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Islamic Personality

Islamic Personality

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Published by: Akhtar Janjua on Dec 01, 2013
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Toward a Concept of Islamic Personality

Abdul-Lateef Abdullah Abstract This paper seeks to advance an Islamic notion of the concept of human personality. It includes a brief description of the impact of the Prophet of Islam’s personality on the world, and the importance of this issue in re ard to contemporary world events. !ontents of the paper include some discussion on proposed definitions of Islamic personality based on e"istin literature and conventional notions of personality via the field of psycholo y# the concept of moral character as the foundation of Islamic personality# the importance of Islamic knowled e and traditional notions of Islamic psycholo y# and some e"amples from the life of the Prophet himself as the primary model of Islamic personality. The paper is concluded by providin a summary of the proposed introductory concept of Islamic personality and its prominent features, alon with recommendations for further development. $%&'L()A'*+PA!* P,*-I& . / 01 Introduction The reatness of a man does not consist in the workin of miracles or the doin of wonders# neither does it lie in the preachin of sermons or the formulatin of theories. It lies in the possession of a mi hty personality. Personality is one of the indescribable wonders of the world. It conciliates opposition and inspires respect and imitation, which results eventually in implicit obedience. It chan es ideas and revolutioni2es the thou hts, beliefs and actions of enerations of the races of mankind.3i4 Accordin to those familiar with his life both within and outside of the reli ion of Islam, the ideal human personality belon ed to its Prophet, 'uhammad bin Abdullah 5peace and blessin s of 6od be upon him7, who was ar uably able to achieve more in his 89 years of prophethood than any man in history. In fact, 'ichael :art 5;<=>7 in ?The ;@@, A ,ankin of the 'ost Influential Persons In :istory3ii4,? said this about his life( “'y choice of 'uhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be Auestioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and reli ious level. ...It is probable that the relative influence of 'uhammad on Islam has been lar er than the combined influence of Besus !hrist and +t. Paul on !hristianity. ...It is this unparalleled combination of secular and reli ious influence which I feel entitles 'uhammad to be considered the most influential sin le fi ure in human history.C In addition to his tan ible triumphs, the impact he had on his followers and close companions was e"traordinary. To his credit, he molded the character of his fellowmen, reformed them, chan ed their thou hts, put new ideas before them, elevated them to a hi her plane, and, in spite of themselves, drove them onwards and upwards on the path of pro ress to the fullness of a better and holier life. -or the first twelve years of his prophethood, the early 'uslims suffered fri htful persecution at the hands of idolaters, and yet their number steadily increased. Thou h its numbers were subDected to the cruelest of tortures, there were few apostates, and many converts to the faith of Islam. Accordin to 'uslims and non-'uslims alike, it was the personality and character of the Prophet that made Islam row in the nascent period of its birth life.3iii4 6od, in the Eur’an, refers to the Prophet’s standard of human e"cellence as( FCertainly you have in the Messenger of God an excellent example for any who hopes in God and the Last Day and remembers God much.C3iv4 Accordin to Gashin ton Irvin in ?Life of 'uhammad,?3v4( “:is military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain lory as they would have done had they been effected by selfish purposes. In the time of his reatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manner and appearance as in the days of his adversity. +o far from affectin re al state, he was displeased if, on enterin a room, any unusual testimonial of respect was shown to him.C -urthermore, 6eor e Hernard +haw3vi4 says about him( I:e must be called the +aviour of :umanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solvin its problems in a way that would brin it much needed peace and happiness.C 'ahatma 6andhi3vii4, speakin on the character of 'uhammad, says( II wanted to know the best of one who holds today?s undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind....I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the ri id simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous re ard for his pled es, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in 6od and in his own mission.C

is a key aspect of the reli ion that has been all but for otten in contemporary movements aimed at revivin the +unnah of the Prophet. have e"pounded on the notions of personality and human psycholo y accordin to the Islamic worldview. matter and spirit. of which basic human personality is an important in redient. :is character was pure and stainless. the need to focus on the drive toward self-perfection. character and morality of each and every individual 'uslim. )ot only the important events of his life. his whole prophethood L at home. :is house.-inally.3"i4 In Islam. "I have been sent only for the purpose of perfecting good morals 5Al-'uwatta7. social ills. Jr. It is a lifestyle that is applied literally moment to moment. the sayin s. and other problems havin to do with individual conduct and interpersonal relations. +o unpretentious was he that he would receive from his companions no special mark of reverence. :e visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all. but the record of his daily conduct. or harm. in essence. based on sheer si2e alone. has the potential to do a reat measure of ood. dislocation and the inevitable downfall. and was recorded as an open book so that the followin enerations could learn lessons and et inspiration from the primary e"ample of Islamic personality. Thus. for e"ample. from birth to passin . personality is the sum total of all behavioral and mental characteristics by which an individual is reco ni2ed as bein uniAue. however. Notions of Science and Psychology in the West *ach human personality is uniAue. It is the uniAue balance between these that makes humans uniAuely what we are. The essential paradi ms and methodolo ies of Gestern psycholo y. the life and teachin s of the Prophet 'uhammad 5Sunnah7. Islam is a reli ion of action and a way of life that focuses on continuously workin toward the ideal. is one who Maccepts Besus !hrist as their personal lord and savior. 6ustav Geil3viii4 in ?:istory of the Islamic Peoples?( “'uhammad was a shinin e"ample to his people. his foremost mission as the last 'essen er of 6od. the need to re-acclimate to the teachin s of the Prophet of Islam about human personality has never been reater. representin almost one Auarter of humanity. as well as the works of Islamic scholars who. sectarian violence. is a timely one. is the hi hest of all created bein s.. manners and character was. Accordin to Abu :uraira. in conseAuence of which they have to face disruption. In short. is written with reat detail on the pa es of history. A human bein is body and soul. :e was accessible to all and at all times. To understand the development of a personality rounded in the Islamic reli ion. The planet is now comprised of over . and is affected by every aspect of one’s personality. the Prophet said . in the mosAue and outside L was fully known to his companions. /ne who enters the fold of Islam. the Eur’an e"pounds in very clear terms a distinct concept of individual rowth and development. impacts.C3"4 Gith the world en ulfed in media reports of terrorism. we must look toward the :oly Eur’an.they were characteri2ed by a rare simplicity. as e"emplified by the Prophet. accordin to Islamic belief.” -rom the life of the Prophet and those of his closest companions to their followers and students.’ )o work or effort is inherent in the term F!hristianity. women and children. drawin from the Eur’an and Sunnah. conduct and morality for all time. which tends to study man in a hi hly compartmentali2ed and reductionist fashion. which. accordin to the Prophet himself. within the Islamic world. has entered a life based on FsurrenderC that reAuires constant effort in surrenderin to 6od’s will and on oin dili ence in observin :is commands. It is not a mere identity or way in which one is identified. !urrently. Islam and Personality Islam teaches its adherents that their role on earth is to be 6od’s khalifahs L deputies L and to carry out :is commands for the welfare and benefit of all of mankind. doin s.8 billion 'uslim men. dependin on its overall condition and direction.C nor does it imply action of any kind other than belief in the tenets that makes one a !hristian. followin the e"ample of the Prophet. his food .3i"4 The topic of Islamic personality. This community.C Indeed the perfection of morals. nor would he accept any service from his slave that he could do for himself. Islamic personality is directly linked to the practice of Islam. A !hristian. his dress. It is this fundamental belief and assumption that draws a maDor distinction between the Islamic view on human personality and the Gestern-+ecularist worldview. actions and details of his conduct and character have been preserved. Knlimited was his benevolence and enerosity as also was his an"ious care for the welfare of the community. Fthe morality of 'uslims is in a dubious condition. behavior. alon with its overall view of . which is manifested throu h. the FAualityC of each personality. stories and e"amples of the Prophet’s personality were safe uarded and passed down to help subseAuent 'uslims maintain his e"ample for perfectin personality. +uch a role relies heavily on the interpersonal conduct. In fact. to model ood human relations. reflected in the development of and strivin for the prophetic personality. Their character has developed a number of defects. This is one of the foremost responsibilities of 'uslims. 'any of his sayin s.

which have come to hold sway over contemporary behavioral and social sciences. Thus. As a result. this can be seen in such contemporary movements such as transpersonal psycholo y. the most important of which is love of 6od. which aims to directly incorporate a spiritual component to psycholo ical counselin .C Personality is how our basic character is displayed to the world. he is seen and studied fundamentally as a material bein . predominantly secular -.man.3"iv4 The materialistic a e and the nature of modern psycholo ical ailments has caused a re-awakenin amon social scientists who believe that the spiritual component of man is too vital to overlook in re ard to human psycholo ical and personality therapies.C In spite of the rapid e"pansion of his reli ion and the immense increase in their various tasks. has never been more meanin ful to 'uslims and non-'uslims alike. /n this matter.3"v4 Gith this trend. in today’s psycholo y.3"ii4 In contemporary psycholo y. but the end oal of the Islamic faith itself.3"iii4 As a result. *ven very new. psychoanalysis focuses on the conscious0unconscious mind. In tryin to ain a deeper understandin of human nature. are invariably materialist and secular. . they asked the Prophet FGhat is the best thin iven to man%C :e replied. Althou h important achievements have been made. however. :e has to develop those Aualities that facilitate moral pro ress and subDu ate those which hinder it. co nitive psycholo y focuses on thou hts. personality is defined as Fthe comple" of characteristics that distin uishes an individual or a nation or roup# especially the totality of an individual?s behavioral and emotional characteristics. 'an. as lobali2ation and its atheistic-materialist values continue to add to the rowin moral decay and declinin social order amon nations. The actual worth of a virtue is essentially determined by the part it plays in helpin man to achieve perfection whereby he attains nearness to 6od. as it relates to the notion of personality. and the results of this interplay on human personality development. mind and soul L that make us so comple". a fra mented view of man is presented. moral character is not simply a oal within the life of a 'uslim. within Gestern psycholo y. 'odern psycholo y has played a si nificant role in shapin Gestern man and Gestern society. many scientists are reco ni2in the need to understand personality and human psycholo y from a more holistic perspective. Ghile a constructive behavioral attitude can propel human society to lory. The spiritual entity in him is either less reco ni2ed or simply dismissed completely. the Gestern worldview is. Gestern psycholo ical theories. Accordin to 'uhammad Al-6ha2ali3"viii4. In order to achieve the moral end one has to build a ood character that comprises all the virtues. in effect. 6iven these maDor limitations in understandin the whole person. To respond to this crisis of values. the idea of a soul or spiritual nature is rarely acknowled ed. Fmoral character 5Tirmidhi7. no model is truly comprehensive in itself in providin insi ht into the interplay between body. contemporary man is treated and studied under the Gestern materialist purview. Fif reli ion is the name of ood conduct between man . Instead. and humanism.3"vi4 Personality is the manifestation of our character in everythin we do in life. Accordin to 'erriam-Gebster 58@@.7. has elaborated the Islamic view on the importance of ood character( “*verythin in the world has been created with a purpose. which is to reali2e the moral throu h the proper e"ercise of the Aualities inherent in him. bein the most e"alted of all creation. mind and soul. some are innate and some are learned 5acAuired7. and what ultimately shapes our individual personalities. This dismissal of the spiritual component in man became necessary. Prophet 'uhammad informed his followers of the fact that on the Jay of Bud ment there will be nothin wei htier in their balance than their ood moral character. and how deep an understandin of human personality we really have must be raised. as they continue to i nore a dimension of the self that many re ard as central to bein human L the spiritual dimension. 6ood character is the beauty of the soul.C3"vii4 -rom this description. a destructive personality can destroy the foundations of an entire civili2ation. !urrently. it is critical for humanity to broaden its investi ation of human social behavior and undertake the study of human life in a way that is inclusive of all the dimensions that comprise our bein . -or it is the synthesis of these dimensions L body. a nosticism. FGhich 'uslim has the perfect faith%C :e answered( F:e who has the best moral character 5Tibrani7. AcAuired traits in a personality e"ert a powerful influence on human destiny L collective and individual. ImNm Abu :amid Al-6ha2ali. The Core of Islamic Personality – Moral Character Amon the many factors that influence personality.characteri2ed by atheism.. the Auestions of how much knowled e we really have of the self. and like the beauty of the body it depends on the harmonious and proportionate development of all its elements. usin a positivist scientific approach. As part of the overall product of modernity. and behavioral psycholo y focuses on human behavior7.C In another tradition. more inte rated therapies that incorporate multiple schools of thou ht have proven limited. the Islamic worldview. have tended to focus on one aspect of the self 5e. has a supreme purpose. because its presence cannot be established with the standards of ri id empiricism. eni matic and fascinatin . the dominant trend in Gestern intellectualism is similarly materialistic and secular. embracin the Prophetic e"ample. Prophet 'uhammad was asked. In line with this worldview.

