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The Islamization of
Psychology
By
ZULKIFLI KHAIR
“Unthinking repetition of Western
theories and practices in the discipline
of psychology probably presents one of
the most serious threats to the status of
Islamic ideology among our Muslim
scholars and laity. Western psychologists
propound theories about man’s
personality, motivation, and behaviour
which are in many ways contradictory to
Islam.”
(Malik Babikir Badri)
Islamic concept of knowledge (‘ilm)
• Knowledge is from God and He knows everything.
• Knowledge should benefit man’s faith and the
entire world.
• Obligation to learn, to develop, to spread and to
practice the knowledge.
• Two kinds of knowledge:
– The highest knowledge – the revealed knowledge.
– The knowledge of the sciences (‘ulum), and is acquired
through experience and observation and research – the
acquired knowledge or human knowledge.
• Western concept of knowledge only based on the
experience and observation.
God knows everything
“He is the sovereignty of the heavens and
the earth; He gives life and He gives
death, and He is able to do all things. He
is the First and the Last, the Outward
and the Inward, and He has knowledge
of all things.” (Quran, 57: 2-3)
“His knowledge encompasses all things.”
(Quran, 20: 98)
Useful knowledge
“…that which increases your knowledge
of God, His attributes, acts, and favors;
makes you aware of His commands and
prohibitions; leads you to renounce the
things of this world and wish only for
the Hereafter; and brings your faults, the
defect in your acts, and the plots of your
enemy to your notice.” (Abdullah ibn
Alawi al-Haddad, 1989; p. 26)
The holy book Quran
• After Muhammad, Islam only accept the Quran as
the complete and final revelation, testament and
holy book. There are three other holy books to be
believed in Islam: Zabur, Taurat and Injil.
• Quran’s words are from God, not written by
Muhammad as Islam as the religion of God and
not a Mohammadan or the religion that founded
by Muhammad.
• Quran is not a book on psychology and science,
futuristic book, literature etc. but the right
guidance of man of all times, all places, and all
races – never out of date and universal.
The Sunnah
• Some scholars say that sunnah is similar to
hadith.
• Sunnah is:
– Saying (Qawl),
– Action (Fi'l),
– Approvals (Taqreer),
– Description (Sifah),
– Attributable to the prophet Muhammad.
“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and
earth, and in the alteration of night and day,
there are indeed signs for men of
understanding.
Those who remember Allah while they are
standing, sitting, and lying down on their
sides, and THINK DEEPLY about the
creation of the heavens and the earth,
(saying): Our Lord! You have not created all
this without purpose, glory be to You! Save us
from the torment of the Fire.” (Ali ‘Imran: 190191)
The concept of islamization
• “Islamization is the liberation of man first from
magical, mythological, animistic, nationalcultural tradition opposed to Islam, and then
from secular control over his reason and his
language. The man of Islam is he whose reason
and language are no longer controlled by magic,
mythology, animism, his own national and
cultural traditions opposed to Islam, and
secularism. He is liberated from both the
magical and the secular world views….
• ….We have defined the nature of Islamization as a
liberating process. It is liberating because since man is
both physical being and spirit, the liberation refers to
his spirit, for man as such is the real man to whom all
conscious and significant actions ultimately refer. The
liberation of his spirit or soul bears direct influence
upon his physical being or body in that it brings about
peace and harmony within himself in his manifestation
as a human being; and also between him as such and
nature. He has, in liberation in this sense, set his course
towards attainment to his original state, which is in
harmony with the state of all being and existence (i.e.
fitrah).” (Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, 1993; p. 4445)
The islamization of knowledge
“To recast knowledge as Islam
relates to it, is to islamize it; i.e.,
to redefine, and reorder the data,
to rethink the reasoning and
relating of the data, to
reevaluate the conclusions, to
reproject the goals – and to so
in such a way as to make the
disciplines enrich the vision and
serve the cause of Islam.”
