A Doctoral Candidate of UMY Proposes Notions of ‘Ruhiologi’ and SMART Model

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UMY News – A doctoral candidate of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), Dr. Achmad Ushuluddin, M.Kes. wrote a dissertation entitled ‘Holistic Medical Education (Roles of Ruhani based on an Islamic Psychology Perspective)’. Through his dissertation, he promotes a new paradigm of a relation between science and religion.

In an interview after his dissertation defense, Dr. Achmad told us why he was interested in discussing ruhiologi. “During my study, I thought of what a human truly is and what elements drive a human to yield science and technology. When I saw a body and people sleeping or being infused, I thought that the science and technology have the same components. Afterwards, a question came up: which one gives life. I found that Islamic psychology discusses a lot of spiritual issues. I discovered that a deeper aspect of spirituality is ruh (spirit) which, then, enables humans to think and get up. Thus, I challenged myself to learn Islamic psychology even though I was a physician,” he shared.

In fact, medical education research has been focusing on laboratory and populationist research. A number of studies have discussed holistic aspects based on the spirit (spirituality without engaging God) instead of ‘ruhani’ (spirituality involving God).

Previous studies defined ‘spirit’ as a material, namely a brain nerve which is not related to God, while the basis of ruhani itself is a non-material, namely the light which is believed from God,” stated Dr. Achmad.

He added that holistic medical education is an alternative to reductionistic education and health, viewing human beings both partially and mechanistically. “Holistic education models combine Intellectual Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ), and Spiritual Quotient (SQ), and multiple intelligence. Meanwhile, holistic medical models fuse biological, psychological, social, and spiritual health. Both the holistic education and holistic medicine regard the significance of a spiritual dimension as the center of the ruhani. My research seeks to integrate holistic education and holistic medicine based on the Islamic psychology perspective,” declared Dr. Achmad.

On his dissertation, Dr. Achmad presented a novel insight between science and religion, including areas of education and medicine, called the SMART model. “The SMART model stands for Sains, Manusia, Ruh, dan Tuhan (Science, Human, Spirit, and God). The four elements are represented in an interconnected quadrant. The SMART model shows technological science as a physical material and religion as a non-physical material,” he asserted.

In essence, Dr. Achmad’s research proposed a novel notion of Ruhiologi as a development of psychology. “The basic materials of psychology are the IQ, EQ, and SQ; thus ruhiologi becomes the basic immaterial of Ruhani Quotient (RQ) – which is the fourth intelligence. The concept was inspired by Al-Isra (17) verse 85. Ruhiologi is a spiritual science whose objective is to raise people’s awareness that they are given spirit by God no matter what their profession, tribe, religion, or skin color is.

The ruhiologi impacts on the emergence of Godly intersubjective awareness, which refers to ethical subject-to-subject relation awareness. They are no longer distinguished based on their profession, which creates a subject-object relation as a relation between a doctor and patient or a lecturer and a student. In the subject-to-subject relation, a position of a doctor and patient should be viewed as a unique subject so that it emerges as a recognitive-intersubjective awareness model. If the object only possesses an exterior dimension (body), the subject has both an exterior and interior dimension (body and spirit). The uniqueness, indeed, is that the subject is an interior dimension (the spirit),” explained dr. Achmad.