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Rrole of Quran in reducing stress and psychological security of people

 

Puran Surati Huseyn,

Islamic Azad University Astara Branch, Iran.

 

There are many verses in the Gracious Quran that note nature of human existence and various forms of his mental state, and show causes and factors of deviation and diseases, also ways of improvement, education and treatment of human psyche.

Quranic verses about the human mentality indicate that human beings can derive the advice from them for self-recognition and recognition of their different characteristics and can be guided through the mentioned verses to achieving the correct way to improvement and education of their own self. We by the support of facts which Quran provides on the human and his psychological traits and states, can fully be guided to drawing the right features of the human personality and also identify the main driving motivations of human behaviour and factors that have important impact in coordinating the personality, evolution and creation of his mental health in order to have in our disposal coordinated and coherent Psychology of Quran.

The study has tried to give a definition of psychological pressure, its stages and the factors creating it and individual psychological and social security from the perspective of Quran and the best vaccination is considered.

The overall goal of this study is role of Quran in reducing stress and emotional and in mental security and other goals are:

1) Achieving inside peace and outside comfort.

2) Belief in beginning and resurrection.

3) Stability in connection with problems and hardships.

Neurological and psychological pressures called in terminology stress are observed abundantly in our daily life. Industrial and post-industrial world has gave rise to plethora of involvements, such as trouble for job, family, children, remoteness of family members from each other, their separation, concerns of employed mothers towards their childrens situation, feeling guilty of not taking childrens care, social problems, economic situation and different needs and expectations of society from the individuals, technological progress, concern and fear of obsolescence of the information, management problems and expectations of staff altogether causes the situation when from the moment of awakening in the morning up to the rest time in the evening suffers from various excitements, strains, concerns, fears and hopes which sometimes are appropriate to his/her physical, neurological and psychological capacity and sometimes are not compatible with that. The collection of such cases and pressures occurring due to them are called stress in the terminology.

Our study on neurological pressure is about such a pressure that weakens body extensively and can generate physical and psychological illnesses. It should be stated that if neurological pressure takes long time creates what is called illness, but short-time physical changes shows that organs, glands and nerves in this reaction have been such a way involved and engaged [1, p.11].

Definition of neurological and psychological pressure (stress):

Neurological pressure (stress) has been used in physics since the fifteenth century, its root means tension and was used in mechanics but in early 17th century due to the lexical root it has been used for definition of work hardship and work anguish and in late 18th century it assumed the meaning of compulsory work pressure, intellectual pressure and strain which in fact means physical intellectual and emotional capacity of a person [7, 1996].

Other Persian equivalents are:

Upset bemused anxious disturbed angry fiery glum worried, mental pressure equally is a part of persons life as happiness, love, pain or any other emotion constitute mental feelings. Stress or mental pressure is a dynamic situation in which a person is placed with a sort of proviso and condition or with concomitant demands. Proviso or condition means every element which is obstacle to persons achieving something that constitutes his desire or request. Demand or desire means something lost in order for a potential stress to appear like a real stress [9, p. 1016].

Impacts of psychological pressure on the individuals:

Here are 3 clear stages which exert very critical pressure on an individual [8, 1997]:

3.1 The 1st Stage:

The people under severe pressure consume a large amount of energy; they work and act heavily, they lose their working days and holidays quickly, they have a little opportunity for employing their talents and displaying their interests, and also they have a little opportunity in their disposal for spending time with their families and being together with them. Consequently, those who are constantly under severe pressure in their ability to go on with working suffer to that degree the failure and hesitation.

3.2 The 2nd Stage:

They show more and more anxiety and frustration and the individuals feel that they have no compatible ability and skills of adaptation to existing pressures in the community and take distance from themselves and their family, effects of fatigue, irritation and rage appears at them.

3.3 The 3rd Stage:

At this stage he faces so much psychological problems that isolates himself from everybody and takes away from the system where he is in.

