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A shocking video of a leopard showing mercy to a new born baby-monkey who was born while his mother was being eaten was added to section #3 below!
The Mercy of Allah Almighty on Mankind, and our age of 40 Wisdom in Islam, Psychology and Science:
The sections of this article are:
1- The Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah Almighty on Mankind.
2- Allah Almighty will not show mercy on those who never show mercy on others.
3- The 100 Levels of Allah Almighty's Mercy. A shocking video of a leopard showing kindness to a baby monkey who was just born while the leapard began eating his mother was added!
4- There are 112 Noble Verses that contain "Most Merciful" in them in the
5- Advertising personal sins to others to gain publicity will not be forgiven.
6- Allah Almighty is more forgiving to those who are under 40. The Wisdom of the age of 40 in Islam.
7- Scientific and Psychological proofs about the Wisdom of the age of 40 in Islam. See why Allah Almighty is more forgiving to those who are under the age of 40, and how Science and Psychology proved that people under 40 are less mature and tend to make more irresponsible decisions (i.e., mistakes and sins).
1- The Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah Almighty on Mankind:
I first of all would like to start this beautiful topic about Allah Almighty's Mercy by showing this Saying from our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:
Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said, 'When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne, 'My Mercy overpowers My Anger.' ' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Beginning of Creation, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 416)"
There are ample Noble Verses from the Noble Quran that talk about Allah Almighty's Mercy and Forgiveness. In fact, when I check the index in the back of the Noble Quran that I have, I find that there are tons of references of Noble Verses that talk about Allah Almighty's Mercy and Forgiveness. Without exaggeration, just by looking at the references, I would say there are at least 100 Noble Verses.
Let us look at few of them that I selected:
"Say: "To whom belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth?" Say: "To God. He hath inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy. That He will gather you together for the Day of Judgment, there is no doubt whatever. It is they who have lost their own souls, that will not believe. (The Noble Quran, 6:12)"
Disbelievers' sins will be all forgiven for them when they embrace Islam: "Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from unbelief), their past would be forgiven for them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). (The Noble Quran, 8:38)"
"The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all between,- Exalted in Might, able to enforce His Will, forgiving again and again. (The Noble Quran, 38:66)"
If we are sincere, our daily sins are almost always forgiven: "Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults,- verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, And when ye are hidden in your mothers' wombs. Therefore justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil. (The Noble Quran, 53:32)"
If you ask Allah Almighty for forgiveness, then He'll forgive you: "If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks God's forgiveness, he will find God Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (The Noble Quran, 4:110)"
If you are grateful to Allah Almighty, then He'll give you more: "And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): 'If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.' (The Noble Quran, 14:7)"
Be sure that Allah Almighty is always Willing to forgive all of your sins: "Say: 'O my Servants who Have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (The Noble Quran, 39:53)"
The use of the word "Say" in this Noble Verse means that Allah Almighty wants us to always remind each others by reciting this Noble Verse to those who need it.
Allah Almighty accepts our many sins: "If God were to punish men according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: when their Term expires, verily God has in His sight all His Servants. (The Noble Quran, 35:45)"
Allah Almighty is our friend and He is close and listens:
"Your (real) friends are God, His Apostle, and the (fellowship of) believers,- those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship). (The Noble Quran, 5:55)"
"Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For God did take Abraham for a friend. (The Noble Quran, 4:125)"
Allah Almighty is close and He listens to our prayers: "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way. (The Noble Quran, 2:186)"
Narrated Anas: "The Prophet said, 'My Lord says, 'If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.' ' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED), Volume 9, Book 93, Number 627)"
If you are loved by people, then Allah Almighty loves you:
Narrated Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said, 'If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, 'Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel love him' So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: 'Allah has loved so and-so therefore you should love him also.' So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED), Volume 9, Book 93, Number 577)"
Allah Almighty gives rewards more than bad deeds at the Day of Judgement: "If any does good, the reward to him is better than his deed; but if any does evil, the doers of evil are only punished (to the extent) of their deeds. (The Noble Quran, 28:84)"
Allah Almighty Loves to record the good deeds only as much as possible:
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: "The Great and the Glorious Lord said (to angels): Whenever My bondsman intends to corn it an evil, do not record it against him, but if he actually commits it, then write it as one evil. And when he intends to do good but does not do it, then take it down is one act of goodness, but if he does it, then write down ten good deeds (in his record). (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Faith (Kitab Al-Iman), Book 001, Number 0233)"
We should always pray to Allah Almighty for forgiveness:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: "Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said to the Prophet "O Allah's Apostle! Teach me an invocation with which I may invoke Allah in my prayers." The Prophet said, "Say: O Allah! I have wronged my soul very much (oppressed myself), and none forgives the sins but You; so please bestow Your Forgiveness upon me. No doubt, You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED), Volume 9, Book 93, Number 485)"
2- Allah Almighty will not show mercy on those who never show mercy on others:
Let us look at what Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said:
Narrated Jarir bin 'Abdullah: "Allah's Apostle said, 'Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.' (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED), Volume 9, Book 93, Number 473)"
The Muslim needs to always be polite, humble, patient, loving and well mannered when he/she deals with others, whether they were Muslims or non-Muslims. Allah Almighty certainly doesn't love those who are offensive and rude to others:
"Allah forbids you not, With regard to those who Fight you not for (your) Faith Nor drive you out Of your homes, From dealing kindly and justly With them: For Allah loveth Those who are just.(The Noble Quran, 60:8)"
Please visit Good Manners in Islam.
What does Allah Almighty say about Justice for all in an Islamic State?
3- The 100 Levels of Allah Almighty's Mercy:
A shocking video of a leopard showing mercy to a new born baby-monkey who was born while his mother was being eaten!
Again, Allah Almighty Said:
"Say: "To whom belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth?" Say: "To God. He hath inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy. That He will gather you together for the Day of Judgment, there is no doubt whatever. It is they who have lost their own souls, that will not believe. (The Noble Quran, 6:12)"
Sister Wendy, a new convert to Islam, brought to my attention the 100 levels of Allah Almighty's Mercy subject, which then prompted me to research it further. May Allah Almighty always be pleased with her.
How can any human being that ever existed or will ever exist on earth overpower the 100 levels of Allah Almighty's Mercy, when Allah Almighty dedicated only one level of His Mercy here on earth for Mankind? Let us look at the following Saying from Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:
Narrated Abu Huraira: "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, Allah divided Mercy into one-hundred parts and He kept its ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its one single part, His creations are Merciful to each other (see video above!), so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Volume 8, Book 73, Number 29)"
"Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah created one hundred (parts of mercy) and He distributed one amongst His creation and kept this one hundred excepting one with Himself (for the Day of Resurrection). (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book Pertaining to Repentance and Exhortation to Repentance (Kitab Al-Tauba), Book 037, Number 6630)"
"Salman Farisi reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Verily, there are one hundred (parts of) mercy for Allah, and it is one part of this mercy by virtue of which there is mutual love between the people and ninety-nine reserved for the Day of Resurrection. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book Pertaining to Repentance and Exhortation to Repentance (Kitab Al-Tauba), Book 037, Number 6632)"
"Salman reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Verily, Allah created, on the same very day when He created the heavens and the earth, one hundred parts of mercy. Every part of mercy is coextensive with the space between the heavens. and the earth and He out of this mercy endowed one part to the earth and it is because of this that the mother shows affection to her child and even the beasts and birds show kindness to one another (see video above!) and when there would be the Day of Resurrection, Allah would make full (use of Mercy). (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book Pertaining to Repentance and Exhortation to Repentance (Kitab Al-Tauba), Book 037, Number 6634)"
As we clearly see from Prophet Muhammad's Sayings above, Allah Almighty only shared one level of Mercy with us. How can any one including Adolph Hitler, who used to bake the innocent Jews in ovens, over power Allah Almighty's 100 levels of Mercy?! It is impossible! I even highly doubt that Hitler over powered the one level that Allah Almighty shared with us here on earth.
