Physiological Motivation in Quran / Kinds of Motivations

Question 606: Can you please mention some verses of the holy Quran in which mentioned about physiological motivations?

Answer 606: Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation is also one’s direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior. A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way, or at least develop an inclination for specific behavior.

Emotions are complex. According to some theories, they are states of feeling that result in physical and psychological changes that influence our behavior. The physiology of emotion is closely linked to arousal of the nervous system with various states and strengths of arousal relating, apparently, to particular emotions. Emotion is also linked to behavioral tendency.

Motivations are divided into two different divisions, according to new psychologists.

  1. Physiological Motivation. 2. Psychological Motivation.

Those motivations that are natural and related to the physiologic needs for our body can guide a person’s behavior toward the way that provide physiologic needs for body.

Psychological motivations can be attained through learning for a person during his social growth.

The followings are some verses of the holy Quran in which Allah (swt) provide these physiological motivations for the human beings in order to be guided on the right path. Some of them are related to those motivations that keep their nature safe and some are related to breathing motivations.

A: Motivations for Keeping Nature safe: Those verses in which mentioned some motivations that keep our nature safe are as follows:

  1. “He said: Our Lord is He Who gave to everything its creation, then guided it to its goal”[1]
  2. “Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High; Who creates, then makes complete; And Who makes (things) according to a measure, then guides them to their goal.[2]
  3. “And the earth We have spread it forth and made in it firm mountains and caused to grow in it of every suitable thing”.[3]
  4. “…and Who created everything, then ordained for it a measure”.[4]
  5. “…And there is a measure with Him of everything”.[5]
  6. “Surely We have created everything according to a measure”.[6]
  7. ” So We said: O Adam! This is an enemy to you and to your wife; therefore let him not drive you both forth from the garden so that you should be unhappy”.[7]
  8. Allah points to some motivations like cold, heat, fatigue: And Allah has given you a place to abide in your houses, and He has given you tents of the skins of cattle which you find light to carry on the day of your march and on the day of your halting and of their wool and their fur and their hair (He has given you) household stuff and a provision for a time.[8]
  9. If we tolerate thirst, fatigue or hunger in Allah’s Way: “It did not beseem the people of Medina and those round about them of the Dwellers of the Desert to remain behind the Messenger of Allah, nor should they desire (anything) for themselves in preference to him This is because there afflicts them not thirst or fatigue or hunger in Allah’s Way, nor do they tread a path which enrages the unbelievers, nor do they attain from the enemy what they attain, but a good work is written down to them on account of it Surely Allah does not waste the reward of the doers of good”[9]
  10. And his hosts of the Jinn and the men and the birds were gathered to him, and they were formed into groups; Until when they came to the Valley of the Ants, one of the ants said: O Ants! enter your houses, (that) Sulaiman and his hosts may not crush you while they do not know.[10]
  11. And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits And give good news to the patient.[11]
  12. ” And Allah sets forth a parable: (Consider) a town safe and secure to which its means of subsistence come in abundance from every quarter; but it became ungrateful for Allah’s favors, therefore Allah made it to taste the utmost degree of hunger and fear because of what they wrought”.[12]
  13. So let them serve the Lord of this House; Who feeds them against hunger and gives them security against fear.[13]
  14. And reward them, because they were patient, with garden and silk; Reclining therein on raised couches They shall find therein neither (the severe heat of) the sun nor intense cold.[14]
  15. And they shall say: (All) praise is due to Allah, Who has made grief to depart from us Most surely our Lord is Forgiving, Multiplier of rewards.[15]
  16. Toil shall not afflict them (those who are in the Heaven) in it, nor shall they be ever ejected from it.[16]
  17. And one of His signs is your sleeping and your seeking of His grace by night and) by (day Most surely there are signs in this for a people who would hear.[17]
  18. He it is Who made for you the night that you might rest in it, and the day giving light Most surely there are signs in it for a people who would hear.[18]
  19. Allah is He Who made for you the night that you may rest therein and the day to see Most surely Allah is Gracious to men, but most men do not give thanks.[19]
  20. And We made your sleep to be rest (to you).[20]
  21. And He it is Who made the night a covering for you, and the sleep a rest, and He made the day to rise up again.[21]
  22. And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be fulfilled Then to Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you were doing.[22]
  23. When He caused calm to fall on you as a security from Him and sent down upon you water from the cloud that He might thereby purify you, and take away from you the uncleanness of the Shaitan, and that He might fortify your hearts and steady (your) footsteps thereby. [23]

