Friday, 13 April 2012

Accountability of Emotions (Traits)/ 'Shaakilah'

We know that human being is granted with various kinds of emotions/ traits-pleasures and sorrows, liking and disliking, excitements and shocks, sadness and happiness, love and hate, affection and aversion, hope and frustration, trust and distrust, self-respect and lack of self-respect, courage and cowardliness, patience and impatience, resilience  and lack of resilience, meanness and charity, mercy and cruelty, anger and joy, shallowness and profoundness etc. Out of these emotions/traits, every individual is granted by Allah with  a fixed   composition/set of emotions/traits in terms of kind and magnitude/degree, which may vary from person to person. This fixed composition of emotions/traits is called ‘shakilah’.
 Allah says: "Everyone acts according to his own disposition/ ‘shaakilah’: But your Lord knows best who it is that is best guided on the Way" (Isra-84).
 Once granted to human being, fixed composition of emotions/traits is never changed. (plz see my article ' Determined Psyche of Human Being'). Every person acts in his/her life according to this composition of emotions/traits he/she is bestowed upon. Actually emotions/traits are the basic tool through which a person is judged by Allah in this worldly life.  These human emotions/traits are neither good nor bad in their essence; it is the human choice of the situations, and kind and magnitude of these emotions/traits to manifest in those situations, which makes a human deed good or bad. A human deed based on each kind of emotions/traits (e.g. love or hate, anger or lack of anger, lust or lack of lust, courage or cowardliness etc) may be either good or bad, depending upon the situation chosen and the magnitude of emotion to display in such situation. For instance lack of anger shown in a situation which requires anger to be shown would be a bad act; similarly showing anger in a situation which requires lack of anger to be shown would be a bad act. Similarly lesser degree of charity shown in a situation which requires greater degree of charity to be displayed would be a bad act; similarly greater degree of charity in a situation which requires lesser degree of charity to be shown would be a bad deed. (e.g. a Muslim cannot bequeath more than one third of his property through his will). 

Whatever is presented to an individual in his/her life by Allah is actually to test how he/she utilizes his/her emotions/traits, capabilities, knowledge and environment. Because a person is granted with fixed set of emotions/traits in terms of kind and magnitude/degree, it means person is liable to utilize his/her emotions only to the extent he/she is granted with them. In other words, no person is liable to utilize an emotion/trait he/she is not granted with; similarly no person is liable to utilize an emotion/trait with a degree greater than he/she is granted with. This is what has been mentioned in Quran: “No person is charged with more than his capacity” (al-baqra-233).   In other words every person is liable to choose the degree of emotions/traits to be utilized in a situation  upto the extent of degree he/she is granted with.  It means determined human psyche does not mean human personality cannot grow and develop; human personality can grow and develop positively depending upon how much natural emotions/traits are tamed positively to be displayed rightly in kind and magnitude in the right situation, and how much knowledge, skills and conducive environment have been provided and utilized positively.

One implication of the foregoing is that emotions/traits are not something to be crushed or destroyed for achieving higher spiritual levels; emotions /traits are only to be tamed so that right type and magnitude of emotion/trait may be used in the right situation. In other words there is no room for undergoing long and tough physical ‘chillas’/meditation aiming at destruction of emotions/traits to achieve higher spiritual levels. Higher spiritual levels have nothing to do with suppression/ destruction  of emotions/traits; nor can emotions be destroyed. Spiritual elevation is all about channelizing of human emotions/traits. 

Another implication of foregoing is that spiritual elevation has nothing to do with racial traits. Because each trait/emotion can be used for the good or the bad, no set/composition of racial traits/emotions  can be considered as better than any other set/composition of traits for the purpose of spiritual elevation. 
All qualities, skills, knowledge developed/attained by human being are actually based on utilization of human emotions/traits. Human emotions/traits are the basic raw material and the basic asset which is used by human being to construct whole edifice of his/her life achievements.  Therefore on Day of Judgment every person will be questioned how he/she has utilized the treasure of emotions/traits he/she had been granted with. Every person will be held accountable for his/her emotions/traits. The person utilizing her/his emotions/traits in obedience to Allah will be declared successful otherwise he/she will be unsuccessful.
"The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail. But only he that brings to Allah a submissive 'qalb' ” (al-shuara-88-89).

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