Islamization: A Sociological Approach
M. Alashari/Mohammad M Rahman
The book The Islamic Society: The Sociological Perspective discusses mainly Islamic society,
while this paper mainly discusses how to realize Islamic society.
There are two levels of changes in human society: System and Personal. Islam also aims to
change on both levels, each complementing the other. The system change happens at the
political level, the legal level, the economic level, the financial level, the diplomatic level, the
education level, the research level, and the collective organization. Islam has guidance, rules,
and laws for making changes in these. This paper mainly proposes policies to change the
individual level but may also touch on the system level. When the collective individuals change,
it will change society as a whole. The Islamic culture offers an alternative and unique existence,
not simply conforming to western secular liberalism.
Towards this end, Muslims must utilize the maximum potential of Islamic texts for collective
empowerment. Today most Muslims only use a very minimum set of Islamic texts mainly
related to personal worship such as prayer, fasting, and Hajj. Yet, most of these Muslims do not
even realize the reality and totality of this worship and why they are called pillars of Islam.
Muslims must fulfill the obligatory and prohibited commands of Islam in their individual and
collective capacity, but even that Muslims are not doing. Then we must at least meet the
recommended and disliked commands of Islam which empower our collective existence and
Islamic identity. For example, take the Hadith of removing the harmful substance from the
street as being the lowest of faith but doing this empowers us collectively as our society
improves health, economy, and aesthetics, thereby improving us over our adversaries. Also,
take, for example, the weekend. Many Muslim countries follow Jewish and Christian holidays
giving lame excuses, while they should have followed Islamic holidays. This empowers our
Islamic identity over our adversaries. So, Islamization is meant to realize this utilization of the
maximum potential of Islamic texts towards collective empowerment.
Islamization of Muslim majority societies starts with two categories of policies: policies of
persuasion and motivation and policies of realization. The former set of guidelines is meant to
change the psychology and thought process of the members of the Muslim societies, while the
second set of policies is to realize the practicality of the Islamic community. But before I begin
discussing, some basic terms need to clarify about social psychology.
The basic building blocks of social psychology are two main categories: the internal and the
external. The internal consists of the mind, which contains cognition, emotion, intention, and
desire. The exterior consists of the body, including the behavior, the attitude, and the society
itself. Society, however, contains situations & events about the people and/or
objects. Islamisation is meant to change the internal, external, and community based on Divine
guidance to create a unique Divinely infused social evolution meant to make thousands of years
of Islamic civilization where all ethnicity of Muslims and non-Muslims are a single Ummah
Know that the body and the brain is the instrument of the soul which many call the mind. The
soul is the endpoint of all human feelings and cognition. To change the Muslim societies toward
Islam, we must change its members’ social acts and behavior. We must thus understand the
underlying causes, rules, and values that affect its members’ social actions and behavior. So,
determining the causes of people’s behavior is known as causal attribution. It can be the
internal cause, such as the person, or external such as an event or situation. Islamisation of
society and political system must at least ensure that Islam-identified causes of evil are rejected
and prevented by Islamic laws. For example, lack of welfare increases hardship for people, and
that consistent hardship may push some to crimes. Or for example, nudity tempts men, and at
some point, it will result in rape and other violent crimes. So Islamisation will control and guide
social acts and behavior's internal and external causes.
To achieve this, Islamisation must aim at controlling and modeling the social and cognitive
schema. Schema is a collection of basic knowledge about a concept or entity that guides
perception, interpretation, imagination, or problem-solving. Schema engineering must take
place at all levels of the aging process and in multiple critical locations starting in childhood
education, familial upbringing, public places, various social programs, and the media. As an
example, schema engineering will teach children how to perceive others and other
ideologies. In the social dynamic with others, we have two goals: First, we need to learn about
them, and second, we want them to know about (and, we hope, like, and respect) us. Muslim
children must learn about non-Muslims primarily based on faith and humanity. First, Muslim
children must understand that the world is divided between faithful and faithless. Muslim
children must learn their social category (gender, religion, social role, etc. ) and its role and
values based on Islamic guidance. For example, a female must learn the importance of chastity,
husband, and childbearing, and the male must learn likewise about leadership, matrimonial
responsibility, and family protection. This is a schema of the Islamic family.
So the Islamization aim of schema installation in human brains is to create a genuinely moral,
empathetic, and honest society for at least 75% of the community. People must be
programmed to do good primarily for good rather than for personal goals or
selfish achievements. This will make them habitual performers of good in Islamic society.
