[Al-Quran 50:6-8] Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah].

Thursday, November 24, 2022

People with Horn like growths on their Head


The Possessor of Two Horns 

In Surah al-Kahf, we learn about a person with the name / title 'ذِي الْقَرْنَيْنِ'  

The following is an excerpt from: Dhu al Qarnayn visited the Polar Regions? [as on November 25, 2022]

Who was Dhu al Qarnayn? 

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَن ذِي الْقَرْنَيْنِ ۖ قُلْ سَأَتْلُو عَلَيْكُم مِّنْهُ ذِكْرًا

[Al-Quran 18:83, Translator: Mohammad Sarwar] (Muhammad), they will ask you about Dhu 'l-Qarnayn. Say, "I shall tell you something about him". 

‘Dhu al Qarnayn’ is the name or the title/attribute of this person. 

The Quran uses the word قَرْنٍ to generally mean generations. Variations of the root ق ر ن also lend meaning to words for companion, bound together, capable, accompanying. Of the twenty-three times it is used as the noun qarn (قَرْن), twenty are translated as generation(s), and thrice is it used for the name of the person ذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ mentioned in Surah al-Kahf (Q18:83, 86, 94). More on this at: Dhul-Qarnayn [two horns, two generations, or both] 

One of the meanings of ‘q-r-n’ in Lane’s Lexicon is ‘The part of the head of a human being which in an animal is the place where the horn grows’. ‘Qarnayn’ is the dual form of the noun. Various commentators have interpreted ‘Dhu al Qarnayn’ as the ‘Lord of the Two Horns’ or ‘Possessor of the Two Horns’. 



Horns & Horn-like Growths 

Quoting Wikipedia page Horns [as on November 25, 2022] 

horn is a permanent pointed projection on the head of various animals that consists of a covering of keratin and other proteins surrounding a core of live bone. ...

Quoting Wikipedia page Cutaneous horn [as on November 25, 2022] 

Cutaneous horns, also known by the Latin name cornu cutaneum, are unusual keratinous skin tumors with the appearance of horns, or sometimes of wood or coral. Formally, this is a clinical diagnosis for a "conical projection above the surface of the skin. ...

The Cutaneous horn page lists the names of a few famous cases. Searching for the name at the top of the list reveals many images of this Chinese lady, and of a few other people as well. The following is a screenshot from the Google Images search for: zhang ruifang horn 

An Ancient Greek coin

Silver tetradrachmon(ancient Greek coin) issued in the name of Alexander the Great, depicting Alexander with the horns of Ammon-Ra(242/241 BC, posthumous issue). Displayed at the British Museum.
Wikipedia [as on November 27, 2022] 
Attribution: By Unknown, original uploader was Zeno of Elea at en.wikipedia - http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/ImagesofAlexander/Antiquity_Coins_Alex.html ; transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:MARKELLOS using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8793631 

The above coin depicts the famous conqueror Alexander as having two horns. Horns have been associated with strength, both with evil and with good. 

Moses is also depicted with two horns, in a famous statue: 

Michelangelo's Moses
AttributionBy Michelangelo - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46476418 

Quoting Wikipedia  page Moses (Michelangelo) [as on November 27, 2022]:

Following the iconographic convention common in Latin Christianity, the statue has two horns on its head.[6][8][9][10][11]

The depiction of a horned Moses stems from the description of Moses' face as "cornuta" ("horned") in the Latin Vulgate translation of the passage found at Exodus chapter 34, specifically verses 29, 30 and 35, in which Moses returns to the people after receiving the commandments for the second time.[12] The Douay-Rheims Bible translates the Vulgate as, "And when Moses came down from the Mount Sinai, he held the two tablets of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation of the Lord."[13]

Quoting Wikipedia page Moses, Notre Dame (a more recent sculpture) [as on November 27, 2022]:  

Moses is an outdoor bronze sculpture by Croatian artist Josip Turkalj.[1] It is located at the main campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, just outside of the Hesburgh Library. Owned by the University of Notre Dame and commissioned in 1962, the sculpture represents the prophet Moses.