Stress factors of individuals:

1) Environmental factors.

2) Organizational factors.

3) Individual factors.

1. Environmental factors.

The most important environmental factors are:

a)                  Economic changes: including increase of inflation or fluctuation change of banking interest rates which have direct relation to individuals purchasing capacity.

b)                 Political changes: including change of governments, coup d'états.

c)                  Social changes: social developments which are accompanied with change of values including the culture, beliefs and traditions.

d)                 Technological changes: changes of bank systems, communications, transportation, etc [4, p.32].

2. Organizational pressures.

Stress within organization may appear due to intra-organizational and extra-organizational factors which are, however, accompanied with such effects as academic failure, cancel of university education, physical and mental exhaustion from working on lower level, reducing of satisfaction with all the life.

a)                  Job requirements for youth like responsibilities, work experience, violence in workplace, labour safety, justice in payments, social security.

b)                 Role requirements including performance of role, conflict of roles, occupational compatibility and so on.

Extra-organizational pressures:

Include decease of wife, separation, prison, change of job, retirement, marriage, illness and so on [4, p. 37].

3. Individual stress factors.

Nowadays, all young people mostly have similar problems, the following problems which cause stress at them:

1) Problems such as lack of success at the university from the emotional, cultural and financial perspectives.

2) Stress can be identified as lack of appropriate job in future which will cause their suffering from the failure or lagging in proper education and eventually their encountering depression and frustration in education.

3) Lack of decision-making in their activities while either university does not allow them making decision in their duties or family improperly intervenes their duties and works.

As it was stated, stress can be expressed in the forms of being away from family or familiarity with a new culture and environment, problems of location and residence permit, etc. Finally, we can state that availability of new circulars and regulations of the community, even different positions including location and time cause that the body of functions that could be performed ordinarily and simply are performed with more difficulty.

Security concept in the Quran

Quran has raised the security issue in various points introducing its importance and necessity as the Golden Stone of human evolution components. Emphasis and attention to security issues in Quran itself indicates the fact that growth, development and prosperity in all areas of life will not be possible except in the shadow of security and peace. Importance of security is in being away from paganism, maintaining the prosperity and tranquillity, so as what prophet Abraham requested: Oh God, bestow the security upon this city and refer livelihood from fruits to its (Chapter Cow, Quran, 126), as well as expressed: Oh Lord, bestow the security on this city and keep my children away from idolatry [chapter Ibrahim, Quran, 35].

In fact, peace is the most important component of security, and as it was noted, the lack of physical, financial, honour and religious safety declines and tranquillity and conscience appear. God has given proverbial sample of the society that had peace, whose livelihood (economic security) had been provided from by all means, but they demonstrated ingratitude to God, and for their deeds were overwhelmed with hunger (economic insecurity) and fear (physical, honour and psychological insecurity). Thus, the basic component of "security" is peace (calm) which disappears with the emergence of economic, physical, honour and psychological insecurity.

Security areas

A)               Spiritual and psychological security

Islam which focuses on the human relationship to God, relationships between human beings and human relationships to the nature, in all the areas it is responsible for establishment of security and peace as well as primary and fundamental objectives of the Islamic provisions, orders and laws, creation of security, restoring order and peace in all the spheres of life, and it has guiding and imperative programs and doctrines for all of them.

Islam is constantly based on individual and social security and peace and begins from peace of conscience and inside of individuals. An individual is basis and touchstone in the construction of the society.

Therefore, if conscience, spirit and state of mind of individuals of the society have complete peace, and they are not spiritually anxious and concerned, they may be able to have possibilities of efforts and activities towards establishing and promoting individual and social security, but if conscience of individuals is deprived of required peace and comfort and a person has spiritual and mental concern and has no refuge, there will be no individual-social security and tranquillity in such environment. Pithy religious belief and faith take him to spiritual tranquillity and save him from perturbed sea of triviality and aimlessness.

