Jihad al nafs is the obligatory type of jihad which is to be fought by every muslim. Jihad al nafs means to fight with one’s nafs or jihad with one’s self. Humans are a mixture of good and bad. Islam is the treatment of bad in humans. Just like we all need motivation to do good, which includes suppressing negative thoughts, islam tells us to suppress our evil desires and encourage ourselves to do good deeds. This is why jihad al nafs is the obligatory jihad. Fighting with one’s own whims and wishes is both easy and difficult. It totally depends upon the iman and will power of the one who fights it.
Jihad al nafs is further classified into four types;
1: To learn the knowledge of islam. The first step for everything is to learn. If the knowledge of islam is not there, there remains no hope for goodness in this world and in the hereafter. Therefore, the first step is to learn islam.
2: Striving to act in accordance with the principles of islam. The knowledge without action is just like an empty pot. What can an empty pot serve? Nothing! Similarly, a knowledge which has no action is nothing.
3: The comes the part where one needs to invite others to islam as well. Having the knowledge and acting upon it is not enough. We are supposed to spread the message of islam to others. Prophet Muhammad pbuh said in His last sermon to spread his message to others who were not present. So it is our duty to propagate the message of islam.
4: Calling others to islam and correcting others’ beliefs is not an easy task. Here comes the real test. One needs not only call others to islam but one needs do it patiently. Every prophet and all the good people bore insults and wrong behavior for the sake of Allah. So the last step in jiah al nafs is to be patient.
Satan allures us towards falsehood and wrongdoings. He wants us to be on his side because he is jealous of us. He could not bear that a human was born who was more knowledgeable than him. This made him angry and he disobeyed Allah. Now he wants to take his vengeance on us. For this, the worst thing which satan does is to make people change their religion. The one who knows about islam and whatis forbidden and whatever is permissible, he need to be contented with what Allah swt has given him.
Jews and Christians changed their religion not because they were afraid of something. They changed their lives and their religion just because of their own selves. They put their own selves before the message of Allah swt. Satan put himself before his LORD and this made him accursed. So, whoever puts his whims and whishes above Islam, he has the tendency to go towards and accursed. This is why jihad is enjoined upon all muslims. The need of the hour is to know that fighting one’s own self is a lot more difficult at the start but with the passage of time, Allah swt make is easy for us.