Botanical Self  (Nafs Al-Nabāti)

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The appearance of mankind on this planet, in Qur'an has the botanical verbiage:

71:17. Wa (And) Allah grew you from earth Nabāt-an(botanically)

وَٱللَّهُ أَنۢبَتَكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ نَبَاتً۬ا

Specific to Maryam mother of Jesus, peace be upon both:

3:37. Wa(And) (Allah) grew her (Maryam) Nabāt-an(botanically) beautiful (and good)

وَأَنۢبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنً۬ا

This is obviously so since the human being is mostly water immixed with the minerals of this earth, grows from a tiny seed-like entity, growth means the gradual development in functionality and size and other attributes. Human being is in symbiotic relationship with other plans, though does not Photosynthesize.


Nabāt-an(botanically) is Hala (State) not Masdar (Verbal Noun).

Remark 1. Masdar (Verbal Noun) is more general than Hala (State), where Masdar is a name either about state or about a happening without passage of time. In this case , Nabāt-an(botanically), i.e. Hala is a single word by itself, rendering the Haqiqa (Reality) of how something is, in this case Mankind is of botanical nature on this planet or it is in botanical mode/state. Masdar would not apply since human being is not doing anything that is plant-like, his growth and genesis is in botanical mode.

In earlier works of Islamic philosophers (and Sufis) we find references to Botanical Self or Nafs Al-Nabāti, some appeared in works of Ibn Sina (Tafsir of Surah Al-Falaq and others) and Rasa'il Ikhwan Al-Safa (The Treatise of Safa Brothers) and in specific Jurjani's as following:


Nafs Al-Insani (Human Self): Topmost perfected biology, insofar as cognition and thought processes.

Nafs Al-Hayawani (Animal Self): Topmost perfected biology, insofar as componentization (having body parts) and motility with full volition.

Nafs Al-Nabāti (Botanical Self): Topmost perfected biology, insofar as being begotten (or giving birth) growth (in size and functionality) through consumption of food.

Remark 2. Imagine Nafs (Self) as a capsule, interior an entity fully encapsulated, exterior all other entities that are not 'itself'. 

Remark 3. Botanical Self is then such a capsule except is a complex i.e. multiplex of many cells or call it multi-cellular, and this multiplex encapsulation is subject to growth and consumption.

التعريفات     الجرجاني
النفس الإنساني
هو كمال أول لجسم طبيعي، آلي من جهة ما يدرك الأمور الكليات ويفعل الأفعال الفكرية.
والنفس الحيواني: هو كمال أول لجسم طبيعي، آلي من جهة ما يدرك الجزئيات ويتحرك بالإرادة.
والنفس الرحماني: عبارة عن الوجود العام المنبسط على الأعيان عيناً، وعن الهيولى الحاملة لصور الموجودات، والأول مرتب على الثاني، سمي به تشبيهاً لنفس الإنسان المختلف بصور الحروف مع كونه هواء ساذجاً في نفسه، وعبر عنه بالطبيعة عند الحكماء. وسميت الأعيان كلمات، تشبيهاً بالكلمات اللفظية الواقعة على النفس الإنساني بحسب المخارج، وأيضاً كما تدل الكلمات على المعاني العقلية كذلك تدل أعيان الموجودات على موجدها وأسمائه وصفاته وجميع كمالاته الثابتة له بحسب ذاته ومراتبه، وأيضاً كل منها موجود بكلمة كن فأطلق عليها الكلمة إطلاق اسم السبب على المسبب.
والنفس النباتي: هو كمال أول لجسم طبيعي آلي من جهة ما يتولد ويزيد ويغتذي، والمراد بالكمال: ما يكمل به النوع في ذاته، ويسمى: كمالاً أول، كهيئة السيف للحديدة، أو في صفاته، ويسمى كمالاً ثانياً، كسائر ما يتبع النوع من العوارض، مثل القطع للسيف، والحركة للجسم، والعلم للإنسان.

Ishara: Vectorial Noesis

Attempt is made below, to use Ishara (Pointing) to render meaning to the words above. Often pointing at something in a remote position might explain plethora of meanings otherwise words fail to realize.

Ishara 1:

Molecular Self(Membrane Capsule): Liposome

A liposome is an artificially-prepared spherical vesicle composed of a lamellar phase lipid bilayer. The liposome can be used as a vehicle for administration of nutrients and pharmaceutical drugs.

A liposome encapsulates a region of aqueous solution inside a hydrophobic membrane; dissolved hydrophilic solutes cannot readily pass through the lipids. Hydrophobic chemicals can be dissolved into the membrane, and in this way liposome can carry both hydrophobic molecules and hydrophilic molecules. To deliver the molecules to sites of action, the lipid bilayer can fuse with other bilayers such as the cell membrane, thus delivering the liposome contents. By making liposomes in a solution of DNA or drugs (which would normally be unable to diffuse through the membrane) they can be (indiscriminately) delivered past the lipid bilayer. A liposome does not necessarily have lipophobic contents, such as water, although it usually does.

Clear partition of interior vs. exterior:

Ishara 2:

Development Tree (Graph) and Consumption

It seems how the biological beings consume food, bands them into different categories of development and consequent structures.

Ishara 3:

Extraordinary innovation and engineering had gone into complex multicellular life forms.

© 2015-2002,  Dara O Shayda