The 'Ruh' and the 'Nafs'
Today, it gives me great pleasure to present before you all a very important explanation on the “Ruh” and the “Nafs” which several of my disciples have respectfully asked me to give. This is indeed a very important and deep subject which I specially delivered to you some years back, specifically during the Mubahila period with Abdul Ghaffar Janbah and his disciple Mansoor Ahmed dated 15 August 2011 and which I shall put again before you during the course of my sermon.
Very often, when calling attention to one’s ego, we refer to the “nafs” of that person being manifested, which is partly true in the fact that its real meaning is that its “Nafs-e-Ammara” (Soul prone to passion, ego and also all kinds of evils) is being manifested. The words “Nafs-e-Ammara” is shortened to “nafs” to reflect the ego of man in certain contexts.
In the Arabic language, more specifically in the Quranic context, the word Nafs refers to the human soul and also to self-attribution, or self-identification whether used by humans, angels or Allah Himself. We say: I, Me and Myself, the three reflexive pronouns used by the Creator Himself, his angels and us, humans.
For example, Allah says in the Holy Quran:
Wazkur Rabbaka fee nafsika…Meaning: “And remember your Rab (Lord/ Allah) inside yourself...” [Al-Arraf 7: 206]
Moreover, Allah says in the Holy Quran, addressing to Hazrat Musa (as): Wa-sh-tana’tuka li-Nafsi Meaning: “I have chosen you (Istana’tuka) for Myself (Li-Nafsi).” [Surah TaHa 20: 42]
Referring to this specific verse, we see that Allah has used the key word “Nafs” to define Himself, yet we all know that the ego of Allah is egoless. The Self of Allah is selfless. It is beyond creation and any created thing, yet Allah says: “Li-Nafsi” (for Myself). Allah verily does not account to anyone. When He manifests His words and emphasizes them on His own importance, we cannot and should never dare to call Him arrogant or that He is such a Being which is filled with Himself (Vain or Proud). God Forbid! He is the only Being who can do whatever He likes without accounting to anyone.
That is why, we are the creatures and He is the Creator, and we cannot also create anything without His prior permission. He gives knowledge to whomsoever He wants and removes knowledge and the ability to think to whomsoever He wants.
Moreover, the word “Ruh” is a treasure of knowledge. The “Ruh” is principally linked to the spiritual essence of man and his faculty to receive Divine Revelations, to perfect himself spiritually and physically to become wholly apt to be called a Man of God (Allah), a Friend of God and His Representative on earth. That is why, Allah calls the Essence or Aura or Spirit of Divine Revelations, as Ruh-il-Qouddouss (Holy Spirit) [Al-Baqara 2: 88 & 254; Al-Maida 5: 111 & An-Nahl 16: 103], or Ruh’ul-Ameen (The Trustworthy Spirit) [Ash-Shu’ara 26: 194] in the Holy Quran.