The Gratified Self – Spiritual Stages of a Self/Soul in the Qur’an (Stage 6)

Return to your Lord well-pleased (Content) and well-pleasing (Gratified).

-The Dawn (Al-Fajr) Qur’an 89 : 28

The Gratified Self or Nafs al-Mardiyyah‘s remembrance is al-Qayyum (The Self-Subsistent). At this stage the self is not only content with its Lord it is also gratified by Him.

Their reward is with their Lord – Gardens of Eternity served with running streams, they shall abide therein, for ever and ever. Allâh is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him (in their state of highest bliss). Such is (the reward) for a person who stands in awe of his Lord.

– The Clear Evidence (Al-Bayyinah) Qur’an 98 : 8

The Prophet was asked “When shall we attain Allah’s contentment with us?” He replied, “When you are content with your Lord.”

At this stage the light of the heart is completed. The heart advances from wholesomeness (Qalb Saleem) to a heart that is in total awe (Khashiyah) of Allah, constantly inclined (Muneeb) toward Him, imbued with modesty (Hayaa’) toward Him in every condition.

Whoever is secretly in awe of the Merciful and comes to Him with a sound heart. Enter this (paradise) in peace! This is the day of immortality. In it they shall have whatever they wish, and with Us is more.

Qaf, Qur’an 50: 33-35

The folk of this station are the people of witnessing of the manifestations of the actions of the names of Allah (Mushahadat Tajalliyyat Afa’al Allah). Their witnessing in their hearts to the manifestations of Allah’s power results in their awe in the face of Allah’s greatness and majesty in all of His actions that are essentially the manifestations of His names.

The Nafs al-Mardiyya: its walking is to Allah, its world is the visible world, its place is the secrets or the hidden, its state is acceptable perplexity, the source of its warid (arriving, finding, source of light, pl. al-wurud) is the transcendence (Tanzih), its attributes are good character, leaving everything other than Allah, gentleness with creation, making peace with creation, and the forgiving of sins, mistakes, and wrong action.

Know that at the beginning of this station the traveler shows the first signs of the greater vicegerency (al-Kubra) and at its end he is invested with it, expressed by:

I am the Hearing by which he hears and the Seeing by which he sees, and the Hand by which he grasps, and by Me he walks.

– Hadith narrated by Imam al-Bukhari

This state comes from nearness to Allah, which is arrived at through worship (Ibadah) and supererogatory practices (Nawafil)

This nafs also unites the love of creation with the love of the Creator. This is something amazing which is possible only in this stage. This is why, in this station or stage, the traveler (Salik) does not appear outwardly different from the common person. As for his inward, he is the mine of secrets or the repository of secrets. He is the leader of the best. He does not witness otherness at all, insofar as they are other. He is the circumference of all divine knowledge, but not of outward or formal knowledge.

It has returned from the unseen world to the seen world with the permission of Allah, to benefit mankind with what Allah has bestowed upon it.

The folk of this station are also gifted with unveiling (Kashf) along with other spiritual gifts and some of them are given responsibility to call people to the love of Allah; essentially to those who deny and reject the truth but who are at the same time called to Allah.

So Allah sends to them the folk of this station so that the egos of these people will submit and thus return through Allah back to the path of Allah. For when Allah loves one of His servants He seeks Him and calls him to Him. If once called the servant responds then he is brought near otherwise Allah seeks him through trials, or other means. For Allah’s command must come to be and is utterly irresistible.

This station is the last of the stations of faith (Iman) and through it the self enters the presence of the station of “…the most beautiful station” (Ihsan) which is the goal and desire of the heart of every servant.

(The Attributes and Names of the Ranks and Stations of the Nafs in its Striving and Elevation – A Translation of a Classic Text by Mahmoud Mostafa)

Photo: Arabic calligraphy by Hussam Ahmed