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“Everything has a polish and the polish of the heart is mindfulness of God (dhikrAllah)” — Prophet Muhammad ﷺ .
Dr. Abdallah Rothman joins Baraka Blue again on his podcast "Path and Present". Building off the last conversation about the understanding of the self and psychology from an Islamic perspective, this time the two discuss in more detail the model of the soul that was the product of Dr. Abdallah's research in Islamic psychology.
You can view a larger picture of the model that is discussed in this podcast here
Abdallah Rothman gives a talk at the Ottoman era Dar al Shifaa in the complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum in Edirne, Turkey, discussing Islamic psychology in the context of the holistic approach to health and healing that was historically practiced in the Islamic tradition. From the 2018 IAIP summer intensive course on Islamic psychology and psychotherapy.
It is clear that there is a growing trend of mindfulness extending beyond spiritual communities and into mainstream culture. How do we understand mindfulness from within the Islamic tradition? Is there a place for it in Islam? Is there an Islamic version of mindfulness?
Listen to the audio or read the text below:
At first when you hear this term "mindful" you think 'full of mind'. The last thing we need is to be more in our minds. We're already so locked into this thinking consciousness where we define ourselves by our thoughts. You could think "well, I don't want to be 'full of mind' I'm already stuck in my thoughts." But really mindfulness is about being conscious. It's about slowing down. It's a contemplative way of being. It's not really about being more connected to thoughts in the sense of identifying with the mind. It's not necessarily about thinking, but meta-thinking: thinking about thinking. It's slowing down and being conscious of what you think and what you do. The core of mindfulness is about being present. And this concept of being present is absolutely an Islamic principle. It's something that we find in the Islamic tradition and is a key factor in everything from ibadah (worship) to akhlaq (manners). Presence is indeed a very islamic principle.
However, this term mindfulness can tend to shift our awareness from the reality of the self, which is a much more holistic picture than what we have come to conceive of as ourselves in contemporary times. To a certain extent the entire modern world has been influenced by the Cartesian assertion, "I think therefore I am". It's taken root in society where people over identify with their thoughts. So that people's entire notion of self is about what and how they think and everything related to the self is based in the mind. And this in particular is really not an Islamic concept.
Abdallah Rothman joins another episode of the Coffee with Karim podcast to discuss approaching theory and practice of Islamic psychology. He gives an intro to how it works and what principles can help believers find more peace and flow through life challenges.
How do we foster genuine connectedness? How do we authentically relate to those around us, to our families, to ourselves and to God? How can we be mindful of our interactions and honour the potential for growth in each moment?
This two-day programme facilitated by Abdallah Rothman aims for participants to become better equipped to develop self-awareness in their relating to others, to themselves and to God. The weekend will have a strong focus on the notion of heartfulness, an Islamically based approach to mindfulness, which underpins the process of becoming more present and effective in our relationships, both horizontal and vertical.
At Cambridge Muslim College, UK. For more details visit:
Here is a video of one of the classes that Abdallah Rothman taught on the week intensive course on "Islamic Psychology and Psychotherapy" in Istanbul July 2018. Here he draws out the model of the soul that was a result of his research, and explains how it is conceptualized and how it applies to psychology and psychotherapy.
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.