The Self-reproaching nafs
لا أقسم بيوم القيامة ولا أقسم بالنفس اللوامة
I swear by the Day of Resurrection,
and I swear by the self-reproaching conscience, (that Resurrection is a reality.)
This is the stage where the conscience is awakened and the self reproaches one for listening to one’s ego. That is, in committing the evil acts or omitting the virtuous or doing them in a sloppy manner.
Its characteristics include; reproaching, greed, coveting, self praise, show-off, cruelty, back-bitting, lying and heedlessness, love of fame and status. In sharing many characteristics of nafs al ammarah it maintains the ability to differentiate between the good and evil. However, it is not proficient, as yet, to fully follow the good commands and abstain from sinful. Moreover, if it does do some good acts it develops desires of self-praise (ujub) or showing-off or expecting praise from others. In this stage it is imperative that he acknowledges and exposes these blame worthy desires to his fellow-brethren (as per the instruction of his Shaikh). Otherwise these blame-worthy morals will cut-off his journey on this path.
It is essential that in this phase he makes excessive remembrance of Allah and exerts in the struggle (to do good and abstain from evil).
Here he is inflicted will excessive abstract, useless ideas, and random, bizarre thoughts. He has to fight them off with assistance of excessive remembrance of Allah and supplications, asking Allah for assistance in doing so effectively.
If he does so, he passes to the third stage.