Background and aims: The nursing philosophy has moved from reductionism to holism in its manner of treating human being (HB). There are two main philosophical worldviews about holism, namely reciprocal interaction and simultaneous action worldviews, based on which most holistic nursing theorists formulated their works. Islam, as a perfect religion, also addresses all dimensions of HB and provides different instructions for their development. However, it is still poorly known whether there is a difference between western and Islamic holism. This study was conducted to analytically compare these two main philosophical worldviews with the Islamic worldview in nursing.
Methods: This analytical study was conducted in 2020 through the library search method. The SID, Medlib, IranMedex, Magiran, Irandoc, ISI, Scopus, PubMed, and Islamic World Science Citation Center databases were searched using the “holism”, “Islamic thought”, “reciprocal interaction”, and “simultaneous action” keywords. Moreover, the works of famous Islamic intellectuals, particularly Mohammad Hossein Tabatabaei and Morteza Motahhari, were assessed.
Results: In the reciprocal interaction worldview, HB is considered as an organized and coherent whole with different biological, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions and inter-relationships among these dimensions. Moreover, it considers HB as a metaphor, implying that HB is a unified, self-organizing, and regularly changing being that is in interaction with internal and external environments. In the Islamic worldview, HB is a unified truth with material and immaterial realms consisted of physical body connected with emotions, cognition, society, spirituality, and the universe.
Conclusion: Although the simultaneous action worldview has a holistic view towards HB, it does not specifically address all HB dimensions. However, the reciprocal interaction worldview addresses some HB dimensions. Islamic intellectuals not only have a holistic view towards all HB dimensions, but also consider HB relationship with the universe. Such divine view to HB integrates the simultaneous action and the reciprocal interaction worldviews, provides nurses with a holistic view towards HB, and facilitates the application of the existing holistic nursing theories for nursing practice, research, and theorization.