Moses, University of Notre Dame

Attribution: By Eccekevin - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44762498

However, The Quran does not mention the breaking of the tablets, after the first descent from the mountain, nor the need for getting of the tablets a second time:   

وَاتَّخَذَ قَوۡمُ مُوۡسٰى مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِهٖ مِنۡ حُلِيِّهِمۡ عِجۡلًا جَسَدًا لَّهٗ خُوَارٌ​ ؕ اَلَمۡ يَرَوۡا اَنَّهٗ لَا يُكَلِّمُهُمۡ وَلَا يَهۡدِيۡهِمۡ سَبِيۡلًا ۘ اِتَّخَذُوۡهُ وَكَانُوۡا ظٰلِمِيۡنَ‏ 

وَلَـمَّا سُقِطَ فِىۡۤ اَيۡدِيۡهِمۡ وَرَاَوۡا اَنَّهُمۡ قَدۡ ضَلُّوۡا ۙ قَالُوۡا لَٮِٕنۡ لَّمۡ يَرۡحَمۡنَا رَبُّنَا وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا لَنَكُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡخٰسِرِيۡنَ‏  

وَلَمَّا رَجَعَ مُوۡسٰٓى اِلٰى قَوۡمِهٖ غَضۡبَانَ اَسِفًا ۙ قَالَ بِئۡسَمَا خَلَفۡتُمُوۡنِىۡ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِىۡ ۚ اَعَجِلۡتُمۡ اَمۡرَ رَبِّكُمۡ​ ۚ وَاَلۡقَى الۡاَلۡوَاحَ وَاَخَذَ بِرَاۡسِ اَخِيۡهِ يَجُرُّهٗۤ اِلَيۡهِ​ؕ قَالَ ابۡنَ اُمَّ اِنَّ الۡـقَوۡمَ اسۡتَضۡعَفُوۡنِىۡ وَكَادُوۡا يَقۡتُلُوۡنَنِىۡ ​ۖ  فَلَا تُشۡمِتۡ بِىَ الۡاَعۡدَآءَ وَ لَا تَجۡعَلۡنِىۡ مَعَ الۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ‏ 

قَالَ رَبِّ اغۡفِرۡ لِىۡ وَلِاَخِىۡ وَ اَدۡخِلۡنَا فِىۡ رَحۡمَتِكَ ​ۖ 

 وَاَنۡتَ اَرۡحَمُ الرّٰحِمِيۡنَ

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ اتَّخَذُوا الۡعِجۡلَ سَيَنَالُهُمۡ غَضَبٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّهِمۡ وَذِلَّـةٌ فِى الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا​ ؕ وَكَذٰلِكَ نَجۡزِىۡ الۡمُفۡتَرِيۡنَ‏ 

وَالَّذِيۡنَ عَمِلُوا السَّيِّاٰتِ ثُمَّ تَابُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِهَا وَاٰمَنُوۡۤا

 اِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِهَا لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِيۡمٌ‏ 

وَلَـمَّا سَكَتَ عَنۡ مُّوۡسَى الۡغَضَبُ اَخَذَ الۡاَلۡوَاحَ 

 وَفِىۡ نُسۡخَتِهَا هُدًى وَّرَحۡمَةٌ لِّـلَّذِيۡنَ هُمۡ لِرَبِّهِمۡ يَرۡهَبُوۡنَ

And the people of Moses made, after [his departure], from their ornaments a calf - an image having a lowing sound. Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to a way? They took it [for worship], and they were wrongdoers.

And when regret overcame them1 and they saw that they had gone astray, they said, "If our Lord does not have mercy upon us and forgive us, we will surely be among the losers."

And when Moses returned to his people, angry and grieved, he said, "How wretched is that by which you have replaced me after [my departure]. Were you impatient over the matter of your Lord?" And he threw down the tablets and seized his brother by [the hair of] his head, pulling him toward him. [Aaron] said, "O son of my mother, indeed the people overpowered me and were about to kill me, so let not the enemies rejoice over me1 and do not place me among the wrongdoing people."

[Moses] said, "My Lord, forgive me and my brother and admit us into Your mercy, for You are the most merciful of the merciful."

Indeed, those who took the calf [for worship] will obtain anger from their Lord and humiliation in the life of this world, and thus do We recompense the inventors [of falsehood].