encompasses beliefs. these benefits will be available only when the a"is and center of belief is a conscious step towards virtue and payment of the compulsory dues. subDects and society as a whole. the drive for self-perfection must include the whole of the 'uslim’s everyday life. or to economic transactions. coura eous and temperate in the noblest sense of the words. in society. diplomatic dealin s or scientific e"perimentation?s. reached this sta e of human perfection because he was able to personify the Eur’an in this manner. and action. man and family. prayers. evil can be removed by those virtues that man makes his own and by which he is able to reach hi h and lofty standards. It reflects our duty to act Dustly toward all creatures. The Prophet of Islam very forcefully emphasi2ed these valuable principles so that his followers may understand very clearly that the value of morality may not o down in its eyes and the importance of mere forms and shapes may not increase. :e en a es in worship. se"ual relationships. namely. as well as man and the natural world. should be pleasin to the 'uslim and this should be borne out in every thou ht. and when the proposed worship can become the real source of washin away the sins and eneratin the real perfection. then on the other hand. and at the atherin of odly people and avoid causin the sli htest pain to his fellowmen on any account. Activities related to matters of economy.C3"i"4 Islamic personality. naturally. Al-6ha2ali does not e"clude man’s duties to his worldly life as bein F odly.C and includes such mundane acts as earnin one’s livelihood and table manners in his description. The Prophet. The Prophet should be his ideal and his inspiration all throu h his life. manners and social races.ivin . and adab. Hut Islam does not believe in this. *very activity. he should know how to carry himself best at the table. accordin to 'uslims. fastin . makes clear. This inclusion of the Fworldly as odlyC is an important feature of Islam and one that separates it from other reli ions. Accordin to it.3""ii4 As personality oes beyond in redients of ood character and into other aspects of daily life. while travelin . word. And the motive force behind a perfect life is nothin other than the love and fear of 6od. Lastly. in effect. It covers every aspect of interpersonal life includin relations between man and man.C3""i4 -rom this description. and in both these aspects there is the same reality. alms. is reli ious if it is undertaken with 6od consciousness and accords with the values and principles revealed by :im# and it is irreli ious if it is in violation of them. That which is pleasin to 6od. the notion of Islamic personality can be summed up by Imam Al-6ha2ali’s description of Fthe odly manC( “The odly man is wise. As one of 6od’s names is Fal. and are thorou hly documented in his seerah. This important feature of Islamic personality stems from the worldview of the oneness and Lordship of 6od above all his creation. slaves. in its spiritual sense. it is also the name of the best relationship between man and his 6od. as only prescribed punishment and recompense for crimes a ainst the laws of 6od are acceptable. The ideal Islamic personality. :e must earn his livelihood by strictly honest means. all ood aspects of character flow from these two oals of man’s relationship with his creator. or bio raphy. :e must cultivate the best manners for all occasions.C Al-6ha2ali continues. the primary aspect of Islamic personality is one of dedication to 6od and :is reli ion 5Islam7. behaviors. for nothin within it falls outside the scope of personality.C 'uslims must always strive to act Dustly and dispense Dustice in our daily lives. A’isha. In other words. there are volumes of accounts on the hi h moral conduct and personalities of his companions. as the sayin attributed to the Prophet’s wife. politics and law. of which humanity is the hi hest form. All of these are clearly reflected in the life stories of the Prophet. This is a critical feature of Islamic personality that stresses treatin all creatures with compassion. As moral character is the very heart of Islamic personality. -urthermore. nei hbors. man and 6od. is the personification of the Eur’an. are a part of man?s reli ious behavior and do not fall outside its scope. e"ternal traits. man and society. who throu hout Islamic history have attempted to summari2e the Islamic ideal in terms of personality. his duty is not only to reform and perfect all the aspects of his life but to reform his fellowmen as well. As A’isha said.!dl. whether related to thin s like prayer and fastin . F:e was pleased by what it 5the Eur’an7 finds pleasin and an ry accordin to what it finds hateful. Islam?s uniAueness lies in spirituali2in the whole matri" of life. the Prophet achieved actuali2ation of the Jivine )ames and the hi hest and most refined character as a result of it. obedience and dedication to Allah and worship of him must play the primary role in such a life for the purpose of buildin fear and love of 6od. attributes. relatives. rounded in hi h moral character. friends. The concept of Dustice in Islam also implies the need to balance the different aspects of the self . and in the hi hest de ree.C3""4 Thus. and similar acts.3""iii4 Thus. -or accordin to Al-6ha2ali. Life is an or anic whole and the same principles should uide and overn it in all its ramifications. and their followers from which we can draw many e"amples.and man. “There are many reli ions that ive the lad tidin that you may embrace any belief and your sins will be washed away. but his duties to 6od do not e"clude his duties to family.C or Fthe Bust. or of se" and social manners. Al-6ha2ali calls it a duty to avoid causin harm to his fellowmen. -rom 6od’s messen er to the classical scholars. and offerin fi"ed prayers will cancel your mistakes.

