Rifai .org

Rifai Sufi Order Web Site

2.Nafsi Lawwama – The Blaming Self

This is the second step in the development of man, when man becomes aware of his actions, is able to differentiate right from wrong, and regrets his wrong doings. Yet he is not able to totally stop doing wrong because it is very difficult to break the habits of his previous state. He tries to follow the obligations of his religion and he prays, fasts, pays alms and tries to behave properly. But he wants to be known as a reformed person. He publicizes his piety, his good deeds, and expects appreciation from people. This makes his behavior hypocritical. Sometimes he realizes this, regrets it, and tries to change. Hypocrisy is the principal danger in this state.

There are two other grave dangers as well: arrogance and anger.

Every little attempt to be good, compared to the previous state, seems like a major achievement. So we think we are the best, and get angry with others who do not seem to respect us. Arrogance, hypocrisy, anger, intolerance, and lying to ourselves can overtake us.

At the level of Nafsi Lawwama the devil injects his character of arrogance into our veins and whispers into our ear: “You are as good as your teachers now; not only do you know as much as they do, the way you behave is better. If they were able to apply what they teach in their own lives they wouldn’t be half what you are. You don’t need their preaching or their advice. Now let people see your wisdom and your deeds so that you will be an example to them.” Not only the whisperings of the devil, but all worldly life is against the seeker at this stage.

It is a self that is in constant fluctuation between obedience and disobedience. One time it is heedless and falls and another it is aware and resists.

This is the natural station which we start from at birth and from there we descend or ascend. Its sign is the fluctuation between the characteristics of the people of this world and the people of the next world. It is not in the same base condition as the Commanding Self but the two desires of immortality and sovereignty are still active in it although in a much reduced or weakened condition. This is the first stage of salvation for the self and the first step toward its purification and success.