Young says: Religion gives a man peace; religion provides human existence with the meaning and teaches the human being the ways to bear the problems. The martyr Motahhari says about security and peace-endowment: human life, willingly or unwillingly, is along with funs and sweets, sufferings and defeats, losses and failures. Some world events such as aging and death are not preventable and resolvable, and these affairs make human being suffer. Religious faith in human being creates the resistance force and makes the bitter the sweet through the interpretation, and converts the affairs like terrible clutches of death to means for returning to God and enjoying eternal blessings of the Creator and thus makes it not only bearable but also sweet phenomenon.

When religious person believes and faithful that the God Almighty is closer to him than jugular vein (neck veins) (Qaf/16), and his prayer will be answered if he wants something (Baqarah/186), that God is aware of what you are doing (Mujadilah/15) and your good and bad actions are calculated (Zalzalah/7/8), reward and gratification of well-doers will not be wasted (Taubah/120), and the hosts of heaven and earth belong to Him, He is Sciential, Knowledgeable, Omniscient and Wise(Fath/4) and feels that there is no force and authority above His force and authority, relies on this faith and does not experience any fear and apprehension towards anybody except Him (Ahzab/39) and no one else can blame him (Maidah/54) and does not feel any sorrow from the lost and does not bind his hopes to the removed (Hadid/23), thus, the real security and peace prevails over his existence (Anam/82).

Because that is God who sends spiritual and psychological tranquillity and calmness down to hearts of believers (Fath/4) and human being finds calm and stability in the shadow of the divine peace.

B)                Individual security

Quran pays particular attention to establishment of security and protection of human life and considers a committer of murder and corruption like that who murdered all the humanity (Maidah/32), because by the destruction of all people, in fact, human and humanity die and perish; as individual spiritual and psychological recovery and creation of individual change in beliefs and trends to monotheism are what have kept the humanity alive. Because the notion of humanity has no axis except based on the monotheism, as humaneness of human being is due to his/her servitude to God and being His divine successor on the earth, when someone was brought to monotheism, in fact, these traits of humanity have been enlivened at him.

Property and honour security are among other components of personal security to which the special attention has been paid. God orders: Cut thief men and womens hand as a practical punishment like divine punishment (Maidah/11) in order to establish thereby property security.

C)                Social security

Another field of human security is social security. Social security includes the establishment of such conditions and status based on which all the individuals of the society have complete freedom in carrying out their legal and legitimate activities and all the opportunities of the society are alike available for them and all the individuals have equal position in the society.

The primary condition of healthy social life is establishment of order and security in the society. Society that is lacking security will not enjoy tranquillity, peace and the vivacity and efforts will leave it. Social frustration demolishes economy and cultural spheres get involved in inertia, the educated people resort to concealing and dissimulation instead of exchange of ideas and collision of views and thoughts, unworthy, venomous, obsequious and flattering persons become community managers. Imam Ali has considered lack of social security one of features of Jahiliyya (Ignorance; pre-Islamic) society and stated that that pre-Islamic society was a society where mouths of thinkers and scholars of the society were closed and the ignorant, flattering people lacking identity were respectable. Social order and security in the Quran and Islam has a special place.

Islam in order to create favourable situation proposes principles and laws for ensuring social security and order based on them, not to allow law-breakers to disturb general order and security and make human community confronts collapse. Imam Khomeini states: Collection of laws is not enough to reform the society. In order the law to be the essence of reform and welfare of the humanity, executive power is required. With that end in view God the Almighty alongside with sending collection of law, that is, tenets of Sharia (Islamic Law), has set up executive and administrative organ only rule of law to secure the welfare of the humanity. After the legislation the executive power must appear. It is the executive power which fulfils laws and court decrees and practices laws and fair court decrees.

In total it can be said that Quran defines itself as clinic and cure: it also states God as treatment and medicine which has treated most of spiritual and psychological diseases and endowed healing for them. By remembering God the hearts find peace. Moreover, the Quran by prevention and expression of required methods is trying to create balance in human personality in order human being not to suffer from harmful consequences of disbalance in his personality.

