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The Call for Islamization of Modern Psychology

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This presentation on ‘The Call for Islamization of Modern Psychology’ elucidates the nature and focus of psychology in the West and Muslim world. Since the West has gone through a period of shifting of paradigms in its views on man and psychology, and the fact that there exist a myriad of schools in psychology, the presenters would like to restrict their scope of analysis to only three schools from the western mainstream psychology. Among others that include psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology. In a contrastive manner ideas on Man from the three schools will be compared with what has been conceptualized in Islamic psychology. Due to the fact that at times western schools of psychology agree and complement one another in matters related to man and at other times they are at loggerhead with one another, has created an opportunity for the introduction of Islamic psychology. It is the conviction of the presenters that Islamic ideas on man which are comprehensive and all-encompassing can act as a ‘peace-maker’ to the polemical issues that are prevalent in western schools of psychology. It is believed that ideas provided by Islamic psychology can harmonize many of the differences found in western mainstream psychology.

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The Call for Islamization of Modern Psychology

  1. 1. The Call for Islamization of Modern Psychology By: Dr. Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak (maarji@iium.edu.my) Dr. Yousef Rahath House (Kulliyyah of Education) Department of Fundamental & Inter-Disciplinary Studies Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences International Islamic University Malaysia Presented to: Academic Centre for Education, Culture & Research Tehran, Iran March, 2017 © ACECR & maarji
  2. 2. This presentation on ‘The Call for Islamization of Modern Psychology’ elucidates the nature and focus of psychology in the West and Muslim world. Since the West has gone through a period of shifting of paradigms in its views on man and psychology, and the fact that there exist a myriad of schools in psychology, the presenters would like to restrict their scope of analysis to only three schools from the western mainstream psychology. Among others that include psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology. In a contrastive manner ideas on Man from the three schools will be compared with what has been conceptualized in Islamic psychology. Due to the fact that at times western schools of psychology agree and complement one another in matters related to man and at other times they are at loggerhead with one another, has created an opportunity for the introduction of Islamic psychology. It is the conviction of the presenters that Islamic ideas on man which are comprehensive and all-encompassing can act as a ‘peace-maker’ to the polemical issues that are prevalent in western schools of psychology. It is believed that ideas provided by Islamic psychology can harmonize many of the differences found in western mainstream psychology Abstract
  3. 3. Western Psychology in the Beginning According to Webster (2003), long before the emergence of the controversial theory on the origin of man by Charles Darwin (1809-1882), psychology like all other natural sciences had its roots in religion. More precisely, he states that Western psychology had initially been a branch of the Christian theology. Ideas on man, presented by Western psychology during that time were an amalgamated one taken from Plato (428-348BC), Jesus and Paul (5-67AD) (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  4. 4. Cont. In addition to that, psychologists paid much attention to the cognitive phenomena like memory, intelligence and perception which are all related to the human soul. By the end of the nineteenth century, this trend in the Western psychology changed when Sigmund Freud (1856-1039) introduced his psychoanalysis paradigm into the mainstream of Western psychology. With its emergence, psychoanalysis started to wreck, and challenge the traditional outlook of Western psychology (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  5. 5.  Nye(1986), states that although at times many of the ideas on man in the Western paradigms complement one another in answering the intricate questions on human nature, there are also times when they contradict each other (Mohd Abbas, 2013) 6
  6. 6. 7
  7. 7. Sigmund Freud Freud took psychology away from its mere focus and discussion on certain selected topics, to deal with the whole issue of human existence. Controversial enough to state, he gave the topics on sexuality and sexual impulses great importance in the psychological growth of man. Previously such topics were deemed as an intellectual pollution by Plato and other ancient philosophers. Some even went to the extent to accolade him with praises as the ‘Darwin of the mind’ (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  8. 8.  Painted a negative image of man  There is no difference between man and other members of the animal kingdom  Man is an intellectual beast doomed for destruction  Man is enslaved to his sexual impulses  Man has no freedom to cut loose from the shackles of his psychosexual development  Freud’s concept on man is a pessimistic and deterministic one  Man is driven by two psychic forces; Eros  (Life Instinct) and Thanatos (Death Insticnt) 9
