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The primary faculties of the soul are:

Intelligence (al-quwwah al-aqliyyah) – angelic.

Anger (al-quwwah al-ghadabiyyah) – ferocious.

Desire (al-quwwah al-shahwiyyah) – animalistic.

Imagination (al-quwwah al-wahmiyyah) – demonic.

Pleasures and Pains of the Soul

The experience of pleasure and pain

  • The soul experiences pleasure when perceiving something harmonious with its nature.
  • Pain occurs when it contacts things in disharmony.

Pleasures and Pains of the Soul divided into 4 kinds

  • The soul’s pleasures and pains are also divided into four categories, each corresponding to one of the four faculties.


  • The pleasure of the reasoning faculty lies in gaining knowledge and its pain lies in ignorance.
  • The pleasure of the faculty of anger lies in feelings of overcoming an enemy and revenge. Its pain lies in the feeling of being overpowered and defeated.
  • The delight of the faculty of desire is an enjoyment of foods, drinks, and sex while its pain lies in denial of such experiences.
  • The pleasure of the imaginative faculty lies in the visualisation of particulars which lead to the appearance of carnal desires, while its pain lies in the insufficiency and inadequacy of these visions.
  • The strongest of pleasures is experienced by reason.

This pleasure is inherent and constant. It is unlike the other pleasures, which are transitory and often embarrassing. Rational pleasures have many degrees, the highest of which is nearness to God.

  • This sublime pleasure is attained through love and knowledge of God,
  • Acquired through an effort to be closer to Him.
  • When efforts are directed to this goal, sensual pleasures are overshadowed; taking their proper place in moderation.