Assalaamu alaykum, Shaykh. Please clarify the Islamic ruling regarding studying and practicing NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
We have already clarified in the Arabic Fatwa section of our website that what is known as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is forbidden due to several reasons, notably due to it having ideological and philosophical roots and due to the fact that this programming brainwashes Muslims and teaches them false ideas in their sub-consciousness and then later in their conscious mind.
These ideas revolve around the concept that this existence is only one existence; that there is no (i.e. there is no distinction between) Lord and subjects of the Lord; and that there is no Creator and created being; there is only a unity of existence.
These are the very same old ideas which were advocated by pantheists. Also, the means of that programming are imaginary in many cases, even if they sometimes yield some correct results. It is forbidden to rely on them or to practice them, whether by imagination or by action.
This programming is an alien creed to the Muslim nation and its danger is clear. If there are any benefits in it, then this alone is not enough to make it permissible with the existence of those evils. For instance, alcoholic drinks have some benefits and harms to the people, but since their harm is greater and more serious, they were forbidden and their benefits were not taken into account.
The so-called science of Neuro-Linguistic Programming involves dangers to the creed of a person and his religion compared to those claimed benefits.
This does not mean that we are against correct science, which is based on sound scientific facts and grounds; and perhaps those who are familiar with many of our fatwas on our website, such as those related to the scientific miracles in the Quran and Sunnah, for example, are aware of this fact. However, we can never agree with a science that is mostly based on imagination and illusions or false beliefs.
Allah knows best.
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