Archive | May 10, 2010

Women are Emotional and Men are Pragmatic!

Women are Emotional and Men are Pragmatic!

By Hwaa Irfan

Women… how many times have you found yourself in a series of misunderstandings because the discussion was with a male who just did not seem to register your emotions? You might have even reached the point whereby you have had enough from what has become an exasperating scenario, because they just do not seem to get! An example is the character Khan played in the film “My Name is Khan”. However with Khan, he had a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome (occurs mainly in males), where he could not register emotions. The difference is, Khan knew that he could not register emotions, and he let everyone else know that.

Autism is one of those diseases that fall under the category of diseases which have a strong gender component. Some researchers have been focusing on this issue. A team from the Université de Montréal Centre de recherche en neuropsychologie et cognition (CERNEC) looked into the problem with physically and mentally able men and women. The aim was to establish whether women are better at distinguishing emotions than men.

To help assess the reaction of the volunteers, real people were used to demonstrate feelings through facial expression. The importance of facial expressions in the experiment was as described by one of the researchers, Olivier Collignon:

    “Facial movements have been shown to play an important role in the perception of an emotion’s intensity as well as stimulate different parts of the brain used in the treatment of such information.”

Auditory stimuli, visual stimuli, compatible audio-visual stimuli, and contradictory audi-visual stimuli were used. The emotions that were focused on were fear, and disgust, as these two emotions have been considered as prerequisites to human survival as they are protective, and cannot easily be supplanted by the nature or nurture reasoning.

The study proved conclusively that men are less efficient at distinguishing and expressing emotions than women, reaffirming previous studies. Women responded more quickly to expressions portrayed by a female than a male, and women were faster than men at responding to multisensory expressions.

Improving Husband and Wife Communication

How men communicate and how women communicate is not the same. In general, men use different parts of the brain to women. This may have something to do with genetics, but there are other factors involved including evolution, as women have always multi-tasked.

Men think mainly with the left brain although in schooling (factory education) the left brain of girls functions faster than boys in a coed environment. The left brain is seemingly logical and rational. Reasoning is linear, task orientated and holds the navigational skills.

The bundle of nerves between the left and right brain, the limbic system, is thicker in women; so women use both their left and right brain simultaneously.. The right brain is where memories are stored, were the skills are better for phonetic language (reading). The right brain is also where the communication and visual skills are located.

Women are more expressive and in touch with their feelings due to their larger limbic system. Women are raised to be in touch with their feelings and the feelings of others.

Women communicate multimodal in verbs (rapport speech), and men communicate in nouns and to the point (reported speech). Men tend to use only one side at a time for either logical thinking or for feeling. Asking one’s husband to focus on their feelings may preclude logic temporarily and the wife might be asking for more than she bargained for.

If you expect someone to do more than he is able to do, then expect him to fail you by as much as you have exceeded his capacity” – ‘Ali ibn ‘Abu Talib

Wife/Husband Scenarios

The wife wants her husband to do the little thing that show he has thought about her, and cares about her feelings. If the husband does not want to be misunderstood, he can show more of his himself in a way that his wife can understand. This will let the wife know that he is not trying to push her away, and that he does want to be close to her.

Men are more biologically reactive, focus on negative words, and criticism. They stay upset for longer following a conflict, and will withdraw to protect themselves in general. Men must feel that they can achieve their goals, in order that they may feel good about themselves.

Women tend to share with others through their feelings, and the quality of relationships to feel good about themselves and to negotiate closeness, but men tend to communicate to negotiate status. So how do the two get together!

“You just never listen!” might be a wife’s response, as the husband moves to a solution and problem solving right away, without her. He just jumps in with a solution before the wife has had a chance to process her options, when the wife wants to talk about the problem and solve it collaboratively. The husband may understand that processing is a way for women to include others and build relations, and the wife may know this so to override the problem the wife needs to be upfront. Say what you really need from your husband otherwise he might just feel manipulated.

“I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me process this problem by listening and asking questions”.

If the husband is really not sure what the wife wants from him he should ask upfront.

“Do you want my advice or just someone to listen to you?”

