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Psychiatry and Islam


Pridmore, S and Pasha, MI, Psychiatry and Islam, Australasian Psychiatry, 12, (4) pp. 380-385. ISSN 1039-8562 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1440-1665.2004.02131.x


Objective: To explore psychiatry in Islam, with a view to informing Western psychiatrists working with Islamic patients, and Islamic medical students studying in Western countries. Methods: The first necessary step was to acquire some understanding of Islam, Sharia and Sharia law, as the basis on which the available psychiatric literature was considered. Standard textbooks on Islam and English-language papers in the psychiatric literature were examined. Discussions with knowledgeable Muslim people were conducted. Results: Islam shares roots with the other Abrahamic, monotheistic religions: Judaism and Christianity. A central issues is unity: the unity of God, unity with God and unity within the Islamic community. Islam is more than a religion, because it informs all aspects of behaviour and has been described as 'a comprehensive way of life'. Individualism is less important than the welfare of the community. The Sharia is a list of rules and regulations derived from authentic sources. Psychiatric services in Islam, according to Western standards, are somewhat limited. This issue is being addressed through epidemiological studies, provision of new services and policy development. Although mental health legislation is not universal, forensic psychiatry has a role, in many ways similar to that in the West. Conclusion: Islam is based on unity and core values of compassion, justice and benevolence. Islamic psychiatry has a proud early history, and advances are occurring. There is an opportunity for the profession of psychiatry to bridge religious, ethnic and cultural boundaries.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Pridmore, S (Professor Saxby Pridmore)
ID Code:31965
Year Published:2004
Deposited By:Psychiatry
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2005-04-15

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