Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth By Imam Ibn
Qudamah al-Maqdisi (d. 689H)
The life of a believer is one of struggle and toil in order to cleanse
the soul and to work towards righteous actions and deeds, which are
pleasing to our Lord, Allah, the Most High. For this reason disciplining
oneself is of utmost importance in order to achieve the spiritual growth
that every soul requires.
The inner fight against the self takes place in every human being daily,
however only the sincere and powerful will do away with such impulses
and attacks and will overcome the forces of desire. Just like food,
drink and clothes are a necessity for the human being, so too is the
need to discipline the soul and rectify the flaws of the self. In
today’s society people often neglect the self and the need for it to be
reformed upon the teachings of the Qur’an and the beautiful example of
our beloved Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and his Companions.
As humans we tend to focus on what is apparent and neglect the spiritual
dimension of oneself. For this reason the book before you will not only
fill that void, but will also be a means of rectifying the self. This
guide before you is utmost valuable and its need in our materialistic
society cannot be under estimated, by the permission of Allah, the Most
In this second instalment, the author, may Allah have mercy on him,
discusses the marvels of the heart and curing the sickness therein,
disciplining the self and breaking the desire of the stomach and the
private parts. It also covers how to deal with pride, malice, envy and
the defects of the tongue. It concludes with the harms of greed, praise
of wealth, showing off, self-delusion and how to overcome all these
diseases that harm the spirituality of any person that is seeking the
The ultimate victory is against the desires of the self. If these are
cured and overcome it will lead to
a happy and blissful life both here on Earth and will be a means of
attaining the eternal salvation of the Hereafter.
Every soul is in need of rectification, so hurry O soul, to attain that
which is praiseworthy and lofty.
May Allah make us of those who purify ourselves before we leave this
transit world and reach the Hereafter, pure and clean, Ameen.