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Ahmad H
06-25-2013, 09:14 PM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
Not sure who the poet is, but just for clarification, no human is, or can be, the master of creation, no matter how good his deeds or how strong his love for Allah. Only Allah is the master of creation.
You are correct that only Allah is the Master of creation, but you completely missed the point of the poem unfortunately. This poet spoke of how he aligned his will with Allah's Will, by following His teachings to mankind and implementing them completely erasing his own self ego. He became so close that his very self became erased, and Allah became his sight with which he saw, his hands with which he grasped, his feet with which he walked, inch by inch, cubit by cubit. Very much in line with that famous Hadith from Bukhari about Fana' (annihilation) in Allah.

He meant that the creation becomes the servant of His servant, under the command and permission granted by Allah to the extent to which He allows. For example, Hazrat Dawud (as) had the wind at his command, so did Hazrat Sulayman (as). Isa (as) could give life by the permission of Allah, Ibrahim (as) gave life to a dead bird by the permission of Allah, Musa (as) struck the sea with his rod and it split into two, Rasul-e-Karim (saw) split the moon into two when he pointed to it and moved a portion behind the mountain, he threw a handful of dust which bewildered a whole army, etc. Especially with this last example, Allah explains this by saying that it wasn't Rasul-e-Karim (saw) who threw, but it was Allah Who threw (8:17). Thus, the dust which worked that miracle, was done as a servant of His servant, but it was the action of Allah in reality. So there is a deep significance behind this.

No one can reach this level that the Prophets did. But the meaning is all the same. The poet explained the beauty of Allah's Mastery. No one in reality is a master, unless they submit to their Master. The creation is always under Allah's Mastery, but Allah allows the creation to become the servant of His servant whenever He wishes to do so. God makes things possible for someone very close to Him that are not possible for others. It isn't magic, it isn't a superhuman ability, it is something Allah grants to those who love Him, and then He in return loves them and provides for them ways out of everything.

So nothing is in conflict with Allah's being the Master of creation. The poet says clearly that he became the master when Allah was his Master. Either he is completely crazy or he hit the nail on the head about a subject which very few seldom reflect on.
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Insaanah
08-25-2013, 08:22 PM
:salam:

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
Very much in line with that famous Hadith from Bukhari about Fana' (annihilation) in Allah.
There is no thing such as annihilation in Allah, in Islam. None of us becomes one with Allah after destruction of one's ego. We have to be careful in making statements such as these. Such concepts are found in Buddhism "Nirvana", and in Hindu reincarnation.

As in Hinduism the aim is unity with the world soul, with certain groups of Muslims, the ultimate goal is dissolution of the ego (fanaa) and wusool, the union/unification of the human soul with Allah.

This is a concept Alien to Islam as the Prophet :saws: left it for us, and were any soul to be united with Allah's, none could be better than his.

Those who feel Allah's presence at all times, perform their faraa'id, do a host of voluntary acts, and their life conforms to sharee'ah, are the ones referred to in the hadeeth. It does not refer to dissolution of the ego or uniting with Allah.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah () said, "Allah, the Exalted, has said: 'I will declare war against him who treats with hostility a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary prayers or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) until I love him, (so much so that) I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me something, I will surely give him, and if he seeks My Protection (refuge), I will surely protect him".

[Al-Bukhari]
The true walee of Allah would only hear, see, grasp and walk what is lawful, while conspicuously avoiding all the haraam and whatever leads towards it. This is the only true goal worth dedicating ones life to. This goal cannot be reached except in the way laid down in Quran and hadeeth, which takes me back to the ayat I quoted, 3:31.

