Nafas and Ruh: The Universe of Breath: Islam

Following on with my theme of The Infinite Breathes Me, this is an article which I am providing link to; which I found very interesting from a perspective of Islam. There is much more in this post, which if you are interested in more on breath including the correct and specified instructions as to how to read the Holy Qur’an…visit the link below.

The Universe of the Breath

And remember when thy Lord said 

   unto the angels:

    Lot I am creating a mortal out of potter’s clay of black mud altered.  

   So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit . . .

Qur’an 15:28-29

The Qur’anic verse above reveals in a very condensed form the entire mystic  relationship between Allah and His human creation. He says that He made the human being  out of the elements and then breathed life into the body. The Qur’anic words used here are    significant.

Allah uses the word nafas for His own breath, and He uses the word Ruh for His own soul. These same words are used to mean the human breath and human soul–confirming    the fact that we are originally from Allah, of Allah, for Allah, and in the end will  return to Allah.

Of all of the physical realities that have a bearing upon health, that which is least often considered in medicine and healing is the breath. The breath has the following    important relations with health:

1. It is the agent upon which the divine permission (idhn) is borne.

2. Breath is responsible for conveying the divine attributes from the heart to the    various centers of the mind, body, and soul.

3. Breath creates the equilibrium and harmony of the temperaments of the body.

4. Breath carries life-supporting elements from the exterior of the body to the interior physiological functions.

Breath is not synonymous with air, nor with oxygen. Breath is that which emerges from the divine origin and has as its essence the temperament of the celestial realms. Breath is a luminous substance, a ray of light; breath is the life force of Allah Himself!

Breath is the regulator of joy, sadness, delight, anger, jealousy, and other emotions.  Both the quantity and quality of breath have a definite and direct effect upon human    health. This is so because various physical events can alter or in a sense cover over the    divine essence that is being conveyed on the breath. Industrial pollutants, alcoholic    beverages, and various foods can all intermingle with the breath and disturb its intended    purity of action.

All of these actions are changed by age, climate, and habits. An example will make this clear. When one experiences great depression, there is a weakening of the natural powers  and a concentration of the breath. This concentration causes a violent aggregation of the    breath, which consequently obliterates part of the natural heat and gives rise to an imbalance of coldness. Depending upon how prolonged the depression is, the cold imbalance can extend into one or many organs of the body, thus producing varying degrees of disease.

The emotions of dread and the effects associated with great and impending danger also dissipate the natural heat. Anger will cause an increase in the amount of yellow bile essence created. If the anger is sustained, the diseases associated with excess yellow bile will occur.

Therefore, medicines must be chosen for their effect on the breath and its temperament (or its altered temperament). This is why compound medicines are frequently used, to balance not only the physical symptoms but also the underlying temperaments of the    physiological essences and the essences of the breath.

This is also why flower essences, in the form of attars, are so effective in producing cures. It is vital that they be given at the same time as medicines that strictly affect the physical symptoms. Flowers have the greatest capacity to rebalance the breath and the internal essential temperaments.

The breath is the nexus between our Creator and ourselves. The healing methods of the Sufis have placed more importance upon the breath than on any other factor of life.

Breath 1

Breath 2


3 thoughts on “Nafas and Ruh: The Universe of Breath: Islam

  1. Abdur Rahman says:

    What a great article. Thanks for sharing. The breath as the most intimate, immediate sign of God’s presence is deeply written to our shared Abrahamic heritage (and beyond that too).

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