THE PHASES NAFSU IN TASAWUF SCIENCE
Almost people who don’t understand about nafsu is the problem which appears along this time, so that most of them fall into things which is related to nafsu, where as society know feedback impact of nafsu, if we follow nafsu we will be far from Allah’s guide for avoiding hawa nafsu.
Therefore we should worship for example: Prayer, fasting, Koran-recite ( zikir) etc, and everything that can avoid ourselves from some kind disablement that Allah forbids us to follow hawa nafsu and propose us to repent if we have committed in violation of GOD’s law (maksiat).
In this paper , l will discuss about desire (nafsu) phases, and it’s rank and how do we control nafsu in order to be in high level.
1. The Meaning of Nafsu
Al-Nafs: This term of Arabic-Persia is not translation, considering variation meaning is very large, such as: essence (from an object) alive soul, physicist, spirit, mind, individual, desire, personal identity, self identity. Arabic language doesn’t have “Reflective Personal Pronoun” which is it’s place is moved by word ‘ain & nafs (himself and itself) in English language, so the term of al nafs science named “psychology” in Sufi’s books in the term of nafsu, usually refer to al nafs amara’ denotatively namely: human ego controlled by wicked character law soul, in this context that word usually indicates to the entire of body and human soul as submissive to egocentric ambition controlled by hawa nafsu or flesh.
In the other hand, nafsu mean’s soul etymologically in science tasawuf akhlak; nafsu is encouragement to human being to full fill their life need there, if we can’t control hawa nafsu so we will break the moral in ourselves because the source of moral damage happens in hawa nafsu, for example: measure, slander, etc.
That all refer to nafsu, therefore according to sufi, some one level is not from status and his rich but from the moral which is internalized by us, the essence of loving Allah, is to against nafsu.
So that the earlier steps to go in tasawuf, some one should have to do righteous deed and the high enough spiritual exercise it purpose to dominate the lust and determinate it in order that can arrive in the lowest step.
We are able to control hawa nafsu in takhalli, tahalli, tajalli stages:
Takhalli: The effort to clean the inner self from dependence character to world secular matter, this condition can be achieved by avoiding forms of violation and lose the bad encouragement.
Tahalli: Self decoration of accustoming the best characteristic. Such as: khauf, Ridha, Zuhud, Sabar, ect.
Tajalli: Meaning of this world was revealed by invisible light (nur ghaib) for heart.
If the soul has been filled by grains of moral and member of body has been accustomed to do something good in order to be unlock, so needs comprehension felling of GOD. Such as: munajat and dzikrul maut.
So that, Imam Ghozali divided nafsu in to three ranks in this book Ihya’ Ulumuddin:
1.) Nafsu Amarah
Soul tends to make the joy in characteristic oriented to the world, and this nafsu amarah always have bad deeds or something bad of this nafsu which motivate human being to do crime distract such as: doing bad deeds receive satisfaction.
وما أبرأ نفسى إن النفس لأمارة بالسوء إلا ما رحم ربي إن ربي غفور رحيم .
And I do not declare myself free, most surely (man’s) self is wont to command (him to do) evil, except such as my Lord has had mercy on, surely my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.
2.) Nafsu Lawwamah soul that conscious and enable to leave low deeds and always tempt to do something in order to rich high value happiness.
ولا أقسم بالنفس اللوامة.
Nay! I swear by the self-accusing soul .
3.) Nafsu Muthma’innah
Silent and peaceful soul, this nafsu include in the highest nafsu because this nafsu lies in righteous and truth and in this someone will always miss and desire to do, righteous deed.
يأيها النفس المطمئنة (27) إرجعي إلى ربك راضية مرضية (28) فادخلي فى عبادي (29 ) وادخلي جنتي (30)
(27) O soul that art at rest! (28) Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him), (29) So enter among My servants, (30) And enter into My garden.
According to Syaikh Hasan Al-Banjari Add some rank’s of nafsu they are nafsu:
After silence then getting pain full test (cobaan), but some one keep on patient and increasing his faith, so that person has reached Nafsu Rodhiyyah, nafsu with bestowing all of GOD decided to him.
After receiving and sincerely with God’s deed, so he turns for being bestowed by the God, whatever he wants to do bestowed in understanding if he has been protected from deed, which is not bestowed.
Nafsu Kamaliyyah: This is he perfect one where he has possessed ticked to the heaven, he has experienced far rove nafsu, he has possessed predicate as member of heavens.
2. The difference between nafsu and syahwat.
Attitude of human being is completed by hawa nafsu such as eating, drinking, etc. Nafsu is also mean as a motivation that move human being to attempt to achieve something, also the will of something to be dominated and usual it’s use with bad meaning and low, whereas in among tasawuf teacher, he teach to his follower that the real enemy of human being long life is his hawa nafsu.
