The Lantern of Guidance   

Chapter 3

Section 5

Ma’refat (Gnosis) of the Rooh (Soul, Spirit)

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Allah Almighty has said, “They ask you concerning the Rooh (Soul, Spirit) say the Rooh (Soul, Spirit) is under the command of my Lord” (Koran [17:85]). Know that the foundation of the Rooh’s (Soul’s, Spirit’s) Ma’refat (Gnosis) and the summit of its cognition are endlessly lofty & unreachable. The lasso of ‘Aql (Intellect) cannot catch it. It is a Simorgh nesting aloft the mighty mountaintop of Quf. The bird-decoys of words cannot entrap any comprehension or imagination about the Rooh (Soul, Spirit). A pearl risen from the depth of the ocean of Divine Azima (Exaltedness & Sublimity); there is no scale capable of measuring the Rooh’s (Soul’s, Spirit’s) Sifaat (Attributes). The masters of the Kashf (Unearthing Secrets) and the companions of the hearts who are the trustees of the secrets of the Ghayb (Transcendental Unseen)—manumitted from the bondage of desires and ‘Ubudiate (Serfdom & Servitude) of the Nafs (Psyche)—failed and avoid the Kashf (Unearthing Secrets) of the Rooh (Soul, Spirit). And other than the language of Ishaarat (Paradigms to hint at) nothing else can come upon the tongue describing it, “A mere hint suffices for a glittering jewel”.

(Note: From this point on, what you read is only a bunch of paradigms to hint at the concept of the Soul & Nafs in relation to each other, since the last sentence of the paragraph above teaches us that there is no understanding of the Soul unless by paradigms. So we are not talking about truth, proof or description. We are talking about exemplifying some paradigms to point to 'a' concept of  the Soul.)

Know that the noblest beingness and the nearest witness to the Divine Presence is the Rooh (Soul, Spirit), which the Haqq (Absolute & True Reality, The Lord) associated that with Itself and paraphrased as follows, My Rooh: “When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My Rooh (Spirit)” (Koran [15:29]) and Our Rooh:” And (remember) her (Mary) who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our Rooh (Spirit)” (Koran [21:91]). The Great Adam, the Divine Khalifah (Deputy), the Divine Translator [1], the key to the Creation the (design?) pen and the Paradise of Souls, for the souls of everyone can be described by means of his Sifaat (Attributes). The first unsuspecting prey trapped within the net of Creation was Adam’s beingness. And the Qadim (Preexistent Time Immemorial) “Divine Will” appointed him as Its Khalifah (Deputy) in the Realm of Creation (Physical World) and the keys to the treasures of secrets delegated to his trust i.e. he was granted permission & ready-access to the treasures of secrets. A giant river was stretched, exclusively for him, from the Ocean of Life so constantly Adam could ask for extension & prolonging of the flood of life to splurge abundantly upon the cosmos. (Perhaps this means many things in the cosmos were created for Adam’s sake or Adam had huge appetite for things he desired and this river was given to him to extract what he wished in form of life. This interpretation of Adam’s appetite would come into play further down.)

And Adam delivers/copies the illustrations & likeness of the Divine Kalimah (Words) from their resting place in Divine & Sanctified Jam’ (Collective) to the place of Tafreqah (Concrescence) i.e. this created universe, (Adam) from the essence of Ijmaal (Abstract Wordlessness) manifests to the essence of Tafsil (Detailed Analysis & Verbiage). (Our bodies our world are corpuscular made up of components & particles all inter-related in a very vast detailed way and the Sufis call that Realm the Tafreqah (Concrescence). The origin of the word is Farq (Separation, Partition) the further we get away from the Divine Presence the more there is Farq (Partition) the closer we get to the Divine Presence there is less Farq due to the Tawhid (Divine Oneness)—everything approaches to One (words are many). The closer we get to the Divine Presence less and less words can be applied, the further away we get and closer to this world, more and more words describe things. The first is Ijmaal approaching abstract & wordlessness and the latter Tafsil approaching detailed descriptions. Therefore the closer to the Divine Presence the words are less capable to describe anything.)

