The Dead Soul Given Life

Mufti Aasim Rashid

There are many people in the world who are unhappy with themselves. They feel like they are stuck in a dark room, lost in their own misery. Among those people are those who choose to embrace that darkness and remain within it, while others choose to stand up and search for the light at the end of the tunnel, guiding others with them. Their quest begins with affirming their belief in Allah (SWT).


In this verse, an example is given of a person who is dead and then given life. Ibn Abbas (RA) explains that this verse goes beyond its literal component and instead refers to a person who is spiritually dead due to his lack of worship towards Allah (SWT) but is revived after his submission to his Lord. Therefore, even if a person is physically alive, without Islam, his soul is considered dead.

The first example is of a person who starts with no knowledge, guidance, or understanding, allegorical to being lost in a pitch dark room. However, s/he chooses to escape that darkness and initiates the process of enlightenment.

To solve a problem, one must first identify and accept the problem. An obese individual will have a lot of trouble losing weight if s/he doesn't accept the morbidity of their condition. Similarly, a person who is lost must accept the guidance, thus leading to the first step of enlightenment.


Once this person achieves guidance, s/he is now considered to be alive. The darkroom has lit up and they can now see. This is symbolic of his/her ability to attain knowledge and understanding. S/He can now see and identify the truth. Therefore, this person is now able to navigate through the dark world because they possess the light of guidance.

This state of awareness leads to a heightened sense of clarity within the believer. S/He is now able to tell good from bad, right from wrong, and distinguish a good company from a bad company. This clarity is the foundation for the second level of enlightenment.

Once this person reaches this level of guidance and clarity, s/he is ready for the next stage, allocating this blessing to others. This is liberating to the believer because s/he can interact with others and come together for a divine purpose.

Imam Fakhruddin Ar Razi (RA) mentions a beautiful parable that goes like this: when “x” remains with “y” for a long time without any separation, eventually “y” becomes a part of “x” and it becomes near impossible for “x” to then get rid of “y”. Likewise, a person who develops a habit of drinking wine will find it difficult to relinquish it, spiraling into a state of addiction. Had s/he stopped drinking after the first time, it would have been easier to renounce that sin.

The second person mentioned is the one who is lost within that dark room and chooses to embrace the darkness and remain within it. This person is in a state of ignorance where s/he is unable to distinguish right from wrong, recognize his/her Lord (SWT), and accept guidance. These are the internal obstacles that act as a barrier, impeding on one’s potential for enlightenment.

We have now explored the essence of two very different individuals. One started lifelessly but gradually worked their way up to being alive, finding guidance, then acquiring knowledge and clarity, and ultimately sharing it with others.  On the other hand, we have a person who was lifeless and chose to remain that way, engulfing themselves in their own misery and darkness. This is a powerful example of Allah’s (SWT) statement:

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