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Fri May 14, 2010 7:47 am

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In the physical world, all matter can exist in only three states i.e. solid, liquid or gas. Thus, the creation of man too employs the usage of all three of these forms. So our body, consisting of the bones etc, is solid, while the blood in our veins is liquid, and the air we breath into our lungs is of the gaseous.

The three forms of matter, in turn, can be categorized into an hierarchy based on their 'subtlety'. Thus solids are always required to provide a containing space for liquids (a cup to contain tea, or a gorge to form a stream). Gases, being most subtle can even fill up a space without having the need to displace anything else. Thus I can spray fragrance in a room, and it will fill that room without anything else having to leave to make space. However, energy is something even more subtle than gas, (which through Einstein's model, is also a form of matter), and which can exist even more subtly than a gas "within" something else, like the chemical energy inside a lead cell, or the electrical energy inside a wire.

Apart from these forms of matter which exist in the physical world, there are yet other, even more subtle forms of being, which also exist in the physical world, but, because of their being way too hard to detect and sense through conventional means, have been collectively bundled together to be residing in what is call the 'spiritual realm'. This spiritual realm, does not exist away from our world in three dimensional space, but only resides 'within' the less subtle elements of the physical world.

Of these, the most important spiritual element is the "rooh", which resides inside "Reah", which is the equivalent for Air in arabic, or the gaseous form of material existence.

In arabic, air, is denoted by the word "reah". It is this air, or Reah, through which the 'Soul', or 'Rooh' enters, and resides in our body. Rooh is a subtle form of energy, and just like electrical energy in chemicals, 'Rooh' is a form of energy, which flows to and fro from the 'world of God's command' (aalam-e-amr) to the world of creation (aalam-e-khalq).

17:85 Wayasaloonaka AAani alrroohi quli alrroohu min amri rabbee wama ooteetum mina alAAilmi illa qaleelan

(They are asking thee concerning the Spirit. Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord, and of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little)

The words used in this verse are "Amr", or command, i.e. the
spirit emanates from the Command of the Lord.

verything that God created in this world of physical matter is, simply enough, called the 'creation', because it was created. The quranic term for creation is 'khalq', and the physical universe is referred to inliterature as the world of creation (alam-e-khalq). As per the verse above, the Spirit however is distinct in the whole physical universe as having originated from the world of Command (alam-e-amr). The quran goes on to say:

7:54 ....musakhkharatin biamrihi ala lahu alkhalqu waalamru ...

... His verily is all Creation and Commandment...

The different positions the quran takes regarding 'khalq' and regarding 'amr' are exposed in this verse, and that fact that the articles of world of creation can be made subservient, or controlled, through the articles of the world of Command (alam-e-amr), which is signfied by the phrase subservient by His command (musakhkharatin biamrihi), while the distinction between the two is signified further on in the phrase His verily is all creation and commandment (lahu alkhalqu waalamru). Thus, the spirit is the embassador of the world of command in this world, and the world of command can be viewed as being higher in hierarchy over the physical creation.

The quran further tells us of the manner in which the element of alam-e-amr has been related to the alam-e-khalq: Through air, or through the breath.

The quran says:

38:72 Faitha sawwaytuhu wanafakhtu feehi min roohee faqaAAoo lahu sajideena

When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.

Since Rooh is a subtle element of the world of Command, it is tied down to the most subtle, fine element of the physical world, which is air, and it is through this that it has been related to the human body. Poetically, since some realities are too complicated to be expressed in exact terms, the elders have been using an aesthetic way of putting this whole relation together:

tun ik pinjra rooh ik panchee, panchee ne udd jaanaa

That Rooh has been imprisoned in the physical body through this breath, and the moment the breath stops, the Rooh is set free and flies away.

As the quran states that the world of creation is subservient to the world of command, it is this simple reality, which has been used for ages in diverse spiritual disciplines, to achieve what may otherwise be called a 'supernatural' phenomena. The way it works is, that the physical human being concentrates on his breath, and the breath, which is related to the Spirit, in turn draws upon the energy from the world of Command, and accomplishes, what can be collectively called 'spiritual feats'. It is for this reason that we see repeated references to breath power etc, in many disciplines including Kundalini Yoga, Aikido Martial art, Reiki healing, while the Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Kahn writes: "The healing power of Christ, the miraculous power of Moses, the charm of Krishna, and the inspiration of the Buddha--all these were attained by breath."

