In former times great sacrifices and strivings (mujahadah) were undergone for the islah of the nafs (rectification of the self) which nowadays people cannot undergo, due to not having that courage.
Dr. ‘Abd al-Hayy ‘Arifi (Raheemahullah) has shown an extremely concise, but very effective formula which consists of four a’mal (actions). They are the core of Shar’iah and Tariqah, easy to practice upon, does not cost money, time or effort and the person who makes these four things a habit, will develop a special link with Allah ta’ala. He will experience its benefits during his life and the heart will be conducive towards islah (reformation). Eventually he will reach such a stage that even if he wishes to commit sin, he will be unable to do so. They are:
 Shukr (gratitude)
 Sabr (patience)
 Istighfar (seeking repentance)
 Isti’adhah (seeking refuge)
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