The best vaccination to achieve peace in the spirit and psychology is provided in various visions, especially in Islamic sects and human mysticism (Irfan). In addition to doctrines for righteous life in all the material, spiritual, moral, mystic spheres they also provide us with issues for dealing with the problems and even welcoming them, it seems so that, it is necessary for man to be cooked in order to be created, and prerequisite of being cooked is vision of heat in the furnace of events.

Eastern mystical schools speak of spiritual exercise and western mystical schools talk about monasticism.

Divine religions identify four groups of commands for achieving calm of spirit and psyche which are as follows [3, p. 97]:

1. Educational orders of Quran (thinking, understanding, reasoning, remembering)

Thinking:

Using the brain cells for the logical inference from experience and scientific studies

Understanding:

Using individual spiritual forces for deepening in divine verses and composition and compiling of literary and ritual works

Reasoning:

Pursuit of reason and using conscience, nature and awareness for distinguishing good from evil, and placing good instead of evil (practical ethics)

Remembering:

Being with God and accepting God as destination and objective in all circumstances

2. Education commands of Quran

Migration

Identity

Ordeal:

That is, to be exposed to different troubles including fear, hunger, insufficiency of treatment with conscience from one side, and various examinations such as the examination with the wealth, and position, wife, and children, life and death, good intelligence, all of them are calamities that occur either as reactions of deeds or as excellence of spirits.

3. Bad cases from the Quranic perspective

4. Good cases for achieving peace from Quranic perspective

1) Good and ease

Having good character and positive features that are considered to be of consequences of bearing the hardships and misfortunes where enduring the hardships causes spiritual improvement.

2) Inside peace and outside comfort

They are mentioned under the titles of cordial quietness and confidence. Perhaps that is why the following four factors are considered as the calming: home, sleep, woman and God.

3) Blessing and grace: that is, material expansion in the subsistence affairs of the human results from bearing troubles and hardships in the form of actions and efforts from one hand, and help and charity for others from other hand

Causes and factors in achieving peace:

An important question in this context is that how can humans achieve spiritual peace, what causes and factors help human in his achieving the spiritual peace and avoiding stress, which of the prepare background for mental health of human. According to Quranic verses and narratives one can say that some factors include [6, p.85]:

1) Spiritual peace in the shadow of belief in God:

Basically, the faith leaves significant impact in the self of human and among the important results of the faith are peace and confidence. Because it increases self-confidence and human power in patience and bearing the hardships of life, it settles calm in human soul and brings convenience of thoughts to his inside, thus human is overwhelmed with happiness.

2) Prayer

No doubt, human needs an important factor for escaping from despair, depression and anxiety in order to control and seize his spirit, to oblige him to avoid deviation from right path and crimes, to inspire him to spirit of cooperation, altruism, affection and love and to invigorate him when he is sad and depressed. Quran introduces the remembering of God as the best sedative and sanative for the hearts, and mentions the prayer as the best criterion, all the anxieties are inhibited by remembering God in different intervals, day and night.

3) Prayer and worship

Prayer and worship are basically the work of the spirit. Prayer is one of the styles of bringing up the faith and creating the psychological calm. Prayer helps in relaxation and mental peace.

4) Remembering (Dhikr)

Dhikr means remembering and is one of forms of bringing up the faith and creating the psychological calm. Remembering reinforces the serious presence of God around and inside of human. Remembering of God is so good that even if someone mentions His name without knowing the sense, takes blessings and grace, let alone those who is aware of His names meanings and inly directed at Him.

5) Repentance

It should be stated in relation to importance of and need to repentance that anyone may suffer in his life from error and guilt and feeling of guilt may cause the feeling of deficiency, anxiety and consternation by human, this sense of disobedience and disloyalty, harming the self and erasing the spirit can lead to complications of mental diseases and will prepare background for depression. Quran and Islamic teachings offer the method of repentance for the treatment of sin. Since repentance is a cause of learning the sin and strengthening the hope of human to divine satisfaction, and that is why it causes reduction of human anxiety.

