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Social-Spiritual Effects of Godliness


There are two fundamental views concerning the final ideal of human being. One is seeking perfection (Idealism) and the other one is seeking peace; and perhaps, these two are inseparable in the higher levels. However, what are the basic factors in reaching this purpose? Every school has a point of view concerning this matter. Islam considers Godliness as the most fundamental factor of gaining this purpose whether in the individual or social level. Now, the questions of this essay are: 1) Does Godliness have any influence on person`s life? 2) If the answer is yes, how is the mechanism of this influence and which are its effects? 3) Is there any evidence and example to the approval of this influence?

If it is clarified via psychological analysis that how and how much Godliness influences human`s life, and if we find the positive and clear examples of this impression and influence in the past and present societies via narrative (historical and devotional) and statistical studies, many directives will be obtained for the whole socio-cultural institutions such as the Education Ministry, Higher Education Ministry and Radio and Television Organization; and we will be able to move forward in the direction of Godliness of the people of the society step by step scientifically. Also, we can give hope and promise to human being in order to maintain his humanity and make it grow and obtain spiritual perfection and calmness.

 The hypotheses:

1) If Godliness is created by true psychological mechanism in the people and society, it will have very positive and wonderful effects.

2) The people or groups and societies have found the positive effects and results of Godliness in the whole directions of their life the same as they have benefited from this Godliness.

The meaning of faith:

Faith is a spiritual state which may be created in every one; it includes three elements of idea and recognition, hearty and emotional relationship, and organic behavior. In addition to this matter that intellectual analysis is led to this point that first, human being recognizes a subject and then s/he takes an emotional orientation and motivation towards it and finally, s/he acts in accordance with that recognition and emotional and motivational dimension, we have a lot of Quranic evidences and proofs in order to clarify these three elements of faith. Here, we point to some of them as an example.

 It may seem that action is the effect and result of faith and Quran has always mentioned good deed after the faith and considered it independent from faith. However, in our opinion, acting based on beliefs is a part of faith and mentioning it after faith is perhaps due to a difference or emphasis. Because, some people think that a person can act deceptively and claim his faith without doing any act that Quran refuses it.

One the main bases of faith is that the person acts based on his spiritual state and forms his life according to it. God says,” Do people think it is enough that they just state their faith by their tongue and they are not examined?”, and elsewhere we read that” we have a reward for those who believe in God and the Doomsday and accomplish good deed.” Basically, most of the duties that God determines for believers are behavioral duties such as “seeking aim from prayer and patience”, “using and eating the pure and clean daily bread”, “donation from the portion that God has given us” and “legatee of faith” and like them which are considered as a kind of action.

The cognitive dimension and heartful relation can be used obviously from some Quran`s verses. When some people told the Prophet that we became believers, it was inspired divinely that “tell them that you have not become a believer; of course, say that you have become believer of Islam, and faith has not entered your hearts yet.”

From these verses and like them, we understand that just saying in words that we believe or just showing it in action is not enough only; it should be firmed in our hearts; the hearty relation is necessary. We have many narrations which assert the elements of act and hearty relation with various statements. Imam Ali (A) says, “The Prophet said, “Oh` Ali! Write! I said, “What do I write? He said, “Write that the faith is something which has been fixed in the heart and the actions confirm it; but Islam is something which is stated by tongue.” or elsewhere he says, “The faith is as the hearty perception and verbal word and acting by the organs of body”.

From other direction, it might seem that whenever we want to have enough recognition and affection concerning a subject, we should act based on that; then no difference exist between the religious and non-religious subjects and also, no distinction is imagined between the faith and perception. However, when we pay more attention, we understand that there is a difference and that is if the issues and concepts are divided into three groups of “Accepting Rationality”, “Escaping from Rationality (irrationality)” and “Struggling Rationality”, the perception finds meaning in the arena of “Accepting Rationality ". However, the faith influences the arena of “irrationality” and accepts many subjects which are not in the arena of “Struggling Rationality” as long as they are not “irrational” and states them in accordance with general regulations and principles of “Accepting Rationality”. So,  if we consider the element of recognition and wisdom for the faith, it means that first, it is not in the arena of “Struggling Rationality” and second, the “irrationality” arenas are referred and delivered to the affairs of “Accepting Rationality”. “Faith is a kind of belief beyond the limit of the evidences which are available for us. It means that available evidences necessitate it; we encounter the lack of evidences. In other words, the belief which is available with sufficient evidences is perception and the belief which is not available with enough evidences is considered as faith. Although, based on another definition, we should not consider faith and its belongings empty of intellectual reasoning absolutely, it is impossible to have external sensation and view towards the faith`s belongings according to the same definition.

