The Character of the Male in a Society of Ignorance

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The false customs of a society of ignorance also have their influence on the perception of the role of male. Although a definition of this identity is not written, nearly every member of the society of ignorance knows its features well. Even before children are born into a family, the parents have already imagined how they will instill this character into a baby if it happens to be a boy. Above all, in such a society in which people abide by such a morality, having a male child brings a great deal of pride.

The foremost quality of a man, as far as they are concerned, is that he be of strong character and superior to women. These expectations lead of course to a stronger personality in a man than a woman.

Having a strong character is of course a good thing, but the concept of strength referred to in the society of the ignorant is a far cry from the strong character described in the Qur’an. Ruthlessness and strictness, far removed from affection and compassion, and even an understanding of superiority and strength that is rooted in violence is regarded as natural in the male character in the society of the ignorant. Other factors in the society help to support this notion of male superiority. Women in the society of ignorance usually adopt a defeatist character and regard themselves as second-class. In such a society, there is none superior to the male. This creates the idea that male self-sufficiency is absolute. For this reason, men are generally not open to suggestions and criticism from anyone else, particularly women.

In addition, every man feels he must conform to what the society expects of him, and so expends every effort not to depart from the mould he has been put into. In a society of ignorance, it is considered very humiliating for a man not to be able to do what is expected of him. He is expected to be strong and brave, from his childhood into old age, and may not show the slightest weakness, submission or anything else that does not accord with the male character. So, he is bound not to let his weakness be seen, even when he is sick or suffering for whatever reason. Because showing weakness is regarded as a feminine quality in a society of ignorance, it is not fitting for a man to appear helpless.

It must also be noted that the strength, bravery and other traits expected of a man in society are not negative characteristics; they are actually all good and positive. But, that which is valued as superior by a society that does not live according to the moral teachings of the Qur’an often becomes a matter for arrogance and pride. Allah warns people in the Qur’an against this vice:

Do not avert your face from people out of haughtiness and do not strut about arrogantly on the Earth. Allah does not love anyone who is vain or boastful. (Surat al-Luqman, 18)

For this reason, these qualities in ignorant men are not exercised towards positive ends, but become negative because of their tendency for arrogance. A type of character is produced who is certain of its own superiority, arrogant, and unwilling to respect the ideas of equals.

2012-01-21 02:01:09

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