But those who committed misdeeds and then repented after them and believed - indeed your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful.

And when the anger subsided in Moses, he took up the tablets; and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who are fearful of their Lord.

[Al-Quran 7:148-154, Translation: Saheeh International]

The Quran does however go on to mention another appointment for which Moses selected seventy men

وَاخۡتَارَ مُوۡسٰى قَوۡمَهٗ سَبۡعِيۡنَ رَجُلًا لِّمِيۡقَاتِنَا​ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَخَذَتۡهُمُ الرَّجۡفَةُ قَالَ رَبِّ لَوۡ شِئۡتَ اَهۡلَـكۡتَهُمۡ مِّنۡ قَبۡلُ وَاِيَّاىَ​ ؕ اَ تُهۡلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ السُّفَهَآءُ مِنَّا ۚ اِنۡ هِىَ اِلَّا فِتۡنَـتُكَ ؕ تُضِلُّ بِهَا مَنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتَهۡدِىۡ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ ​ؕ اَنۡتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَاغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا وَارۡحَمۡنَا​ وَاَنۡتَ خَيۡرُ الۡغَافِرِيۡنَ‏  

And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment. And when the earthquake seized them,2 he said, "My Lord, if You had willed, You could have destroyed them before and me [as well]. Would You destroy us for what the foolish among us have done? This is not but Your trial by which You send astray whom You will and guide whom You will. You are our Protector, so forgive us and have mercy upon us; and You are the best of forgivers.

[Al-Quran 7:155, Translation: Saheeh International]


Real Horns in Humans 

However, humans do have real horn-like bony extensions in their neck. 

The following is an excerpt from: Our Record in Our Neck [as on November 25, 2022]  

Horns in The Neck 
The Bible refers to the horns in the neck, commanding that humans keep it lowered:

Do not lift up your horn on high, Do not speak with insolent pride.'"
[Psalm 75:5, Translation: New American Standard Bible]

And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, But the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.
[Psalm 75:10, Translation: New American Standard Bible]

The Hyoid Bone in the Human Neck 
Anatomography [CC BY-SA 2.1 jp]

According to a study published in 2016: 
The hyoid bone plays an important role in the functions of speaking, swallowing, prevention of regurgitation, and airway maintenance ... 



Last updated on: November 28, 2022

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Body / بَدَنِ / جَسَدًا / سَوْءَةَ

 Revisiting Human: Body or Soul?  Part III: Body / بَدَنِ / جَسَدًا / سَوْءَةَ 

Note: In 2017, I published a post titled Human: Body or Soul?. In this series, I intend to restudy the ayaat to improve the understanding, and to increase in submission, in sha Allah  


The Quran speaks of the body in three different root words. 


In Adam's story, and his sons, it speaks of the body in the triliteral root sīn wāw hamza (س و أ)

  • in Adam's story, when Iblis (Satan) tricks them into losing their clothing, their naked body is described with the word سَوْآتِهِمَا , as described in detail in Surah al-Araf (Q7:20, Q7:22, Q7:26, Q7:27). 
  • in Adam's sons' story, the dead body is described as سَوْءَةَ .

Screenshot from corpus.quran.com

This triliteral root س و أ shares meanings with words which indicate the consequences of our (sinful) deeds upon us, such that they are a physical consequence, which needs to be removed, and is removable. For example: 

وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَعَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَاٰمَنُوۡا بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلٰى مُحَمَّدٍ وَّهُوَ الۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّهِمۡ​ۙ كَفَّرَ عَنۡهُمۡ سَيِّاٰتِهِمۡ وَاَصۡلَحَ بَالَهُمۡ‏ 

And those who believe and do righteous deeds and believe in what has been sent down upon Muḥammad - and it is the truth from their Lord - He will remove from them their misdeeds and amend their condition.

