SHAFAQNA | by Mohamed Alnajjar: In the previous article series, we discussed the holy war within the self and while engaging in this self-struggle, we came to the conclusion that it is the “I” that must be annihilated to be able to reach our final destination which is Allah (SWT). It can be one of the most simple or challenging tasks a human being can complete.
Completing this task requires one to become alert and responsive to certain triggers that will enable him or her to stay on track. Just as one must use a GPS device to guide him to his destination. The same can be applied to the destination of the human being which is to reach God Almighty. Hence, to stay on track as a human being, God almighty has given us tools of guidance that if we follow will guarantee our destination to heaven. Following the plan of God will enable us to reach our destination on time.
For example, if someone encounters a snowstorm on the way to the airport while he has a flight booking may not make it on time, therefore delaying his trip. This delay will cause the passenger to arrive late at his destination. Likewise, we can say that the human being may face the likes of storms in the form of obstacles that may slow them down to reaching their destination on time.
Islam is a religion that was sent down by God almighty to give the human being the proper tools to solve and deal with these obstacles and create a process in which solutions can be executed. God almighty first sent prophets, then Imams and allowed for the last saviors of mankind to one day reappear and complete the dreams of the prophets and Imams which is to create a divine government that will become responsible for the peace and prosperity for all humanity alike.
Certain principles and divine instructions were revealed by these noble and divine leaders that if we follow and submit, we will become successful in this world before the next. The first task that we must implement is to perform a thorough purification of the soul.
The holy Quran says:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا
One who purifies it is felicitous, and one who betrays it fails.
Alongside this task, one must always make sure that he has the upper hand on the soul by maintain the self-struggle (Jihad Al-nafs) that was mentioned by our dear prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
أفْضَلُ الجِهادِ مُجاهَدَةُ المَرْءِ نَفْسَهُ.
The best Jihad is the struggle of a man against his [carnal] soul.
One may ask what does the struggle of the self-have to do with my Islamic lifestyle? The response to such a question is found in the purity of our intentions. For example, when sometimes before we begin out Wajib prayers we may say a small supplication found from the holy Quran:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Say, ‘Indeed my prayer and my worship, my life and my death are for the sake of Allah (SWT), the Lord of all the worlds. 
Therefore, in this series article we can conclude that we first must purify our souls, secondly understanding that this process of purification is continuous in the form of a self-struggle, and thirdly at the same time these stages of purification relates to our intentions.
 Ash-Shams 91:09
 Al-An’am 6:162