Word 37: The one who pays attention to the characteristics and morals of humans and the characteristics of animals, finds that animals are resembles of gained human traits and attributes (“Malakih”).


Word 37: The one who pays attention to the characteristics and morals of humans and the characteristics of animals, finds that animals are resembles of gained human traits and attributes (“Malakih”).

In logic and philosophy, “Malakih” (trait or attributes) is permanent and eternal power and talent. “Malakih” is an attribute that is established in the soul or it is a talent in the light of which one can do something with skill like the talent of painting. It should be noted that the “Malakih” is different from habit and mood. Attributes that are engraved in the existence of a person as a result of continuity are called “Malakih” and those will be a permanent part of his morals. When a person performs an action continuously, it will be part of his attribute and as we said before the effect of the action will not be destroyed and it will be united with humans instantly. For example, at first, we do not know how to swim but after practicing we will learn and we can swim. The power of swimming becomes part of our traits. It is noteworthy that If the actions did not affect us then we should not be skilled in cycling, swimming, etc. If someone lies continuously, that person will easily lie and in fact, this trait will be part of his identity. Also, If someone constantly donates and helps others, generosity will be part of his identity. The collection of these human characteristics is called human ethics. So, “Malakih” is a trait that humans perform easily. 

Each of these human traits can be shown as an animal. For example, if someone has greedy attributes it resembles a wolf; if someone has jealous traits it resembles an alligator; if someone has anger attributes it resembles a wild dog; if someone has lust attributes it resembles a pig and if someone has arrogance traits it resembles a tiger. All animals are in some way representations of human traits. Imam Sadiq said, “The representations of human traits in the outside world are in the form of animals”. For example, if you see a tiger in a dream, it represents an arrogant person. Now we understand why it is not permissible to eat some meats in Islam. Because genetic science has proven that the traits of animals are transferred to humans (Some DNA researchers also believe that we are what we eat). In the old days, because there was no milk powder, people had to hire someone to breastfeed. Therefore, we have in the narrations that you should try to hire a woman who is wise, beautiful, and has good morals to breastfeed the baby. That is one of the reasons that in Islam, a mad woman should not breastfeed an infant. Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “O God, you made lamb meat, which is the most oppressed animal, lawful for us to eat, and people are like this. If you had made wolf and leopard meat lawful, what kind of animals would humans be?” Sheep are so calm that it cannot even run away or defend itself. It is as if God created this animal for humans to eat. For this reason, people who eat the meat of predatory animals, because they make the human temperament out of balance, and their traits are transferred, they become very brutal and heartless. That is why the guardians of God who can see the innermost of people see some people in the form of wolves, dogs, donkeys, lizards, etc.

Abu Basir said, “I was honored to perform Hajj in the service of Imam Sadiq (A). While circumambulating, I said: O son of the Messenger of God! Does God forgive all these people? Imam said, “O Abu Basir, most of what you see are monkeys and pigs”, I said, “Show me what you see too!” Imam spoke some words and then put his hands over my eyes, I saw them in the form of pigs and monkeys, this scared me and that’s why Imam put his hand over my eyes once again and I saw them in the same way as I saw the first time”. Abu Basir performed tawaf with Imam Baqir (A) during the Hajj ceremony. He said, “I was surprised by the many voices and takbirs of the pilgrims”. I said to Imam Baqir (A),  “How much hajj has increased and how much noise has increased?”. At this time, Imam (A) said, “O Abu Basir! Pilgrims are few, but there is a lot of noise. Do you want me to prove the truth of my words and see the truth with your own eyes?” I said,” How is that possible, my lord?!”. He said, “Come forward!”. I approached Imam Baqir (A). He put the blessed hand on my eyes and prayed a few sentences and said, “O Abu Basir! Now, look at the circumambulating pilgrims”. When I looked at the crowd, I saw many people in the form of monkeys and pigs moving around the Ka’ba, and the believers and true pilgrims among them were shining like a light in the darkness. I said, “O my lord! You said it right and the truth of your words proved to me, “how few are Hajjis”. Then he moved the blessed lips and by reciting a prayer, my eyes returned to their original state. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “Some of my nations will be gathered on the Day of Judgement such that chimpanzees and pigs are much more beautiful than them. The Holy Prophet was sitting in the mosque with his companions when they saw an old man who was praying and quickly prostrating. The Holy Prophet said, “The resemblance of this person’s actions in the hereafter is like a crow pecking at the ground.

