Many questions have been received with regard to a recently published book titled “Hey! Who Am I Really?” Since many aspects in the book deal with fundamental beliefs, it was deemed necessary to explain the issues in detail in their proper perspective. The explanation will insha Allah be done in several parts.

This is Part Two of the series.

The Rooh (Soul)

The fundamental importance of following the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) cannot be overemphasized (as discussed in Part One). They are the vital link between Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Ummah. The Quraan Shareef was revealed upon Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) over a period of twenty three years. It was preserved and then passed on to the rest of the Ummah only through the intermediary of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). Just as the words of the Quraan Shareef were passed on to the Ummah by the Noble Companions (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), likewise the expositions and explanations of the verses of the Quraan Shareef given by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were conveyed to the Ummah by none other than the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). Therefore, anyone who excludes the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) in his quest to understand the Quraan Shareef is bound to fall into confusion, delusion and deviation.

This is exactly what has happened to the author. He disregarded the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and ignored their explanations and tafseer of the Quraan Shareef. Hence he committed some serious errors and blunders. Among the most serious blunders is the viewpoint expressed with regard to the rooh (soul), which totally contradicts the belief of all Muslims. The correct ‘aqeedah (belief) of the Muslims is that Allah Ta‘ala is the Sole Creator. He alone is Ever Living, is Eternal and not preceded by time. Everything in this entire universe is His creation. Included in His creation is the rooh.

While the extent of knowledge about the rooh which has been given to mankind is very limited, the Quraan Shareef makes it manifestly clear that the rooh is a created entity. When the Jews asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) about the reality of the rooh, Allah Ta‘ala revealed the following aayah: “And they ask you  about the rooh (spirit). Say, the rooh is by the command of my Rabb; and you have not been given of knowledge but a little” (Surah Israa, v 85). The words “by the command of my Rabb” clearly mean that the rooh is brought into existence and fulfils its function by the command of Allah Ta‘ala. Just as everything else is created by the command of Allah Ta‘ala, so also is the rooh created by His command. Therefore the rooh is His creation. It is definitely not existing since eternity and certainly preceded by time.

The Creator of Everything

Allah Ta‘ala states in the Quraan Shareef: Allahu khaaliqu kulli shay’ – Allah is the Creator of everything. This would mean that everything other than Allah is His creation, whether we have knowledge of it or not, or whether it is visible or invisible. Hence, the rooh as well is a created entity and part of the creation of Allah Ta‘ala. Rejecting any clear verse of the Quraan Shareef will obviously amount to disbelief.

There is consensus (of the Sahaabah

[radhiyallahu ‘anhum] and those who followed) that the rooh is a created entity. The highly acclaimed scholar and renowned Muhaddith and commentator of Saheeh Bukhaari, Haafiz Ibnu Hajar ‘Asqalaani (rahimahullah) (d 852 AH) has recorded that the only people who claim that the rooh is qadeem(since ever – not preceded by time) are some “highly misguided Shia and fake Sufis”[1].

The Author’s View of the Rooh

The view expressed by the author with regard to the rooh totally contradicts the correct ‘aqeedah of the Muslims of every era, but conforms to the view of the “highly misguided Shia and fake Sufis.” While explaining a verse of the Quraan Shareef in a manner that is in total conflict with the tafseer of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and all the great Mufassireen, the author states: “… man’s spirit, rooh or “human consciousness” was always part of the eternal consciousness, Allah” (this very much resembles the Christian belief of incarnation.[2]) In support of this unfounded and heretical statement, he quotes the only “authority” that he refers to, Fadhlallah Haeri, who states: “So, our rooh came from beyond time, before the Big Bang” (pg. 26). “Beyond time” can only refer to something eternal and ever living from before time. Allah Ta‘ala alone is Eternal and not preceded by time. Being Ever Living and Eternal is the exclusive attribute of Allah Ta‘ala. The rooh, which is infused into man by the command and will of Allah Ta‘ala, and which is extracted at the time of death by the angels, is a created entity and is definitely not “part of Allah” (Allah Ta‘ala forbid). Thus, due to ignoring the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), the author fell into this terrible and major deviation of attributing an exclusive quality of Allah Ta‘ala to a created entity — the rooh.

To understand it in another way, the claim that the rooh is “from beyond time” and eternal is tantamount to claiming that, Allah forbid, the human himself is eternal, since the physical body is the secondary part of this human being. The real part of the human and his essence is his rooh (soul). If the soul is eternal and before time, man is then also since ever, na‘oozubillah!

While the author may not have realised the implications of Fadhlallah Haeri’s viewpoint that the rooh “came from beyond time”, the reality is that it is tantamount to shirk and ascribing partners with Allah Ta‘ala. It has therefore always been part of the belief of polytheists such as the Hindus and Sikhs[3]. This was also the belief of one Meher Bhaba[4] (born 1894) who claimed to be the Avathar (God in human form), Allah Ta‘ala forbid. There is a striking resemblance in the viewpoint about the rooh expressed in the book and the Hindu and Christian belief!

Once again, this severe deviation is due to no other reason but abandoning the following of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and ignoring their explanations of the verses of the Quraan Shareef.

  Download PDF

[1] Haafiz Ibnu Hajar ‘Asqalaani (rahimahullah) writes: “Ibnu Mandah has related in his book Kitaabur Rooh from Imaam Muhammad bin Nasr al-Marwazi, who was very well acquainted on all the differences of views in the ahkaam (laws of Deen) from the era of the Sahaabah up to the time of the Fuqahaa (jurists), that there is consensus (of the Sahaabah and those who followed) that the rooh is a created entity. The only people who claim that the rooh is qadeem (since ever – not preceded by time) are some highly misguided Shia and some fake Sufis (Fathul Baari, vol. 8, pg. 404).

[2] Claiming that the rooh is “part of the eternal consciousness, Allah” is quite similar to the Christian belief of incarnation, which refers to the spirit of God coming into the bodily form of ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam). While according to Christians this may only be in reference to ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam), the author has taken it a step further by inferring that the rest of humanity also share the spirit (rooh) of Allah Ta‘ala. May Allah Ta‘ala forbid.

[3] The following is an extract of a Hindu scripture: “The soul is not born, but always exists. It is the consciousness of life, and dwells in every heart; it is the master of all, the lord of all. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4:4.22-23—Wikipedia)”

[4] According to him, “Atma, or the soul, is in reality identical with Paramatma the Oversoul — which is one, infinite, and eternal…[and] [t]he sole purpose of creation is for the soul to enjoy the infinite state of the Oversoul consciously” (Wikipedia).

(To be continued, insha Allah)