/ Psychology
The Psychology of Fundamentalism 
and the Significance of the Distinction 
Between Submission and Surrender 


On the "Meaning" of "Islam" and the Importance of Understanding the Psychological Distinction between Surrender and Submission

The Distinction between Surrender and Submission is simply that the word submission implies involuntary, as in "whether you like it or not", and Surrender implies in the sweetness of Love. 

This is the key to the two major psychological extremes or postures in Islam, exemplified in these modern times by the Sufis, who are the people purporting the way to realization, and the fundamentalists, loosely referred to as "Wahhabis", who purport to be the guardians of the purity of the Religion. These groups and definitions are exemplary of the breach between spiritualism and fundamentalism in any religion, even though all religions stress the necessity of both to be present in any being who would wish to be whole, or complete. 

It is particularly Islam that brings the necessity of this balance to the fore. It was in emphasis of this point that Imam Malik, one of the great Imams of the Sunni school on Islam,

"Man faqaha wa lam tasawwafa, faqad fasaqa.
Wa man tasawwafa wa lam yatafaqa, faqad zandaqa.
Waman jama`huma, faqad haqaka."

It means, "The one who uses the law for other than the personal benefit of self-purification and preparation to meet his Lord, is creating mischief, even without knowing. And the one who practices self-purification without respect for and the use of the revealed law, is without guidance and wanders fruitlessly. But the one who combines the two has discovered the truth. 

The Problem of Ego in Islam

The Problem of Ego in Islam is the same as anywhere else. It is the defensive/aggressive coping mechanism contrived by the soul for survival or to gain acceptance, that eventually convinces itself that it is real and nothing else is. It usurps the control of the heart from the real Soul and attempts to assert itself as lord and master of the universe. It's not wrong, but merely an inept pretender to the real power that lies within its very depths.

The Psychology of Fundamentalism from a Sufi Perspective

Understanding the Rebellion and the Rebellious Self - La Iqraha fid-din - two views

The entirety of the human personality is built to be a defense mechanism, and with a little study and observation it is easy to know the nature, or manifestation, of the fear that motivates it. Once this nature is discovered, there is the possibility of confrontation, or bringing it out of hiding, thereby eliminating the hidden power it has to rule your behavior. I say that there is a chance because there is another more deeply hidden element that defends the defense mechanism, and relies for it's very existence on the stability and reality of the fears. That nature is the hidden motivations of our goal orientation. These fears become our "cherished institutions" Our "immutable truths", and resist discovery very intensely and furiously.

The Spiritual Root of Denial

Understanding the rebellion is to understand the rebel. And that is the essence of understanding the self and of all understanding. When you understand the rebel, you understand the unwillingness of the human soul to submit to fear or anything other than the direct manifestation of the will of Allah, which one knows only from one's Soul. When you understand the nature of fear you understand the human personality, and therefore everybody.

If unquestioning 'submission' to the will of another in the name of God is what is being asked of us, it is only natural that the Soul resists and resents any form of 'submission', and therefore needs to "watched" and "guarded" over at all times. But it Loves the Sweetness of Surrender, the Peace and Beauty it feels when at peace with the world, relaxed and 'in the garden'.  But the demand of sociological influences causes us to believe that we must sacrifice that for a greater common good.