- Spirituality, Change & Patience
- Spirituality 101: How to Become More Spiritual in Your Daily Life
- The Answers Are Within You
- Souls Assorted: An Islamic Theory of Spiritual Personality | Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research
It is very easy to do. You start by sitting with your eyes closed, and taking a few deep breaths. Show me where I could have been a better and then fill in your profession— a better manager, teacher, coach, salesperson, etc. Show me where I could have been more assertive today. Show me where I could have been more and just fill in any quality or characteristic today…. Just observe them without any judgment or self-criticism. When no more events come to mind, take each incident and replay it in your mind the way you would have preferred to have done it had you been more conscious and intentional at the time.
For example you might see yourself being more patient in the checkout line at the supermarket or more patient with your young daughter as you were getting her to help clean up her room, or being more assertive and speaking out more boldly in your staff meeting at work. This little bit of effort to visualize yourself doing a more conscious and intentional job in alignment with your chosen values and goals creates a subconscious image that will help to more easily evoke the desired behavior the next time you find yourself in a similar situation.
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Visualize everyone being there when you call them, every meeting starting and ending on time, all of your priorities being handled, all of your errands being completed with ease, making every sale, and so on. This will give your subconscious mind all night to work on creating ways to make it all happen just as you have visualized it.
So when you are visualizing your ideal day, you are also sending out your intention to the other people and into the universe! Get into the habit now of nighttime meditation. It will make a huge difference in your life. If you want to learn more about meditation click the button below to download my free 4 S tep Meditation for Beginners. You can learn more about the benefits of meditation in this post, too! And then take a few moments to visualize yourself completing all of your goals for the next day.
Come back and share your experience of how it felt in the comments section. Thirty-four years ago, clinical psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan—the originator of tapping therapy—discovered that you could stimulate the instant release of stored emotions. The instant release occurs by ty tapping along these meridians in acupressure-like fashion while focusing your mind on the past hurt or current stress phobia, fear, or anxiety.
You can use tapping therapy to free yourself from these stored anxieties, stresses, depression, and emotional hurts, and focuses on helping you to better implement positivity and energy into your life. This can be done by tapping away any limiting beliefs, fears, and internal obstacles that arise when you face obstacles. However, we have a new understanding based on recent scientific studies. New neural connections can always be formed.
Unfortunately, this can work against us. When we experience trauma or something that triggers a negative emotion, we create neural pathways that support re-triggering that negative emotion. As an example, if you have an experience that causes you to believe that people are mean or dangerous, you will look for evidence to support this belief and ignore evidence to the contrary.
We also create pathways that support limiting or disempowering beliefs that we may have created in the moment of trauma. Conditions like phobias and PTSD post-traumatic stress syndrome exist because the brain creates a feedback loop that builds and enhances neural pathways. Some fears are so strong that they can actually immobilize you.
If you have a full-blown phobia, such as fear of flying or fear of being in an elevator, it can seriously inhibit your ability to be successful. The process uses a simple but precise pattern of tapping on 9 acupressure points of the body while you simultaneously imagine the object or experience that stimulates your phobic reaction. Many past hurts get stored in the mind and even in the body—affecting all our future actions and decisions.
The results are nothing short of miraculous.
These energy pathways send electrical impulses throughout the body to keep all systems working, but—in addition to moving and storing energy—it was discovered they also store emotions. Some healthcare professionals even believe that an illness or chronic pain in a specific area of the body is the result of a specific emotional pain stored in that meridian.
Spirituality, Change & Patience
There are the eight main tapping points and one point on your hand known as the karate chop spot on the heel of your hand. The other 8 points are, your eyebrow, side of your eye, under your eye, under your nose, your chin, your collarbone, under your arm, and the top of your head. There is a single point at the top of the head, but there are two eyebrow points: one at the start of the right eyebrow just above the nose, and the other at the start of the left eyebrow. Tapping was originally taught one-sided; you tap with either hand, on either side of the body.
Most people tap with their dominant hand. Tap lightly, but firmly. Unlike acupuncture, tapping is a very forgiving process. Image Source: Taponit. The first part of the tapping protocol is to close your eyes, focus on the fear, anxiety, emotion, pain, or belief that you wish to release, and then determine on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high, how intense the feeling or belief is. As you tap your hand, repeat aloud the belief, physical pain, or experience of hurt you are dealing with as you—most important—tune in to the emotion that belief or hurt brings forth.
Do this three times. Tap 5 to 7 times firmly at each point.
Accompany each tapping point with a statement that keeps you focused on the emotion. Additionally, you can tap the eyebrow, under the eye, collarbone, and under the arm spots on either side of your body. Repeat the sequence repeating your phrase again and again until you feel the intensity has dropped down to a 1 or is totally gone. Leave a comment below and let me know if you have you ever tried Tapping Therapy. How did you feel after you did it?
To learn more about tapping, get this free guide. How to Create an Empowering Vision Board. The untapped power of the subconscious mind can lead you to new success in your personal life and business life. Discovering how to turn your thoughts into positive and implementing the law of attraction into your daily life can take you to new heights. In order to fully understand the power of your unconscious mind, you first need to understand the difference between your unconscious and your conscious mind.
Your conscious mind is the awareness you have in the current moment. Your unconscious mind is any information that is below the threshold of your current awareness. Examples of your subconscious are memories, beliefs, fears and subjective maps of reality. Because of this, you must learn to choose our thoughts effectively, because your thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, due to the Law of Attraction, are what are creating your current experience of reality—including your level of success in every area of your life—work, financial, relationships, health, and happiness. And the good news is, you can too!
In the s I was fortunate to be able to meet and work with one of the great pioneers in the teaching of the Law of Attraction—W. Clement Stone. I was hired to work in his foundation and teach his principles of success to schoolteachers to incorporate into their classrooms. After a year of working there, he challenged me to set what I call a Breakthrough goal—a goal that would quantum leap my success and would require me to stretch and grow in order to achieve it. For example, a gallon of gas was only 36 cents in I used everything Mr. Stone had taught me including daily affirmations and visualization techniques.
Our thoughts have power over our lives. If you have specific life or career or financial goals, for instance, why not focus your thoughts on achieving that goal and having that good come into your life. To focus more easily, I want to share a formula with you that will get The Law of Attraction working in your life. Do you meditate and hold pictures in your mind of what you want in your life? Or do you frequently criticize yourself and others, complain about your life and focus on your lack of abundance?
Feeling excited, enthusiastic, passionate, happy, joyful, loving, appreciative, prosperous and peaceful are thoughts and feelings that give off positive vibrations. Start intentionally creating your future in your mind, and then let the Universe figure out how to manifest it. The next step is to believe you will get what you want, then take action.
Always act as if what you want is on its way. This is not always easy. Many people have limiting beliefs which keep them from allowing abundance and happiness into their lives. Taking the actions that would take to create your desired result affirms your belief that what you want is within reach. So your taking action is a demonstration of your belief. The final step of this formula is to receive what you want by becoming a vibrational match for it. If you want to listen to jazz, you have to tune your dial to a station that broadcasts jazz, not one that plays hip-hop or country.
Likewise, if you want more abundance and prosperity in your life, you have to tune the frequency of your thoughts and feelings to ones of abundance and prosperity. Now that is how you harness the power of your subconscious mind. An important part of this is daily affirmations so click the image below to learn more about them. Vision board ideas and examples are incredibly useful and inspirational when making your own. They should represent your dreams, your goals, and your ideal life.
Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals, you are destined to achieve them! A vision board is a visualization tool which refers to a board of any sort used to build a collage of words and pictures that represent your goals and dreams.
They can be bought from a professional supplier or made with cork or poster boards. By placing visual representations of your goals into one space, you can easily visualize them frequently. Remembering to look at them daily and imagine them as if they have already come true is one of the best ways to activate the Law of Attraction. By putting a vision board somewhere you can see it every day, you will prompt yourself to visualize your ideal life on a regular basis. Through the Law of Attraction, visualization also magnetizes and attracts to you the people, resources, and opportunities you need to achieve your goal.
Find pictures that represent or symbolize the experiences, feelings, and possessions you want to attract into your life, and place them in your board. Have fun with the process! Use photographs, magazine cutouts, pictures from the Internet—whatever inspires you.
Be creative. Include not only pictures, but anything that speaks to you. Consider including a picture of yourself on your board. If you do, choose one that was taken in a happy moment. You will also want to post your affirmations, inspirational words, quotations, and thoughts here. Choose words and images that inspire you and make you feel good. You can use your vision board to depict goals and dreams in all areas of your life, or in just one specific area that you are focusing on. Keep it neat, and be selective about what you place in your vision board. Use only the words and images that best represent your purpose, your ideal future, and words that inspire positive emotions in you.
There is beauty in simplicity and clarity. Too many images and too much information will be distracting and harder to focus on. If you are working on visualizing and creating changes in many areas of your life, then you may want to use more than one vision board. You might use one for your personal goals and another for career and financial goals. You might even want to keep your career vision board at the office or on your desk as a means of inspiration and affirmation.
Whatever you decide to do, learning how to make a vision board — and using it regularly — is the best way to visualize your ideas and dreams to fruition. In order to visualize your goals, first you need to know what they are. Spend some time getting clear on exactly what you want your ideal life to look like, and what you need to accomplish in the next 12 months to launch you closer to your goals. You can also use this simple 4-step meditation technique to meditate for clarity and intuition. You should also be able to pick some up for just a dollar or two per magazine at your local thrift store.
Or you could check out your local recycling depot. Maybe yours does, too? Schedule a couple hours one evening or weekend to go through the magazines and cut out pictures that represent your goals and speak to your heart in some meaningful way. Fun tip: The last time my staff and I made vision boards at my office, we turned up the radio and had a little musical party going on as we cut out our images, which made it a very vibrant, fun setting to visualize our goals!
That is what I want in my life! Instead, focus on how the images make you FEEL. Go to your local craft or dollar store and buy a large piece of construction or poster paper. A cork board or large piece of paper would work as well. Then glue, tack, or tape your pictures to the paper or cork board in an arrangement that is visually pleasing to you. Take some time to create a list of words that describe how YOU want to feel.
You can either search for these words in your magazines or write them yourself. Then add them to your vision board in a visually attractive way. I recommend you take a few minutes to look over your vision board at least once or twice a day. I like to review my vision board right before I do a guided visualization, so my goals are top of mind as I train my mind to attract what I truly want into my life. That way, I wake up in the morning bursting with motivation to succeed — and am far more likely to notice and act on opportunities that will bring me closer to my goals.
Try keeping your vision board on the nightstand next to your bed. Leave it standing in an open position as often as you are comfortable with, and spend time each morning and evening visualizing, affirming, believing, and internalizing your goals. The time you spend visualizing in the evening just before bed is especially powerful.
As some time goes by, and your dreams begin to manifest, look at those images that represent your achievements, and feel gratitude for how well the Law of Attraction is working in your life. Acknowledge that it is working. Achievement of the goals in your vision board are powerful visual reminders of what you have already consciously and deliberately attracted into your life. I recommend you write down the date you created your dream board. The universe loves speed, and you will be amazed at just how quickly the Law of Attraction responds to your energy, commitment, and desires.
Much like a time capsule, this board will document your personal journey, your dreams, and your achievements for that particular year. It will become a record of your growth, awareness, and expansion that you will want to keep and reflect back upon in years to come. As you continue to grow, evolve and expand, your dreams will too. Your vision board is meant to be kept and cherished.
They chronicle not only your dreams, but your growth and achievements. Here is an example of what my personal vision board looks like in my office on the back of my door. Your ability to visualize your dreams will serve as a catalyst in their creation. If you would like to use a high-quality vision board that can be folded, I have a really nice one available in my shop. We also have a great vision board for kids so your whole family can set goals together. You can check it out here. It contains a 21 point list of tips to create an actionable vision board that will help activate the Law of Attraction and multiply its empowering efforts.
Experts on the science of success know that the brain is a goal-seeking organism. Whatever personal goals you give to your subconscious mind, it will work night and day to achieve them. And the rush you feel every time you check one of those goals off the list will inspire you to accomplish even more of them.
I absolutely agree with him and — as many of you can attest — I encourage everyone to start with a list! Be as specific as possible. Keep your goals somewhere you can review them often. I have now traveled to more than 50 countries, and conducted seminars or given speeches in 47 of them. In , I added the following goals to my list:. We yearn to create joyous, abundant, and meaningful existences for ourselves.
We want to experience deep love and friendship. We want to feel mentally and physically strong, completely healthy, and financially secure. Every once in a while we find ourselves in a bad mood in need of a cheer up. Maybe you got a flat tire on the way to work, or the coffee shop messed up your drink order, but either way, you need a pick-me-up. You need to change your mood to happy.
Did this puppy help cheer you up? There are a lot of strategies a person can use to change their mood and outlook over the long term, however, not nearly as much attention is given to how a person can bust their bad mood fast. The good news is that if you find yourself slipping into a negative or self-defeating mood, there are ways to quickly right the ship. Studies have shown that putting on a smile — even if it is forced — can lead to an almost immediate flood of endorphins.
Spirituality 101: How to Become More Spiritual in Your Daily Life
Endorphins released by smiling serve to improve your overall happiness and reduce stress by triggering the stress-reducing hormone cortisol. Simply put, endorphins are feel-good neurotransmitters, and smiling can give you an extra boost when you need them most. If you find yourself slipping into a negative mood, spend the next minute going on a gratitude rampage.
Identify everything that exists in your life that you have reason to be thankful for, and spend a moment reflecting on each thing that comes to mind. Be thankful for the existence of those things, and be thankful for your own existence. The truth is, everyone has countless reasons to be thankful, and spending a few moments focusing on those reasons can do a world of good for your mood.
What I like to do is just stand up and walk around for a few minutes and appreciate everything I see. I appreciate the carpet on the floor. It makes everything much quieter and more beautiful. I am grateful for the people who made the carpet and the people who installed it. I am grateful for my computer and the internet that lets me interact with all my students around the world.
I am grateful for my Amazon Echo and Alexa, whom I can ask anything of, and she always has an immediate answer. I am grateful for my stapler and my scotch tape dispenser that allows me to keep everything in order. Research has shown that as little as 3 minutes can begin to alter your state of mind. The short-term benefits of meditation are just as beneficial as the long-term benefits of meditation. Even just a few minutes of meditation can serve as sort of a mental reset button, reducing stress, calming worry and anger, and leaving you in a noticeably better mood.
The power of a few minutes of repeating positive affirmations is something that should be used. Positive affirmations are a proven technique to improve your mood, reduce stress, and boost your confidence. The trick is that your subconscious tends to believe what you repeatedly tell it. This is why people with a negative outlook tend to end up affirming their negative views as truth in what amounts to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thankfully, the reverse is also true, and positive affirmations can be used to convince yourself that the positive things you tell yourself really are true.
Your positive affirmations will vary depending on your own goals, interest, and current situation, but choose affirmations that will uplift and inspire you, then spend a minute repeating them to yourself. I am joyfully and peacefully completing everything I need to do.
I am using my limitless gifts and talents to accomplish all of my dreams and goals. I always find solutions to any challenges and roadblocks and easily move quickly past them. A study published by the University of Missouri in concluded that participants who listened to upbeat music even for just a brief period of time reported improved mood and increased happiness. Create a personal playlist of upbeat songs for yourself that you can always access when you need it.
In fact, some studies have shown that people who get more sunlight exposure during the day sleep better at night, are more alert and productive, and are less likely to suffer from conditions such as depression. Sunshine can be just as beneficial for a quick mood boost, too. If the weather and your location permit it, step outside, take a few breaths of fresh air, and soak up a little sunlight. The last tip is to give someone a hug. Our personality represents our preferred method in dealing with the world.
Frustration and anxiety often manifest when a person acts contrary to their preferred methods.
The Answers Are Within You
Conversely, someone who is high in conscientiousness may thrive in such an environment. So the children of Adam come in according with the earth, some of them come red, and white and black, and between that, and the lenient, the hard-headed, the filthy, and the pure. It informs us of the interesting connection between the qualities of the earth and the qualities of the human being. The first category of attributes mentioned deals with the physical body, specifically skin color.
The second category of attributes deals with personality, particularly on the dimension of agreeableness. Imam al-Qurtubi d. Abu Suleyman al-Khattabi d. Ibn al-Jawzi d. Recognizing and being aware of these differences can help purify our hearts from ill feelings toward others.
As described earlier, personality refers to our preferred behaviors and attitudes for interacting with the world. The key word to highlight is preference rather than responsibility. In other words, our personality tendencies are generally value-neutral or amoral, just like our preferences for food, scenery, art, and recreation. Developing positive character traits is a task that we have been given by Allah and one for which we will be compensated according to our effort. Thus, our character, unlike our fundamental personality traits, can be changed according to whether we actively seek to develop it or choose to neglect it.