This hadeeth is also worth bearing in mind:

On the authority of Abu Najeeh al-’Irbaad ibn Saariyah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) gave us a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and tears came to our eyes. So we said, “O Messenger of Allah! It is as though this is a farewell sermon, so counsel us.” He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “I counsel you to have taqwa (fear) of Allah [...] so keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the rightly guided caliphs), those who guide to the right way. Cling to it stubbornly [literally: with your molar teeth]. Beware of newly invented matters [in the religion], for verily every bidah (innovation) is misguidance.” It was related by Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi, who said that it was a good and sound hadeeth. (part of a longer hadeeth in 40 hadith Nawawi)
May Allah help us all to attain that goal, ameen.
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Nur Student
08-25-2013, 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
There is no thing such as annihilation in Allah, in Islam. None of us becomes one with Allah after destruction of one's ego.
I don't think we should take everything literally, Sister. We all know what is meant by "fana' fi'r-Rasool" or "fana' fillah". It is to abandon the desires of our evil-commanding souls (nafs) and to follow the path of Qur'an and Sunnah. So, yes they are concepts used in Islam.

If we take everything literally, then how can we explain the ayahs mentioning Allah's hand, or throne? And many others as well as hundreds of hadiths using mutasha'bihat (comparisons and similitude)?
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Ahmad H
08-26-2013, 12:36 AM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
There is no thing such as annihilation in Allah, in Islam. None of us becomes one with Allah after destruction of one's ego. We have to be careful in making statements such as these. Such concepts are found in Buddhism "Nirvana", and in Hindu reincarnation.

As in Hinduism the aim is unity with the world soul, with certain groups of Muslims, the ultimate goal is dissolution of the ego (fanaa) and wusool, the union/unification of the human soul with Allah.

This is a concept Alien to Islam as the Prophet left it for us, and were any soul to be united with Allah's, none could be better than his.
The verse I quoted was:

8:17 "It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: when thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah's..."
(Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation)

And let us consider this verse:

48:10 Verily those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is over their hands: then any one who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and any one who fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah,- Allah will soon grant him a great Reward.
(Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation)

So why did you say that becoming annihilated in Allah is an alien concept to Islam when it is clearly mentioned in the Qur'an? I don't think this concept is alien to Islam, but it is alien to you and thus you think that what you know is all there is to know about Islam. If that is the premise, then you are mistaken. This concept of Fana' is not alien to Islam, but it is something which has existed for centuries.

Here is why you are wrong to think it is alien, when we say "I am trying to get closer to God", does that mean we are trying to physically get close to God? No. It means we are trying to get closer to God in a spiritual sense. So what difference is there in saying "I am one with God", as that would imply that person has reached the goal in getting close to God? Again, this does not mean we are saying we have physically become one with God, it means we have annihilated our own ego, thus we have reached the goal of getting close to God.

Hinduism and Buddhism do not even speak of God when they speak of Nirvana. Hinduism speaks of oneness with everything. Hindus also either believe in one God or infinite gods. Buddhists are all but atheist. Thus, nothing about Fana fillah has anything to do with what you stated.

And yes, the Holy Prophet (saw) was the best example, and if anyone was to become united with Allah it was him (saw). In fact, verse 8:17 says this, and it says that about the Muslims who fought the disbelievers as well. It is as clear as day that verse 8:17 is speaking about this. Verse 33:21 tells us that in the Prophet of Allah (saw) is the best example. There he is, the one who became so close to God that his actions were His actions.

None of this is putting any anthropomorphic qualities to Allah. The nature of this closeness with God is something beyond our comprehension. The people who achieve this are pleased with Allah, and similarly Allah is pleased with them. It is a beautiful concept. Should you have any doubts then please discuss it. I am all ears.
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Nur Student
08-26-2013, 10:54 AM
Originally Posted by Ahmad H
and thus you think that what you know is all there is to know about Islam.
She didn't say that. We shouldn't make the discussions personal. We are here to help one another, and learn from one another. (I hope I am mistaken. If so, I am sorry!)