  9. 9. 10 Pavlov(1849-1936) J.B.Watson (1878-1958) B.F.Skinner (1904-1990)
  10. 10. Behaviorism Unlike the psychoanalysts, the behaviorists have a different concept of human nature altogether. In their concept of human nature, much emphasis has been laid on explaining that man is nothing more than an outcome of his own environment. In the behaviorist concept, the environment refers to the physical as well as the social condition of family, society and the country at large. Behaviourism as a school of thought in psychology has its roots in John Locke's (1632-1704) theory of associationism (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  11. 11.  Based on the ‘tabula rasa’ theory, man is neither good nor bad  Man is nothing more than an outcome of his environment  Radical Behaviorism: Man and animals can be conditioned by stimulus and response and reinforcement  Man becomes a mechanical being.  They emphasized on man’s learning experience  They do not believe that man is born with innate knowledge 12
  12. 12. 13 Maslow (1908-1970) Carl Rogers (1902-1987)
  13. 13. Humanistic Psychology Humanistic psychology was not happy with Freud's concept of human nature that depicted man as an animal full of sexual and aggressive energy that drives him wild and reckless in the pursuit of his selfish motives. As a response to psychoanalysis, humanistic psychology emphasized strongly on the parts of human nature that are uniquely of human potentials such as reflection, reasoning, judgment, self-awareness, rationality and creative imaginations. Moreover, humanistic psychologists, believe that every individual has a freedom of choice, a tendency to enjoy interpersonal relationship, can have his or her own intention and purpose in life and also able to undergo spiritual experience otherwise called as ‘peak experience’ in one’s life (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  14. 14.  Man is born with a good nature but reacts negatively due to situations which he gets into  They did not believe that all human actions can be reduced to a stimulus-response type of action  They believe, man has a subjective inner dimension  Man has the freedom to choose either to respond or not to the demands of the environment  Man’s state of consciousness is more important than his unconscious  Man has the tendency for growth to experience ‘Self-Actualization’ and ‘Fully-functioning Person’ 15
  15. 15.  Many scholars in the West were and are influenced by what has been conceptualized by Charles Darwin (1809-1882).  Darwin’s idea that states the origin of man goes back to the ape family is lurking in the ideas of Western scholars who appeared later on the intellectual stage of Europe 16
  16. 16. Islamic Psychology Unlike the Western schools of psychology; namely the Freudian psychoanalysis, Behaviorism and Humanistic psychology, which are based on secular notion on human nature, Islamic psychology is one that is purely based on the religious ideas on man. In exploring the contents of Islamic psychology, one would discover that it caters to answer many of the unattended enigmatic issues on man by the Western mainstream psychology (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  17. 17. Nature of Islamic Psychology Islamic psychology is unique when compared to Western psychology in the sense that it provides a comprehensive understanding on man, his true nature, his origin before coming into this world, his supposed mission and role in this life and also of his eventual return upon completing this earthly life. In contrast to this thorough explanation on man by Islamic psychology, Western psychology only emphasizes matters pertaining to man of his physical, psychological and socio-cultural needs. Moreover, by being more concerned with man’s ‘here and now’, Western psychology does not dwell on what was the state of man before he was born and what happens to him after death. (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  18. 18. Nature of Islamic…..cont. Different to Western mainstream psychology, Islamic psychology is much concerned about the state of humanness in man and to the study of his soul/spirit. In its investigations on man and personality development, Islamic psychology tries to understand the functions of the RËÍ, Qalb, Nafs and ÑAql. For many Muslim psychologists the four entities are one and the same thing referring to the RËÍ. For some, the four act as different entities in the human body. Yet, the four entities form the spiritual dimension on man. The knowledge and understanding of these four entities have helped Muslim psychologists solve many psychological issues pertaining to human problems (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  19. 19. • Man has pre-existed before he came to this world • Human beings are the progeny of Adam • Man is the Khalifah/vicegerent of God on earth • Man was taught by Allah - as such, he possesses the creative intelligence • Man was created in the best of moulds • Man was given the natural disposition • Man is placed on the highest pedestal in the hierarchy of creations • Man was not the First Creation of Allah SWT • The world was prepared for Man before his coming 20
