Freedom is the condition of being “free” from restraints.
Many of us are happy to be a part of the “free world” where we enjoy our lives. We can (for the most part) speak freely; we can practice our religion freely; we have a good amount of freedom in our lives.
Yet- we’re not truly free. Being free almost seems to mean being able to do as you please. But being truly free means being able to overcome certain restraints of human emotion and to act in opposition to them. For instance, there might be a part of me that gets angry when say perhaps someone is rude to me. That anger could very well consume a person, but being free entails that we can overcome this feeling. We can let things that anger us go and act in opposition by perhaps still being polite to that person.
We are perfectly capable of giving into our nafs, allowing it to do what it wishes. Yet- doing so proves nothing about ourselves. It purely indicates that we are not strong-willed, that we are prisoners of the nafs. Combating the nafs and not just giving into desires, shows the strength of a person’s will and the true concept of freedom- not being controlled or consumed by things that are actually detrimental to ourselves even when they come from within “our self”.