Muslim Soul Explained
This is an article posted by Abdul Rashid who is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council in Ottawa and is in answer to the question “What is the nature of our soul?”
Many religious and secular philosophers have discussed the nature, purpose and functions of soul. Most of these discussions are complex, conjectural and of little use to a lay person.
A body and soul jointly constitute a human being. While the body consists of matter, the soul is spiritual in nature. Our knowledge of the material component of the human being is quite extensive. We continue to know in greater detail about the nature of the body, its strengths and weaknesses, its development and its decline, and so on.
In contrast, our knowledge of the true nature of the soul or spirit, as it is sometimes called, is extremely limited. For a Muslim, this is not surprising since our scripture, the Holy Qur’n, tells the Holy Prophet, when he was asked about the spirit, ruh, to say: “The Spirit (comes) by command of my Lord: and of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you” (17:85).
The Holy Qur’n also tells us that the creation of human being became complete when the Creator “breathed into him something of His spirit and He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding)” (32:9). God Almighty not only created the human soul but also gave it order, proportion and relative perfection. He instilled in it the ability to intuitively discern between right and wrong.
With this faculty supplemented by Divine guidance, God Almighty gave the human being the ability to choose between right and wrong and face the consequences both in this world and in the Hereafter. “Truly he succeeds that purifies it [the soul]; and truly he fails that corrupts it!” (91:9-10).
It is the soul that is the bearer of human dignity and the responsibility. It makes us moral beings. Once the soul leaves the human being, the human body goes back to its origin of dust.
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