Jihad Against the Self – Imam Ibn al Qayyim
“Jihâd (striving) against the soul has four stages:
Firstly: To strive in learning guidance and the religion of truth, without which there will be no success. Indeed, there can be no true happiness, nor any delight in this world and in the Herefater, except through it.
Secondly: Striving to act upon what has been learnt, since knowledge without action will not benefit, rather it will cause harm.
Thirdly: Striving to invite others towards it and to teach those who do not know, otherwise he may be considered from those who hide what Allâh has revealed of guidance and clear explanation. Such knowledge will neither benefit, nor save a person from the punishment of Allâh.
Fourthly: Striving to be patient and persevering against those who oppose this da’wah (call) to Allâh and those who seek to cause harm – patiently bearing all these hardships for the sake of Allâh.
When these four stages are completed then such a person is considered to be amongst the Rabbâniyyûn. The Salaf were agreed that a Scholar does not deserve the title of Rabbânî until he recognises and knows the truth, acts upon it, and teaches it to others. So whosoever has knowledge, acts upon it, and teaches this knowledge to others, is considered from the Rabbâniyyûn.” [Zâdul-Ma’âd fi Hadî Khayril-’Ibâd (pp.9-11)]
Source : Purification of the Souls: Fawaa’id – Points of Benefit , By the Imâm – the Shaykh of Islâm – Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.3 – Dhul-Qa’dah 1416H / April 1996