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Nafs, Tabi’ah & Fitrah



What is the relation between nafs,tabiah and fitra?



Thank you for your question. The first two terms (the nafs and tabiah)
have been used in a variety of ways in different sciences. The nafs (soul)
can be referred to in a positive sense as the reality of the human or in a
negative sense as the source of all that is evil within the human (also
referred to as the nafs al-ammarah). There are also different
categorisations of the stages of the nafs. Tabiah (nature) also carries a
positive or a negative meaning. The nature of the human when it is
unaffected faces God. However in another sense the human has to battle his
nature which seeks to satisfy itself and pulls towards the material world.
So the relationship between these terms depends on their use.

If we assume that the term nafs refers to the reality of the human and
that tabiah refers to his natural God seeking nature then these two terms
mean the same as the fitra (natural disposition). God created the human
upon the cognisance of tawhid which is his very nature and it is through
his soul that he witnesses that tawhid. That is why whoever knows their
self knows their Lord.

May you always be successful.

Zoheir Ali Esmail