C or Fspirit. subDectively e"perienced and has the potential to transform individuals. Jivine knowled e. The Arabic word for such a meetin is bar'akh# or Finterspace. as it did with the Prophet of Islam. and reatly influenced by one’s education and indoctrination into it.3"""i4 In Islamic thou ht. however. -or e"ample. +uch application translates into individual conduct. and thus implies a natural fit with . +uch a preoccupancy implies that the 'uslim is always concerned with promotin the positive values represented by Islam within himself and the controllable world around him. then with his heart and this is the weakest faith 5'uslim7. however. in his book F'uslim’s !haracter 5. means the study of the soul. Accordin to Islamic tradition. not simply the study of mind and behavior. as well as many other factors. the two are closely linked. -rom the Islamic perspective. students may acAuire massive amounts of information but many still raduate with differences only in a e and perceived professional status.3"""4 They differ reatly in their actuali2ation. knowled e is of two types( FrevealedC Jivine knowled e and Mworldly’ knowled e. MGorldly’ knowled e is what is enerally considered to be FobDectiveC and is e"perienced more as a process of acAuirin information about the e"ternal world. Jivine knowled e and material knowled e are not necessarily contradictory. followers. perhaps in Islam more than any other is the focus on the actuali2ation of belief. the essence. or the application of reli ious knowled e in every aspect of life. and different scholars throu hout Islamic history have pointed to different e"amples of the Prophet’s life and the lives of his companions to illustrate this point.3""v4 *"hortation to seek a balance in satisfyin both body and soul is found in the Eur’an( F"ut seek the abode of the hereafter in that which God has given you and neglect not your portion of the world# and be kind even as God has been kind to you and seek not corruption in the $arth%.I In addition to Imam Al-6ha2ali’s description of the F odly man.C This is not only alludin to the concepts of self-perfection and stru le. *ven thou h the Prophet 'uhammad is the reatest and most brilliant e"ample of it. then with his ton ue# if he cannot. efforts to ain an understandin of the self reAuire a study of its entirety. they simply reflect the co-e"istence of two different 5but not opposin 7 dimensions( the spiritual dimension and the physical dimension. Thus. then this means that in a spiritual and moral sense he is dead. of the whole person as well as the importance and role of knowled e. unlike the Gestern psycholo ical tradition. which is e"hibited throu h individual personality. thou hts and words. If a 'uslim is to i nore this principle and in the face of wron not react in any way. as it is stressed repeatedly in both the Eur’an and sayin s 5hadith7 of the Prophet. and what it means to be human in modern times.C breaks down his notion of Islamic character into several cate ories includin ( Pillars of Islam and moral values# truth# trust and honesty# fulfillment of promise# sincerity# etiAuette of conversation# keep your bosom 5heart7 free from rancor and enmity# stren th# tolerance and pardon# philanthropy and benevolence# patience# economy and moderation# purity and neatness# modesty# brotherhood# unity and collectivism# selection of friends# imposin and awe-inspirin # kindness# learnin and intellect# and full utili2ation of time.C In li ht of this Islamic perspective. despite that the word Fpsycholo yC is actually based on the 6reek word FpsycheC. however.C which is one of the most important principles in all of Islam. an increase in material knowled e resultin in a reater amount of FinformationC does not necessarily lead to the FtransformationC of the self. has the ability to completely transform human bein s. or balanced state. As such. in actuality. Thus. his companions.<<O7.3""i"4 Personality can be described as the manifestation of one’s basic character into actions. mind and soul. one must understand the inner workin s. Adoption of the Mmiddle way’ in the Islamic perspective is thus both a means and an aim of personality development and self-fulfillment.C Psycholo y then. Jivine knowled e is intuitive. to understand the overall psycholo ical nature of man and his personality development.3""vii4 The constant concern of the 'uslim with promotin what is ood and Dust. let him chan e it with his hand# if he cannot.C3""vi4 Imam Al-6ha2ali concludes his description of the odly man with the all-encompassin statement that Fhis duty is not only to reform and perfect all the aspects of his life but to reform his fellowmen as well. -or e"ample. is understood throu h the total makeup of the human bein L body. the human bein is considered to be the meetin point of these two different dimensions. and actively dissuadin what is wron and unlawful accordin to 6od is a very important characteristic of Islamic personality. meanin Fsoul.3""iv4 Bustice is both an outcome of followin the middle way in life’s activities and an important characteristic of the middle way of Islam. not necessarily as more perfected human bein s. and enerations of 'uslims since. 'uhammad Al-6ha2ali.as an important in redient for healthy development of the personality. Hy takin the middle path we will achieve the ideal state and the ideal state itself is the middle. Islamic !nowledge and Psychology :uman personality in the Islamic tradition. in today’s universities. there is no one definition of Islamic personality. but as well Fcommandin the proper and forbiddin the improper 5 amr bi al ma&ruf wa nahi &an al munkar7.3""viii4 This point is made in a well known sayin 5hadith7 of the Prophet in which he is reported to have said( IIf one of you sees somethin wron .C there are many scholarly treatments on this topic. has become less of the domain of reli ion as the domain of the field of psycholo y. As many world reli ions stress the importance of their uniAue beliefs. the development of Islamic personality is a critical end to the reli ion. Pnowled e of the self.

