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Al-Nafs al-Mutma'inna

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Al-nafs al-mutmaʾinna (Arabic: النفْس المُطمَئِنّه, lit: the soul at peace or the reassured soul) is a state of the human soul or self at which one attains peace and assurance, without having inclinations to sins. The term appears in verse 27 of Qur'an 89.

The reassured soul is deemed the highest degree of soul in contrast to “al-nafs al-lawwama” (the self-critical or blaming soul) and “al-nafs al-ammara” (the commanding soul). The commanding soul inspires one to sins and wrongdoings. The self-critical soul blames itself for its wrongdoings. According to Muslim scholars, humans only have one soul, and the existence of commanding, self-critical, and reassured souls is not in conflict with the sameness of the human soul. Instead, these notions refer to various states and degrees of the same soul.

In some hadiths, the Verse of the Reassured Soul is cited, and then instances of such a soul are enumerated, such as Imam ʿAli (a), Imam al-Husayn (a) and those who believe in the Prophet (s) and his Household.

Sameness of Human Identity and Various Souls

According to Muslim scholars, a human person only has one soul or self. They argue that this is not contradicted by the existence of commanding, self-critical, and reassured souls. This is because the latter are different states and degrees of the same soul; that is, when the soul commands the evils, it comes to be called a commanding soul, and when it blames itself for a wrongdoing, it comes to be called a self-critical soul.

The Notion

The reassured soul is a state of the soul at which one persists in, and therefore acquires the habit of, complying with reason in avoiding the sins, and as a result, the soul attains peace and assurance. This is a Quranic term, used in verse 27 of Qur'an 89.

The reassured soul is said to be contrasted to the commanding and self-critical souls. It has been said that the soul has degrees, the lowest being the commanding soul, at which one does not follow reason and tends to sins. At a higher degree is the self-critical soul, at which one is vigilant, blaming oneself for any wrongdoings. At the highest degree is the reassured soul.

Instances of the Reassured Soul in Hadiths

In some hadiths, instances for the “reassured soul” in verse 27 of Qur'an 89 are enumerated. According to a hadith from Shawahid al-tanzil, these include Imam ʿAli (a), and according to another hadith in Tafsir al-Qummi, they include Imam Husayn (a). There is a hadith transmitted by al-Kulayni in al-Kafi in which a reassured soul is one that believes in the Prophet (s) and his Household.

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