B: Breathing Motivation:

  1. And a sign to them is that We bear their offspring in the laden ship; And We have created for them the like of it what they will ride on; And if We please, We can drown them, then there shall be no succorer for them, nor shall they be rescued.[24]
  2. He it is Who makes you travel by land and sea Until when you are in the ships, and they sail on with them in a pleasant breeze, and they rejoice, a violent wind overtakes them and the billows surge in on them from all sides, and they become certain that they are encompassed about, they pray to Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience: If Thou dost deliver us from this, we will most certainly be of the grateful ones.[25]
  3. So each We punished for his sin Of them was he on whom We sent down a violent storm, and of them was he whom the rumbling overtook, and of them was he whom We made to be swallowed up by the earth, and of them was he whom We drowned And it did not beseem Allah that He should be unjust to them, but they were unjust to their own souls.[26]
  4. Therefore (for) whomsoever Allah intends that He would guide him right, He expands his breast for Islam And (for) whomsoever He intends that He should cause him err, He makes his breast strait and narrow as though he were ascending upwards.[27]
  5. And the morning when it brightens.[28]

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty mention two different motivations that are necessary for surviving the human beings.

A: Sexual Motivation:

  1. “O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty) Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware”.[29]
  2. “O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women And be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship Surely Allah ever watches over you”.[30]
  3. “And Allah has made wives for you from among yourselves (to rest in them), and has given you sons and grandchildren from your wives, and has given you of the good things Is it then in the falsehood that they believe while it is in the favor of Allah that they disbelieve?”.[31]
  4. “The Originator of the heavens and the earth He made mates for you from among yourselves, and mates of the cattle too, Multiplying you thereby Nothing like a likeness of Him And He is the Hearing, the Seeing”.[32]
  5. “And of everything We have created pairs that you may be mindful”.[33]
  6. “Glory be to Him Who created pairs of all things, of what the earth grows, and of their kind and of what they do not know”.[34]

B: Motherly motivation: Allah, the Almighty created an important nature motivation for women by which they can do their duties and keep their children safe. E.g. they tolerate the pregnancy periods with love and feeding, taking care of and upbringing their kids.

  1. “And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents With trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth And the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months”.[35]
  2. “” And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming””.[36]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Good behavior? Refraining from a bad suspicion, answer 580.

Index: Psychology in Qurah / Psychological Defense Mechanisms, answer 584.

[1] . Surah Taha, verse 50.

[2] . Surah Aala, verses 1-2-3.

[3] . Surah al-Hijr, verse 19.

[4] . Surah al-Furqan, verse 2.

[5] . Surah al-Ra’d, verse 8.

[6] . Surah al-Qamar, verse 49.

[7] . Surah Taha, verse 117.

[8] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 80.

[9] . Surah al-Tawbah, verse 120.

[10] . Surah al-Naml, verse 18.

[11] . Surah al-Baqarah, verse 155.

[12] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 112.

[13] . Surah Quraysh, verses 3-4.

[14] . Surah al-Insan, verses 12-13.

[15] . Surah Fatir, verse 34.

[16] . Surah al-Hijr, verse 48.

[17] . Surah al-Room, verse 23.

[18] . Surah Younus, verse 67.

[19] . Surah Ghafir, verse 61.

[20] . Surah al-Naba’, verse 9.

[21] . Surah al-Furqan, verse 47.

[22] . Surah al-An’am, verse 60.

[23] . Surah al-Anfal, verse 11.

[24] . Surah Yasin, verse 43.

[25] . Surah Younus, verse 22.

[26] . Surah al-Ankabout, verse 40.

[27] . Surah al-An’am, verse 125.

[28] . Surah al-Takvir, verse 18.

[29] . Surah al-Hujurat, verse 13.

[30] . Surah al-Nisa, verse 1.

[31] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 72.

[32] . Surah al-Shura, verse 11.

[33] . Surah al-Zariyat, verse 49.

[34] . Surah Yasin, verse 36.

[35] . Surah al-Ahqaf, verse 15.

[36] . Surah Luqman, verse 14.


PQ4R Method: Ways to Improve Your Memory

Question 093: Can you please introduce some methods by which we can improve and optimize our memory according to the traditions (Ahadith)?