Divine Karaamat (Generosity & Munificence) bestowed upon Adam two visions: First to observe Jalaal (Momentous Glory) of the Azali (Sempiternal) Divine Qudra (Power & Capacity). Second to observe the beauty of Lam-Yazel (Ceases Not!). (Lam-Yazel perhaps means Adam had access to the Lord’s benevolence that was never ending for him as a sign for his appetite that was the prelude for Nafs (?) requires more research INSHALLAH)

The meaning of the first one is the innate (human essence) ‘Aql (Intellect), which draws near to the Lord—the Mahab-bat (Divine Love). (This ‘Aql belongs to the Realm of Amr (Divine Governance) where the Soul resides and true love is related to this form of intellect)

The meaning of the second is the created ‘Aql (Intellect) i.e. intellect dealing with the physical world as a leader or someone who directs, ponders and demands as has been mentioned in the Hadith (Prophetic Narration), “The first thing Allah Almighty created was the ‘Aql (Intellect) then Allah told It to come and it came and then Allah told it to go back and it went back”. (Best I can understand to “come” & “go back” means this creation can either be close to Allah or by its own volition be far like Nafs and this would be necessary for directing things that are needed for physical existence i.e. greed, hate, violence that are far away from Allah and the Soul does not or cannot deal with them e.g. the material desires. Or you can say in this creation man has will power to push back from Allah and be afar while the Soul can not  (?) need more research here INSHALLAH)

Anything EXTRA that the Rooh (Soul) requires from the Divine Jam’ (Collective), Universal-Nafs (Psyche) becomes its reception and the place of its Tafsil (Detailed Analysis & Verbiage). (These extra things are necessary for completion of human life in this world e.g. greed, desires, anger… which are not for Soul to deal with so Nafs as a next-to-Soul or a sidekick handles them.)

And due to the commixture and coupling of the two i.e. Rooh (Soul) & Nafs (Psyche), action & reaction, power & weakness, some form of male-female relationship appears that establishes the loving: Attraction and adhesion between the two. And the marriage of these two begets all the beingness in the universe. And the midwife of the Divine Fiat delivers these new creatures from the Realm of the Ghayb (Transcendental Unseen) to the Realm of Zohoor (Manifest & Observable Universe).

In conclusion all creation is the result of commixture of Rooh (Soul) & Nafs (Psyche, Essence). Nafs (Psyche) is the byproduct of Rooh (Soul) and Rooh is the byproduct of Amr (Divine Governance). Allah Almighty created the Rooh (Soul) independent of all things and without any intermediary cause or instruments, and the word Amr (Divine Governance) is an/a Ishaarat (Paradigm or hint) towards that.  And all creatures were created by the intermediary instrumentality of the Rooh (Soul) and the Creation is entirely derived from this Rooh, “Is it not ‘Its’ to create and to Amr (govern)? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!”(Koran [7:54]).

Since It is the case that all Khalifahs (Deputies) to have the attributes of their appointer, the Divine Fadhl (Excellence & Virtue) & Infinite Karam (Generosity) appointed the Rooh (Soul) as the Khalifah (Deputy) enrobed it with the gown of beautiful & glorious Divine Names & Attributes whereat placed it upon the acme of the Creation. (Creation being likened to a circle) And since the circle of the creation came near to a close, indeed reached the first & beginning (primordial) point i.e. the Rooh (Soul) whereat Rooh reflected off the mirror of the Adam’s beingness, thus all Divine Names & Attributes manifested within him. Therefore the call, “I (Allah) will create a vicegerent on earth.” (Koran [2:30]) echoed throughout the “Exalted Assembly” (Koran [37:8]). And upon the writ of this vicegerency there is the signature, “Indeed Allah created Adam upon Its own shape & form” and upon the flag of Its Karaamat (Generosity) this emblem appeared, “And ‘It’ taught Adam the Asmaa (Names, Nature) of all things” (Koran [2:31]). The harness of subjugation and rein of control was placed at his disposal.

The angels prostrated to Adam. Since the angels could not assemble within themselves the same combinations of attributes like Adam could. Some of the angels are the paragon of beauty and nothing else. Some are just for Lotf (Grace) & Rahma (Mercy) and nothing else. Some others solely embody the attribute of Jalaal (Momentous Glory) and nothing else and these are the angels of subjugation and torment. But Adam was the embodiment of beauty, glory, grace, mercy yet subjugation and anger, all immixed within him, “one whom I (Allah) have created with my hands” (Koran [38:75]). Beyond doubt Adam became cognizant of the Lord with all the Asmaa (Names) and in contrast the angels who narrowly understood Allah with the Esem (Name, Knowledge) that they were the epitome of, “They said (angels): "Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us” (Koran [2:32])—Ishaarat (A Paradigm hinting) towards that argument.