6) Sense of group affiliation or peace of a believer with a believer

Sense of group affiliation of an individual and attention to his active role in the society is too much important in human mental health.

Individual affiliation to group and friendship of group toward the individual and human relations between them, is an important factor that helps worthily in formation of healthy personality and realization of safety of mind and human peace. Alfred Adler, a prominent psychiatrist was believing that any mentally ill will be treated the earlier be his relationship with people within the society the more and better.

7) Calm of self in the light of patience and perseverance

The word of patience is used in Quran more that hundred times. If human learns and applies patience, becomes worthy personality, developed, balanced and active individual, such human is away from the concerns and does not experience stress.

8) Satisfaction with destiny and fate

An important spiritual factor that wipes the sorrow and depression off human is satisfaction with divine destiny and fate. Human through knowing God leaves sorrow, concerns, anxiety, sense of futility and depression.

9) Peace of mind in the shadow of optimism and realism

One of the factors that help in comfort of mind is sense of optimism and confidence to the people.

Optimism is a kind of confidence of mind against the pessimism that ceases the intellectual activity.

10) Psychological peace and contentment

In Arab literature the notion of contentment (qanaah) is used in the sense of satisfaction with ones share. Contentment causes mental and imaginational comfort.

11) Marriage as cause of tranquillity and peace

Marriage contains many consequences including correct satisfaction of sexual instinct, getting away from egoism, attention to others, generation of new emotions and love, readiness to accept responsibility, high moral, increase of livelihood and creation of peace and confidence.

Some factors removing peace, mentioned in Quran [2, p. 90]:

1.                  Impact of sin in removal of peace.

2.                  Negative impact of jealousy in removal of peace.

3.                  Negative impact of past regret and sorrow of tomorrow to the mental peace.

4.                  Love to mundane and removal of peace.

5.                  Impact of anger and rage in the removal of peace.

6.                  Enmity and hatred and removal of mental peace.

Conclusion:

We have to learn Quran and teach it to others, we have to familiarize ourselves with Quran and purge our selves and spirits by its means, we have to resist in front of problems and we have to use Quranic verses for better life in order to achieve peace of spirit and psyche.

It can be concluded in Quranic culture security has extensive, comprehensive, balanced and broad concept which includes all spheres (material, spiritual, individual and social, domestic and international, political and economic aspects) of human life.

Security in its Qur'anic concept is possible based on piety, confidence in God, respect to the rights of others, the implementation of equity and justice, equality and fraternity, defence and protection of the oppressed and the deprived, dealing with offenders and corruptors, elimination of poverty, security of livelihood and prosperity, protection of legitimate freedoms of people and rule of divine criteria.

 

References

 

1. Alavi, Seyed Aminollah. Psychology of management and organization, Center of Public Administration, 1st edition, 1992.

2. Baher, Hossein. Journal Public administration issues 33, 34 (stress and preventive management), 1978.

3. Baher, Hossein. Journal Public administration issues 32, 34 (stress and preventive management), 1996

4. Fakhimi, Farzad. Neurological pressure and conflict in organization, 2002, Tehran, publication by Hava-ye Tazeh, 1st edition.

5. Glorious Quran and Nahj al-Balaghah.

6. Luthans, Fred. Organizational behaviour, translated by Gholam Ali Sarmand, Tehran, Publications of Banking Institute, 2nd edition, 1995.

7. Mahdian, Research paper, 1996.

8. Mir Hadi, Mahdi, Research paper, 1997.

9. Stephen P Robbins. Management of Organizational Behavior, 3rd volume, translated by Ali Parsian and Seyed Mohammad Arabi, Publications of MFA of IRI, 1st edition, 1995.

 

05.10.2009 .

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