The dream vision of the Quranic meeting of Moses, before he was given prophethood, and “someone more knowledgeable than he,”2 is one of the many unique passages of the Quran. It begins as a narration (Q18:60-64) and then becomes an “ascent upwards” or an anagoge of the spiritual journey of an aspect of the soul. (Q18:65-82) As a narration, it tells the story of Moses, who symbolizes the conscious soul (nafs al-mulhamah, qalb) and his servant, who symbolizes the animal soul (nafs al-ammarah).
Throughout this journey, we will meet the animal soul (nafs al-ammarah), the inspired or conscious soul/heart (nafs al-mulhamah, qalb), the conscience (nafs al-lawwamah, fu’ad), and, finally, the tranquil soul at peace (nafs al-mutma’innah,‘aql).
The text explains: The Three Stages of the Soul; The Three Levels of the Greater Struggle; The Three Phases of the Purification of Consciousness; and The Three Encounters as Reason confronts Intuition at the Junction of the two seas.