Islam and Psychology

· Health, Psychology
A famous, almost legendary mystic poet from Punjab Pakistan, Bullah Shah wrote:
پڑھ پڑھ علم تے فاضل ھوییں
تے کدے اپنے آپ نوں پڑھیا نھیں
 بھج بھج وڑناں اے مندر مسیتی
تے کدے من اپنے وچ وڑیا نھیں
He says that you have read scores of books to become a scholar but have never read yourself.  You run to the temple and the mosque daily but have never entered your own soul!
To listen to this couplet and another one by him, stressing the need of self analysis, in Punjabi:Bullhay Shah – Self analysis.
It is hoped that reading of the articles linked in this post will help readers understand themselves better.  The need for better and sturdy foundation for our thoughts and beliefs is highlighted very well by the following verse of the Holy Quran:

The case of those who take helpers besides Allah is like unto the case of the spider, who makes for herself a house; and surely the frailest of all houses is the house of the spider, if they but knew!  (Al Quran 29:42)

Sigmund Freud remembered all his life the disgust and bitter disappointment he felt as a boy of ten years when hearing that his father refused to defend himself against the anti-Semite bullies who pushed him off the side walk of his home town, suggesting that a Jew should not walk on the side walks and leave it for the self righteous Nazis. This framed his spiritual struggle for the whole of his life that can be considered as a conflict between his Jewish identity possibly his faith and the anti-Semite Christian majority of the time.

His journey in psychoanalysis can be framed and understood by reviewing achievements and academic career of Jean-Martin Charcot. “Diseases can be caused by ideas” said Charcot and it heralded a new era in human understanding. This laid the foundation of Psychology, an identity separate from Neurology which was rooted in physical causes. Charcot, a French neurologist was the founder (with Guillaume Duchenne) of modern neurology and one of France’s greatest medical teachers and clinicians. He became a professor at the University of Paris (1860–93), where he began a lifelong association with the Salpêtrière Hospital; there, in 1882, he opened what was to become the greatest neurological clinic of the time in Europe. A teacher of extraordinary competence, he attracted students from all parts of the world. In 1885 one of his students was Sigmund Freud, and it was Charcot’s employment of hypnosis in an attempt to discover basis for hysteria that stimulated Freud’s interest in the psychological origins of neurosis. Charcot was the “foremost neurologist of late nineteenth-century France” and has been called “the Napoleon of the neuroses.” For the rest of the story read an article titled, Freudian conflicts and slips.

Allah says:
‘Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Aye! it is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort; ‘Those who believe and do good works — happiness shall be theirs, and an excellent place of return.’ (Al Quran 13:29-30)


Comments RSS
  1. Zia H. Shah

    Transpersonal Psychology founded by Abraham Maslow
    In my opinion Maslow’s understanding is incomplete, as it is a purely secular version and does not do full justice to human psyche and needs.

    For a more detailed understanding review the Nafsi Mutma’innah as described in the Holy Quran and explained by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad:

    Click to access Philosophy-of-Teachings-of-Islam.pdf

  2. Afzal

    Jazakallah Dr Shah. I’m especially drawn towards your last comment about Transpersonal Psychology which I understand to be, from the little I’ve read, at the frontier of Psychology and Religion. Not being professionally in this field however, perhaps could you and others further enlighten us about this.

    I raised this up before, noting that a new category has been introduced in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders entitled ‘Religious and Spiritual Problems’ since 1994. Dr David Lukoff gives more details about this here: . He also speaks of THE DIAGNOSIS OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES WITH PSYCHOTIC FEATURES and about Psychotic Disorders with Mystical Features here: which is a subject which is of particular interest to me.

    I’ve also viewed and been drawn towards some videos where Dr Lukoff has spoken about Transpersonal Psychology and would be interested to gain a better understanding of the islamic and medical perspective around this. Would be grateful to be further enlightened on this subject. Jazakallah

  3. Munawar Ahmad Bajwa

    Subject: Islam and Psychology
    For a successful happy victory life. Mankind need NO:1 BIG LORD’s help/suppot by practicing/executing good vs bad actions. . In my opinion self help analysis based on self help control and self help control based on good and bad ideas. Good and bad ideas in practice becomes good and bad actions. And Good and bad actions have good and bad results. The good and bad results is awarded by NO.1 BIG LORD Allah. So self help control is important for a happy life. Issue of Islam and Psychology is a issue from NO:1 BIG LORD ALLAH. May NO:1 BIG LORD ALLAH bless mankind a happy, healthy and wealthy long life. Request you to review and know more about good and bad results of good and bad actions of Nafsi Mutma’innah and Imarah as described in the Holy Quran and explained by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad:

    Click to access Philosophy-of-Teachings-of-Islam.pdf

  4. Afzal

    @ Munawar Ahmad Bajwa: I will try to review the book inshallah. I was also curious to know what you mean by self help analysis and self help control because I was also interested in the concept of self-improvement as part of personality development. There is also the concept of self help groups, sometimes referred to as support groups as well. Perhaps could you and others further elaborate about this self help concept and how it can practically be implemented, whether at individual levels or at group levels. Looking forward to further hearing about this inshallah. Jazakallah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: