Nafsi Nafsi, what does it mean?

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Nafsi-Nafsi, what does it mean?

The following video resonated with me. My mother had drilled the “Nafsi-Nafsi ka Aalam” in me when I was a kid. Nafsi-Nafsi means me and me and me. Every word Maulana Tariq Jameel has said in this video, was uttered by my mother some 50 years ago.

Nafsi-Nafsi is about oneself. She said, on the day of judgment, everyone will be busy accounting for his/her actions, and no one will be there for the other. She added I would not save you, nor will you be able to save me. So, do the right things, be accountable, and live your life with ease.

When you are in the airplane, invariably, you hear the following announcement, “Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of a decompression, oxygen will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.”

It sounds cruel to secure your mask first then your child, but it makes sense, if you are safe, you can help.

We are born to help each other, and we jump in icy waters to save a child or walk in the fire to save a life, climb the building to protect an individual from falling. We risk our own lives to save the other, particularly the loved ones.

Religions have built-in systems to free you from the pain. The only way to free yourselves from the Azaab, i.e., the agony, is to repent, regret, seek forgiveness, and pledge not to repeat it. The Hindi language has one beautiful word for it – Praischit.

However, when you see a bad dream, you will bear it alone, you can tell it your family members or friends about it, and they will soothe you and assure your safety, and more than likely you have unloaded the anxiety.

I know a few women who were molested, raped or tortured. Even though they were not wrong, they live in tension for a lifetime. It is not easy to get it out of their system; if they heed the wisdom from their religion, they may find freedom. I like the idea of confession in the Catholic Church and admittance in the Mormon congregations. Even if they confide with a close friend, or write about it in their diary, half of the pain gets unloaded.

Acknowledgment is one of the most powerful tools to find salvation from agony. It is a part of every religion, and I know for sure that in Christianity and Islam, forgiveness is a prime value. If you ask a Muslim who God loves the most – you will hear one who forgives and seeks forgiveness.

When I was around eight years old, my neighbor committed suicide, he gave his head under the freight train – within a few hours, the entire neighborhood went there, so was I. His head and body were in two pieces; his eyes had popped open, and there was fear on his face, and ants were crawling all over him. For several months, I could not sleep. I was sweating and covered the blanket all over me. My brothers and I slept next to each other on the floor, but they never knew what was going on inside me. In fact, this may be the second time I am writing about this, and no one in my family knew about it.

The idea of telling the above stories is to make the point that no matter how many close family and friends we have, there are pains we bear it alone. A few things we don’t even share with our spouses fearing they will use it against us. It is crucial to have open communications with your family members, let them abuse if they want to. At least you will be free and live a truthful life.

There is a song in the Urdu-Hindi language, and one of the lines says, “Hai bheed phir bhi, dil hai akela.” That is hundreds surround me, but my heart is still alone.

The Day of Judgment scenario is real for most people among Muslims. Indeed, all religions draw a scene similar to it in one fashion or the other.

Some believe that every day is a day of reckoning. If you are tension free and not anxious at the end of the day, you have passed the test. On the other hand, if you are not, then you have done

something wrong, or someone has wronged you, and you live in discomfort.

All religions are consciously or randomly designed to be behavior modifiers. If you are conscious of the consequences, you tend to minimize making mistakes.

The narrative of the Day of Judgment is guidance for us to live a regret-free life. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad’s advice was to live a regret-free life.

Now about the video – some preachers in all faiths, do the drama of dropping on their knees and crying. It may not appeal to me, but it does appeal to many, let it be. If it does help them live a regret-free life, the preacher has achieved the goal.

Please remember to clean your slate of life – the formula is acknowledgment, repentance, confiding, seeking forgiveness, and forgiving others. There are 12 such high values put together in the book for the first time in the Islamic literature, and the book is American Muslim Agenda. It is available on Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Xlibris.

May you find peace.

Mike Ghouse is the founder and president of the Center for Pluralism. He is a speaker, thinker, author, pluralist, activist, consultant, newsmaker, and an interfaith wedding officiant. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions to the media and the policymakers.

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