Freudian Psycho-sexual Theory through the Lens of Islamic Perspectives

by Abubakar Haruna Introduction Psychosexual theory, originating from Sigmund Freud’s work, posits that human development is driven by sexual instincts. In Western psychology, Freud’s model delineates stages such as oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital, with each stage marked by conflicts and resolutions. (Freud, 1905) In Islamic psychology, while Freud’s theory may not be directly referenced, the concept of human development and the role of sexuality are discussed within the broader framework of Islamic teachings. Scholars like Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Al-Ghazali emphasised the importance of understanding human nature, including sexual impulses, within the context of spiritual growth and moral development. (Sina, 11th century; Al-Ghazali, 11th century) Both perspectives acknowledged the significance of understanding human sexuality in the context of psychological development, although they approach it from different philosophical and religious standpoints. Freud’s Psychosexual Theory Freud’s psychosexual theory posits that human development is driven by innate sexual instincts and desires. According to Freud (1908), individuals pass through five stages of psychosexual development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. Each stage is characterised by the focus of libido energy on different erogenous zones, and the successful resolution of conflicts at each stage is crucial for healthy psychological development. In Freud’s psychosexual theory, the oral stage occurs during infancy, where the primary focus of pleasure is on the mouth. This is followed by the anal stage, during which the child gains pleasure from controlling bowel movements. The phallic stage, occurring around ages 3 to 6, is marked by the Oedipus or Electra complex, where children develop unconscious desires for the opposite-sex parent and rivalry with the same-sex parent. The latency stage, from age 6 to puberty, is a period of sexual dormancy, followed by the genital stage, where sexual urges re-emerge and are directed towards mature sexual relationships. Psychosexual Theory Through the Lens of Islamic Perspectives In Islamic thought, human development and sexuality are understood within the broader framework of religious teachings found in the Quran, Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad), and interpretations of scholars throughout history. While there isn’t a specific psychosexual theory akin to Freud’s, various Islamic scholars have discussed human nature, including sexual impulses, within the context of spiritual growth and moral development. One prominent Islamic scholar, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), discussed human psychology and the integration of physical and spiritual aspects of human nature in works such as “The Book of Healing” and “The Canon of Medicine.” He emphasised the importance of understanding human desires and impulses within the broader context of achieving balance and harmony in life. Another influential figure, Al-Ghazali, addressed the topic of human desires and impulses in his works such as “The Revival of the Religious Sciences.” Al-Ghazali stressed the significance of self-awareness and self-control in managing human instincts, including sexual desires, to pursue spiritual growth and moral excellence. Islamic teachings from the Quran and Hadith also provide guidance on sexuality, emphasising the importance of modesty, chastity, and marital relationships. Verses in the Quran such as Surah An-Nur (24:30-31) and Surah Al-Mu’minun (23:5-7) promote principles of modesty and self-restraint in interactions between genders. Conclusion: While there may not be a unified psychosexual theory in Islamic thought, the Quran, Hadith, and interpretations of scholars provide a comprehensive framework for understanding human nature and sexuality within the context of spiritual and moral development. References Al-Ghazali. “The Revival of the Religious Sciences.” Freud, S. (1905). Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. Standard Edition, 7:123-243. Freud, S. (1908). On the Sexual Theories of Children. Standard Edition, 9:205-226. Hadith collections such as Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Ibn Sina (Avicenna). “The Book of Healing.” Ibn Sina (Avicenna). “The Canon of Medicine.” The Quran Surah An-Nur (24:30-31) and Surah Al-Mu’minun (23:5-7)

Erickson’s Psycho-social Theory: An Islamic Perspective of the Theory

by Abubakar Haruna Introduction Psychosocial theory, pioneered by Erik Erikson, is a developmental theory that emphasises the interaction between individual psychological development and social factors. Erikson proposed eight stages of psychosocial development, each characterised by a unique conflict or challenge that individuals must navigate to achieve healthy development. According to Erikson (1963), each stage of psychosocial development presents a crisis that individuals must resolve to progress successfully to the next stage. These crises involve finding a balance between opposing psychological forces. For example, in the infancy stage, the conflict is trust versus mistrust, where infants learn to trust their caregivers and the world around them. Erikson’s theory posits that successful resolution of each stage’s crisis leads to the development of a virtue or positive trait. For instance, resolving the trust versus mistrust conflict in infancy fosters the virtue of hope. Conversely, failure to resolve these conflicts can result in psychological maladjustment and difficulty navigating subsequent stages. Moreover, Erikson emphasised the role of societal and cultural influences in shaping individuals’ development. He believed that each stage of development involves interactions with the social environment, including family, peers, and broader cultural norms and values. Erikson’s psychosocial theory has been influential in various fields, including psychology, education, and sociology. It provides a framework for understanding human development across the lifespan and highlights the importance of social relationships and cultural context in shaping individuals’ lives. Islamic perspectives on psychosocial development are deeply rooted in the Quran, Hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), and interpretations by Islamic scholars. While there isn’t a specific psychosocial theory articulated in these sources, Islamic teachings provide insights into various aspects of human development, including psychological and social dimensions. The insights are: 1. Trust in Allah (Tawakkul): The Quran emphasises the importance of trust in Allah (Tawakkul). Believers are encouraged to trust in Allah’s plan and rely on Him during times of difficulty and uncertainty. This trust can be seen as analogous to Erikson’s concept of trust versus mistrust, where individuals develop a sense of trust in themselves and the world around them. 2. Family and Community Bonds: Islamic teachings place great emphasis on the importance of family and community relationships. The Quran and Hadith stress the obligations of parents to their children, and vice versa, as well as the importance of maintaining strong ties with relatives and neighbours. This aligns with Erikson’s emphasis on the role of social relationships in psychosocial development. 3. Identity Formation: Islamic scholars have discussed identity formation within the context of Islamic teachings. For example, scholars have explored how individuals’ identities are shaped by their faith, cultural heritage, and social interactions. This parallels Erikson’s stage of identity versus role confusion, where individuals develop a sense of identity based on their experiences and interactions with society. 4. Resilience and Patience (Sabr): Islamic teachings promote resilience and patience (Sabr) in the face of adversity. Believers are encouraged to remain steadfast and patient during challenging times, which can contribute to psychological well-being and coping mechanisms. This resilience aligns with Erikson’s notion of ego strength, where individuals develop the capacity to effectively navigate life’s challenges. Islamic scholars such as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Al-Ghazali, and Ibn Taymiyyah have written extensively on topics related to human psychology and development, drawing from Islamic sources. While they may not have explicitly formulated a psychosocial theory akin to Erikson’s, their writings provide valuable insights into the psychological and social dimensions of human existence from an Islamic perspective. References: Al-Ghazali. (1997). The Alchemy of Happiness. Islamic Texts Society. Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and Society. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the Life Cycle. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. (2003). The Invocation of God. Islamic Texts Society. Ibn Taymiyyah. (2010). The Goodly Word. Al-Baz Publishing. McLeod, S. A. (2018). Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from