Collective betterment is the aim rather than personal betterment at the expense of others,
which impedes collective betterment. Individualism is not total but must be limited to avoid
encroaching upon the collective betterment.
To achieve this, social programs and institutions need to change the behavior. For children,
imbue them with positive Islamic morals and alienate negative morals. This should occur in all
contexts of cognitive development. For example, you are teaching the child to dislike pork in
the classroom, but at the same time, pork is being sensationalized in cartoons. This won’t work
in the Islamic development of a child's morals and cognitive thought. However, once a child has
been taught the negativity of pork, the child can deal with pork sensationalism as an adult
because the child's moral and cognitive capabilities about this issue have been developed. This
is why in the west, they use age ratings for movies.
Islamization should create social interaction to instill a sense of community-based on Islamic
values. This community interaction should occur first through education in primary schools,
continuing to universities, and various weekly and monthly social occasions based on Islamic
values. For example, one of the values that need to be implemented is a segregated job
industry and education system. A society based on care and feelings will create a close
relationship depending on blood relations, the similarity of values, and companionship. A close
relationship does not mean violation of privacy, being imposing and demanding, but by mutual
understanding, some people may waiver these limits due to the intensity of their closeness.
Sometimes social situations may motivate people to do something terrible without them doing
it out of firm intention and purpose. That is why the Islamization of society is necessary. That
does not create a deviant society that overpowers individual will to do good. To develop
responsible, sympathetic, and altruistic people, we need to spread Islamic conscience and
values through education, socialization through media and ads, familial upbringing, political
action, and legal rulings.
The Islamization process should also deal with negative emotions. Negative emotions that may
harm Islamic society should achieve positive thinking and optimism through trust, patience,
hope in God, and inspiration to achieve goals. These can be completed in many ways:
traditional education, Islamic preaching, various entertainment tools such as movies and TV
shows, extracurricular activities, and encouraging research. We also need to prohibit negative
images of Islam or Muslims in their religious capacity in the public space. We don't want
negative social conscience to develop against Islam through misunderstanding and incomplete
or wrong information. Positive thinking will result in a positive attitude toward Islam, expressed
by the Islamic citizens' beliefs, behavior, and emotion.
How do you realize Islamic acts/values/rules in the social setting? We need to create group
norms in political and social groups, which must earn admiration by piety, morality, and ability
to govern. We must develop examples in political, academic, public, and legal institutions. The
jurists and theologians should scan through Islamic texts, biographies, and history to extract
relevant values to be applied in these institutions, thereby achieving group norms. Also, by law,
Muslims should be required to attend weekly sessions on reading Islamic texts to improve their
Islamic awareness. Group-based feedback must be formed in a mosque gathering session and
in every public institution to generate brighter ideas to empower Islam and people’s lives even
more. In such a groupthink process, various problems may be presented, and the group acts as
a whole through brainstorming and proposing new solutions for Islamic society.
For group norms to be successful and long-lasting, we need to do the following on an ongoing
Create Models of Persuasion
Dismantle propaganda against Islam and expose enemies’ lies and psyops. These can be
achieved by the educational curriculum, movies, TV shows, media, and mosque sermons.
We must also, through these means, promote positive things about Islam and Muslims. We
must rationalize Islam rather than liberalize it. This and the previous guideline will make Islam a
powerful social influence to achieve conformity.
We should teach and promote Islamic history and heritage in various social contexts, mainly
through education. We must present Islamic heritage and history in such a way as to create
inspiration and positivism by encouraging reliving and showing a purpose and motivation. One
of the most influential contemporary social contexts is the film industry, and Muslims must
truly exploit this context to achieve this. These will teach Muslims Islamic self-concept on
monotheism and the totality of the ummah and imbue positive self-esteem through Islamic
identity. This will also show that Islamic rule is rationally inclusive and rationally liberal.
Conformity is the normative standards of a social group or situation. The social status
characteristics, including the number of people in the majority and the unanimity of the
majority, strongly influence conformity. So for Muslim majority countries, Islam must define
As we implement these guidelines, we must not forget the welfare of people, which will also act
as a motivating factor. We know humans are motivated to find food and water, obtain
adequate shelter, and protect themselves from danger; that is, humans like their life to be
convenient. So Islamic rule should make and announce Islamic policies to fulfill these and
obtain convenience for people as much as possible and reasonable. Towards this end, Muslims,
in their official and professional capacities, must prove efficiency and skills to achieve comfort
in human life and achieve informational conformity. This conformity is the change in opinions
or behavior that occurs when people conform to people they believe have accurate
information, abilities, and skills. While working toward informational conformity, Muslim
professionals and officials should reveal Islamic identity. Such as Muslim doctors, for example,
have an Islamic dress code and appearance and mention God often in their medical activities,
along with Islamic sincerity and honesty.
