IOS Aligarh Chapter organises One-Week Online Orientation Programme on “Islamic Counselling and Psychotherapy” (September 16-22, 2020)

The inaugural session of the Online Orientation Programme on “Islamic Counselling and Psychotherapy” was held on September 16, 2020 at 12.30 pm, presided over by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi. The session was hosted by Professor Akbar Husain, Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. This session commenced with the recitation of verses from the Holy Qur’an. Dr. Fauzia Nazam, assistant professor, psychology section, Women’s College, A.M.U.

Professor Akbar Husain, joint director, orientation programme on “Islamic Counselling and Psychotherapy” delivered the welcome address in which he extended a warm welcome to the national and international participants. Twenty Muslim and non-Muslim students and teachers from India and three participants from Bosnia attended this orientation programme. The participants were from various disciplines such as psychology, Islamic Studies, education, Arabic, psychiatry, science etc. In his opening remark, Prof. Husain highlighted the contribution of Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi, in the development of the field of Islamic psychology. Since the 1980s IOS had been encouraging psychologists in writing and editing books, organising conferences, workshops, etc. He briefly explained the objective of organising the orientation programme and Islamic Counselling and its application in practice.  

In his Presidential Address, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi remarked that the Quran provides knowledge not in the intellectual sense—but the knowledge of Allah and the realisation of unity. The Qur’an is the source of knowledge and wisdom. Prayer, meditation, and contemplation are the path of attaining knowledge of the Qur’anic kind.

Professor Akbar Husain proposed a vote of thanks.

Day 1, Day 2, Day 5 & Day 7 (September 16, 17, 20 and 22)

Professor Akbar Husain delivered 8 lectures on the following themes:

  1. Nature and Definitions of Counselling
  2. Process of Counselling
  3. What is Islamic Counselling?
  4. Model of Counselling based on Islam
  5. Islamic Counselling Interventions: Prayer, Forgiveness and Repentance, Self-forgiveness
  6. Islamic Counselling Interventions: Confession, Faith and Pilgrimage
  7. Islamic Meditation (Tasbih meditation)
  8. Qur’anic & Sunnah Therapy: Qur’anic Recitation and Ai’takaf
These topics were explained in the light of Qur’anic knowledge, Hadiths, Sunnah and Muslim scholars’ contribution to the field. Empirical studies were also quoted on Islamic practices: prayer, Qur’anic recitation and Tasbih meditation. 
Day 3 (September 18, 2020) 
Dr. Fauzia Nazam, assistant professor of psychology, Women’s College, AMU, delivered two lectures. In the first session her topic was “Standardisation of taqwa (piety) scale” for the assessment of Muslim clients. She discussed the Qur’anic Perspective on taqwa, the work of Islamic scholars in relation to taqwa across the globe, and item writing, reliability, validity, scoring procedure of taqwa (piety) scale. In the second session, the topic “Assessment of Islamic values and concept of fitrah” was discussed. In this session the meaning and importance of Islamic values from Qur’anic perspective and their application for the assessment of Muslim client’s value system was discussed. Item writing process, reliability, validity, scoring procedure of spiritual value scale was discussed in detail. She also discussed in brief the Muslim clients’ belief and value system in the context of Islamic counselling. 
Day 4 (19-09-2020)
Dr. Mustafa Nadeem Kirmani, Associate Professor, Amity University, Manesar (Haryana)
The first session focused on introduction of the topic, the conceptualisation of Qur’anic spirituality paradigm and the role of the Qur’an as universal and promotive interventions, and the role of Qur’an in building cognition which can act as buffer and act as universal and promotive measures to enhance interpersonal connections and mental health.
The second session focused on concepts like tertiary interventions in the context of the Qur’an, and the role of Qur’an in building positive cognition and the constructs of positive psychology strongly embedded in the Qur’an like gratitude, forgiveness, marital enrichment/therapy, the role of de-addiction model to modify human cognition and behaviour implying that evolutionary and step-by-step process is being followed by the Qur’an to change cognition and behavior. The Qur’an also unfolds several important life skills in the Qur’anic context like avoiding blaming others, not to scoff and belittle others  meaning and purpose of life.
Day 6 (21-09-2020)
Dr. Shah M. Khan, associate professor, department of psychology, AMU, delivered lectures on the following topics:
  1. Listening to Surah Al-Rahman and Changes in brain waves.
  2. Qura’nic verses and effects on human emotions.
Khan, Mir, Husain, and Hasan (2020) designed an experiment to measure sustained attention through frontal EEG. Beta brain waves dominated in the experimental condition indicating the waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards the cognitive task. The observation was that a decrease in the beta band activity in the task-related brain regions precedes the declined behavioral performance.
Khan, Mir, Husain, and Hasan reported the results of Qur’anic listening on brain waves. Brain signals of Islamic faith male participants recorded during open and closed eyes. The findings indicate that listening to Surah Al-Rahman with meaning increases the relative Delta and Alpha power in the majority region of the brain, compared to the listening of the same verses without meaning. The study concluded that relaxation is achievable by increasing the alpha and theta brain waves through Surah Al-Rahman
The valedictory session of the Orientation Programme was presided over by Mr. Mohammad Muqim, coordinator, IOS Aligarh Chapter. This session was started with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. Earlier Professor Husain delivered the welcome address where he thanked the distinguished participants from Bosnia, students and teachers of AMU and the chief guest Mr. Mohammad Muqim for gracing the occasion. In the end, feedbacks of participants were recorded.
Mr. Muqim thanked to Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, and Professor Akbar Husain for organising the orientation programme. 
Professor Husain thanked to Mr. Serajuddin Khan, assistant coordinator, IOS Aligarh Chapter and Mr. Mohd. Ataur Rahman, administrative officer, Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi, for providing moral support in organising the orientation programme. 

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