3"lii4 Thus. man is born in a natural state of purity 5fitrat al *slam7. therefore.3"""ii4 Accordin to the Eur’an. MI want to do it nowR I don’t care if it’s ri ht or wron .the reli ious sciences. or to return to the natural state of purity. nafs 5desire-nature7. sociali2ation. childhood. if some verses of the Eur’an and prophetic traditions are studied closely. the bad ones are. In order to achieve the state of tranAuility and peace one has to activate the remorseful self 5e. etc. L must be transformed into a positive. The +elf is the essence of man. he is vulnerable to evil stimuli or e"ternal sources of mis uidance. Althou h the biolo ical constitution of man is completely different from the psycholo ical constitution. In this respect the entire prenatal. physical environment. They lay the foundation upon which later development builds. and uniAue individual e"periences. ruh 5soul7.Eur’an ><(8=-8>. infancy.3"""iv4 Islamic scholars typically hi hli ht the three most commonly referred to states of the +elf in the Eur’an as( nafs ammarah# nafs lawwamah# and nafs mutma)inna( )afs Ammara 5the commandin or lower +elf7 . If it is bad. all psycholo ical phenomena ori inate in the +elf.e -ho has made everything which .nothing more than/ clay. however. which the Eur’an has used to describe several states of the +elf( nafs ammarah 5tendency to evil. the basic personality itself cannot chan e. accordin to Islamic thou ht it is the early environment that determines how these potentials are enhanced.8(Q97# nafs lawwamah 5conscience and concern with moral rectitude. and Ma(l 5intellect0reason7.’ )afs Lawwama 5The self-reproachin +elf7 . Thus. passions. the ood potentials are promoted. If the environment is ood. for it tends towards ratification of the biolo ical and emotional needs of the individual and away from the service of 6od. ><(8=-8>7# nafs mardhiyyat 5appreciated.Eur’an =Q(8.e has created most good+ . the Islamic notion of personality development is a more comple" one. the essence of a person is the +elf. personal characteristics are set Auite early in life accordin to Islamic thou ht. 5Incidentally. This is the state that we are aimin to achieve. Accordin to Islam.(alb 5heart7. In fact. this is in direct contrast to Budeo-!hristian tradition that purports that man is born in a state of Fori inal sin. but are readily susceptible to such evil stimuli.3"""i"4 The emotional and biolo ical impulses of man are not inherently evil. This is because the personality itself refers to the permanent within man L his rational . This self is prone to the lower aspects of the +elf. to be vulnerable to wron . they need to be controlled and directed in accordance with divinely prescribed laws so that the +elf 5nafs7 can be transformed into the hi hest level of spiritual achievement. It can be viewed as analo ous to the -reudian concept of Mid’ e. This state corresponds to the +elf when it becomes aware of wron . human bein s have within them the ability to leave this state of nature into somethin unnatural. .8(Q9. then his psychical nature is disciplined.C7 All of creation comes into e"istence in this state of fitrah+ F. ><(8=7# nafs radhiyah 5appreciative. throu h sincere repentance7 and control the lower commandin self 5throu h self discipline7. Takin advanta e of free will. the psycholo ical implications are directly related to his emotional dimensions. not a physical one. in order to actuali2e fitrah. =Q(87# nafs mulhamah 5inspired to piety and 6odconsciousness7# nafs (anu)ah 5satisfied with what it has7# nafs mutma)inna 5calm and tranAuil. Hoth the emotional and the psycholo ical dimensions have positive as well as ne ative tendencies.3"""viii4 This potential to do what is unnatural and harmful to the +elf is based on mankind’s free will.3"li4 In terms of human development. personality and behavior are referred to as the nafs.3"""vi4 -ar from the simple dichotomy of Fnature or nurtureC as is so prominent in traditional Gestern psycholo ical thou ht.doin and feels remorse. culture. A parallel between the -reudian concept of Msupere o’ and nafs lawwama may be drawn. . and is often referred to by one of four terms in Arabic -. This property of the human constitution. accordin to Islam.e began the creation of man with . is dependent upon the psycholo ical or psychical implications of fitrah that occur within the +elf0 +ince emotions and desires form an inte ral part of man.3"""v4 The state of the +elf is dependent on many different faculties and powers at play within the individual.3"l4 :uman personality. Thus. the Eur’anic personality is impacted by a variety of factors includin ( biolo ical inheritance. The lower +elf L comprised of our animalistic desires.3"liii4 Althou h aspects of the personality can chan e durin life and a person has the capacity to overcome many disabilities in the basic personality.Eur’an . when you feel satisfied and content in yourself. spiritually hi her state so that the individual may be liberated from bonda e to the lower +elf. roup e"perience. it will be discovered that Islam has reat concern re ardin the formative periods of phases in the life cycle. that is directly linked to the state and health of the individual +elf. Thus. throu h the use of the intellect man can apply revelation in choosin what is ri ht and thus reawaken the reco nition of fitrah in him. Althou h man is not born evil. representin the ne ative drives in man. This is the state of inner peace and happiness. . Thus. If man’s emotions are controlled and directed to hi her spiritual ends. man must ain control over the potential for wron within him. which is a spiritual entity. In the Eur’an. is intrinsic to man. and adolescent periods can all be considered sensitive in re ard to the impact on the personality of the individual throu hout his or her lifespan.3"""iii4 *ach of these si nifies a spiritual entity.C3"""vii4 Knlike other forms of creation. ><(8=-8>7# and nafs kamilah 5perfect7. the former nevertheless serves as an instrument for the drives of the psyche. The feelin of FI shouldn’t have done thatC or Fwhy did I do that L I wish I hadn’tRC )afs 'utma’innah 5The peaceful +elf7 .

