Does spirit develop and improve?

The Details of the Question
Does spirit develop and improve?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Spirit has all kinds of equipment that enables man to become perfect. However, all of this equipment is like a nucleus; the nucleus becomes a tree in the course of time through education.

In other words, the energy that is necessary for the development of humanity is potentially present in spirit. However, the transformation of this potential to kinetic energy is possible through time and education.   

As it is known, even the developments that occur based on the material body become a means of development for spirit. For, the being that sees through the eye of the window and that hears through the window of the ear is spirit; feelings and faculties that are not present in angels originate from being material and are perceived through the power of consciousness and intelligence. This makes a different contribution to the development of spirit.     

To sum up, spirit develops through knowledge. The instructions mentioned in the first verses of the Quran that were sent down show that development takes place in spirit:

“Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created― Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful― He Who taught (the use of) the Pen― Taught man that which he knew not.” (al-Alaq, 96/1-5).

Material developments and progress are not genuine; they are metaphorical because they end at the door of the grave. If these developments become a means of spiritual development, it is a different issue; for instance, technology that is beneficial for humanity, knowledge that widens the horizon of knowledge of man and deepens him in the field of wisdom.

Genuine development is the development that elevates the inner world of man to the level of angels and even above it in some aspects. This takes place when each spiritual feeling and faculty is used in compliance with the purpose of creation and divine consent. Thus, these faculties fulfill the worship peculiar to them and become a means of spiritual progress and eternal happiness for man.   

Man whose heart shines with the light of belief has made a progress. Man whose mind is illuminated by knowledge has made a progress.

A compassionate and merciful man is in the way of progress.

Man who uses the feelings of love and fear properly, that is, who loves and fears for the sake Allah has found the two greatest causes for spiritual development.  

Man is like a group of companies on his own with all of his feelings and faculties. He can profit in hundreds or even thousands of aspects; or, he can lose in thousands of aspects.   

For instance, an eye that looks at legitimate things only and helps man learn science is a big source of profit for man. If the same organ is used for looking at illegitimate things and reading harmful books, it can lead man to rebellion and bankruptcy.    

If every organ and faculty is evaluated in this sense, the progress is understood better.

Perfect belief, taqwa and righteous deeds are like the steps of spiritual development; the spirit and heart of man develops and approaches Allah through them. 

Click for more detailed information:

What is spirit (rooh)? Can spirit's essence be comprehended? Is spirit merely brain? What is the relationship between spirit and body?

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