Psychological Profile Of A Mu'min According To Imam Ali (A)

Syed Rizvi discusses one of the sayings of Imam Ali (a.s.) from Nahjul Balagha which provides the psychological profile of a Mu'min.

Wa al-la'nat da'iman tul-baqi ala ada'i min ala illa al-qiyamah al-yam ad-din Amma Baad. Again, I have a saying from Amir ul-Mu'minin Ali ibn Abi Talib, alayhi as-salat wa as-salam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad, wa aali Muhammad]. 

This is saying No. 333 from Nahjul Balagha, where Amir ul-Mu'minin talks about the, what I would term is psychological, you know, description of a Mu'min. The wordings are "Fi Al-Sifat il-Mu'min". Describing the qualities of a Mu'min, and it is interesting, some of the things that Amir ul-Mu'minin describes about a Mu'min, it is in a way a lesson for us that this is what the expectation of the Imam is, from those who follow him.

We call him as Amir ul-Mu'minin the chief of the believers. The first one, "Al Mu'minu bishruhu fi wajhihi wa huznuhu fi qalbihi", that when it comes to his interaction with the people in society, you know, his the face would always show happiness, so when it comes to his 'bishruhu' his happiness 'fi wajhihi' it is there reflected in his face Wa 'huznuhu fi qalbihi', if he has difficulties and problems in his life, he contains it within.

So he does not always express his sadness all the time. And so a Mu'min is supposed to be a person who is even the face would reflect his cheerfulness and his happiness, even though he might be in difficulty in his own life. And basically, what what we are told is that, you know, there is no sense in always expressing difficulty and always complaining about Dunya, you know, and this is where we realize, yes, there are issues people go through, but they are, you know, issues that you have to deal with it.

You do not need to, you know, extend that to the extend that, you know, people also look at you and always feel sorry for you. "Ausau shay'in sadran wa adhallu shay'in nafsan". A Mu'min is somebody who is big hearted, when it comes to the issue of dealing with others, being generou, 'wa adhallu shay'in nafsan' but when it comes to his self, you know, he's a very humble person.

Means, you know, and there is another statement, for example, from the grandson of the imam in Du'a Makarim al-Akhlaq, where Imam is teaching us to pray to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala,  that: O Allah for whatever levels that you raise us in the eyes of the people, at the same level, you know, create this sense of humility within ourselves, for ourselves. And so this is a kind of, you know, that dealing with people be big hearted, although when it comes to yourself, be a very humble person.

"Yakrahu al-rafa'a, wa yashnau as-suma'a", he, you know, refrains doesn't like high position in a sense that he doesn't go after seeking high positions. And he dislikes the issue of becoming renowned in among the people. So basically a Mu'min is somebody who does not seek fame and high positions.

If it comes to him, then he has to live with it by fulfilling the duties which comes with it and the demands of that kind of situation. But what a Mu'min is not somebody who would, you know, aggressively go and seek that kind of situation.

"Tawilun ghammuhu wa ba'idhun hammuhu". His grief is lone. Now what does it mean here? It doesn't mean he necessarily puts himself into situations where he is always in the state of ghamm (grief). Here we are talking about, you know, becoming closer to Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala, in our own context, it would be the inability of the Mu'min now to see the blessed face of the Imam of the time. Or the longing and the desire to see the face of Rasul Allah, sallal-lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma salli 'ala Muhammad, wa aali Muhammad] those those kinds of ghamm (grief) you know, we are talking about. It is basically the sadness of somebody who loves the beloved on a spiritual sense, but he cannot see the beloved.

"Wa ba'idhun hammuhu", but when it comes to his resolve, you know, he's very strong.  "Katheerun samtuhu mashulun waqtuhu", he is mostly silent, is not that talkative person a Mu'min. It is actually emphasizing the point that a Mu'min whenever he talks, he has always thought about it. It means a Mu'min is not somebody who talks first. And then he thinks whether what I said was right or not, what I said was appropriate or not, you know.

A Mu'min is somebody, yes he would speak, but he would speak after thinking about it. And so this is where sometimes we are told that the tongue of a Mu'min is behind his heart, where is the tongue of the munafiq It is the other way. And this is where we have to realize that it does not mean that a Mu'min should be only silent and not talk and communicate with people. No. The point here is that if he talks, he talks after having thought about what he wants to say.

"Mashghulun waqtuhu", his time is occupied. A Mu'min would not waste the time. And that's, of course, when we use the term Mashghulun, he is busy all the time, not busy, you know, wasting the time, it means using the time for productive things. For the Dunya and the Akhirah.

"Shakurun saburun", he is always, you know, grateful, always has this Sabr with him. "Maghburun bi fikratihi", he always, you know, and engrossed and his thoughts.

"Ghaniun bi khaqlatihi" and when it comes to his friendships, you know, he's selective. To have many friends is not necessarily a good sign. To have good friends is actually the sign of a Mu'min, so he is selective in it, even in, you know, having the circle of friends."Sah-lul khaliqa", he is, you know, easy in dealing with people, his khulq his character.

"Layanul arika", he is basically soft in his temperament. "Nafsuhu aslahubu min al-salad, wa huwa adhallu min al-'abd", you know, he is when it comes to his own character, he is very strong, stronger than a stone, but when he deals with people, he is humble, like a slave.

And so, you know, these are the challenges that Amirul Mu'mineen is putting towards us, and remember that when we look at the issue of the akhlaq of a Mu'min, you know, there is a difference between our khalq and our khulq.

Our khalq is the way we have been created. There is no possibility of changing it very, you know, limited form, yes plastic surgery is available. But, you know, it's not you know, that's not the real thing. You know, whatever you are, you are. It is the khulq which can be changed.

And Akhlaq comes from khulq, not from khalq. So how we look in appearance is not important, it is the khulq and when it comes to the khulq, it is in our control. We have to build it. And this is one example saying number from the Amir of Mu'mineen and we Al-Hamdulillah believe we are Mu'mineen, followers of Ali ibn Abi Talib. And this is the psychological profile of a Mu'min, that Amir ul-Mu'mineen is presenting to us.

May Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala give us the tawfiq to be among the true followers of Islam, as brought by the Prophet and preserved by Ali and Aali Ali. And may He always keep us on the Right Path.

"Rabbana atina fi ad-Dunya hasanah,  wa fi al-akhirati hasanah,  wa kina adhaba an-Naar, bi Rahmatika, ya Arham ar-Rahimeen"(2:201) ["Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the Fire!"].