So if a mad man like Hitler couldn't over power Allah Almighty's Mercy, then how is it possible for normal humans like you and me who only mind their own business and work hard to feed their family and raise their children and please Allah Almighty to over power Allah Almighty's one hundred levels of Mercy?
4- There are 112 Noble Verses that contain "Most Merciful" in them in the Noble Quran!
I just used my Noble Quran's Search Engine, which is listed above in the site's logo, and typed "Most Merciful" and chose the "Exact String" option. The result was 112 Noble Verses returned, which all refer to Allah Almighty being the "Most Merciful". Notice that Allah Almighty in the Noble Quran is the Most Merciful and not just Merciful. This should be another crystal clear proof that Allah Almighty's Mercy is far beyond us and our understanding, and it is certainly infinitely stronger than all of the evil humans do or cause here on earth.
5- Advertising personal sins to others to gain publicity will not be forgiven:
Advertised personal sins will not be forgiven in Islam. Allah Almighty will not forgive the sins that are publicly disclosed and bragged about.
6- Allah Almighty is more forgiving to those who are under 40:
Allah Almighty understands that our gradual human growth causes us to make errors and helps us learn from them:
"We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, 'O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam.' (The Noble Quran, 46:15)"
In this Noble Verse, we clearly see how Allah Almighty considers the person who reaches the age of 40 as a "mature" person, or a person who reached the age of complete responsibility and maturity. He, the Almighty, understands (since He created us) that before we reach the age of 40, we are still under the maturity level; making a lot of serious mistakes.
While it is true that a sin is a sin, but depending on what stage in life we're in (age, experience, environment, the way we're raised, our intentions, the lessons learned from it and whether or not the person truly repented and never committed the sin again or not, etc...) the same exact sin can be forgiven for one person while it wouldn't be forgiven for another.
For more details, please visit: How can GOD Almighty be absolutely Just and Merciful at the same time? How is justice served when Mercy and Forgiveness of sins are applied to some people and not others?
This Noble Verse seems to suggest that Allah Almighty is very tolerant and forgiving to our serious sins toward Him before we reach the age of forty. Notice that He, the Almighty, used the word "Islam" in the Noble Verse.
The use of the word "Islam" in the Noble Verse suggests that in general we would be a lot more serious about GOD Almighty's True Religion Islam when we reach the age of 40, because we would be more appreciative for our parents and better understand what they've gone through from pain when they brought us here to life, and we would be more careful about striving to work righteousness that He, the Almighty, "mayest approve", and would be also more careful about striving to win his Graciousness.
Truly, Allah Almighty is Great! All praise is due to Him!
7- Scientific and Psychological proofs about the Wisdom of the age of 40 in Islam:
In this section, we will see why Allah Almighty is more forgiving to those who are under the age of 40, and how Science and Psychology proved that people under 40 are less mature and tend to make more irresponsible decisions (i.e., mistakes and sins).
Note: The following articles are mixed between Muslim and non-Muslim web sites. However, in all articles, ample scientific evidence from non-Muslim sources and books which were written by specialized scientists were provided. Therefore, all of the articles below are objective.
The following article was taken from: http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/wfnetwork/rft/wfpedia/wfpCSent.html
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Basic Concepts and Definitions
Career stages are typically defined as evolutionary phases of working life. The concept of career stage evolved as psychoanalysts (Erikson), developmental psychologists (Buehler, Levinson, Piaget), and sociologists (Form, Miller) independently studied stages of life and work (Super, 1957). Developmentalists concentrated on stages of psychological development while sociologists identified periods of individuals' working lives, and by combining these two foci career stages first emerge in the literature. For example, the Exploratory Stage defined by Buehler (1933), a German developmentalist, and the Initial Work Period classified by sociologists Form and Miller (1949) both describe the experience of adolescents' exploration of work. As a developmental stage, the Exploratory Stage represents the time period in which adolescents define their adult identities through spousal, social, and career choices, while the Initial Work Period describes the first jobs adolescents take to explore the world of work. In this way, the contributions of both psychologists and sociologists created a framework for understanding careers using the concept of career stage. However, while these early models of career stage provide a useful structure to conceptualize career development, many of the early theorists assumed career stages to be linear and stable. Current researchers (e.g., Hall and Schein) have updated the concept of career stage to encompass modern, varied patterns of career development. These patterns tend to be more fluid and dynamic.
Importance of Topic to Work-Family Studies
Career stage is one way of thinking about career development, and in the work/family context it is most related to the career development of women [see entry, Career Development of Women]. It is widely recognized that women's career development is significantly affected by family responsibilities, and it follows that women also experience career stages uniquely as a result of work/family conflict. An understanding of career stage helps to frame the career development challenges women face as they progress from the early stages of career exploration and career choice to pre-retirement and retirement decisions.
Women progress through careers at different rates and in varied succession depending on a number of unique factors, such as family status. For that reason, it may be more useful when studying work/family issues to use stage theory that is independent of age rather than to use age-based stages. For example, while men typically enter and exit the career exploration stage during adolescence, women may experience this stage during mid-life for the first time, or they may re-enter exploration as childcare responsibilities decrease. Similarly, the retirement stage is based on the premise that a man has a lifelong career while women may "retire" or intermittently leave the labor force as pregnancy or other family obligations arise.
Further, family life stage often parallels the career stage of the individual. For instance, the demands made at work as one moves through career establishment occur concurrently with the demands made on the family as children are born and begin school. As Yohalem (1980) pointed out in a follow-up study of Ginzberg's educated women, career progress is often dependent upon full-time, full-year employment. Thus, family members who are equally committed to career and family often fit the "interrupted" career pattern described by Super. Schwartz (1989) aptly identified this phenomenon in "The Mommy Track," while Evetts (1994; in Nicholson, 1996) noted that careers which do not follow a steady pattern of continuous service and regular and steady promotion are likely to be considered "imperfect."
Increasingly, men are also adapting their careers to participate more fully in the parenting role. As the work/family field in general becomes less gendered, progressively more men will enter the discussion of how family demands affect their career development, and thus, career stages.