ISIP Tarbiyah Lecture | Raising Leaders in Islam by Dr. Fatima Cheikh (Summary)

Summary notes by Fathima Sameer The ongoing events in Gaza highlight the resilience and fortitude of its people, navigating daily crises amidst a war-torn landscape. From afar, we often feel helpless, mere spectators to their enduring struggle. Yet, in the face of such adversity, a remarkable transformation is taking place among the youngest generation. Today’s children are demonstrating unexpected maturity and a keen understanding of complex realities far beyond their years. This observation underscores the urgent need to nurture and raise our children to become the leaders of tomorrow. A recent classroom discussion provides valuable insights into how we can achieve this. The teacher posed three thought-provoking questions to the students and gathered their insightful responses: Why did the prophet Muhammad (S) lead the prophets in salah at Byth Al Muqaddis? Why not any other prophet? What is the significance of this imamat and leadership for us as Muslims? Are we leading in today’s time? And why? The children, aged between five and ten, provided a variety of answers to the first question. They answered because Rasool (S) was the last prophet, the best among people, exceptionally kind-hearted, and the most merciful. Regarding the significance, they responded, “It’s a message for us to lead. We also need to lead. We are the best of the Ummah, and our prophet is the best of all the prophets.” When asked if we are leading in today’s time, the children unanimously said, “No.” They explained that we are not leading because we are not following the instructions of Allah, are not good Muslims, and are not reading the Quran. Their responses reflect a deep awareness of the current situation and the importance of spiritual and moral guidance. The teacher then asked, “Who is a leader?” The children responded thoughtfully, describing a leader as someone who worships Allah, reads the Quran, makes dua, and follows Allah and His Prophet. They also emphasized qualities like helping others, giving to charity, being kind and respectful, apologizing when necessary, and always doing what is right. These responses highlight the essence of leadership qualities rooted in spiritual and emotional intelligence. Our children are seeking leaders within our homes. As the saying goes, “Each of you is a shepherd, and each of you is responsible for his flock.” In the family, the father is a leader. We must reflect on whether we are performing our duties as leaders effectively. Are we demonstrating proper Salah to our children? Are we offering prayers for Palestine and inviting our children to join us? Our kids understand what is right and wrong and look to us for guidance. Evaluating both emotional and spiritual intelligence is crucial in selecting leaders. In some countries, couples check their health status before marriage; similarly, assessing emotional intelligence is important. Individuals with issues in these areas can negatively impact their children’s lives, ultimately affecting society and the world. Islamic history provides numerous examples of young leaders who embody these qualities. For instance, Usama ibn Zaid, at just 17, was entrusted by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to lead an army. Despite his youth, he proved to be a capable and successful leader. Muhammad Al-Fatih, who conquered Constantinople, was meticulously prepared for leadership from a young age, mastering various disciplines and languages. Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi, known for his valour and compassion, devoted his life to the service of Islam and his subjects, exemplifying true leadership. Islamic history is rich with remarkable leaders such as ‘Abdurrahman Ad-Dhakil and Alp Arslan (Muhammad ibn Dāwūd). ‘Abdurrahman Ad-Dhakil, a descendant of the Umayyads, faced relentless pursuit by enemies from Sham to Spain, where he eventually became a great leader in Andalusia at just 25. Alp Arslan, known as the “heroic lion,” was renowned for his mercy and generosity, even towards his enemies. All these leaders shared common traits: exemplary manners, character, asceticism (zuhd), and piety (taqwa). They possessed spiritual intelligence from a young age, were Hafizs, and were well-versed in Islamic Sharia, fiqh, and multiple languages. They also had military knowledge and skills, along with an understanding of mathematics, physics, and astronomy. Role of Parents in Shaping Leaders The upbringing of these leaders was significantly influenced by their parents. For example, Sultan Mohammed Al Fatih’s mother instilled in him the ambition to conquer Constantinople by showing him the city walls and encouraging him to aspire for greatness through the Quran, power, weaponry, and people’s love. Similarly, Salahuddin’s father emphasized the importance of liberating Quds (Jerusalem), instilling a sense of responsibility and purpose in him. Parenting Insights for Raising Leaders Know Yourself: Self-awareness is crucial for good parenting. Understand your strengths, weaknesses, and values to lead by example. Children learn from observing consistent and authentic behaviour. Be Honest and Transparent: Sharing your mistakes and problem-solving processes with your children teaches them honesty and accountability. It also shows that making mistakes is a natural part of life. Understand Developmental Stages: Knowledge of your child’s developmental phases helps you support their mental, physical, and emotional growth effectively. Adjust expectations according to their age and abilities to foster their strengths and address weaknesses. Focus on Strengths and Weaknesses: Support your child in pursuing their passions while helping them overcome weaknesses. Encourage their dreams, whether they aspire to be artists or athletes, rather than imposing your own unfulfilled ambitions. Guide Them in Faith: Instill a strong sense of religious identity and values. Teach the importance of the five pillars of Islam, the six articles of faith (iman), and the concept of ihsan (spiritual excellence). Nurture a sincere prayer practice with kindness and understanding rather than compulsion. Learn from Mistakes: Teach children through their mistakes with love and guidance. Avoid being abusive or overly authoritative. Recognize their efforts and correct them gently, fostering a learning environment based on mutual respect and growth. Conclusion Parents play a crucial role in shaping the future leaders of the Ummah. By embodying the qualities they wish to instil, guiding their children with wisdom and kindness, and nurturing their spiritual and personal […]

Disordered Thinking: The Heart of Eating Disorders

by Yousra Elhawary “What I want you to know is, there is no actual cure, you just learn to continue living with it,” said a middle-aged Western woman (X) who struggled for over a decade with her eating disorder. Eating disorders are among the most common mental disorders, particularly prevalent in Western countries. Anxiety and distress, social media influences, unattainable beauty standards, and technological advancements in this part of the world are thought to be major contributing factors (1). These factors highlight how geographical, economic, and social environments play a crucial role in spreading what became a global problem in 2023. Eating disorders are defined as “abnormal eating behaviours that adversely affect a person’s physical or mental health” (2). There are various types, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. A Transition, Not a Sudden Body Reaction Eating disorders are also seen as a continuum,  representing the final phase following a period of disordered eating within the spectrum of a person’s eating behaviour. This spectrum shows how disordered eating can evolve from a phase of optimised eating—purposeful and individualised nutrition practices intended to balance health and body performance. When I asked X why she thinks there is no cure for her eating disorder, despite some people successfully overcoming it, she answered, “Many studies have shown that it is less likely to be fully cured, and you just continue living trying to control it.” “Definitely, eating is a desire that every human being lives with, and everyone needs to control it. However, some are vulnerable to imbalances due to failure in controlling one’s desires,” I replied. My answer was derived from an Islamic worldview, which outlines eating as one of the human desires (shahawat), such as sleeping, talking, and sexual desires, all requiring continuous self-control and regulation. This leaves us in a state of continuous struggle with the self. Interestingly, although “to struggle” (Mujahadah) by definition means “striving to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance,” (3) in the psychological health and well-being domain, it refers to lacking a sense of well-being and likely experiencing emotional distress or psychosocial impairment. Concepts and Perspectives: Differences in Interpreting Reality A similar variation in using terminologies, and particularly in X’s case in perceiving the concept of ‘control’, tends to dramatically change our lens on reality and how we choose to deal with it. This raises a vital question: do we choose to believe that the environment and our biology control us, or is it us controlling our minds, perceptions, and bodily functions? While the concept of individual autonomy in controlling decisions and choices has garnered significant attention in the field of behavioural genetics (4), asserting that individuals shape their identities through patience, resilience, and high self-esteem, it is crucial to recognize the multifaceted influence of environments on our existence. Numerous studies underscore the pivotal role environments play in shaping our behaviours, attitudes, and overall development. Thus, while personal attributes undoubtedly contribute to our sense of agency and self-determination, the complex interplay between genetics, psychology, and environmental factors highlights the dynamic nature of human behaviour and the importance of nurturing conducive surroundings for growth and well-being. Consistently with Allah’s command to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ): “Keep yourself content.” Quran 18:28. This verse, as interpreted in many exegeses, refers to the significance of our environment, especially the company we keep. Also he (ﷺ) cautioned, “Man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends”, highlighting the profound impact of social connections and the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive influences that nurture contentment and virtue. Insightful Legislation Amid Modern Challenges On the other hand, we see how flawlessly the regulations in the religion of Islam were legislated to empower human beings throughout their entire lives, regardless of how environments change over centuries or the number of worldly temptations media colourise. Undoubtedly, the accessibility to numerous food varieties today and how they are manufactured to fit the capitalist system increases our desires and temptations to consume and indulge (5). However, Islam’s teachings guide us to cultivate self-control gradually and joyfully, starting from early childhood. As we grow, we come to appreciate the value of worship practices such as fasting, especially when confronting the temptations of the postmodern era. We also learn invaluable lessons from the teachings of the most humble creation humanity has ever witnessed, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Instructing his companions to “Eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters” (Quran 7:31), his life exemplified values of moderation and simplicity, reflected in his diet consisting of dates, oil, vinegar, barley bread, and honey.  A Tip for a Life Course Approach Embracing a framework grounded in Islamic teachings, we certainly believe that any healing journey begins with profound consideration and deep belief in The Healer and The Most Powerful. Trust (Tawakkul) and full reliance on His capability form the foundation from which we derive the strength to decide, choose, and behave. Hence a continuous state of remembrance (Dhikr) serves as a catalyst to regulate one’s emotions and overcome many distresses, anxieties, and struggles in life. Nonetheless, this necessitates setting one’s strategy towards recovery and optimised well-being, by creating safe environments (both digital and physical) that help cultivate moderate healthy habits and avoid excessive or obsessive behaviours, with a firm belief of his saying (ﷺ) that “Allah does not look at your figures nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts and accomplishments”.  In conclusion, by re-conceptualizing ill concepts based on our firm faith within the comprehensive framework of Islamic principles, we can regulate and control how our bodies react. This way of viewing facts enables us to freely choose and create healthy environments that help us suppress many disorders and maintain our well-being for longer, by the grace of Allah ﷻ. References:

