The Quran Asks 25-45

Did you not consider (the work of) your Fosterer, how He stretches the shade (which ultimately ends in night)? And had He willed he could have made it stationary. Then We have made the sun its guide, (Al Quran, Surah Al Furqan, Chapter 25: Verse 45)

The above verse shall be read in context with the following verses and the subsequent explanation:

25-45: Did you not consider (the work of) your Fosterer, how He stretches the shade (which ultimately ends in night)? And had He willed he could have made it stationary. Then We have made the sun its guide,
25-46: Then We draw it towards Ourselves, an easy indrawing.
25-47: And He it is Who has made the night a covering for you and the sleep a (source of) rest and He has made the day for rising up again.

The shadows depend on the position of the sun, in the morning and evening they are long. Night is actually the shadow of the earth which is withdrawn at day time when the earth does not cover the sun. The force which counter acts gravity is consciousness or being awake. The moment we lose consciousness we fall down. At night the gravitational pull of the earth and the sun are on the same side with respect to us, this increased gravity might be helping us in falling asleep. In the morning these two pulls are on the opposite sides and they might be helping us in keeping awake or being conscious. It is probably by this method Allah (SWT) takes away the soul or consciousness during sleep (Chapter 39: Verse 42).

Nafs: The word ‘Nafs’ derived from the same root alphabets and a very important item of human life is defined in the following verse of the Holy Quran: “Allah takes the Anfus (plural of Nafs) at the time of their death, and (He takes the Nafs) of the person who does not die, during his sleep, then He withholds that on which He has decreed death and sends (back) the others till an appointed time. Certainly, there are signs in that for a people who reflect”. (Chapter 39: Verse 42).

We are biologically alive during our sleep but unconscious. ‘Nafs’ (normally translated as self, soul, mind etc.) is therefore our state of consciousness which is taken away when we are dead or asleep and which is present in us when we are alive and awake and which is responsible for all our deliberate actions. Nafs, with respect to us is the unseen soul, the conscious inner self, our psychic personality named ‘Ins’ meaning ‘the man’ inside the biological man. Nafs is mobile, being present in us when we are alive and awake and going away from us when we are dead or asleep. Nafs is not material in the sense that we cannot recognize it through our physical senses, it is abstract like belief, certainty, happiness, sorrow, knowledge, wisdom etc. and it is not immortal (Chapter 3: Verse 185). A person who is alive and awake is of importance to the society because he is responsible for all his intentions, mental plans, physical actions and their consequences. In this sense the word ‘Nafs’ is also used for the conscious man. ‘The Ins’ or ‘The self’ both in this life (Chapter 2: Verse 233), and the life hereafter (Chapter 2: Verse 48). Nafs in this sense is the driver and the physical body a vehicle (Chapter 75: Verse 14). Nafs is associated with:

  1. Remembrance of Allah (SWT) (Chapter 7: Verse 205)
  2. Belief (Chapter 10: Verse 100)
  3. Guidance (Chapter 27: Verse 92)
  4. Gratitude (Chapter 27: Verse 40)
  5. Purification (Chapter 35: Verse 18)
  6. Patience (Chapter 18: Verse 28)
  7. Earning good and evil (Chapter 2: Verse 281)
  8. Fear (Chapter 20: Verse 67)
  9. Liking (Chapter 5: Verse 30)
  10. Manifesting and hiding (Chapter 2: Verse 284)
  11. Secrets (Chapter 12: Verse 77, Chapter 33: Verse 37)
  12. Reflection and pondering (Chapter 30: Verse 8)
  13. Action (Chapter 16: Verse 111)
  14. Striving (Chapter 29: Verse 6)
  15. Taking account (Chapter 17: Verse 14)
  16. Examining (Chapter 10: Verse 30)
  17. Negligence (Chapter 39: Verse 56)
  18. Evil desire (Chapter 79: Verse 40, Chapter 20: Verse 96)
  19. Pride (Chapter 25: Verse 21)
  20. Injustice (Chapter 35: Verse 32)
  21. Whispering (Chapter 50: Verse 16)
  22. Niggardliness (Chapter 47: Verse 38)
  23. Selfishness (Chapter 59: Verse 9)
  24. Infidelity (Chapter 9: Verse 17)
  25. Reward and Punishment (Chapter 20: Verse 15)
  26. It has no knowledge of the future (Chapter 31: Verse 34)
  27. It has a custodian over it (Chapter 86: Verse 4) probably angelic.

There are three types of psychic personalities of ‘Ins’.

  1. Those who obey only their Nafs ‘An – Nafs – al – ammaarah’ (Chapter 12: Verse 53)
  2. Those whose Nafs can distinguish between right and wrong, the pricking conscience ‘An – Nafs – il – lawwaamah’ (Chapter 75: Verse 2) and
  3. Those whose Nafs is peaceful because Allah (SWT) is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him ‘An – Nafs – ul – mutma – innah’ (Chapter 89: Verses 27-30).

