Lecture to 1st year students of the Kulliyah of Medicine, International Islamic University, Kuantan on 17th
October 1998 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr
Humans, like animals, have emotions. They may be pleasant such as joy or unpleasant such as anger. Emotions involve both mental
and physical aspects. The mental aspects involve the human intellect, the reception and interpretation of sensory signals
and synthesis of all these into a resultant emotional state. Physical effects follow the emotional state. One of the physical
effects is the way emotions are expressed. Humans have developed very sophisticated ways of expressing their emotions using
the facial muscles, the eyes, a complex body language and least of all verbal expressions. Humans are also adept at hiding
or even suppressing their emotions. They can also with some effort pretend to be in an emotional state that is not true; however
the effort can not be sustained for any measurable length of time.
Animal drives: Humans,
like animals, are motivated to take action by basic drives that are almost instinctual in essence. These drives are all related
to the basic need of survival. The basic drives are hunger, thirst, sex, self-protection, and security. Surat Quraish emphasizes
food and personal security. The food and sex are the strongest drives and are necessary for the preservation of the species.
The food drive is so strong that the Prophet recommended eating before prayer (KS p. 315). The
sexual drive in its purely animal form is mere lust,shahwat (MB # 2110 p 989. There is disagreement whether the basic drives are innate or are external (elicited
by rewards and incentives). Our preference is for the opinion that they are innate. It appears from many scientific observations
that there is a biologic basis for some of the drives. The hypothalamus and the limbic system control rage and aggression.
The cortex, the limbic system, the hypothalamus, and the endocrine glands control sex behavior. Hunger is controlled by the
satiety and feeding centers. The thirst center controls drinking.
Humans have drives more and above the animal drives described above. These drives are higher and nobler; they are not elicited
by hope for reward or fear of punishment. The main human drives are: altruism, iithhar (p 1250 59:9; p 171 12:91, 20:72, 59:9), faith, iman (p 1250 6:158, 10:100), consciousness of Allah, taqwah (p 1253
91:7-8), pleasure of Allah, ridhallah (89:27-28), seeking knowledge, appreciation of esthetic beauty, and self-actualization.
Relation between drives and emotions: Drives are from inside but emotions are from outside. There is a close relation between the two. Drives lead to and
control emotions. Satisfaction of drives is associated with pleasant emotions. Dissatisfaction of drives is associated with
unpleasant emotions. Many unpleasant emotions may result from conflict between drives. Unpleasant emotions can also occur
when the drive is unattainable or it is in conflict with results of logical intellectual analysis. A drive could be satisfied
in more than one way. For example the sex drive could be satisfied through legal marriage (Muslim # 3242) or through illegal
sexual intercourse. The purpose of religion is to direct humans to correct control of their drives. It is wrong to deny that
drives exist or to try to suppress them. Suppression will be successful for only a short time. It is better to direct and
channel the drives in a positive direction.
Intentions and actions: Actions are based on and follow intentions. There are many ambivalent situations when two contradictory drives are
present at the same time. Humans differ from animals in that they are above to control, their drives. This control is not
always perfect. It depends on the individual and the circumstances. Humans are rewarded according to how well they control
these drives. Rewards are given for suppressing negative drives or redirecting them such that they become positive and useful.
Punishment is given when positive drives are not nurtured or are expressed in the wrong context. In His mercy to humans, Allah
rewards them for good intentions and does not punish them for bad intentions. There is punishment only ifa negative intention is actually translated into a negative action (Muslim #230, 231, 233, 234, 235, 236,
Love (hubb): Love of Allah is the highest level of love (2:165, , , ). Human love for Allah
is reciprocated by Allah's love for humans. Allah's love is denied to non-believers (2:276, , , 30:45). Love of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
comes next to the love of Allah (Muslim #70,71). Love of Allah and His messenger are part of faith (iman) (KS p. 179). There
is love for blood relatives (), children (12:8), and the erotic love for spouses (). Sexuallove can be a disease if excessive and for the wrong reasons. It could be positive such as the Prophet’s love
for Aisha and negative such as the love of Aziz’s wife for Yusuf (). Excessive uncontrolled sexuallove/passion (‘ishq) can be a disease treated by marriage or fasting.
Love is also possible for unrelated people and friends. Love of the material possessions of the earth, hubb al duniya is the opposite of the love of Allah (2:165, 2:216, 3:14, 3:92, 3;152, 3:188, 9:24, 14:3, 16:107,
38:31-32, 41:17, 75:20, 76:27, 89:20, 100:8).
Hope (raja, amal): MB # 2106 p 988. Hope has to do with good feelings about the future. Tomorrow is better than today.
Only those with iman can have a sense of hope. This is because they have a larger picture and see a larger reality. Hope is
from Allah (Muslim #6875, 6877, 6878, 6880).
Elation: (suruur, farah): The Qur'an has mentioned happiness (suruur) 2:69, 3;120,
3;170, 3;188, 6:44, 9;50, 9:81, 10:22, 40:58, 11:10, 13:36, 19:26, 20:40, 23:53, 25:74, 27:19, 27:36, 28:9, 28:13, 28;76,
30:4, 30:32, 30:36, 33:17, 33:51, 40:75, 40:83, 42:48, 57:23, 76:11, 80:38-37, 84:9). It is a state of good feeling that is
temporary because the challenges of daily life for adults preclude continuous elation. Elation could be due to material or
even non-material things.
The Qur'an discussed fear (20:67, 3;151, 8:2, 8:17, 22:35, 23:60, 28:10, 33:10, 33:26, 40:18, 59:2, 59:13). It was also mentioned
in the hadith (MB # 2106 p 988). It is an emotion that arises due to real threats or sometimes for no reason at all.
Rage and aggression
(ghadhab): Anger, ghadhab al insan (, 21:87, 7:154, 42:37, (KS 415). A person should
be angry only for Allah (7:150, 7:154, 20:86). Rage and aggression are related to drives and emotions. Rage is natural (Muslim
#6319) and can not be avoided. What is needed is self-control to avoid negative side-effects (KS p. 68, Muslim #6311, 6313,
6314, 6316, 6317). Quarrelling, usually associated with rage, is discouraged (MB#1107). Other ways of controlling rage are
fasting (Muslim #2563) and recitation of the Qur'an (KS p. 397).
Hate (kurh): Humans can hate for various reasons most of the time related to self-interest or one of the diseases of
the heart. It is unfortunate that the emotions of love and hate are closely related. Humans normally hate those they loved
before such as wives () or those they are supposed to love such as female children (-59, 16:62, 43:17-18). 1such as hatred for
Human behavior in the default state of fitra will be perfect. The human
has both the good and bad drives. In the natural state the good will dominate over the bad. However humans do not always live
in a natural state. Their upbringing and environment affects the balance between the bad and the good. The environment can
suppress or reinforce either the bad or the bad.