Human Nature: an Islamic Perspective

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Human Nature: An Islamic Perspective
Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak∗
Abstract
Human nature is a widely and popularly discussed topic not only in the East but also in the West. This topic has drawn people from diverse backgrounds of knowledge to explore and investigate who or what man is in relation to his Creator and other creations that exist in the universe. The research on man and the attempts to answer many of the intricate questions related to his creation and existence which started in the ancient past is still on-going. The fact that the latest findings on man have added information to the existing body of knowledge makes the study on human nature a dynamic and perennial one. Within the scope of this paper, the researcher has made an attempt to discuss the topic on human nature from the Islamic perspective. In discussing the nature of man, the researcher has ventured into the physical and metaphysical realms of his existence as described in the Qur’an. Besides that, the researcher has also entertained some discussions on how man has been perceived in the mainstream Western and Islamic psychologies. In concluding the paper, the researcher has anchored the discussion as to why the study on human nature is important. Key Words: Man, Human Nature, Natural Disposition, Vicegerency, Islamic Perspective

Abstrak
Sifat manusia adalah satu topik yang dibincang secara meluas dan amatlah terkenal bukan sahaja di timur tetapi juga di barat. Topik ini telah menarik orang ramai daripada pelbagai latar belakang pengetahuan untuk meneroka dan menyiasat siapa atau apa itu manusia, berhubung dengan Penciptanya dan ciptaan lain yang wujud di alam semesta ini. Penyelidikan ke atas manusia dan percubaan untuk menjawab soalan-soalan yang rumit yang berkaitan dengan penciptaannya dan kewujudannya yang bermula pada zaman purba masih satu perkara yang berterusan. Hakikatnya ialah bahawa penemuan terbaru tentang manusia menjadi maklumat tambahan kepada badan pengetahuan yang sedia ada membuat kajian mengenai sifat manusia dinamik dan abadi. Dalam lingkungan karya ini, penyelidik telah membuat satu percubaan untuk membincangkan topik sifat manusia dari perspektif Islam. Dalam perbincangan sifat manusia, penyelidik telah meneroka ke alam fizikal dan metafizikal kewujudannya seperti yang dijelaskan dalam al-Quran. Selain itu, penyelidik juga menghiburkan beberapa perbincangan mengenai bagaimana manusia telah dianggap di arus utama psikologi Barat dan Islam. Untuk menyimpulkan karyanya, penyelidik terikat dengan kukuh dengan perbincangan mengapa kajian terhadap sifat manusia amat penting. Kata Kunci: Manusia, Sifat Semulajadi Manusia, Fitrah Manusia, Khalifah Allah, Perspektif Islam

Assistant Professor, Department of General Studies, Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia.



©International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)

Journal Of Islam In Asia, Special Issue, o.1
March 2011

252

Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak

Introduction
The topic on human nature has been a favourite topic discussed among people in many religious circles in the world. The concept of man in the different religious scriptures gives somewhat a diverse understanding towards what is the true nature of man. Due to the vastness of the topic, the researcher would like to limit the paper in discussing what human nature is all about from the Islamic perspective. In doing so, he will refer to the two main sources of Islam, namely the Qur’an and Sunnah. While the crux of the paper is aimed at discussing the subject-matter of this research, it should be admitted that the researcher in his effort to make the research a contrastive one, will sparingly touch on some concepts of human nature that exist outside the realm of Islam, particularly in the mainstream of Western psychology. The Research on Man

Man being the best creation of Allah the Almighty has been a topic of discussion in philosophy, anthropology,...
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