This may be due to the total surrender of the psychic and the physical personalities to Allah (SWT). The first category may be of those human beings who are in the animal or biological stage as ‘Insan’, the second may be of those who are elevated to the social stage as ‘An-naas’ and the third and the highest stage of ‘Bashar’ or ‘Basheer’ may be of the prophets and messengers of Allah (SWT). see word no.42. Nafs suggests evil things. (Chapter 5: Verse 30, Chapter 12: Verse 53, Chapter 50: Verse 16). It is stated in the Holy Quran that all human beings were created from ‘Nafs-i-waahidah’ meaning a single soul, conscious self, psychic personality or Ins meaning man i.e. Adam (PBH) (Chapter 4: Verse 1, Chapter 39: Verse 6). The word ‘Waahidah’ means a single whole consisting of many units like ‘Maaa-in-wwaahid’ meaning one water (Chapter 13: Verse 4) and ‘ummatanw-waahidah’ meaning one or a single community (Chapter 2: Verse 213). A glass of water contains billion of water molecules and the human community billions of human beings. In view of this ‘Nafs-i-waahidah’ refered to Adam (PBH) would mean his psychic personality containing the psychic personalities of all the human beings to come (Chapter 7: Verses 172 – 174). Nafs or the psychic personality being an abstract entity finds expression in the material or the biological body created from clay, soil, sperm etc. This expression of Nafs, which we have identified as ‘Ins’, through the biological body as ‘Insaan’ is probably indicated in the following verse of the Holy Quran:

“In whatever form (body) He willed He constituted you (Nafs)” (Chapter 82: Verses 7 – 8)

The psychical personalities made to occupy biological bodies are identified by names. When a human being Mr. X dies in a hospital we normally ask, “Has the body of Mr. X been brought home, we don’t normally ask, “Has Mr. X been brought home” because we know for certain that Mr. X is no longer occupying his body. The name of a person is actually the name of the psychic personality residing inside his body whereas the name on the epitaph on a grave indicates the location of the physical body which Mr. X once occupied. On the day of resurrection, the physical or the biological body will be recreated (Chapter 17: Verses 49 – 52). The entry of the psychic personalities into their respective biological bodies on the day of resurrection seems to be the subject of the following Verses:

“And when the souls (Nufuus) are paired (probably with their respective bodies)” (Chapter 81: Verse 7)

“What! when we are, dead and become (part of the) soil, (will we then be raised to life again)? That is a return far (from probable). (Chapter 50: Verse 3).

The answer is given in the below verse:

“We indeed know that which the earth reduces from them and with us is a protected record”. (Chapter 50: Verse 4)

The Nafs of Allah (SWT) (Chapter 5: Verses 116, Chapter 6: Verse 12) is different from that of ours (Chapter 58: Verse 7). Attention is defined as ‘Concentration of Consciousness’ i.e. Nafs. The Person, Face i.e. the Attention of Allah (SWT) is everywhere, on everything all time (Chapter 2: Verse 115). Allah (SWT) is Immortal, Ever living (Chapter 28: Verse 88, Chapter 55: Verse 27, Chapter 25: Verse 58), He never sleeps and does not get tired (Chapter 2: Verse 255), whereas we human beings get tired, sleep and die (Chapter 39: Verse 42, Chapter 3: Verse 185). The Nafs or consciousness of Allah (SWT) is universal (Chapter 4: Verse 126, Chapter 65: Verse 12).

Consciousness and the universal force of gravitation: It is stated in the Holy Quran:

“Allah certainly holds together the skies and the earth lest they get separated…” (Chapter 35: Verse 41).

According to science this holding together of the heavenly bodies is due to the natural force of gravitation acting between them. It is further stated in the Holy Quran:

“…and certainly in them (i.e.the rocks) are those which fall down due to the fear of Allah (Khash yat-i-llaah) (Chapter 2: Verse 74).

We know that rocks fall down due to the force of gravity of the earth. In view of this, is the universal force of gravitation due to the universal fear of Allah (SWT)? Consciousness counter acts the force of gravity. We are able to stand or walk against the force of gravity of the earth only when we are alive and awake i.e. conscious, the moment we lose consciousness we succumb to the force of gravity of the earth and fall down. The force of gravity is implosive, centripetal acting towards a common center, therefore consciousness which counter acts gravity might be explosive, centrifugal, acting in directions away from a common center. Is this common center the ‘Arsh’ ‘The Throne’ (Chapter 21: Verse 22)? Is the fear of Allah (SWT) in the form of the universal force of gravitation counter acted by His own universal consciousness maintaining the observed balance in the universe? Will the universe come to an end the moment this balance is disturbed by Allah (SWT) Himself?

Gravity and sleep: Gravity is associated with mass and consciousness with life. At night, which is made for our rest i.e. sleep (Chapter 6: Verse 60, Chapter 25: Verse 47), the forces

of gravity of the earth and the sun get added up and act in the same direction with respect to us (Chapter 91: Verse 4, Chapter 92: Verse 1) whereas during the day these forces act in the opposite directions with respect to us. Do we, in general, fall asleep at night due to the added forces of gravity of the earth and the sun which reduces the degree of our consciousness and do we keep awake when the forces of gravity of the earth and the sun act in opposite directions during the day thereby reducing the combined force of gravity and increasing the degree of consciousness? This deserves consideration in view of the fact that both gravity and consciousness are associated with Allah (SWT) and His taking away our Nafs during sleep may mean His making the arrangement described above which would not hold good in the case of death which is not restricted to day or night and which is caused by the angel of death (Chapter 32: Verse 11) who returns us to Allah (SWT).

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