Ma'assalam!
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Ahmad H
08-26-2013, 11:13 AM
Originally Posted by Nur Student
She didn't say that. We shouldn't make the discussions personal.
I wasn't making it personal. What I wrote may sound harsh, but it wasn't meant to come out that way.
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loveofgod
08-26-2013, 12:57 PM
Where is that poem? Perhaps there is truth in it, perhaps there isn't. But people can't make up their minds about its truthfulness or falseness if it is deleted. I don't agree with everything that is being said about the poem but there are some important things from the posts of Ahmad H that I have learned. Things I didn't know before.
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Insaanah
09-10-2013, 08:02 PM
:salam:

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
8:17 "It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: when thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah's..."
(Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation)

And let us consider this verse:

48:10 Verily those who plight their fealty to thee do no less than plight their fealty to Allah: the Hand of Allah is over their hands: then any one who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and any one who fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah,- Allah will soon grant him a great Reward.
(Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation)

So why did you say that becoming annihilated in Allah is an alien concept to Islam when it is clearly mentioned in the Qur'an?
This concept is not mentioned anywhere in the Qur'an and certainly not in the ayaat quoted.

Taking just the first ayah quoted, Tafseer ibn Katheer says:

Allah states that He creates the actions that the servants perform and that whatever good actions they take, it is He Who should be praised for them, for He directed and helped them perform these actions.

(You killed them not, but Allah killed them.) meaning, it is not because of your power and strength that you killed the pagans, who were many while you were few. Rather, it is He Who gave you victory over them.

Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, states that victory does not depend on numbers or collecting weapons and shields. Rather, victory is from Him, Exalted He is.

Allah then mentioned the handful of sand that His Prophet threw at the disbelievers during the day of Badr, when he went out of his bunker. While in the bunker, the Prophet invoked Allah humbly and expressing his neediness before Allah. He then threw a handful of sand at the disbelievers and said, (Humiliated be their faces.) He then commanded his Companions to start fighting with sincerity and they did. Allah made this handful of sand enter the eyes of the idolators, each one of them were struck by some of it and it distracted them making each of them busy. Allah said, (And you threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw.)

Therefore, it is Allah Who made the sand reach their eyes and busied them with it, not you (O Muhammad) .
http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?opt...1558&Itemid=63

Maariful Qur'an, by Mufti Shafi Usmani says:

On the day of the confrontation at Badr, says the report, when the armed force of one thousand men of Makkah entered into the valley from behind the cliff, it did not hide its contempt for Muslims being low in numbers and weak in combat fitness. And on top of it, it came waxing proud over its numbers and strength, betraying great arrogance. At that time, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him raised his hands of prayer saying: Ya Allah! Here come Your beliers, the Quraysh of Makkah, all proud and arrogant. The promise of victory You have made to me, let that promise be fulfilled soon.' (Ruh al-Bayan) Thereupon, angel Jibra'il came and said: 'You take a handful of dust and throw it towards the army of the enemy.' He did what he was asked to do. And according to a report of Ibn Abi Hatim based on a narration of Ibn Zayd, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him picked up a handful of dust and pebbles thrice; the first he threw towards the right of the army, the second towards the left, and the third towards the centre. The outcome was that these one to three handfuls of dust and pebbles were Divinely spread out miraculously all over them, so much so that not one man from the force was left without having received part of this dust and these pebbles over his eyes and face. Naturally, this caused a rampage in the army. Muslims pursued them. The angels were with them, fighting and killing. (Mazhari, Ruh)
Finally, some fighting men from the opposing side were killed, some were taken prisoners, the rest ran away and the battle was won by the Muslims.
This great victory was achieved by Muslims in the background which was initially full of dismay and hopelessness. So, when they returned from the battlefield, they started talking about it. The Companions got busy relating their deeds on the battlefield. Revealed thereupon was this verse: (So, you did not kill them, but Allah killed them - 17) through which they were instructed not to wax proud over their effort and deed, for that which happened there was not simply the outcome of their personal effort and deed. In fact, it was purely and simply the fruit of the help and support given by Allah Ta'ala - and the enemies killed at their hands were not really killed by them, rather, they were killed by Allah Ta'ala.
Similarly, addressing the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him, it was said: (And you did not throw when you threw, but Allah did throw). It means that the specific outcome of the act of throwing, whereby it would reach the eyes of every fighting man in the enemy force and frighten them all, was not the direct effect of 'his' throwing. It was, in fact, the perfect power of Allah Ta'ala which generated the format of this situation.

Certainly valuable for Muslims - more valuable than their victory in Jihad - was this instruction which disengaged their minds from means and tied it up with the master-provider of all means, and through it, saved them from falling into the trap of pride and arrogance which generally intoxicates victorious nations.
http://www.classicalislamgroup.com/i...eer/s8-v15to19

These ayaat are nothing to do with fanaa or people/nafs being annihilated in Allah. It is to do with the help and support of Allah, at a time when the believers would not have been able to achieve that outcome on their own. And to keep then in check from thinking the victory was as a result of their own efforts. But the prophet :saws: was not annihilated in any sense, nor unified with Allah, nor oblivious to everything else but divine love, nor oblivious to the presence of others, or in a heightened state of ecstasy due to repressing one's desires or any other kind of description of fanaa.

It is a concept unknown to the Prophet :saws:, to the sahaabah.

Interestingly, different Sufis have created and taken this concept and defined it in different ways - pleasure at what Allah decrees, or elimination of lowly attributes of the flesh, dissolution of the ego til the soul sees/unites with Allah. However it is defined, the concept originated with Sufis, and the natural progression of fanaa, according to some Sufis, is a stage where after the ego is destroyed, the soul becomes so holy and so full of divine love, that it becomes unaware of itself, sees Allah, and some believe becomes one with Him. There are as well, various ways proposed of achieving fanaa, including zikr exercises which also involve moving the body to the point where an individual becomes unaware of anything else, almost in an intoxicated trance like state, thinking that somehow he has achieved the ultimate divine love. Such is not from the teachings of the Prophet :saws:. And union or unification of the soul with Allah, is of course, is shirk. Any concept, that can lead to shirk, should be avoided.

The aim is not to annihilate the nafs, but to train, discipline and purify it. This is why there are no prophetic duaas asking for annihilation of the nafs, but there are duaas for purification of the nafs, such as this beautiful one:

اللهم آت نفسي تقواها، وزكها أنت خير من زكاها، أنت وليها ومولاها

O Allah! Grant me the sense of piety and purify my soul as You are the Best to purify it. You are its Guardian and its Protecting Friend.
Riyadussaliheen
Sunnah.com reference : Book 17, Hadith 15
Arabic/English book reference : Book 17, Hadith 1479

O Allah, make my soul obedient and purify it, for You are the best One to purify it, You are its Guardian and Lord.
Sunan an Nasai
Reference : Sunan an-Nasa'i 5458
In-book reference : Book 50, Hadith 31
English translation : Vol. 6, Book 50, Hadith 5460

O Allah, grant to my soul the sense of righteousness and purify it, for Thou art the Best Purifier thereof. Thou art the Protecting Friend thereof, and Guardian thereof.
Sahih Muslim
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 35, Hadith 6568
Arabic reference : Book 49, Hadith 7081

Therefore we should avoid using this term annihilation or fanaa as much as we can, and simply stick to what we were commended and commanded to do, (Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." (3:31), following the Quran and sunnah to the best of our ability. With regards to obeying the prophet :saws:, we need to be careful that we do not try to cross bounds, thinking that we are doing something meritous. This hadeeth is very important to bear in mind to help keep us in check:

Narrated Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him):

A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet :saws: asking how the Prophet :saws: worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, "Where are we from the Prophet :saws: as his past and future sins have been forgiven." Then one of them said, "I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever." The other said, "I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast." The third said, "I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever." Allah's Messenger :saws: came to them and said, "Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 5063
In-book reference: Book 67, Hadith 1
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 1