Create Social Support for Islamic Values Among Muslims
This can be achieved by declaration, encouragement, and adherence from authorities, publicity,
and one-to-one reminders and conversations, digital or otherwise, between the administration,
religious officials, and Muslim and non-Muslim individuals. The declaration must be continuous
persistent, and consistent from multiple authorities of Islamic rule. This creates an Islamic social
conscience because social influence makes social norms—the model and framework need to be
determined and implemented.
The approval, assistance, advice, and comfort for Islamic values and those who support them
and live by them should be achieved. This support starts with political and academic
declarations that psychologically motivate people and prepare them by making them think as
part of a greater whole and cause. The key is to start a trend. Once declared, public or private
institutions must start implementing this, and gradually, it will spread among Muslim
individuals. We can begin slowly with small things such as changing to Islamic dress, Islamic
looks, Islamic greetings, etc., and move towards more excellent aspects such as political, legal,
economic systems, etc. Muslims must start thinking before acting by asking, "is this belief or act
Islamic" should this help achieve this?
Suppress Contradictory Values
Contradictory values will impede Islamization, and as secular liberal values are dominant, they
will hinder Islamic conformity. The result has been normative conformity which occurs when we
express opinions or behave in ways that help us to be accepted or keep us from being isolated
or rejected by most others. Muslims have been overwhelmed by secular liberal conformity by
failing to live by Quran 5:100. So achieving conformity starts with political, legal, and social
policies by promoting, supporting, and protecting Islamic values and resisting, suppressing, and
rejecting unIslamic values. This should occur consistently and almost unanimously to create
strong Islamic social norms and influence.
Cease & Desist Social Distractions
That which derails our traits, desires, motivations, and emotions away from Islam, Islamic
values, and Islamic rule must be suppressed. We can change social situations by this act as
well. To this end, social media must abide by the rules and laws of Islamic society, and failing to
do so should terminate their presence. Technologically social media access must be made as
hard as possible and legal action taken if anyone accessing banned social media. Some entities,
such as education and businesses, may be allowed under conditions.
Form Close Relationship
A Muslim is a practicing Muslim who reveals signs of Islamic adherence. We must form close
relationships among these Muslims internationally and locally. It is essential for Muslims to
create an intimate relationship through many social acts such as in mosques, in social parties
arranged for getting together, through games online and offline, in the education system,
through marriage, through persistent charitable endeavors, etc. The standard of Muslim Islamic
charity must be to prioritize those helpless people who are practicing Muslims. Like this,
Muslims will have to maintain close relationships, bonds, and a sense of solidarity. The Islamic
government should form a regular national detailed roster of people in need and publish it.
According to psychology, the four rules of forming a close relationship are proximity, similarity,
physical attractiveness, and reciprocity.
The element of proximity in attraction means that people are more likely to be attracted to
someone who is in close physical and social proximity to them. Quran has ordained one rule,
one peace, and one geography for Muslims in many verses. This will achieve physical and social
proximity, which is a monumental task because of what western colonialism and
neocolonialism have done and are doing.
The element of similarity means precisely what you’d think —people are more likely to be
attracted to people with similar traits. Islam is most effective in achieving this. For example,
Islam states that Muslims are one body. So Islam is about creating intense and essential
similarities among its followers, so they admire each other. However, colonialism,
neocolonialism, Muslim nationalism, and racism have again destroyed this.
The element of physical attractiveness is also pretty self-explanatory. People are more likely to
be emotionally or romantically attracted to people they also find physically attractive. However,
this is mainly to be used in Islamic marriage. Muslims must not judge each other or non-
Muslims by their looks. God sees the hearts and actions rather than looks, and likewise,
Muslims must look into others’ beliefs, values, and activities and compare these with Quran
and Sunnah before judging them.
The element of reciprocity is the idea that people are more likely to be attracted to people who
are also attracted to them. If you know someone who likes you or expresses their feelings for
you, you might feel more inclined to like them back. So Muslims must like each other, and this
can be represented by various means such as greeting each other often even though they are
strangers to each other, being charitable to the needy Muslims, and having an open and
friendly discussion when meeting on various social occasions such as while traveling or in a
restaurant, etc., being eager to help and supportive to fellow Muslims. These are all indications
Islamic texts have laid down numerous behavioral and mental protocols to achieve close
relationships among Muslims. What is holding us back is suspicion, envy, and mistrust. We must
overcome those negative barriers by the first initiation, which means being the first to initiate
trust, amicability, and friendship towards our fellow Muslims. As this becomes widespread, we
will achieve wide-reaching solidarity that will create a culture and habit of Islamic relationships.
