The Islamic concept of soul is quite intriguing. Islam considers every living object has a soul. A living entity does not die until the Soul Snatchers (Sura 79) remove the soul from the dying person, hands it over to other angels, who take them to Allah. Allah then stores these souls in a safe vault until the day of resurrection, when the souls are released with the blowing of the trumpet of angel Israfil. The respective souls then rushes to the graves of the person/object, joining with it again. The dead person sits up alive, and is taken to the moorland of the Judgment Day. The only exception is the souls of the jihadists, their souls immediately join with their respective dead bodies and straight proceed to the Islamic Paradise.
That was, in brief, what Islamic souls are.
What is more fascinating is that Allah has a Soul, which He created for Himself. In the Qur'an we read quite contradictory, recondite, doltish, demented, and vacuous statements about Allah's Soul. In many verses Allah often talks about His soul, but the striking aspect of Allah's mind is that He is often confused about His own soul.
In this essay we shall demonstrate how Allah derives fun playing with His own Soul.
Allah distributes His Souls To comprehend how Allah often changes His mind about His Soul we need to study the following verses in chronological order. In the beginning, when Muhammad began preaching; Allah said:
Sura 15 (Al‑Hijr), chronological order 54, is a Meccan Sura. Allah revealed this Sura three years before Hijra (Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina). 038:072.
YUSUFALI: "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." PICKTHAL: And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then fall down before him prostrate, SHAKIR: So when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down making obeisance to him.
Sura 15 (Al‑Hijr), chronological order 54, is a Meccan Sura. Allah revealed this Sura three years before Hijra (Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina).
015.029 YUSUFALI: "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him."
PICKTHAL: So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My Spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him.
SHAKIR: So when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down making obeisance to him.
The above two verses are quite similar. The plain English meaning is that: after the creation of Adam, Allah breathed into Adam His (that is, Allah's) Spirit or Soul.
The problem is: in other few verses Allah claims that Gabriel is His (Allah's) Soul or Spirit, the Ruhul Quddus. For example, commenting on verse 2:87 ibn Kathir writes that Ruh al‑Quddus refers to Gabriel.
Allah says in verse 16:70 that He creates and destroys souls. This means Allah created Gabriel, the Ruhul Quddus as His soul. Then Allah breathed His soul, Gabriel, into Adam. Thus, Adam inherited Allah's soul. Since all human beings are from Adam, we may conclude that every human on earth carries inside him Gabriel, the soul of Allah.
After a while, Allah realized His gaffe. So, in 32:9 Allah corrects Himself. Now Allah told Muhammad that He breathed into Adam something of His Spirit. That is, Allah induced into Adam a part of His (Allah's) soul. Let us read this verse:
Sura 32 (Sajda), chronological order 75, is a Meccan Sura. It deals with the mystery of creation.
032.009 YUSUFALI: But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!
PICKTHAL: Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye!
SHAKIR: Then He made him complete and breathed into him of His spirit, and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts; little is it that you give thanks.
It is very perplexing. Yususf Ali, in 32:29, writes: 'something of His spirit'.
What is that something? To grasp it let us read what Yusuf Ali comments on 15:29 and 32:9.
Comments by Yusuf Ali on 15:29 and 32:9
15:29 Note 1968 (p.643): Among other passages where creation of Adam is referred to, cf the following: ii.30‑39; vii.11‑25. Note that here emphasis is on three points: (1) the breathing of God's spirit into man i.e. the faculty of God like knowledge and will which, if rightly used, would give man superiority over other creatures: (2) the origin of evil in arrogance and jealousy on the part of Satan, who saw only the lower side of man (his clay) and failed to see the higher side, the faculty brought in by the spirit of God; (3) that this evil only touches those who yield to it, and has no power over God's sincere servants, purified by His grace (xv. 40, 42) Adam is not here mentioned by name but only Man, whose symbol is Adam.
32:9 Note 3639 (p.1094): The third stage is indicated by "fashioned him in due proportion", Cf.xv.29. After fertilization of ovum by the sperm, an individual life comes into existence, and it is gradually fashioned into shape: its limbs are formed; its animal life begins to function; all the beautiful adaptations come into play. The fourth stage here mentioned is that of distinctive man, into whom God's spirit is breathed. Then he rises higher than animals.
If Gabriel is Allah's sprit, it may also mean Allah breathed into Adam a part of Gabriel. How is it possible? Can we make any sensible meaning/s from those two verses?
In simple English, what Yusuf Ali says is this: After the creation of Adam, Allah let the human reproduce like other animals; that is, through sexual intercourse. The only difference is that when a human being is conceived in a woman's womb, Allah's soul or spirit, Gabriel, is breathed into this newly conceived child. To support this idea we can refer to a few Qur'anic verses and ahadith. A few ahadith in Sahih Bukhari (1.6.315, 4.54.430) say that at a certain stage of fetus development Allah sends into the pregnant woman's womb an angel that monitors the progress of the human embryo. This angel must be the Allah's Spirit; that is, Gabriel.
This means: even today, when a human embryo is formed in a womb, Allah breaths into it a part of His Soul, Gabriel.
In verse 30:54 (also see 22:5, 36:68) Allah says He created us helpless, then gives us strength, and then makes us weak again. Ibn Kathir, commenting on this verse, writes:
Allah points out how man passes through different stages of creation, one phase after another. He is originally created from dust, then from a Nutfah, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh. Then he becomes bones, then the bones are clothed with flesh, and then the soul is breathed into him. Then he emerges from his mother's womb, weak and thin and powerless.
The modern translators, such s Hilali and Khan, were quick to spot Allah's blunder. They realized the problem of Allah's sharing His Soul (that is, Gabriel) with Adam and other human beings. Therefore, Hilali and Khan twisted the meaning. Here is their translation:
Hilali and Khan
38:72 So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him."
15:29 "So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him."
32:9 Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him the soul (created by Allâh for that person), and He gave you hearing (ears), sight (eyes) and hearts. Little is the thanks you give!
According to Hilali and Khan Allah created a special soul or spirit, and inserted that soul inside Adam.
Please note that by ignoring the reputed translators, such as Yusuf Ali, Pickthal and Shakir, these modern translators have completely altered the meaning of Allah's Soul that was incorporated inside Adam, and consequently into all human.
To find the accurate picture, I obtained the translation from an Arab friend, who is very fluent and knowledgeable in the Qur'anic Arabic. His translation stands thus:
15:29 So when I have made him and breathed into him from my spirit, fall down prostrating for him.
32:9 And He made him and breathed into him from his spirit and made for you the hearing and sight and the hearts. You thank little.
This means: it is part of Allah's soul which is inserted in Adam. The above translations seem to agree with the three well‑known, and well‑respected translators.
This means Hilali and Khan's translation is misleading, if not mischievous.
Now, we may wonder about Allah's sanity. Did Allah insert in Adam His (Allah's) Soul or a soul specially created for Adam?
Here is another important question: how many sprits or souls does Allah have? If He has just one, then how many pieces has He divided it into? How does Allah distribute His soul? How do the harami infidels inherit parts of Gabriel, Allah's Soul?
In other verses (6:61, 6:93) we note that Allah says a person does not die until his soul is taken out. This means when a person dies, his soul, a part of Gabriel, leaves his body. In verse 29:57 we read that every soul will have a taste of death, and then the soul will return to Allah.
To hide the utter silliness of the Qur'anic verses quoted above, many Islamists often contend the breathing of Allah's Soul inside Adam means: Allah created Adam in His own image. Sadly, many gullible Muslims, and non‑Muslims blithely believe such a canard.
The truth is: there is no verse in the Qur'an which clearly stipulates that Allah created Adam to resemble Him.
Here is a verse that many Islamic scholars use to state that Allah created Adam in His own image.
95:4 YUSUFALI: We have indeed created man in the best of moulds, PICKTHAL: Surely We created man of the best stature SHAKIR: Certainly We created man in the best make.
According to ibn Kathir this means:
Allah created man in the best image and form, standing upright with straight limbs that He beautified.
That is: Allah made Adam the best in physical appearance, Adam was able stand upright which distinguished him from other creatures. This verse does not tell us that Allah made Adam in His image, or simply stated: His lookalike.
Maulana Asad's commentaries on 15:29 and 32:9
Many modern Islamist apologists often consider Maulana Asad, a Jewish convert to Islam, as a highly respected translator and commentator of the Qur'an. Maulana Asad is certainly very clever, because he dismisses out of hand, the concept of Allah's soul, terming it as a 'metaphor' and/or 'allegorical'. Here is what he writes about 15:29 and 32:9:
15:29 Note 26: Cf . (2:30‑34) and the corresponding notes, as well as (7:11-18). The allegorical character of all the passages bearing on the creation of man and on God's command to the angels to prostrate themselves before him is brought out clearly in God's saying, "I am about to create mortal man…; and when I have formed him fully…", etc.: for it is obvious that, in reality, no lapse of time is required for God's completing its creation—since "when He wills a thing a thing to be, He but says unto it 'Be'—and it is' (cf. 2:117, 3;47 and (59). 6:73, 16:40, 19:35, 36:82, and 40:68). God's 'breathing of his spirit' into man is obviously a metaphor, for His endowing him with life and consciousness: that is with a soul.
Note 9: As in 15:29 and 38:72, God's "breathing of His spirit into a man" is a metaphor for the divine gift of life and consciousness, or of a 'soul' (which as pointed out in surah (4) note , is one of the meanings of ruh). Consequently "the soul of every human being is of the spirit of God" (Razi). Regarding the verb sawwahu : rendered by me as "He forms him in accordance with what he is meant to be"—see note  on 87:2 and note  on 91:7.
It appears Maulana Asad has adopted the tried and tested method of Islamic trickery—to consider simply as 'metaphor' or allegorical of any references of ambiguity, contradictions, inanities and embarrassment in any Qur'anic verses. For example, mortified by the lascivious verses in connection with the Islamic Paradise, many such Islamist apologists maintain that these hedonistic descriptions are simply 'metaphors' or 'allegorical', as if, adopting this ploy will exonerate the Qur'an of its doltishness, illogic, and dementia.
…To be continued
Abul Kasem is an Bengali freethinker and is a teacher by profession. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of several e-Books including: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. His latest contribution is in the book Why We left Islam, edited by Susan Crimp et al. He can be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org powered by Disqus