  20. 20.  At times man’s position can go higher than the angels and lower than animals  Man is forgetful  Man is given the freedom of choice to choose his way, either to be thankful or ungrateful to Allah  Man is given the ‘Amanah’  Man has a dual nature; soul and body  The spiritual dimension of man 21
  21. 21. 22 And when your Lord said to the angels: “Indeed, I will make a vicegerent upon the earth.” They said: “Will you place upon it one who will cause corruption therein, and will shed blood, while we glorify Your praise and sanctify You.” He said: “Surely, I know that which you know not.” Surah Al-Baqarah 2:30
  22. 22.  He is known in the Qur’an as: Man Al- Insan An- Nas Al-Ins Bani Adam Zurriyat Adam Al- Bashr 23
  23. 23. 24 Body Soul/ Spirit/ Mind
  24. 24. Khalifah Khulafah Khulaif 25
  25. 25. Vicegerent Administer Deputy Representative 26
  26. 26. Allah •Establish a good relationship with Allah, •This world is given as a trust •He has to serve Allah SWT and no other deities/gods • He has to be accountable for all his actions on this world Nature •Bring out the potentials from the belly of the earth and used them for his spiritual development •Nature is a gift from Allah (Flora & Fauna) •Man should not abuse or cause destruction •Administer the world well- establish peace and harmony Humanity •Establish a good relationship with fellow human beings; Muslims and non-Muslims 27
  27. 27.  Born in the primordial nature/ born with his natural disposition  Born without any stain of sin  In Islam, man is not born with the ‘Original Sin’ 28
  28. 28. 29 So set you your face (O Muhammad) towards (this) Faith, inclining to truth. The nature of Allah that upon which He has created mankind. There is no altering in (the laws of) Allah’s creation. That is the right religion, but most of the people do not know [ Surah Rum30: 30 ]
  29. 29. 30
  30. 30.  “We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof. But man undertook it (the Trust);- he was indeed unjust and foolish...” (Surah Al-Ahzab:72) 31
  31. 31.  The word Amanah in Surah Ahzab:72 has several meanings to it  Scholars say Amanah can be the sum total of all the injunctions found in the Qur’an  The Qur’an can be the Amanah  The human intellect or Aql’ can be the Amanah  The Vicegerency can be the Amanah  The covenant between Allah and the whole of humanity in the realm of soul, prior to his coming to this world 32
  32. 32. 33 We have certainly created man in the finest of moulds (Surah Al-Tin 95:4) And indeed, We have honored the children of Adam, and We have carried them on the land and the sea, and We have provided them with good things, and We have preferred them above many of those whom We created, (a sure) preference (Surah Al-Isra’:70)
  33. 33. 34 Indeed, We guided him to the way, whether be he grateful or be he ungrateful (rests on his will) Surah Al-Insan76:3)
  34. 34. 35 And indeed, We made a covenant with Adam before, but he forgot, and We did not find in him determination Surah Ta Ha 20: 115
  35. 35. 36 And He taught Adam all the names, then He showed them to the angels and said: “Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.” They said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except that which You have taught us. Indeed, it is You, the All Knower, the All Wise.” Surah Baqarah2: 31-32
  36. 36.  Al-Ruh  Al-Qalb  Al-Nafs  Al-Aql’ 37 Al- Aql’ Al- Nafs Al- Qalb Al- Ruh
  37. 37. 1. Jannah (Adam& Hawwa) 2. Alam Al-Arwah (Realm of the Souls) 3. Alam Al-Arham (9+ months) 4. Alam Al- Dunya (60-70 yrs) 5. Alam Al- Barzakh 6. Qiyamah (end of time) 7. Yaumul Hisab (Judg- ment) 8. Al-Mizan (The Balance) 9. Sirat (the Bridge) The Spiritual Journey of Man: An Islamic Perspective Jahan -nam (Hell) 38
  38. 38. Some Analysis on Western & Islamic Psychologies Western Mainstream Psychology Islamic Psychology 1. Based on scientific & secular ideas 2. Method: mainly scientific 3. Focuses on Man’s “Here & Now” 4. It is a “Soulless” psychology which focuses on the human mind 5. Darwin’s concept on man forms the basis for many schools of psychology 6. Dichotomous way of looking at human nature (mind and body) 7. Psychologists, counselors and psychotherapists take a ‘value-free’ approach when dealing with their clients 8. Over dependent on psychedelic drugs to overcome their clients mental illness 9. No consensus on what is considered to be an ideal personality 10. Absence of a role-model in their theories of personality 1. Based on ideas taken from the Qur’an, Sunnah & medieval Muslim scholars 2. Method: Religious & philosophical 3. Explains Man’s pre-existence, “Here & Now” & Hereafter 4. Entertains discussion on the nature of the human soul 5. Its concept on Man goes back to ideas found in the Qur’an & Sunnah 6. Integrated way of looking at the relationship between the soul and body 7. Psychologists, counselors & psychotherapists provide a ‘value-laden’ services to their clients 8. Recommends reading & listening to the Qur’an, meditation, contemplation, prayers, fasting, taubah(repentance), etc. as a form of therapy 9. What is a good personality is well- explained from the Qur’anic and Sunnah perspectives 10. Prophets & his companions & saintly
