Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Living A Balanced Life-Part 1-Inner and Outer Balance
Within the psychological paradigm emphasis is placed on the human being as a holistic being. This means that people function on different levels, and when there is an illness or other disturbance then the problem could exist on more than one level. In fact, these days, the “Mind-Body” connection is becoming increasingly recognized in all disciplines, not only psychology.
In the teachings of Hadhrat Maulana Maseehullah Khan, we learn about the constitution of a person from an Islamic perspective.*
According to this a person is made up of two fundamental components:
1. The first component is visible and easily recognized- this is the BODY. This component is called the SOORAT.
2. The second component is not visible, nor is it physical and it has no external form. It has an internal form. This is the PERSONALITY OR CHARACTER and is called SEERAT.
Body- For the body to be functional it must be healthy and well groomed. Balance in physical activities is also important for the body to function properly.
Personality- for the personality to function normally, it must also be healthy (free from bad qualities and enriched with good qualities). It must also be well-balanced. Refinement of character imbues one’s personality with radiance, making it beautiful.
From this we can see that there has to be a good balance between the physical body and the metaphysical personality. If we spend all of our time focusing on bettering ourselves physically while our personality is lacking, then we will not have a fulfilled life. At the same time, however, if we completely ignore our physical selves and only focus on the metaphysical, then this too will have negative consequences.
These two are inter-related. When you feel good on one level then automatically you will begin to feel good on the other level as well.
These days there is an over-emphasis on physical perfection. Weight-loss programmes, physical fitness, exercise gyms, beauty products, even shampoo and soap advertisements emphasize the importance of perfecting the physical. The result is that people spend so much time and effort on this one level that they forget that there is more to the human being and although they may be feeling and looking great physically, the other components of the human being is neglected and people still cannot achieve real happiness and peace.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said something to this effect; “successful indeed is the person who is sincere in faith, whose heart is pure, whose speech is truthful and whose character is upright”.
“Oh Allah you have made my outer (physical) good, make my inner character good as well”. (Translation of prayer when looking in the mirror taught by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
According to what you’ve just read, how balanced is your life?
Do you pay more attention to the outer/physical or the inner/metaphysical?
What do you think you can do to try and achieve more balance in your life according to the discussion above?
Leave your comments, add your suggestions, share your thoughts and experiences with regards to this…
Inshallah in Part 2 of ‘Living a Balanced Life’ we’ll look a little more at the specific levels a human being functions on.
Until then, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you
*The reference for the book used here is : Compiled from the Teachings of Hadhrat Maulana Maseehullah Khan Saheb, Good Character, 1997. Adam Publishers: Delhi.