Islamic Counseling With Kamal Shaarawy
Confidential, Professional, and Empowering. A Psycho-Spiritual Approach to Counseling.
Islamic counseling is available over the phone or teleconference on Sundays. It is also available in-person at the Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara, CA for clients that are local to the Bay Area. Finally, inshaAllah counseling sessions will be available in the near future over HD video conferencing via the Cisco UMI Video Conferencing System.
What is Islamic Counseling?
Islamic counseling is holistic, and it focuses on preventive measures as well as addressing immediate concerns and issues. It considers the whole person as an integration of mental, physical, and emotional aspects, as well as an expression of lifestyle and social environment. Most importantly, it looks upon spiritual development as the cornerstone for healing and prevention of future problems.
The ultimate purpose is to enable the counselee to take full responsibility for his or her own choices, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors; and to embrace the exciting opportunity for self-discovery and growth in all areas of being and life. By doing so, a healthy and strong personality, as a believer, is molded and this leads to the overarching goal of worshipping Allah Almighty as delineated by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
The Islamic model of counseling distinguishes itself from other models of counseling by being derived from a divine source. Thus spiritual and moral values, as well as human values, stand at the core of mental and emotional healing, and its subsequent behavior modification. At the same time, the Islamic model of counseling does not shy away from drawing on both classical and contemporary knowledge. According to the narration of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him: “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer; so wherever he finds it, he has the better right to it.” (Al-Tirmidhi). Muslims may, therefore, benefit from Western thought, science, and practical application wherever it accords with Islamic beliefs and principles.
Pillars of Islamic Counseling
The pillars of the Islamic model of counseling are built on the conception of the human being as a whole, including physical, mental, emotional, moral, and spiritual aspects of living. These aspects are addressed not just in pursuit of happiness and success in this life, but within the larger perspective of development of the self or soul, and its stages:
- an-nafs al-ammarah bil-soo’: the soul prone to and inciting evil
- an-nafs al-lawammah: the self-reproaching soul
- an-nafs al-mutma’ainnah: the tranquil soul
The Islamic model of counseling is unique, transformative, and sublime because the therapeutic principles of insight, intervention, and practical application are built upon the ultimate truth of the glorious Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW.
The Islamic model of counseling focuses on the requisites of self/soul development – physical requisites such as nutrition, deep breathing, and cleansing of bodily organs; mental requisites such as the power of beliefs, the role of imagination, and the power of reflection; emotional requisites such as self-examining on a daily basis, emotional cleansing of toxins such as anger and envy, and raising awareness that emotional intelligence is just as important, or moreso, than cognitive intelligence; and spiritual requisites such as purifying the heart, striving to operate from the tranquil soul, and truly surrendering to Allah Almighty.