(pages 196-210)
According to the Ttradition from Hazrat
Muhammad (SAW):
“when God wishes well unto his servant He
causes him to see the faults of his soul” and
“God said to David, “O David! Hate thy soul, for
my love depends on
thy hatred of it.”
The object of mortification is to correct the vices of lower-
soul, not to attain real proximity; mortification is the most
referred to man while contemplation is the most referred to
God. Sahl has quoted Qur’an:
“And those who strive in Our
(cause), We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily
Allah is with those who do right.”
Translated by Reynold
A. Nicholson
Mortification is approved by men of all religions of all sects, and is
observed and practiced by the Sufis in particular. It is followed that
self-mortification practiced with the aid of God, is the direct cause
of union with God. According to Sahl it is so vital as diction and
composition are necessary for the elucidation of ideas. (p. 202).
If he obeys the call of intelligence he attains to faith, but if he
obeys the call of passion he arrives at error and infidelity.
Therefore, passion is a veil and a false guide, and man is
commanded to resist it. Passion is of two kinds:

2. Desire of worldly honor and authority.
According to the opinion of some passion is a term applied to attributes of
Lower-soul, but according to others, a term denoting the natural volition whereby
the lower-soul is controlled and directed just as spirit is controlled by intelligence.
Every spirit that is devoid of the faculty of intelligence is imperfect, and similarly
every lower-soul that is devoid of the faculty of passion is imperfect.
Copyright 2010 Jehan-i-Seema. All rights reserved.
All material in this page is original writing of  Seema Arif. Using it in any form of
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of rights. While quoting in research papers proper referencing should be used.
Qur’an reads: “ And for such as had entertained the fear of standing
before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from
lower desires. Their abode will be the Garden.” (79:20-21)
True Nature of Passion
Excerpts from
Muhammad (SAW):

“when God wishes well unto his servant He
causes him to see the faults of his soul” and
“God said to David, “O David! Hate thy soul, for
my love depends on thy hatred of it.”

“The Mujahid is he who struggles with all his might against himself
(jahhada nafasahu) for God’s sake.”
later he had added, “We’ve
returned from the lesser war (al jihad-ul Asghar) to a greater war
(al-jehad-ul-Akbar). He has pronounced jehad-e-Akbar as the
struggle against one’s self (mujahidat al-nafs). (p.203)
Man is guided to mortification by a flash of the Divine Beauty, and in as
much as that flash is the cause of existence of mortification, Divine affirm
mortification involves the denial of all the religious ordinances which have
come down in books revealed to the Prophets.
Man is continually being called by intelligence
and passion in contrary ways.
Lower-soul cannot be destructed
He who follows pleasures haunts taverns, and mankind is safe from his mischief, but
who desires honor and authority has lost his way and leads others to errors. One
whose every act depends upon passion is far from God, though standing next to you
in a mosque. Who has renounced it is close to God though he may be standing in a

A monk in Rum has guided Ibrahim Khawwas:
“How long you will seek men? Go and
seek yourself, and when found keep a watch over yourself, for this passion clothes
itself everyday in 365 diverse garments of godhead and leads man astray.”
Shaykh Abu Ali Siyah of Merv has said, my lower-soul called me to say,

“I am God’s Army: You cannot reduce me to naught”.

Muhammad b. Ulayn of Nassa has related, “my lower-soul appeared before me as fox, I
cast it under my feet, kicked it, but it grew bigger and bigger at every blow.”
It then
explained to me, “it is so because I was created perverse: that which is pain to other
things is pleasure to me, and their pleasure is my pain.”  (p.206)
Mortification is a Divine gift
Mortification involves bringing out best qualities in you. The mortification of those
whom God loves is the work of God in them without choice on their part: it overwhelms
and melts them away; but the mortification of ignorant men is the work of themselves
in themselves by their own choice: it perturbs and distresses them, and distress is due
to evil. (p.205)

When a man feels desire and passion he turns to the soul (dil) in order that it may
guide him to the lower soul (nafs), which is the seat of falsehood; and when he finds
the evidence of gnosis, he also turns to the soul in order it may guide him to the spirit,
which is the source of truth and reality. (p. 275)

All diabolic suggestions (waswas) spring from passion, and the Devil in reality is lower-
soul and passion. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) has said, “There is no one whom his devil
has not subdued, except Umar, for he has subdued his devil.”

Passion has been mingled as an ingredient in the clay of Adam; whoever renounces it
becomes a prince and whoever follows it becomes a captive. Junayd has regarded
renouncing passion as union with God. Passion is so powerful sometimes that it is said
that it is easy for a man to destroy mountain with his nails than to resist passion.

However, passion captivated can liberate a man to unknown heights, as Dhu ‘l Nun the
Egyptian said, “I saw a man flying in the air; he was but flying on his passion”. Fadhl
Balkhi says: “I marvel those who goes with passion to God’s house to visit Him”.
See more on lower soul and purification....