State of the Body of Knowledge
Career stage theory differs from other models of career development in that the assumption is made that stages are discrete, that they build on former stages, and that there are one or more developmental tasks appropriate to each stage. For the most part, stage theory has been applied to men, and little longitudinal research has been done to validate specific career stage theories. (Only the Career Pattern Study conducted by Super and his longtime colleague was designed to test stage theory.) As in other types of stage theories, theorists differ in how they demarcate stages. Some authors use chronological age as bounds, whereas others use task or more generic markers. Naturally, career stages which are closely related to age or life stage are more strongly associated with developmental theories, while age-independent, task-relevant stages are derived from a more sociological or economic foundation. Further, as one would expect, the focus of interest shifts from the individual to the organizational or societal level, depending on the discipline of the theorist.
Initial work on career stage was developed by sociologists Form and Miller (1949) who posited the preparatory work period, initial work period, trial work period, stable work period, and retirement. Super (1957) borrowed from that sociological approach as well as from Buehler's (1933) more general developmental theory, to posit and test his initial career stages: exploration, establishment, maintenance, and decline.
Although career patterns are not always related to stage, they often are associated. For example, when Super talked about women's career patterns (stable homemaking, conventional, stable working, double track, interrupted, unstable, and multiple trial), it is evident that stage is implied. It is apparent that Super made the assumption that homemaking should be the primary life role for women, and that entering into the labor force would be somewhat unusual and likely to parallel the less successful career patterns described for men.
Career Stage Research by Theorist
Douglas T. Hall
Gail Sheehy (Journalist,
Donald Super (Counseling
Career Stage Research by Age
A measure of career maturity that has been widely used by researchers in this area is the Career Maturity Inventory (CMI), which as developed by John Crites in 1973 and revised by Crites & Savickas in 1996. The CMI contains attitude and competence scales which are combined to obtain an overall career maturity score.
Older workers' attitudes toward career development activities and mobility relate to such factors as current employment (experience or fear of lay-offs), tenure or stage in their careers, need for achievement, and need for growth. In addition, fear of stagnation, marketability perceptions, self esteem, and job market conditions play a role in career decision making. A decision to engage in training or retraining can lead an older worker to identity growth and enhanced self-esteem which in turn may result in greater commitment to future career-development goals.
In a recent longitudinal study, however, Roberts & Friend (1998) found that subjective career momentum (in contrast to objective indices of career plateau) in women in their early 50's (N=83) was associated with work as central to identity. These women were in high status jobs and had higher scores on measures of psychological and physical well-being. These findings are consistent with the idea that women's career stages may differ from men's.
Part-time work is an increasingly important phenomenon among older workers. More than a third of retirees want to work part-time for "interest and enjoyment" (Roper, 2002). This reflects a relatively new and increasingly common set of circumstances among late-stage workers, "bridge jobs." This category of jobs offers new experiences, provides flexibility, and bridges the gap between careers or before leaving the workforce permanently.
Implications for Practice and Research
The majority of the work written on career stage results from studies of men, and much of that research was done prior to 1990. While the career development of women has been explored, the concept of career stage as uniquely experienced by women is not addressed in the literature. With the exception of Levinson and early writers who wrote brief journal articles postulating career stages for women (e.g., Zytowsky, 1969 and Psathas, 1969), no serious attempts have been made to differentiate women's career stages from men's. Researchers have explored the differences that mark women's career development experiences but that uniqueness has not been adequately reflected in the study of career stage.
Women continue to perform the majority share of household and childcare duties, and the impact of those family responsibilities on career stage needs to be studied. Possible topics for further exploration include the formation of new career stages based on women's unique needs, varied career stage patterns of women, and the effect of modern family structure and dual-career families on men's career stages.
Stage theory is also traditionally based on the assumption that an ordinary career takes place over time in relatively few organizations. Hall's concept (1996) of the Protean Career (i.e., a boundaryless career based on skills and abilities that function independent of specific organizations) calls prior stage theory of adulthood into question. As the career becomes more internally defined, stage theory will focus more on internal, individual decision-making processes rather than the relationship of the individual to an employer.
Buehler, C. (1933). The course of human life as a psychological problem. Leipzig, Germany: S. Hirzel. (2nd ed., Gottingoen: Hogrefe, 1959).
Creed, P. A., Patton. W., & Bartrum, D. (2002). Multidimensional properties of the LOT-R: Effects of optimism and pessimism on career and well-being related variables in adolescents. Journal of Career Assessment, 10(1): 42-61.
DBM. (2001, August). Career choices and challenges of younger and older workers. New York: Drake Beam Morris.
Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.
Erikson, E. H. (1963). Youth, change, and challenge. New York: Basic Books.
Form, W. H., & Miller, D. C. (1949). Occupational career pattern as a sociological instrument. American Journal of Sociology, 54, 317-329.
Gottfredson, L. S. (1996). Gottfredson's theory of circumscription and compromise. In D. Brown, & L. Brooks, et al. (Eds.), Career choice and development (3rd ed.), pp. 179-232. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Hall, D. T. (Ed.). (1996). The career is dead, long live the career. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Levinson, D. (1986). A conception of adult development. American Psychologist, 41(1): 3-13.
Levinson, D. (1978). The seasons of a man's life. New York: Knopf.
Nicholson, P. (1996). Gender, power, and organisation: A psychological perspective. New York: Routledge.
Patton, W., & Creed, P. A. (2001). Developmental issues in career maturity and career decision status. The Career Development Quarterly, 49(4): 336-351.
Plimmer, G., & Englert, P. (1997). Downsizing and vocational guidance: The erroneous interest in interest inventories and possible selves. In G. M. Habermann (Ed.). Looking back and moving forward: Fifty years of New Zealand psychology, pp. 215-223.
Psathas. (1969). Psathas, G. (1968). Toward a theory of occupational choice for women. Sociology and Social Research, 52, 253-268.
Roberts, B. W., & Friend, W. (1998). Career momentum in midlife women: Life context, identity, and personality correlates. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3(3): 195-208.
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Savickas, M. L. (1997). Career adaptability: An integrative construct for life-span, life-space theory. Career Development Quarterly, 45(3): 247-259.
Savickas, M. L., Briddick, W. C., Watkins, C., & Edward, J. R. (2002). The relation of career maturity to personality type and social adjustment. Journal of Career Assessment, 10(1): 24-41.
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Schwartz, F. (1989). Management women and the new facts of life. Harvard Business Review 67, 1.
Sheehy, G. (1976). Passages: Predictable crises of adult life. New York: Dutton.
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Super, D. E. (1980)A life span, life space approach to career development. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 13, 282-298.
Yohalem. (1979). The careers of professional women. Montclair, NJ: Allanheld Osmun.
Yohalem, A. M. (1993). Columbia University graduate students, 1945-1951: The vanguard of professional women. In K. D. Hulbert, & D. T. Schuster (Eds.). Women's lives through time: Educated American women of the twentieth century. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Zytowski, D. G. (1969). Toward a theory of career development for women. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 47, 660-664.
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The following article was taken from: http://www.islam-online.net/iol-English/qadaya/psychology-2/psychology5.asp
Note: This article's
footnotes are located right under it.
