The Ego - Exposing The False Self

From Ahmed Al-Hassan (en)
Jump to: navigation, search
Man-845847 1920.jpg

The Self has many names: The I, The Nafs, or The Ego (Latin for: I)...

God Almighty says that when He fashioned the human self He has equipped it with the ability to choose to be pious or deviant, following the straight path or going astray from it.

{...And the self (nafs) and what fashioned it,
and taught it its sin and its piety!
Prosperous is he who purifies it!
And disappointed is he who corrupts it!...} – Holy Quran Al-Shams, 91: 7-8

Even though translators of the Holy Quran commonly translate the Arabic word nafs (نَفۡسٌ۬) as “soul”, in fact the "soul" and the "self" are two different things.

Our "self" (nafs) is the persona we create and feed through our deeds and through our senses – either the evil nafs or the good nafs prevails over the other and takes control of the person. Therefore the nafs is the created "self" or "ego", which forms the modifiable identity of a living person.

In this context let us remember the saying attributed to the Prophet: "Man 'arafa nafsahu fa-qad 'arafa rabbahu", i.e. "The one who knows his nafs (soul or self), knows his Lord." – As-Suyuti, Mawardi, Al-Jarrahi; also attributed to Yahya b. Mu'adh ar-Razi

So if one restrains his self from doing evil and if one commands his self to do good instead, then Allah (swt) will support him over proportionally and make Himself known to that person.

In a hadith Qudsi Allah Most High says: "He who is hostile to a friend of Mine I declare war against. My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him." – Fath al-Bari, 11.34041, hadith 6502

The Self consists of 2 parts: the Good Self & the Wicked Self

What is the self?

29.06.2017 Aba Sadiq's (as) speech on Paltalk "ما هيه النفس؟ -"What is the self ? " LISTEN FROM MINUTE 13:00 until 16:40 (audio; Transcript pdf)

An excerpt from Aba Sadiq's (as) speech on Paltalk "What is the self?", 29.06.2017:

And fight yourselves O believers.
And do you know what is the self (the nafs)?
Listen to the words of the Family of Muhammad and wake up:
The nafs (the self) is from the making of our own deeds, and we make it either good or wicked.
Our deeds are what disciplines the nafs. And it resides in the chest area, the nafs resides in the chest area.
It is something that you feel, but do not see. It is something you feel its presence in your chest.[1]
The nafs is the forming ​of the senses, and it is composed of hearing, seeing, touching, and the tongue.
From those senses, the nafs starts to form, then it divides into two parts, the first part is the good self, and the second part is the wicked self.
If the person speaks Haram words he will feed the wicked self. And if you listen to something Haram or look at something Haram you feed the wicked self.
And this Haram becomes the food for this wicked self. And the opposite is true in regards to the good self.
Until you reach a stage where you either grow the good self by your deeds, or the wicked self also by your deeds.
So one of them wins and controls the other, and the result is known in both cases.
And the good deeds are the more powerful, if you do a good deed its effect on the good self is stronger. And if you do a bad deed it won’t have the same strong effect on the wicked self.
Meaning, if the good self receives two points for a good deed, the wicked self gets only one point for every two bad deeds.
Allah (swt) said: {Fear your Lord who created you from one nafs and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women}.
The self and its mate here are the good self and the wicked self. And not all the creatures have a nafs (a self). There are some human beings who do not have a nafs, rather they have souls only.
Allah swt said “many men and women”, but He did not generalize it to include everyone. He just said “many”. Meaning He did not generalize it to include all the human beings, rather He mentioned that a big group has a nafs.
The soul also is affected by our deeds. And even though it is a few of us who have a soul only and not a Nafs, this does not mean that they are the best. The few that do not have a Nafs are the angels who became human beings. And this matter is present with us today, we have Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael, peace be upon them. And they have the ability to appear in human form, and they are among us, and in all the ages."[2]

  1. An interesting addition of this which Aba Sadiq (as) mentioned on another occasion is:
    [Upon hearing good or bad news] Whomever strikes his head: then his soul is more powerful than his self.
    If he touches his thigh, then his soul and self are equal in strength. If he touches his chest, then the self is more powerful than the soul.
  2. An interesting continuation of this which Aba Sadiq (as) mentioned on another occasion is:
    This does not mean that they are automatically better, because how about the person who has both soul and self but manages to successfully overcome this ego and live through his soul, and the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (pbuhaf) says: "Allah (swt) placed in the Angels a mind with no desire, and placed in cattle desire with no mind... and placed in the son of Adam, both. So, whomever his mind defeats his desire, he is better than angels and whomever his desire defeats his mind, he is worse than cattle."

