An introduction to Islamic Psychology: Principles and Foundations

The paper presented at The First International Congress on Psychology, Religion, and Culture. 14-16 May 2011, Tehran-Iran



“Does such a concept as the Islamic or religious psychology ever exist?” we demonstrate the fact that there exists another dimension in the human being with divine root, a dimension that in Islamic theology is called the “spirit of man”. Thus, to know the man in a comprehensive manner would not be possible without also taking this dimension, along with body and mind, into consideration.

The following key points will also be discussed in our research:

  • That any specific (exact) science comes with its own “nonexperimental” presuppositions. Thus, one may say that science is, to some extent, ideological too. Also, there is no such a thing as “absolute science” or “scientific absolutism”. Science enjoys different branches, each with its own specific principles and foundations.
  • That the so-called western science is based on the knowledge gained from rational/intellectual wisdom, disconnected from divine revelation, thus looking at human being as a physical entity. In the light of this attitude, the western physical psychology seems flawed both in terms of the way or method of looking at human being as well as the object of looking.
  • That the “religious” science is a science in which the whole universe, including the mankind, is seen in a spiritual manner, along with the prevalent physical manner. This science, in its insight and experimentation, does not stop at the level of secular sciences, thus studying human dimensions on a much broader scope than purely physical manner.
  • That Islamic psychology pursues human physical and mental health along with its spiritual elevation and perfection, thus focusing on both physical and non-physical dimensions of human being.


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