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Nafs (Arab.; cf. Heb., nephesh). The individual self or soul in Islam, which exists in conjunction with rūḥ (see below). In the Qurʾān, nafs is sometimes nothing more than a reflexive pronoun (‘you yourself’). But it also has stronger content as ‘living person’ (21. 35 f.), and as the self or soul removed by God at death (39. 43). It is the subject of accountability at the Day of Judgement (Yaum al-Dīn) (2. 281). Rūḥ (cf. Heb., ruaḥ) is the breath breathed into humans by God to create living beings, and is thus less individualized, but it carries the consequential meaning of a speaking being, hence something like ‘spirit’. Nafs is frequently the lower self, the self with appetites and passions, ‘the soul which incites to evil’ (12. 53). Rūḥ Allah is the name of Jesus/ʿĪsā in Qurʾān 4. 169, and by implication of Adam (15. 29), perhaps reflecting the first Adam/second Adam symmetry of Paul.

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