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Islamic Book Trust

Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists

Malik Badri




Psychology, with all its by-products and off shoots, has assumed in the West the status of religion, and for many people has replaced it. As in other areas of social sciences, some Muslim thinkers and scholars have developed an amazing skill for the unthinking repetition and blind copying of Western, non-Islamic ideas and practices.


“In the Lizard’s Hole” is a Prophetic epitaph that describes this activity very well. Some Muslim psychologists insist dogmatically on prying even into lizard’s holes that have been partly or totally abandoned by their Western counterparts. But do Muslims really need modern psychology at all? Is modern psychology wholly Western? Is there a way in which it could be reconciled with Islam? These burning questions lie lurking behind the dilemma of Muslim psychologists. 


The author, a practicing Muslim and experienced psychotherapist, professor of psychology for several years and an established authority in the field, takes a somber, non-pedantic look at this dilemma, leading the way towards its solution. He argues that the techniques which have evolved from the philosophy, basically anti-religious, underlying some modern psychotherapeutic and psychiatric disciplines have, in fact, acquired a certain measure of autonomous neutrality, and can be useful in serving the cause of Islam. Muslim psychologists can restore spiritual vigour to the ailing materialistic behaviourism of the West, and to Western psychology as a whole. He provides clinical evidence on how this could be achieved. 


Dr. Badri's pioneering study is a warning to Muslim social scientists of the dangers of blind following Western social theories and norms, and an effort to save Muslims from becoming trapped in lizards’ holes that lie hidden in other areas of human life and thought.