The Identities That Develop Under The Influence Of The Professions In Ignorant Societies

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The personalities of all who live in a society of ignorance are subject of certain influences. One of these influences is their line of work. Because, a person’s work or profession is an important factor in shaping identity and status in a society. Every individual who lives in a society divorced from the morality of the Qur’an is evaluated according to his profession, social status and degree of prosperity. Although these are not formally recognized, the ranking of all professions, in terms of the respect they command, is nonetheless known to all. For example, the respect commanded by a professor is different than that of an administrator; a doctor’s is greater than a fashion designer’s; and an architect’s is greater than a teacher’s.

For this reason, those in a society of ignorance who are faced with making a decision about what profession to pursue make their choice not only on the basis of what interests them, or what their talents are, but also consider the social status it will bring.

When a person chooses a profession, his sense of identity changes accordingly. If he really wants to “make it” in the society and achieve real status, he will have to take on the identity determined for him by the ignorant societal mores he find himself under.

Almost none of the members of the society find fault with such a change of personality; on the contrary, the more a person behaves according to his new identity, the more respect he receives. The way he dresses, his manner, the way he sits and walks, and his tone of voice are all to be reflective of his profession.

Moreover, he is expected to adopt a particular interpretation of the world around him according to his profession known as “professional ethics,” with which he must conform in order to be successful and advance in the profession he has chosen.

What is being referred to here is not, of course, the ethics or moral rules exhibited by an honest, genuine and industrious person. The professional ethics referred to in the society of the ignorant is a concept that regards illicit earnings, occasional professional pride and obstinacy, or being dishonest, or loss of self-respect as occasion demands, as perfectly legitimate, and has in fact nothing to do with real moral virtue.

Besides, it must also be stated that there are those in a society of ignorance who, for various reasons, do not conform to these rules of behavior. Because of their principles, they may not allow their profession to dictate their sense of identity. Though, such people are but a small minority. The main purpose in describing these character types is not to criticize them specifically, but to show the distorted perception of the greater part of the society divorced from morality of the Qur’an.

Before proceeding on the topic of professions, there is an important matter that must first be considered. In the detailed account to be given in this section, we do not mean to criticize any profession. Indeed, if people are to live together in society, everyone must have a line of work and use his talents to be useful to the rest of society. However, it is important to recognize the error of judging others and ranking them according to their profession. Moreover, it is wrong for a person to alter his personality depending on his profession. People will be judged according to the criteria that Allah has revealed in the Qur’an:

Humanity! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in Allah’s Sight is the one with the most fear of Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surat al-Hujurat, 13)

We can see from the verse above that individuals will be held responsible for their degree of devotion to Allah. Whether man or woman, young or old, doctor or secretary; that is not the criteria by people will be judged on the Day of Judgment. No matter what a person’s circumstances may be, all must obey the Qur’an. Everyone is responsible for living as Allah has commanded, and developing their personalities according to the morality taught in the Qur’an.

So, in this section, we will draw attention to this error: People forget Allah, the Day of Judgment, Allah’s religion, become overly enamored with this transient world, and develop their own values. In time, they become ever more entrenched in their identities depending on the values they have determined. Before discussing in detail the example of the ignorant person who alters his character according to his profession, it will be useful to consider the basic character of the business man and woman because of their dominance in the society.

2012-01-21 02:41:29

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