Women must learn that the kind of intimate talk they are used to with their girlfriends should remain just that. Trying to turn the husband into a girlfriend will usually fail because men, in general, do not create feelings of closeness in that way. Observe and listen rather than process out aloud.

“But he won’t let me help!” This is where the wife needs to understand that the husband is resisting help and support because to him, help may infer a lack of trust in his ability. The wife is preventing him from learning what he needs to learn for himself so do not be so quick to offer advice. But when the husband offers to help, this presents an opportunity to show support and care.

However, if a wife is doing what she wants the husband to do, or expects him to do it, one has to think consciously about what makes a spouse feel valued and cared about.

Ask yourself:

• What is the purpose or the goal of that communication?

• What do we mean when we say/feel we want to communicate?

What we really mean, way deep down inside, is that we want to feel good about ourselves. Both husband and wife want that! We want to love and be loved, be appreciated, be recognized, be honored, and to be respected and supported – don’t we?

{ If He pleases, He causes the wind to become still so that they lie motionless on its back; most surely there are signs in this for every patient, grateful one} (Ash Shura 42: 33)

True or False?

Someone might be saying, well, that’s not true of the women/men that I know. Well, I have to say, that the context of the above is western and/or secular. As we increasingly live in individualist societies, certain polarities are likely to develop where one is only responsible to one’s self or those one


to be responsible to/for. I grew up in a generation where men and women did share their concerns, and were sisters and brothers to each other, and I still come across types who do not fall under the above categories. In fact some women are becoming to pragmatic, and some are men overly emotional but disguise it with pragmatism – some would call this politics!

{And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer, and pay the poor rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle (as for these), Allah will show mercy to them} (Al-Baraat 9: 71)

Science Daily. Women Outperform Men When Identifying Emotions

Related Topics:
The Missing Link in the Education of Our Boys
The Tresses of Forgetfulness.
Discovering Your Emotional Intelligence
The Brain Says Men and Women are Different When It Comes to Stress


A Sacred Place

A Sacred Place

By Hwaa Irfan

Of those who have struggled to obtain greater insight into God’s law, they have been blessed with a greater responsibility, to teach and guide the rest of us. As we tend to believe what is visible, importance is placed on the physical. When we seek refuge we run to a physical place. Rather than make the environment in which we live in a place of worship and remembrance we separate worship as something that can only be done in the domain of a building that has been designed specifically for that purpose.

A fundamental aspect to the design of some sacred places is geodesy meaning earthlike or spheroidal. Abu Raihan Muhammed ibn Ahmad Al-Biruni (362 A.H/973 B.C.) as a naturalist, geographer, astronomer, and astrologer, geodesy was classified as natural philosophy involving matter + form, and time + space, whereas it was classified as a mathematical science under ibn Sina. In the reductive times in which we live, geodesy has fallen under the physical domain, as a branch of mathematics that focuses on the size and shape of the earth. Regardless, it still involved geometry which is rooted in the religious sciences as sacred geometry.
Islamic religious architectural design is based on sacred geometry. One can find geometry in the design of all life forms from the cells of our bodies, plant forms, water, and geological structures hence the expression “geometry is God manifest”. As much as we try to move away from God, His presence is wherever we are. Water molecules, carbon atoms, proteins, cells, bodily tissues etc, are able to facilitate their purpose in the cycle of life because of their geometrical design. The ability of organisms to stabilize mechanically is due to their connectedness to a frame of triangles, pentagons, and hexagons etc.

Rahul Singhvi and others believed that by changing the shape of cells, they could switch God’s genetic programming. They tried to force living cells to take on other geometrical shapes, but their knowledge achieved little. Instead the cells became flat away from their geodesic dome shapes and developed a propensity to divide and activate apoptosis – death program. This is man dabbling with the laws of His nature.

Following through, an analogy can be drawn with man who forces others to be the same – we are not all squares or rectangles. Man is splitting and dividing the world, against the laws of nature, triggering a death wish can be witnessed by the extent of the violence that is occurring today at all levels of society.

The problem for man’s ego is, that geodesic forms existed in inorganic forms long before DNA existed even water molecules are structurally geodesic for all matter is subject to the same spatial parameters regardless of scale or position. This confirms that The Plan was set from the very beginning of creation.

Everything as a purpose and a purpose for everything, even art once served a greater purpose as objective art. George Gurdjieff, a philosopher who traveled much in the Islamic and pre-Islamic world described objective art as follows:

    “Among works of art, especially ancient works of art, you meet with many things you cannot explain, and which contains a certain something you do not feel in modern works of art.

    “Objective art requires at least flashes of objective consciousness; in order to understand these flashes properly and to make proper use of them a great inner unity is necessary and a great control of one’s self”

Both geodesy and objective art reflect fundamentals of Islamic architecture. Mechanically domes are power enhancers. A whisper on one side of a sound-reflecting dome building is easily heard because the sound becomes focused towards the center of the spherical shape. This principle applies to all forms of energy under a dome: a concave lens, dish antennae’s and electromagnetic waves.

Arab and Muslim builders who adopted the dome from traditions prior to Islam, introduced other concepts, and applied this knowledge into Islamic architecture. They have made the non-physical physical, through centuries of experience, knowledge, craftsmanship and artistry using local materials. From these contributions the attempt at environmental harmony as a reflection of the divine concept of humanity was made.

An Example in Time

It is this transcendence of objective art that the Dome of the Rock – El-Qubbet El-Sakhrah speaks of. In ancient Semetic tradition, this site was the intersection of the underworld and upperworld (which brings to mind the Hermetic axiom “As above, so below”). It was where Prophet Ibrahim/Abraham built an alter to sacrifice his son Ishmael, it was where God through Prophet Nathaniel rejected David’s wish to build a temple because he had shed blood (Bible: Samuel II 7:12 -13), it was where the Hellenic and Greek god Apollo was worshipped in the belief that this is the intersection of both worlds. It was there that Prophet Muhammed (SAW) ascended to his “Night Journey” leading prophet Abraham/Ibrahim, Musa/Moses, Issa/Jesus, and others in prayer. Today, Muslims do not pray inside the Dome, for it is forbidden for anyone to pray inside what is seen as the gateway between two worlds. Even the “halakhah” in rabbinical text does not permit entry into this site. Mustafa Mould, a convert to Islam from Judaism recounted:

“Standing at the wall of Solomon’s Temple, the Dome of the Rock, and El-Aqsa gave me an intense feeling I could not describe at the time. I can describe it now: I was sensing a feeling of holiness; it’s no wonder the Islamic name is El-Quds.”

Yitzhak Hayat-Ma’n describes the design of the Dome as one that creates movement in physical space causing the pilgrim to move in comprehension. This sense of circumambulation is reflect in the sensation of spiraling upwards as in the Sufi dance, the centrifugal force and the double helix of DNA.

Brian Wingate who loves to visit sites of Islamic architecture pondered on the Dome and said:

    “The designs are so intricate and geometric that they seem to turn in endlessly upon themselves, inviting your own mind to do the same”.

This is the difference between objective art, and modern art, as modern art has a different effect on each onlooker, whereas with objective art the effect is the same on all onlookers calling on the unification of man.

This was first written in 2002.

‘Abu-Sway, M. “Towards an Islamic Jurisprudence of the Environment” 1998.

Fathy, H. “Architecture and the Environment”. Arid Land Newsletter. 36 (1994)

Hayat-Ma’n,Y. “Investigation of the Dome of the Rock” Academy of Jerusalem”

Ingber, D. “The Architecture of Life” 1998. “The Virtues of the Dome”. 2001

Lapidus, I. “A History of Islamic Societies”. Britain: Cambridge University Press. 1995.

Mould, M. “Odyssey to Islam”. http://jews-for-allah/Jewish-Converts-to-islam/odyssey_to_islam.htm 2001.

Nasr, S. “Islamic Cosmological Doctrines” Britain: Thames & Hudson. 1978.

Ouspensky, P. “In Search of the Miraculous” Britain: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1983.

Sacred Sites. “Dome of the Rock” 2002

Sakkal, M. “(Computational) Geometry in Islam Architecture”. University of Washington. 2002

Templemount Faithful. “The Riddle of the Dome of the Rock”. http:/// 2001

Related Topics:
The Great Flood & Noah’s Ark
The Patterns of Our Lives