(Ismail al-Faruqi, 1982; p. 15-16)
The islamization of psychology
-
-
-
Redefine, and reorder the data, rethink the
reasoning and relating of the data, reevaluate the
conclusions, rewrite the history, reproject the goals
of the psychology according to Islam as well as
liberate the psychology from any other magical and
secular world views.
Muslim psychologists are responsible and
accountable to islamize the modern western
psychology.
Psychology, the most difficult knowledge to be
islamized.
The problems of Western
psychology
-
-
The psychology without soul.
Ignoring revealed knowledge.
Dualism in moral and value system. For
example: Accepting homosexual.
Criticized by Western great scholars e.g.
Eysenck, Wilbur etc.
Sexual abuse in psychotherapy and
counseling.
Cross-Cultural Counseling: The ArabPalestinian Case by Marwan Adeeb Dwairy.
The problems with islamization of
psychology
-
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Psychology is a collection of different
discipline.
Psychology deals with human
behaviour.
Different psychologists speak different
language.
Psychology is even different from other
social science.
* Adapted from handouts by Alizi Alias as referred to
Malik Badri’s lecture at IIUM, 1993.
Psychology is a collection of
different discipline
-
Psychology as the most difficult knowledge
to be islamized.
No logical sequence in psychology.
Chapters in the discipline of psychology are
almost independent or unrelated each other.
Psychology deals with human
behaviour
-
No ‘small unit’ in psychology as in physics,
chemistry and biology.
Human behaviour is difficult to be
measured – difficult to invent a special
measurement tool.
Different psychologists speak different
language
-
The divergent field of psychology.
Psychologist who specialise in the scientific
branches (bio psychology, perception,
behavioural genetic etc.) may speak a
different language from the psychologists
who specialise in the less scientific area
(social psychology, psych of personality etc.)
Psychology is even different from
other social science
-
-
Other social sciences are greatly ‘socialised’
and dial with man’s behaviour in a limited
sense.
Psychology is reating its one leg in pure
sciences and the other foot on social
sciences.
Methods of Islamisation
-
Psychology as a philosophy.
Psychology as a pure science.
Psychology as arts and skills.
Psychology as a history.
Psychology as a collection of
subject matters and methods.
* Adapted from handouts by Alizi Alias as referred to Malik
Badri’s lecture at IIUM, 1993.
Psychology as a philosophy
-
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-
Problem: We view the theories and practices of
Western psychology as universal and culture-free.
Whatever is publicly announced by them is
accepted by us as ‘world opinion’.
Western psychology is entirely based on a secular
materialistic philosophy that denies any sacredness
or holiness to any moral, spiritual or humanistic
value.
Islamisation – should refer to the Islamic
philosophy and carried out by Muslim psychologist
and other Muslim scholars.
Psychology as a pure science
-
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Problem 1: Scientific theory and explanation has
been viewed as the only truth besides rejecting
revealed knowledge.
Problem 2: Over-generalisations from animal
research to man; human dignity is abused in social
experiments as simply a rat or a dog.
Islamisation – Psychology should be wellgrounded in the sciences itself besides following
the syari’ah and adab of Islam.
Psychology as arts and skills
-
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Psychology as arts and skills; e.g. psychotherapy,
psychometric and counseling.
Problem 1: Psychometric is almost bias to western
community.
Problem 2: Psychotherapy and counseling do not
follow Islamic syari’ah and adab for instance during
dealing with client in different gender.
Islamisation – Develop Muslim’s measurement test
and scales besides following the syari’ah and adab
of Islam.
Psychology as a history
-
Problem: The missing 100 years of Muslim worldclass achievement in knowledge.
Islamisation – Muslim psychologist and historians
should carried out the rewriting history of
psychology.
Psychology as a collection of subject
matters and methods
-
From this view, psychology can be divided in three
broad categories:
-
-
UnIslamic.
Not against Islam and supporting Islam.
Islamisation – Islamiser should highlighting both
categories of psychology and can be made useful
for education and da’wah.
Islamisation needs
- People.
- Special course.
- Training
- Facilities.
- Library.
- Supports.
- Policy.
- Financial.