If we want to get close to Allah, if want to achieve His love, if we want to stay away from evil, if we want to be God conscious in everything we do and say as to whether this action will please our creator, then that is called taqwaa, not fanaa. The Prophet :saws: never set fanaa or any description thereof as a goal to achieve. So let us not get distracted off the side by terms such as fanaa, and instead try to have as much taqwaa as we can, to have ihsaan, knowing that Allah is watching us. When we try our best to achieve this, there is no room for fanaa, because it goes without saying one will try to curb one's wrong desires as part of the process.

So many Qur'anic verses begin, "O you who believe, ittaqullah", "ya ayyuhallatheena aamanuttaqullah", "Oh you believe, have taqwa, fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared."

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
So what difference is there in saying "I am one with God", as that would imply that person has reached the goal in getting close to God?
It is precisely because of wording such as this that Christianity has become the shirk it is today. Even the Prophet :saws: never claimed to be one with God, in whatever way. Then how can a common man have the audacity to make such a comment with far reaching consequences? Let alone the fact that any person can really think he is one with God. Even the Prophet :saws: feared his standing in front of Allah.

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
Again, this does not mean we are saying we have physically become one with God, it means we have annihilated our own ego, thus we have reached the goal of getting close to God.
The prophet :saws: made no such recommendations to annihilate the ego/nafs, but to purify it within the framework of obeying Allah and obeying the Prophet :saws:, and to have taqwa. Being God conscious and fearing Allah in everything, knowing that He is watching and always acting accordingly, and always wanting Allah's pleasure and wanting to please Him and not wanting to do anything that may displease Him, and trying not to give into one's desires, is not annihilation, but taqwaa, ihsaan and purification of the soul.

Let us all stick to what we need to do, and what the Prophet :saws: told us to do, to obey Allah and His messenger :saws: as per the Qur'an and sunnah, and the hadeeth mentioned above.

Originally Posted by Ahmad H
And yes, the Holy Prophet (saw) was the best example, and if anyone was to become united with Allah it was him (saw). In fact, verse 8:17 says this, and it says that about the Muslims who fought the disbelievers as well. It is as clear as day that verse 8:17 is speaking about this. Verse 33:21 tells us that in the Prophet of Allah (saw) is the best example. There he is, the one who became so close to God that his actions were His actions.
I am afraid you are making your own interpretations of what verses are referring to, as mentioned before.

May Allah help us all to do what will please Him, ameen.

And Allah knows best.
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Ahmad H
09-10-2013, 10:02 PM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
I am afraid you are making your own interpretations of what verses are referring to, as mentioned before.
I understand your viewpoints, but you are basing my being wrong from only two scholars, Mufti Muhammad Shafi and Ibn Kathir. While these two are very well-known scholars, this concept is not mentioned by them. It does not mean it is fabricated or nonsense.

Hazrat Ibn Arabi (ra) was one of the Sufis who spoke on this concept, along with Hazrat Junayd Baghdadi (ra) and many other Sufi scholars. These men were pious individuals. In the case of Junayd Baghdadi (ra), he was a Qadi who passed Fatwas in Islam, considered to be a very reliable scholar of Fiqh in Islam. On websites such as sunnipath.com you can read about how Ibn Arabi has been misunderstood and that despite Fatwas made against him, he was a very pious individual who spoke on a different level which some scholars did not understand, thus they passed Fatwas against him.

These Sufis spoke on this concept, so I don't rule it out for that reason. After looking into these early scholars and their level of knowledge and piety, I decided not to dismiss this concept.

As for being one with God, there is no harm in this because it is not a physical concept. It is a spiritual concept. Just because two Tafsirs have not mentioned this, does not mean we should dismiss it. Also, because it might be foreign to you, you should read up on it. These sufis based their knowledge of God strictly upon the Holy Qur'an, the Sunnah, the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (saw) and the four Schools of thought in Islam (Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i).

