Throughout human history, the concept of soul has been thought and discussed by people. However, most of these discussions consist of unreal information. Because the prophets sent by Allah did not explain much about the spirit. As stated in the 85th verse of the Surah al-Isra in the Quran, very little information has been given to people on this subject.

“They are asking you about the spirit. Say: Spirit is the command of my Lord (it is a deed that only He knows) and only a little of knowledge has been given to you. "(Isra, 17/85)

For this reason, Islamic scholars did not give much information about the spirit. Thus, the soul issue remained largely mysterious. The soul is considered to be allegory due to the fact that its true indication is closed such as other spiritual phenomena for example revelation, angels, and jinn. Because these spiritual phenomena are not things known and recognized by feelings and senses. Therefore, it is not possible for everyone to have an opinion on this matter.

However, Islamic Sufis have included some information about the spirit in their books. We will express some of this information below. The Sufis whose books we use on this subject are as follows: Ibn Arabi, Imam Rabbânî, Mevlânâ, Necmeddîn-i Dâye, Erzurumlu İbrahim Hakkı.


Creation of the Spirit

Allah, the Exalted, wanted to be known and loved it when He was a hidden treasure at the level of ehadiyet (unity). For this reason, He created the realm of spirits and bodies. Thus, our Almighty Lord wished to show the perfection of His knowledge, the perfection of His mercy, the perfection of His might, the magnificence of His greatness, the abundance of His blessings, the types of His art and the secrets of His wisdom.

Allah said: "We have indeed created man in the best of mould, and then we cast him down as the lowest of the low" (The Fig, 95 / 4-5). The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Allah created spirits forty thousand years before bodies", in another narration, "thousand years ago." This hadith interprets this verse. Accordingly, first human spirits and then matters and bodies were created. Human souls are the beginning of all beings and creatures. The beginning of the human soul is the pure and very clear soul of the Prophet. Therefore, our Prophet said, "The first thing Allah created is my soul, (in another narration) my light."

The essence and extract  of the existence of the Prophet (pbuh) is the fruit of the tree of the universe with the mystery that "I would not have created firmaments without you". For this reason, our Prophet was the beginning of all existence. It couldn't be any different. Because creation is like a tree, and our Prophet is like the fruit of that tree. In fact, the tree emerges from the seed of the fruit.

When Allah wanted to create existence, he first created the soul of Muhammed out of the light of the sun of His Unity. In this sense, the Prophet informed us as follows: "I am from God, and believers are from me." According to the hearsay, when God looked at the Soul of Prophet as affectionate, feeling ashamed it flowed in drops of sweat. Allah created the souls of the prophets from these drops. Then He created the souls of the saints from the lights of the souls of the prophets and the souls of the believers from the lights of souls of the saints. He created the souls of the rebels from the spirits of the believers; the souls of the hypocrites and the infidels, respectively, from the spirits of the rebels. He created the spirits of angels from the spirits of human; the spirits of jinn from the spirits of angels and the spirits of demons, rebellious spirits and demons from the souls of jinn, according to their state and rank. From the residue left by these spirits, God created the spirits of various animals; after that plants, mines, compound ones, simple ones and elements emerged.

All these constitute the angelic realm. The highest and finest of the angelic realm is called the realm of the Unseen. The middle of this realm is called the Spirits realm. The lower part of the angelic realm is called the Abstract realm or the Isthmus realm, which is dense and close to the world.

After that, God Almighty created the realm of objects with His eternal will so that His supreme names and glory would be evident. For this, He once again looked at the ore He created, and the ore melted out of its shame and flowed like water. He created Arsh-i Azam (The Highest Heaven) from the essence of this flowing water. Later, He created the Seat (Kursi), Heaven and Hell, Sevenfold firmaments and four basic elements (soil, water, fire, air) from the flowing water of this ore. The whole world, from Arsh-I Azam to the lowest level, has been created according to a determined order and planning. Thus, the creation of the realm of the Kingdom has been completed. The higher part of the realm of the Kingdom is called Sublime realm, Survival realm. Its middle part is called the Star realm, the Angels realm. Below it is called the Low Down realm, the Bodies realm, the Elements realm or the World realm.

