Freud Was Almost There

so close man!
so close man!

Yes! Sigmund Freud was almost there to become Abdullah. Surprising as it seems, it is no less than a marvel that out of the most Freudian theories rendered discarded, We find some with a particular mention of one, being recognized in Islamic culture. Freud might not have practically substantiated his theories, but this finding of his can be so neatly observed by any individual that we find it hard to snub.


It is the three distinct parts of the human psyche which are going to be putted light upon in this piece of writing. Moving directly towards it, Freud identified three entities governing our personality at one point or another in our lifetimes. He named them Id, Ego and Superego.


Id represents the lowest of oneself, concerned with our animal instincts, earthly desires, sexual tendencies and all the stuff that has to do with seeking pleasure as immediate impulse is banged on the body. It represents the child like attributes, heedless and wild, ungoverned and primitive. Id contains the libido which governs the aggressive and earthly desires arousing from instinctual tensions, if it were Id to control our minds all the time, a continual chaos would have resulted in namely every sphere of life, be it moral or political. One would not resist the nerve to grab others properties in such case,to begin with.

no ID nooo


Id gets tamed as it faces the real world, masquerading itself and giving rise to another version of oneself, the Ego. Ego faces the society, has to bear the consequences of communal denunciation therefore it is the Ego which prevails most of the times in humans, as per observation. Ego seeks to imply Id’s desires in naturalistic and practical ways, causing no harm or short term benefit. E.g. Rather than snatching others belongings one may buy the desired object on its own.

“What should be the least damaging action?”


Superego being the saint, the glorified soul is far more superior than Id and Ego. It is the avowed acceptance and inner satisfactions towards the inlaid regulations and the moral teachings brought up by ones parents, teachers and elderly respected members of the society Superego persuades the Id and Ego to turn to Moral goals rather than materialistic desires.

The situation is under control!


So far Freud had a profound observation nevertheless the words of a prominent Islamic scholar Dr. Israr Ahmed describes it at best,” I was taken aback by the equity of Freud’s observation”. “Although”, he adds, “Freud’s concept of ego and super ego has a lot to be desired, but his classification into exactly three categories merits him as a man of great intellect”. Yes we find similar terminologies in Islamic culture yet they differ immensely defining Ego and Superego. In Islamic culture we find Nafs, Qalb and Rooh proportionate to Id, Ego and Superego. Ego as said before acquires realistic approach and is a midway between Id and Superego, Similarly Qalb refers to something being unstable, dynamic changing every now and then and under influence of the two Extremes. Qalb as we call a heart, is the only organ of body with the addition of brain that never takes rest, contracting and relaxing perpetually, same is the case with Ego it varies according to the force implied by Id and Superego on it.

In Islamic context when one suppresses its lowly genre of Nafs that is Nafs e Ammara (The inciting nafs) and after doing so, under the influence of Nafs e lawama(The accusing nafs), whereby our conscience is activated, reaches to a state of utter satisfaction and tranquil, acquires the finest form of one’s being i.e.  (The nafs at peace). This is a state of a reassured soul and the divine injunctions now have everlasting effect on the mind of a person.

Rooh in its purest form resides within the Qalb as contrary to what

Freud suggested it as a unique dimension of psyche. Rooh when empowers the Qalb and ultimately the Nafs now can bring a magnanimous revolution in human intellect and judgement. Once a battle is fought within oneself, of good and evil, now the person’s revolution could result in concrete changes in society and the world, consequently, if pursued.

What parable would describe this phenomenon best than our Holy Prophet’s life. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH), the most honorable soul that ever existed, not only changed the unlettered Arabs but today still he offers the most accurate example of one being an ideal human being. His standard of character and the evolution he brought is not only celebrated by Muslim community but we find numerous Non-Muslim philosophers and authors who are left awestruck by his glory.

First of the top 100

A book which mentions a list of the people who are thought to have maximum influence on the world, namely ”The 100: A Ranking of the most influential persons in history” , by the author Michael. H. Hart has ranked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the top of the list and he being a Christian naturally he owed an explanation to this idea, so he theorizes “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive.

It is certainly something worth discussion as to why Islam has rated Jihad Bin Nafs as the Greatest form of struggle, to fight the evil within oneself. Yes, it requires immense strength and valor to revolutionize oneself.

Curtailing the essay I presume, to judge fairly, Freud was close enough to estimate the nature of man’s levels of consciousness but the true essence of every knowledge can only be acquired when we consider divine intervention and The Creator’s rulings and directives in it. If only Freud understood this, he might have been called as Sheikh Freud by now!

Courtesy: Lecture of Dr Israr Ahmed—Topic Id(Nafs), Ego(Qalb) and Superego(Rooh)


Leave a Comment