we learn that mere teachin s and commands of MJo’s’ and MJon’ts’ do not form the foundation of ood moral character and personality in a society. Throu h his e"ample. reAuires lon trainin and constant watchfulness. behaviors. and strivin for the best that makes humans morally responsible. A’isha.Muhammad/ stand on an exalted standard of characterI.C It is also reported by him( F'y mother used to hold the Prophet’s hand and used to take him wherever she wanted. for their military conAuests.3"lvii4 The Prophet of Islam tau ht the importance of developin moral character throu h his everyday actions in all aspects of life. by the force of its morality. and from him further e"amples can be drawn from his closest companions and e"ceptional 'uslims throu hout history. Allah’s 'essen er did not beat anybody with his own hands. then he used to run away farthest from it. If any person used to come before him and shake his hand. and attributes comprisin the Islamic personality. and he never used to turn away his face from that person till the latter himself turned away his face. Ues. because these thin s alone are not sufficient for developin ood Aualities in human nature. he was sowin the seeds of morality amon his followers by actually livin such a life. the literal word of 6od as told to the Prophet throu h Archan el 6abriel. therefore. would create a sense of admiration in the beholders. to 'uslims. passions. however.3"liv4 Hehavior. we can be in to understand and define the beliefs. And in the meetin s he was never seen sAuattin in such a way that his knees were protrudin further than his fellow sAuatters 5Tirmidhi7. The world would spontaneously feel the ur e to follow his footsteps. and conseAuently. :e used to say that the better people amon you are those who are best in their moral character 5Hukhari7. Ues.C :a2rat A’isha says( FIf there were two alternatives. does not always reflect the permanent character and can chan e. then his wrath was to be stirred. The best trainin can be e"pected only from such a man whose character. no other human bein in history was capable of achievin what the Prophet achieved in both the earthly and spiritual realms.3"lv4 Islamic personality does not solely refer to man’s attributes. which rarely provide a human e"ample from which to draw. the Prophet’s own wife. the Prophet never used to draw away his hand from the other person’s hands till the latter drew away his hands. for their discoveries. Hefore advisin his followers to adopt a moral life by ivin sermons and counsels. :e never said FKfC 5e"pressin dissatisfaction7.C Anas says( FI served the holy Prophet for ten years. In addition. In the Eur’an. was the e"ample of ood moral character and personality. however.C Anas has narrated( FI was walkin with the Prophet. The teachin of ood conduct. -rom the Prophetic e"ample. because a person havin a bad moral character cannot leave a ood impression on his surroundin s. but the balance of powers. for their visionary policies.3l4 +ome e"amples of his words and deeds to this effect follow( T Abdullah Ibn Amar says( FThe 'essen er of Allah 5saw7 was neither ill-mannered nor rude. Sery few. is to arrive at the ri ht balance within the +elf that can brin it to a harmonious state.3"lvi4 As the Eur’an is. provided there was no sin in it. the holy Prophet used to adopt the easiest alternative. takin char e. have earned such re ard based on their pure character and the impact they had on improvin morality and conduct of so many in such a short period of time like the Prophet of Islam. Knlike other models and concepts of personality. The Prophet did not take any personal reven e from any body. or for their charisma and leadership. 'any earned this status based on achievements in the their respective fields. neither his wife nor a servant. :e had wrapped a thick chadar round his body. As mentioned earlier. which is fruitful. accordin to 'uslims. which was manifested throu h his personality. 'uhammad is seen by 'uslims as the full personification of the Eur’an. the Islamic notion of ideal personality is based on the life and actions of the Prophet of Islam himself. The Prophet Muhammad – The "#ample of Islamic Personality :istory is filled with bio raphies of people who are considered M reat’ in terms of their accomplishments. in that he completely personified its laws and principles. if Allah’s command were to be disobeyed. They would sin praises of his nobility and feel the irresistible ur e to benefit from the e"ample of his life. labeled him Fthe walkin Eur’anC. A oal in Islamic personality development.soul. This can only occur throu h adherence to 6od’s uidance L obedience to :is commands and incorporatin the ways 5 Sunnah/ of the Prophet into our daily lives. If that work were sinful. 6od makes clear the standard of character of the 'essen er in the words( I!nd you .3"li"4 Prophet 'uhammad. he used to fi ht in the wars in the cause of Allah 5'uslim7. and principles within the +elf that facilitate the cultivation and development of such attributes. nor did he ever ask me why I did this or did not do that 5'uslim7. the will of 6od. as was the case with the Prophet. It is this capacity for self-improvement. /ne Arab T T T T .3"lviii4 +uch trainin cannot be on the ri ht lines if the e"ample before the society is not such that commands full confidence.

