Concept of ruh (soul) in Islam
of which the knowledge is only with my Lord.
And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.”
I will be really thankful to you. Was-salam.
Topic: Heart & Soul
Name of Counsellor: Waleed Ahmed Najmeddine
The combination of the Qur’an and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) together provide us with all of the information and guidance we need to live a righteous life and maintain a close personal relationship with Allah, the One and Only Creator of mankind.
Knowledge of the nature of the soul, however, is only with Allah, as we read in the Qur’an what means,
- [And they ask you concerning the soul. Say: “The soul is one of the things, of which the knowledge is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.”] (Al-Israa’ 17:85)
An Eternal Soul?
With respect to the eternity of the soul, Allah reveals in the Qur’an that there was a time that we did not exist except, of course, in Allah’s infinite knowledge.
- [Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing — not even mentioned? Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled fluid, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight.] (Al-Insan 76:1-2)
- [But He (Allah) fashioned him (Man) in due proportion and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you the faculties of hearing and sight and feeling and understanding: Little thanks do you give!] (As-Sajdah 32:9)
At the time of death, the soul is taken from the body by the Angel of Death. It is later returned to the body once it has been buried. The grave for each of us will either be a pleasant place to wait for Judgement Day, or it may be a terrible place to wait if we were not righteous believers in this life. When Judgement Day comes, Allah will re-create us as He did the first time.
- [Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.] (Al-Qiyamah 75:3-4)
This resurrection will be in body and in spirit, and this is easy for Allah, having earlier created us from nothing. After judgement has been made by Allah as to who shall enter Paradise and who shall enter the Hell-fire, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) tells us that
- on the Day of Resurrection, Death will be brought forward in the shape of a black-and-white ram. Then a call maker will call, “O people of Paradise!” Thereupon they will stretch their necks and look carefully. The caller will say, “Do you know this?” They will say, “Yes, this is Death.” By then, all of them will have seen it. Then it will be announced again, “O people of Hell!” They will stretch their necks and look carefully. The caller will say, “Do you know this?” They will say, “Yes, this is Death.” And by then, all of them will have seen it. Then it will be slaughtered and the caller will say, “O people of Paradise! Eternity for you and no death; O people of Hell! Eternity for you and no death.” (Al-Bukhari)
A Soul for All?
Everything that Allah created has a soul. Some of them fulfil the roles that Allah has set for them and do exactly what they were created to do.
This includes the plant and animal kingdoms, the mountains, seas and oceans, planets, stars, for example, as each of them worships Allah in their own way. They do not have a free will as do humans and the Jinn.
We are told in the Qur’an that Allah offered a trust to the heavens and the earth, but out of fear that they would not be able to handle the responsibilities laid upon them, they declined the offer, while only humanity took up the offer of this free choice.
- [We did indeed offer the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: But Man undertook it; He was indeed unjust and foolish.] (Al-Ahzab 33:72)
Man accepted this despite the fact that he is weak and unjust. Only those who Allah guides and helps will be able to carry out the responsibilities placed on them. These are the ones who guard the Trust faithfully.
Everything, however, worships Allah in its own way. Trees, animals, rocks, mountains, and planets, all glorify Allah.
- [Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, declares the Praises and Glory of Allah. For He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.] (Al-Hashr 59:1)
When we explore the makeup of atoms we find that there is an equally vast universe within the tiniest components that make up the one in which we live.
On the last day, all of it will be caused to disappear and only Allah will remain.
- [And call not, besides Allah, on another god. There is no god but He. Everything will perish except His own Face. To Him belongs the Command, and to Him will you all be brought back.] (Al-Qasas 28:88)
- [Every soul shall taste death] (Aal `Imran 3:185)
- [The Day whereon they will (all) come forth: Not a single thing concerning them is hidden from Allah. Whose will be the dominion that Day?” That of Allah, the One, the Irresistible!] (Ghafir 40:16)
There being no one and nothing to answer, Allah will Himself answer by saying, “Allah, the One, the Irresistible.” To Him belongs all things and to Him is the return.
I hope this was helpful to you. Please keep in touch.
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Nature of the Human Soul
Does God Have a Spirit?
Returning of One’s soul in the Grave
Do souls Know Their Fate After Death?
The Return of One’s soul After Death