Psychology from Islamic Perspective: Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim Psychologists

Abstract

Early Muslims wrote extensively about human nature and called it Ilm-al Nafsiat or self-knowledge. In many cases, their works seem to be the original ideas for many modern day psychological theories and practices. What is interesting however is that a lot of what the early scholars wrote was blended with Islamic philosophy and religious ideas. This paper covers major contributions of prominent early Muslim scholars to psychology and outlines the challenges faced by today's Muslims in adapting to the Western theories. It also offers a few recommendations on the indigenization of psychology for Muslim societies interested in seeking the Islamic perspective on human behaviors.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Achoui, M. (1998). ''Human Nature from a Comparative Psychological Perspective.'' American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 15: 4, 71-95.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Ahmad, J. (1984). Hundred Great Muslims. Pakistan: Forezsons Limited.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ansari, Z. A. (1992). Quranic Concepts of Human Psyche. Islamabad, Pakistan: Islamic Research Institute Press.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Badri, M. B. (1979). The Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists. London: MWH Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Faruqi, I. R. (1982). Al-Tawhid: Its meaning and Implications. VA, USA: International Institute of Islamic Thought, Herndon.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Haddad, Y. (1991). The Muslims of America. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Hamarneh, S. K. (1984). In M.A. Anees (Ed.), Health Sciences in Early Islam: collected Papers, Vol. 2, Blanco, TX: Zahra Publications, 353.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Haque, A. (1998). ''Psychology and Religion: Their Relationship and Integration from Islamic Perspective,'' The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 15, pp. 97-116.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Haque, A. (2004). ''Religion and Mental Health: The Case of American Muslims.'' Journal of Religion and Health, 43:1, pp. 45-58.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Haque, A. and Anuar, K. M. (2002). ''Religious psychology in Malaysia.'' International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 12:4, pp. 277-289.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Hofmann, M. (2000). Islam the Alternative. Lahore, Pakistan: Suhail Academy.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Hussain, A. and Hussain, I. (1996). A brief history and demographics of Muslims in the United States. In Asad Hussain, John Woods and Javed Akhtar (eds.)-Muslims in America: Opportunities and Challenges. Chicago: International Strategy and Policy Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Jordan, N. (1995). Themes in speculative psychology. In David Cohen (Ed.), Psychologists on Psychology, New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Kimble, G. (1984). ''Psychology's Two Cultures.'' American Psychologist, 39, pp. 833-839.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Mohamed, Y. (1998). Human Nature in Islam. A.S. Noordeen: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Murken, S. and Shah, A. A (2002). ''Naturalistic and Islamic Approaches to Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Religion: Metaphysical Assumptions and Methodology-A Discussion.'' The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 12: 4, pp. 239-254.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Nasr, S. H. (1988). A Young Muslim's Guide to the Modern World. Lahore, Pakistan: Suhail Academy.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Nasr, S. H. and Leaman, O. (1996). History of Islamic Philosophy. London, UK: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Norager, T. (1998). ''Metapsychology and Discourse: A Note on some Neglected Issues in the Psychology of Religion.'' The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 6, pp. 139-149.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Polkinghorne, D. (1984). ''Further Extensions of Methodological Diversity for Counseling Psychology.'' Journal of Counseling Psychology, 31, pp. 416-429.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Reich, K. H., and Paloutzian, R. F. (2001). Editors' Note: From Conflict to Dialogue: ''Examining Western and Islamic Approaches in Psychology of Religion.'' The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 12: 4, pp. 215-216.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Zuberi, M. H. (1986). Aristotle and Al Ghazali. Karachi, Pakistan: Royal Book Company.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Haque, A. Psychology from Islamic Perspective: Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim Psychologists. Journal of Religion and Health 43, 357–377 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-004-4302-z

Download citation

  • Islamic psychology
  • early Muslim scholars
  • history of psychology
  • Muslim psychologists
  • indigenous psychology