Arya siddhanti: Did allah tutor mohammed saheb about the soul?
During the lifetime of the Prophet (saws) the Jews of Medina sent their allies, the Makkan infidels [idolators], to the Prophet (saws) to ask about the soul. In reply to their questions, the following Qur’anic verse was revealed:
“They ask you [O Muhammad (saws] concerning the Ruh (Soul). Say: ‘It is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given very little.”
[Qur'an Al-Israa 17: 85]
Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim wrote in his scholarly work “Kitab al Ruh”,
” Ruh is an entity which differs totally from the physical body. It is a subtle, ecclesiastical, enlightened living and moving body which penetrates into the depths of the organs and flows into them like the water in the rose or the oil in the olive or the fire in the coal. As long as these organs remain able to accept the impressions of this subtle body, the ‘Ruh’ remains attached to these organs and provides them with feeling and movement. But when these organs are spoiled because of the dominance of diseased elements upon it, and they are no longer able to accept the impressions of the soul, it leaves the body and heads towards the world of the souls. “
There is some difference in the way the words ‘Ruh’ and ‘Nafs’ are used. The ‘Ruh’ is the subtle spirit, which resides in the heavens and needs a physical body to carry it on the earth. When this spirit is given a body, life begins and it is described as ‘Nafs’. The word ‘Nafs’ is used in a number of ways by the Qur’an, all of which imply the meaning of a soul with a body.
1. ‘Nafs’ meaning “Self.”
“You know what is in my self but I do not know what is in Your self”
(Qur’an Al-Ma’ida 5:116)
2. ‘Nafs’ meaning “Blood”.
“The (insect) which has flowing Nafs (blood).”
3. Nafs as a strong force in man, which can push him either towards good or evil. The concept of ‘Nafs al Ammara bis Su’ (‘Nafs’ which encourages evil) and ‘Nafs al Lawwama’ (‘Nafs’ which blames) and ‘Nafs al Mutmainna’ (‘Nafs’ which is contented) .
Two deaths and two lives
The Qur’an mentions two deaths and two lives given to us by Allah
“How can you reject faith in Allah, seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you to life, then to Him will be your return.”
(Qur’an Al-Baqarah 2: 28)
“They will say: Our Lord, twice have You given us death and twice have You given us life…”
(Qur’an Al Mumin : 11)
When the soul is first created it has no physical body and is considered to be a dead creature. In this state it is referred to as ‘Ruh’, and this is the first death as even death is created by Allah.
“He is the one who created Death and life in order that He may try which of you is best in deeds , and He is the Exalted, the Forgiving.”
(Qur’an Al Mulk 67: 2)
The Qur’an also tells us that all the souls of mankind were created before the creation of Adam and were asked to testify to the Lordship of Allah.
“When your Lord drew forth from the loins of the children of Adam their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves: ‘Am I not your Lord?’. They said, ‘Yes, we do testify.’ This lest you should say on the Day of Judgement: ‘We were not aware of this.’ “
(Qur’an Al A’raaf :172)
The first life begins when the soul is breathed into an embryo in the womb of its mother, and now the soul is referred to as ‘Nafs’. The word Nafs is also used for ‘blood’, and so women who are in a state of post-natal bleeding are known as ‘Nufasaa’. As long as blood surges healthily through the body, there will be life in that body.