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 What Is “Nafs”?

What does "nafs" mean?



Literally “nafs” means self, person, sprit, ego; the essence of something; the power of carnal which is the source of anger and sexual passion; the inherent tendency, the sensual desires of body.

Nafs is the harshest enemy of human

Our Beloved Prophet declares as the following:
“Your harshest enemy is your nafs which lies between your flanks (ribs).(Bayhaki)
“First, nafs means the powers of anger and sexual appetite in a human being... and this is the usage mostly found among the people of tasawwuf [sufis], who take "nafs" as the comprehensive word for all the evil attributes of a person. That is why they say: one must certainly do battle with the ego and break it.” (Ihya-i Ulumid-din)

Nafs is the ground on which the sense and abilities are placed

The body’s great part in the spiritual realm is composed of “nafs”. Senses, feelings are attached to the nafs. Nafs has become the ground of the powers such as mind, anger and sight.

Nafs is the cause of the soul’s holding onto the body

Nafs is created for the human’s living, maintaining his life, eating, drinking, procreation and after all appreciating his Creator. Soul needs a platform to carry out these tasks. Nafs constitutes a spiritual platform in the human body for these duties. Soul can’t hold on to the body without nafs. In other words, nafs conduces toward fulfillment of these duties by providing the permanence of the soul in the body.

Nafs is the name of human’s carnal (animal like) part

Nafs is created for carrying out the carnal passions such as eating, drinking, procreation, sleeping.
That’s to say, nafs conduces toward fulfillment of the human’s inherent needs.

Nafs is the source of the evil and the basis of misdeeds

As a requirement of this world’s being examination realm for human, commonly, prohibitions and transgressions seem easier and more attractive than permissibles and blessings. So nafs prefers the easy way although it is harmful for himself.
If a man prefers listening to the whispers of his nafs and submitting to the evil to obeying his Lord’s commands, he will be a slave of his carnal desires anymore. And worse, although his heart, soul, conscience and mind have the ability to differ right from wrong, they also give in to the nafs and each becomes an aide of it. Kaynak: http://askaquestionto.us - What Is “Nafs”?
So, if a man wants to live a happy and peaceful life which he won’t regret neither in this world nor in the eternity, he has to learn to educate his nafs

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