Answer 093: Effective ways to improve memory and comprehension can be classified into some divisions which are as follows:

  1. Remembering Allah (by worshiping Him and doing the canonical duties specially praying on time).
  2. Reciting those duas which are effective for improving memory like the Dua that has been narrated from the Infallible Imam. In which He says: “Ask Allah the Almighty to improve our intellect and beg Him to give us comprehension and perception”.[1]

We explain some kinds of Duas which are effective for improving memory as a sample, that are as follows:

1: The one that the Holy prophet (P.B.U.H) taught Imam Ali (a.s). In which He recommended Imam Ali (a.s) to say:

«سبحان من لايعتدى على اهل مملكته، سبحان من لايأخذ اهل الارض بالوان العذاب، سبحان الرؤوف الرحيم، اللهم اجعل لى فى قلبى نورا و بصرا و فهما و علما انك على كل شى‏ء قدير».[2]

2: “for re-establishment of heart please read this following Dua thrice” Seyed Ibn Tawoos said.

«يا حى يا قيوم يا لااله الا انت اسئلك أن تحيى قلبى اللّهم صل على محمد و آل محمد».[3]

3: Recite this following Dua when you are going to study:

«اللهم اخرجنى من ظلمات الوهم و اكرمنى بنور الفهم اللّهم افتح علينا ابواب رحمتك و انشر علينا خزائن علومك برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين».[4]

4: It is supposed to repeat this Dua per day before you talk any:

«يا حى يا قيّوم فلا يفوت شيئا علمه و لايؤده».[5]

  1. Reciting the Holy Quran, especially Ayatul Kursi.

” اللَّهُ لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَ لا نَوْمٌ لَهُ ما فِي السَّماواتِ وَ ما فِي الْأَرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ ما بَيْنَ أَيْديهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ وَ لا يُحيطُونَ بِشَيْ‏ءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِما شاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضَ وَ لا يَؤُدُهُ حِفْظُهُما وَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظيمُ. (255) لَا إِكْرَاهَ فىِ الدِّينِ  قَد تَّبَينَ‏َ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَىّ‏ِ  فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّغُوتِ وَ يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَى‏ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا  وَ اللَّهُ سمَِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ(256). اللَّهُ وَلىِ‏ُّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلىَ النُّورِ  وَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ إِلىَ الظُّلُمَاتِ  أُوْلَئكَ أَصْحَبُ النَّارِ  هُمْ فِيهَا خَلِدُون‏”.[6]

  1. Avoiding those things which cause forgetfulness like sin, loving wealth eagerly and above everything, being so captive by the world and worrying much more about it.[7]
  2. Attenuating anxiety and finding tranquility especially when you are studying.
  3. Reducing mental thoughts.
  4. Improving our concentration and attention.

Note: whatever that has been explained in regards to improve memory and intelligence from the traditional and prayer (dua) book is not counted as the absolute reason. Because, some factors which are in regards to intelligence and memory are actually related to heritage and genetic elements and they are beyond our control.

In other words, every human’s intelligence, memory and talent are a consequence of various environment and genetic factors such as the abovementioned factors that some of them are beyond human control like the role of the past generation’s genetic factors, though some of them in our hand.

Therefore, we shouldn’t expect that a miracle will be performed if suddenly your intelligence quotient (I.Q) promoted to the highest levels, from 90 to 130, by doing the abovementioned tasks which are actually effective, but not as we expected so. Otherwise, if it hasn’t performed, we do not have to tend to undervalue Imam’s recommendations in this regards.

Actually, we can enhance an intelligence which has 100 points in order to be more effective. However, we can increase the intelligence quotient (I.Q) based on the regular and accurate program that have been organized for mother and child nutrition. Moreover, we can increase the child intelligence quotient (I.Q) if we enrich child’s growth environment by providing any healthy environmental provocations. We are supposed to remove all obstacles were created on the way of promoting intelligence even at the age of youth and middle-ages in order to provide capabilities and developments factors.

It should be noted that these traditions and recommendations have been provided for these matters.

B) Observing material things

  1. Providing natural and Physiological necessities like proper nutrition, sport and sanitation.
  2. Brushing teeth.
  3. Using more articles of food which contains glucose like date, honey, natural sweets; also using those foodstuffs which contain calcium, phosphor and vitamins like milk products, fish oil, orange, tomato, bran, fresh vegetables, carrot and liver.