We should check our traits so that if we have bad traits in us, we must remove them with appropriate methods. Of course, this is very difficult because people always consider their actions very good and reasonable. It is difficult for a person to admit that he is jealous, a liar, cruel, or unjust. We should carefully examine each of our actions, did we do this action for God’s sake? did we want someone to treat us like that? It is said in a narration that when you examine your actions, do not be optimistic about yourself and examine your actions like a partner who doubts his partner. For example, was that laugh you made at the party because of belittling your friend? The human ego can easily deceive a human being, for example, if at a party we stand up to show respect in front of a scientist, we will do the same for a small child. We are good and we are the one who respects everyone. That is why it is said that an ignorant person is a mockery of Satan. What is the difference between us and disbelievers, because infidels also invite people to their religion, they probably say to think and act like them, and we also invite people to our religion to pray, fast, and go to Hajj.  We get upset if someone doesn’t do things like us. In reality, both invite others toward themselves if it is not for God’s sake. We should be happy or sad for God’s sake not because of I do not like it. Ibn Arabi says that if you hate other people’s sins for God, there is a sign, and that is if that person is punished, you should love him like an innocent person. If you do not like the person then it was not for God’s pleasure but your pleasure. Sometimes people think that they become angry or worship for God’s sake, but in reality, it is not true. A narration says, “A Jewish scholar heard that Satan made a tree-like idol as God for some people. He became angry and took his ax and went to break the idol. In the middle of the road, Satan stopped him, they fought, and he knocked the devil to the ground. Satan said let’s do a deal! If you break that idol, I will make another one for them, you would not be able to stop them from worshipping an idol. I will give you two coins per day, one for yourself that you do not have to work anymore and spend your time on worshiping God, and you can also donate the second coin to another needy believer. The scholar accepted the deal and went home. The next day, he did not see any coin, so he said, “Satan deceived me”. He took his ax again and went to break the idol. In the middle of the road, he saw Satan, they fought again, and Satan knocked the scholar to the ground. The scholar asked, why did I knock you down before but not this time? Satan said, “Because at first, you were going to break the idol for God’s sake but this time, some of your angriness is because of the coins that I have not given you”.

Therefore, this audit of our actions is very difficult. A verse of the Holy Quran says, “He (Satan) said, because you have lured me, I will waylay them on Your straight path. (16) Then I will come at them from before them, and from behind them, and from their right, and from their left; and you will not find most of them appreciative[1] (Al’A’raf:16-17). Humans sometimes consider themselves very holy, like the water in a swimming pool, which is clear, but the bottom is filled with dirt, if we mixed the water, it becomes dark water. Sometimes people are very humble on the outside, but inside they are very proud and do not accept the truth. “And they swore by God with their solemn oaths, that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any other people. Yet when a warner came to them, it only increased them in aversion[2] (Fatir:42). We must remove the animal traits from ourselves. Sometimes humans have a zoo inside themselves, which is full of different kinds of animals, which is the Hereafter figures of their actions.

The one who pays attention to the characteristics and morals of humans and the characteristics of animals finds that animals are resembles of gained human traits and attributes (“Malakih”). In the beginning, when I became an Allameh Hassanzadeh student, I dreamed that I was in a castle where there were various animals, and I aimed at them with a stone and drove them out of the castle, and I heard the voice of Allameh from behind that said, “I didn’t think that you would be able to get these animals out of the castle”. When I explained this dream to him, Allamah said, “This means that you were able to remove human bad morals from yourself, because the castle is the existence of man”. If we do not remove these animals from our existence, we will be surrounded by all these in the hereafter. There is a book which is good to read, it is called, “The army of wisdom and the army of ignorance”. We should be careful to make the army of angels dominant over the army of devils.  

Muhammad Mahdi Me’marian

All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.                                     

[1] -قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ‎﴿١٦﴾‏ ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ ۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ

[2]– وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِن جَاءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ لَّيَكُونُنَّ أَهْدَىٰ مِنْ إِحْدَى الْأُمَمِ ۖ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ مَّا زَادَهُمْ إِلَّا نُفُورًا

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