Center For Indigenous Psychology (Pusat Pengembangan Psikologi Islam) is led by Prof. DR Achmad Mubarok MA, a Professor of Indigenous Psychology at University of Indonesia (UI), Jakarta State Islamic University (UIN Jakarta), and Assyafiiyah Islamic University (UIA)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tasawuf as a Part of Islamic Body of Knowledge
at 11:00 PM 
The term “tasawuf” hadn’t been known in the period of Prophet Muhammad, but substance of tasawuf teachings are taken from behaviours of Prophet Muhammad himself. The word “tasawuf” is estimated to be coming from the word “shafa” meaning “clean” or from the word “suf” meaning “wool”, referring to simple clothes used by ancient Sufis. Islam’s teachings can be divided into Aqidah, Shariah, and Akhlaq, or into Islam, Faith (Iman), and Ihsan. In this perspective, tasawuf is in Akhlaq or Ihsan.

In Islamic Body of Knowledge, philosophy develops rapidly but psychology doesn’t develop. It doesn’t mean that ulamas haven’t been interested to psychological matters. Al Quran and hadith themselves talk a lot about nafs (soul), but psychological experiences of Islamic society are different from those of Western society. Modern Western society have been growing in a disappointment to the Church that oppose modern thinking so that religion (the Church) was later separated from worldly affairs and as a result western civilization and science developed without guidance of religion, and later a secular civilization was formed.

Meanwhile, in history of Islam, science developed along with religion, and Islam’s teachings even encourage its ummah to develop science. Therefore, developments of Muslims’ science and civilization have been under guidance of religion. Even development of Islamic philosophy—although firstly was inspired by Greek thinking—has been still within limits set by Al Quran.

Regarding soul (nafs), for example, in Islamic body of knowledge, science of soul/psychology (ilm an nafs) doesn’t develop as a science examining behaviour as phenomena of soul, but nafs is discussed in the context of a spiritual system having vertical relations with God, since Al Quran and Sunnah directly mention term “nafs” and indirectly mention it through terms such as “qalb”, “aql”, “ruh”, and “bashirah”, all of them, in the perspective of lughawi and because of munasahah with other verses or with Prophet’s hadith, have a lot of meanings so that ulamas have been busy exploring definitions of nafs and its system in the perspective of Al Quran and sunnah. One of sciences discussing “nafs” in Islamic body of knowledge is tasawuf .
posted by : Mubarok institute

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