Abdallah Rothman’s chapter begins this volume by distinguishing between Muslim mental health and Islamic psychology and asserting the existence of and need for a uniquely Islamic paradigm of human psychology. He goes on to describe how Islam can be viewed as a system for psychological wellbeing or a ‘science of the soul’ and how he operates from within an Islamic theoretical orientation to psychology. He concludes by giving examples from his clinical practice of how he works with his clients by employing uniquely Islamic therapeutic interventions derived from the Islamic tradition.
The launching of the International Association of Islamic Psychology has just been announced. This is a historic landmark for the Muslim community, Muslim Mental Health, and the field of Psychology in general. While many scholars and clinicians have been developing the field of Islamic Psychology over the past 40 years, until now it has been little understood and little known within the Muslim community and beyond.
The establishment of this prestigious professional society marks a turning point in that Islamic Psychology can no longer be considered an "emerging discipline" as it is now clearly defined and actively being engaged in and evolved by a large international network of scholars and practitioners.
While there have been significant developments and increased awareness in the area of Muslim Mental Health over the past decade, for many the distinction between Muslim psychology and Islamic Psychology is not clear. Now, with the existence of this organization, there is access to information, resources, and educational opportunities to learn more about what Islamic Psychology is and what it has to offer.
To find out more and explore what the association has to offer, visit islamicpsychology.org
A uniquely Islamic theoretical framework for an Islamic psychology has yet to be established. To do so requires that we understand how human beings are conceptualized within the cosmology that characterizes the Islamic tradition. This paper presents a model of the soul from within an Islamic paradigm, generated through a grounded theory analysis of interviews with 18 key informants with relevant academic or religious expertise. The model elaborates aspects of a mechanism for the development of the soul that constitutes a potential foundation for an Islamic theory of human psychology and has particular relevance for Islamic approaches to psychotherapy.
Abdallah Rothman was invited as a guest on the Coffee with Karim podcast. He shares how he traveled the world and sat with Gurus, Rabbi's, Monks and Rastafarians during his spiritual quest. He discusses how his spiritual journey ultimately lead him to both Islam and psychology and how he sees the integration of the two in his work.
Abdallah Rothman along with Rasjid Skinner and Malik Badri presented to students and faculty at Zaim University Istanbul on the topic of Islam and Modern Psychology. In this video Abdallah discusses the potential that Islam has to offer to modern psychology. He asserts that Islamic Psychology is not a religious psychology only for Muslims, but that it stands to offer great insight into human psychology and contribute significant advancements in the modern field of psychology and psychotherapy.
To watch the other 2 presentations from this event, delivered by Rasjid Skinner and Malik Badri click the "view more" button:
Abdallah Rothman was recently invited by Professor Malik Badri to speak to his students at Zaim University in Istanbul, Turkey. He was asked to speak on the topic "Why Islamize Psychology?". Abdallah explains how making psychotherapy more user friendly for Muslim clients by changing the use of terms and cultural or religious references is helpful, but that this approach may not be making the most of the resources at our disposal within the Islamic tradition. He therefore proposes a change to the topic question to "Why Psychologize Islam?". To view a video of the talk with Abdallah Rothman and Malik Badri, click here.
Adolescence to early adulthood is a natural time of self exploration and discovery that shapes who a person will become. When young people lack the right resources to support them through this developmental stage, it can create imbalances that affect their character, motivations and behavior. Research shows that meeting young people where they are and supporting them from within the lens of their worldview is the most effective way to reach them and positively impact their development.
Researchers from around the world have conducted numerous studies in the last few decades exploring the unique cultural and religious nuances of the application of clinical psychology to Muslim clients as a response to the traditional Eurocentric narratives of psychology. This paper is a review of the last 10 years of research within this domain. A thematic analysis was conducted to identify research topical trends in the literature related to the subject. The following five themes emerged: 1) Unification of western psychological models with Islamic beliefs and practices; 2) Research on historical accounts of Islamic Psychology and its rebirth in the modern era; 3) Development of theoretical models and frameworks within Islamic Psychology; 4) Development of interventions and techniques within Islamic psychology; and 5) Development of assessment tools and scales normed for use with Muslims. Recommendations are also provided to help direct future research efforts to expand underdeveloped areas in this field.
Read the full article in the Journal of Muslim Mental Health
that was co-authored by Abdallah Rothman
with Amber Haque, Hooman Keshavarzi and Fahad Khan
If growth and mastery of self are your goals then you should occupy yourself with the business of discovering your faults and weaknesses of character. How else will you know what you need to work on in yourself if you are not aware of where specifically the focus of the work needs to be applied? You can’t fix something if you don’t first discover where the problems lie and what then needs to be fixed. Thus, it would not benefit you to avoid the ugly parts of yourself as these are the key signals pointing out areas where growth is needed.
As the old saying goes, “When you fall of your horse, dust yourself off and get back on”. This is something that we must do frequently. You’ll never fully master every aspect of your life. There is always something that we are struggling to come to terms with, perfecting, or just attempting to keep in line. You may know very well what you need to do or what your goal is in achieving a certain objective or state of mind, but maintaining that objective is challenging. We have days and even just moments when we’re on and things are working out. We recognize what we need to do and we feel like we’re making strides toward our goals. Sometimes if we’re lucky we experience long stretches of this. But it is inevitable that eventually we lose our ground and we fall back to old ways, old habits or behavior patterns from the past. When this happens, don’t let it consume you and make you feel like you’ve failed. Just dust yourself off and get back on.