Principles of Human Development Derivable from the Qur'an and Hadith
In the opening chapter of the Qur'an, the Fatihah, God declares that He is the Lord and
Cherisher of the worlds:
All praises are due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. (1:2)
What this means is that He is the sole creator of the universe and that He nourishes and sustains it. The implication is that He is the originator of everything (seen and unseen, known and unknown) and that everything depends on Him for sustenance, growth, and development. This interpretation is conveyed in the following verse of the Qur'an:
God is the creator of all things, and He is the guardian and disposer of all affairs. (39:62)
These verses provide the background for our discussion on aspects and principles of human development in the Qur'an, particularly cognitive development. In fact, as far as the Qur'an is concerned, the meaning of these two verses is the fundamental principle of human development. So, God is the creator of man, and He is the sole determinant of the pattern and process of his growth and development. The following paragraphs enunciate this dominant principle in forms of subprinciples of human development.
In the Islamic perspective of developmental psychology, the following principles are identifiable.
Human Life (Growth and Development) Is a Gradual Process
This is the first principle of development that can be derived from the Qur'an. Having told us that He is the creator, guardian, and disposer of all things, God also told us that He created man in various progressive stages of growth and development. In other words, man's life has been patterned in stages from conception to death. The stages through which man passes in his growth and development are not merely a matter of chance or accident. They were predesigned, predetermined, and graduated by God Himself. God mentions this basic fact in a number of verses in the Qur'an. Examples of such verses are the following:
It is He Who created all things and ordered them in due proportions. (25:2)
This verse clearly spells out the fact that the life of every thing has been designed in such a way that every aspect of it is proportionately graduated. In the case of human growth and development it means that the various phases mentioned above have been duly proportioned and all humans have to pass through each stage up to old age and death. That growth and development do not take place at once but pass through the duly and proportionately designed phases is what makes them a gradual process. The following verse clearly mentions that we have been created and caused to grow in phases, not at once:
|What is the matter with you, that you place not your hope for kindness
and long suffering in God? Seeing that it is He that has created you in diverse stages?
You shall surely travel from stage to stage. (84:19)
Ibn Kathir again reported that 'Ikrimah (one of the disciples of Ibn Abbas) interpreted
this verse to mean that man shall grow from one condition to the other such that he
becomes a toddler after being an infant, old after being young and strong.
The above verses tell us in general terms that man's growth and development definitely follow certain stages. These stages are specifically spelled out in some other verses in the Qur'an in more elaborate and particular terms. The Prophet himself enunciated and expounded them in more detail in some of his traditions. These will be seen in our subsequent discussions. It is however important to note that the phases through which growth and development pass are themselves spread over two broad stages.
Human life (growth and development) has been categorized in the Qur'an into two broad phases: the prenatal and the postnatal. Each of these phases has been subdivided into different substages having different terms and periods. The following Qur'anic verse succinctly describes the first phase of human life:
|He makes you in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. Such is God, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are you turned away (from your true center)? (39:6)|
In another verse, the Qur'an describes the two phases in a precise and concise manner:
|It is He Who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a leech-like clot; then does He get you out (into the light) as a child; then lets you (grow and) reach your age of full strength, then lets you become old-though of you there are some who die before-and lets you reach a term appointed; in order that you may learn wisdom. (40:67)|
The Qur'an has also told us that the first phase has a certain fixed and definite term
within which it reaches its apex of development. Then it is terminated through birth (by
delivery). The Qur'an says:
And We cause Whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term. (22:5)
But in much more elaborate, precise, and detailed terms the following verse further describes these two broad stages with their respective specific phases. It reads thus:
|O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily, We have created you (i.e. Adam) from dust, then from a nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharges), then from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood) then from a little lump of flesh - partly formed and partly unformed - that We make it clear to you (i.e. to show you our Power and ability to do what We Will). And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known. (22:5)|
The Prophet (S.A.W.) has precisely and accurately described the first broad stage with fixed time specifications stipulated for each of the phases within it. The hadith reads thus:
|Lo! The creation of each one of you is composed in the womb of his mother (first) as a nutfah (mixed drop of sperm and ovum) for forty days then after that he transforms to alaqah (a clot of congealed blood) for a similar term, then he transforms to mudghah (a lump of flesh), and then an Angel is sent to blow the spirit into him.18|
The Qur'an has also told us that the first broad stage (prenatal) has a certain fixed
and definite term within which it reaches its apex of development. Then it is terminated
through birth. Allah says:
And We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term. (22:5)
Therefore, the Qur'an has established that the prenatal period is definite and fixed (usually 9 months under normal circumstances as enunciated in one of the Prophetic traditions) and as experienced practically in daily life. However, the Qur'an further mentions to us that there are exceptional cases whereby the prenatal period terminates, before or after the normal term. And all these happen in accordance with God's Absolute Will and Decree. The Qur'an says:
|He it is that fashions (shapes) you in the wombs as He pleases. There is no god save He, the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (2:6)|
This means that the nature, form, size, and time in which individuals are created and shaped in the womb may vary according to the will and wishes of God. Because of this, He affirms that some pregnancies may be delivered before or after the normal time of delivery. But the knowledge of that (addition or reduction in time) is His exclusive preserve:
|God doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion. He knoweth the unseen and that which is open: He is the Great, the Most High. (13:8-9)|
As for the postnatal phase of growth and development, the Qur'an does not mention any
fixed span of life that is generally applicable to all individuals; it differs from one
individual to the other. That is why the Qur'an says:
And some of you are called to die (at different ages) and some are sent to the feeblest old age. (22:6)
But if the postnatal period is taken in its entirety, Islamic scholars have divided it into four broad stages, and each stage is itself divided into short substages. Allah says:
|It is God Who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known much. (16:70)|
In his commentary on this verse, Gummi (1922-1992) says the following:
|Some Islamic scholars have said that man's life (after birth) has four broad stages. The first stage is the stage of continuous growth and development, which begins from 0 to 33 years (the end of youth and the age at which an individual attains full physical and intellectual maturity). The second stage, from 33 to 40, is the stage of constancy in which increase in growth and development is hardly noticeable. The age of 40 is usually considered the stage at which both physical and intellectual ability reach maturity. The third stage is the stage of mid- or proper adulthood (al-kuhulah). From 40 to 60 years man begins to decline physically and mentally though so subtly and steadily that it can hardly be noticed. The last stage, from 60 to the end of life, is the stage of old age and decline (senescence). In this stage decline becomes more obvious and noticeable.19|
Pattern of Human Growth and Development
According to the Qur'an, human growth and development follow one common pattern which is applicable to every human being. Despite individual differences this pattern applies to every person. The pattern is that every individual grows and develops from initial weakness to strength and then to weakness. In other words, growth and development follow a certain natural inevitable law of rise and fall. That is to say that when the individual gradually reaches the apex of his development, whether physical or cognitive, he then begins to decline gradually. The Qur'an is very precise about this:
|It is God Who created you in a state of (helpless) weakness, then gave (you) strength after weakness, then, after strength, gave (you) weakness and a hoary head; He creates as He wills. And it is He Who has all knowledge and power. (30:54)|
It needs to be emphasized here that this single pattern mentioned in this principle and as demonstrated in this verse is applicable to all human beings. We are all created in a state of weakness. This refers to the early stage of our creation right inside the wombs and up to delivery. We are weak at these early stages both physically and mentally. This weakness at the onset of our life is also mentioned in another place (Surat al-Nahl) in the Qur'an but with specific reference to mental weaknesses:
|And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Him). (16:78)|
In several other verses this single and common pattern of early weakness that first characterizes every person's life and then strength in later development is also clearly indicated. For example:
|We have enjoined on kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the child (in the womb) to his weaving is (a period of) thirty months. At length when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years he says, O my Lord? Grant me that I may be grateful for thy favour, which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon my parents.20|
The necessary analogical deduction that can be made from this verse is that each
person's life begins in weakness, gradually attains strength, and then gradually declines,
just as the first verse under this principle clearly states. The decline is the beginning
of a second dimension of weakness that characterizes human life at the end of one's life.
