In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
This1 concerns one point contained in the verse,
The [human] soul is certainly prone to evil,(12:53)
and in the Hadith the meaning of which is, “Your worst enemy is your soul.”2
The person who loves himself – if his evil-commanding soul has not been purified – will love no one else. Even if he does apparently, he does not do so sincerely, but only for the pleasure of it or for some good he receives. He always tries to make himself liked. Also, he never ascribes faults to himself; he defends and exonerates himself like a lawyer. He praises himself, exaggerating and even lying, showing himself to be free of fault, as though sanctifying himself, and according to his degree receives a slap from the verse,
Who takes as his god his desires.(25:43; 45:23)
His self-praise and efforts to make himself liked have the reverse effect, for he attracts contempt and is treated coldly. He also loses sincerity in his actions that look to the hereafter and they become mixed with hypocrisy. He is defeated by the emotions and desires of the soul, which are blind to the consequences, do not think of results, and are obsessed with present pleasure; he serves a year’s prison sentence due to one hour’s pleasure demanded by his emotions, which have gone astray. He pays ten years’ penalty on account of one minute’s pride or revenge. Quite simply like a silly child who sells the portion of the Qur’an he is learning to buy a single sweet, in order to flatter his emotions, gratify his senses, and satisfy his appetites, he makes his diamond-like good deeds the means to egotistical pleasures as insignificant as fragments of glass, and he loses out in profitable works.
O God! Preserve us from the evil of the soul and of Satan, and from the evil of jinn and men.
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This piece is beneficial for everyone.
al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, i, 143; al-Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din, iii, 4.