In Islam and Sufism, rūḥ (Arabic: روح; plural arwah) is a person's immortal, essential self—the spirit or soul.[1][2] Among the al-Laṭaʾif as-sitta (Arabic: اللطائف الستة) it is the third purity.

God is believed to endow humans with rūḥ (an immortal self or soul) and a nafs (نَفْس, psyche). The rūḥ "drives" the nafs, which comprises temporal desires and sensory perceptions.[1] The nafs can assume control of the body if the rūḥ surrenders to bodily urges.[1] The nafs is subject to bodily desire, whereas the rūḥ is a person's immaterial essence, beyond the emotions and instincts shared by humans and other animals; rūḥ makes the body alive.[3]

Rūḥ may also refer to a ghost, a spirit that roams the earth.[4]

Stages of taming rūḥ

To attend Tajalli ar-rūḥ, the Salik needs to achieve the following 13.

  1. Irādah or Commitment with God
  2. Istiqāmah or Steadfastness in the way with God
  3. Hāya or Shame in committing evil
  4. Ḥurīyyah or Freedom: Ibrahim Bin Adham said, "A free man is one who abandons the world before he leaves the world". Yaḥyā Bin Maz said, "Those who serves the people of world are slaves, and those who serve the people of ʾĀkhirah are the free ones". Abū ʿAlī Daqāq said, "Remember, real freedom is in total obedience. Therefore if someone has total obedience in God, he will be free from the slavery of non God"
  5. Fatoot or Manliness: Abū ʿAlī Daqāq said, "Manliness is in one's being of continuous service to others. This is an etiquette that was perfected by Prophet Muhammad only".
  6. Ḥub or Love for God
  7. Aboodiyah or Slavery under God
  8. Maraqiba or Complete Focus on God
  9. Duʿāʾ or Prayer
  10. Faqar or Abandoning of materialism
  11. Tasawwuf or Wearing a dress of no material significance
  12. Suhbat or Company of the righteous ones
  13. Adab or Following Protocols of respect for the great ones[5]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Ahmad, Sultan (2011). "Nafs: What Is it?". Islam In Perspective (revised ed.). Author House. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-4490-3993-6. Retrieved 2017-07-15 via Google Books.
  2. Bedir, Murteza (2006). "Interplay of Sufism, Law, Theology and Philosophy: A non-Sufi Mystic of 4th–5th/10–11th Centuries". In Carmona, Alfonso. El Sufismo y las normas del Islam—Trabajos del IV Congreso Internacional de Estudios Jurídicos Islámicos: Derecho y Sufismo. pp. 262–3. ISBN 84-7564-323-X. OCLC 70767145. Retrieved 2017-07-15 via Google Books.
  3. Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa (2010). Reason, Spirit and the Sacral in the New Enlightenment: Islamic Metaphysics Revived and Recent Phenomenology of Life. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 75. ISBN 978-90-481-9612-8. OCLC 840883714.
  4. Sengers, Gerda (2003). Women and Demons: Cultic Healing in Islamic Egypt. BRILL. p. 50. ISBN 978-90-04-12771-5. OCLC 50713550.
  5. Translated from the Persian book Shahid ul Wojood
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