Psychic Substance: A Meeting Point between Metaphysics & Spirituality

Muhammad Ali Shomali


Referring to different types of substance, discussed in Islamic Philosophy, this paper focuses on psychic substance or soul. Despite some controversy about other types of substance, there seems to be no dispute among Muslim philosophers over the existence of psychic substances. Of course, there are aspects other than mere existence that distinguish the philosophical positions that have been taken on this issue. The paper tries to study the nature and faculties of soul and highlight the main characteristics of psychic substances and what distinguishes them from the rest. Finally, the paper elaborates the key role that belief in psychic substances plays in Islamic spirituality. Indeed, the author argues, without recognition of an immaterial soul no serious spirituality would be possible. The spiritual journey starts with the realization of the fact that a human being is not just matter or a physical body, and that the human soul is what constitutes our identity. The wayfarer can move forward by reducing his dependence on the body and can finally achieve happiness by detaching himself from the control and demands of the body.


20th century philosophy; metaphysics; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; intellect; Islamic philosophy; Islamic spirituality; al-Din Shirazi Sadr; Avicenna; Tabataba'i Allameh; psychic substance; soul

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.