Quotes from Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) in relation to the Ego

I warn you from the I

Beware of the i.jpg
"Imam Ahmed al Hassan a.s. - The Ego" from the Black Banners of the East Satellite Station, 31.12.2017


"I warn you from the I.
Beware of the I, beware of it!
The I... Every time you feel that you are better than others, remember that Allah The Exalted is al'Azeem, alJabbar, alMutakabir (The Great, The Compeller, The Supreme).
You are nothing to be mentioned in this life.
And this is the reality".
- Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (as), 28.07.2016

If you knew the Nafs

Translation of a post by احمد احمد:
"If you knew the nafs/self which you love, you wouldn't come close to it. I will give you something similiar to describe it and you shall understand.
The Nafs which you love is like a toilet, well formed by human hands, beautiful and clean on the apparent/outside, and impure on the inside.
Would you be able to extend your head into a toilet [made of] gold, inlaid with jewelry?
How can you love it then?"
An advice from the holy Mawla Ahmed Al-Hassan a.s, leader of the Black Banners of the East - 10.07.2016

Slaughter yourself and never go thirsty

Never go thirsty.png


Quotes from the book of Monotheisim

In the "Book of Monotheism" which mention the Ego or the "I" explicitly...

  • "...He deals with Mercy, or otherwise, the punishments would come forth upon the creation who remembers himself (his ego) and is negligent of his Lord."
  • "If He is the one whom is sought and turned to in needs, and those who turn to and seek and approach Him are disobedient short-comers and the best of them would [still] look to his own self (his I or ego) even if from a hidden angle... If even Muhammad (pbuhaf), the best of the Creation of Allah (swt), needed Mercy in facing Allah (swt), thus The Glorified The Exalted came to Him by His saying: (The Glorious, the Holy, I am the Lord of the angels and the Spirit. My mercy exceeds/precedes My wrath), so the Messenger of Allah (pbuhaf) said: ([O Allah], I beg Your forgiveness, I beg Your forgiveness)."
  • "... you may say that Muhammad (pbuh & his progeny) is Light, however, within him there is darkness and it is the Ego and the “I”, and otherwise, there would not remain for Muhammad a name nor [would there remain] an image, and there would not remain except Allah, the One, the Powerful, the Glorious, the Almighty. [...] Therefore, Muhammad (pbuh & his progeny), even when he was in the highest levels of perfection possible for creation [to reach], and Muhammad (pbuh & his progeny) was the image of Allah and carried the attributes of Godhood amongst the creation, in order to make Allah, the Glorious, known amongst the creation. Consequently, the creation looks upon him in order that he completes them and fulfills their shortcomings. However, Muhammad (pbuh & his progeny) from another face [aspect] is poor (and in need of Allah) in regards to Allah, the Glorious, the Almighty, for he is a servant from among the servants of Allah {whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light.} {The Holy Qur’an Surat An-Nūr (The Light): 35}. He almost glows from his own self, [but] not that he actually glows from his own self, that even Ibrahim (Abraham) (pbuh), and he was from amongst the greatest of the Messengers, when he saw the Kingdom of Heaven, he thought that the description of Muhammad (pbuh & his progeny) by the description of Godhood was Absolute Godhood. And he thought that the Lordship of Muhammad (pbuh & his progeny) was Absolute Lordship, then Allah, the Glorious, the Almighty, blessed Abraham (pbuh) and revealed to him the weakness of Muhammad (pbuh & his progeny) and his return to the Ego and the “I”.
  • "Indeed Allah is Light with no Darkness in it, and all the worlds of Creation is Light mixed with Darkness and beings which have appeared by the Manifestation of His Light (swt) in the Darknesses. And therefore, it is not possible that one considers that Allah has come in a created being or appeared in a created being a complete appearance in the Worlds of Creation – as they claim with Jesus and the Holy Spirit - ; because [if this was the case then] this means that [the worlds of creation] would not remain, rather, it would disintegrate/disappear and what remains would be Light which has no darkness in it, meaning, that no Creation would remain, rather, only Allah (swt) remains, and He is Light with no darkness in it. And for that reason we have said and repeated over and over that Muhammad flaps between The Divine and between the “I” and humanity/state of being Human. And I have confirmed this in order that no deluded person imagines that Allah – who is Light with no Darkness in it – comes in the Worlds of Creation, He is far Exalted and Greater than that. And the matter is clear and obvious, for the meaning of (the appearance of Light which has no darkness in it in the World of Creation a complete appearance) is its disappearance/disintegration and extinction, and remains for it neither a name nor a description nor a meaning, rather, no one and nothing remains except Allah The Light which has no Darkness in it, Far Greater and Exalted is He."

Quote from the book "The Allegories"

Question 10: What is the meaning of Imam Ali’s pbuh saying:
"If the veil was revealed to me, I would not have increased in certitude"?

[...] the Prince of Believers pbuh is talking about a veil which has concealed the Divinity from him. He is talking about a veil which if revealed to Ali pbuh, Ali pbuh would not remain, and none remains save Allah, the One the Conquerer. Ali (pbuh) considers the presence of this veil to be a great guilt, therefore he says,
"O lord, I have done myself injustice by considering it [myself ], so it is damned if You do not forgive it." - A part of the dua of Shaban by the Prince of Believers Ali (pbuh), Bihar Al-Anwar Vol. 91 page 97

Rather the Quran itself considers it a great guilt which does not part from a human unless the clear opening happens, and the human becomes non-existent at moments, and returns to existence at other moments; this is in order for the human to maintain his humanity, and for the created to maintain his place as a servant. Allah (swt) said,

{We have bestowed upon you a clear opening. So that Allah Forgives the guilt of your past and future.} - The Quran 48:1–2

- The Allegories Volume 1, 1rst Edition

Quotes from Aba Sadiq (as) in relation to the ego

How to defeat the ego?

