Positivity: The Fertile Ground of Ma‘arifah
For a plant to grow, fertile land is essential. Only on fertile land will it be possible for a plant to grow into a green tree. Such a development cannot take place on barren land. For a tree to grow, fertile land is indispensable. Fertile land is favorable for the plant, while barren land is totally unproductive.
The same is true of ma‘arifah. Ma‘arifah can take place only in such a seeker as has a noble personality. One who is not such a seeker cannot attain to ma‘arifah. He has to have a positive personality. Conversely an unfavorable personality may be described as a negative personality. One who desires that the orchard of ma‘arifah should grow within him should turn himself into a positive personality, whatever the cost.
A man with a negative personality is one who is of a reactionary disposition. He is one who succumbs to the influence of his environment. Because of his immature consciousness, he is easily influenced by external events. Such a person who is of a negative bent of mind can never receive the blessing of ma‘arifah.
One with a positive personality, because of his mature consciousness, is able to rise above external circumstances, and is able to form his opinions uninfluenced by external pressures. He will ultimately convert negative experiences into positive lessons.
By the grace of God, one endowed with a positive personality finds the opportunity to think along the right lines, and continues to discover ma‘arifah so that the process of building a spiritual personality is ever ongoing. The attainment of ma‘arifah is possible only on the basis of a positive personality.
Source: Discovering Islam