Islamic Art as Contemplative Art | ISIP Lecture By Dr. Kenza Saadi

In April 2024, ISIP had the honour of hosting Dr. Kenza Saadi for Our International Lecture Series. After being a humanitarian worker in war zones for more than 20 years, Dr. Saadi turned to beauty by teaching art history. She also advises and conducts counselling for people on the neurodivergent spectrum and their caretakers. In this talk, Dr. Kenza Saadi explored the concept of Islamic Art as Contemplative Art. She took the audience on a virtual excursion through her photos, giving explanations to assist us with grasping the true meaning of Islamic art. Dr. Kenza started by talking about the key ideas of Islamic art. She explained Tawheed, which emphasizes the indescribable nature of God and the absolute oneness of Allah. It is critical to comprehend that God’s attributes do not characterize Him, as they would restrict His transcendence. This distinction is crucial when discussing sacred art. The culture from which Islamic art originates had an impact on it. In the eighth hundred years, Byzantine art, characterized by little mosaic pieces forming calligraphy, was overwhelming. Islamic art is non-iconic and does not include pictures during prayer. The Quran is the expression of God and is heavenly, making it difficult to emulate. The reason for Islamic art is to contemplate God’s creation and the truth of life, leading to understanding of faith and return to Oneness. Thus Art provides a means of reflection. Dr. Kenza also emphasized the significance of light as a heavenly reality that can’t be completely communicated through words. It makes sense of thorough notions of brilliance, resplendence and glory. Art can lead one to the inexpressible, not as a portrayal of God, but rather for the purpose of catching His substance through various shades. The utilization of light and dark contrasts in Islamic art has been visible in different designs, like the Madrasa in Morocco, creating a contemplative environment. Beauty, known as Husn in Islam, draws people towards it. The Quran empowers the admiration of beauty in the world, including a large number of varieties, structures, and shapes. To truly appreciate beauty, one must act ethically because it is not only external but also internal. The heart is where the real beauty is. Islamic art expects to stir this beauty inside and around us. It is not a means of worship but rather a tool for contemplation. Islamic art, like the mosaic-adorned entrance to a masjid in Iran, demonstrates the intention to create places of contemplation where one can engage in prayer and Dhikr (remembrance of God) while marvelling at the creation. Tadabbur (contemplation) and Tafakkur (reflection) are intrinsic parts of prayer. Dr. Kenza then examined the demonstration of reading the Quran. It involves having a sensory experience and appreciating the manuscripts’ beauty, calligraphy’s elegance, and the pages’ texture. The recitation of the Quran, whether quietly or aloud, additionally adds to the insightful experience. The Quran has a “theurgic power,” assisting people with figuring out the presence of the Heavenly. Toward the end of the lecture, different pictures of masjids were introduced to bring out various sentiments and feelings. The concept of space was explored with three degrees of insight: katif (dense), latif (subtle), and altaf (supra-subtle). Sacred spaces can provoke various degrees of perception inside people. Dr. Kenza explained the contrasts between light and shadow, which represent life and death, emptiness and fullness. The Quran mentions the blind and the seeing not being the same. The lecture concluded by emphasizing that Islamic art doesn’t include all that nor reject everything. It aims to be in line with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. Link to Lecture:

The Trail Lit: International Students of Islamic Psychology (ISIP) in its growth – a Blessing of Individual Connectedness and Collective Belonging.

ربِِّ زِدْنِي عِلْما “My Rab, increase my knowledge” (Surah Ta Ha 20:119) ISIP aspires: ‘Enlightening Minds. Empowering Souls’ by offering a welcoming online space for Islamic Psychology (IP) students and scholars around the world. This, completely online organization was established amidst the covid pandemic in 2020. With tens of task forces for continental regions and countries as well as on important mental health topics and populations, ISIP has already organized and delivered over two hundred lectures. ISIP is continuing to gain a strong foothold as an IP, online educational organization, specifically dedicated to the knowledge of IP. ISIP’s YouTube channel is very popular as it serves recorded ISIP lectures and podcasts. As an interdisciplinary field of research, the Islamic Psychology (IP) discipline is being rendered a great service by a selfless group of ISIP volunteer staff in all of its task forces and its co-founding members. All ISIP programs and registration with ISIP are free-of-cost to all its members, Al hamd Allah. Based on the foundations of Islamic intellectual tradition which is abundantly filled with excellent examples of established methods of inquiry and revered bidirectional relationships between teaching and learning, the teacher and the student, and the scholarship from interdisciplinary fields of Religion/Spirituality, Biology, Psychology, Counseling, Arts, Languages and Literature, Medicine, Sociology, and History. ISIP Taskforces on parenting, disabilities, trauma, marriage, Futuwah Academy for Sacred Womanhood and manhood are all integral programs of ISIP. Supervision/ Inter-vision global and continental groups established for IP-based counselling reflections and AlBalkhi Institute are all testaments to the potential of ISIP as a bridge between academia and practice in the field. With many collaborations with well-known institutions such as Muslim Cambridge College (MCC), the International Association for Islamic Psychology (IAIP), Khalil Center, and the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), to name a few. ISIP can provide an efficient medium for IP students and scholars to further develop the art and science of IP’s theoretical concepts as well as refine their use in clinical practice. Every scholar who has ever been invited to ISIP to give a lecture or who has attended its two conferences –all have praised the effort as pivotal in IP scholarship dissemination. For IP global body of students, personally, ISIP offers countless opportunities from being involved with the organization regularly and using presented inspirational content by contemporary IP scholars for the future IP scholars to immensely benefit from. Given the times we are witnessing, it is particularly important to recognize the blessing of initiatives such as ISIP where personal connectedness has given rise to the collective belonging space that ISIP offers to all its sub-chapters and cohorts, both locally and globally. Its decolonization psychology chapter readings have lent themselves to social justice and advocacy efforts within IP scholarship which is and will be a massive achievement within IP scholarship having far-reaching intellectual and societal impact. ISIP blog articles, website, a digital library containing scholarly books and articles, and ISIP’s social media presence have further enabled future generations of Islamic Psychology students and scholars to continue to stay connected and collaborate on new lines of research and programs to spread awareness about Islamic Psychology as a well-defined and evolving discipline. At ISIP, it is inevitable to experience good discourses and appreciate an understood way of relating, connecting, and learning together with like-minded, sincere fellow members as well as hone skills evident in sharing, reflecting, and teaching practices through many of its insightful lectures that ISIP has offered to date. With lots of prayers that ISIP and all its members grow abundantly and strengthen the field of Islamic Psychology through all the online programs and current collaborations and future ones, let’s continue to work towards continued success in ISIP’s Mission: ISIP-International Students of Islamic Psychology is an inclusive (open) space designed to connect people with diverse backgrounds interested in Islamic Psychology. We disseminate knowledge, share resources, and discuss best practices in a free and accessible manner. ISIP provides a platform to enable further development of people’s personal and professional interests, studies and understanding of Islamic Psychology within their communities and/or countries of origin. ISIP’s Vision: ISIP aims to bring about positive well-being for all human beings through a revival and promotion of Islamic Psychology. ISIP aims to revive the heritage of our well-rooted Islamic tradition and provide the basis of indigenous Islamic approaches within the realm of Psychology. ISIP envisions the normalization of Islamic Psychology throughout the world and eliminating stigma addressing Mental Health issues. ISIP aspires to facilitate a variety of healing practices and modalities that adhere to the principles of Islamic Psychology. Saira Qureshi The author offers Islamic Psychology-based psychospiritual interventions in mental health counselling practice and has been with ISIP since its inception in 2020.