And this has also been stated in this verse and several others. This pattern is certainly
common to all human beings as it is witnessed in our life experiences.
This principle, it should be noted, does not eliminate the fact of individual differences. What is actually meant is that, although this pattern is applicable to all humans, there are always a number of differences among individuals in terms of specific developmental variables and processes. For the purpose of illustration, let us assume that two identical things are born at the same moment. This principle applies to both of them in the sense that they are both helpless, weak, miniature human beings, and both gradually begin to grow and develop until both attain full strength. However, it may be noticed that one may be dark in complexion while another may be light. Again, while one may be fat, the other may be slim. These are some forms of individual differences. They do not however, like all other forms, eliminate the fact of the common pattern of development represented by this principle, just as the principle itself does not wipe away this very fact of individual differences. A more detailed discussion on individual differences in development comes later in this article.
Human Development Is a Cumulative and Simultaneous Process
If all the verses of the Qur'an that talk about human development in its various stages are taken together, synthesized, and analyzed, it will be seen that the Qur'an had postulated that human development is cumulative in nature. That is to say, any new development acquired or attained by the individual adds up to the already existing one. In this way, development builds one aspect upon another up to the fullest stage. The Qur'an also teaches us that human development is a simultaneously interwoven process. This means that all the aspects of development-physical, mental, social, emotional, moral-are inseparable. Each one reinforces the other. This means that one aspect of development does not wait until another develops to its fullest before it commences. The physical and mental developments of a person for example go together with his social, emotional, and moral development. At each stage, all these aspects increase in growth and maturation proportionally and consecutively, hence, the simultaneous nature of development. Many of the verses that talk about development refer to all its aspects either explicity or implicity. But the physical and cognitive aspects of it are especially explicity tied to each other in several verses of the Qur'an. This is very clear in several verses quoted earlier. The verse in which Allah describes the two broad stages at the same time contains not only mention of physical development but also that of mental development.21 The same thing applies to the verses in which He mentions, "attainment of full strength" in development and growth. Undoubtedly, the full strength so attained is not only restricted to physical strength but also necessarily includes all the other aspects of development. This is all the more obvious in the verses where Allah refers to giving orphans their wealth when they attain "full strength." It certainly means both physical and mental development. While physical development as implied in the verse is indisputably more obvious from the word "strength" which immediately signifies physical stature and posture, the mental component is definitely included as it is clearly alluded to by another verse of the Qur'an:
|Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage: if then you find sound judgement in them: release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully nor in haste against their growing. (4:6)|
The mention of age of marriage is a direct reference to physical maturity and growth
while sound judgement directly means mental maturity. The fact of the simultaneous nature
of growth and development in human life is thus confirmed.
However, the Qur'an also alludes to the fact that some aspects may develop faster than others, thus creating intra-individual differences in development. For example, the individual's physical development may be faster than his mental development or vice versa. The Qur'an therefore confirms the factor of mental retardation. In this situation, the individual may grow and develop physically but may not grow and develop at the same rate mentally. Allah alludes to this in the following verse where He prescribes recording debt contracts:
|If the party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, let his guardian dictate faithfully. (2:282)|
Several other verses mention these cases of abnormal mental development. Another form
of abnormal development has also been mentioned in another verse. This is abnormal
language development, which causes speech impairment. In a parabolic and euphemistic
description of the disbeliever, this factor is denoted, as it appears in the verse:
And Allah puts forward (another) example of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything (disbeliever) and he is a burden on his master; whichever way he direct him, he brings no good. Is such a man equal to one (believer) who commands justice, and is himself on the straight path? (16:76)
In actual sense, since the Qur'an is not a textbook of psychology, only through deductions and inferences can we extract psychological facts from it. This means that it is the apparent significations and connotations of the verses that are taken into consideration, not necessarily the specific contingencies or instances upon which the verses were revealed. And this is an accepted principle in 'Ilmul-Usul.22
These verses and several others do confirm that abnormality affects some aspects of a person's development, just as it can affect it in its entirety.
Human Life (Growth and Development) Transcends Earthly Phenomenal Existence
Whereas all the theories of development in modern developmental psychology are confined only to this earthly (temporal) life, the Qur'an projects human life beyond this life. The Qur'an considers the present life as the foundation of another life that is permanent and everlasting. Man is going to be transformed into a different form of life whose growth and development are transcendental and divine. Such growth and development, however, may be either in endless bliss or torment. This is why in many of the verses where Allah mentions the stages of human development, He links them directly with the life after death. It shall be a continuation of life in some sorts. For example, in Surat al-Mu'minun Allah enumerates the stages of human development in this earthly life. He follows the preceding verses with a mention of the next life:
|Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest firmly fixed; then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump, then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature (or full human being). So blessed be God, the Best to create! After that, at length ye will die. Again, on the Day of Judgement, will ye be raised up. (23:12-16)|
Therefore, it is clear that for a comprehensive study of man, this aspect of divine
life after death should be incorporated. This is because the fear of death and what
happens beyond it is inherent in every human being and it has a lot of bearing on man's
psychological dispositions and development. Unless this is done, our knowledge about the
nature of man will continue to remain primitive and partial.
Human Life (Growth and Development) Passes through Certain Critical and Sensitive Periods
If some verses and prophetic traditions are studied closely, it will be discovered that Islam has great concern regarding some of the periods and phases of human development. These are essentially the formative period or phases. They lay the foundation upon which later development builds. In this respect the entire prenatal, infancy, childhood, and adolescent periods can all be considered sensitive.
The sensitive nature of the prenatal stage for example can be seen in the fact that Muslims have been enjoined to pray, by the Prophet, just when they are about to copulate.23
This is meant as supplication to Allah for protection from Satan and a sound offering. Soundness here actually means protection from all sorts of ailments that may retard the development and growth of any aspect of the child's life. In the same way, the Qur'an enjoins Muslims to keep supplicating to Allah for a good offspring before and during pregnancy.24 And when a child is eventually born, the call to prayer should be made in his ears; it was done and enjoined by the Prophet. 25
In actual fact, the primary concern of all these is the sound moral development of the child. This concern is an indication of the sensitive and critical nature of this period as the root of the later periods. Over and above all these, the Prophet has told us that it was at this period that certain important things of a person's life are decreed by Allah. He tells us that the angel sent to blow the spirit into the foetus is commanded by Allah to write its provisions (rizq), deeds (amal), life span (ajal), and destiny-whether the person will be in goodness or wickedness (sa'EÁd or shaqiy).26 This decree then runs through a person's life up to the Hereafter. This then makes this period even more sensitive and critical than all the rest since they all depend on it.
After birth, the Prophet enjoins Muslims to be very sensitive and careful with the upbringing of their children. Numerous hadith have been reported in this regard. However, another period that is considered very critical and sensitive is the adolescent period. As a period of transition from childhood to adulthood it constitutes a turning point in an individual's life. It is prone to a lot of exuberance, anxieties excitements and temptations. The Prophet has in a number of his traditions made specific references to this stage, which allude to its sensitivity and importance. One example is the hadith in which the Prophet specially mentions seven categories of people that shall be comforted under the shade of the Glorious Throne of Allah. One of them is a young (adolescent) man who grows up in devotion and commitment to the worship of Allah.27 This hadith alludes to the critical nature of the adolescent period in the sense that, having been full of temptations and exuberance, a young person who resists these temptations deserves to be specially comforted among those who shall attain felicity on the Day of Judgement.
Besides the troubles that characterize the adolescent period, some other reasons that make it a critical and sensitive period in an individual's development are its transitional nature and the fact that it marks the beginning of taklif (legal responsibility). From the time the individual attains puberty he shall be held responsible for all his deeds. If he commits any sin it shall be recorded against him. This is indicated in many Prophetic traditions, one of which is:
The pen (which records deeds) has been suspended in respect of three people: the child until he attains puberty . . .28
Whatever can be said regarding the critical and sensitive nature of the adolescent period is summed up in this hadith. In a real sense, from the Islamic perspective, an individual's later life (growth and development) is made or marred at this period.
|16||-||Harris, Education, 2|
|17||-||Badri, The Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists.|
|18||-||Reported by Bukhari on the authority of Abullah ibn Mas'ud on the beginning of creation, in the chapter "Mention of the Angel," vol. 41, Hadith No. 549.|
|19||-||19. Abubakar Mahmoud Gummi, Radd al-Adhhan ila-Ma'an al-Qur'an (a commentary of the Qur'an) (Beirut: Dar al-Arabiyyah, 1982). 20. Surah al-Ahqaf (46:15). Other chapters and verses in which this attainment of full strength after weakness is mentioned are 40:67; 22:5; 17:34; 28:14; and 12:22. 21. See note (18) above. 22. That is the Science of Jurisprudence in Islam. The Principle referred to here is that which says: "Al-Itibar bi Umum al-Lafz la bi khusus al-ma'ana," i.e., Consideration can be made in juristic decisions to general meaning and implications of phrases or statements, in addition to their specific connotations. 23. A hadith reported by both Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abdullahi ibn Abbas. 24. See Surah al-Ahqaf (46), verse 15 25. A hadith reported by Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Hakim, on the authority of Abu Rafi. 26. See note (19) above.|
|21||-||Sabra, "The Astronomical Origin of Ibn al-Haytham's Concept of Experiment, 136.|
|22||-||Boring, A History of Experimental Psychology; Brennan, History and Systems of Psychology; H. Kendler, Historical Foundations of Modern Psychology (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987); D. Schultz, A History of Modern Psychology, 3rd ed. (Orland: Academic Press, 1981).|
|23||-||Boring, A History of Experimental Psychology.|
|24||-||G. Fechner, Elements of Psychophysics, translated by H. Adler, edited by D. Howes and E. Boring (New York: Holt, Rinhart and Winston, 1860).|
|25||-||Brennan, History and Systems of Psychology, 155.|
|26||-||Fechner, Elements of Psychophysics, 10.|
The following article was taken from this link (it's too lengthy to paste).
A VERY GOOD YEAR:
Turning the Pages on a New Decade
by Brian Clark
Milestones in an individual?s
life cycle are those threshold years that usher in new decades. Even those normally
reluctant to celebrating their birthdays are generally inspired to mark a new decade with
some ritual or celebration. Turning 30, 40, 50 and 60 are watershed years in
the adult life cycle. Each decade presents its own challenges, offers its own
rewards, and has its own distinctive atmosphere. And every decade can be
astrologically mapped out to reveal ages when challenges and crises can be expected, as
well as offer insight into what each life stage signifies. Each generation travels a
similar astrological route. However each generation has a unique atmosphere with its
own landmarks, road signs and territorial backdrop that mark their journey across the life
The astrological life cycle is
charted through the cycles of the slower moving planets, since their orbits symbolise
initiations into particular life experiences. Planets complete a full cycle at
predictable ages, and make important aspects within that round at certain times. The
?crisis? points in these planetary cycles are usually fourfold: the initial critical
period occurs when the orbiting planet forms a square to its natal position; the second
turning point is the opposition of the orbiting planet to its natal position; the third
crisis period is the final square of the cycle. Lastly the return of the planet
marks the fourth and final critical period of the cycle. This final passage suggests
a maturity of this particular
planetary archetype. Each period marks a critical turning point in the experience of
this archetype in an individual?s life. Another factor is the outer planets? dance
with each other during the life cycle. For example, the planet Pluto is transiting
Neptune for young adults currently at about the age of 22-24, characteristic of an
intense encounter with their idealism and the dreams they harbour. However for
individuals in their late 50?s orbiting Neptune is opposing their natal Pluto suggesting
that more considered and objective ideals be forged for the next part of their journey.
Therefore specific ages in the life cycle become apparent and important to
consider. In a way the astrological life cycle reminds us of important initiatory
periods our culture no longer acknowledges in the rush of life. While the
transitional periods in the life cycle suggest particular themes, each generation
encounters the experience differently due to the constantly changing social landscape.
The two slowest moving planets,
Neptune and Pluto, govern astrological generations. Neptune symbolises a
generation?s legacy of ideals and dreams while Pluto suggest its intentions, its taboos as
well as its strengths and its obsessions. For the generation turning 30, with Pluto
in Libra and Neptune in Sagittarius, their intention for equality and their ideals of
justice, while challenged, are supported by the current astrological repetition of the
outer planets? elemental emphasis of fire and air. However, the generation turning 40 this year have Neptune in Scorpio
and Pluto in Virgo. Their ideals of shared economic resources and their intention to
ecologically rebalance the planet may feel adrift in a sea of corruption, disbelief and
While every individual will experience each initiatory period in his or her own unique way there is an archetypal theme, which underlies the transition. This is where the roadmap of astrology becomes priceless at comprehending the meaning of change. Each decade has its own uniqueness. But let?s start at 21, rather than 20, for here we receive the key to adult life.