Nafsu is enemy in self, whereas its part of human is useable material (jismullatif) it is part of body but it needs to be wasted because if its not wasted it is enemy. it will be wasted by part of self, so that so difficult to against hawa nafsu, nafsu is high way of Satan.
Nafsu is needed for human being, someone can be disappointed misfortune and can enter the hell. nafsu also can be tool for reaching happiness in the world before going to hereafter.
We can handcuff nafsu by using the way’s below (Riyadhah):
1.) Prevent nafsu through eat less.
2.) Worship intensively and continuity
3.) Asking high mark to Allah.
According to Jamaluddin Rahmat there are three kinds of hawa nafsu in our selves:
1.) Quwwatu Bahimiyyah (power of animal)
The desire to search material satisfaction
2.) Quwwatu Sab’iyyah (Power of wild Animal)
Something as attacking others in likes eating other right.
3.) Quwwatu Syaithaniyyah (Power of devil)
Power that always support to do crime.
Those are three power, if we can’t control them we will be like an animal in (spiritual/rohani) and human being in (material/jasmani) and something that excised in ourselves, that is from sprinkles from Allah power (Quwwatu Rabbaniyyah). it we need to control nafsu because the character of Hawa Nafsu itself is neutral and blessing from Allah, if we are usual process to right direction we will be good as well in contrary.
Generally, In human being’s body they are two elements that is so important in this life namely physic and spiritual. The physical element includes part of human’ body, such as: hand, head, foot and etc. and the part of spiritual element is something which is invisible by human being’s eyes. in Tasawuf science, it has been explained that spiritual elements is fulfilled with four organs, they are: zest, mind, heart, and soul, but in this good opportunity I would like to talk about zest (nafsu).
Naturally, Zest (nafsu) is something important for human being, and it gives big influencing in giving out of instructions issued to physic, so that why, zest is divided into two kinds there is good zest and bad zest.
According to Imam Ghazali zest (nafsu) is defined by two meanings. First, zest is the “soul of life or desire” and the second is the “earthly desires”. Based on those view of Al- Ghazali above, so, the concept of zest has multi-interpretations , the first one is zest as “dander”, it means that the zest can damage a human’s character (moral decadency), so that why, all actions which is produced by those characteristic, it will appear some bad things (bad) such as: steady, murder, corruption, and etc. Second is the “kelembutan ilahi” means the zest which can produce to our soul life in order to be achieved maqam ma’rifatullah. So that our soul can close to God clearly, and on the other hand, we can achieve a moral perfection which is become foundation of life.
In our life, we often hear the word zest and syahwat, actually both of them is rather same, but according to other views, those terms is distinguished between zest and lust (syahwat), lust defined by something which is tend to do bad action especially about human’s biological necessary (such as sex). And zest it self there is good zest and bad zest
the scholars of Sufi divides some level of zest, they are:
An- nafsu al-ammarat bi as-su.
There is an evidence that says (man ‘arafa nafsahu faqad’ arafa rabbah) “whoever who knows himself and he will know his GOD” thus are zest’s explanation which is could reach to be ma’rifatullah. Therefore, all things or actions which is impact to be good or bad action are depends on each of our soul.
The essence if someone want to assail journey to know Allah (makrifatullah) he must do some phases, that he must be able to control Hawa Nafsu, because nafsu is a resistance or hijab in our soul in reaching knowing Allah.
Activity of nafsu always tends so bad and sadistic that drawn in violation, sine, lust. Because when the soul of human being has thought about wishes, full of material add busyness with the world of sufi usually mention as a painful soul caused by thick soul darkness and forget to Allah and finally devil unlimited to tense.
“Al-Ghazali likeness nafsu as dog, if it’s trained it will be good”.
In short, if nafsu has dominated as an has defeated mind and inner feeling’s it would have been far from Allah. So that, the teaching of sufi always remind us in order to be uncontrolled by nafsu.
That’s all what I can give tou the material about nafsu. I apologize if I have many mistakes. But I hope that you will understand and take the lesson from here and you can decide your life in this world because after reading this paper, you know the danger of the world if you use it, in the wrong way.
The last I will say thanks to Mr Saifuddin zuhri as my lecturer and the master of this lesson
Suyuti, Achmad, Drs. Percik-Percik Kesufian. Jakarta:Pustaka Amani.1996.
Siregar, H.A. Rivay, Prof. Tasawuf dari sufisme Klasik ke Neo-Sufisme. Jakarta: PT Raja Grafindo Persada. 1999.
Imam Al Ghazali, Ihya’ Ulumuddin.
Nurbakhsy, Javad, Dr. Psikologi Sufi. Fajar Pustaka Baru. 2001.