The Art of Wholesome Living: Dr. Nooreen Saba on Effects of Nutrition and Holistic Wellbeing

A thought-provoking lecture can shift our perspective on daily life essentials. Ever wondered if your dinner is secretly plotting against you? Well, I found the answer to this question in a lecture on Nutrition and Holistic wellbeing by Dr. Nooreen Saba, organised by ISIP India. Dr. Saba who specialises in Unani Medicine also holds a certification in Islamic Psychology and Counselling from the United Kingdom. As a devoted counsellor and social worker, Dr. Saba directs her expertise toward improving mental health within the Muslim community. She serves as the director of the Rahmah Foundation, an organisation dedicated to supporting the mental health of Muslim women.  In this article, I’ll share the enlightening insights from her talk, exploring how nutrition has an impact on holistic wellbeing of an individual. Defining Health: In her insightful presentation, Dr. Saba emphasised the comprehensive definition of health given by the World Health Organization, which extends beyond the mere absence of disease to include complete physical, mental, and social well-being. This definition aligns perfectly with the holistic health concept rooted in Islamic teachings. The Concept of Holistic Health in Islam: Highlighting the Islamic perspective on health, Dr. Saba explained that it is regarded not merely as a personal asset but as a divine blessing, esteemed just below the gift of faith (Tirmidhi). She cited teachings from Prophet Muhammadﷺ that stress the importance of maintaining health to fulfil one’s religious duties and contribute effectively to the community. The Islamic approach advocates for a balanced nurturing of the body, mind, and spirit, establishing a comprehensive wellness framework that is both prophetic and scientific. Needs of the Human Body: Dr. Saba detailed essential human body needs such as food, water, air, sleep, physical activity, and nutrition which are foundational to maintaining health. She emphasised the critical role of a diet balanced in macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). These nutrients are essential for supporting a strong immune system, promoting healthy growth and development, and preventing a spectrum of diseases, thereby fulfilling both spiritual obligations and physical necessities. She pointed out the misconception that only medicines can treat diseases. Lifestyle and nutrition can also help in treating issues like PCOS, Diabetes, and Thyroid. Islamic Dietary Wisdom and Modern Nutrition: Critiquing the prevalence of high-carbohydrate and processed food diets in modern times, Dr. Saba advised the moderation and dietary balance promoted by Islamic guidelines. She illustrated the prophetic method of meal portioning – dividing the stomach’s capacity into thirds: one-third for food, one-third for water, and one-third left empty. This practice not only enhances digestion but also aligns with spiritual discipline. She also praised the intrinsic benefits of dates, figs, olives, and honey, which are staples in Islamic nutrition and recognized for their comprehensive health benefits in modern dietary science. The Benefits of Fasting and Salah: Dr. Saba drew a compelling parallel between the Islamic practice of fasting and the concept of modern intermittent fasting. She outlined their shared benefits for improving metabolic health and managing weight. Fasting during Ramadan and other times is not only spiritually rewarding but also offers significant detoxifying health benefits. Additionally, she elaborated on the physical benefits of Salah (daily prayers), which incorporates physical movements that enhance flexibility, boost circulation, and build muscle strength integral to physical health maintenance. Integrating Nutrition with Islamic Psychological Practices: Emphasising the intersection of physical and mental health, Dr. Saba stated the importance of the integration of nutritional education within Islamic psychological practices. She highlighted the importance of a well-nourished body for maintaining a healthy mind and spirit, essential for holistic well-being. Psycho-Spiritual Aspects of Nutrition: Exploring deeper, Dr. Saba discussed how proper nutrition enhances mental health and spiritual practice. She noted that a balanced diet contributes to mental clarity and spiritual peace, indicating the holistic health model promoted by Islam that nourishes both the body and soul. Conclusion: Dr. Saba concluded her lecture with a powerful call to action, urging attendees, especially those in the mental health field, to promote a balanced health approach that includes comprehensive nutritional guidance based on Islamic teachings. By embracing the holistic health model that Islam offers, which seamlessly blends ancient wisdom with modern science, the community can achieve outstanding health outcomes. Attending Dr Saba’s lecture was an eye-opener in many ways, but one remark particularly stuck with me: ‘What we eat affects our body.’ This simple statement made me pause and reconsider my daily food choices. Often, we carelessly eat our meals without considering the impact it has on our physical, mental and spiritual health. So next time you’re about to dive into your meal, take a moment to reflect: Is this food a friend or a foe to my well-being? Let’s aim to make choices that make our bodies say ‘Thank you!’ rather than ‘Why me?’ Insha’Allah, let’s eat thoughtfully and laugh heartily at our past food blunders. After all, they say you are what you eat. Link to the lecture

