Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A phenomenological psychological study of Muslim leaders' attitudes toward connection with the Prophet Muhammad
by Applebaum, Marc H., Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2009, 208; 3368989
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated the attitude toward connection with the Prophet Muhammad among Muslim leaders. Three participants described their connection with the Prophet in the context of their leadership roles as traditionally authorized Sufi guides. The data were analyzed using the phenomenological psychological method of Amedeo Giorgi. The results indicated a common psychological structure comprised of eight constituents: (a) motivation by a divinely inspired, gnostically informed, other-directed interest, (b) linkage of one’s personal qualifications to lead with one’s understanding of the Prophet’s role as leader, (c) struggle over time to adequately fulfill the leadership role, (d) perceiving one’s inadequacies in doing so as the result of an inflated sense of one’s autonomy and agency, (e) shifts to a more modest self-understanding, (f) such shifts eventuating in a less ego-burdened and more integrated mode of leading, (g) this change being validated by the Prophet’s example and presence, and (h) the view that disposability to this process was predicated upon altered states of consciousness experienced in spiritual practice. The findings contributed to a psychological understanding of both the meanings of the Prophet for Muslim leaders and of an Islamic envisioning of leadership as a relationship of simultaneous servant-hood to the Divine and to a community of others.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Giorgi, Amedeo
Commitee: Senturk, Recep, Stigliano, Tony
School: Saybrook University
Department: Humanistic & Transpersonal Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Religion, Psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Islam, Leadership, Muhammad, Muslim, Phenomenological, Phenomenology
Publication Number: 3368989
ISBN: 9781109305456