Everything that exists in the physical world has a kind of Rooh in it. Thus there exist many different types of Rooh, or Spirits, including a mineral Rooh, Plant Rooh, Animal Rooh, Human Rooh and Angelic Rooh and so on, all which possess different attributes, and different classifications as regards their potential and merit. And as discussed above, every Rooh, by its very nature, has to be related to its corresponding physical entity through the medium of air. Thus, all those having an interest in spiritualism and related subjects, know well that the presence of a Rooh is always associated with some kind of change in the air around us. For those of us who are fond of watching horror movies from hollywood, will imediately identify a scene in some haunted house as being associated with a particular stormy, and windy night, and the moment an evil spirited is to be indicated as having made its presence, the movie directors' usual choice of a symbol here is the opening or closing of a door or window all by itself! Apart from the movies, people who may have experienced real life presence of entities like the Jinn (whose existence and communication with humans has been established by the quran), would know that these entities rely on the medium of air, to exist, travel around and make their presence felt. Thus the quran says:

34:12 Walisulaymana alrreeha ghuduwwuha shahrun warawahuha shahrun waasalna lahu AAayna alqitri wamina aljinni man yaAAmalu bayna yadayhi biithni rabbihi waman yazigh minhum AAan amrina nuthiqhu min AAathabi alssaAAeeri

And (We made) the wind (subservient) to Sulaiman, which made a month's journey in the morning and a month's journey m the evening, and We made a fountain of molten copper to flow out for him, and of the jinn there were those who worked before him by the command of his Lord; and whoever turned aside from Our command from among them, We made him taste of the punishment of burning.

The phrase used in the quran is again Reeh (Walisulaymana alrreeha), whose very original is related to the word Rooh as described above. The quran gives a subtle indication here that it was because of the subservience of the 'Reeh' to Sulaiman, that he actually gained mastery over the whole of creation, including the Spirits and the jInn, because they rely upon this wind to conduct them around in the world.

At yet another place the quran relates Sulaiman's dominion over the winds with his dominion over the spirits:

38:36-37 Fasakhkharna lahu alrreeha tajree biamrihi rukhaan haythu asaba Waalshshayateena kulla banna-in waghawwasin

Then We made the wind subservient to him; it made his command to run gently wherever he desired. And the shaitans, every builder and diver

Just like the Rooh is a more subtle form of existence then the physical forms of solid, liquid and gas, so all other higher forms of existence also rely on the same element of air in order to interact with the physical world. Thus the quran says regarding the appearance of Angels to the Prophet (sm):

33:9 Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo othkuroo niAAmata Allahi AAalaykum ith jaatkum junoodun faarsalna AAalayhim reehan wajunoodan lam tarawha wakana Allahu bima taAAmaloona baseeran

O you who believe! call to mind the favor of Allah to you when there came down upon you hosts, so We sent against them a strong wind and hosts, that you saw not, and Allah is Seeing what you do.

The sending of strong winds is linked together with the sending of heavenly hosts to support the believers in the war. Caliph Ali (kw) says that in the battle of Badr, such a strong wind blew that we had never seen of its like before, and tradition has it that the wind blew three times, where first time the Angel Gabriel descended, and after him the Angel Michael, and Angel Israfeel, each accompanied by a thousand angels.

So, for any 'spiritual entity' that needs to communicate with this world, needs to do it through the medium of air. So much so, that the Quran says even if God Himself were to reveal himself before the creation, his revelation will be linked to the physical world using the same medium of gas, or clouds:

2:210 Hal yanthuroona illa an yatiyahumu Allahu fee thulalin mina alghamami waalmalaikatu waqudiya alamru waila Allahi turjaAAu alomooru

They do not wait aught but that Allah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds along with the angels, and the matter has (already) been decided; and (all) matters are returned to Allah.


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