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Self-knowledge

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Self-knowledge

2021. január 19. - 18:02

 

There are four concepts that define the personality of an individual.

We are talking about Ruh (روح ,(i.e. the soul that Allah (SWT) blows into us when we are created in the womb of our mothers. By doing so, He is programming into us the codes that we can download, make them realized, or just waste, lose them through our upbringing, under the influence of our environment or due to the decisions of our free will.

The Ego (نفس ,(or Nafs, is compared by Islamic thinkers to a horse. If its rider doesn’t train it kindly, neglects, it will go berserk, if he tries to sit on the saddle it will take a toss, gets crazy. However, if the rider takes care of it, the horse will be quiet, obedient and watches over all the wishes of its master in order to become a gadget for fulfilling the tasks. The Nafs leaves the body at the time of death with the Ruh, i.e. soul, embedded in it. The Nafs, i.e. ego, is the subject of reckoning in the afterlife. The Ruh, i.e. the soul that leaves with it, is only a storehouse of potential possibilities, from which the ego would have had the opportunity to retrieve the coded attributes and values.

The heart ( قلب ,(i.e. Qalb, is also involved in our decisions, as we have feelings, emotions, subjective judgments. The heart not only feels but also sees. Seeing with the heart is the Baszirah (بصيرة .(It is the duty of every believer to form and develop this skill, without which we deprive ourselves from the ability of the observation of the Signs, while their reading is essential when making decisions. One of the peculiarities of our modern world is the extinction of the Basirah. If the heart does not see, then only the intellect, consciousness (عقل ,(i.e. Aql, remains, which only compiles information on a logical, interest level. In our modern world the Aql is given priority, the other elements either are denied or are not attached importance to them. These are the soul, ego, heart and intellect that classify the individual outward and have great impact on his/her judgments.

But there is a fifth concept that we haven’t talked about so far. This is the Sirr (سر ,(i.e. secret. The secret that only we know and Allah.

((Allah)) knows of (the tricks) that deceive with the eyes, and all that the hearts (of men) conceal. (Quran 40:19)

"Deceive with the eyes" may mean several things; - a sleight of hand (literally or figuratively) may deceive in respect of the eyes of beholders, for the things that they see do not actually happen; - it may be the deceiver's own eyes that play false, because, for example, they show love when hatred is meant; or - it may be that the eyes of the beholder play him false, in that he sees things that he should not see, and thus sins with his eyes.

Only we know what relationship we have with Allah, what we have with ourselves and what connects us to others. In a given state, the Sirr inside our ego can motivate us even in the exact opposite way than the image we form about ourselves. If the Sirr is in harmony with the external appearance, a clear image of the individual is formed, whether a believer or an unbeliever. But if the Sirr is consciously different from the image that the individual shows about him/herself, it is hypocrisy, i.e. Nifaq ( نفاق .(This innermost motivation is known only by us, if we are aware of it at all. Because not everyone is aware of their own innermost selves. If the Sirr and the other four elements do not work in harmony, the individual is unable to recognize him/herself and also becomes estranged from him/herself. What's the secret after all? An indefinable concept because it is not always rationality. In fact! In most cases, it is irrationality. Secret is the “just it is” answer to the question. Why were you there? Just it's the case! A collection of coincidences are the sets “just it is”.

These coincidences, set of “just it is”, lead to fate (قدر ,(i.e. in Arabic the Qadr which is the key to Sirr. Part of fate is predestined that man cannot influence, e.g. earthquake, accident, disaster, or fortune, some kind of blessing. The other part of fate is not predestined and is entirely in the hands of the individual by applying his/her abilities mentioned above within the predestined fate. The fate in the hands of man can be shaped by anyone, according to his/her free will.

Each of the above elements act together and separately as well. After all, we do not live one kind of life and in all our qualities we are motivated differently. A scientist doesn't live only a scientific life, but is also a husband, father, or perhaps a member of a fishing club in his spare time. We speak about the same person and yet different qualities and inner values are manifested in each case.
Presumably, as a scientist, his consciousness based on knowledge, his ego, as father, his heart downloads the codes of the soul, but the duality of fate (predestined and dependent of free will) and the secret lurks there behind all motivation.

 

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