The term “fitrah” is derived from the Arabic word “fatara,” which means to create or to originate.
In Islamic psychology, the concept of fitrah refers to the innate nature of human beings that inclines them towards recognizing and submitting to the existence and oneness of Allah (SWT) and adhering to moral and ethical values.
Ibn Taymiyyah a prominent Islamic scholar (born in 661 A.H.) said, “The fitrah is the natural state of the human being, in accordance with which he is created. It is the innate disposition that directs a person towards recognizing Allah (SWT) as his Lord and Master, and towards adhering to the moral and ethical values that are consistent with His divine commandments.” (Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu’ al-Fatawa).
Imam Al-Ghazali (born in the year 450 A.H), another Islamic scholar said the fitrah means “the original purity of the human being, which inclines him towards recognizing his Creator and fulfilling His commands.” (Al-Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din)
Fitrah is the first component in Islamic psychology and it refers to the natural, God-given disposition of a person. It is believed that every person is born with a set of inherent qualities and characteristics that are in accordance with the teachings of Islam and that guide them towards living a fulfilling and meaningful life.
The concept of fitrah is mentioned in several places in the Qur’an, including Surah Ar-Rum (30:30), which states: “So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most people do not know.”
The concept of fitrah is rooted in the belief that God has created all people with a natural inclination towards goodness and righteousness, and that this inclination can be nurtured and developed through following the teachings of Islam. According to Islamic tradition, fitrah is the state of being that is most in harmony with the will of God, and it is believed to be the key to spiritual and emotional well-being.
In practice, the concept of fitrah is often invoked as a way to encourage Muslims to strive to live in accordance with their natural, God-given dispositions and to cultivate positive character traits such as kindness, compassion, and humility. It is also used as a means of understanding and addressing the psychological and emotional needs of individuals, and as a way to guide the development of interventions and therapies that are grounded in Islamic teachings.
The concept of fitrah is closely related to the idea of tawhid, or the belief in the unity of God. It is believed that living in accordance with fitrah is a way of aligning oneself with the will of God and living in accordance with the principles of tawhid.
In Islamic psychology, the concept of fitrah is often seen as the foundation for personal and spiritual development. It is believed that by cultivating fitrah, a person can develop a strong connection to God, improve their mental and emotional well-being, and lead a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
The concept of fitrah is closely tied to the idea of free will and the belief that every person has the ability to choose to follow the path of righteousness and live in accordance with the teachings of Islam. It is believed that by exercising free will and choosing to follow fitrah, a person can overcome negative habits and behaviors and cultivate positive character traits.
The concept of fitrah is often used in Islamic psychology as a way to understand and address the psychological and emotional needs of individuals. It is believed that by helping people to cultivate fitrah, they can develop greater self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and well-being.
Examples of Implementing Fitrah on the Seerah of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh):
1. Belief in One God: The Prophet Muhammad’s life was centered on the belief in one God, which is the fundamental principle of the Islamic faith. He consistently preached the importance of monotheism and the worship of Allah alone, as stated in the Quran: “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him” (Quran 112:1-4).
2. Kindness and compassion towards all: The Prophet Muhammad was known for his kind and compassionate nature towards all, including animals and even his enemies. This is exemplified in a famous incident where a Bedouin urinated in the mosque, and instead of getting angry or scolding him, the Prophet calmly instructed his companions to clean it up and then spoke kindly to the Bedouin, explaining to him the sanctity of the mosque and why his action was inappropriate.
3. Honesty and integrity: The Prophet Muhammad was a man of great integrity and honesty, and this is reflected in his actions throughout his life. He was known to keep his word, even in difficult circumstances, and was always truthful in his dealings with others. This is demonstrated in the famous incident where he was asked to mediate a dispute between two parties, and even though he had personal ties to one of them, he ruled in favor of the other based on the evidence presented to him.
4. Modesty and humility: The Prophet Muhammad was a humble and modest man, despite his great achievements and status as a leader. He would often help with household chores, such as sewing his own clothes and milking his own goats, and would sit and eat with his companions instead of expecting special treatment. This is reflected in the Quranic verse: “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace” (Quran 25:63).
Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 23, Hadith 441
Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 3, Hadith 751
Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 56, Hadith 735
Quran, 25:63, 112:1-4
11 thoughts on “Concept Of Fitrah In Islamic Psychology”
Recognizing the role of the fitrah is critical to being able to implement a more holistic way of being and healing. JazakumAllah Khairun!
Jazakom Allahu khairan for this very profound element of our being, simple yet missed by many in today’s noisy world. SubhanAllah.
The way you addressed fitrah is very insightful and the examples you used of the seerah of prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) are amazing. MashaAllah
Greatly appreciated. Jazakom Allahu khairan katheeeeran.
Brilliant overview on Islamic Psychology concept of inherent human nature based on faith and spiritual/religious excellence in character development for all ages. Jazak Allah kheire.
Jazakom Allah Khair. I wonder if we can define fitrah as the moral predisposition of the human beings. Western research showed that kids have a moral predisposition when they are as young as 6 months. I dont know how they explain this morality but to me it is the fitrah itself. We are born with moral predispositions as much as with mental predispositions
We were born with moral and mental disposition as fitra looking at the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says ” kullu mauludin yu ladu Alal fitra”. Parent and society shaped the fitra. Remember Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory, explained how learning by imitation played important role which can affect human fitra. Thanks
Bism Allah uncovering the clouded fitrah by purifying our intentions and paying attention to the light connecting our Ruh with Rabbuna AlAkram in His Majesty’s words ‘light upon light /nur a’la nur ‘ , for instance enhances one’s senses of Rahma and yaqeen that Allah AlQareeb Asamee’a AlMujeeb is always Close to us and we are the ones who distance ourselves from Allah the Supreme High Al Hakeem .More contemplation and reflection in frequent deeper moments of silence, coupled with helping people for the sake of Allah, in this vortex and noise, in sha Allah will rejuvenate nobility in the hearts and souls. When tawba, returning to Allah by Dhikr, is in harmony with sunrise and sunset , oue inner peace and inner balance will be enhanced by being bei g present for the presence of Allah. Huduur alqalb in the 5 prayerd is the key by Allah’s favor.This is why Salah was the delight of our Prophet’s heart and the coolness of his eyes.
اللهم صل وسلم وبارك عليه وعلي آله وصحبه أجمعين
جزاكم الله خيرا
The concept of the fitrah is one of hope and optimism. What a blessing to realize each one of us has this beautifull fitrah inside of us. Thank you for reminding us!
Bism Allah uncovering the clouded fitrah by purifying our intentions and paying attention to the light connecting our Ruh with Rabbuna AlAkram in His Majesty’s words ‘light upon light /nur a’la nur ‘, for instance enhances one’s sense of Rahma and the yaqeen that Allah AlQareeb Asamee’a AlMujeeb is always Close to us and we are the ones who distance ourselves from Allah the Supreme High Al Hakeem .More contemplation and reflection in frequent deeper moments of silence, coupled with helping people for the sake of Allah, in this vortex and noise, in sha Allah will rejuvenate nobility in the hearts and souls. When tawba, returning to Allah by Dhikr, is in harmony with sunrise and sunset , our inner peace and inner balance will be enhanced by being being present for the presence of Allah. Huduur alqalb in the 5 prayers is the key by Allah’s favor.This is why Salah was the delight of our Prophet’s heart and the coolness of his eyes.
اللهم صل وسلم وبارك عليه وعلي آله وصحبه أجمعين
جزاكم الله خيرا
JazakumAllah Khairun for the succinct explanation on fitrah and something else just “clicked” for me. Subhanallah.
My earlier association of the term “fitra” was with “zakat fitra” (zakah al-fitr) , an obligatory charity that is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadan and “Eid Al-Fitr”.
Zakah is a way of purification and so I believe “zakah fitra” as a way of purifying ourselves to our state of fitra and “Eid Al-Fitr” is a day of celebration back to our fitra after a month of purifying and cleansing ourselves in Ramadan, In Shaa Allah.
Fitra means pure soul, in Islam if human born on fitra, it means born pure and free from any sin in your soul.