A Comparative Analysis on Aggressive Behaviour from Islamic and Western Perspectives

by Abubukar Haruna Introduction Aggressive behaviour is a complex phenomenon that has long intrigued scholars and practitioners in the fields of psychology, sociology, and management. In both Islamic and Western societies, understanding and managing aggressive tendencies are critical for maintaining social order, fostering harmonious relationships, and promoting organisational effectiveness. This publication aims to explore the multifaceted nature of aggressive behaviour through the lens of both Islamic and Western perspectives on management. While these perspectives may diverge in their theoretical frameworks and cultural contexts, they often converge on fundamental principles related to human behaviour and societal norms.        In Islamic management philosophy, aggression is viewed within the broader context of spiritual and moral development. Concepts such as ‘ghira’ (honourable jealousy), ‘sabr’ (patience), and ‘taqwa’ (God-consciousness), offer unique insights into the management of aggressive impulses and the cultivation of virtuous conduct in organisational settings. Contrastingly, Western management theories often emphasised psychological constructs such as assertiveness, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence in addressing aggressive behaviour. These frameworks draw from empirical research and practical interventions aimed at mitigating conflict, enhancing communication, and fostering a positive organisational climate.        By juxtaposing Islamic and Western perspectives on aggressive behaviour, this publication seeks to facilitate a deeper understanding of the cultural, philosophical, and practical dimensions inherent in managing aggression within diverse organisational contexts. Through critical analysis and synthesis of these perspectives, scholars and practitioners can glean valuable insights and strategies for promoting peace, co-operation, and productivity in the workplace. Integrating Islamic and Western Perspectives on the Management of Aggressive Behaviour: A Scholarly Synthesis Aggressive behaviour poses significant challenges in organisational settings, impacting productivity, morale, and overall well-being. Both Islamic and Western management philosophies offer valuable insights into understanding and addressing aggressive tendencies among individuals. This publication aims to explore the integration of these perspectives, drawing upon scholarly research and theoretical frameworks from both traditions. Islamic Perspectives on Aggression Management: In Islamic management philosophy, aggression is understood within the broader context of spiritual development and moral conduct. The Quran and Hadith provide guidance on managing aggressive impulses through concepts such as ‘ghira’ (honourable jealousy), ‘sabr’ (patience), and ‘taqwa’ (God-consciousness) (Al-Asfour, 2010). Scholars like Mohammad H. Jamal and Shah Alam have emphasised the importance of fostering a culture of empathy, justice, and ethical leadership to mitigate aggression in organisational settings (Jamal & Alam, 2015). Western Approaches to Aggression Management: Western management theories draw upon psychological constructs such as assertiveness, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence to address aggressive behaviour (Baron & Richardson, 1994). The work of scholars like Daniel Goleman on emotional intelligence and Thomas-Kilmann on conflict management styles provides practical frameworks for understanding and managing aggression in diverse workplace contexts (Goleman, 1995; Thomas & Kilmann, 1974). Integration of Perspectives: Integrating Islamic and Western perspectives on aggression management requires a nuanced understanding of cultural contexts and philosophical foundations. Scholars like Ali Abbas and Rafik Beekun have advocated for a holistic approach that synthesises Islamic ethical principles with contemporary management practices (Abbas & Beekun, 2008). By incorporating elements of both traditions, organisations can develop comprehensive strategies for fostering a culture of respect, cooperation, and conflict resolution. Conclusion The integration of Islamic and Western perspectives offers a rich tapestry of insights and strategies for managing aggressive behaviour in organisational settings. By recognising the complementarity of these traditions and leveraging their respective strengths, scholars and practitioners can navigate the complexities of human behaviour with wisdom, compassion, and effectiveness.

Integrative Approach to Treating Anxiety among Muslims: Incorporating Quran, Hadith, Scholarly Insights and Western Perspectives

