Why Was The Nafs Created?

The heart is a force existing in the piece of flesh which is (also) called heart (qalb). As for the soul; it occupies the whole body. When a heart wants to follow his nafs (a force in man which wants him to harm himself religously) and commit disbelief or sins, if Allahu ta'âlâ pities that person, He does not will him to commit disbelief and sins. So he cannot do them. If He does not pity him, He wills him to commit the sins and creates them, and then punishes him. Therefore, the reason why a man is drawn to torments and disasters is due to his own behavior; that is, he follows his nafs.

If Allahu ta'âlâ did not create the nafs, then people would have been free from being deceived. Nobody would have committed bad deeds and all would have gone to Paradise. Would it not be better?

The creation of the nafs is intended for man's living, multiplying and working in the world, and for their earning thawâb of Jihâd for the Hereafter. Allahu ta'âlâ created the nafs for many reasons.

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, 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 salîm'.

Allahu ta'âlâ, 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 Sharî'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 jihâd-i ekber with nafs for the heart not to be deceived by nafs and not to follow it. Allahu ta'âlâ declares that He will give great degrees in Paradise to those who make jihâd. Nafs causes people to attain the reward of jihâd and to become superior to angels.