Critical Reflections on the Islamicisation of Psychology

Authors

  • Wahbie Long Department of Psychology, University of Cape Town.

Abstract

Abstract

This paper explores three issues: first, the historical factors which contributed to calls for the Islamization of psychology; second, the forms that articulations of Islamic psychology have subsequently taken; and third, the difficulties inherent in attempts to Islamize the discipline. It begins with the observation that, from the 1960s onwards, the international academy became mired in debates about social ‘relevance’. In psychology, the anti-establishment posturing exhibited itself in American and European debates about ‘relevance’; while, in the hinterlands of the psychological fraternity, troubling questions were posed regarding the Third World applicability of an intellectual package imported wholesale from the disciplinary centre. It was in response to these concerns of developing nations that efforts to ‘indigenise’ psychology began. Among Muslim thinkers, it was argued that psychologists had regurgitated Western psychological theories and practices which were unsuitable for Muslim populations. As a result, attempts at fashioning an authentic Islamic psychology gathered pace, assuming typically, one of two forms: a critical revision of Western psychology (with accompanying analyses of relevant Qur’anic passages) or an elaboration of the classical Islamic tradition. A quandary arises, however, as to the feasibility of transforming an originally Western discipline whose questions, topics and methods were forged in the maelstrom of specific social contingencies. The fact that the birth of modern psychology was closely related to the rise of a liberal-capitalist hegemony is an important consideration in the search for an Islamic psychology. Moreover, the homogenisation of world culture necessitates critical reflection on the very desirability of Islamizing the discipline.

 

Keywords: Islamicisation, relevance, psychology.

 

Abstrak

Kajian ini mendalami tiga isu: pertama, faktor sejarah yang menyumbang kepada pembentukan pengislaman psikologi; kedua, pembentukan kelahiran psikologi Islam yang telah diambil; dan ketiga, permasalahan yang wujud dalam percubaan untuk mengislamkan disiplin. Bermula dengan pemerhatian dari tahun 1960-an dan seterusnya, akademi antarabangsa terperangkap dalam perbahasan mengenai 'perkaitan' sosial. Dalam psikologi, pendirian anti-golongan yang menonjolkan diri mereka dalam perbahasan Amerika dan Eropah berhubung dengan 'perkaitan' sosial, manakala, di kawasan pedalaman persaudaraan psikologi, persoalan yang timbul mengenai kebolehgunaan Dunia Ketiga mengendalikan pakej intelek diimport dari pusat tatatertib. Ia adalah sebagai tindak balas terhadap kebimbangan negara-negara membangun yang berusaha untuk mengawal permulaan psikologi. Di kalangan pemikir Islam, pendebatan mengenai para psikologi telah telah mengulangi teori-teori dan amalan-amalan psikologi Barat yang tidak mempunyai kesesuaian bagi populasi Islam. Akibatnya, cubaan mencipta satu psikologi Islam sahih berkadaran, dengan andaian, salah satu daripada dua bentuk: semakan kritikal psikologi Barat (dengan disertakan analisis petikan Al-Quran yang berkaitan) atau penjelasan daripada tradisi Islam klasik. Kekeliruan yang timbul, walau bagaimanapun, untuk kemungkinan mengubah disiplin asal Barat yang mempersoalankan, topik dan kaedah telah dipalsukan dalam pergolakan kontingensi sosial tertentu. Hakikat bahawa kelahiran psikologi moden berkait rapat dengan kebangkitan hegemoni liberal-kapitalis merupakan satu pertimbangan yang penting dalam pencarian satu psikologi Islam. Selain itu, homogenasi budaya dunia memerlukan pemikiran kritikal terhadap kebaikan displin pengislaman.

 

Kata kunci: Keislaman, perkaitan, psikologi.

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Published

2014-06-30

How to Cite

Long, W. (2014). Critical Reflections on the Islamicisation of Psychology. Revelation and Science, 4(1). Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/revival/index.php/revival/article/view/104