Being alive means our Body & Soul are in one embodiment that is in the form of being as we are now. Once the Body and Soul are separated, then one part will be claimed back by the earth (the Body) and the other will continue his journey to the “next life”.
While being alive – which one is the one that dominates us? Is it the Body or the Soul? How does these two co-exist and functions as a human being? This is a very intriguing subject. Al Quran says “YAS ALUNAKA ‘ANIRRUUH, QULIRRUUH, MINA AMRI RABBI” (They inquire you (the Prophet) about the Soul; answer them that the Soul is a matter of God i.e. an affair that is solely in His knowledge alone).
To understand the bodily functions and actions is a lot easier than to understand how does the Soul influence our actions and functions. Our body has our brain and mind, which produces our intellect, which guides us in our doings. But how does the Soul direct and control over our brain and mind? We also have “character” or “KHULQ” in Arabic (i.e. akhlaq), which defines oneself in terms of his/her overall character and behavior. A person will be said as of “good character” and vice versa of “bad character”. In Islam, such character or Akhlaq, is defined to be linked to someones Belief (or Iman).The question is: does the character (or Akhlaq) defines one’s Soul? Logically, I would think so and has to be so.
We can define someones physical character, but that is far from defining a person’s Akhlaq. Even though physical appearance may at times be a reflection of a person’s character, but it is only an image. Many times, I saw people of having “Islamic dress” but yet, their actual belief and akhlaq are of the exact opposite.Similarly, I have met people who does not show any religious appearance, and yet their heart and feelings are totally full of consciousness about his being and God.
The Soul and its character are actually “quite deep” within a person, and hence it cannot be easily seen. The true character of the Soul only appears when they are tested; and under such severe tests,then its true character and form appears. It seems to me that the Soul resides in the deepest part of our subconscious and hence it will “jump into front action” only when the situation arises.
Let us take an example of someone who shoot and kills another human being: what when through his conscience when he pull the trigger? Does his Soul have any feeling when it is harming another fellow Soul? Or his Soul is “inert” with such feelings and therefore the action is done by just simply a quick pull of the trigger, without any remorse and emotions. This is an example, when such Soul is so corrupted and inert, that it never even get out from its subconscious state and let the bodily action act without even any thinking and at times may be just a simple pure reflex.And that’s why the punishment for such Soul as described in the Quran “MAN QATALA NAFSAN MUTA’AMIDDAN, FA JAZAUHU JAHANNAM KHAALIDINA FIIHA” (Whoever kills another person purposely, his punishment shall be the hell, and he will be permanent in there).In another meaning: the Soul is totally corrupted, such that it is already beyond any recompense.
The body & Soul not only co-exists, but always at odds over each other. The Body will always crave for the bodily pleasure and indulgence, while the Soul, by its nature of creation, should be longing and craving for the “spiritual nourishment and pleasures”. So the question is: in a person, which one dominates? His bodily needs and crave, or his spiritual needs? Understanding this, will give a better meaning of the fasting (Puasa) in the month of Ramadhan – when we are obligated to hold our bodily demands against the cleansing of our Souls (Taqwa). Similarly, our Body wants things that are defined as “haram” while the Soul wants tranquility in the Prayers and Zikr (remembrance of Allah).
But not all persons (in fact few), feels and realize the needs of his Soul. Most, if not all, will be busy from dawn to dusk everyday, engaged only in feeding his bodily needs and pleasures; and totally disregard any spiritual needs that his Soul requires. In fact, his Soul is totally “ignored” as if it is not even there.This is the state of affair that eventually make the Soul to be “blind” and “dead” (in Malay berhati buta dan mati).
If we understand this, then we will get the meaning of why we need to make our Prayers (Solah) five times daily. The Prayers are scheduled at pristine moments -the dawn, before we start our day; noon (Zuhr) for the mid-day, Asr (evening) – as the days wind down, Maghrib (Sunset), when the day is over, and Isha (late night) before we end the day and go to sleep. These are “scheduled feedings” of the soul, which are even more important than the “breakfast”, “lunch” and “dinner” in our daily schedule. Such nourishments will keep the Soul to be healthy, clean and pure. Which is the “FITRAH” (or original form) of the Soul from the day that it was created. “FIIRATALLAH ALLATI FATARANNAASA ‘ALAIHA” (The Fitrah of ALLAH, where he creates the human beings based on that).
And finally – the hadith in the following meaning: All sons of Adam are created based on his FITRAH, except that his parents (or environment) that makes him to be Jew, Christian or the Majusi (fire worshipper).
Our Soul is pure – except that when we enter this body of ours, and overtime it got corrupted and eventually may even loss all of its original character; unless it is constantly being fed with the necessary “food and nourishments”, to maintain its true character – which is actually the behavior of people of the Paradise (JANNAH).