However, Ashajj stayed behind, knelt his camel, and changed into a fresh pair of garments before going to meet the Prophet. These personality traits facilitated the virtue he was able to demonstrate that was described as being loved by Allah. In a previous article, we constructed a model of the human psyche from an Islamic perspective, utilizing many of these terms. The first appearance of personality discussions in early Islam comes from the Muslim philosophers who were greatly influenced by Hellenistic philosophy.
Al-Farabi d. One example of a classical scholar who discussed concepts in psychology utilizing Greek terms is Ibn Taymiyyah d. But when the disease increases in strength it starts to manifest in the body. Lastly, it can be a physical illness of the body manifesting as fatigue, weakness, and symptoms like that. Similarly, in our times, Muslim scholars must engage with the modern body of empirical research in the field of psychology to advance the study of spiritual psychology upon the edifices constructed by our predecessors.
Modern psychology and personality theories are generally focused more on description rather than prescription. This means that they are focused on attempting to construct an objective view of how the mind works without subsequently explaining how it is relevant to the flourishing and growth of the human being. In contrast, the Islamic paradigm is considerably more focused on prescription rather than description. Thus, the Islamic tradition is concerned with how our personalities can be utilized to strengthen this relationship and ultimately grow as individuals.
The purpose of knowledge is to act, and the purpose of knowing the self is to act in its best interests. In a fascinating passage, Ibn Taymiyyah d. He replies:. People differ in this regard. So when the branches of faith become crowded, a person proceeds with what is most pleasing to God by acting according to what he is most capable. As a corollary, no one can belittle the good deeds of others, since only Allah knows which of them are most valuable and most virtuous for which person. Indeed, even the structure of the cosmos bears witness to the plurality of spiritual personalities.
Every human being is different. We see this all around us in the diverse pursuits individuals find spiritually rewarding. Many diverse individual paths to God are encompassed by the Straight Path of the Islamic religion. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim d. The path to Allah is one path, inclusive of all that which pleases Allah, and what pleases Him is numerous and diversified according to times, places, people, and situations.
And some are able to combine multiple categories. Imam Malik was once asked why he was busy in circles of knowledge and not other aspects of Islam. Another person may have a tendency for charity but not fasting… And I am happy with what Allah has facilitated for me the pursuit of knowledge. Rather, I hope that we are both upon goodness and righteousness. From the foregoing discussion, we see that people naturally differ in what their spirituality drives them towards, and what activities in the faith they find themselves most passionate about—some towards the social aspects of faith e.
For this reason, it is important for Islamic speakers and educators to diversify their messages to cater to different members of their audience. Spiritual personality refers to how an individual manifests their spirituality. Just as our personalities result in different approaches to relationships and work, our spiritual personalities result in a variety of approaches to spiritual practices, religious beliefs, and identity.
There may be some that find the sense of belongingness and community ummah cultivated through communal prayers salah and Islamic conferences especially invigorating. The companions were not homogenous in the way they served Islam. Then there were those who were known for their bravery and courage, such as Khalid ibn al-Walid, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, and Zubayr ibn al-Awwam. Hassan ibn Thaabit, on the other hand, was artistic and used his poetry to defend the honor of Islam.
At this stage, the most pressing questions that present themselves relate to what types of personalities are associated with the different aspects of Islam. What makes a person focus more on knowledge over prayer or charity and activism over knowledge? If we know our personality type, will we be able to enhance our understanding of ourselves, our spiritual strengths, and our spiritual weaknesses?
To answer these questions, let us first examine the psycho-spiritual foundations of the human being. Ibn al-Qayyim explains that all human activity goes back to two fundamental processes: The capacity to know and the capacity to act. At any moment in time, we are either acquiring knowledge to build and enhance our understanding of the world or we are interacting with the world to change or maintain the order of things. This is what makes us human. Therefore, any variation in spiritual personality should ultimately be a consequence of variation in approaches to knowledge and action.
Indeed, Ibn al-Qayyim describes a categorization of thinking based on these very attributes:. So that which relates to knowledge and recognition is thinking which discerns truth and falsehood and matters affirmed and negated, while the latter relates to the thinking which distinguishes that which is beneficial and that which is harmful. How one thinks and approaches knowledge varies between people, and similarly how a person thinks about that which they pursue goals, motivation, behavior also varies between people.