Q.9: How do we cancel/silence our minds and kill our egos and remove the darkness from the pages of our existence until only Allah swt remains?
Aba Sadiq a.s.: Being sincere to Allah swt and defeating the ego comes with yaqeen and good works for the sake of Allah swt, and giving victory to the Caliph of Allah a.s.

- Q&A from 02.05.2016 with Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan & Aba Sadiq on Paltalk, Link to answer on the mic.

Productions from the Black Banners of the East Satellite Station about the Ego

The self is the product of our deeds. We make it good or we make it evil.
It is something that you feel but you can not see it... Have you ever felt it?
Have you ever felt that there is something that constantly strives to make you unhappy?

This episode of the series "Human" will guide you through the depth of yourself, helping you discover who you are and who you are not.

"The Ego - Exposing Your False Self" from the Black Banners of the East Satellite Station, 14.01.2018


Ahadith about the Ego

75 Soldiers of Ignorance and Mind

Definately everyone should read this amazing hadith from Imam Hussayn (as) about the the Mind and its soldiers, and know the Ignorance and its soldiers on the page"75 Soldiers of Ignorance and Mind".

Reality of himself.jpg

Inspiring ahadith about "Jihad an-Nafs"

From the chapter of "Jihad an-Nafs" in "Wasail al-Shi’a" of Shaykh Hurr al-Amili:
Chapter 1: The Divine Obligation to Combat the Self

  • Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] said that the Holy Prophet [saws] dispatched his soldiers to battle to fight the enemy and, upon their triumphant return, said; “Greetings on those who have successfully carried out the "Minor Combat" (jihad al-asghar), but have yet to engage themselves in the "Greater Combat".” He was asked: “O Prophet of Allah [swt]! What is the "Greater Combat"? ” to which he replied: “Combat with the self ”. al-Kafi v.2, p. 12, no. 3., Similar Amali al-Saduq p. 377, no. 8; Ma’ni al-Akhbar, p.160, no.1
  • Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] said: "Take responsibility for your self, for if you do not, nobody else will." al-Kafi v.2, p. 12, no. 3.
  • Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] said to a man : “Indeed you have been made the doctor of your self, the ailment has been made manifest to you, you know the marvel of health and have been shown the cure, and yet look at how you treat your soul!” al-Kafi v. 2, p. 329, no.6
  • Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] addressed a man, saying: “Consider your heart to be a kind friend and a dutiful son, and your knowledge a father whom you can follow, and your self (nafs) an enemy that you fight and your wealth a destitute woman whom you would repel.” al-Kafi v. 2, p. 329, no.7; al-Faqih, v.4, p.294, no.889
  • Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] said: “He who does not have a preaching heart, a reproaching self and a guiding friend will be easily overcome his enemy.” al-Faqih, v.4, p.287, no.862
  • Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] narrated on the authority of the Imams before him, that the Holy Prophet [saws], in his advice to Imam ‘Ali [a], said: “O ‘Ali, the best thing about self-struggle is when a person wakes up with no desire to wrong anyone.” al-Faqih, v.4, p.254, no.821
  • Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq [a] said : “He who has complete control over himself (nafs), when he desires something as well as when he fears something, when he is angry as well as when he is pleased, Allah [swt] prohibits the Fire of Hell from touching his body.” al-Faqih, v.4, p.286, no.856, Thawab al-A’mal, p. 192, no. 1.
  • Imam ‘Ali Amir al-Mu’minin [a] said: “The warrior is the one who combats his inner self.” Al-Majazat al-Nabawiyyah, p. 201, no. 157
  • He has made it incumbent upon the face to bow down in prostration to Him in the night and in the day at prayer times, about which He has said: {O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed.} Q.22:77. This is joint duty on the face as well as the hands and the feet, for He has said in another verse: {And that the parts of prostration (Masjids) are Allah’s, so call not upon anyone with Allah.} Q.72:18 until prophet Muhammad [saws] concluded, saying: “He who meets Allah, having guarding his limbs such that every single limb fulfilled that which Allah made incumbent upon it, he will meet Allah, Mighty and Exalted, with a complete faith and will be among the people of Paradise. He who has been treacherous with any of his limbs or transgressed in what Allah, Mighty and Exalted, commanded him, he will meet Allah with a deficient faith. Believers shall enter Paradise as a result of having completed their faith, and transgressors will enter Hell as a result of their deficient faith.” - Al-Kafi, V. 2, p.28, no. 1
  • Imam ‘Ali Zain Al -‘Abideen [a] said: “Indeed, the believer is one who, when he is happy, is not led by his happiness to commit any wrong or indecent act, and if he is angered, is not diverted from telling the truth by his anger, and, when he is empowered, is not led by his power to transgress against that which does not rightfully belong to him.” (al-Kafi v.2, p.184, no.13)