Islamic principles, inclusivity and revitalisation in conceptual frameworks for European social work

Authors: Ashencaen Crabtree, S.

Editors: Schmid, H. and Sheikhzadegan, A.

Publisher: Springer Nature

Place of Publication: Switzerland


In considering the important contribution of Islamic principles and perspectives to social work, which has encompassed to-date both the etic (outsider) and an emic (insider) positionality, a dialectical stance is offered in this chapter. This takes a fused ‘etemic’ approach, where Islamic religious and cultural concepts are critically examined in a dialogical application towards and excursus of an adaptive understanding of how these abstracted notions can play out within a social work context. To this end, the following concepts: ummah, zakat, izzat and insan al-kamil, which are Islamic beliefs or Muslim cultural practices, are discussed as offering powerful and evocative socio-cultural-religious constructs that can serve to illuminate professional social work. Such insights, however, are subject to caveats and qualifications regarding the contentious appropriateness of this kind of abstracted, discursive application as well as whether such concepts can or should be adopted in some fashion within social work. However, the International Federation of Social Work’s (IFSW) global definition of social work provides a useful porous framework for such a legitimate exercise in the IFSW’s attempts to depart from narrow ethnocentricism to both recognise and embrace the cultural diversity that constitutes this global profession. Key words: Islamic principles, IFSW, dialectics, social work

Source: Manual