Therefore, as much as I would have agreed from your standpoint on this issue if I had only referred to two Tafsirs, I cannot. If other scholars recognized that the Nafs should be eliminated, then it can be. The Holy Prophet (saw) knew Allah better than all of us. I do not claim to have access to that knowledge. But the pious men who passed away knew this better than I do, therefore, I do not discount what they have said.

An example I can point out to you of why I am careful not to disregard concepts, even which may be beyond my reach of understanding, is when I read Imam Sirhindi (ra), explain that there have been many Adams (as) based upon the Mi'raj experience of Hazrat Ibn Arabi (ra). I heard about this experience before, but when I realized that he, along with other Mujaddideen such as Hazrat Jalaluddin Suyuti (ra) refer to the opinions and explanations of Ibn Arabi (ra) just like others do, then I understood that he is not isolated in his opinions, but his views are accepted by others as well.

Perhaps I will cool off on mentioning these concepts in the future, though. i see not everyone is familiar with these and some even go so far as to deny all Sufis of any and all credibility. I understand your views because I am familiar with your sources for information. But I have focused a lot of time researching on this in the past and I do not see any Shirk in this. Allah is always One, and He is unlike anything of His creation, thus our spiritually being One with Him is only our nearness to Him in faith. I think this is very different from Christian views, but that could be another discussion.

May Allah reward you for your endurance in His faith and your cautiousness in avoiding wrongs. May He reward you immensely for being sincere to Him and honest in your responses. May He reward your intentions and bless you and keep you guided in His path, the path of those righteous who have gone before us. Ameen.

Wassalaam.
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~Zaria~
09-11-2013, 12:37 PM
:salam:


This is a beautiful discourse regarding annihilation of the self, by Moulana Yunus Patel (ra) - taken from Aashiq-e-Sawdiq (The True Lover of Allah):


THE SPEECH OF THE HEART

.... “An Aashiq (ardent lover of Allah) is that servant of Allah who has divorced his mortal self from his carnal desires…” (i.e. He has annihilated himself).
Having recognised the true nature of his nafs (i.e self/ ego); its inherent evil and baseness, the true lover of Allah divorces himself and severs any kind of ‘friendly’ relationship which he had had with his nafs. In turn, he establishes his relationship and friendship with Allah Ta’ala as it should be. He recognises Allah as his Master and himself as just a slave of Allah.

Rasulullah :saws: has informed us that our deadliest enemy is our nafs. And the nafs, without having undergone any reformation, is evil, corrupt and destructive.

However, when hidayat (guidance) and taufeeq (Divine assistance) knocks at the door of the heart and the heart opens to sincere submission to Allah Ta’ala, then there follows recognition, and progression until the ultimate stage of annihilation is reached.

THE STAGES OF THE NAFS

In the Qur`aan Sharief, Allah Ta’ala makes mention, in the words of Hazrat Yusuf (‘Alaihis Salaam) :

“…VERILY THE NAFS IS A GREAT COMMANDER OF EVIL… [SURAH YUSUF 12 : 53]

Since the inclination and pleasure of the nafs lies in desires and lusts, it thus invites one to indulge in sin. In fact, the nafs wallows in self-deception, considering itself worthy of submission.

In disposition and temperament, the nafs resembles Fir’aun (who had declared himself to be God) and Shaytaan is comparable to his right hand, Haamaan (who had encouraged, supported and endorsed the claims of Fir’aun). Hence, on the advice and encouragement of Shaytaan, the nafs imposes demands and expects that we accommodate, oblige and serve it.