There are 14 parts in the angelic realm and 15 parts in the realm of Kingdom. The sum of them is 29 parts. The number 29 indicates the number of letters. The combination of these letters creates a language with syllables, nouns and verbs. Words in this language make up the book of Universe.

These are the words of Allah and many wisdoms and truths are hidden in these words. Only the friends of God can understand the secrets in these words. Thus, they comprehend the secrets of Allah's creation and try to have some amount of His infinite knowledge by understanding the deep meanings within. The aim of Sufism is to direct people to know Allah.

It is stated in the Quran that Allah completed the creation of the realm of Kingdom in six days. The universe is filled with angels. Jinn were created from a colorless, smokeless fire on earth. After a while, the jinn did not fit into the earth and ascended to the sky of the world. The jinn who remained on earth were subjected to many troubles because of their cruelty.

As Allah Almighty wanted to create Adam, He sent Azrael to the earth and asked him to bring  soil from seven climates and then asked Gabriel to knead that soil into dough. This dough was kept for forty days, then God Almighty gave this dough the most beautiful form and revived it by blowing from His own soul. Angels prostrated to Adam. However, the demon did not prostrate in arrogance and was therefore cursed.

Allah Almighty elevated Adam to the skies forty years after his creation and bestowed all kinds of blessings by placing him in heaven. Then God created our mother Eve from the left rib of Adam. They lived together for another year in heaven. However, by the deception of the demon, they were taken out of heaven and brought down to earth. Progeny from both made up the people on earth.


Properties of the Spirit

Friends of Allah said: There are two windows of the soul that are opened to the Isthmus realm: Sleep and Inspiration. If a person keeps his sensory organs closed to the outside world and keeps his heart's mirror cleared and polished from all kinds of evil, the spiritual figures and unknown deeds in the Lawh-i Mahfuz (The Protected Table) are reflected in the mirror of the heart and thus perceive. As a result of these, the soul sees the future situations that will happen to him exactly or symbolically. They need correct expression. If his sense organs are busy with the outside world and his heart's mirror is dirty and rusty, his soul cannot watch this spiritual world. Through inspiration, people can learn things that they do not know and hear. For this, heart cleansing is required again. If a person's heart is not clean, they cannot know where and what these inspirations come from.

While in the realm of the spirits, the human spirit saw its creator and learned why it was created. He got used to the desires and wishes of the body as he entered the world realm, so he loved this mortal world and thought that it was continuous. But those who attain the grace and guidance of Allah raise the veil of heedlessness in their eyes and see the truth. Thus, they forget the world and return their hearts to their creators. This person goes into the realm of angelic, and sees what someone else sees in a dream in a state of wakefulness.

For this, it is necessary to constantly engage in dhikr and contemplation of Allah. If a person cleans his heart from the matters of the world, he can see the beauty of Allah. It should not be forgotten that the glory and taste of the human soul is to know God and the happiness is to love Him. If his heart is sick, that is, he falls in love with the world's mortal tastes and lust, evil, desires and passions and forgets Allah, he will be destroyed by heedlessness and will lose eternal bliss.

Unless the human soul is purified from bad habits, it remains at the level of an animal, it cannot rise to the level of human. He cannot know Allah and reach happiness. There are two kinds of spirits in man: 1) The animal spirit; its place is the heart; anger and lust and the bad qualities born from them. 2) The human spirit; its place is the black spot in the heart. If the animal spirit conquers the human soul, it becomes a prisoner of anger and lust. That person's self is alive and his heart is dead. If the human spirit overcomes the animal spirit, his self is dead and the heart is alive. He is spiritual.

One can understand at what rank he is by examining himself. He is an animal if he is doing nothing but eating and drinking, sleeping and the satisfaction of its lust. In addition if he hurts the public through cursing, fighting and beating, he is a snake. In addition to his eating, sleeping and lust if he lies and deceives the people with deceit, he is at the level of the devil. If he eats and drinks less, sleeps less and moves away from his desire for lust, does not hurt anyone, does not cheat, deceive and lie, and if he behaves mildly, cheerfully and correctly in his dealings with the people and gains their consent and prayers, he is at the rank of angels.

