Nafs | Knowledge of Inner Self | Khud Shanasi | Sultan Bahoo

Nafs – Innerself

This article is about Nafs based on teachings of Sultan Bahoo.

Innerself is translated from the Arabic word “Nafs”.  It has four layers. Each layer annihilates into the next upon its purgation. The first layer incites man to commit sin. On purification, it elevates to next layer which repents. The third layer inspires before committing sin. Whereas, fourth layer is pure of sins and is at peace (divine will).

Sign of Seeker of Allah

True man is the one who sets his nafs right.

Recognition of Nafs leads to Recognition of Allah

The Holy Prophet said:

Meaning: Whoever recognizes his innerself, recognizes his Holy Lord. One who recognizes his innerself with Fana recognizes his Holy Lord with Baqa.

The nafs can be recognized through the tasawur of Ism-e-Allah Zaat which bestows Fana after Fana, while the Holy Lord can be recognized by gaining life of the soul which confers Baqa after Baqa. (Ameer ul Kaunain)

Renunciation of Nafs

Sultan Bahoo says in Sultan ul Waham:

A seeker can attain closeness of Allah by renouncing his nafs. Once Hazrat Bayazid asked Allah, “How can I reach close to You?” Allah said, “Renounce your nafs and get close to Me.” Hamdani states in his book Ain-ul-Qazat:

  • “The way to Allah neither goes from the Arsh (The Divine Throne) nor from the East, West, North or South. It is within your heart. Search your heart and find it.”


Sultan Bahoo says:

  • Faqr is to burn (purify) ones nafs. (Kasf ul Asrar)

Sultan Bahoo further says:

  • Whoever first recognizes his innerself, afterwards recognizes Allah and becomes an Arif Billah. The Holy Prophet said:

Meaning: One who recognizes his nafs, recognizes his Holy Lord.

He further said:

Meaning: One who recognizes his innerself by annihilating it, recognizes his Holy Lord by becoming immortal.

The level of annihilation of innerself is in fact the spiritual level of Fana-Fi-Shaikh (annihilation in spiritual guide) and the level of immersion in the Divine Oneness is the level of Fana Fillah (annihilation in Allah).