I had an adopted brother. !itin classical and contemporary scholarly works. every sermon iven. Ghat is common amon all accounts of the Prophet’s life. *very human interaction. :e did not refuse a sin le be ar till he finished the entire amount. without a saddle. but how he did it. most philanthropic and the bravest of all. the Prophet showed why the perfection of personality is not only an aspect of reli ion. the article then attempted to provide a brief look into the e"istin literature on Islamic notions of psycholo y.pulled the chadar so forcefully that a part of his shoulder could be seen by me. :e had rushed before all others to find out what was the trouble. the Prophet did not prevent me from enterin 5the house7# whenever he looked at me. and ave orders for a donation bein iven to him 5Hukhari7. This all-inclusiveness of the Prophet’s way 5Sunnah7 as a uide points to the notion of Islam as a complete system of life. nor insi nificant from a reli ious perspective. They saw that the Prophet was comin from that direction. thou hts. in intricate detail.’ Allah’s 'essen er used to be playful with him and ask him( M/ Abu KmairV Ghat has happened to your )a heer 5Hukhari7’. an attempt was first made to illustrate the basic differences between them and the Islamic notion of personality. can be achieved.C3liii4 T T T T T As can be seen from his words and deeds. :e distributed them standin . +ome people proceeded towards the sound 5which was probably the cause7.C Ea2i A’ya2 says that the Prophet was the most e"cellent-mannered. who was called M)a heer. every meal taken. it was not only what the Prophet did that mattered. psycholo y. They were placed before him on the mat. Thus. had a lesson in the importance of Islamic personality. :e was ridin the horse of Abu Talha. 'uhammad is the spiritual incarnation and manifestation of all of 6od?s )ames. -inally. every battle fou ht. -or throu h attainment of such a standard of personality. In an attempt to provide an understandin of the foundation of Islamic personality. and he was comfortin the people not to be afraid sayin there was nothin to worry. Hy hi hli htin the ori ins and nature of personality theory in western models. mercy. his behaviors.C3lv4 -or in even the most mundane of actions is a lesson for those who attempt to follow his way of life. manners. and I was perturbed by this forcin pullin of the chadar. the article ne"t e"plored the idea of moral character and its role in the formin of personality. :e had a sick sparrow. and beliefs.C T Abdullah bin :arith has reported that he did not see anybody smilin more than the 'essen er of Allah 5Tirmidhi7. recorded and told by his companions and followers. is that nothin the Prophet did in his daily life was outside the realm of the observable personality.3li4 /nce he 5the Prophet7 received seventy thousand dirhams.3lii4 Barir bin Abdullah says( F+ince the time I became a 'uslim. but the very oal of reli ion itself. as well as fundamental differences within its parent field. every charity performed.F1hose who believed# and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of God+ verily# in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest. and Dustice. The Arab then said( M/h 'uhammadV 6ive me some of my share from the property which Allah has iven you. and particularly the Eur’anic understandin of the +elf as the fountainhead for all psycholo ical phenomena.C3lvi4 In doin so. and a sword was han in from his neck. /ne ni ht the people of 'edina were terribly fri htened. all of the prophets of 6od are manifestations of the Jivine Knity and Perfection. however varied they may be.’ The Prophet turned towards him and lau hed. In every facet of life. the notion of Islamic personality was e"plored usin the real-life e"ample of the Prophet of Islam as the perfect model of . Thus.3liv4 There are literally thousands of e"amples from the Prophet’s life pertainin to his personality that hi hli ht. :is name is the most e"alted of the Jivine )ames. individual success in both this life and the life to come. but 'uhammad is its supreme manifestation. the Prophet of Islam was an e"ample personality. and thus the most perfected human bein and personality. he smiled.C Anas has narrated( FAllah’s 'essen er had the best manners of all the persons. and the importance of infusin 6od-consciousness 5ta(wa7 into daily livin -. in addition to a society based on moral rectitude. This is one of several reasons why Allah distin uished him in the Eur’an as Fa mercy to all the worlds. :a2rat A’isha was asked what did the Prophet do at home% +he replied( F:e used to be in the service of his home people# and when the time of prayer came he used to perform ablutions and o out for prayer 5'uslim7. he epitomi2ed the principles of Islam and the Jivine )ames of 6od as put forth in the Eur’an. Conclusion Gith this paper an attempt has been made to e"tend a concept and initial understandin of Islamic personality. whose name was Abu Kmair. containin all the )ames within it. Accordin to Islamic belief.

