August 5, 2007

3 Stations in the Qur’an

Posted in Religion, Theology at 3:06 am by egalitaria

I was graciously taught these concepts by a good friend. Themes are very similar between the Bible and the Qur’an.

There are three stations that mankind goes through as one travels through life. These three capture the struggle and innermost desires of a person.

  1. Nafs al-amarah bi al-su’

This is the stage at which the bestial, carnal nature of man overrides all else. Desires, wants, lust, greed epitomise man at this point, where actions are driven by selfish nature and focus is upon self. This is the “nafs” that animals and human beings share.

2. Nafs lawamah

Based on the assumption that morality is inherent, this is the station at which humans are able to now exercise a level of conscience, and hence a struggle ensues between one’s desires and will. This struggle continues in the continuous desire to strike a balance. This is the stage at which most of us are presently in.

3. Nafs al-mutmainah

This is the final stage which most will not be able to achieve, the desired station where it takes no effort whatsoever to do good in life. Goodness is therefore the chosen natural action, needing no struggle nor the pricking of conscience upon one’s will.

Jesus, in calling the Pharisees to think instead upon the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter of the law, said to them that the most important commandment was to “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and mind and soul”, and the next was to “Love your neighbour as yourself”. These were spoken in opposition to regimented law of archaic nature, performed very much for the sake of it at the time. Inherent within this teaching is the call towards Nafs al-mutmainah. The natural desire to engage in doing good, which is a result of naturally loving one and the other. Different religions have taught these principles in different terminologies.

I am admittedly within the Nafs lawamah category at this point.


1 Comment

  1. lorachandler said,

    Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment that takes us beyond the love you quoted to a higher love that is the kind of love with which He loves us. John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” This is a sacrificial love that takes oneself out of the picture entirely where we no longer love others as we love ourselves, but we love them without considering ourselves. No other religion teaches about a God who would give Himself to die in order to save us. Only Jesus Christ can truly free human beings from sin.

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