Throughout their lives, human beings experience images that Allah shows them in their brains. Everything consists of electrical signals forming in the very small visual cortex in the brain. The originals of these images do exist on the outside, but human beings only see images created within the brain. Allah creates the external world solely as a reflection in our brains, and we perceive all these things with the soul that belongs to Allah. It is the soul that sees, hears, feels and experiences all these.
When one considers all these perceptions that Allah creates in the soul, one immediately realizes that it is not matter that is the essence of everything, but that the essence lies with the soul. Because it is evident that the soul controls and directs matter. It is the soul that feels, and matter, in other words our bodies and events in our surroundings, are shaped in the light of those perceptions. Flesh or bone cannot grieve, rejoice, feel excitement, take decisions or possess powers of judgment and reason. It is the soul that feels, thinks, decides, constantly uses its conscience and rejoices. The soul that people think of as “mine” is actually the soul of Allah, as revealed in the verse: “He Who has created all things in the best possible way. He commenced the creation of man from clay; then produced his seed from an extract of base fluid; then formed him and breathed His Soul into him and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What little thanks you show!” (Surat as-Sajda, 7-9)
Allah breathed of His own spirit, giving eyes and hearts to human beings whom He created with a sublime creation and to whom He gave reason and consciousness. The soul belongs to Allah; the soul that people refer to as theirs is actually the spirit of Allah. With His omniscience and infinite creative power, Allah performs this creation in such a perfect manner that, as a part of the test, people are able to assume ownership of this soul bestowed on them and say it is “mine.”
Human beings possess an enormously wealthy memory adorned with all kinds of details. Allah creates a memory for people moment by moment, as an assembly of past and present. Allah constantly creates the memory He produces for people right throughout their existence. For example, you are now reading these lines, and in a few minutes this text will take its place in your memory as a single moment. This text may maintain its place in your memory for perhaps a few days, or months or even years, and will come to your mind from time to time. When you stretch your memory and powers of recall you can remember a great many details. Countless trivial details of a great many events can be brought up again in your mind. Despite the passage of many years, for instance, something that happened on your first day of school, the games you played with your friends and the joy you felt on seeing a much loved toy all co-exist as a single moment in your memory. A great number of events, more than can be expressed in numbers, constitute your memory, what you refer to as “recollections,” for as long as you live. This memory is made a single whole at every moment of your life. Human beings assume possession of the soul Allah creates for memory and make the mistake of thinking it actually belongs to them. When they think of their memories, when they say, “I was happy on that day, I was excited on that day and felt these things,” they make the error of thinking it was their own soul that experienced those things.
As stated above, Allah creates memory as a part of the way people are tested in this world. With His omniscience, Allah creates the test in the most perfect form. Some with a Qur’anic perspective on events realized the great secrets in this creation and lives in full awareness of the marvelous nature of the environment of the test. But because of their lack of awareness, people who live distanced from the spirit and moral values of the Qur’an live in ignorance of this great reality created by Allah.
The soul that Allah causes us to feel is “ours” is totally the spirit of Allah. The feeling of possession of the soul, as if it were one’s own, that Allah creates as a manifestation of the infinitely wondrous nature of His creation is just one of the beauties and marvels of the test for someone who realizes the true nature of this creation.
When we think of the fervent joy in our souls, although created with a powerful feeling of belonging to us, we must not forget that it is Allah Who actually does the loving. All kinds of feeling that arise in the soul actually belong to the eternal spirit of Allah. We feel that these things belong to us solely to the extent that Allah desires and permits. We fall into error by the detail and vivid nature of the things in our memories. It is in fact the Soul breathed into man by Allah that loves, is loved, thinks, has compassion, feels affection and sympathy, delights in beauty, knows and turns to beauty and goodness and employs its own conscience.