Discipling the Soul

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By Ibn al-Jawzi, Dar Us-Sunnah Publications, paperback, 112 pages

Ibn al-Jawzi offers a practical guide on self-discipline for the Muslim navigating everyday life.

Every soul has the capacity for good and evil. To discipline the soul is to train your most basic human instincts, desires and needs to serve your only true purpose of worshipping Allah in all aspects of your life.

"Know that all the facets of mankind's disposition are for their benefit - either directly such as the desire for food, or indirectly by preventing harm, such as the capacity for anger. However, when these natural impulses are not moderated it culminates in harm. If the desire for food is excessive it leads to gluttony. Similarly, when anger is uncontrolled it leads to transgression. The aim should be to achieve equilibrium of the soul, to allow the faithful to approach God without distraction."

About the author:

Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597 AH), was a learned scholar possessing extensive knowledge. While still young, he became known as someone who was religious and given to learning. He would not waste his time in idle activities and would scrupulously avoid any food whose source was doubtful. He was a great preacher and his fame was widespread; many people repented and accepted Islam at his hands. He was also a prolific writer and authored over one thousand works encompassing a multitude of Islamic disciplines and sciences.