Only with mujahada (striving) and Islahun-Nafs (reformation) does it progress to the nafs which is ‘Lawwamah’.
This nafs has also been mentioned by Allah Ta’ala in the Qur`aan Sharief. Allah Ta’ala states :

“AND I SWEAR BY THE SOUL THAT REPROACHES AT EVIL.” [SURAH QIYAMAH 75 : 2]

Whilst the nafs which is ‘Lawwamah’ is inclined to the pleasure of sins, it is also given to the obedience of Allah. Thus, when a person succumbs to evil, he is remorseful and regretful and reproaches himself on his weaknesses. He has a conscience that troubles him.

However, with a little more effort, [and this too under the guidance of a Sheikh who is learned, experienced and pious] the nafs will sooner than later have no option but to relinquish its illusory ‘throne’ and ‘crown’, and its fantasy ‘kingdom’ and adopt its rightful garb of a slave.

With the Fadhl (grace) of Allah Ta’ala, such a nafs becomes ‘Mutma`innah’ – content and satisfied with complete obedience to the Ahkaam (orders) of Allah.
NAFS-E-MUTMA`INNAH


In Tafseer Mazhari, Qadhi Thanaullah (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), defines this Nafs-e-Mutma`innah as :

v The nafs which enjoys security from the Azaab (punishment) of Allah Ta’ala.
v The nafs which has recognised Allah Ta’ala and as such does not enjoy any satisfaction except in the Zikr (remembrance) of Allah. It does not want to be distanced from Allah Ta’ala for even a second.

Like the fish that enjoys satisfaction and comfort only deep down, in the depths of the ocean, so too does this nafs enjoy satisfaction only in the depths of the ocean of the Qurb (proximity) and Muhabbat (Love) of Allah Ta’ala.

Such a nafs will be called upon by Allah Ta’ala at the time of death as:

“O (YOU) THE ONE IN (COMPLETE) REST AND SATISFACTION! COME BACK TO YOUR LORD, WELL PLEASED (YOURSELF)AND WELL PLEASING UNTO HIM! ENTER YOU, THEN, AMONG MY HONOURED SLAVES, AND ENTER YOU MY PARADISE!” [SURAH FAJR 89 : 27/28/29/30]

Whilst these are the stages traversed to achieve ‘Annihilation’, it should be understood that this is most easily and successfully obtained with the suhbat (company) and direction of the Ahlullah.

‘ABDIYAT

Thus, the Aashiq of Allah becomes the personification and embodiment of the Hadith : “Die before you die.” when he annihilates himself (i.e. his nafs) and submits himself in totality to Allah Ta’ala…when he chooses the hukm (order) of Allah and the pleasure of Allah over the hukm of his nafs and the pleasure of his nafs.

He then regards himself as nothing; a non-entity. As such, at every given moment, there is ‘Abdiyat (servitude). This then is proof of his love for Allah Ta’ala.

Hazrat Ibraheem bin Adham (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), a great Wali of Allah Ta’ala, once mentioned having learnt the method and etiquette of servitude from a slave he had purchased.

Hazrat Ibraheem bin Adham (Rahmatullah ‘alai h) asked the slave: “What is your name ?”

The slave replied : “That which you give to me.”

He then asked : “What would you like to eat ?”

The slave replied : “Whatever you give me to eat.”

He then asked : “What would you like to drink ?”

The slave answered : “Whatever you give me to drink.”

He asked : “What would you like to wear ?”

The slave replied : “Whatever you give me to wear.”

He then asked : “Don’t you have any desire ?”

The slave in turn asked : “What does a slave have to do with desire ?”

We, as the servants and slaves of Allah, should also take lesson.

This is the reality of servitude.

FANAA

My Sheikh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum) mentions in some poetry :

“True ‘Abdiyat is to die and to live in The pleasure of my Master.”

A person once asked Hazrat : “How are you?”

Hazrat replied : “I am living and I am dying …. I am dying and I am living.” – meaning :

When any desire which is displeasing to my Beloved Master, surfaces within my heart, then for the pleasure of my Beloved Allah, I sacrifice, with pleasure, that
desire. Thus, do I ‘die’ for Him. On this ‘fanaa’, He blesses me with ‘life’.

