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Why Was The Nafs Created? (Part 2)

On the other hand, pitying all men, He created 'aql (reason, wisdom) in them. He also sent down commands and prohibitions so that everyone could stop following his nafs [1], control it, avoid its harms, and thereby live in comfort. The 'aql is a power which examines and distinguishes the good and bad influences coming from the brain, satan, and the nafs. During this process, if it can choose the good, it is called ''Aql-i salim'.

Allahu ta'ala, by means of sending prophets, also informed His born servants of what is good and useful, what is bad and harmful, and that all the desires of the nafs are bad. The aql can discriminate between the desires of the nafs and the things which were determined to be useful by the Prophets, and communicate this realization to the heart. If the heart prefers the thoughts which came from the aql, the desires of nafs are not fulfilled; that is, you will not let your limbs do that action.

If one prefers and wishes to do the deeds which are said to be good according to the Shari'at, one will attain happiness. The process of preferring and wishing good or evil with the heart is called 'Kasb. ' Human limbs of movement depend on the brain, and the brain depends on the heart. They act compatibly with the orders of the heart. The heart is a centre wherein all the influences coming from the sense organs, the spirit, the nafs, and Satan are accumulated.

Therefore, if the heart follows the 'aql, creation of the nafs will not prevent people from attaining eternal blessings. It is the greatest battle against the nafs for the heart not to be deceived by it and not to follow it. Allahu ta'ala declares that He will give great degrees in Paradise to those who do not follow their nafses. Nafs causes people to attain a lot of rewards and to become superior to angels.

GLOSSARY
[1] nafs: a force in man which wants him to harm himself religiously; an-nafs al-ammara. A negative force within man prompting him to do evil. (Nafs-i ammara). Nafs is ammara by creation, that is, it always wishes evil and harmful deeds to be done. It is reluctant to obey the Shari'at. The nafs of a man who obeys the Shari'at and makes progress in the way of tasawwuf becomes mutmainna. It wishes to obey the Shari'at.