The Primordial Nature of All Human Beings

The Primordial Nature of All Human Beings

Haya Muhammad Eid

Article translated to : العربية
The Primordial Nature of All Human Beings

Very much at the center of understanding the human being in Islam is the concept of Fitrah. Fitrah is like having an innate inner compass that always points in the direction of what is right, true, and just.

In Islamic terminology, this term, which has no equivalent in English, refers to the pure, pristine, and original state in which God created all human beings, which is naturally inclined towards God and goodness. All humans are born with this same inherent nature, as the Qur’an states:

“The ‘Fitrah’ of God, upon which He has created humankind. Let there be no change in God’s creation.” 

(Qur’an 30:30)

Unlike the dogmas of Original Sin and Total Hereditary Depravity* in other theological and ideological systems, the Qur’an establishes that the fundamental nature of human beings is innately good and consists of an intrinsic belief in God, love of righteousness, abhorrence of evil (even if the human commits it), and a preference for truth.

But without guidance, the Fitrah is corruptible. External factors such as a bad upbringing (fallacious thoughts, beliefs, or practices ingrained by parents and elders in children) and a bad environment (bad companions) may cause a cover to form over it, creating a barrier that separates it from contact with the Creator. Only the code of guidance revealed by God can safeguard and nourish the integrity of the natural disposition of human beings.

*Total moral corruption (of mind, body, and spirt) that has passed from Adam to his all descendants. It is a Christian theological doctrine derived from the concept of original sin. It teaches that, as a consequence of Adam's disobedience in eating from the forbidden tree, all human beings are born with a sinful, totally depraved nature in opposition to God.

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