by Abubakar Haruna Introduction Anxiety disorders represent one of the most prevalent mental health challenges worldwide, affecting individuals across diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the intricate interplay between anxiety and cultural factors, including religious beliefs and practices. Among the various religious frameworks, Islam offers a unique perspective on anxiety, encompassing spiritual, psychological, and social dimensions. Anxiety, defined as a persistent feeling of fear, worry, or unease, can manifest in various forms, including Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), panic disorder, and specific phobias. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders are estimated to affect over 260 million people globally, making them a significant public health concern.        In Islamic tradition, anxiety is acknowledged as a natural facet of human experience, with references to its recognition and management found in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Quran emphasises reliance on God (Tawakkul) and patience (Sabr) as foundational principles in coping with life’s challenges, including anxiety-inducing situations. Furthermore, Islamic psychology offers insights into the holistic approach to mental well-being, emphasising the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit. Concepts such as mindfulness (Tafakkur), self-awareness (Muraqabah), and seeking refuge in prayer (Salah) are integral to managing anxiety within an Islamic framework. Despite the rich resources within Islamic tradition for understanding and addressing anxiety, there remains a need for greater awareness and culturally sensitive approaches to mental health care within Muslim communities. Stigma, misconceptions, and lack of access to appropriate services often impede individuals from seeking help for anxiety-related concerns.        Anxiety is a natural stress response, characterised by feelings of unease, worry, or fear. It can manifest as physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, or trembling, as well as cognitive symptoms such as racing thoughts or difficulty concentrating. Anxiety becomes a concern when it significantly interferes with daily life or functioning. In Islamic psychology, anxiety is often understood as a state of distress caused by excessive worry or fear about the future or perceived threats. It is seen as a natural emotion that can arise from various sources, including uncertainty, spiritual concerns, or personal struggles. Islamic teachings emphasised seeking comfort and guidance through prayer, reliance on faith, and seeking support from both spiritual and professional sources to alleviate anxiety. Integrative Approach to Treating Anxiety among Muslims: Incorporating Quran, Hadith, Scholarly Insights and Western Perspectives In addressing anxiety among Muslims necessitates an integrative approach that draws upon Islamic teachings, insights from scholars, and evidence-based practices from Western psychology. By integrating these diverse perspectives, individuals can receive comprehensive care that honours their faith while utilising effective therapeutic strategies. Islamic Teachings and Practices: Quranic Guidance: Verses from the Quran emphasised concepts such as trust in God (Tawakkul), patience (Sabr), and seeking refuge in prayer (Salah) as means to alleviate anxiety (Quran 3:159; 20:130; 94:5-6). Hadith: The sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) provide practical guidance for managing anxiety, such as reciting supplications for seeking protection and comfort during times of distress (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 75, Hadith 397). Scholarly Insights: Islamic scholars offer interpretations of religious texts and practical applications for addressing mental health concerns. Their views provide valuable guidance on integrating Islamic principles into therapeutic interventions (Baig & Iqbal, 2013). For example, scholars may emphasise the importance of maintaining a strong connection with God through remembrance (Dhikr) and cultivating gratitude (Shukr) as antidotes to anxiety. Western Psychological Approaches: Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is an evidence-based approach used to challenge negative thought patterns and behaviours contributing to anxiety (Hofmann et al., 2012). Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Practices such as mindfulness meditation promote present-moment awareness and acceptance, aligning with Islamic concepts of mindfulness (Tafakkur) and self-awareness (Muraqabah) (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). Integration of Perspectives: Culturally Sensitive Therapy: Therapists can provide care that acknowledges the religious and cultural beliefs of Muslim clients, integrating Islamic teachings into treatment plans (Khan, 2010). Collaborative Care: Collaboration between mental health professionals, religious leaders, and community members fosters a supportive environment for addressing anxiety within Muslim communities (Nasir et al., 2018). Conclusion: Treating anxiety among Muslims requires a multifaceted approach that synthesises Quranic guidance, Hadith, scholarly insights, and Western psychological approaches. By integrating these perspectives, individuals can receive holistic care that respects their religious beliefs while addressing their mental health needs. References: Al-Kubaisi, M. S., & Al-Darmaki, F. R. (2016). Islamic perspective on mental health. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 16(2), e161–e165. Baig, M., & Iqbal, N. (2013). Islamic teachings and principles in mental health. Journal of Religion and Health, 52(2), 616–625. Hofmann, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 36(5), 427–440. Hossain, M. D., Ahmed, H. U., Chowdhury, W. A., Niessen, L. W., & Alam, D. S. (2014). Mental disorders in Bangladesh: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 14, 216. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156. Khan, A. N. (2010). Islamic approach to counseling: A model. Journal of Religion and Health, 49(2), 218–230. Nasir, S., Zehra, A., Faiq, A., Rahman, F., Riaz, S., Gul, A., & Qidwai, W. (2018). Integration of spiritual beliefs in psychotherapy and its impact on quality of life: A study on anxiety disorder patients in Karachi. Journal of Religion and Health, 57(4), 1355–1370. World Health Organization. (2017). Depression and other common mental disorders: Global health estimates. World Health Organization. Younas, A. (2018). Conceptualization of mental health from Islamic perspective: A review. Journal of Religion and Health, 57(5), 1794–1808.