The soul is a spiritual substance embedded in the body. God lets life to continue in the human body with the spirit. As long as the soul is in the body, man is alive. Spirits are placed in the body patterns by trust. There is an ascension experienced by souls in a state of sleep. The soul leaves the body while asleep, then returns to it.

Man is made up of the sum of the soul and body. Almighty Allah has made the body and the soul close to each other. So each depends on the other. In the hereafter, the soul and body will come out of the grave together, and they will see the reward and punishment together. Souls are not without beginning. They were created later. They are beautiful spiritual gems.

Those who have the perception derive their perception from the divine light. This divine light is what Almighty Allah expresses in the verse "I breathed my soul into it" (Sad, 38/72). The more a person has from this divine light, the more his perception will be. Allah has given the perfect believers the light of foresight and perception, a feature that He does not give to other people. In fact, these are divine properties. As a matter of fact, the saying of the Prophet (pbuh), "A believer looks with the light of Allah" is in this sense. That is, Allah bestowed on His believing servant a prudence and knowledge that He did not give to His other servants. A believer sees the truth and the facts of everything thanks to this prudence and knowledge. Hallac-ı Mansur says: “Anyone who has an intuition hits the target in the first shot. He does not need guessing, suspicion or interpretation." For this reason, it is said: “The insight of the disciples is in the form of supposition and expresses true knowledge; The insight of the wise men is verification itself and expresses the truth. "


Nature of the Spirit

Spirit  has a divine honor. We know this from the verse below.

"When I have completed his creation and breathed My soul into him, prostrate for him immediately" (Hijr, 15/29)

For this reason, the soul is a divine gem that carries some attributes of Allah. These adjectives are seven, namely, illumination, affection, knowledge, gentleness, friendship, survivability and life. Other adjectives consist of them. From illumination emerge hearing, seeing and speaking; From affection enthusiasm, demand, correctness; From knowledge will and skill; From gentleness dignity, shame, endurance, tranquility; From friendship compassion and mercy; From survival perseverance, continuation; From life intelligence, delusions, other powers of understanding and other attributes.

Surely, affection comes before every adjective mentioned for the soul. For, love for the soul is the result of the honor in the verse "Allah loves them" (Maide, 5/54). If "Allah loves them" had not appeared first in the verse, nobody would have mentioned the word "they also love Allah". This honor only exists for the human soul. All angels and spirituals cannot talk about love because they cannot carry the trust of love.

Actually, affection and troubles are from the same house. But the love and happiness are unaware of each other. Sheikh Abdullah Ensari said: "When the door of affection knocked on, the trouble answered him as follows: Whoever despises himself, I am his slave." This is an explanation of why the friends of Allah suffered the greatest pain.


Spiritual Ascension of the Spirit

Soul is from the realm whose nature is unknown. For this reason, its feature is spacelessness. Indeed, the unknowability of the soul is its awareness relative to Allah. Again, the spacelessness of the soul is the very spatiality itself, relative to the spacelessness of God. The realm of the souls is as if it is a curtain between this realm and the level of unknown nature. For this reason, it carries the color and character of both. Therefore the realm of causes accepts the spirit as unknown. The soul is like a curtain between two realms and this is its essential creation feature.

After the soul entered this material body and made contact with this dark statue, it lost its curtain feature and completely descended into the world whose nature and quantity are known. Its nature and aspect of uncertainty are hidden and covered. Just like the angles Harut and Marut. They went down to the pit of humanity for the benefit of some wisdom, and they took the form of human beings. As a matter of fact, the commentators explained this issue in the interpretation of the 102nd verse of the Surah al-Baqara.

If God helps with His grace and the soul comes back from the journey to this world, if it starts to ascend again after the descent, the dark soul and material body will also rise with it and transcend the ranks. In this way, the purpose of the soul to contact the body and descend to the world will be understood. The self who commands evil will attain trust and peace, and the dark one will turn into light.

