يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ
عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
The nafs is the resident enemy in the heart of a Muslim and the accomplice of shaytaan. In the Sermon of Need, we seek Allah’s protection from the evil of our nafs (not even shaytaan). This is why the Ulama (scholars) have always stressed that the greatest enemy lies within.
More than anything else Ramadhan is about the nafs and taqwa. Ramadhan is the month of mujaahadah (striving) and if we cannot strive against our nafs in this blessed month when the shayaateen are locked up, then when are we going to? All of the practical measures mentioned in order to bring the nafs under control are all part of Ramadhan i.e. abstaining from food, drink, desires, worship at night ,speaking less etc. One should always be aware of the nafs. It detests striving ,loves slumber and is never satisfied or satiated. It is an animal that must be caged, humiliated and disgraced. In Ramadhan it is grinded, pressured, burdened and weaned off its desires. In order for the fast to create taqwa in a person, one must strive and act opposite to the nafs.
[This short excerpt is based on a brothers' majlis (gathering for spiritual training) held by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 19th September 2006].