A similar influence of philosophy is also apparent in al-Ghazali’s view of human beings.Human beings consist of soul and body, but their essence is the soul. The human soul isa spiritual substance totally different from the body. It is something divine (
), which makes possible human knowledge of God. If the soul according to al-Ghazali is anincorporeal substance occupying no space (as Ibn Sina implies, though he carefully avoids making a direct statement to that effect), then al-Ghazali’s concept of the soul isquite different from the soul as 'a subtle body' as conceived by theologians at large. According to al-Ghazali, the body is a vehicle or an instrument of the soul on the way tothe hereafter and has various faculties to maintain the bodily activities. When the mainfaculties of appetite, anger and intellect are moderate, harmonious and well-balanced,then we find the virtues of temperance, courage, wisdom and justice. In reality,however, there is excess or deficiency in each faculty, and so we find various viciouscharacteristics. The fundamental cause for all this is love of the world (see SOUL INISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY).
The most amazing organ in the human body is the heart. It not only functions physically but alsospiritually and morally in human life. The importance of the heart is stated in the Qur’an by usingthe words al-qalb and fou'ad. Qalb occurs in the Qur’an 132 times in both its physical and spiritualsenses, while fou'ad occurs 16 times in the spiritual sense. Both terms, however allude to thesame thing – the heart. The heart is the seat of awareness, consciousness, feelings, and thoughts.It could be good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. In the Hadith it is mentioned that “Surely in thebreasts of man is a lump of flesh, if sound then the whole body is sound, and if corrupt then thewhole body is corrupt. Is it not the heart?”There are diverse meanings of heart which include “fluctuation,” “turning around” and“reversing.” As Allah said in His Revelation: “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate (from the truth)after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower” (Ali `Imran3:8). Abu Hamed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazali, the author of Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din (TheRevival of Religious Sciences) pointed out that the heart denotes two things, the physical heartand the ‘divine entity.’ He mentions that the ‘spiritual’ heart is the essence of man. It isincumbent that this ‘divine entity’ or the potential seat of God’s illuminations and serenity is keptsound and healthy for the physical body to operate optimally.In his exposition of the heart, Al-Ghazali emphasized its purification. The term purification inArabic is tazkiyyah and is described as a disciplined process that gives birth to the seed of awareness in the heart. This enlightenment, a moment of unique divine intervention or the firstray of divine light that expands the heart is the beginning of a personal transformation. Thepurification of the heart is related closely to the function of the heart itself, which is to know theCreator, to love Him, and to seek closeness to Him. If the heart fails in this function, then it isconsidered sick.Al-Ghazali’s tazkiyat al-nafs is closely related to morality. Morality according to him wasconscientious action in accordance with the moral law (akhlaq). But conscientious action is not