Different degrees of the nafs

In tasawwuf nafs means self, psyche, ego or soul. Some Sufis suggest that there are six degrees of nafs and claim this intellection based on Quranic evidence.

Nafs-i-ammara: The kind of nafs that doesn’t care about Allah(j.j) commands and prohibitions and follows mundane pleasures.

Nafs-i-lawwama: Here the nafs sometimes follows Allah(j.j) guidelines and feels sorry for the sins commited and feels joy for the good deeds.

Nafs-i-mulhama: In this degree, the nafs tries his best to follow Allah(j.j) principles.

Nafs-i-mutma’inna: Here, the nafs has a resolute belief in principles of faith, follows Islam’s commands and prohibitions closely, bears no question mark regarding these rules. He has established a spiritual bond with Allah(j.j) and enjoys this procedure.

In Holy Quran:

(To the righteous soul will be said:) “O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!

“Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him!

“Enter thou, then, among My devotees!

“Yea, enter thou My Heaven! (Al-Fajr 89/27-30)

Here the term nafs-i mutmainna is used in 89/27. “The righteous soul” is a translated/interpreted term. Some other translations prefer the term “soul at peace” or “soul at rest”

Nafs-i-radiyya: The soul has reached this degree is content and pleased with Allah(j.j) and orients himself in every possible direction towards Allah(j.j) only. Some sufis suggest the idea that Only through delight of having divine knowledge a person can know about this degree, those who has not tasted this delight would not know

Nafs-i-mardiyya:The kind of soul who has submitted himself only to Allah(j.j), therefore Allah(j.j) is also content with him.

Nafs-i-Khamil: This additional and final degree is projected by Sufis. Here the nafs is free from every kind of evil and mature in every possible way. In this stage all states and behaviors of the soul is considered an act of worship. He is also labeled as al-Insān al-Khāmil which means, the person who has reached perfection. Prophet Muhammed(saw) is a prime example of “Al Insan al Khamil”




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