April 17, 2021

Islamic Web Library

An Islamic Resource Center

The Perfect Man: ‘Soul of Soul’ or ‘The Divine Spirit’

3 min read

The following excerpt is taken from “Maariful Quran” by Mufti Taqi Usmani Surah Naziat pg. 697:

The human soul is a refined body which permeates the dense material body. The [ancient] doctors and philosophers called it as ruh or soul. But the real spirit is an abstract substance and a subtle divine creature connected in a special way with this physical soul or nafs, the life of which is dependent on the Divine Spirit. The pure, abstract and non-material spirit is the life of the first soul on which depends the life of the body, and therefore it is called the ‘soul of soul’. The real nature of the connection between these two kinds of soul is not known to anyone. It is known to Allah alone. Perhaps an illustration would clarify the matter. If we were to hold a mirror against the sun, then, despite that the sun is 149.6 million kilometres away from the earth, its reflection comes into the mirror. And because of the light, that too starts glowing like the sun. The same thing applies to the human soul. If it exerts itself in spiritual struggle and ascetic discipline in keeping with the teachings of [Divine] revelation, he will be enlightened. Otherwise he would be polluted with the bad effects of the physical body.

For details see the following excerpt:

The Soul of Soul – (Maariful Quran vol 5 pg. 303-305)

“The Perfect Man is, thus, that individual human being who realizes in himself the reality of the saying that man is created in God’s
image, who combines in his microcosmic selfhood both the macrocosmic object and divine consciousness, being that heart which, microcosmically, contains all things essentially, and in which the Reality
eternally rediscovers Its wholeness.” (The Bezels of Wisdom, Ibn Arabi, Translated by R.W.J. Austin, pg. 35)

Perhaps this is the meaning of the following Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him.”

(Reference taken from sunnah.com)


Austin, Ralph. (1980).Fusus al Hikam. (p. 35) http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Ibn_Arabi__Ralph_Austin_The_Bezels_of_Wisdom.pdf

Shafi, Muhammad (2008). Maariful Quran. (Vol .8 pg. 697). http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/maarif-volume8-english.pdf

Wudud, Abdul (1994). Phenomena of Nature. (p. 247-266). http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Phenomena-Of-Nature-By-Dr-Syed-Abdul-Wadud-1-267-286.pdf