7 Steps Towards Breaking the Lower Desires.
1) Continuously praying the dawn prayer [Fajr] on time. The Nafs doesn’t want to wake up early, for extra sleep fuels the desires.
2) Reading the Quran immediately after the Fajr prayer. The Nafs doesn’t want to read right upon awakening and then praying.
3) Meditate and perform your daily spiritual litany [Wird/Awraad] before work. The Nafs doesn’t want to sit still and be at ease in a busy world. It’s ready to go.
4) Go to work and then be at ease. The Nafs doesn’t like hard work and will try to take the easy way out. One thing that we shouldn’t get confused though, is that wage slavery is not hard work and is classified as oppression. However, if you do find yourself within this situation and are physically and mentally working hard through it, then be patient, for the Nafs doesn’t like to stay patient and it wants what it dreams and aspires for immediately. Remind it that everything comes within its proper time.
5) Be nice to people at work. The Nafs doesn’t want to give people the benefit of the doubt and it will try to accuse everyone else around you for your own troubles at work. If the employee that annoys you works with you, then understand that they may be going through similar, difficult circumstances and thus one has to have mercy. The Nafs doesn’t want to have mercy and it wants retribution for what or whom it thinks harmed it, right away. It’s why many arguments may happen at work.
6) Be calm while coming home and do not involve yourself in road rage and obey the lights and signs. The Nafs doesn’t like to be told what to do, and it most certainly doesn’t like to be worried and perturbed when tired; but you have to train it to be quiet and to accept the traffic, heat or whatever the case of discomfort may be. Remember, everyone else is going through the same thing you are. It should be really a time of unity on the road and not one of recklessness. Many lives are at stake on the roads everyday and we have to be thoughtful.
7) Greet the family with a smile each and everyday. The Nafs doesn’t want to be happy go lucky after having gone through a hard day at work and it will want to be served immediately. Just know, that it’s an obligation for the husband to provide for the family according to Allah and the Sunnah, so you are not to think of yourself as a savior. Allah has proven that after divorce or death, someone else could easily fill that spot, whilst performing all of the above duties. The Nafs doesn’t like to hear this, but it’s true.
Please take these 7 noted examples and try your best to implement them. There are many more, and Allah Knows Best.
From Luis Jon (Luqman al-Andalusi)