[Al-Quran 47:2, Translation: Saheeh International]

لِّيُدۡخِلَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ وَالۡمُؤۡمِنٰتِ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِىۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَا وَيُكَفِّرَ عَنۡهُمۡ سَيِّاٰتِهِمۡ​ؕ وَكَانَ ذٰ لِكَ عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ فَوۡزًا عَظِيۡمًا ۙ‏ 

[And] that He may admit the believing men and the believing women to gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide therein eternally and remove from them their misdeeds - and ever is that, in the sight of Allāh, a great attainment

  [Al-Quran 48:5, Translation: Saheeh International]



The word جَسَدًا seems to be:
  • an image of a body, as of the heifer (عِجْلًا) that the Bani Israel started worshipping, as in Q7:148, and Q20:88, 
  • or a body which doesn't need to eat, nor does it die, as questions Q21:8, 
  • or maybe a body, or image of a body, that Solomon was tested with, and then he realised his sin, and repented, as in Q38:34
Screenshot from corpus.quran.com



When Pharaoh was drowning, he was preserved in his body ( بَدَنِ ) as a sign for those who would come later. 
Screenshot from: corpus.quran.com

Traditionally, when the Pharaohs died, they were mummified and their bodies preserved. There are many such mummies. However, this was a unique case where an entire army was drowned, and it must have been a long while before this drowned, wet yet preserved, body was discovered and taken care of. 

The entire ayat reads: 

فَالۡيَوۡمَ نُـنَجِّيۡكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُوۡنَ لِمَنۡ خَلۡفَكَ اٰيَةً  ؕ وَاِنَّ كَثِيۡرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ عَنۡ اٰيٰتِنَا لَغٰفِلُوۡنَ‏ 

However today We will preserve you in your body so you may be a sign to anyone who comes after you. Yet many people are quite heedless of Our signs.

  [Al-Quran 10:92, Translation: T. B. Irving]

When this mummified body was discovered, and sent to France for preservation, the finding was that this particular body had suffered drowning before being preserved as a mummy.  


So, the three different words for body might mean three different aspects: 

  • suffered some harm  سَوْءَةَ
  • shape of the body  جَسَدًا
  • content of the body بَدَنِ 

Looking up in Lane's Lexicon

  • بَدَنِ indicates fatness and age, or the torso, i.e. the trunk of the body, considered independently of  the head, hands and feet 
  • جَسَدًا indicates a soulless body 
  •  سَوْءَةَ a thing became evil or bad; or something that causes grief or shame; or something unsightly when exposed, more specifically the exposure of the pudendum  


From the original post: 


The Quran speaks of your nafsyour heartyour faceyour eyesyour hands, but it speaks about us or rather our body as 'you', except in the following ayaat: 

Consider the following ayaat:
Indeed, (the) likeness (of) Isa near Allah (is) like (the) likeness (of) Adam. He created him from dust then He said to him, "Be," and he was. 
[Al-Quran 3:59

And among His Signs (is) that He created you from dust then behold! You (are) human beings dispersing. 
[Al-Quran 30:20

He (is) the One Who created you from dust, then from a semen-drop, then from a clinging substance, then He brings you out (as) a child; then lets you reach your maturity, then lets you become old - and among you (is he) who dies before - and lets you reach a term specified, and that you may use reason. 
[Al-Quran 40:67

The Quran reiterates that we have been created from the Earth. Not only does it inform us of our earthly origins, it seems that the earth that was used to create us in this life is the same earth that will be put back together when we are resurrected: 

And they say, "Is it when we are bones and crumbled particles, will we surely (be) resurrected (as) a creation new." Say, "Be stones or iron. Or a creation of what (is) great in your breasts." Then they will say, "Who will restore us?" Say, "He Who separated (فَطَرَ) you (the) first time." Then they will shake at you their heads and they say, "When (will) it (be)?" Say, "Perhaps that (it) will be soon." (On) the Day He will call you and you will respond with His Praise, and you will think, not you had remained except a little (while). 
[Al-Quran 17:49-52; Translation edited] 

What! When we die and have become dust. That (is) a return far." Certainly, We know what diminishes the earth of them, and with Us (is) a Book guarded
[Al-Quran 50:3-4

(The) Day will split the earth from them, hurrying. That (is) a gathering for Us easy. 
[Al-Quran 50:44

(The) Day they will come out from the graves rapidly as if they (were) to a goal hastening,  
[Al-Quran 70:43

Last updated on: November 24, 2022

Ruh / رُوحُ

Revisiting Human: Body or Soul?  Part I: Ruh / رُوحُ

Note: In 2017, I published a post titled Human: Body or Soul?. In this series, I intend to restudy the ayaat to improve the understanding, and to increase in submission, in sha Allah  


Search results: 


From the original post: 


فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

[Al-Quran 15:29] So, when I have fashioned him and [I] breathed into him of My RUH, then fall down to him prostrating."

