One man wrote a letter to the famous Sufi Yusuf Ibn Asbat, in which he asked: "My soul makes me go to war. What can you say about it?"
In response, Yusuf Ibn Asbat (rahimahullah) wrote: "Disobedience to nafs (passions) better than dying on the battlefield".
The greater jihad is the struggle against nafs. It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), returning from a military campaign, said:
"We came back from the small Jihad to the great Jihad".
Here the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) called the fight against nafs great jihad. As: "The soul of man commands evil". Struggling agains nafs, which constantly commands bad and abstaining from its desires - it is a great thing. Therefore, Allah Almighty promised Paradise to those who oppose the bad desires of the nafs, saying in the Quran:
وأما من خاف مقام ربه ونهى النفس عن الهوىفإن الجنة هي المأوى
"But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge". (The Quran, 79:40-41)
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