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Creed of Islam. Pillars of Iman. Tauhid. Eman. Tawhid. Touheed. Thowheed

37. Roohullaah – The ‘Spirit’ of Allaah

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[This is a continuation of the previous post on mysticism & Fanaa]

Support for the mystic belief in the re-unification of the human soul with Allaah has also been falsely deduced from some of the verses of the Qur’aan itself. The following verses in which Allaah said:

(Quran Chapter 32. As Sajdah ayat 9)

Then He (Allaah) fashioned him (Aadam) and blew in him from His spirit

(Quran Chapter 15. Al Hijr ayat 29)

When I fashioned him and blew into him of My Spirit

have been used as evidence for the belief that every human being contains within his body a part of God. The portion of Allaah’s “spirit” which Allaah breathed into Aadam has supposedly been inherited by all of his descendents. Thus, it is believed among mystics that this divine eternal spirit within man yearns to reunite with its origin from whence it came. However, this is not the case.

Possessive pronouns (my, your, his, her, our) in Arabic, as in English, have two general meanings depending on the context in which they are used. They may describe an attribute or a possession which is (or is not) a part of its owner. For example, in Allaah’s command to Prophet Moosaa (Moses)

(Quran Chapter 20. Taaha ayat 22)

Put your hand inside your shirt and it will come out shining unharmed…

both the “hand” and “shirt” belonged to Prophet Moosaa but his hand was an attribute which was a part of him, while his shirt was a possession which was not a part of him. The same is the case relative to God with regards to His attributes and His creation. For example, in the case of divine mercy wherein He says

(Quran Chapter 2. Al Baqarah ayat 105)

Allaah gives His mercy specifically to whomsoever He wishes…

Allaah’s mercy is one of his attributes and not a part of His creation. On the other hand, Allaah sometimes refers to created things as “His” to emphasize the fact that He created them. Yet others are referred to as His to indicate the special position of honor with which He views them. For example, with respect to the She-Camel sent as a test to Prophet Saalih’s people, the Thamood, Allaah quoted Prophet Saalih as saying

(Quran Chapter 7. Al A‘raaf ayat 73)

This is Allaah’s camel sent to you as a sign. So allow it to graze in Allaah’s earth

The camel was miraculously sent as a sign to the Thamood who did not have any right to deny it from grazing, because the whole earth belongs to Allaah. Similarly is the case of the Ka’bah about which Allaah made a covenant with Prophets Ibraaheem (Abraham) and Ismaa’eel (Ishmael):

(Quran Chapter 2. Al Baqarah ayat 125)

…and we commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I’tikaaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer).

As for the spirit (Rooh), it is one of Allaah’s creations. Allaah states in the Qur’aan

(Quran Chapter 17. Al Israa’ ayat 85)

They ask you concerning the Rooh (spirit), tell them the Spirit is from my Lord’s command; and you have not been given except a very small amount of knowledge

Elsewhere in the Qur’aan He said: (Quran Chapter 3. Ale Imraan ayat 47)

If Allaah has decided a thing, He only has to command: Be, and it is

And He also said: (Quran Chapter 3. Ale Imraan ayat 59)

He (Allaah) created him (Aadam) from clay then said: Be, and he was.

The command is “be” for all of creation. Therefore, the spirit is created by Allaah’s command. Islaam does not consider God to be an incorporeal Spirit, as do some religions like Christianity. He has neither corporeal body nor is He a formless spirit. He has a form befitting His majesty, the like of which no man has ever seen or conceived.

When Allaah refers to the blowing of a spirit from Himself into prophets Aadam and ‘Eesaa, special honor is given to their created spirits due to the prominence of Prophet Aadam’s position in relation to the rest of mankind and to clarify the confusion concerning Maryam’s virgin birth of Prophet ‘Eesaa. Even Allaah’s attribution of the act of blowing to Himself is, in fact, a clarification of His will and supreme power, for it is the angels who actually insert and extract the souls into man. Thus a better translation of the first two verses would be

(Quran Chapter 32. As Sajdah ayat 9)

Then He fashioned him, and breathed into him the soul (created by Allaah for that person)…

(Quran Chapter 15. Al Hijr ayat 29)

So, when I have fashioned Him completely and breathed into Him (Adam) the soul which I created for him…

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Written by S Ibrahim

Feb 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm

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