Empirically based psychology of Islam: Summary and critique of the literature

Hisham Abu-Raiya, Kenneth I. Pargament

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this paper, we systematically review the growing empirically based psychology of Islam. We arrive at 10 conclusions: (l) Islam is a multidimensional religion; Islam might mean different things to different people, and some people might adhere to some of its elements but not to others; (2) Islam is similar to, but is different from, other religions; (3) Islam's role in the lives of Muslims seems mostly positive; (4) Some types of Islamic religiousness are negative; (5) The empirical findings have not been translated yet into clinical applications; (6) Most of studies conducted among Muslims provide only a birds-eye view of Islam; (7) Empirical studies of Muslims are scarce; (8) Empirical research on negative types of religiousness among Muslims is sparse; (9) The majority of research in this field has been restricted to convenient samples; (10) Several important topics with implications for Muslims deserve further consideration, and there is a need for more varied research methods in studies of Muslims. The implications of these findings and the limitations of this review are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-115
Number of pages23
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Empirical research
  • Islam
  • Psychology
  • Religious coping
  • Religiousness measures
  • Religiousness/religiosity
  • Well-being

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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