Ruh, Nafs, Qalb and Aql

This article has stemmed from a question, which was asked about the
creation of ‘Nafs’ and how it relates to ‘Ruh’? The topic is extremely complex
and has not been dealt with in the previous articles, particlularly when topics
of ‘Irfan/Maurifat’ were explained with in the past.1
We very much appreciate
this question, as after analysing of Arabic and English translations, it was
found that almost in all English translations, including ours, several ‘Arabic’
terms are not translated properly. However, the less than ideal translation of
the some of the Islamic terms, would not significantly affect the general reader
but will certainly not help in developing a ‘higher level Maurifat’ (understanding
the Divine Instructions – mysticism.)
The compilation of the Ahadith in this article is by no means complete as only
a fraction of the Ahadith dealing with the subject are cited. Also for the ease of
the readers, the Islamic ‘terms’ under discussion, are highlighted in lengthy
Ahadith (as most of the readers will only be interested in the sentences in
which these Arabic terms are explained). Some of the lengthy Ahadith related
to secondary relevance (to the topic) are cited in the Appendices to ensure
that the article is infortmative but concise.
In addition, some other related terms, which are directly related to the ‘Nafs’
and ‘Ruh’ are also covered, including ‘Qalb’ and ‘Aql’ (usually translated as
heart and wisdom/intellegence) ‘Waaswisa’ (inspiration from Iblis) and ‘Fitna’
(mischief, strife). The terms Al-Hikmah (wisdom) and the ‘Sadoor’ (chest) are
explained in the appendices. We will revise this article in the near future in the
light of the comments from our readers as well as when more Ahadith of Ahl
Al-Bayt(asws) are archived. We will also compile a separate article explaining
some other Islamic terms in the near furture, insha Allah(azwj)
.

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