Communication and Human Development

Islamic Perspectives on Social Work Practice

Social work practice in most Islamic and developing countries has followed the western model in the belief that professional practice is universal. After fifty years of social work practice in these countries, however, we find that this model has largely failed due to its exclusion of religious values and spiritual aspects. During the last decade, western professionals realized that the inefficacy of social work practice was due to its avoidance of spiritual and religious aspects in theory and methodology.

The conceptional scientific method based on scientific materialism has not provided a comprehensive study of humanity and society, for its dependence on the senses as the sole source of knowledge meant that revelation-derived knowledge was seen as unimportant. Scientific methodology must be reviewed and reoriented so that it depends on revelation and sense experience as sources of knowledge. As such, the Islamic reorientation of both the social sciences and professions will be necessary during the process of establishing models for sciences based on scientific methodology with regard to revelation as a source of knowledge.

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