(Correspondence of Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi rahimahullah)
Letter: (A person complained of not attaining satisfaction and fulfilment despite him reading the kalimah three hundred times daily. He therefore requested that some practice should be prescribed which will purify the soul and allow it to reach lofty heights).
Reply: Daily recite the third kalimah, durood shareef and istighfaar one hundred times each; morning and evening. Do this punctually and with the presence of mind. Also recite the Quran-e-Kareem with complete respect, keeping in mind that Allah Ta’ala is listening to you. Struggle and discipline is the foundation and the essence of the reformation of one’s character. The daily practices and zikr are there to assist us. (Maktoobaat vol. 5, pg. 25)
Nowadays we have sufficed on daily practices such as zikr and recitation of the Quran, but we have neglected the struggle against our nafs (innerself) which is the essence of reformation. We are increasing our good deeds, but we are not giving up sin. The only way to refrain from sin is to fight the evil desires of the nafs (innerself). Without fighting the nafs, the nafs will not become subservient and one will continue to fall into sin.