Every structure occupying a location and possessing a volume in space is a substance. Substances are subdivided into living and non living. The most distinctive characteristic that separates living substances from  nonliving ones is  reproduction.  That is, every living creature is born, develops and reproduces a living substance like itself and dies. For instance, if you plant an apple seed in the earth, a new apple will be propagated.


Living creatures on the earth, i.e. plants, animals and mankind, although possessing physiological and anatomical similarities,  differ as regards the  energy that gives them life.   A plant does not know, nor needs to know  what kind of planet it lives on. Its only concern is the soil  - that secures it water - and sunlight. Whereas, mankind obtains information about its surroundings with its organs – eyes and ears –,  and he thinks, judges and determines. A plant or animal's behavior is not rational but to the contrary instinctive.

Migrating birds do not even think of the route they are going to take. Because that route is inspired to them by God Almighty. No bird flock ever thinks, “ We follow this route every year and are bored, let’s go around north this year to have a change.”  Nor does  a bee think, “ I make honey but people eat it, why should I not benefit more from it”? Whereas, mankind becomes bored by repetitiously doing the same thing. And seeks change. He tries to find an amusing and easy way to do things. And he determines a direction according to his own will. This is the free will given to mankind And he accepts in advance the price of the route he chooses.


A lion does not cry for having killed a living creature. Because having killed a living creature is not his choice, but God’s. Whereas, a human being’s killing someone is his own choice. And he must pay the price for this. This price might be a reward like heaven, or a punishment like hell. For a lion, heaven or hell is not an option. Because he is not responsible for his actions. Whereas, humans are responsible for their actions.  For this reason, the life of humans is called spirit.


Every spirit is life, but every life is not a spirit.


When your Lord said to the angels: “I am going to create a man from clay;

and when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit, fall down in homage before him.”

VERSES 71-72, SAD, SURA 38





(AKIN ÖRSMEN 10.6.2008


*The Quranic verses are taken from Ahmed Ali’s translation,Al-Quran Princeteon University Press, fifth printing 1994.