Our Nafs

We are not just “animals.”

The fact that the soul can be inclined towards good or evil is a testament to how human beings are a unique creation and cannot be studied as animals.

In essence, the human being is inclined towards good or evil regardless of the physical outcome in that we can commit a good or evil act even after having full knowledge that it will physically harm us.

For example, a person sees a stranger in danger and defends them by putting their life on the line (this is an inclination towards good). Or a human being fasts, purposefully leaving food and drink. Similarly, a person may be aware that doing drugs is harmful, but they engage in this and harm themselves physically.

On the other hand, animals rarely behave based on the good or evil of something but rather primarily due to the physical harm or benefit associated with their actions.

There is something unique about the nafs of the human being-it demonstrates that this creation is different.

We have a level of abstract thinking where we can determine what is right or wrong. We can read traffic patterns and change our route or we have certain intuitions if we feel someone is going to harm us.

To believe in Allah (swt) we don’t need an angel to descend down with the Qur’an and recite it to us. Allah (swt) has shown us signs within the creation, within ourselves and implanted fitra to recognize these things.

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