What type of nafs do you have?
Read the following descriptions of the different types of nafs and ask yourself "what type of Nafs do I have?" If it is the first one, make dua to Allah (swt) to guide you to the Haqq.
1. Nafs al-Ammara Bissu' (The Soul which Commands):
This is the Nafs that brings punishment itself. By its very nature it directs its owner towards every wrong action. No one can get rid of its evil without the help from Allah. As Allah refers to this Nafs in the story of the wife of al-Aziz (Zulaikha) and Prophet Yusuf (s):
"The (human) soul is certainly prone to evil" (12:53).
Allah also says:
"And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure; but Allah purifies whomever He wishes, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing." (24:21)
This Nafs resides in the world of the senses and is dominated by earthly desires (Shahwat) and passions….
Evil lies hidden in the Nafs and it is this that leads it on to do wrong. If Allah were to leave the servant alone with his self, the servant would be destroyed between its evil and the evil that it craves; but if Allah grants him success and help, then he will survive. We seek refuge in Allah the Almighty, both from the evil in ourselves and from the evil of our actions.
2. Nafs al-Lawwama (the Soul that Blames):
Allah refers to this Nafs,
"And I do call to witness the Nafs that blames" (75:2).
This Nafs is conscious of its own imperfections.
Hasan al-Basri said, "You always see the believer blaming himself and saying things like 'Did I want this? Why did I do that? Was this better than that?"….
3. Nafs al-Mutma`inna (the Soul at Peace):
Allah refers to this Nafs,
"O Self, in complete rest and satisfaction!" (89:27).
This Nafs is tranquil as it rests on the certitude of Allah.
Ibn Abbas ® said, "It is the tranquil and believing soul".
Al-Qatadah ® said, "It is the soul of the believer, made calm by what Allah has promised. Its owner is at rest and content with his knowledge of Allah's Names and Attributes, and with what He has said about Himself and His Messenger , and with what He has said about what awaits the soul after death: about the departure of the soul, the life in the Barzakh, and the events of the Day of Qiyamah which will follow. So much so that a believer such as this can almost see them with his own eyes. So he submits to the will of Allah and surrenders to Him contentedly, never dissatisfied or complaining, and with his faith never wavering. He does not rejoice at his gains, nor do his afflictions make him despair - for he knows that they were decreed long before they happened to him, even before he was created…."….
(Al-Tabari: Jami' al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, vol. 13, Bulaq 1323)
Imam Baghawi says,
"The Nafs al-Mutma`inna has an angel to help it, who assists and guides it. The angel casts good into the Nafs so that it desires what is good and is aware of the excellence of good actions. The angel also keeps the self away from wrong action and shows it the ugliness of bad deeds. All in all, whatever is for Allah and by him, always comes from the Soul which is at Peace.
The Nafs al-Ammara Bissu' has Shaytan as its ally. He promises it great rewards and gains, but casts falsehood into it. He invites it and entices the soul to do evil. He leads it on with hope after hope and presents falsehood to the soul in a form that it will accept and admire."
Ibn al-Qayyim also mentioned the states of Nafs:
"The Nafs is a single entity, although its state may change: from the Nafs al-Ammara, to the Nafs al-Lawwama, to the Nafs al-Mutma`inna, which is the final aim of perfection….
It has been said that the Nafs al-Lawwama is the one, which cannot rest in any one state. It often changes, remembers and forgets, submits and evades, loves and hates, rejoices and become sad, accepts and rejects, obeys and rebels.
Nafs al-Lawwama is also the Nafs of the believer….It has also been mentioned that the Nafs blames itself on the Day of Qiyamah - for every one blames himself for his actions, either his bad deeds, if he was one who had many wrong actions, or for his shortcomings, if he was one who did good deeds. All of this is accurate.
(Madarij as-Salikin fi Manazili Iyyaka Na'budu wa Iyyaka Nasta'in, vol. 1 pg. 308)