Ar-RUH, generally translated as spirit (Q32:9, Q97:4) or soul (Q17:85), is from the AMR (commands, decrees) of Allah:  

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

And they ask you about the RUH. Say: The RUH is one of the commands of my Lord, and you are not given aught of knowledge but a little. 
[Al-Quran 17:85, Translator: Shakir] 

In Surah al-Qadr, we read: 

تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

The angels and the RUH descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees
[Al-Quran 97:4, Translator: Pickthall] 

People believe that we are essentially our SOUL while the body is just a vessel that we inhabit temporarily. Contrary to popular belief, the Quran does not support this belief about the SOUL, or even acknowledge its existence independent of the body. It simply states that the RUH is from the commands of God.  

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living nephesh
[Bible, Genesis 2:7 ; Transliteration ; Arabic Bible

Who made good everything that He has created, and He began the creation of man from dust. Then He made his progeny of an extract, of water held in light estimation. Then He made him complete and breathed into him of His RUHand made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts; little is it that you give thanks. And they say: What! when we have become lost in the earth, shall we then certainly be in a new creation? Nay! they are disbelievers in the meeting of their Lord. Say: The angel of death who is given charge of you shall cause you to die, then to your Lord you shall be brought back. 
[Al-Quran 32:7 – 11, Translator: Shakir]   

Allah commands through His Words:  
He (is) the One Who gives life and causes death. And when He decrees a matter, then only He says to it, "Be," and it is. 
[Al-Quran 40:68

Mary conceived Jesus when she received the Command of Allah. Quran 3:4519:17 and 66:12 use the word ruh to convey what was breathed into Mary.  As explained in Virgin Birth, speech can be transferred wirelessly (breathed in).  


From Q38 71-88 || Q12 

The Command of Prostration 

فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My spirit Ruh, then fall down to him prostrating."
[Al-Quran 38:72; translation edited to retain the word Ruh]

إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَا أَبَتِ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِي سَاجِدِينَ

قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُؤْيَاكَ عَلَىٰ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُوا لَكَ كَيْدًا ۖ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

وَكَذَ‌ٰلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ وَيُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَىٰ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ كَمَا أَتَمَّهَا عَلَىٰ أَبَوَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

 لَّقَدْ كَانَ فِي يُوسُفَ وَإِخْوَتِهِ آيَاتٌ لِّلسَّائِلِينَ

When said Yusuf to his father, "O my father! Indeed, I I saw one ten (i.e eleven) star(s) planet(s) and the sun and the moon; I saw them to me prostrating."
He said, "O my son! (Do) not relate your vision to your brothers lest they plan against you a plot. Indeed, the Shaitaan (is) to man an enemy open.
And thus will choose you your Lord and will teach you of (the) interpretation (of) the narratives and complete His Favor on you and on (the) family (of) Yaqub as He completed it on your two forefathers from before - Ibrahim and Ishaq. Indeed, your Lord (is) All-Knower, All-Wise."
Certainly were in Yusuf and his brothers signs for those who ask.
[Al-Quran 12:4-7; Translation edited in italics for clarity]

The angels were ordered to prostrate to the bashr that Allah was going to create only after Allah blew His Ruh into it. Allah creates with materials, and commands with His Words. Surah as-Sajdah (The Prostration, Q32:7-9) mentions the order: clay (طِين), progeny from water (سُلَالَةٍ مِّن مَّاءٍ مَّهِين), shape/proportion/fashion (سَوَّاهُ), and then breathing in the command (نَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِهِ).  
Note: Q17:85 informs us that The Ruh (الرُّوحِ) is from the commands/matters (أَمْرِ) of our Lord-Sustainer, that is Allah, and we haven't been given except very little knowledge about it. 

