Ramadan Reflections: Day 28 Nafs Hack with Syed M. Hassan

Nafs Hack: Getting Through Dense Islamic Texts

Salaam alaikum, everyone! This is Syed M. Hassan from Islamic Relief USA’s Public Affairs Department.

For today’s Nafs Hack, I wanted to talk to you about the importance of incorporating Islamic teachings and Islamic advice, especially the ones you get from reading and studying Islamic texts.

A lot of Islamic texts tend to be very voluminous, very large, but they’re chock-full of information.

To give you an example, last year I read two books: Forty Hadiths and Nahjul Balagha, the famous sayings and famous teachings of Imam Ali. And both of these books were great, I enjoyed reading them a lot, and I underlined and highlighted a lot of sentences and texts.

I realized that I didn’t want to carry these books with me on a daily basis, so I studied to make sure I internalized all the teachings and advice that were included in it.

So, how I remedy this situation is with a standard legal pad you can get from Staples or Office Depot. What I do is I copy down the exact paragraphs or exact sentences from the text and then maybe put a page number next to it, and then I divide it up according to the hadiths or the next chapter.

I find this to be very valuable because it’s a very portable, very accessible way to obtain the information without having to carry these heavy books around.

So, if you’re a spiral notebook guy or a legal pad guy—either way—the written content is there and you can remind yourself of this during the morning, night, lunch break, what have you. And most importantly, it can help you hack the nafs not only during Ramadan, but throughout the year.

And that’s my advice!

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