  39. 39. Western Psychology is making a U-Turn • As a result of the Renaissance & Secularism, western psychology left God & embraced science and scientific methods to solve all psychopathological problems • In the beginning it started to measure human greatness by using IQ= Intelligence Quotient • After that psychologists said something is missing in human beings, then they came up with EQ= Emotional Quotient • The latest development, they are calling for SQ=Spiritual Quotient • This new trend sounds as if psychologists are returning back to religious & philosophical ideas • But their new concept of spirituality without the presence of God is still not good enough to remedy all psychopathological problems * The following three slides are my quotes on God
  40. 40. God God is like the central piece of the jigsaw- puzzle of life.Without Him life becomes less romantic and meaningless (Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak) IIUM
  41. 41. A day without God in my life will be a total chaos (Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak) IIUM God
  42. 42. The ongoing tussle between good and evil within me says that God exists (Mohd Abbas Abdul Razak) IIUM God
  43. 43. Limitation of Scientific Approach Western psychologists at one time used the philosophical approach and at another time they used the scientific approach aided by laboratory, scientific tools, and even computers. The latest developments in Western Psychology show that psychologists are reverting back to some philosophical ideas due to their inability to find satisfactory answers in some areas of psychology by merely using scientific approach (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  44. 44. Limitation of Science……cont. The optimism of fifty years ago has now dissipated and the social and psychological problems of Western societies are probably the only variables that have surpassed economic inflation in their sharp increase. Their failure is not surprising since the psychology of humankind, with all its complex variables and spiritual aspects, could never be reduced to the chemical and physical data of laboratory experiments (M.G. Husain, 1996, p.xi)
  45. 45. New Trend in Western Psychology Western psychology which evolved from a philosophical approach to a scientific one in the study of man has somehow neglected the true essence of psychology which is the study of the human soul. As such it is now regarded as a ‘soulless psychology’. In realizing this situation, the latest trend in Western psychology indicates that psychologists are incorporating some Eastern philosophical and religious ideas into their existing scientific ideas on man. Considering this as an open invitation, Muslim scholars and psychologists have initiated efforts on the Islamization of modern psychology by sharing ideas on man’s spiritual dimension found in the Islamic primary sources (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  46. 46. Islamization of Modern Psychology The Islamization process is not a total rejection of all scientific research done by Western scholars. The rejection of science and scientific research is not the true spirit of the Qur’an. With this in mind, Muslim scholars, scientists and psychologists only reject all atheistic, secularist, agnostic and nihilistic ideas found in the researches done by Western scholars (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  47. 47. Role of Islamic Psychology Islamic psychology with its comprehensive ideas on human nature has been seen by Muslim scholars as a new perspective in psychology that can fill in the lacunae present in the modern psychological thoughts on man, and clears the mist that surrounds most Western theories on man. It is expected that Islamic psychology can harmonize many of the disagreements found among the different schools of psychology in the West (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  48. 48. What to Retain from Western Psychology • As stated by Badri (1979) and other Muslims psychologists that it will be good for Muslim psychologists to adopt and adapt some of the ideas found in Western psychology so long as these ideas are not contradictory to their Islamic faith, into their own system of psychology. • Psychological tools, measurements to conduct intelligence tests, behaviour therapy and behavioral psychotherapy which are found on learning theory can be well incorporated into the realm of Islamic psychology. Moreover, such psychological tools have great relevance in the fields of education, military and medicine (Mohd Abbas, 2013)
  49. 49. Moteshakeram Syukran Jazilan Terima Kasih ThankYou

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