At the tenth week of development, the embryo transitions into a fetus, and it is called so until birth. At the same tenth week, the fetus starts to breathe, and fetal breathing is detectable. However, regular and continuous breathing begins only after delivery. As the fetal lung matures, there is some correlation between the development of respiratory and sleep centres of the central nervous system, as indicated by breathing measurements made during REM and NREM periods. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is associated with dreams, and associated brain patterns are similar to those made while awake. REM state is generally detected in the third trimester of fetal development.  

Jacob interpreted Joseph's vision of prostration to mean that Allah will choose Joseph to complete His favours upon the family of Jacob, as He did upon Abraham and Isaac before.  

Surah Yusuf (Joseph) takes us through the various phases of Joseph's life till he is finally well-established.




Nafs / نَفْسُ

Revisiting Human: Body or Soul?  Part II: Nafs / نَفْسُ 

Note: In 2017, I published a post titled Human: Body or Soul?. In this series, I intend to restudy the ayaat to improve the understanding, and to increase in submission, in sha Allah  

I have explored the ayaat about the Nafs since then. Here's a link to all posts about the Nafs

Summary of learnings until now

We have a Nafs.  

In this world, the Nafs is removed and returned to the living body daily. 

Even in the absence of the Nafs, during sleep, our body continues to perform all essential functions to exist. 

In our sleep, we can see dreams. 

In the presence of our Nafs, while awake, we are able to think, to plan, to eat and drink, and some other functions which require consciousness. 

While awake, we can interact with the world around us. 

The dead body doesn't have a Nafs. 

The Nafs, and The Gullet, are in pledge for what they earn in this life. 

The Nafs seems essential for a flourishing life in the Hereafter, so it is essential for the body to retain the Nafs eternally. 

The people of Hell will permanently lose their Nafs on the Day of Judgement, and will suffer consciously. 

So, the Nafs is:

  • not us 
  • not consciousness 
  • not essential to exist 
  • essential to flourish, and live a good life   


From the original post: 

The Quran repeatedly mentions the NAFS

God created the first humans from a single NAFS:
O mankind! Be conscious your Rab (Lord/Sustainer), the One Who created you from a single nafs, and created from her her mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And be conscious of Allah Whom you ask, with it, and the wombs. Indeed, Allah is over you Ever-Watchful.  
[Al-Quran 4:1] 

As quoted in The First Humans, three ayaat inform us that it is God who has created human beings from a single NAFSGod is the Master Creator. He begins creation, and He delegates some of the creation tasks to some beings in His government, as indicated by The Creator I and The Creators We mentioned through various pronouns across the Quran. For difference between the two, please read the section similarly titled at the bottom of this post

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ

We swear that We have created the human being and We know what his NAFS whispers to him. We are closer to him than even his jugular vein.  
[Al-Quran 50:16, Translator: Muhammad Sarwar] 

The information that the NAFS whispers to us indicates that the NAFS is not ‘the us’ but rather resides inside us

The Quran describes three kinds or states of the NAFS as: 
The NAFS-e-AMMARRA is the NAFS that urges us to evil.
The NAFS-e-LAWAMMA is the NAFS that we speak of as our conscience.
The NAFS-e-MUTMAINNA is the NAFS that is satisfied and contented with God, and God is pleased with it.   

Furthermore, it seems that our NAFS is in pledge, something that is removed from us daily, and what we risk losing permanently in the Hereafter: 

And leave those who take their religion (as) a play and amusement and deluded them the life (of) the world. But remind with it, lest is given up to destruction a NAFS for what it (has) earned, not (is) for it besides Allah any protector and not any intercessor. And if it offers ransom - every ransom, not will it be taken from it. Those (are) ones who are given to destruction for what they earned. For them (will be) a drink of boiling water and a punishment painful because they used to disbelieve.
[Al-Quran 6:70

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ 
Every NAFS, for what it has earned, (is) pledged,
[Al-Quran 74:38

The above slide is from the presentation: Rethink Genetic Engineering in the Light of the Quran. Whenever humans have tinkered with and attempted to make fundamental changes in the human body, and consequently messed up, they have been unjust to their NAFS, and thus suffer the physical consequences of Wronging the NAFS. Even sin and disbelief have been described in physical terms as a disease of the heart (qalb)rust upon the heart and lying sinful forelock. Does the NAFS contain the master-copy of our genome? 

