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 High.
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 Hereafter.
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.
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