The angelic type of nafs finds happiness in that which brings it closer to Allah: the worship and remembrance of Him, showing gratitude to Him, patiently persevering in His cause and carrying out other acts of goodness.
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True patience emanates from the heart and is very much related to the degree of our connection to Allah. When our hearts are connected to Allah, we fully realize that He is in complete control of our affairs.
Being pleased with ourselves leads us to commit violations against ourselves and forgo the very happiness that we claim to be pursuing. It also prevents the kind of critical self-reflection that can lead to positive growth.
Khushu is the soul of the prayer; that meditative state one goes into when s/he enters the prayer. The person becomes calm and enjoys the proximate relationship with Allah by moving slowly and pondering on every verse one recites.
Would you change? Would your resolutions be more likely to be successful? Would you show more appreciation to the people in your life? Would you begin to think about the source of life, and perhaps wake up more grateful every new day you’ve been given?
When we find ourselves in the limelight, when we’re famous, we wouldn’t think to move back to our former self, but on the contrary we race forward toward our death. This is a weakness in human nature, to seek the material things in life as a goal in itself instead of being a means to an end.
We will not be able to journey to Allah with hollow actions that look good on the outside but are not founded on a sound heart. We’ll get stranded on our journey at the first sign of pressure. Thus we must continue to perfect our physical, outward forms of worship while also purifying our nufoos.