by Minhaj

The Condemning Self ( al-nafs-lawwama) is the second level of the lower self (nafs).After successfully progressing from the Commanding Self (Al-nafs Al-Ammara), the lower self (nafs) upgrades to the Condemning Self (Al- nafs al-Lawwama). At this stage, a light comes into being in the heart which become a source of internal guidance. When a person possessing this level of the lower self (nafs) commits a sin or transgresses, the Condemning Self (al- nafs al- lawwama) immediately starts to condemn and rebuke the person. For this reason, it is called the ‘condemning self’ or ‘Reproaching self’. It is a good level of the lower self (nafs), not only because it differentiates between good and evil, but also because it instils hatred for what is bad.
Allah has sworn by it in the Holy Quran:I Swear by the Day of Resurrection.And I Swear by the blaming self, reproaching (itself for evil deeds).

[Surah Al-Qiyamah, Ch. 75:1-2]
In this regard, the following verse about the story of Prophet Yusuf (AS) is also of relevance:  And I do not ( claim) absolution of my self. Certainly, the self commands much evil except the one on whom my Lord bestows mercy.

[Surah Yusuf ,Ch.12:53]This level of the lower self (nafs) is bestowed to the righteous and those who practice their Knowledge. The following verse also refers to it:   

But as for him who feared standing in the presence of his Lord and forbade ( his ill- commanding) self it’s appetite and lusts, Paradise will surely be (his) abode.[Surah An-Naziat ,Ch. 79:40-41]
 In other words, the restraint of the lower self (nafs) from sin and evil actually entails that it has liberated itself from the Commanding Self (al- nafs al- ammara).


Among the characteristics of the ‘Condemning self ‘( al- nafs al-lawwama) are: 

– Inclination towards the lawful ( halal) 

– Inclination towards benefitting people

-To relieve others of their burden 

-To avoid frivolous and immoral things 

– Righteous morals    Although this is a higher station of the lower self ( nafs), it still has some undesirable qualities for which purification ( tazkiya) is required. Such qualities include:

Deceit, Greed, Conceit, Pride and arrogance, Creating unmerited and undue objections, Showing rage and being violent, Carnal desires etc.

THE METAPHORICAL FORMS  OF THE CONDEMNING SELF IN DREAMS The metaphorical forms seen in dreams that are evidence of ‘Condemning Self’ (al-nafs al-lawwāma) include: Sheep, Goat, Cow, Camel, Fish, Pigeon, Duck, Chicken, Tree, Dates, Cooked food, Fruit, Clothes, Saddleless horse, Extinguished lamp, Lights or candles, Bread, Shops, Buildings or mansions, Honey, Sugarcane, Sweet drinks. If one of these particular things are seen, then it is evidence of the Condemning Self (al-nafs al lawwama).

The following are some interpretations of the metaphorical forms seen in dreams:
– Goats and sheep are an indication of inclining towards the lawful (halal).
– The quality of a cow is to work and benefit people ,while the quality of a camel is to carry the burden of others and to tolerate hardship. Adopting these qualities is a sign of faith (iman).
– To see a fish, pigeon, duck, chicken and other pure and halal animals also refers to an inclination towards the lawful (halal).
– Dates and honey refer to desirable moral conduct.
– Cooked food refers to the desires of the lower self (nafs).
– Fruit refers to the need to dispense frivolous talk.
– Buildings and dwellings refer to the lower self (nafs) desiring luxury.

In summary, the qualities of the various things seen in dreams, such as the animals and birds, refer to the condition of the lower self (nafs). This then enables individuals to ascertain the good and bad states of their lower self (nafs). Using this knowledge, corrective measures can be taken to reform oneself and to take the next step to progress on the spiritual path.


A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL WAYFARING by Shaykh ul Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
-To buy this book Please contact Minhaj Publications India:  8530747313, 8733894059, 9898963623

Related Articles