lawamah!! Allahuma protect us from going lower than lawamah!

3. do we find pleasure in doing the haram? “it’s just a small thing, man, just a look …”

4. are we aspiring to be at the highest level?

5. this soul that we’ve got: it’s receptive to change. You can be at one high level and then become so low. Never feel that you are ok at your level. We know from history of people who have even memorized the QUR’AN and then have gone astray. And so many instances of people who were so at the bottom, weren’t even associating selves with Islam, and then soar, bi’idnillah to be pioneers.

vi. recognize: it is not only shaytan

1. it could be the soul within yourself calling you to do evil. It’s the one that pushes you to do the haram.

2. shaytan doesn’t care which sins you do, just is happy that you’re sinning.

3. another example: in Ramadan- shaytan is locked up! But still people commit sins. Why? Because they like it. They are accustomed to it. Has become so accustomed to this thing, the nafs gets into this habit.

4. and it’s not always the was wasa of shaytan. It’s the habit that has got used to certain things.

5. we can change! To the better….. or to the worse. Wa authobillah.

vii. another type of soul…not even worth mentioning in the Qur’an

1. this person has no goal. No purpose in life.

2. they are like animals, bal hum adhal. Verily, they are worse.

3. it’s even worse to not even know..NOT EVEN CARE about them doing wrong… the sinner is better, because they know that they actually sinned.

4. we need to realize: WE NEED TO HAVE A SENSE OF PURPOSE!

  1. Muhasaba
    1. Those who struggle for our sake- they will be guided to the Path of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Surah Ankaboot
    2. Those who pray on time, those who fast, those who give charity…they are active in their community. Struggle fi sabilAllah … sacrifice for Allah ‘Azza wa jal.
    3. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will guide them towards the Pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala
  2. following steps on how to build the relationship with this soul and hold it accountable:
    1. Make a contract between myself and my soul

i. This agreement between yourself to do good deeds

1. Ya foulan. You want to go to Jannah? The road is not easy. Jannah is surrounded by difficulties. And the naar is surrounded by pleasurable, seductive things. If you want to get to Jannah, yeah, let’s make a contract. Let’s set up certain criterion that you want to do to get into Jannah. When we pray we pray conscious. Pray attentively… to do good deeds

2. you know…. I’m capable of doing qiyam al layl. Start marking it— this level of contracts between you and yourself.

3. your capital in this contract: your age. How long are you gonna live? Your capital is your life. And subhanAllah Hasan al Basri rahimahullah says: Ya ibna Adam, you are nothing but compilation of days. Whenever a day passes, a part of your body passes, it’ll never come back again.

4. time is life! When something an hour passes, it’ll never come back again. If you put this capital, this is your asset, how are you going to use this asset? What are you going to invest in? this is the first level.


a. After I make a contract with my partner, have to be watchful about her. How is she going to do in this business? Be watchful of it. How is it going? What track is it taking?

b. Worship Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala as if you see HIM. If you don’t see HIM, know HE sees you. It’s important that we be alert.

c. I went everywhere…but I couldn’t find a single place that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala didn’t see me!

d. This is what you have to do—WATCH YOURSELF! HE KNOWS WHAT YOU DO.

e. Why be watchful of this soul? Because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is watching it.

f. This level of muraqaba—if we want to achieve this level, first must make contract, then be watchful of it after putting conditions on oneself.


a. Every single company holds selves accountable. Needs to—otherwise will have problems with investments.

b. Look at it! Open the books! Today did I increase in istighfar? Tasbeeh?

c. You will not achieve that high level of piety until he/she holds herself accountable much tougher than when you hold your partner accountable. The two partners when they hold themselves accountable is after the action is done.

d. Al mu’mino qawwam ala nafseh—is in charge of his/her own soul. Will hold it accountable for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And verily, indeed, your accountability on day of judgment will be like if you hold yourself accountable in this dunya. And will be very difficult on the day of judgment if you take this life without accountability. We have to hold ourselves accountable.

e. How much did I pray? How much did I fast? How much did I SIN?

7. constructive punishment

a. when slip, need to do something constructive to make up for it.

b. Needs to be constructive- not something that will cause harm to yourself.

c. Must push yourself to do something better

i. Ie: didn’t pray ishaa in the masjid…will pray 4 rakats qiyaam.


a. If fall into a hole, would you keep digging it to keep falling in? no! so why do this with sins?

b. Why if you miss fajr, you’re not going to pray zhur and asr?

c. You have to have this concept that I always struggle with this soul— if we do not sin, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will replace us with people who do.

d. Even the sahaba sinned! Some of them committed zina! Some stole! Drank! But they had something important: REPENTENCE.

e. It’s important that this concept of struggling is going to be constant. Nothing is easy in this life. This concept of mujahda- it’s fine. Be an optimist. I can do it, inshaAllah! I fell today? Fine. I’m going to try stronger to struggle correctly inshaAllah! I perfected that? AlHamdullilah, now I must increase in it.

f. Dr. Ahmed al Qahdi- one of the pioneers of Islam in America- THIS STRUGGLE. He will wake up 1 HOUR before fajr and wake his children up and they would study arabe so that they can read the Qur’an.

g. You PUSH your soul to excel in every level possible. At school, in the MSA, at work, with the family, ,in the masjid, in your ebadaat…everything possible to become a pioneer.

h. Why? Our objective: firdaous.

i. The people who do this at THIS TIME who follow the footsteps of Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam has so much more reward

j. If we want to become exemplary, it starts with the individual…it starts with YOU.


What kind of soul do I have? Can I get to an nafs al mutmainnah?


If we want this soul to come close to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, we have to let it drink from its source- ALLAH SUBHANAHU WA TA’ALA


Make this commitment with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala


One Response to “Striving against your nafs- Br.Munir Qtaish”

  1. ihsaan-thestruggle Says:

    Amazing, jazaak allaahu khayrn….

    now its just a matter of being consistent with the changes (most difficult part)

    Baraak allaahu feek

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