Initially, the Saalik experiences some difficulty in rendering the sacrifices of his heart, for the pleasure of Allah. His heart is, at such times, expressive of : “O my Allah, Your pleasure before my pleasure.”

However, on the lofty plane of fanaa, having experienced the sweet pleasure of the pleasure of Allah, there is happiness with every decision of Allah Ta’ala, and an ecstasy accompanying every sacrifice rendered for Allah Ta’ala. The expression of the heart is then :“O my Beloved Allah, Your pleasure is my pleasure.”

ELEVATION

When such a condition subdues the Aashiq of Allah, he forgets himself in his Love for Allah Ta’ala.

Until the person does not forget his own self in the Love of Allah, he is not a lover of Allah. As long as a person maintains his own position and considers himself to be a person worthy and deserving of honour, dignity and respect, he has not recognized the Greatness of Allah Ta’ala and thus cannot be a
true lover of Allah.

Since he has not annihilated himself, he is in reality a lover of himself.

When a person does not consider himself one before whom everyone should stand with respect, shake his hand and kiss his forehead, and when he adopts humility and humbleness as the garb of his heart and character, then Allah Ta’ala puts his respect into the hearts of people. On his sincere servitude to
Allah Ta’ala, others then wish to meet him, shake his hand and even serve him.

Following annihilation is elevation. Hazrat Umar (j) had related a Hadith from Rasulullah :saws: : “He who is humble for Allah’s sake will be exalted by Allah, for though he considers himself lowly, he is great in the eyes of men; but he who is proud will be abased by Allah, for though he considers himself great, he is lowly in the eyes of men to such an extent that he is of less value in their estimation than a dog or a
pig.”

The pre-condition is that this humility be for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and not so that one may gain recognition and honour amongst people. This humility manifests itself when a person recognizes the Greatness and Grandeur and Absolute Power and Majesty of Allah Ta’ala.

My Sheikh describes this condition of annihilation very aptly :

When the sun of Allah’s Greatness rises within the heart then the stars of takabbur (pride), riyaa (show) and ujub (vanity) wane in its light and become non-existent.

STORY OF THE RAINDROP

Sheikh Saadi (Rahmatullah ‘alaih) mentions a beautiful story, in his Bustaan, of a raindrop which fell from a spring cloud.

Seeing the magnitude and vast expanse of the ocean, it was ashamed. Reflecting and introspecting, it thought : “Where am I next to the sea ? Compared with it, I am extinct. I am nothing.”

In its contemplative and pensive mood, it regarded itself with an eye of disdain. Whilst doing so, an oyster surfaced from the ocean and took the raindrop within the haven of its care. Destiny then shaped its course that eventually the raindrop became a renowned Royal pearl.

For its humility and humbleness, it found itself exalted. Its annihilation, made it existent.

Source



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Annihilation of the nafs is indeed a very real concept in Islam - for those who are ardently seeking love and closeness to Allah (subhnawataála).
The objective is islaah (reformation of ones heart) and complete obedience to the commands of Allah Taa'la and His Nabi (sallalahu alahi wasalam)

It would not be correct to group all sufis into one basket - while it is true, that there are many groups who have strayed from the teachings of Quraan and Sunnah and have introduced actions that are foreign to islam/ or are borrowed from other religions/ cultures, true Tasawwuf: "revolves around the purification of heart and soul, the reformation of the nafs (self / ego), developing intense love for Allah Ta’ala and a connection with Him, such that we submit to Him, with heart, mind, soul and body. The Qur`aan Sharief alludes toTazkiyya and Islaah a number of times." (Maulana Yunus Patel (ra) ).

In shaa Allah, we should all be striving to reach such a state - of true love and submission in our entirety, to our Creator.


:wa:
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