Islamic Psychology in the United States


Submission deadline: November 15, 2020. and

Dr. Carrie York Al-Karam, president of the Alkaram Institute, is writing a book chapter on Islamic Psychology in the United States for a forthcoming edited volume by Dr. Amber Haque and Dr. Abdallah Rothman entitled Islamic Psychology Around the Globe: Challenges and Prospects to be published by the International Association of Islamic Psychology. Dr. Al-Karam’s chapter seeks to describe the current IP landscape in the US and will also discuss its historical development and potential ways forward. Per the inclusion and exclusion criteria of the project, the chapter seeks to to document the following as it relates to IP in the United States: Institutions, Initiatives, Courses, Seminars/Conferences (and their proceedings), People, Books/Book chapters, MA theses, Doctoral dissertations, Scholarship, and any other entity or thing focusing on Islamic psychology in the United States.

If you are involved in this field in the United States and as it pertains to the above, we would like to hear from you so that your contributions may be documented.

How we are defining Islamic Psychology

IP is defined and conceptualized in a variety of ways. For the purposes of this project we will use Al-Karam’s (2018) definition that IP is “an interdisciplinary science where psychology subdisciplines and/or related disciplines engage scientifically about a particular topic and at a particular level with various Islamic sects, sources, sciences, and/or schools of thought using a variety of methodological tools”. This definition allows for many areas of inquiry to be included and it is hoped that scholars, scholarship, courses, initiatives, institutions, and beyond in various fields including psychology, counseling, philosophy, religious/Islamic studies, history, Sufism, music and the arts, chaplaincy and pastoral care, theology, non-clinical areas of psychology including educational, social, I/O, and beyond will be included.

Please note, although the field of Muslim mental health is of great importance, we are not seeking to document developments in this field. The essential difference between Islamic psychology and Muslim mental health is that IP seeks to develop framework of psychology rooted in Islam regardless of any particular population on whom it might be applied whereas MMH seeks to explore the mental health needs of Muslims. There is overlap but these domains also have different foci.

Please also note that we recognize that the term Islamic Psychology is a modern one and not everyone uses it. Related terms include but are not limited to Quranic psychology, Islam-based psychology, sometime Sufi psychology, traditional psychology and beyond. Moreover, we also recognize that certain areas of scholarship are in essence IP but might not be positioned within the IP field explicitly and might not use the term. Therefore, use the definition of IP that is provided herewith as a gauge. And, if you’re not sure whether or not something would be within the scope of what we are looking for, feel free to reach out and ask.

For more information on Islamic psychology as it pertains to the scope of this project, see:

  1. Al-Karam, C. Y. (2018). Islamic Psychology: Towards a 21st Century Definition and Conceptual Framework. Journal of Islamic Ethics 2 (2018). 97-109. Brill.

To access full article:

  1. Al-Karam, C. Y. (2020). Islamic Psychology: Expanding Beyond the Clinic. Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice. November 2020 (forthcoming).

To access draft of full article which will be published Nov. 2020: 


About the Author of the chapter

Carrie York Al-Karam, PhD is president of the Alkaram Institute. Her areas of interest include Islamic psychology, spiritually integrated psychotherapy, and virtue/character development from an Islamic perspective. She is an associate editor for a number of peer-reviewed journals including APA’s Spirituality in Clinical Practice. Her edited books are Mental Health and Psychological Practice in the United Arab Emirates (2015), Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy: Uniting Faith and Professional Practice (2018), a children’s character development book called Maya and the Seven Limbs (2020), and a forthcoming textbook on Islamic psychology.


About the Editors of the Book

Amber Haque, PhD is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar. He has published six edited books, numerous book chapters and articles in international refereed journals and several research papers related to Islamic Psychology. He is also a senior scholar at the Alkaram Institute as well as a Fellow of the International Association of Islamic Psychology. For an extensive list of his publications see:

Abdallah Rothman, PhD is Principal of Cambridge Muslim College in the UK. He holds an MA in Psychology from Antioch University and a PhD in Psychology from Kingston University London. He is Clinical Director of Shifaa Integrative Counseling, the Executive Director of the International Association of Islamic Psychology, and an Advisor to the Alkaram Institute. He is also affiliated with a number of other academic institutions globally. His clinical practice as well as his academic research focus on approaching counseling and psychotherapy from within an Islamic paradigm and establishing an indigenous Islamic theoretical orientation to human psychology that is grounded in the knowledge of the soul from the Islamic tradition. In addition to his academic training he has studied privately with a number of traditional Islamic scholars throughout the Muslim world.