A close examination of Islamic theology and scripture integrated with psychoanalysis yields two approaches for knowledge and two approaches for behavior, elaborated in the subsequent sections. The Islamic tradition heavily emphasizes the value of acquiring knowledge. It is through discovering and interpreting these signs, that we grow in our knowledge of God, drawing closer to Him.
Wrongdoing is that which troubles the soul and causes uneasiness in the chest, even if people have repeatedly given their legal opinion [in its favor]. On the other hand, there is the judgment-oriented approach towards knowledge, focused on acquiring knowledge of rulings, of drawing value-laden judgments about matters that will guide practical decision-making in the performance of good deeds.
Equipped with a very clear structural view of right and wrong, people with the judgment orientation are well-suited to make major changes in society. Interestingly, these two tendencies have also been described in other spiritual traditions, including Christianity. In the last century only, two approaches are characteristic: the deductive one, strongly theologically oriented, and the inductive one, starting from lived experience.
We can analyze both tendencies—experience and judgment—from a psychological standpoint as well. These include active imagination, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity. They possess a strong capacity for abstraction, which enables them to understand difficult philosophical and theological ideas.
The judgment approach to knowledge appears to overlap with some areas of conscientiousness from the Big 5 personality trait model and the process of judgment described by Jung. Their strong sense of judgment colors everything they learn, endowing them with a very strong sense of right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Regarding Islamic knowledge, they are interested in tangible subjects and approaches to learning. In terms of subjects, they are interested in what is directly relevant in their lives and what can be tangibly implemented. They are keen to learn about the practical aspects of Islam, even if they may be dry and technical.
Some may even be fascinated by detailed issues of Islamic law regarding worship, social dealings, or business transactions. Some may be motivated by their strong sense of duty to engage in political or community activism and learn about what can be done practically to help those in need. In the Myers-Briggs personality theory, Isabella Myers quite aptly describes the difference between perception and judgment in a way that also captures the difference between experiential and judgment approaches to knowledge in our spiritual personality classification:.
The j udging types believe that life should be willed and decided, while the perceptive types regard life as something to be experienced and understood. Both are necessary and vital, and the religion cannot exist without either element. Both tendencies have vulnerabilities related to going to extremes in the tendency. For instance, a person who goes to an extreme in searching for spiritual experiences may fall into innovation by prioritizing experience over knowledge.
An extreme focus on seeking experience could also result in a person neglecting their responsibilities. A strong focus on experience, if not properly regulated, may also make such individuals prone to sins relating to pleasure-seeking or addiction. Also, if they are caught in an addictive cycle, they may find it very hard to break free. On the other hand, the judgment approach to knowledge also has its extremes.
If a person goes to an extreme with this focus, they can begin to lose the spirit of Islam and focus exclusively on rules and regulations. This can result in a harsh and rigid manifestation of the religion that is often responsible for turning many people away, rather than softening their hearts.
Moreover, since the judgment tendency entails searching for clarity and closure on issues, such individuals may be prone to overestimating the amount of knowledge and certainty they possess. This can lead to a dogmatic approach to the religion that can manifest as sectarianism hizbiyya and divisiveness within the community. It can also lead to an ends-justify-the-means mentality, side-stepping the ethical dimensions and focusing on objective end-points. In modern times, this mentality is most obviously seen in extremist interpretations of Islam that justify violence, cruelty, and torture for their misguided utopian ends.
Their neglect of the spiritual and ethical dimensions of the faith render them capable of committing acts of atrocity without conscience. It is no surprise that the trait of conscientiousness, which we identified as being connected with judgment, is also correlated with right-wing authoritarianism.
Certainly the believers have succeeded. Those who are humbly submissive in their prayer. Those who turn away from ill speech. Those who observe charity. Those who protect their chastity. This verse describes four qualities. Two of them refer to actively pursuing goodness prayer and charity and the other two refer to refraining from wrongdoing ill speech and chastity. This distinction between pursuing good and refraining from evil has been used by Ibn al-Qayyim to describe two broad categories of spiritual personality.
These archetypes described by Ibn al-Qayyim are still relevant in the contemporary period. The vulnerability of the action-focused personality he described can be seen, for instance, in the recent wave of pornography addiction amongst practicing Muslims who pray five times a day, go to the mosque regularly, and even offer voluntary fasts. People who are action-focused approach Islam by trying to do as much as they can.
