________________________________________________________________________ | w w w |\ | || || | || |\ | o_,_7 _|| . _o_7 _|| 4_|_|| o_w_, |\ | ( : / (_) / ( . |\ | |\ | || || | || |T | | || | |\ | . _, _8 |_D_|| . _,_,_,_D_|| 4_|| q ]_o_7_o _|_c 4_|_|| _|,_p q |\ | (_): / (_): . : / (_S (_S / |\ | |\ | In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful |\ | Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\ |_______________________________________________________________________|\ Salamun Alaykum, The following question was kindly answered by Mulla Bashir Rahim. Regards Abbas Jaffer Moderator - ABDG-A ........................................................................... Question: Salaam alaikum. I have a 3 questions about personality types. By personality types I mean the different type of people you encounter every day, loud people, quiet people, bold people, timid people, thinking people, feeling people, judgemental people, perceptive people, sensitive people, touchy people, warlike people, crude people, cultured people, contented peope, ambitious people, intellectual people, musical/dancing people etc. There are BIG differences in the way people act and live their lives. 1. Does Islam favour any particular personality type for its adherents? What was the divine purpose behind creating the different type of personality? 2. Do our Imams say anything about the different types? Do they say anything about what type of person is best to be a leader for others? Do they say anything about whether women are supposed to cultivate a certain type of personality or not? Ditto men? 3. Will we be rewarded or punished for trying to become a certain personality type and suceeding, or for avoiding a certain type of personality, or for trying to become one but failing? ............................................................................. Answer: IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST MERCIFUL. This is one of the most interesting questions ever posed to me and I am grateful for the opportunity to comment, to the best of my limited ability, on the complex issues involved. First of all let us consider the meaning of the word "personality". The dictionary defines the word as "the dynamic character, self, or psyche that constitutes and animates the individual person and reflects the embodiment of the distinctive traits of mind and behaviour." I am going to refrain from indulging in a dissertation on the Freudian concept of personality being a system of human id, ego and super-ego. Suffice it to say that in the final analysis it is universally agreed that personality is the external manifestation of the individual within. A behaviour in conflict with the beliefs held and the ethos subscribed to is fraudulent even if one were to succeed in achieving it, except in the extreme case where there is a danger to property, life or limb. Quraan gives detailed guidance as to our behaviour. Politeness, truthfulness, humility (but not servility), generosity, willingness to lend a helping hand to any one in need, discharging our affairs in consultation with those able to advise us, obedience to parents save where they insist upon an enterprise contrary to the shariah, forgiveness, ability to suppress anger, avoidance of hypocrisy and boastfulness, abjuring back-biting and any effort, even if not malicious, to lower any one in anybody's esteem, kindness to orphans, steadfastness in justice and many other moral traits which the Holy Book makes mandatory for us to cultivate within us. These traits constitute "the Islamic Conscience". We must endeavour to develop within us an Islamic Conscience and our personality must reflect the Islamic Conscience within us. The questioner has referred to "being judgmental". An expression of an uninformed opinion can destroy the very foundation of the Islamic Conscience. An opinion about an individual, a community or a nation must be formed after a proper inquiry into all the relevant circumstances and we must avoid the use of emotive words just because it may please any one. Sycophancy is an attribute most abhorred by Islam. Please forgive me that in the interest of brevity I have not given references to the individual ayaah of the Holy Qur'an. If any one is interested, I shall be glad to give such references. I also beg to be forgiven for answering all the three questions together. In the end please allow me to reproduce the following excerpt from the famous Du'aa known as "Makarimil Akhlaq" of Imaam Zain-ul-Abideen (A.S.) (duaa No. 20 in The Psalms of Islam published by Muhammadi Trust): Oh God- bless Muhammad and his Household, adorn me with the adornment of the righteous, and clothe me in the ornaments of the god-fearing (muttaqeen0, THROUGH spreading justice, restraining rage, quenching the flame of hate, bringing together the people of separation, correcting discord, spreading about good behaviour, covering faults, mildness of temper, lowering the wing, beauty of conduct, gravity of bearing, agreeableness in comportment, precedence in reaching excellence, preferring bounteousness, refraining from condemnation, bestowing bounty on the undeserving, speaking the truth, though it be painful, making little of the good in my words and deed, though it be much, and making much of the evil in my words and deeds, though it be little! Perfect this for me through lasting obedience, holding fast to the community, and rejecting the people of innovation and those who act in accordance with original opinions! I trust I have answered the question. If the member feels that further clarification is required I shall be happy to entertain any supplementary questions. With salaams and du'aas from an humble servant of Ahlul Bayt and their followers, Bashir Rahim.