Struggle [mujaahadah] means restraining the nafs from its desire for any activity other than `ibaadah.

Al-Qushayri relates from his shaykh, Abu `Ali al-Daqqaaq: “Whoever is not a person of mujaahadah at the beginning, will never encounter the perfume of this Path.”

Abu `Amr ibn Bujayd said: “Whoever finds his religion to be precious for him, will pay little heed to his nafs.”

Al-Qushayri said: “The basis of struggling with the nafs is to wean it from familiar things, and to force it away from its whims. The nafs has two qualities: plunging into pleasures, and refraining from acts of obedience. Mujaahadah, therefore, is made against these tendencies.”

[132/Chapter: The one who struggles against his nafs, for the obedience of Allaah, the Glorious and Majestic]


“Take your share of seclusion.”

Ibn al-Mubaarak relates that `Umar said: “Take your share of seclusion.”

How admirable is the statement of al-Junayd, may Allaah grant benefit through his baraka: “The endurance of seclusion is easier than forced politeness with company.”

Al-Khattaabi said: “There would be great good in seclusion even were it to bring nothing more than safety from backbiting and from seeing evils which one cannot remove.”


Abu Nu`aym < al-Maajishun < `Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Abi Sa`sa`a < his father < that he heard Abu Sa`eed saying: ‘I heard the Prophet sallallaahualayhi wasallam say: “There shall come upon the people a time when a Muslim’s best wealth will be some sheep with which follows the mountain gorges and the places of rain, fleeing with his religion from trials [fitan].“‘

Al-Khattaabi records that ‘seclusion and socialising vary depending on their entailment. The proof-texts which have come down urging people to come together are to be interpreted as applying to gatherings for the sake of obedience to Allaah, the imaams, and the religious matters; and vice-versa.  As for physical company and separation, it is preferable for whoever knows how to be self-sufficient in his livelihood and in preserving his religion to retreat from keeping the company of other people, on condition that he attend the prayer in congregation, greet Muslim with the salaam, and uphold the rights of other Muslims in such matters as visiting the sick and attending funerals. What is required is to renounce superfluous association with others, since that leads to a preoccupation of the mind and wastes time that could be spent in more important things. Meeting with others should be treated like one’s need for lunch and supper: so that one limits oneself to what is necessary. This will bring more peace to body and heart alike.’

Al-Qushayri states in his Risaala: ‘The way of the man who chooses seclusion is that he should view the people as being thereby secured from his own evil, not the other way around. For the former attitude leads to a belittling of one’s nafs, which is a trait of the humble, while the latter impels one to view oneself as superior, and hence breeds arrogance.’

{6495/126} – Fath al-Bari.