It is mentioned in Mafatih al-Jinan that if we continually eating currants specially when it is red and has 21 in number before breakfast, and eating sweet paste, meat of around the neck, honey and lentil, our memory will be enhanced.

  1. Practicing and repeating those topics we learned.
  2. If you want to study smarter, take about 10 minutes break every 45 minutes.
  3. Respiratory practice: you are supposed to fill you lug with the air and then breath our gradually while you are standing. This practice help you concentrate better.

C) Observing psychological recommendations:

“You will be able to enhance your memory if you use these following solutions” Psychologists said.

  1. Scanning: which means to classify all the words you want to learn into some lexical sections, then classify these sections into some phrases. So that we can change those words or numbers into the meaningful sections by using this method of scanning in order to increase the capacity of our memory. E.g. changing this numerical chains (149-2177-619-83) to this chain (1983-1176-1492) which is the Christian era. As a result, we can increase and enhance our memory.
  2. Make it meaningful: this method can help us enhance our memory much better than the others. Moreover, we will keep and memorize what we learned better if we make it meaningful profoundly and even with more detailed. So, whenever we are going to keep a note of a book in our mind we will remember it faster in case we focus our attention not on the words but on its meaning. Therefore, we will learn it better if we pay more attention on its meaning profoundly and completely.
  3. Organizing: we can learn, memorize and remember any topics easily if we organize it. Which means, if the topics we are going to learn have numerous collections and branches, the best way of keeping them in our mind is to set it into the rational hierarchy and then divide them into some slightest divisions. E.g. we can divide it from the whole part into the slightest one (major topics into subtopics) and from the top into the down. As a result, we will learn and keep them in our mind easily.
  4. Providing safe environment: When we want to learn something, we usually do it in the special place, time and condition. These situations and conditions in which we learn is actually defined as “Ba’ft”. So, we are able to easily remember those topics we had learned them in case we arrange the same situation and condition as we learned there. E.g. when you want to easily remember the names of your guidance school classmates, you are supposed to walk throughout the school’s aisle where you graduated in order to remind that time when you had been studying with your classmates, so that you can remember their names very easily.
  5. Teaching the PQ4R Method: This method helps students to memorize their textbooks as it is explained under. This name is the abbreviation of the following words:

Preview. Survey or scan the material quickly to get an idea of the general organization and major topics and subtopics. Pay attention to headings and subheadings, and identify what you will be reading about and studying.

In another words: Look through the pages of your reading passage and read the headings of the chapter and any sections dividing the chapter. Read the first and last paragraph in each section. View the illustrations in each section. Read the captions under the pictures and take a few minutes to look at charts, graphs, or maps.

Question. Ask yourself questions about the material before you read it. Use headings to invent questions using the Wh words: who, what, why, where.

In other words: Think about the information you learned in the Preview. Ask yourself questions about it. Think about what you already know about ideas you saw during your Preview. What do you think are main points that will be raised in the chapter? What do you expect to learn from reading this material?

Read. Read the material. Do not take extensive written notes. Try to answer the questions that you posed prior to reading.

In other words: Read the passage. If there are ideas seem important, make a note of them on paper. If the book belongs to you, consider making notes in the margins and highlight important parts in the book. If you just can’t imagine writing in your book, make notes on paper.

Reflect on the material. Try to understand and make meaningful the presented information by (1) relating it to things you already know, (2) relating the subtopics in the text to primary concepts or principles, (3) trying to resolve contradictions within the presented information, and (4) trying to use the material to solve problems suggested by the material.

In other words: Take time to reflect on what you have read. How are the passages or chapters inter-related? How does the information fit into things you have already learned? What new information did you learn? Did the passage include the information you expected it to cover? Was there information that surprised you?

Recite. Practice remembering the information by stating points out loud and asking and answering questions. You may use headings, highlighted words, and notes on major ideas to generate those questions.

In other words: Think about the material. Discuss it with someone else or write down the main points you learned. Generally, writing information down by hand will improve memory of the material. If writing is a problem for you, consider brief notes or discuss the material with other students. It is important to summarize the material in writing using your own words. Explain it aloud to someone else or recite your notes aloud to yourself. Consider using a graphic organizer to increase your understanding of how concepts in the reading relate to each other.