Souls Assorted: An Islamic Theory of Spiritual Personality | Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research
They may be known for their unbridled enthusiasm and contagious passion. They are always willing to lend a helping hand or take advantage of an opportunity to do good. Each group may have a preponderance of different spiritual emotions. Ibn al-Qayyim described those focused on performing acts of virtue as being dominated by the emotion of hope and reflecting on the rewards and promises of God, while those focused on avoidance of evil are dominated by the emotions of fear and reflecting on the warnings and punishment of God.
From a psychological standpoint, the action-focused approach to behavior seems to be connected with some aspects of extraversion and the restraint-focus seems to be connected with some aspects of introversion. Fundamentally, the introvert has a negative relation to the object while the extrovert has a positive relation to the object.
The extravert is someone who is always ready to act and react to the world around them while the introvert is cautious and initially restrains themselves from acting on the world. Neuroticism refers to an emotional reactivity to life events. This emotional reactivity is generally negative in nature such as fear, anxiety, and worry. The focus on restraining from sin can be manifested on a personal or public level.
For these people, they may wish to see vice, evil, and corruption eliminated from the public arena. They may be strong advocates for social justice and speak out for the oppressed. They may be vocal critics of what they see as harmful trends in the community. For others, they direct this restraint inward and use it to refrain from personal transgressions. People with this quality are seen as wise individuals who are cautious and prudent. They are reluctant to take any action that would pose a risk to their well-being in this life or the next. Both action and restraint relate to willpower, which has been described in psychology as a finite resource.
As Kelly McGonigal explains, self-control and willpower are like muscles, and we can work ourselves to mental exhaustion and fall prey to our weaknesses. Their focus on hope may make them complacently commit sins while thinking they will make up these sins later with better deeds and repentance. As mentioned, people who are action-focused share traits with extraversion. A weakness of extraverts is that they may become heavily dependent on their surroundings.
For extraverts, the environment acts as a magnet that draws mental energy toward it. This leads them to be easily influenced by others, lacking the strength to maintain their personal values and beliefs. This can result in weak faith that is easily given up at the first strike of adversity. And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction].
He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss. And when We let the people taste mercy, they rejoice therein, but if evil afflicts them for what their hands have put forth, immediately they despair. When a person goes to extremes in restraining evil, it can also have disastrous consequences. Another way extremism in this quality can manifest is in an adversarial relationship with the Muslim community. As a person recognizes the injustice that will inevitably exist within their own communities, they can isolate themselves and start to direct their rhetoric toward the community.
This results in greater confusion and polarization within the community and stagnation rather than improvement. If a strong fear response is not channeled in the right direction, then a person may experience strong obsessions and anxieties about the future. They may find it difficult to cope with hardships and be prone to blaming God for the suffering of themselves or those close to them.
O Allah! I seek refuge with You from anxiety and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by other men. Since this trait seems to be correlated with aspects of introversion, it may share some of its weaknesses. For introverted individuals, the subject acts as a magnet that absorbs the environment.
Such an approach to the world can lead to a tyrannical relationship with those around an introverted person. They may manipulate the environment for their self-serving needs. In the foregoing discussion, we have identified the core elements of spiritual personality based on two approaches to knowledge experience versus judgment and two approaches to behavior action versus restraint. In the subsequent section, we identify how these categories interact to yield four distinct spiritual personality types.
Hitherto, we have described two spiritual personality dimensions that capture variation in approach to knowledge experience vs. A human being goes forth into the world acquiring knowledge through experience and through rational judgments. This knowledge forms a representation of the world that provides the individual with an understanding of how to behave. The individual constantly makes decisions on whether they should initiate an action or exercise restraint when encountering daily situations. In constructing a complete typology of spiritual personality, we should first note the relative merits of the two main contemporary approaches to personality, namely the trait approach and the type approach.
On the other hand, the type model assumes that there is a bimodal distribution. This means that the majority of people congregate to the extremes with a minority in the middle. Thus, the type model is only concerned with direction on the spectrum rather than with placement. The type model allows the formation of distinct personality types that incorporate an archetypal pattern of thought, emotion, and behavior. People are categorized into distinct types and learn about the archetypal form of their personality traits.
The trait model cannot be organized into distinct types but provides an exact placement on the spectrum. This allows people to see their personality traits on each spectrum and to learn about the archetypal pattern of personality most closely associated with their results.