Self-Development in The Holy Qur’an: The Important Role of Metacognition

Main Article Content

Nabeel Iqbal
Muhammad Iqbal Hossain


The existing literature on Islamic self-development does not highlight the important role of metacognition in the self-development process. In this article, we argue that metacognition is the first step towards the specific type of self-development stressed in the Holy Qur’an. Therefore, we develop a simple guide to self-development based on the Qur’an with metacognition as the initial step. Firstly, the chapters and/or verses in the Qur’an related to self-development was identified. Secondly, the important words from these verses were studied using a dictionary of the Holy Qur’an. Then this information was used to derive a simple guide to self-development. The article also compares the Qur’anic concept of self-development with that of meditation in Buddhism. Interestingly, we find that there are certain similarities as well as differences between the two schools of thought. In particular, the Qur’an emphasizes an active engagement with negative thoughts, emotions, and mental processes as well as a deliberate attempt at cultivating specific positive traits and mental processes. In contrast, the meditation techniques in Buddhism are more passive and does not emphasize the active internal struggle (jihād al-nafs) that the Holy Qur’an emphasizes. Future research can scientifically test and compare the effects of metacognition on spiritual-development and/or self-development.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Research Article (English)