أثر الصوم في نفس المؤمن

من كتاب سكينة الإيمان  ط2 تأليف الدكتور كمال الشريف “1. لَعَلَّكُم تتَّقُون“    قال تعالى : ﴿يَا أيَهُّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلكِمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تتَّقُونَ ﴾ ]البقرة: 183[.. إذاً التقوى هي الثمرة المرجوة من الصيـام. ولكن كيف يؤدي الصيام إلى التقوى؟ إن التقوى اتقاء لغضب الله، والسبيل إلى اتقاء غضبه هي اجتناب ما حرم، والامتناع عن الوقوع فيما نهى عنه، والتقوى تتطلب قدراً كبيراً من التحكمُّ بالنفس ومقاومة هواها:  والإنسان لا يولد متحكماً بنفسه ومسيطراً على أهوائه وعلماء النفس المعاصرون يرون أن التحكم بالنفسSelf Control  يتركب من مكوّنتين الأولى هي مقاومة الإغراء  Resistance to Temptation،  والثانية هي تأجيل الإشباع  Delay of Gratification،  حيث تعني مقاومة الإغراء أن يمتنع الإنسان عن فعل ما حُرِّم عليه رغم قدرته على ذلك وتوفر الفرصة أمامه للوقوع فيه، ويعني تأجيل الإشباع أن يحرم الإنسان نفسه من رغبة ومتعة عاجلة كي يحصل على متعة آجلة أعظم منها.. وبالتمرس على مقاومة الإغراء وتأجيل الإشباع تنمو قدرة الإنسان على التحكم بنفسه ومقاومة هواه.       والذي يتأمل صيامنا في رمضان يجد فيه دورة سنوية مكثفة على مقاومة الإغراء وتأجيل الإشباع وبالتالي على التحكم بـالنفس الذي يشكل أساساً هاماً للتقوى . 8. “وبالأسْحارِ هُم يَسْتَغْفِرُون “        في بداية الدعوة الإسلامية كان قيام الليل فريضة على النبي ﷺ وأصحابه،  وبعد أ ن حقق القيا م والقرآن الذ ي يتلى فيه الغرض الذ ي فر ض من أجله،  وقام بغسل قلو ب الكوكبة الأولى  من  الصحابة  من  أدرا ن  الجاهلية  لتكون  النـواة  التي يقوم عليها المجتمع الإسلامي فيما بعد،  بعد هذ ا خفف الله عن  المؤمنين  وصار  قيام  الليل  سنة،   ورمضا ن  موسم  من مواسم هذه السنة الرائعة.. قا ل ﷺ:  “مَن قامَ رمضانَ إيماناً واحتِساباً؛ غُفِرَ له ما تقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِه ” )متفق عليه(.         هل يكون قيام الليل على حساب صحة الإنسان العقليـة والجسدية ؟    والجواب المتوقع هو: لا بالطبع، إذ لم يشرع الله لنا إلاّ الطيبات وما فيه صلاحنا ولم يحرم علينا إلاّ الخبائث وما فيها لضرر لنا.. ولكن أين تكمن المنفعة العاجلة في قيام الليل ؟          لقد كشفت دراسات الأطباء النفسيين في السنوات الأخيرة أن حرمان المريض المصاب بالاكتئاب النفسي من النوم ليلة كاملة وعدم السماح له أن ينام في النهار الذي يليها حتى يأتي الليل من جديد، هذا الحرمان من النوم له فعل عجيب في تخفيف الاكتئاب النفسي عند الإنسان وفي تحسين مزاجه حتى لو كان من الذين لم تنفع فيهم الأدوية المضادة للاكتئاب.          ثم تلا ذلك دراسات أخرى بينت أنه لا داعي لحرمان المريض من النوم ليلة كاملة كي يتحسن مزاجه، إنما يكفي حرمانه من النوم النصف الثاني من الليل ليحصـل على القدر نفسه من التحسن، والنصف الثاني من الليل هو الذي يكون فيه السحر الذي أثنى الله على من ينفقه في ا لاستغفار والقيام..          فسبحان الذي جعل لنا في قيام الليل والتهجد في الأسحار جائزة فورية قبل الثواب الأخروي،  وهي اعتدال المزاج وتحسنه لدى القائمين والمتهجدين، وعافية نفسية تجعلهم أكثر سعادة في الدنيـا قبل الآخـرة . 9. الصَّومُ التِزام         والقدرة على الالتزام والمحافظة على الالتزام بالصوم من علامات نضج الشخصية لدى الإنسان،  كما إن الالتزام المتمثل بنية الصيام يجعل الامتناع عن الطعام والشراب والشهوة ابتغاء مرضاة الله أهون على النفس مما لو كان البقاء دون أكل وشرب ناتجاً عن مانع من خارج النفس، كأن يمنعك شخص من الوصول إلى الطعام والشراب مثلاً، إذ في هذه الحالة يكون الجوع والعطش أشد،  وهذا ما بينته الاختبارات النفسية حيث وجدت أن “الالتزام يغير الدافع،”وهي عبارة من علم النفس تعبر عن نتيجة لدراسات عديدة،في إحداها حضر الأشخاص الذين ستتم عليهم التجربة دون أن يأكلوا أو يشربوا لعدة ساعات قبل مجيئهم وذلك بناء على ما طلبه الباحثون منهم، ثم بعد وصولهم طلب الباحثون من بعضهم أن يبقى دون طعام أو شراب فترة أخرى –دون أي مقابل مالي أو غير مال ي – وقبل هؤلاء أن يلتزموا بذلك،فكان صومهم عن الطعام والشراب لساعات أخرى التزاماً منهم وقراراً اتخذوه بحرية وإن كان استجابة لطلب من الباحثين،  لكن كان لهم الحرية في أن يرفضوا ولا يلزموا أنفسهم بذلك..  أما بـاقي الأشخاص المجرب عليهم فلم يطلب منهم الالتزام بالبقاء دون طعام وشراب إنما تركهم الباحثون دون طعام وشراب وجعلوا الأمر يبدو لهم وكأنه غير مقصود.  وفي نهاية التجربة أجريت على الجميع اختبارات نفسية لمعرفة شدة الجوع والعطش لديهم، فوجد أن الذين التزموا بالامتناع عن الطعام والشارب التزاماً كـانوا أقل جوعاً وأقل عطشاً من الذين تمت مماطلتهم بحيث صاموا الساعات نفسها لكن دون التزام منهم بذلك،  كما تمت معايرة “الحموض الدسمة الحرة” في دمائهم جميعاً، وهي مواد تزداد في الدم كلما اشتد الجوع عند الإنسان، فو جد أنها كانت أقل ازدياداً عند الذين التزموا بالصيام التزاماً.. وهكذا كان للالتزام بالصوم أثـر حتى على رد فعل أجسامهم الفيزيولوجي نتيجة بقائهم دون طعام أو شراب الساعات الطويلة.  إن الصوم صبر، والصبر في جوهره التزام ورضا بالحال التي يضعنا الله فيها، وبالصبر تهون المعاناة وتقل، لأن الرضا حتى بالمصائب يشبه الالتزام بها،  كالذي منع نفسه من الطعام والشراب لأنه يريد الصيام لله تعالى، والذي ابتلاه الله بالفقر والمرض أو بفقد عزيز فصبر، فإنه امتنع عما حرمه الله منه امتناعاً عن رضاً وتسليم، وهو امتناع يشبه امتناع الصائم وإن كان الفرق بينهما في أن رفض المصاب وسخطه لا يغير من الواقع شيئاً بينما للصائم الحرية في أن يتم صومه احتساباً أو أن يقع في معصية الله فيفطر دون عذر، والامتناع الراضي يكون أقل إيلاماً للنفس مما لو تلقى المصيبة بتذمـر وسخط وغضب.     وهكذا يكون في صيامنـا كل عام في رمضان تدريباً لنا على الالتزام وزيادة لنا في النضج النفسي .