The World Health Organisation defines the end of adolescence as age 24, encompassing the second Jupiter cycle that began twelve years earlier. Therefore our early twenties are its final phase. Adolescence is a metamorphosis, which begins at puberty. Near age 21 we are preparing to leave the chrysalis. Astrologically the decade is ushered in by the square of transiting Uranus to its natal place in our horoscope, identifying the urge to propel ourselves out of the familial orbit into another world. Modern economics suggests this launch is becoming increasingly difficult delaying the process of leaving the nest. Nevertheless the urge is a forceful one, and whether or not we can physically leave home, we are ready to sever other ties to the security base. Following on Uranus? heels is Saturn, which is also squaring its natal placement. The first time this occurred in its cycle was at age 7-8, when separation from childhood fantasies began. At 22 we are pressured to separate from our adolescent ones. And if we can?t quite manage that, then the next major transit of Pluto conjoining natal Neptune over the next few years1 will help to crush some of the lingering fantasies. For the first time in our lives we may be acting out an episode of the Secret Life of Us! Or confronted for the first time with our inner demons.
Celebrating 21 acknowledges that
we are turning the ignition key and starting the motor to drive away from what is
familiar. It is a time when we are launched into the world beyond our adolescent
security systems. And by age
24 the second Jupiter return suggests we are primed to take a bigger leap into the
unknown. During the 20?s we try out for many teams, seeking our reflection in many
ponds, big and small. It is a time of experimentation, adventure, breaking away.
The generation turning 21 this year inherit a world anxious about safety, security
and money, yet astrologically are more equipped to take risks than their older sibs were.
Recently the passage of the early
twenties has been referred to as the ?quarter-life crisis?. In one sense it is a
crisis, as it presents an opportunity for change and growth. Hopefully it is these
opportunities for experimentation into the self we celebrate turning 21!
Uranus Square Uranus
|22||Saturn Square Saturn|
|24||Second Jupiter Return|
|22-25||Pluto Conjunct Neptune|
|27||Progressed Lunar Return|
Figure 1: The Twenties
Figure 1: The Twenties
A major cyclical return heralds
the decade of the thirties. The ?Saturn Return? has become popular shorthand for the
important passage that bridges the end of the 20?s and the start of the 30?s. The
Saturn return initiates us into this new decade. Two other cycles support the
return; the progressed lunation cycle repeats its natal phase and Jupiter opposes itself.
The former suggests an alignment with character potentials innate in the birth horoscope,
while the latter cycle suggest awareness that this new cycle of change needs to be
conceptualised. The Saturn return is akin to a rebirth. By 30 we have
experience a full cycle of Saturn in all its permutations through our horoscope.
Therefore we are ready, at least theoretically, to seek validation and acknowledgment in
the world. The Saturn return identifies the time to begin to master the direction of
Life cycle experts have pushed
the decades forward suggesting 40
is 30 and even 30 is what 20 used to be like. While the life cycle has altered
dramatically over the past generation, the planetary orbits have not. They are
fixed. Saturn still returns at 30, and 30 marks an age of maturity when we are fully responsible
for our own fate. Our past, whether it is this life or any other, is now our fate
and our responsibility to manage, direct and control.
The thirties are a decade of
construction when our lives are like building sites: building our careers, our
relationships, our interests and our hobbies, and our families. Often in the attempt
to be worldly we unwittingly construct a false self, abandoning some of the true essence
of ourselves through compromising and conforming in order to be accepted. The first
half of the thirties is a steady building period continuing to find a niche in the world.
But by age 35-36 a series of
cycles begin which promote a dramatic leap forward. New opportunities, new
commitments, and new challenges may present themselves. Hard work begins to pay off
and we find the path inclines steadily upward at this point. This is the first
glimmer of the turning to mid-life. Only a glimmer, though, as there is enough
momentum built up in the life to be propelled forward along the preferred path.
Changes made at this juncture in the life cycle have far-reaching affects.
Celebrating turning thirty is
honouring a new commitment to life, renewing its contract. At 30 we celebrate the
wide road ahead, firmly in control of the moving vehicle speeding down life?s highway.
First Saturn Return
|36||Third Jupiter Return|
|37||Saturn Square Saturn|
|37||Second Nodal Return|
|38 -||Pluto Square Pluto|
Figure 2: The Thirties
Figure 2: The Thirties
Astrologically the full mid life
passage could be defined as embracing the period between the third and fourth Jupiter
returns (36-47). During this period the three outer planets aspect their natal
placements in a dynamic way: Pluto and Neptune are in a waxing square to their natal
placements2 while Uranus is at the mid point of its cycle. The psychological
landscape of the late thirties and early forties, symbolised by the critical arrangement
of the outer planets, is profound. At this juncture in the life cycle, mid-life
offers the soul the facility to retrieve aspects of the unlived life, to deepen one?s
inner experience through self-examination, and to forge a more authentic self.
During mid-life, alternate choices and risks may be taken which help to reorient the
course of one?s life. The life force is waxing and triumphant and entering into the
demands of this period clear the path forward.
Turning forty deserves a wild and
extravagant celebration with all the many parts of your life represented by your eclectic
group of friends, associates and loved ones. At 40 there is a potent mix of
youthfulness and maturity, as well
as enough self-awareness to make wiser choices in life. But in the year to come two
feminine planets, Neptune and the Moon, make important aspects in their cycles that
identify the need to be more inner orientated, less compelled with the outer world are
more concerned with the inner. For each individual this arranges itself in its own
unique way. However the recognition of loss of meaning, or feeling we do not belong
in the situation we are in, or feeling a lack of purpose help to redirect us to a more
introspective position, asking spiritual questions in our life. While we may have
always asked the important spiritual questions this is more in earnest, as for the first
time we experience a life to reflect upon. For this generation another cycle
synchronises with the search for meaning and that is the Uranus opposition. It
supports the process of separating and relinquishing what is no longer working in one?s
life. In the early 40?s there
is a collusion of powerful energies, which promote and encourage a more authentic journey
forward and help to reorient ourselves towards meaningful goals while prioritising what is
important to us.
Neptune Square Neptune
|41||Progressed Moon opposite Moon|
|41||Uranus Opposite Uranus|
|42||Jupiter Opposite Jupiter|
|44 - 45||Saturn Opposite Saturn|
Figure 3: The Forties
At 50: Brave New World
The 50?s decade is embraced by
two potent astrological symbols, which profoundly encapsulate the psychological processes
taking place. The first Chiron return occurs near the age of 50, the entry point into the
decade, while the second Saturn return, which coincides with the fifth Jupiter return,
occurs near the age of 58/9, the
ending of the decade and its process of transition. This period is also punctuated
by two other important returns, which are often underestimated: the second progressed
lunar return (age 54.6) and the
third return of the lunar nodes (age
The Chiron return and its
subsequent years present the misshapen aspects of ourselves, which the body and the psyche
are forced to accommodate. What was sacrificed to find our niche in the world and to
conform to worldly expectations challenges us to reconsider our earlier choices. In
the midst of the decade all three outer planets are trining their natal positions3, a
blatant clue to the potential psychological integration taking place, as well as the
variety of choices available for this task to be successful. In all, five cycles are
renewed in this decade, which suggest the psychological alignments occurring throughout
the 50?s are profound. At present the Pluto in Leo generation are journeying this
passage. The generation that worshipped immortality, eternity, youthfulness, and the
magical child are navigating a new territory, which challenges these constructs.