وَفِي الْأَرْضِ آيَاتٌ لِّلْمُوقِنِينَ
وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ

And in the earth (are) signs for those who are certain, 
And in your NAFS. Then will not you see? 
[Al-Quran 51:20 - 21]   

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى 
الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُم بَلِ اللَّهُ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاءُ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا
انظُرْ كَيْفَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَكَفَىٰ بِهِ إِثْمًا مُّبِينًا

Do not you see [towards] those who claim purity (for) their NAFSNay, (it is) Allah, He purifies whom He wills and not they will be wronged (even as much as) a hair on a date-seed.
See how they invent about Allah [the] lie, and sufficient is it - (as) a sin manifest.
[Al-Quran 4:49-50]

If the RUH is God’s command that grants life, the NAFS is neither pure nor a ‘spiritual’ component, then there doesn’t seem to exist a spiritual aspect of us: 

Those who avoid great sins and the immoralities except the small faults; indeed, your Lord (is) vast (in) forgiveness. He (is) most knowing about you when He produced you from the earth and when you (were) fetuses in (the) wombs (of) your mothers. So (do) not ascribe purity (to) your NAFS. He knows best (he) who fears. 
[Al-Quran 53:32] 

In Surah ash-Shams, after drawing attention to the God’s amazing creations: Sun, Moon, Day, Night, Sky, Earth, the surah includes the NAFS in the list in these terms: 
By the NAFS, 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
[Al-Quran 91:7-10, Translator: Yusuf Ali] 

Q67:2 informs us that God created Death and Life to test us. Q2:28 and Q40:11speak of two deaths and two lifes in sequence. Q7:172 informs us that the descendants of the Children of Adam witnessed their Nafs. Does it mean that every person is essentially his/her own body? The physical body (hardware) and the nafs (software)? 

What does it mean to purify the Nafs? What does it mean to corrupt it? Or does it mean to grow or stun it, like the growth or stunning of a seed sowed in the Earth? For more on this, please read the section titled Growth of the Nafs in The Same Religion (الدِّينِ)

And what does it mean to adhere to the Fitrat upon which Allah 'fatara' Humans (fitrata Allahi allatee fatara alnnasa AAalayha) and to not to make changes in the creation of Allah? Is it permissible to edit the genome; harvest and transplant organs; build chimeras; abort fetuses? Do we have sufficient clarity about our creation to confidently consider all or some of these as permissible? Or are these acts of corruption and crimes against creation? Please also read Allah, fāṭir (فَاطِر) of the Skies and Earth

Proponents of life-extension technologies quote Q5:32 to state that saving a life is like saving all mankind. Doesn't the ayat contain the exception clause 'he who kills a soul other than (for) a soul or (for) spreading corruption in the earth then (it) is as if he has killed all [the] mankind'? Wasn't Adam attempting life-extension when he tried to achieve Immortality as per Q20:114-124? Wasn't Adam the most knowledgable person as he had been taught all the names by God Himself? Weren't the ancients mightier and more knowledgable than us? Were they not also committing crimes that were corrupting creation?     

And what exactly is death, the one that pre-exists this life, and the one that follows this life?  Can we risk disobeying God based on our ignorance of the scripture? 

And Allah created the heavens and the earth in truth and that may be recompensed every NAFS for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged.
Have you seen (he) who takes (as) his god his desire and Allah lets him go astray knowingly, and upon his hearing and his heart and puts over his vision a veil? Then who will guide him after Allah? Then will not you receive admonition?
And they say, "Not it (is) but our life (of) the world, we die and we live, and not destroys us except the time." And not for them of that any knowledge; not, they (do) but guess.
And when are recited to them Our Verses clear, not is their argument except that they say, "Bring our forefathers if you are truthful."
Say, "Allah gives you life, then causes you to die; then He will gather you to (the) Day (of) the Resurrection, no doubt about it." But most (of) the people (do) not know. 
[Al-Quran 45:22-26