Throughout the month of Ramadan Dr. Abdallah is doing a weekly series of short talks as part of the "Midday Meditations" series for Cambridge Muslim College's Ramadan Live program. Each talk focuses on the Qur'anic themes of nature and agriculture and gives practical insight into how to deepen our psycho-spiritual development throughout the month to work toward maximizing our potential.
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Dr. Abdallah talks about the importance of psycho-spiritual introspection in one's orientation to the practice of Islam and how religious obligations should be transformational rather than simply transactional. If we look to avoid difficulty or hardship and attempt to overlook our inner state, we can fall into 'spiritual bypassing', where we use belief and ritual as a replacement for doing the inner reflection and hard work of healing our hearts. Islam requires us to do both, and if we orient ourselves to the practice of the religion in this way, the obligatory acts of worship and remembrance can and should become transformational.
Dr. Abdallah presented on "Finding Center in the Heart (of the Pandemic):
Practical Tools from the Islamic Tradition for Building Resiliency in Times of Disruption and Trauma" at the Huron-Respect Conference, 'Pastoral & Spiritual Care During the Pandemic' hosted by Dr. Ingrid Mattson on November 14, 2020.
In this short presentation he outlines how he and his network of colleagues responded to the COVID pandemic crisis, tending to the wellbeing needs and collective trauma of Muslim communities around the world using online webinar platforms to address increases in anxiety, family conflict, depression, and existential grief. His approach to Islamic psychology is presented as a psycho-educational program to orient participants to indigenous Islamic tools for building resiliency and decreased anxiety.
Dr Abdallah Rothman was featured on the Kerning Cultures podcast in the episode titled "More Than A Buzz". In it he discusses his passion for roasting, brewing, and enjoying coffee and the spiritual significance of the coffee bean in the Islamic tradition.
Dr. Abdallah Rothman joined Baraka Blue once again on his Path & Present podcast, this time to discuss the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on our mental health and wellbeing, and the challenges and opportunities that isolation affords. They discuss the notion of retreat in light of the month of Ramadan coinciding with many people's current status with stay at home orders, and how people can adapt to the situation, cope, and use this as an opportunity for growth.
A series of 20 short talks that build on one another successively as a course in self improvement. Dr. Abdallah Rothman takes you on a journey of Presence and Self Reflection, introducing principles and concepts from the Islamic tradition and framing them in practical application in daily life. Throughout each session he offers tools and resources to develop a practice of self reflection in your own life. This was part of the Cambridge Muslim College Ramadan Live program in 2020. The videos are the recordings of those sessions that were streamed live, with viewers from all over the world tuning in and asking questions, which Dr. Abdallah answers at the end of each session.
Available for free on Youtube:
The human being is body, mind, heart, and spirit. Often times, the self-help industry ignores this truism which brings about hidden, often unintentional misguidance that can lead to spiritual crisis, or worse, distance from our connection with God.
In this thought-provoking article, Dr. Abdallah Rothman shares powerful points including:
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.