Author(s): Ali Kür?at TURGUT

The issue of soul (nafs), which is one of the most important topics of Islamic philosophyand theology, is indespensable when considering intellectual tradition which focus on human beings. All researches into understanding humans point towards men’s spirituality (nafs). Positive sciences such as medicine and psychology, as well as religious disciplines such as theology, philosophy, mysticism and the like have all directly or indirectly expressed opinions on matters relating to the soul (nafs). The muslim philosophers have paid careful attention to this topic and today it has maintained its importance. Every scholar within the field of religious disciplines feels as though they must express an opinion on the matter of nafs, however it is not a topic in which there is consensus among the scholars. When we take into consideration the verse in the Qur’an which implies ‘only limited information is given about the nafs’, it becomes apparent that, as was the case in the past, this is a topic that will seem to preoccupy the minds of intellectuals. This article has attempted to present the approaches to the topic about the soul (nafs), adopted by the followers of the one of the major schools of thought in Islamic philosophy, the illuminative philosophy. At the same time, the article has evaluated the viewpoint of both schools of thought on the subject.


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