25:43 (Y. Ali) Seest thou such a one as taketh for his god his own passion (or impulse)? Couldst thou be a disposer of affairs for him?
7:176 (Y. Ali) If it had been Our will, We should have elevated him with Our signs; but he inclined to the earth, and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog: if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our signs; So relate the story; perchance they may reflect.
79:40-41 (Y. Ali) And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord’s (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires,Their abode will be the Garden.
29:6 (Y. Ali) And if any strive (with might and main), they do so for their own souls: for Allah is free of all needs from all creation
91:7-10 (Y. Ali) By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it;And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right;-Truly he succeeds that purifies it, And he fails that corrupts it!
The Prophet also said upon him peace: “The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his nafs [ego]. Al-Haythami declared it authentic in Majma` al-Zawa’id
The Prophet (s) said: The fighter against unbelief is he who fights against his ego in obeying God; Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, Tabarani, Hakim,
Hamza Yusuf Purification of the heart
Jihad an-nafs (jihad against one’s self) is of four kinds:
a. Striving to learn the teachings of Islam without which one cannot attain success and happiness in this world or in the Hereafter. If this is missing, then one is doomed to misery in this world and in the Hereafter.
b. Striving to make oneself act in accordance with what one has learned. Simply knowing without acting, even though it may not cause any harm, is not going to bring any benefit.
c. Striving to call others to Islam, teaching those who do not know about it. Otherwise one will be one of those who conceal the guidance and teaching that Allah has revealed, and it will not benefit him or save him from the punishment of Allah.
d. Striving to bear patiently the difficulties involved in calling people to Allah and the insults of people, bearing all that for the sake of Allah.
Source: Jihad un nafs
Seven stages of consciousness or the levels of Self/Nafs/Ego
The Commanding Self (nafs al-ammara),
The Blaming Self (nafs al-lawwama),
The Inspired Self (nafs al mulhimah),
The Satisfied Self (nafs al mutmainnah),
The Consenting Self (nafs al radiyah),
The Consent-Given Self (nafs al mardiyyah),
The Purified Self (nafs al safiyyah).