- The Tafsirs - التفاسير

* تفسير Tafsir al-Tustari

{ وَمَآ أُبَرِّىءُ نَفْسِيۤ إِنَّ ٱلنَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِٱلسُّوۤءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّيۤ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }

‘Yet I do not exculpate my own soul; verily the soul is ever inciting to evil…’ He [Sahl] said:Truly, the [evil-]inciting self (nafs ammāra) is lust (shahwa), which is the role played by man’s [basic] nature (ṭabʿ); ‘…unless my Lord shows mercy’, is the role played by the [divine] protection (ʿiṣma). The self at peace (nafs muṭmaʾinna) is the self of gnosis (nafs al-maʿrifa). God, Exalted is He, created the self and made ignorance its nature (ṭabʿ) and made desire (hawā) the closest thing to it. He also made desire the door by which man’s ruin enters.Sahl was asked about the meaning of [a person’s] nature (ṭabʿ) and how one might necessarily acquire protection from it. He said:Human nature (ṭabʿ) comprises four natural dispositions (ṭabāʾiʿ): the first is the animal disposition(ṭabʿ al-bahāʾim), that of the stomach and genitals; the second is the satanic disposition (ṭabʿ al-shayāṭīn), that of play (laʿb) and diversion (lahw); the third is the sorcerous disposition (ṭabʿ al-saḥara), that of delusion (makr) and deception (khidāʿ); and the fourth is the devilishnature (ṭabʿ al-abālisa), that of refusal (ibāʾ) and arrogance (istikbār). [Divine] protection (ʿiṣma) against the animal disposition is through faith (īmān). Safety (salāma) from the satanic disposition is through glorification (tasbīḥ) and sanctification [of God] (taqdīs), which is the natural disposition of angels. Safety from the sorcerous disposition is through truthfulness (ṣidq), sincere counsel (naṣīḥa), equity (inṣāf) and graciousness (tafaḍḍul). Safety from the devilish nature is through taking refuge (iltijāʾ) in God, Exalted is He, by humbly imploring him (taḍarruʿ) and crying out to Him (ṣarākh). The nature of the intellect (ʿaql) is to have knowledge but the nature of the lower self (nafs) is ignorance. The natural disposition of [human] nature is [to make] pretentious claims (daʿwā).His words, Exalted is He:

Tafsīr al-Tustarī, trans. Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler
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