When this generation looks back
to their parents at fifty, the changes that have occurred are startling. Life
expectancy, medical technology, changing life-styles, life enhancing drugs, and retirement
options have redefined the landscape of growing older. The life cycle as the Pluto
in Cancer generation knew it has dramatically altered. Pop psychology is now labelling middle age as middle youth, partially due to
the youthfulness of this generation, but partially as a defence against aging. Erik
Erikson, one of the foremost researchers into the life cycle, suggested that the fifties
were the beginning of a matured adulthood. During this time the task is to care for
what is meaningful to us, not what others judge as important, but what is intimately
creative and restorative to the individual.4 Chiron?s return helps initiate us
into this life task by presenting the disenfranchised aspects of ones self, which are dear
to the soul. In the midst of the decade two powerful returns speak of the entry into
a new age; the third age of life when life experience is
distilled into the role of a mentor. By the end of the decade the Saturn return
reminds us of this consolidation of the mentor figure.
Turning 50 is celebrated with
circumspection as we honour the upcoming decade. Enormous strides are taken towards
the acceptance of the true self and these contribute to the emerging role of mentor.
However there is also a dawning of awareness that the world ahead is a brave new
frontier, no longer demarcated by signposts in the outer world.
Saturn Square Saturn
|54||Second Progressed Moon Return|
|56||Third Nodal Return|
|58 - 59||Second Saturn return|
60: A New Frontier
The current generation reaching
their seventh decade this year all have Pluto in Leo with Saturn and Uranus both in
Gemini. Two thirds will have Neptune in Libra so the dominance of Air suggests the
agility, youthfulness and mental alertness of this group. Like the beginning of the
thirties, the sixties begin in the wake of the Saturn return. Like the previous
time, a new way forward has hopefully been reconstructed. A Jupiter return
accompanies the Saturn return, and many turning 60 will experience this as the opening
lines to their new chapter of life. Following in another year will be a Uranus
square to itself. The combination of Jupiter/Uranus is an exciting symbol for the
next cycle. Freedom and new possibilities exist.
Of course the freedom and
possibilities are anchored in the developmental changes, which have taken place during the
last decade. At her second Saturn return May Sarton wrote her Journal of Solitude.
The struggle she articulated was to make space in her life to be, to forge a
balance between reflection and relationship, to find solitude. The decade of the
50?s helps to reorganise our priorities so we may create time for this solitude.
Saturn?s return offers the opportunity to build the structures to support this emerging
new way of being. Outer life structures have reached their capacity; the soul yearns
to fortify its inner life.
At 30 our gaze is on the world
ahead of us, outside of ourselves. At 60 this is internalised, focused on the
creative self. May Sarton expressed that her second Saturn return was about being,
not doing. The end of the fifties is marked by two potent returns, which
characterise a return to wisdom,
not information or knowledge. For the Pluto in Leo generation, this wisdom has always been focused on the
intense search for the self. The second Saturn return coupled with the fifth Jupiter
return marks the commencement of living in the world of the intangible, the internal, and
At her second Saturn return
Germaine Greer wrote The Whole Woman. Critics suggested this was a sequel to her
ground breaking The Female Eunuch, written at her first Saturn return. Greer has
been a potent voice on woman?s issues throughout her adult life. In an interview at
her second Saturn return she shared the greatest sadness of her life was not giving birth
to a child. At her present stage of life her inner dream world still carried the
expectancy of giving birth. However wisdom at the second Saturn return is
forged out of this experience of loss and the relinquishment of her dream child.5.
Greer typifies the Pluto in Leo loss of the magical child; a loss that helps initiate this
generation into the wisdom of the
third age which begins at the
second Saturn return.
The landscape of old age has changed; retirement as it was
once known is no longer the preferred option, or even the goal. The question is what
do we retire from? Conscious preparation during the previous decade has helped to
define a path beyond 60. What has emerged during our fifties that is creative,
rewarding and of value can be honoured and attended to. Saturn?s quest for autonomy,
hopefully, now can be realised. Saturn?s urge for acknowledgment, hopefully, has now
been internalised. Pluto in Leo does not retire; it has a lifestyle change. At
this stage of life we depend more on our investments and it is the investment into self,
which yields the highest return at this stage of the life cycle.
Each decade is informed by the
experiences of the previous cycles. At major transitional times we are drawn back to
the times of the previous cycles. Shortly after turning 60 we experience the final
square of Uranus. The first square occurred at the beginning of the 20?s, which
launched us into the early days of adulthood. At this waning square we are launched
into the early days of elder hood. Uranus charges the atmosphere with electricity,
discards the outdated and celebrates individuality. At its waning square these
rituals are more internal, unlike the waxing square where they tended to be more acted out
in the external environment. On the threshold to the 60?s we are awoken to the
liberation of being un-tethered to the rituals of daily life as we once knew them, the
intense demands of a full time career, the financial burdens of dependents, the grind of
everyday adult responsibilities. The freedom to explore the internal world is
available, not just for a weekend, a vacation or a sabbatical, but for the rest of the
life. At Uranus? waning square the freedom to separate from the demands of the
external world is taking hold. This is not a separation from work or even career
(although it often experienced as this) but a separation from the false and inauthentic
values of the external world. Retirement is from the false self, not the literal
world. The Uranus square launches the spirit into a period of excitement and change.
|59 - 60||
Fifth Jupiter Return
|60 - 62||Uranus Square Uranus|
|65||Saturn Square Saturn|
A Chinese sage pointed out that crisis was not only danger, but also a great opportunity for change. Astrologically we are reminded of the opportunities each decade holds and perhaps the only danger with these critical periods of the life cycle is in not honouring them.
The following portion of the article was taken from: http://www.natural-law-party.net/principal_policies/family_and_social_policy.htm
Older people should be the guiding light of the community
The older generation is a fund of wisdom and experience, of great potential value to immediate family and society as a whole. The knowledge, experience and maturity of our senior citizens can contribute to many areas of life, including education, the law and justice system, and in sustaining the fabric of the family and the community.
Under a Natural Law Party government elderly people will grow in enlightenment whilst at the same time enjoying doing the maximum possible to increase the nourishing power of Natural Law in society.
Energetic, healthy, self-sufficient
The system of natural health care advocated by the Natural Law Party is prevention-oriented. Research has shown that it leads to a 50% reduction in the need for medical care. For those over 40, the reduction is even more marked, rising to 68%. Retired people using this proven health care system find improvements in their health, well-being and mental clarity and live longer. They become more self-sufficient and so less dependent on others and the whole community enjoys the benefits of their wisdom and experience.
Here is the Book information for the Noble Quran that I used:
1- The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an.
Author: Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
Published by: Amana Publications, 10710 Tucker Street, Suite B, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2223 USA.
Telephone: (301) 595-5777.
Fax: (301) 595-5888.
ISBN: 0-91597-59-0 (HC).
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