|The State of Muslim Mind -
From an Educational Psychologist’s Perspective
|Copyright 2010 Jehan-i-Seema. All rights reserved.
All material in this page is original writing of Seema Arif. Using it in any form of publication and
print media without prior permission will be considered against violation of rights. While quoting in
research papers proper referencing should be used.
Muslim mind is confused distorted and in a state of abyss. It is crouching under fear of annihilation and trying to shroud itself helplessly under the cocoon of
‘Ummah’. The frustration and disappointment crossing all limits has left but no option other than self suicide. How can a subject charged by the faulty
development itself, unable to know what has caused so much wrong, can be blamed for what they do not know how to correct, or what they don’t want to
correct, or cannot correct, because they themselves are being managed poorly by all around them. It is left to be examined what has caused it to fall in pits
of darkness far away from lightMuslim mind is confused distorted and in a state of abyss. It is crouching under fear of annihilation and trying to shroud itself
helplessly under the cocoon of ‘Ummah’. The frustration and disappointment crossing all limits has left but no option other than self suicide. How can a
subject charged by the faulty development itself, unable to know what has caused so much wrong, can be blamed for what they do not know how to correct,
or what they don’t want to correct, or cannot correct, because they themselves are being managed poorly by all around them. It is left to be examined what
has caused it to fall in pits of darkness far away from light.
|‘We are nearer to him than his jugular vein’ (50:16)
Every individual human being has been blessed with innate desire to be close to one’s creator, to know about one’s creator and an innate potential to
develop the relationship with the creator. That inner potential can be called the soul, which can transcend above the material self to bond with what is
more eternal or supernatural. The ultimate duty of a human being towards one’s creator is to develop that potential and use it for the benefit of the
individual and the society. This can only be realized through doing ‘Good’ to others (khair / Naiki). So we can say that soul is the ability to realize
goodness and do ‘Good’ to oneself and others.
The ultimate development of this potential though needs individual exercise but the process must start along other normal socializing processes of the
self. The most powerful socializing agents for the Muslim mind are: Media, School and mosque.
Among all of these media is the most powerful agent these days and it exerts direct
and indirect influence over all other agents as well and we may see the powerful
socializing agents of past - family, community and society being stunned and
paralyzed through its influence. It has literally restricted them all in their own
In all Muslim states there is a constant tug of war between mosque and school,
between mosque and media, between media and school at all levels namely: family,
community and the society. All of these forces are piercing their influence on young
developing soul in order to seek dominance.
We all know that in order to achieve balance the outward forces must
equate the inward forces, i.e. Centripetal force should be equal to
centrifugal force. In this case where the young mind is unable to exercise
any influence by itself; there is no balance or coherence among the
outward forces, sometimes one force dominates, and sometimes the
other one, resulting that we are never able to develop a harmonious
whole; instead an amoeba like blob comes into existence with many
tentacles bulging out of it. It is so ugly and monstrous that one hates to
look at it in the mirror.
Why the beauty has been turned into the
beast? What was to be taught at home,
community and societal level by the
media, school and mosque which was to
produce a ‘Saleh’, healthy, powerful and
integrated human being gliding easily on
the path of eternal goodness – the Sirath-
The purpose of socialization is to teach a human being principles and etiquettes of healthy life, and the aim of socializing agents is to disseminate
required knowledge about it. The process of socialization thus aims at acquiring knowledge. Muslims believe that ultimate source of knowledge is
Allah. Allah is Noor – The eternal light of knowledge. Allah invites Its creation to get familiar with the natural laws of universe to get familiar with the
Creator and the purpose of creation. This inquisitiveness gave birth to the rational self or the scientific being of the human beings. With the advent
of natural and biological sciences the exclusive purpose to know these sciences was left behind and the second hand knowledge acquired had
become the god itself countering the beliefs held by the believers. It has created the sharp divide and conflict in Muslim mind. Look at Qur’an: Allah
says that Man is the Supreme Being, the most loved and cherished creation, this world has been adorned for man that he may seek pleasure and
satisfaction in its exploration. It’s Allah’s gift for us, and now we look at the gifts the other god- science has given us. It is said that three shocks have
been fatal to man’s ego:
|Galileo’s discovery that earth was not the centre of
Darwin’s theory that man has come into being
through process of evolution being a modified form
of apes or horses.
Freud’s claim that man has no power over himself
but is being commanded by an abstract force
within him – the unconscious.
These were the three main blows to the psyche of man to lose his way on the right path. He has lost his self esteem, self worth resulting in feelings of
dismal failure and ultimate depression. The rational self the product of human mind has gone against its very essence – the soul regarding its beliefs
as supernatural superstitions. The guiding star has become the shooting star causing disruption and destruction everywhere around.
The dilemma of life, creation and being superficially solved by the science has enticed the human generations to reduce themselves to the being of
social animals. There is no purpose left in life, but the biological or vegetative existence, and no aim and objective of the socialization process rather
than to enrich the material self – the human capital. All efforts are being directed towards accumulation of material gains in terms of wealth and glory
and splendour. Now when the modern civilization has reached the peak of its gain, it fears to loose it.
The paranoia lies with those who ‘have’ and not with the ‘have-nots’. They do not possess the material strength of destruction, so why fear Muslims?
Why the wrath being turned towards Muslim mind? The next logical competitors after Russia should be China, India, Japan or Korea – Why Muslims?
Neither they are the rational beings, nor do they possess the powerful force of existence. But the Muslims do possess a very meek but an inner light
to look at things in their right place – a self more than a rational self – a law superior than a physical natural law – The understanding of a
‘Transcendent Law’ – A law that empowers human beings to rise above their material selves.
|Paper prepared for
11th International Psychological Conference,
Dated: 19-21 December, 2002