Anthropology: A New Scope
The Human Nature in the Koran
Some verses of the Koran show some of man's psychological elements and positive and negative aspects, not the nature and identity of man. A few of such verses are:
خلق الانسان ضعيفا
"Man was created a weakling."(Women, 4:28)
خلق الانسان من عجل
"Man was created of haste." (Prophets, 21:37)
ان الانسان خلق هلوعا اذا مسه الشر جزوعا و اذا مسه الخير منوعا
"Surely man was created fretful; when evil visits him, impatient, when good visits him, grudging." (The Stairways, 70:19-21)
It is impossible to take the true identity and nature of man into consideration using these verses. In fact, since man's degrees of elevation and degradation are truly infinite, he cannot be totally discovered. The potentials and talents mentioned by the Koran express not only man's identity, but some of the characteristics and qualities he can show. If the Koran did explain the elements of man's congeniality and nature, it would not need to mention some exceptional human beings or condemn others.
والعصر ان الانسان لفی خسر الا الذين امنو و عملوا الصالحات
"By the afternoon! Surely man is in the way of loss, save those who believe and do righteous deeds." (The Afternoon, 103:1-3)
The Koranic verse mentioning that man has been created of haste does not imply the nature or identity of man either, for haste is a certain quality about how we move from a starting-point to a destination; it is not an external, independent fact about the movement that can be considered a part of human nature. Furthermore, the following verse cautions man for his haste, so if it were all or part of his innate nature, it would be impossible for him to give it up.
خلق الانسان من عجل ساريکم اياتی فلا تستعجلون
"Man was created of haste. Assuredly I shall show you My signs; so demand not that I make haste." (Prophets, 21:37)
There are various anthropological theories. One theory, pertaining to materialists, believes that man is a harmonious machine that has achieved perfection and complexity through the laws of nature. According to this theory, human beings should be considered just like other creatures, for he has no identity different from them.
There are a great many differences between man and machines, the least of them being the element life. Man has a huge number of characteristics no machine can have. We have listed 232 human characteristics based on man's identity and relationships with others. However, some are so diverse themselves that the list can be actually considered to include 950 characteristics. Some of them are:
1) Man's ego, 2) Man's awareness of his ego, 3) Man's attitude, which shows the quality of his character, 4) Endeavoring for perfection, 5) Reinforcing his will, 6) Autolysis, 7) Macro mania, 8) Self-consciousness and self-alienation toward peers, 9) Self-ignorance and the possibility for self-discovery, 10) Self-loss, 11) Self-denial, 12) Conscious conscience, self-conscious conscience and unconscious conscience, 13) Moral conscience (with 50 different functions), 14) Pride and glory, 15) Desire for fame, 16) Self-defense, 17) Psychological complexes, 18) Internal emotions, feelings and anxieties (over 100 different types), 19) Introversion and extroversion, 20) Analytical and combination thought, 21) An existent called the heart, with over 100 functions, 22) Intellectualism and solidity of thought, 23) Hope, 24) Dissatisfaction of monotony, 25) Wishing, 26) Denial, 27) Sacrifice, 28) Seeking benefit over others, 29) Idealism, 30) Worship, etc.