After praising Allah and sending blessing and peace upon Prophet Muhammad, his purified family, and blessed companions and those who follow him in excellence:
1) “And I am not acquitting myself. Surely the ego enjoins evil except that by my Lord being merciful. Surely my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful.” [Al-Qur’an 12:53]
A) The wife of the Aziz in Egypt was driven by her appetites and thought that she could have her way with Nabi Yusuf (AS) because of her position and cravings.
B) The Aziz’s wife recognized her wrongfully craving for Nabi Yusuf (AS) and admitted her error.
2) “The Mujahid (person of struggle) is he who struggles (performs jihad) in himself regarding the command of Allah.” – Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) [Ahmad]
A) The true jihad is to suppress ego and align it with what is pleasing to Allah (SWT).
3) “Whoever knows himself, certainly knows his Lord.” – Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (KW)
A) Taking true account of ourselves is to know that we make mistakes. This should prompt us to have humility to understand that there is an ultimate power, meaning Allah, greater than ourselves.
4) “[Tasbeeh means] proclaiming that Allah is pure and free of any evil.” – Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) [At-Tabari]
“Monotheism is half of the deen.” – Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) [Ar-Rida]
A) Everything stems back to Tawheed. Spiritual purification cannot take place without understanding one’s position as a humble slave to Allah.
5) “My Master, Oh my Master! You are The Mighty, and I am the humiliated. And is there mercy for the humiliated, except from The Mighty?” – Imam Zaynul Abideen Ali bin Al-Husayn bin Ali (RA) [As-Saheefah As-Sajjidiyyah]
A) It is spiritual arrogance to think that we know better than what Allah clearly commanded.
B) The more humble we are translates into more of Allah’s mercy that will be bestowed upon us with His permission.
6) “He [Iblees] said: ‘I am better than him. You made me of fire but you made him of clay.” – [Al-Qur’an 38:76]
A) Iblees was so prideful and arrogant that it caused him not to prostrate to Adam (AS) per the command of Allah.
B) Iblees’ rationalization is an attribute, which we display when we use our own rationalization to fancy ourselves to be superior to others. This is the egoism of Iblees.
7) “The best of your deeds is prayer.” – Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) [Ibn Majah]
“A slave comes nearest to his Lord when he is prostrating, so increase du’a [in prostration].” [Muslim]
“Prostrate and draw near [to Allah].” – [Al-Qur’an 96:19]
A) As-Salaah was given to us as a means for spiritual purification.
B) We need to understand the importance of the symbolism of prayer and not rush through As-Salaah and dhikr.
C) Prostration symbolizes humility and innocent intentions in front of Allah (SWT); it looks similar to the fetal position of a baby, who is sinless, in the womb of his/her mother.
D) Allah (SWT) wants us to purify ourselves away from egoism, so we can be innocent and humble just like a new born baby.