The Body and Soul – Imam Ibn al Qayyim

Source: AL-FAWA’ID: A Collection of Wise Sayings, Imam Ibn al Qayyim

The body of the son of Adam was created from the earth and his soul from the government of Heaven and then they were joined. If he is hungry, stays awake, and keeps his body busy in serving Allah, his soul will find itself lighter and more peaceful so that it would long for the place from which it was created and miss its heavenly world. But if he secures food, blessings, sleep, and rest, the body will incline to remain at the place from which it was created and the soul would be pulled along with it and be in a prison. If it was not for the fact that it would get used to that prison, it would ask for help, as a tortured person does, to find relief from the pain resulting from the separation and departure from its own world from which it was created.

In general, the more the body is light, the more the soul will be light and seek its heavenly world, and the more the body is heavy and seeks desires and relief, the heavier the soul will be and it will come down from its heavenly world and become lower and more earthly. You may see the soul of a man in Heaven while his body is on the earth. Another person serves Allah with his body and his soul is low and wandering about in lowly matters. When the soul separates from the body, it would either catch up with its high or low place. With the high, it would  find every blessing, happiness, beauty, pleasure, and good living while with the low it would find every distress, grief, suffering, sadness, and bad and difficult thing.

Allah says, which means,
“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship.”(Taha, 20:124)

“My Reminder” is His words, which He revealed to His Messenger, and “turns away” is by neglecting and abandoning working according to these words, and the majority of explanations saw that “life of hardship” is torture in the grave. Ibn Mas’ud, Abu Hurairah, Abu Sa’eed AI-Khudry, and Ibn ‘Abbas agreed on that and it has a traceable hadith.

This life of hardship is in return for relieving the body and soul with pleasures, desires and relief. The more you enrich the soul, it will restrain the heart until you live a life of hardship, and the more you restrain the soul, it will enrich the heart until that heart will be delighted and relieved. Hardship in this worldly life, following piety will find its relief in partition and the Hereafter, and relief in this worldly life following desires will find its hardship in the partition and the Hereafter.

You should choose one of the two: the better, more pleasant, and more lasting.You may distress the body in order to relieve the soul but do not distress the soul to relieve the body; relief and distress of the soul is greater and more lasting while relief and distress of the body is shorter and easier.

Rendered into English by: Bayan Translation Services
Translation of Umm Al-Qura For Translation, Publishing and Distribution

%d bloggers like this: