Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answered 1 year ago

Scholars have not agreed upon how the body, soul and spirit are interconnected. Due to the Neoplatonic influences upon the Islamic tradition, some have come to believe that the body is like a shell consisting purely of matter, and that the soul yearns to be free of it to return back to its Creator (a whole stream of thought and practice in the mystical tradition has arisen based upon this idea, e.g. see the work of Shihabuddin Suhrawardi). Others, such as Mulla Sadra, say the body is a manifestation of the soul. However, still influenced by Neoplatonism, Mulla Sadra holds that, as the 'person' progresses through stages of purification, they move away from this material manifestation towards immateriality. Generally, among Muslim thinkers, the soul could be likened to the psyche. It is the part of ourselves that consists of desires, fears, and the characteristics that make up our personality.  The Qur'an says that 'every soul (nafs) will taste death' (3:185). The Quran also talks about the experiences that we will have in the next world. The spirit is that which animates the body and gives it life. The spirit is also that which gives the soul life. Therefore, both will leave the body upon death, but it is the soul that experiences the trials and rewards of the next stage of existence.