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Emotions/Qualities In Men & Women



■which type of emotions are present in women and men?

■How emotions can be controlled?

■According to Imam Ali as,the charateristics which are good for men are worst for women? what are the qualities which a women should develop according to hadith?


Alaykum salaam

Thank you for your question. While men and women have different roles
their essential humanity is the same and therefore the qualities for women
are qualities that both genders are encouraged to develop in Islam. That
is why the Quran does not differentiate between men and women in most of
its moral ordinances (such as faith, reliance on Allah, taqwa, knowledge,
patience and so on) unless there is a specific reason to do so. At the
same time the role models that the Quran and ahadith provide are in most
cases applicable to both genders. For example the Prophet (saw) is
described as an example for all believers and at the same time the words
and actions of Lady Fatima (as) are guidance for both women and men. The
goal of both genders is also the same, but now the difference between the
genders occurs because of their situations and the way in which those
qualities are supposed to manifest within their lives. At the same time
men are given the role of being the head of the family. This does not
affect a woman’s qualities or goal from a moral perspective. With this
introduction the questions you have raised can be answered:

1) Women and men have the same emotions even if sometimes they run deeper
in one of them.

2) Emotions have to be controlled early on rather than trying to stop them
when they are already boiling over. It is that the intellect should be
present at all times and one should be aware of their acting emotionally
or reasonably. A useful tool in this is to try not to assign blame. Blame
makes us feel wronged and fires up the emotions. Rather try to seek for an
explanation as everything that a person does makes sense to them even if
it is not right. If you want to get a grip on your emotions it starts with
analysing ones actions and to begin to stop doing what is wrong in
situations that make you emotionally react in the wrong way. Then it is to
work on purification more. It is not that all emotions are wrong but in
many cases the emotions blind a person from doing what is right.

3) In Nahj al-Balagha short statement number 234 there is a statement
recorded from the Imam (as) to that affect for which i could not find a
chain. Roughly translated it says:

“The best characteristics of women are the worst characteristics of men:
self-worth (pride), cowardliness and stinginess. If a woman has self-worth
she will not allow (unlawful men) to have their way with her (sexually).
If she is stingy she will protect her wealth and the wealth of her husband
and if she is cowardly she will be afraid of that which will face her.”

However if one is to reflect on the hadith they will find that here it is
not the moral quality that the Imam (as) is referring to in an absolute
sense but the manifestation of competing qualities within a situation. For
example when the Imam (as) says that it is good for a woman to be stingy,
it is not that she should be stingy altogether as that contradicts the
principle of generosity which is applicable to all and also goes against
the lives of the Ma’sumin (as). Rather he (as) explains by saying that the
reason for this is that she will protect her wealth and the wealth of her
husband. This is so that when her husband is away for example, people who
want to take advantage of that will not be able to. So it is the quality
of protecting wealth which is competing with the quality of being over

4) As was explained in the introductory part the most important qualities
for both women and men to develop are: belief, reliance on Allah, pleasure
in His decree, patience, wisdom, humbleness, mercy, knowledge, taqwa and
so on.

Zoheir Ali Ismail