As Adam’s beingness within the Realm of Shahaadat (Observable Universe) was the epitome of the Rooh (Soul) within the Realm of the Ghayb (Transcendental Unseen), the beingness of Eve within the Realm of Shahaadat (Observable Universe) was the epitome of the Nafs (Psyche) within the Realm of the Ghayb (Transcendental Unseen). And her birth through Adam, “O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, and from him (Adam) ‘It’ (Lord) created his mate (Eve)” (Koran [4:1]) is similar to the birth of the Nafs (Psyche) from the Rooh (Soul). And the phenomenon of the coupling of the Rooh (Soul) & Nafs (Psyche), likened to male & female, is the similitude of the Adam & Eve. And again the similitude of the coupling of the Adam & Eve and Adam’s carrying the seed for all the progeny, is the extraction of objects out of the coupling of Rooh (Soul) & Nafs (Psyche).

Therefore the beingness of the Adam & Eve is the transcription/copy of the beingness of Rooh (Soul) & Nafs (Psyche) and within every human being there is a new copy of beingness of  (both) Adam & Eve due to the coupling of the segmented-Rooh (Soul) & segmented-Nafs (Psyche) and the consequent birth of the Qalb (Heart). (Segmented means a part of the Universal-Rooh or Universal-Nafs from the other universe)

The birth of the male progeny of Adam while benefited from the Universal-Rooh (Soul), it is however intermixed with the attributes of the Nafs (Psyche). The birth of the female progeny of Adam although originated from the Universal-Nafs (Psyche), definitely intermixed with the attributes of the Rooh (Soul). [2]

For this reason no prophet appeared as female. Since the prophethood is for impacting the Nafs (Psyche) of the progeny of Adam in the Realm of Creation (this world), thus relating to the male progeny (i.e. they are enrobed with the attributes of the Nafs, women are not). Furthermore the intermediary instrument of the prophethood is indeed the Rooh (Soul) (which is attracted to the Nafs attributes of the male) therefore the Rooh (Soul) is beneficial for the male progeny—Allah knows best.


[1] Divine Translator means a creature that has the ability to bring to this world news and meanings from the other world. No other creature you can think of other than human being can do that.

[2] What presented here are just paradigms attempting to point at the difference between the spirituality of the men vs. women. Today we believe that they are the same and that is not true.

Men have certainly come from or benefited from the Rooh (Soul), but in this world they have retracted to the opposite i.e. men’s attributes are that of the Nafs (Psyche) inciting them towards evil behavior. This reversal has the name Enantiodromia that has a place within the Sufi thinking as was portrayed by Araqi about Faqr (Poverty). Any object going to the extreme, it reverses its attributes. Men are coming from the extreme of the Rooh (Soul) therefore reversing towards the attributes of the Nafs (Psyche)—the opposite.

Women on the other hand, originated from the nature of Nafs (Psyche) that was the spirit extension of the Rooh (Soul), but by coming to this world they went through the extreme of the Nafs that got reversed into the attributes of the Rooh (Soul).

So the prophets had to come as men to the men, in order to crack the hard shell of the Nafs’s (Psyche’s) attributes that veiled the Rooh (Souls) of the men. This is done through prayers, remembrance, worship, fasting, charity and etc. Prophets came through the conduit of the Rooh (Soul) therefore they get attracted to their opposite i.e. the Nafs (Psyche) which is presently in this world the attribute of the men. If people do becalm man's chaos within the attributes of the Nafs (Psyche), he shall for sure fall back upon his serene characteristics of the Rooh (Souls).

Women are adorned by the attributes of the Rooh (Soul). They do not need to be exercised or given to the hardships of meditation, for they have to be left unmolested undisturbed and serene i.e. naturally are given the serene state & attributes of the Rooh (Soul). If people do disturb her equilibrium within the attributes of the Rooh (Soul), she shall for sure fall back upon her chaotic characteristics of the Nafs (Psyche).

The best example is that of Mary the mother of Jesus peace be upon them both. She was just left alone in a room in the Jewish temple devoted to worship and every time her care taker came to visit her to bring provisions, he would find that she already had food delivered to her from the heavens, “Right graciously did her Lord accept her: He made her grow in purity and beauty: To the care of Zakariya was she assigned. Every time that he entered (Her) chamber to see her, He found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?" She said: "From Allah. for Allah Provides sustenance to whom It pleases without measure." (Koran [3:37]). This is an indication that total serenity of sincere women, unmolested by the worldly presence of other men or women alike, allows the woman to attain highest ranks of spirituality. While for the attainment of a much lower goal men have to fast, long hours of worship, learning and so on to get them away from their unstable attributes of the Nafs (Psyche) into the serenity of the Rooh (Soul).

INSHALLAH lots more research on this subject.

© 2004-2002,  Dara O. Shayda