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Kindly elucidate the concept of soul as given in the Quran


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Author Topic: Kindly elucidate the concept of soul as given in the Quran  (Read 1846 times)
Heba E. Husseyn
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« on: May 16, 2007, 07:03:30 pm »

 BismEm

 salamem to all members and guests!


I wish to know your concept of soul according to the guidelines provided in the Noble Quran.   We know that even non-Muslims believe in the existence of the soul.  But people of different faiths make somewhat different interpretations of the soul.  As a Muslim, how would you define the characteristics and limitations of the soul.  Just curious for a feedback.
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Zeynab
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 01:27:30 am »

BismAllah .. and Wa'Salaam Sis Heba.  Let me try to comment on this one. 

To begin with, as Muslims and human beings we all know for sure that the body of every living being contains a soul.  The body is mortal while the soul is immortal.  The body and soul are together as long as one lives in this earthly world.  Then, when the body dies, the soul departs from the body.  Those who trust the extra Quranic literature like Hadith etc. believe that after death the soul is made to rest in a place called Barzaq.   People differ in their precise explanation of Barzaq.  However, the Quran says nothing about Barzaq nor any other concept resembling it.  Thus, ever since I've started taking the Quran alone as my source of information (Alhamdulilah), I have stopped focusing on the concept of Barzaq

Allah Almighty says in Surah Bani Israel (V.17:85) that He has bestowed on we humans very little knowledge about the soul.  That means, complete knowledge about the soul belongs to Allah only.  The only information that The Almighty has bestowed upon us is the fact that the soul is immortal.  But where the soul is preserved after it leaves the body, what are its characteristics, limitations etc. are aspects of the unseen and only Allah has the complete knowledge of all such details. 

People in this world often wonder if departed souls are able to visit earth.  Some folks who claim to have seen the "apparitions" or spirits of their loved ones who have passed away, or the appearance of unknown spirits, believe for sure that spirits do visit this world.  But this idea is not at all supported by the Quran.  The only elemental spirit, the existence of which is confirmed in the Quran, is the Jinn. 

I reiterate, the only aspect about the soul which Allah has chosen to disclose to us is that the soul is immortal.  The rest of the knowledge about it is with Allah only.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 02:13:42 am »

very good points, thanks Sister Zeyna
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 02:22:34 am »

BTW ... once upon a time it was much the same with me when I was very interested in knowing about Barzaak and I would talk about it a great deal with the Hadithers.  And as you pointed out, I too observed that they all had varying opinions which is typical of human ideas.  Some say Barzaak exists in the grave, some say it's in some other place outside from Paradise and so on.  All based on the various Hadith narrations but absolutely no mention of any such things in the Quran. 

I agree, it's best to accept that we know nothing beyond the immortality of the soul as Allah has decided. 
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2007, 02:06:22 am »

Okay, so .. to summarize this topic ::

As per the information provided in the Quran, souls exist and are immortal.  But we don't know where the souls rest after death until Resurrection.  That is only known to Allah.

People claim some souls visit the earth. This is not supported by the Quran.

Am I right?
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2008, 03:02:45 pm »

True Sis Ruhi.

Verse 17:85 (Surah Bani Israel or Al-Isra) clearly confirms the existence of the soul and it's at Allah's command, that humans have been granted no further knowledge about it. 

They are asking thee concerning the Spirit. Say: The Spirit is by command of my Rab, and of knowledge you have been vouchsafed but little.  (17:85)

Verse 56:60-61 (Surah Al-Waqi'ah) also, to my understanding, hints at the existence of the soul.  I would paraphrase it as .. death is unavoidable, and after death one is transformed into something different.  Perhaps this refers to the withered physical remains and the existing soul of those remains that's at the command of Allah.  Of course, Allah knows best.  It certainly has a deep meaning.

We mete out death among you, and We are not to be outrun,
That We may transfigure you and make you what ye know not.  (56:60-61)


Verse 42 of Surah 39 (Az-Zumar) quoted below also states that souls of people can be in the custody of Allah while they are asleep.  But the Verse clarifies that Allah takes away the soul permanently only when He ordains death for that soul.  Those for whom death hasn't yet been ordained, their soul is returned to their body by will of Allah. So, they're able to wake up from sleep.  In other words, those for whom the Divine Decree of death hasn't been issued yet, wake up from their sleep because their appointed time for death has not yet arrived. 

"Allah receiveth (men's) souls at the time of their death, and that (soul) which dieth not (yet) in its sleep. He keepeth that (soul) for which He hath ordained death and dismisseth the rest till an appointed term. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who take thought." (39:42)

As we can see from these three above mentioned Verses, the soul (of the dead) visiting the earth by Allah's permission is NOT stated or hinted anywhere.   That's because Allah has already said in 17:85 that humans have been vouchsafed little knowledge about the soul as per His will. 

Additionally, if you check Verses 23:99-100 of Surah Al-Mominun (The Believers), Allah has plainly conveyed te concept that death brings a barrier between the departed soul and earthly world.  I would conclude with the analysis that just as those still living on earth do not have the ability to visit the next world, thus after leaving earthly world, one does not have the capability to return here. 

"Until, when death cometh unto one of them, he saith: My Lord! Send me back,  (23:99) Surah Al-Mominun.
That I may do right in that which I have left behind! But nay! It is but a word that he speaketh; and behind them is a barrier until the day when they are raised."   (23:100) Surah Al-Mominun.


Allah knows best about every matter.
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 10:57:12 pm »

O! thanks for this additional clarification directly from the Quran.  I don't know how I didn't see it earlier.  It's just what I was looking for.  From what I would interpret, the hint upon the existence of the soul in Verse 56:60-61 is so interesting.  When Allah says to "transfigure you and make you what ye know not" is apparently, as I see it, a reference to the soul without the physical body.  The soul without the body is surely a transfiguration of one form from another.  and Allah-o-Aalim. 

Thanks again sis Smiley
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