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['Aalim Network QR] Islamic Personality

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|       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.


Abbas Jaffer
Moderator - ABDG-A



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

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? 




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

Bashir Rahim.

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