In 1934, a psychologist named Kurt Goldstein, in his breakthrough work, The Organism, discovered a human condition that he called “self-actualization.” Mr. Goldstein’s discovery was later expounded on by Abraham Maslow.
Maslow explained that these unique people (1% of the world’s population according to him) who were able to self-actualize held certain traits.
From these traits were the following:
Seeing reality as it is, having an inclination towards solitude, experiencing peak spiritual moments of ecstasy, possessing a renewed appreciation and awe for nature, feeling a deep connection and genuine concern for all humans despite labels and affiliations, being mission-driven in life in order to solve problems greater and beyond themselves, and having acceptance of the flaws and contradictions of others.
Are these not the characteristics of the prophets and righteous men? Compare those qualities with the traits of the Messenger of Allah , peace be upon him, with Hadhrat Abu Bakr, with Hadhrat Umar radi Allahu `anhum , with many other Sahaba, with Imam Hasan al Basri, with Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi, with Shaykh Abdul Qadir jeelani, with Salahadin, (may God be pleased with them), with countless number of Imams and Mashaykh of the Ummah and with those hidden pious shuyookh (spiritual leaders) who still exist today far away from the spotlight. They are all one and the same.
(Based on an article by Shaykh Suhaib Webb, with some modifications)