What is nafs?
I was not conscious where I was. That sharp pain brought me back to conscious. I did not know for how long I remained there unconscious. I opened my eyes and saw the clear blue sky and the glare of sun made my eyes shut again. The sun was too sharp and brutal to my eyes.
I put my arm on the eyes to protect them. I could feel the warm sand beneath me.
My chapping lips, dried without water, badly needed few drops of water to wet them. “Water!” I could hardly hear my plea. This time I was a bit louder “Water!”
I gathered my courage, tried to sit on my elbows, and lifted my head. All I could see was sand all around me. I was in the middle of nowhere. The scorching heat was melting the juice of my brains. I forgot the situation I was in and frantically looking around to see if I had anything to soak my drying throat. It was like thorns grown in my gullet.
There was no flask around me to quench my thirst. I was longing for chilled drink. Perhaps this was the beginning of end or I was having the worst nightmare of my life.
“Is it real?” I shook my head in disbelief.
“No! No! This can’t be”
“But then what happened?”
“Where am I?”
“Why am I here in the heart of waterless ocean? Not even a single drop of water. What the hell happened to me?”
The realization of being alone suddenly went through my soul and I shuddered. I was scared like a goat about to be sacrificed to please the angry gods. “Am I being reprimanded or is it the price I pay for my sins?”
This is exactly how the person with uncontrollable nafs or worldly desires feels at some point of his life. The cruel nafs or the heart full of desires can never allow the inner self to contemplate. It only brings shame and the person to unwanted ill situations. Nafs is like a wild horse and unless you put the reins on it and tame it – it goes on running wild without knowing what its master is going through. It will drag you to the deserted land of sand where you will long for a drop of water. Unless you harness the horse with firm hold on the reins, it will not stop but drag you towards unknown dangers.
Your nafs or heart can be purified with a single drop of tear from your eyes in repentance. You can put reins of Shira on your nafs and tame it strongly by following the Quran and Sunah. Once it is tamed, it will become your slave and take you towards the right destination. The above nightmare can turn into a reality and the materialistic desires can lead you to the middle of nowhere.