When the soul completes this journey / ascension and completes the purpose of its descent, it regains the original feature of being the veil. The final point of the return is the starting point of the soul. Since the heart is from the realm of spirits, it will settle on the level of being a veil. Nafs-i mutmainne (The Satisfied Self) which is from the realm of command and is the curtain between the heart and the body, will also settle and reside in the same place. The material body consisting of four elements (soil, water, fire, air) will find stability in the realm of being and space, and will tend towards worship and obedience. If there is some reckless opposition after that, it is one of the characteristics of the four elements. For example, since the element of fire is self-conscious and demanding opposition, it will cry like the cursed devil, "I am better than him (Adam)" (Sad, 38/76). It is unthinkable for a self-conscious soul who has given up slackness, is pleased with Allah, and whom Allah is pleased with, to be sullen and rebellious. If there is unruliness, it is because of the body.


What Sufis Say About the Spirit ?

Sufis sometimes observe spirits in the realm of dreams and sometimes explicitly in the realm of the world. There is no difference between the souls seen in a dream and those seen in the world while the eye is awake.

One Sufi explains: When I was a child, a dervish came to our house as a guest. At night I saw interesting things when I entered the dervish's room because I was wondering what he was doing. I saw three other people sitting besides the dervish. These were human spirits dressed in ancient clothes. The dervish I know was sitting on his prayer rug and praying. These three spirits were sitting in the room. Each of them was busy with their own worship. Their clothes were the same as in their own times. Two of them were praying by prayer beads, one was reading a book and writing something. When I asked the dervish about this situation later, he said that these people were three friends of Allah and that they came to visit him.

Accordingly, the spirits appear dressed, just as they were in their eras. However, their clothes are of light, just like themselves. They shine like light. Since they were created from light, there is no clouding or blurring in the souls of Allah's friends. Because they have justified their souls in the world by evolving and cleansed them from sins and dirt.

According to a Sufi narration, his mother was a dervish. She would get up at night to worship, pray until morning and chant the prayer beads she used to dhikr. Meanwhile, many spirits would come to visit her, and she would read the Quran to them and present them as a gift. There was the grave of a friend of Allah in their house. The spirit of this person would appear to his mother. He explained that his name was Hüseyin, that he came from Baghdad and was buried here when he died. We knew this person as Hüseyin Father from Baghdad. When someone came home with clear discovery, he would immediately feel him. As a welcome, he would spread out a nice scent into the house and thus inform him of his existence.

The great Allah’s Friend Hakkı Şiştar (ks) used to visit the cemeteries, talk to the spirits there and exchange information with them. He said that the spirits of good servants were freely on their graves. He stated that the spirits of the wicked people were imprisoned and tormented in their graves. For this reason, Allah recommended that the graves of his friends would be visited, saluted and recited the Quran and presented as gifts. Because when we greet them, they receive our greetings and respond. When we read the Quran and gave it as a gift, they would pray for us as a response.

One day, someone who heard of Hakkı Bey's reputation took him to the cemetery to find the location of his father's grave. He knew that his father was buried in this cemetery, but did not know the exact location of his grave. Hakkı Bey learned the names of his father and grandfather and entered the cemetery. He found his father by talking to the spirits. He showed his son where his father's grave was and described his father to him. His son confirmed these statements to be absolutely correct.

The soul comes out of the body in the same shape of the body in which it lives. Her face is exactly the same. He is 33 years old in terms of age. He keeps what he learned and knows while in the world, in his mind exactly. No information is lost from him by death. But conversations with spirits are entirely heartfelt. Nobody outside can hear these conversations. This is something that is granted only to the good servants of Allah.

After the death of parents, their souls come to visit their children at their home. Those whose hearts are pure feel their visits. They say they feel as if their mother or father is with them. Even those who are open to discovery see their souls. Thus, the mother and father visit their children and pray to them. Their children should please them by reading the Quran and sending the rewards. All this is God's mercy on His servants.


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What is Soul?

Publishing Date: 24.03.2021