Review. In the final step, actively review the material, focusing on asking yourself questions; re-read the material only when you are not sure of the answers.[8]

Also, consider the main points of the material. Were your questions answered? Do you feel that the writer’s points are fully understood?

Conclusion: We can classify those effective methods of enhancing and optimizing memory and comprehension into some divisions which are as follows:

A) Spiritual methods:

  1. Remembering Allah (by worshiping Him and doing the canonical duties especially praying on time)
  2. Reciting those duas which are effective for enhancing and optimizing memory such as the Holy prophet (P.B.U.H) taught Imam Ali (a.s). In which He recommended Imam Ali (a.s) to say:

«سبحان من لايعتدى على اهل مملكته، سبحان من لايأخذ اهل الارض بالوان العذاب، سبحان الرؤوف الرحيم، اللهم اجعل لى فى قلبى نورا و بصرا و فهما و علما انك على كل شى‏ء قدير»[9]

  1. Reciting the verses of the Holy Quran especially Ayatul Kursi.
  2. Avoidance of those things which cause forgetfulness like sin.
  3. Attenuating anxiety and finding tranquility especially when you are studying.
  4. Reducing those things which our memory become obsessed with.
  5. Improving our concentration and attention.

B) Observing material things.

  1. Providing natural and Physiological necessities like proper nutrition, sport and sanitation.
  2. Brushing teeth.
  3. Using more articles of food which contains glucose like date, honey, natural sweets; also using those foodstuffs which contain calcium, phosphor and vitamins like milk products, fish oil, orange, tomato, bran, fresh vegetables, carrot and liver.
  4. Practicing and repeating those topics we learned.

C) Observing psychological recommendations:

Psychologist said: “you will be able to enhance your memory if you use these following solutions”

  1. Scanning.
  2. Make it meaningful.
  3. Organizing.
  4. Providing safe environment.
  5. PQ4R method.

[1] . Bihar al-Anwar, vol 1, p 224, first tradition of Unwan al- Basri.

[2] . Mafatih-ul Jinan, the first chapter one of the first section, Taqeebat-e-Namaz.

[3] . , the book Baghiyat –e- Salehat.

[4] . Ibid.

[5] . Ibid.

[6] . “There is no God but Allah, the Eternal- Live; slumber does not overtake Allah, nor does sleep. To Allah Belongs whatever is in the heavens and On the earth. Who dares to intercede In Allah’s Presence without His Leave? Allah Knows what happens to The people now and what happens to Them in the future; and none of Them will ever encompass anything of Allah’s Knowledge except as much Allah Wills. Allah’s Throne is Extended over the heavens and The earth; but preserving both of Them] at the same time [does not Trouble Allah. And Allah is The Supreme-Exalted Great;

There is no compulsion in accepting Religion,] since [Truth has verily Become distinct from Falsehood] in The Qur’an and through The Messenger and Miracles [; whoever Rejects Satan and believes in Allah, Then indeed he has grasped the firmest Handle that will never break off. And Allah is the Knowing Hearer;

Allah is the Guardian of those who Believe; He takes them out from The darkness into the Light; and Those who reject Faith, their Guardians are the rebels who take Them out from the Light into The darkness and they will be The dwellers of the Hell, therein they Shall abide forever.”

[7] . Ibid

[8] . Adapted from Porseman CD, but with changing and rewriting a lot.

[9] . Mafatih-ul Jinan, the first chapter one of the first section, Taqeebat-e-Namaz.


Psychology in Quran / Psychological Defense Mechanisms

Question 584: Define Psychology in Quran? What kind of Psychological Defense Mechanisms have mentioned in the holy Quran?

Answer 584: We believe that the Holy Quran is a guidance and mercy for a people who have faith. The final purpose that the Holy Quran has been sent down for is to continuously nurture the human being to evolve it from a lower to a higher stage of existence. This means that the holy Quran nurture the human being unto perfection.

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “We have sent down the Book to you as a clarification of all things and as a guidance and mercy and good news for the Muslims”[1] The meaning of ‘All Things’ is every affairs that a human needs it to reach at the highest level of perfection. These affairs can be of the following: Material, Spiritual, Social and Individual aspects.

In psychology, ‘How to think’ is one of the things which is considered as the most important guidelines aspects of human life that has been explained completely in the Holy Quran.