B.W( 8.themodernreli ion. A. 3"vi4 'ateen. . or 'uslim or non-'uslim back rounds. 1he ideal personality of sayyidina wa maulana Muhammad . >. we must first understand that personality can and must be Islamic for Islam to be the foundation for success of the 'uslims. from( http(00www. '..com0AuotesYmuhammad.<.etrieved /ctober 8=. . "uilding a successful personality0 .com0AuotesYmuhammad. 3viii4 Phuda Hukhsh. 1he ideal personality0 3"4 Al-6ha2ali. 1he 233+ ! ranking of the most influential persons in history0 )ew Uork( :art Publishin !ompany. A combination of factors is hard at work pressin for their developmental failure and the perpetuation of social ills.themodernreli ion.<8@.asp%articleYid. '. from( http(00www. .htmZ andhi. 3ii4 :art. re ardless as to whether they are from east or west.htmZirvin . 8@@.such a personality.<8W. 3"ii4 +hehu. 3"iii4 Ibid0 3"iv4 UaaAob.crescentlife. 1owards an *slamic perspective of developmental psychology.com0AuotesYmuhammad. .A+IT7 and The Islamic *ducational +cientific and !ultural /r ani2ation 5I+*+!/7. from( http(00www. +.or 0aa0adha@. Transpersonalism( * o meets soul.html. 8@@.. American Bournal of Islamic +ocial +ciences. 99(8. 6. Inc. .oly 4ur)an+ 1ext# 1ranslation and Commentary0 Heltville. from( http(00www. 'adras. 8=. 'J( Amana !orporation.<<=. Muslim)s character. not only teachin but modelin Islamic personality is critical in order for youth to internali2e what it means to live every aspect of life with 6od-consciousness and piety 5ta(wa7. especially as we attempt to understand our shortcomin s as a community. eocities.W.<><. '. ! history of the *slamic peoples# translated from the 6erman of Jr. 6ustav Geil’s Geschichte der *slamitischen 6olker0 Kniversity of !alcutta. 3iii4 Anonymous. p. p. 9<=. Thus. from( http(00www.etrieved /ctober 8Q. G. from( http(00www.oyal Academy of +cience International Trust 5. . 8@@@. 8@@. 8@@. 5oung *ndia.com0Xabdulwahid00muslimarticles0inde". 1he ideal personality0 3iv4 Ali..htm. from( http(00www. +in apore.etrieved /ctober W. .htmZshaw. 1he genuine *slam. Jawah Hook !enter( Hombay. 'orocco.W. 3"i4 'ateen.whyislam. p. 99. 8@@@. must become an issue of the hi hest priority. however. . )o.T. 'arch 88-8W# /r ani2ed by The .etrieved )ovember .<9O. +. "uilding a successful personality. self-destruction and spiritual decay.<=>. Life of Muhammad. 8@@. In order to en a e in this work of personality development. vii. Presented at MInternational !onference on 'uslim Gomen in +cience( A Hetter -uture’ -e2. 1owards *slamic psychology. . rich or poor. +.. . 3"v4 +trohl. this reality is even more severe.etrieved /ctober W. Personality development. 8@@@. 8@@. . '. .T. . especially as it relates to youth. $eferences 3i4 Anonymous.asp.W.islam-online. p.. The challen es facin the youn er enerations are enormous.0inde".<<O. '. 3vii4 6andhi. 3vi4 +haw.U.<<>. . 1he . 7ournal of Counseling 8 Development# 9:(W. S. 3v4 Irvin .*. and strive to improve relations and conduct between people throu hout the world at lar e. 8@@.S!S/. . .etrieved )ovember Q.:. 3i"4 Anonymous.net0iol-*n lish0Aadaya0psycholo y80psycholo y.com0articles0towardYislamicYpsycholo y.themodernreli ion.H. -or 'uslim youth in particular. . .. The topic of personality from the Islamic perspective is a critical area in which 'uslim social scientists and educators must delve.etrieved /ctober W. London.

3"viii4 Al-6ha2ali. eocities.:. .U. +. 8@@. .com0alummah8@@@0!ommandin 6ood.U. 98(=.htm. Commanding good and forbidding evil. 1owards *slamic psychology0 3"""i4 Ibid0 3"""ii4 Ibid. p.:. 3"""i"4 'ohamed. 58@@@7.. /. 3"""v4 UaaAob. p.edu.ortrait of human perfection.:.<<. .>. 'uhammad Ashraf Publishers( Lahore. . . . . 3""viii4 Ibid. 3""iii4 Ahmad.9. 3""i4 Kmaruddin.. 3""i"4 Al-6ha2ali. 1he psychological implication of fitrah0 Adapted from( -itra( the Islamic concept of human nature.. A. p. . p. 1owards *slamic psychology0 3"""vi4 Pasule. 8>(==. p.O. p. 8@@..iad. Jar Al TaAwa( London. A.etrieved +eptember . 3"l4 Ibid0 3"li4 Ibid0 3"lii4 Pasule. 99. '.. ..ummah. A. . 3"""4 UaaAob. 8@@.iiu. '.sychology and mental health. +. '.. 3"""vii4 Ali. 3""vi4 Ali. p.Q. 1owards *slamic psychology0 3""v4 Ibid.or 0books0IP!. 3"""iv4 Pasule. .O9.<<O. Ta-:a Publishers( London. =..>8.my0medic0islmed0inde".html. 3"""viii4 Adibudeen. from( http(00www. T. .. 8@@@ from( http(00www. from( http(00www. 8@@. . .etrieved +eptember .uman development and provisions for the hereafter. 1he ethical philosophy of !l-Gha'ali.=8. 3""iv4 UaaAob. U. +h.# p.com0al0islamicpsycholo y0fitrah0psychimpl.<<O.html. +.sychology and mental health.<>=. 3"i"4 Ibid. 8@@. . 3""ii4 Ibid.html. *slam+ "asic principles and characteristics.etrieved on )ovember 8Q. from( http(00www. /. '. . 8@@. ..sychology and mental health.html. P. 3""vii4 +hafaat.or 0articles0humanYdevelopment. .etrieved )ovember 9. '.'. Table of !ontents. from( http(00www. 3"""iii4 Kmaruddin.etrieved /ctober Q. A.an elfire.3"vii4 Kmaruddin. .. . /.. 3""4 Al-:awfi.

U. +. . 3"lv4 Pasule.. 3"lvii4 Al-:awfi. 99..<=>. 8. 3l4 Ibid.:. <an'-al-ummal. Hhd. A. O>(W. :is research area of interest is the development of Islamic personality amon 'uslim youth. 1owards an *slamic perspective0 3"liv4 Al-Attas. p.'. 3lii4 Ibid.html. 3lvi4 Ibid. .'. /. About the Author Abdul-Lateef Abdullah 5+teven Prauss7 abdYlateef[hotmail. 3"lvi4 Ali.J. :yderabad.<<<7 convert to Islam and spends much time writin about his e"periences as a 'uslim-American convert. A.=.# p. 3"li"4 Ibid.sychology and mental health. student currently studyin at the Kniversiti Putra 'alaysia 5KP'7 in the field of Uouth +tudies. A.3"liii4 +hehu.pacific. . *slam and secularism.)..( Puala Lumpur. '. 89. 3"lviii4 Al-6ha2ali. 3liii4 Ibid. p. 8@@.<Q>.com The author is an American Ph. +. .. 3lv4 Ali.>. from( http(00homeW. p. p.@=. .etrieved )ovember 8W. A. 8.(. .Q8. 3li4 Ibid.. p. . 88.U. :e is a recent 5. Art Printin Gorks +dn. .s 0Xmakhdoom0seekers. 3liv4 Al-'uttaAi. p.net.9(8>.

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