The Problem With ‘Mental Health’ — Imam Abdullah Hasan on Unscripted

This podcast episode. This podcast episode. Dear Reader, you must. Brilliant.

“Psychology is Philosophy in action. Psychology is practical Philosophy, and counselling is practical psychology.”

‘Philosophy’ and ‘Psychology’. Relatedly, but for some reason, separately: Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology. Literature and Linguistics. Religious Studies. The ‘Humanities’, which I so love. And we cannot artificially separate each of them, from one another, and nor can we artificially separate them from Islam: Truth.

Definitions, indubitably, are of central-most importance. When separated from Islam, for example, ‘self-actualisation’ – idiocracy, ‘liberalism’, surrendering to the Nafs – become the goals of these sacred human lives of ours. Moreover, notions like… ‘codependency’; ‘confidence’; ‘people-pleasing’. Who sets these standards? Who decides on what is ‘right’, and what is ‘wrong’? What is ‘desirable’, and what is to be avoided at all costs?

Muhammad (SAW), our greatest Example, for example, likely would have been labelled as being ‘codependent’, ‘not confident’, and a ‘people-pleaser’ by these ‘modern’ definitions. Our Islamic definitions tell us that, for example, we are deeply dependent, weak creatures; we should be very humble before Allah and before fellow aspects of creation. We are not here to be chest-puffing feet-stomping ‘hustlers’ and ‘influencers’ and whatever else. We are here to gain, Insha Allah, oceans of beneficial knowledge; love, love, love in sacred, serious, beautiful ways; enjoy and seek to understand the depths and the widenesses of humanity. We are children of Ādam, and from here ought our ‘Philosophical and Psychological’ paradigms begin.

To know God is to know all things. Humanity, and our various parts, and our places in this world. To know ‘all things’ is to come closer to knowing God, also. The Creator. Our purpose here is two, and they are linked: being the best we can be before God; being the best we can be, before other human beings. Islam and ‘the humanities’: one and the same.

For the sciences, too: the supreme leader of these subjects is… La Philosophia. What is life? What is its meaning? What connects all things? Why are we doing all this? So: what is wisdom? The queen of all intellectual pursuits, if we are to root ourselves in Truth, is Islam, and everything, we find, is connected beneath it.


With Salaam, Sadia, 2021.

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