What we have under consideration is studying faith from the psychological point of view. So, we put emphasize on this issue that does human`s mind have the capability and permission of getting along with the subjects of “Escaping from Rationality (irrationality)”? Is human`s will allowed to consider something without the confirmation of the wisdom according to reality? This is very important that we know what kind of relationship exists between our rationality and willpower. James says, “Our willpower is stronger than our rationality from psychological viewpoint”. He says, “We are able and are allowed to consider something in accordance with reality not due to this matter that it is really considered according to the reality; of course, because our interests and likings tell us.” Furthermore, he says, “We have such self-affection that if we want to have the distress according to the reality constantly, we are cheated. The human beings are not obliged to deny the sufficient evidences for obtaining the accordance with the reality of one thing.

Most of faith`s belongings stated in Quran in such a way that if we don`t ask help from revelation and faith, we may find no way towards them. Some of the faith`s subjects are as follows: God, angels, heavenly books, Prophets, occultation and doomsdays. We should become disappointed of the perception and resort to faith and progress in these subjects. Of course, wanting and obtaining such faith are an optional behavior, like all the other humane behaviors, and the conditions and barriers are effective in it. God says, “If God wanted, all became believer.”, and sometimes, blames that why they didn`t become believer and also sometimes, commands them to become believer. These verses well indicate that faith is adoptive, optional and gradual; a person can be a believer or not, or can have some degrees of faith. In fact, human beings are in an expansive spectrum that one side of it is the mere irreligion and the other side of it is the absolute faith. There are many ranks and degrees between these two. The faith can be increased with some affairs and every one will seek benefit considering how much s/he has faith. Those who believe in God, have no fear and they don`t become sad. Also, they will receive compensation and enter in paradise and will be forgiven by God. These persons are winners; they will be with righteous people. God is their guardian and their sins will be forgiven. Also, God does not put the domination of unbelievers over them. They are not ignorant of piety in isolation and of alms-giving in poverty. They are patient when the calamity comes to them, and have tolerance at the time of anger. In addition to these matters, they are always honest even when it is not to their advantage. “Their happiness is visible in their face and their anger is hidden in their heart”.




Three expressions of Godliness, faith in God and Islamic view towards God overlap with each other regarding the true sense of the word. Also, the basic and significant views have influence on more minor views and play a determiner role. In other words, the beliefs can be classified; the first-class beliefs determine the second-class beliefs. For example, the view of a person towards God influences many views of the next rank such as his view towards the meaning of life, life`s purpose, the psychological facilities of the life, and ups and downs of life directly and seriously, and they form his views towards job, marriage, education, etc; and his outlook concerning the location of life, paradigms of life, deprivations and benefits, advantages and disadvantages get direction from them and direct his views toward the poverty and richness, weak and powerful, good and bad, right and wrong, person and society, so that the individual, social and ethical behaviors, inter-individual occasions, tribal occasions, friend-choosing and enemy-choosing, remonstration, affection all are under the influence of those basic and fundamental outlooks.

Now, considering  the quality of influence of the unconscious mind on conscious mind, we gain this very important issue that if we recognize the ways and mechanism of giving plan to the unconscious mind of a person and can enter from those ways and have influence unconsciously, it seems that the person is totally at our service, especially if the plan which is given to the unconscious mind of the person, be compatible with his existential requirements and particularly if his conscious mind emphasizes on that plan and does not consider it as the opponent and against his views provided that  his mind is aware towards them. It is interesting to know that Godliness which is considered by Quran is benefited by this characteristic. It means that according to the opinion of many scientists of humanities, it is one of the existential needs of human and uses all ways of entering the unconscious mind (as we will talk about them) in the best way possible in order to form the views of the next rank and also, its plans are in such a way that the conscious mind hastens to confirm and help them if it is necessary (humanities).

Based on these descriptions, we can easily accept that a person who believes in God and lives in a family and society that have faith in God, is affected by this view in many social and psychological processes. This view has influence on his sensory cognition too. A person who has a high degree of this view doesn`t hear whenever the other persons talk behind his pious brother. As Imam Ali (A) who doesn`t comprehend many environmental stimuluses at the time of prayer, but whenever the voice of beggar is raised, he both hears and makes the necessary arrangements. Most combatants who fought for the advantage of Islam were injured and involved in surgery in the battle fronts, but they used to feel calmness and peace in such a way that they influenced the followers. The Quranic view towards God when have influences on the sensory comprehension in this way, its influence is easy on the other processes. This matter gives direction to the prejudgment of the person completely and the person prejudges according to the criterion consistent with his Quranic view. This person does not admit the racism and does not evaluate the people based on being poor or rich. His whole views of the next ranks are influenced by the same basic and deep view. Basically, the character of such a person in this kind of society is completely different from the character of the persons in other societies. His inter-individual interactions, love, affection and intimacy, aggressiveness and anger, all are the small brooks which have been separated from his same roaring river of Godliness and flows. If this Godliness be dominated over the social, cultural and political institutions, the public thought is clear. There is no hidden issue between the boss and employee, and lord and peasant. Also, there is accordance between the individual and social motivations. And, we can notice good examples which are reported in the form of the prophet`s story in Quran for us that we should learn lessons from them.                          


Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 9:40

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