Islamic psychology : metatheoretical issues and implications

Long, Wahbie (2003-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Before one can articulate the theory and practice of Islamic psychology, or speak of its relationship to, or integration with, secular psychology, it is imperative that its metatheoretical underpinnings be articulated and understood from the outset. It is argued that this is especially important for the reader steeped in the Western scientific tradition, since its secular metatheory has proved insufficient in accommodating the Islamic worldview. Psychology in Islam is preoccupied with the afterlife - as a result, the subjects of mental disorder and psychotherapy are heavily invested with religious and moral significance. Mental disorder refers to such traits as lead to personal destruction in the hereafter, while psychotherapy entails both the observance of all (external) religious obligations as well as the (internal) purification of the self This paper demonstrates firstly that Islamic psychology is a legitimate intellectual domain. That, secondly, from an Islamic perspective, psychological theory is useless and dangerous without a pious practitioner, and, thirdly, that the methodological hierarchy that yields psychological theory is the opposite of its secular version. Lastly, it is argued that while Sunni Islam dismisses the notion of free will, this in no way diminishes the relevance ofIslamic psychology.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Voordat die teorie en praktyk van 'n Islamitiese sielkunde uiteengesit kan word, en voordat daar sprake kan wees van die verwantskap of integrasie hiervan met sekulêre sielkunde, is dit noodsaaklik dat die metateoretiese onderbou daarvan uiteengesit en begryp moet word. Dit word aangevoer dat dit veral belangrik is vir die leser wat geweek is in die Westerse wetenskaplike tradisie aangesien die sekulêre metateorie van laasgenoemde nie voldoende is om die Islamitiese wêreld beskouing te akkomodeer nie. Sielkunde binne Islam is behep met die lewe in die hiernamaals met die gevolg dat die onderwerpe van geestesversteuring en psigoterapie swaar gelaai is met godsdienstige en morele oorwegings. Geestesversteurings verwys na sodanige eienskappe wat tot vernietiging in die hiernamaals sal lei, terwyl psigoterapie die nakoming van alle eksterne godsdienstige verpligtinge sowel as die interne reiniging van die self veronderstel. Hierdie tesis demonstreer, eerstens, dat Islamitiese sielkunde wel 'n legitieme veld van intellektuele ondersoek is. Tweedens, word daar, uit 'n Islamitiese perspektief, aangedui dat sielkundige teorie gevaarlik en nutteloos is sonder 'n godsdienstige praktisyn, en derdens dat die metodologiese hiërargie wat sielkundige teorie lewer die teenoorgestelde is van sy sekulêre weergawe. Laastens word daar geargumenteer dat terwyl Sunni Islam die begrip van vrye wilontsê, word die relevansie van 'n Islamitiese sielkunde nie daardeur ondermyn nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53478
This item appears in the following collections: