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Understanding the Concept of Insan Kamil in Sufism: The Beauty of Human Perfection


Kepoen.com-Understanding the Concept of Insan Kamil in Sufism: The Beauty of Human Perfection-Definition of Insan Kamil, derived from Arabic, consists of the word "insan" meaning human, and "kamil" meaning perfect. In Sufism, the term Insan Kamil has various definitions that vary.

One of them is a person who has reached the highest level of spirituality, where they have achieved self-annihilation (fana' fillah). Insan Kamil also refers to a perfect human as a representative of Allah to actualize oneself, contemplate, and contemplate perfection derived from His own name.

The Concept of Insan Kamil in Sufism

According to Ibn 'Arabi, Insan Kamil has two aspects of perfection. The first is the perfection of dzati (essential), which relates to the essence's reality as the "form" of God. In this case, the perfect human becomes similar and united with God as one reality.

The second aspect is the perfection of aradl (accidental), which relates to the embodiment of qualities and qualities reflected in a special role that creates its own uniqueness.

The Concept of Insan Kamil in the Context of Sufi History

The term Insan Kamil technically emerged in the 7th century Hijri/13th century CE based on Ibn 'Arabi's ideas developed by Abdul Karim al-Jili. However, similar concepts to the concept of Insan Kamil existed earlier, both within Islam and outside of Islam.

Nevertheless, the origin of the concept of Insan Kamil is believed to purely stem from Islam. Previous concepts that bear similarities to Insan Kamil include hermetic doctrines as expressed by Jabir ibn Hayyan in Arabic manuscripts about the "tablet of pearls," implying that the microcosmic world (humans) reflects the larger macrocosmic world.

The Concept of Insan Kamil in Nusantara Islam

The concept of Insan Kamil that emerged in the world of Sufism in the 7th century Hijri/13th century CE also developed in Islamic thought in Nusantara (the Indonesian archipelago). In the context of Nusantara Islam, the concept of Insan Kamil is specifically discussed in Sufi books.

However, varying levels of understanding have resulted in diverse assumptions among different books. Therefore, in-depth studies are needed to explain and provide a proper understanding of the concept of Insan Kamil in Sufi books.

The Importance of Self-Development towards Insan Kamil

The personal development of individuals is inseparable from the transcendental role of God in achieving perfection as Insan Kamil. This applies to both social relationships with society and the interconnectedness with the universe.

Islam teaches individuals to constantly process and adventure in overcoming all falsehoods. Humans are blessed with the potential to perfect themselves because God has given them intellect, heart, senses, and memory.

In the Qur'an, humans are provided with knowledge about the importance of recognizing perfection through knowledge. The concept of a perfect human, namely Insan Kamil, is the foundation of the birth of a perfect human. Throughout their life journey, humans will recognize their true existence. Iqbal's thoughts on the highest degree of human existence are worth discussing as they have their own value and uniqueness.

Prophet Muhammad SAW is the prime example of Insan Kamil according to Iqbal's perspective. He carried out and established the word of God with enthusiasm and creativity throughout his life. Despite reaching the highest spiritual experience in his mi'raj, Prophet Muhammad SAW returned to the world to oversee the course of history and create a normal world.

Insan Kamil, as an ideal human and the highest level of selfhood, is embodied in the person of Prophet Muhammad SAW and may potentially be achieved by every individual as their responsibility as Allah's caliph.

In Sufism, Insan Kamil, also referred to as the true believer, does not treat their religion as passive dogma. Their entire life is lived with spirit, creativity, and in accordance with the will of God. The secret behind their success lies in the expression "La ilaha illallah" which enables them to master the world.


Insan Kamil is a concept in Sufism that refers to a human who attains the highest level of perfection in spirituality. This concept originates from Islam and has developed within Islamic thought, extending to Nusantara. The personal development of individuals towards Insan Kamil is inseparable from the transcendental role of God. Islam teaches individuals to continuously strive and explore in order to overcome falsehood.

Prophet Muhammad SAW serves as the primary example of Insan Kamil in Iqbal's perspective, embodying a life dedicated to actualizing the word of God with enthusiasm and creativity. Understanding the concept of Insan Kamil can provide a better comprehension of human efforts in achieving self-perfection.



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