Forming and Managing The Cognitive Schema
The aim is to guide society's and its members' feelings, thoughts, and behavior instead of
leaving these to whimsical choices. This will achieve the social perception of groups and
individuals and guide that towards either liking or disliking depending on the group’s or
individual’s value set. The goal is to attract good existence and repel a bad one. This is also the
goal of amr bil maruf nahiy an munkar. This social cognition involves the active interpretation
of events of Islamic society. While imparting a message to the public by any lawful means, we
must understand the context of message passing, whether formal or informal such as media or
In the informal context, we should utilize people's spontaneous message processing.
People accept a persuasion attempt because they focus on whatever is most obvious,
enjoyable, or depressing in the message without much attention to the message itself. In the
formal context, we should utilize thoughtful message processing, which occurs when people
think about how the message relates to their own beliefs and goals and carefully consider
whether the persuasion attempt is valid or invalid. Because the thoughtful processing of the
message bolsters the attitude, thoughtful processing helps us develop strong attitudes that
In the Islamisation process, children should be started with spontaneous message processing.
Then as they mature gradually then, the move should be towards thoughtful message
processing. The primary message subject matter should be Islam and related issues. All
messages related to Islam should be strong in content, sourced from an authority such as the
Islamic government or important Islamic institutions, and relevant to the context and audience.
While promoting the Islamic message, we must ensure that citizens of Islamic jurisdiction do
not accept anti-Islam persuasion. We should use forewarning, which is giving people a chance
to develop a resistance to persuasion by reminding them that they might someday receive a
persuasive message and allowing them to practice how they will respond to influence attempts.
Quran uses the forewarning technique to warn believers about potential hostilities from Islam
Forewarning prepares us for action—we bring up our defenses to maintain our existing beliefs,
so forewarning can be effective in helping people respond to anti-Islam persuasive messages
that they will receive later. In the formal context of education, as students mature, we need to
inoculate them, which involves building up defenses against anti-Islam persuasion by mildly
attacking Islam. While Islamizing society, we need to be careful about psychological
reactance, a strong emotional response that people experience when they feel that
their freedom of choice is being taken away and expect that we should have a choice. So
previous steps need to be adequately implemented and space defined, and presented to
people in a controlled way to avoid psychological reactance. But psychological reactance must
not be constantly submitted to as people may not always know what is good for them; only an
authority, in this case, the Islamic regime, which is meritocratic and pious, has the best interest
of the Islamic society. Sometimes psychological reactance can take the form of armed rebellion
such as hiraba, which demands strict punishment from the authority.
In conclusion, Islamization is meant to utilize the maximum potential of Islamic texts toward
collective Muslim empowerment. This will, in turn, change and guide the system and the
personal. Islamization of Muslim majority societies starts with two categories of policies:
policies of persuasion and motivation and policies of realization. This is meant to change social
psychology, and the basic building blocks of social psychology are two main categories: the
internal and the external. To change the Muslim majority societies toward Islam, we must
change its members' social acts and behavior, and we need to change the behavior through
social programs and institutions. To achieve this, Islamisation must aim at controlling and
modeling the social and cognitive schema by various psychological means. Islamization should
create social interaction to instill a sense of community based on Islamic values, disregard
negative emotions and promote positive ones. We need to create group norms in political and
social groups, which must earn admiration by piety, morality, and ability to govern. We must
create norms in the political institutions, academic institutions, public institutions, and legal
institutions. The jurists and theologians should scan through Islamic texts, biographies, and
history to extract relevant values to be applied in these institutions, thereby achieving group
norms. Psychologists and sociologists must guide how media and entertainment impart their
contents. To create group norms, we need to develop models of persuasion, achieve
conformity, create social support for Islamic values, suppress contradictory values, cease social
distractions and form close relationships among Muslims.
Rahman, M. (n.d.). Mohammad Mushfequr Rahman | University of Derby - Academia.edu.
Derby.academia.edu. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from
Rahman, M. M. (n.d.-a). Essential Summaries of Islam. Www.academia.edu.
Rahman, M. M. (n.d.-b). Political and Legal System of Islam. Www.academia.edu.