The Noble Quran > Tafseer (Science of Explaining the Meanings of the Qur\'an) > Tafseer of some verses of the Qur\'an , 84421','event_category':'FAT_EN - The Noble Quran'});" itemscope itemtype="">

Explanation of "al-Ruh" and "Nafs" in Qur'an
Fatwa No: 84421

  • Fatwa Date:3-7-2002 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 23, 1423
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What is the difference between (al-Ruh) the spirit (mentioned 14 times in the Qur'an) and (al-Nafs) the soul (mentioned 61 times in the Qur'an)? Please explain.


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Sometimes 'al-Nafs' means 'al-Rooh' (the soul), as the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) mentioned in the long Hadith describing the state while one breathing his last. 'The angel stands at the head of a dying person and says: "O good peaceful soul, come out to the rest and provision of Allah'. The Angel says, If the dying person is a Kafir', 'O bad malicious soul, come out to the Anger of Allah …" . [Reported by Ahmad ].
Sometimes 'al-Nafs' means both the body and soul. The evidence for that is Allah's Statement: {… And they did not wrong Us but they wronged (Their Nafs) i.e. themselves.} [2: 57].
Allah knows best.

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