No wonder why Islam has put utmost focus on social attitudes; they have far reaching effects. If there is anything we need to be careful about FOR the society and IN the society, that is our akhlaq.
Akhlaq is not just manners; it has a wide meaning in Arabic. Like what can you grasp from the following dua which is based on seeking refuge from ‘bad akhlaq’
اَللّهُمَّ طَهِّرْ قَلْبِىْ مِنَ النِّفَاقِ، وَ عَمَلِىْ مِنَ الرِّيَآءِ، وَ لِسَانِىْ مِنَ الْكَذِبِ، وَ عَيْنِىْ مِنَ الْخِيَانَةِ، فَإِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ خَآئِنَةَ الْأعْيُنِ، وَمَا تُخْفِىْ الصُّدُوْرِ
اے اللہ ! میرے دل کو نفاق سے ، میرے عمل کو ریا و نمود سے اور میری زبان کوجھوٹ سے اور میری آنکھ کو خیانت سے پاک کر دے اور بےشک تو آنکھوں کی
خیانت اور دلوں کی چھپی ہوئی باتوں کو جانتا ہے۔
O Allah! Purify my heart from hypocrisy, my deeds from any kind of Ria (show off), my tongue from lying and my eye from treachery. For indeed only You know the treachery of the eyes and what lays hidden in the breasts. (Al-Baihaqi).
This dua is adding to the meaning; hypocrisy, arrogance, lies, deception or treachery and the secret evil motives of the heart. We can’t sometimes see beyond a certain lens; we either need for change it or modify it.
If we study social psychology in depth we will be able to understand clearly why Abraham Maslow calls them forces for the creation of psychopathology.
What does one person’s hypocrisy have to do with the other person’s mental health? Why do we need suppress anti social elements in the society? What is the relationship of the highest level of faith of a believer to the prevalence of mental health?
Each word or deed has its consequences. A believer can’t just talk about everything for the sake of fun; he was born in toil with a social responsibility. Remember when I explained the term ‘khalifa’? A representative from Allah SWT.
If small forces in the form of good akhlaq combine, the society will heal. How much? That is not the question. There is already so much suffering in the world to calculate the effect of affection or warmth.
A believer has to work on his speaking and listening skills; sometimes I wonder what will we do without the Quran?
We see the essence of Maslow’s words but fail to have an insight into the Quran.
Why am I insisting on having a relationship with the Quran? Because I believe that we will be able to become psychotherapeutic forces through that Book.
There! I see a huge responsibility as a parent to be. The parent has to ensure that they immediately leave the forces that lead to psychopathology as Maslow mentions. Children aren’t objects but rather amanah, that is trust. Unlearned parenting may lead a mother or father to satiate their needs of power, control and dominance over their child considering the toil they have been through in giving birth to them upto the age of two years handling a toddler.
But they scientists in cribs! Maslow’s words should be engraved on every parents mind. This can help them make sense of a lot of hardships coming their way.
The effect of hurting or humiliating others is so far-fetched, that it can’t be ignored. The tongue is indeed a sword.
It has to be used as tool to secure a better Hereafter.
P.S I still have to memorize this supplication from the Sunnah. It is my first step to be a psychotherapeutic force. What’s yours?