According to Quran, there are three different kinds of characteristics can be imagined for the human beings: Momen (believer), Kafir (disbeliever) and Munafiq (hypocrite).[2]

A believer has the three following characteristics: Some of them are those who wrong themselves, and some of them are average, and some of them are those who take the lead in all the good works by Allah’s will.[3]

The characteristic by which we can recognize a Kafir is that they are deaf, dumb, and Blind; thus, they do not understand Anything, due to their shortage of Wisdom.[4]

What the tangible characteristic for the Munafiqs is that there is a sickness in their hearts and when they are told Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say,” We are only reformers!  These are they who buy error for the right direction, so their bargain shall bring no gain, nor are they the followers of the right direction.  Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire, but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness they do not see.

The Quran has also talked about kinds of grief, sorrows and its solutions in order to get rid of it, two types of fears:

Acceptable fear:  “The faithful are only those whose hearts tremble] with awe [when Allah is mentioned, and when His signs are recited to them, they increase their faith, and who put their trust in their Lord”.[5]

Unacceptable Fear: “When they came at you from above and below you, and when the eyes rolled] with fear [and the hearts leapt to the throats, and you entertained misgivings about Allah; It was there that the faithful were tested and jolted with a severe agitation.”[6]
Kinds of anger in the holy Quran:

Useful rage: “As for him who endures patiently and forgives that is indeed the steadiest of courses.”[7]

Balanced rage: “Good and evil] conduct [are not equal. Repel] evil [with what is best.] If you do so, [behold, he between whom and you was enmity, will be as though he were a sympathetic friend.”[8]

Destructive rage: 1. “And hasten towards your Lord’s forgiveness and a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the God wary”. [9] 2. “Certainly you were longing for death before you had encountered it. Then certainly you saw it, as you looked on”.[10]

The best solution when you are angry can be found in the following verses of the holy Quran:

  1. “Those who avoid major sins and indecencies, and forgive when angered”.[11]
  2. “Let the well-off and the opulent among you not vow not to give to the relatives and the needy, and to those who have migrated in the way of Allah, and let them excuse and forbear. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful”.[12]

In the Holy Quran there has been mentioned three kinds of Psychological Defense Mechanisms as follows:

Psychological projection: “There is certainly a good exemplar for you in Abraham and those who were with him, when they said to their own people,” Indeed we repudiate you and whatever you worship besides Allah. We disavow you, and between you and us there has appeared enmity and hate for ever, unless you come to have faith in Allah alone,” except for Abraham’s saying to his father,” I will surely plead forgiveness for you, though I cannot avail you anything against Allah.”” Our Lord! In You do we put our trust, and to You do we turn penitently, and toward You is the destination”.[13]

Rationalization (making excuses): ”When they are told,” Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say,” We are only reformers!”; Look! They are themselves the agents of corruption, but they are not aware.”.[14]

Reaction formation:

  1. “Among the people is he whose talk about worldly life impresses you, and he holds Allah witness to what is in his heart, though he is the staunchest of enemies”; “And if he were to wield authority, he would try to cause corruption in the land, and to ruin the crop and the stock, and Allah does not like corruption”[15]
  2. “When you see them, their bodies impress you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. Yet they are like dry logs set reclining] against a wall [. They suppose every cry is directed against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah assail them, where do they stray?!”.[16]

Psychotherapy in Quran: One of the Useful Psychotherapy has been mentioned in the holy Quran is: “O mankind! There has certainly come to you an advice from your Lord, and a cure for what is in the breasts, and a guidance and mercy for the faithful.”[17]

In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) introduces a Quranic Psychotherapy as follows: “Those who have faith and do not taint their faith with wrongdoing for such there shall be safety, and they are the [rightly] guided.[18]

Also, Allah, the Almighty introduces another Psychotherapy: “Those who have faith, and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah.” Look! The hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance!”.[19]

Note: The previous mentioned verses are a few psychological examples have been explained in the Holy Quran.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Good behavior? Refraining from a bad suspicion, answer 580.

[1] . Surah al-Nahl, verse 89.

[2] . Verses 2 to 20 of Surah Baqarah.

[3] . Surah Fatir, verse 32.

[4] . Surah Baqara, verse 171.

[5] . Surah Anfal, verse 2.

[6] . Surah Ahzab, verses 10 and 11.

[7] . Surah Shura, verse 43.

[8] . Surah Fussilat verse 34.

[9] . Surah al-Emran, verses 133.

[10] . Ibid, verse 143.

[11] . Surah Shura, verse 37.

[12] . Surah Noor, verse  22.

[13] . Surah Munafiqun, verse 4.

[14] . Sura Baqara, verses 11 and 12.

[15] . Surahs Baqarah, verses 204 and 205.

[16] . Surah Munafiqun, verse 4.

[17] . Surah Younes, verse 57.

[18] . Surah An’am, verse 82.

[19] . Surah al-Ra’d, verse 28.


Good behavior? Refraining from a bad suspicion

Question 580: Assalam o Alaikum, my question is y psychologists cannot behave normal in their own life? My own sister in law is a clinical psychologist and she always behave oddly in matters related to family?

Answer 580: The reason why you think she behaves oddly toward her family can be of the followings:

Each science has its own particular definition about normal behavior.

Researchers have been working on defining normal and abnormal behavior for many years. According to them, abnormal behavior means being deviant or to go astray from natural path. Those who are very tall or short are considered as unnatural according to this definition. Also, one who has the highest level of intelligence is considered as unnatural according to custom. A psychologist examines such behavior using pathology approach.

The following are some different ways by which a psychologist define abnormal behavior:

Mental definition: We judge others based on our own behaviors. This means, we consider our own behaviors as the criterion to judge others. If their behaviors look like ours then we can say such behaviors are normal. Otherwise, it is considered as abnormal.

Normative definition: According to this definition, normal means perfection. Those who go astray from perfection, which has been defined by a political or religious organization, are considered as abnormal. It is said that this approach is focus on “thing which should be” instead of “thing which is logically possible”. If we want to conclude who is normal according to this definition we reach to this conclusion that no one is perfect.

Cultural definition: Culture dictates forms of different aspects of life to us. E.g. How to dress up, social behavior, language, love and etc. that have been determined by culture. Some of behaviors are culturally considered as taboo and others unlawful. Those who avoid such cultural standards are considered as abnormal. The definition of normal and abnormal behavior can be changed along with changing societal standards, norms and cultural traditions. It is enough to compare yourself with your parents. For instance, nowadays, things which have been considered as normal among youth had been considered as abnormal among previous generations.

Statistical definition: Normal distribution has particular features. For example, if you get less than 70 or more than 130 mark in each background you would be odd, but you are not considered as abnormal. This definition can be useful for measuring the capabilities of a person not for sensitive areas like a person’s personality of mental illness.

Clinical definition: Being abnormal usually come with incompatibility and odd behaviors. According to clinical psychologist, the difference between normal and abnormal person is almost mentally. They have been trying to find a way by which can exactly determine the difference.[1]

One of the important criterion for being abnormal is having irrational thoughts, according to clinical psychologists. This means, if a person has irrational belief about the universe is considered as abnormal.

Islamic definition: If you know yourself, nature, abilities, capabilities and the reason why you have created by Allah (SW) you would reach to the welfare goal which is achieving the greatest happiness in hereafter. In other word, if you know yourself you would know Allah, the Almighty. According to Islam, normal behavior is to obey Allah and disobey the faithless and the hypocrites. In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “There is certainly a good exemplar for you in them for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day and anyone who refuses to comply [should know that] indeed Allah is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable”.[2] So, if we follow the holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Infallibles (pbuth) behaviors we considered as normal person according to Islam. Our behaviors would be accepted by Allah (SW) if they guided us to the straight path.

Note: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin And do not spy”. So, we Muslims are supposed not to be Inquisitive about other people’s life.[3]

Conclusion: If you think that she behaves oddly in matters related to family she may act based on her own knowledge got from clinical psychology. If you think her behavior is against Islamic Laws you are just supposed to forbid the way she is behaving in a good manner. According to some of psychologists, being optimistic is much better than being pessimistic. The similar issue can be found in our traditions as the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recommended us to refrain from bad suspicion about Allah (SW) and people.[4]

[1] . Bartlett, Steven (2011).

[2] . Surah al-Mumtahinah, verse 6.

[3] . Surah al-Hujurat, verse 12.

[4] . Qadhaee, Muhammad bin Salama, Sharh Farsi Shahab al-Akhbar (Sayings of the Holy Prophet)), Pg. 357; Sajestani, Abu Davood Suleiman bin Ash’ath, Sunnan Abi Davood, Vol. 4, Pg. 298.