The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ask an Alim

Marifat of Self – Marifat of God



1)Is marifat of self means having knowledge of soul that at which level it stands and recognition of sins affecting on soul and good attributes also?

Does this knowledge leads to God?

how can we start plz help in this regard?

2)Is every emotion an indication of something missing in soul? laziness is the part of which kind of soul? How do we eliminate it?


Alaykum salaam

1) Thank you for this beautiful question. We have a hadith which appears
with slight variations in wording which says “Whoever knows himself, knows
his Lord.” There is also a Quranic verse which explains the same
relationship but speaks about those who forget Allah: “And do not be like
those who forget God, so He makes them forget their own souls…” (59:19).
Therefore there is a relationship between knowing the soul and knowing
Allah and the inverse relationship is also true that if one forgets Allah
they will also be forgetful of their soul. But now the question is what
type of knowledge of ones soul is this that leads to the knowledge of
Allah? You see the reality of the human – and of every creation – is
deeply connected to Allah. This reality is sometimes expressed in
religious terms as the fitra which means natural disposition. When the
human witnesses his fitra and innate reality he at the same time witnesses
Allah. This is one meaning of the hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (as) regarding
the interpretation of the verse of Quran concerning the fitra (30:30) when
he said: “He created them on tawhid.” That is that the knowledge of tawhid
in its various levels of depth is part of the very fabric of man and so
the one who knows his own reality knows tawhid which is the knowledge of
Allah. It has its various degrees as knowing the self in this sense is a
long journey. But although all humans are made if this reality very few
witness it as they are blinded by the veils of the material world and so
forget their own realities and in doing so they disconnect from themselves
and the witnessing and presence of Allah.

As for what you have mentioned concerning the knowledge of ones good and
bad traits, that is to do with the rectification of the soul which is a
path to the knowledge of the soul in the sense that has been explained
above. It is also a path to many wisdoms. The repentance for sins is also
important as it brings about humbleness which is one of the biggest
knowledges of the soul and leads to the knowledge of God.

Starting on this way is to sincerely repent from the focus on the material
aspect of this world and to seek the spiritual. It is to sincerely seek
Allah’s guidance in opening the ways to His knowledge while firmly holding
on to the Ma’sumin (as) and making tawassul through them (as).

2) All emotions and thoughts are reflections of the soul. Some are good
and some are bad and these are symptoms of underlying traits. As for
laziness it is rooted in ignorance and a lack of will. These are both
aspects of the commanding self (al-nafs al-ammara) and is overcome with
knowledge and will. Laziness has never taken anyone anywhere and only
results in more problems. So with that knowledge it is down to the will
power to fight the laziness and act.

Zoheir Ali Ismail