As per Islam, What are elements of Soul or What is soul made of?

(If we split Body and Soul to seperately then what are elements of soul?)

  • 1
    I'll try to look up the recipe and present it to you (jk). We do not have the technology to know the answer to that yet.
    – user12537
    May 20, 2015 at 20:52
  • You'll have to provide more details if you want a cool answer. As u've seen, not many details about the recipe of soul is given in Islam, as it is considered a matter of Ghaib, the knowledge which only the creator of the soul has. In case, if you're comparing this concept with the teachings of some other religion, then providing more about that stuff would be useful. Otherwise, as is the question is beyond the scope of humans and Jinn. May 21, 2015 at 4:26
  • The soul is made of thoughts, feelings and emotions, and these entities are incorporeal in essence despite manifesting themselves in the corporeal body as well.
    – infatuated
    May 25, 2015 at 7:27
  • See this and this answer on Philosophy.SE where I have provided some insights as to the nature of human soul based on the thoughts of muslim philosophers.
    – infatuated
    May 25, 2015 at 7:30

2 Answers 2


Allah the Almighty says in the Qur'an addressing his prophet ():

And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little." (17:85)

This verse say that none but Allah knows about the soul! So only trough Allah we can gain knowledge about it!

Ibn Kathir in his tafsir presented the following explanations of ruh (translated as soul but also as spirit) the human soul, Jibreel (Gabriel) or another powerful Angel were named by some interpreters. This hadith seems to be the most authentic reason for revelation of this verse.

He also showed the dispute about the difference between soul (ruh) and nafs:

As-Suhayili mentioned the dispute among the scholars over whether the Ruh is the same as the Nafs, or something different. He stated that it is light and soft, like air, flowing through the body like water through the veins of a tree. He states that the Ruh which the angel breathes into the fetus is the Nafs, provided that it joins the body and acquires certain qualities because of it, whether good or bad. So then it is either a soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction (89:27) or inclined to evil (12:53), just as water is the life of the tree, then by mixing with it, it produces something else, so that if it mixes with grapes and the grapes are then squeezed, it becomes juice or wine. Then it is no longer called water, except in a metaphorical sense. Thus we should understand the connection between Nafs and Ruh; the Ruh is not called Nafs except when it joins the body and is affected by it.
So in conclusion we may say: the Ruh is the origin and essence, and the Nafs consists of the Ruh and its connection to the body. So they are the same in one sense but not in another. This is a good explanation, and Allah knows best. I say: people speak about the essence of the Ruh and its rulings, and many books have been written on this topic. One of the best of those who spoke of this was Al-Hafiz Ibn Mandah in a book which we have heard about the Ruh. (Source qtafsir)

Ibn Ashur gives the following definition of "ruh" -in his at-Tahrir wa tanwir- (My own translation take it carefully):

والروح : يطلق على الموجود الخفي المنتشر في سائر الجسد الإنساني الذي دلت عليه آثاره من الإدراك والتفكير ، ... وهذا الإطلاق هو الذي في قوله تعالى فإذا سويته ونفخت فيه من روحي ، وهذا يسمى أيضا بالنفس كقوله يا أيتها النفس المطمئنة .
The soul refers to the invisible existing thing which is spread in the whole human body which is shown by it's noticeable signs like awareness and contemplation, ... and its which is referred to by:
"And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul " (15:29 and 38:72)
This is also known as an-Nafs as in: "[To the righteous it will be said], "O reassured soul, "(89:27)

[ ص: 197 ] ويطلق الروح على الكائن الشريف المكون بأمر إلهي بدون سبب اعتيادي ، ومنه قوله تعالى وكذلك أوحينا إليك روحا من أمرنا وقوله وروح منه .
It refers also to the noble being which was created by an order of Allah without any usual reason or source this is referred to in: "And thus We have revealed to you an inspiration of Our command. " (42:52)
and " a soul [created at a command] from Him. " (4:171)

ويطلق لفظ الروح على الملك الذي ينزل بالوحي على الرسل ، وهو جبريل عليه السلام ، ومنه قوله تعالى نزل به الروح الأمين على قلبك .
And it also refers to the Angel who comes with the revelation and transmit it to the Messengers, and this is Jibreel peace be upon him as referred to in: "The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down(193) Upon your heart, [O Muhammad]" (26:193-194)

Nevertheless the word "ruh" الروح (mostly translated as soul) has been covered in the Qur'an several times so maybe we can at least conclude a meaning as we have no clear description of what it is made of (Note some of these meanings are already covered above):

  • In the Qur'an the soul was quoted when referring to the relaxedness (relief), the power and competence as in (12:87) as they are an attribute of Allah!
  • It also was also referred to as the creation and the mercy in (4:171).
  • It was referred to as the relaxation, the intermission and the joy of looking upon Allah's noble Countenance as stated in (56:89).
  • It is referred to as the wahy (revelation) and the prophecy as in (16:2), (40:15) and (42:52).
  • It can be referred to as the faith, the guidance, the proof and wisdom as in (58:22).
  • An other possible reference is that of an exalted Angel or the soldiers of Allah as stated in many verses such as (2:87), (2:253),(5:110), (16:102), (19:17) etc.
  • It was also mentioned as an attribute of 'Isa () in (4:171) and (66:12).
  • It is also referred to the creation of life which runs through our body as in (15:29), (32:9) and (38:72).

So to conclude if you are looking for the form or elements of the human soul then is no answer the only thing we can say is that we can clearly notice it existence no more no less. It is a gift of Allah which runs through our body and the body of each being that Allah has given this gift.


Basically, if you ask what are the elements of the taste "sweet" when you eat sugarcane, nobody can answer.

But, here, even beyond answering, the point is to have the experience...:)

And Islam has always and will always have the BEST understanding of soul.

But to understand that, we need to find and understand "the people who are guided", as they too had searched and lived with "the guided people" of previous generation. (as mentioned from Surah Al-Fathihah : 7)

And as the chain goes, it reaches, Prophet Muhammed (s.a).

That is the essence of the Real and Traditional Islam.! The Islam that not even the biggest Black Magician nor the so-called Astral-Master-Jews-and-rest could defeat !...:)

  • btw, what all elements you have?
    – Zameel
    May 21, 2015 at 18:21
  • Thanks. But still, there should be an answer if elements or form of soul is explainable. Like if people say, what is soul? what it looks like? What is its form? What comprises soul? Are we soul or Body? If everything gonna happen with Soul; then basic question comes in mind is what comprises a Soul. May 22, 2015 at 5:51
  • You see, there is a world that cant be explained in words. once you know it, you understand. Elements of soul? you mean elements of You, me and the rest of us? yeah, apparently it seems whatevr i say about it will be utterly erranous...basically, the answer is this....May Allah help us all to worship him with our soul....like the few of his beloveds have done before us....
    – Zameel
    May 22, 2015 at 6:47

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