Skip to main content

Religiosity and Mental Health in Islam

Abstract

This chapter provides a systematic review of research conducted prior to the year 2010, as well as more recent research, examining the relationship between religiosity and mental health in Muslims. Included here are studies examining depression, suicide, anxiety, substance use/abuse, psychotic symptoms, cognitive impairment, and well-being. This comprehensive review finds that reading and reciting the Qur’an, frequent engagement in prayer, holding devout Islamic beliefs, careful adherence to Qur’anic teachings, and a strong and close-knit family and community may help to neutralize feelings of stress and distress and enhance well-being and happiness. Islamic teachings set the bar high in terms of ethical values and behavioral expectations, promising dire consequences in the hereafter for those who fail to meet that bar. Nevertheless, Muslims who abide by those teachings appear to have better mental health than those who do not, at least during this life. Clinicians should be aware of these findings, particularly when encountering Muslim patients who are less religious (and those who are religious but may be misunderstanding or misinterpreting Islamic teachings).

Keywords

  • Islam
  • Muslims
  • Mental health
  • Islamophobia
  • Well-being
  • Religiosity

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-00512-2_5
  • Chapter length: 11 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-00512-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Notes

  1. 1.

    English translations are from Abdel Haleem MAS (2004). The Qur’an (Oxford World Classics). New York: Oxford University Press.

References

  1. Abu-Ras W, Abu-Bader SH. Risk factors for depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): the case of Arab and Muslim Americans post-9/11. J Immigr Refug Stud. 2009;7(4):393–418.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. AMC. Association of Muslim Chaplains. 2016. Retrieved from http://associationofmuslimchaplains.com/. (Last accessed 6/24/17).

  3. Amer MM, Hovey JD. Anxiety and depression in a post-September 11 sample of Arabs in the USA. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2012;47(3):409–18.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Amr M, El-Mogy A, El-Masry R. Adherence in Egyptian patients with schizophrenia: the role of insight, medication beliefs and spirituality. Arab J Psychiatry. 2013;24(1):60–8.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Azhar MZ, Varma SL. Religious psychotherapy in depressive patients. Psychother Psychosom. 1995a;63:165–73.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Azhar MZ, Varma SL. Religious psychotherapy as management of bereavement. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1995b;91:233–5.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Azhar MZ, Varma SL, Dharap AS. Religious psychotherapy in anxiety disorder patients. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1994;90:1–3.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Babamohamadi H, Sotodehasl N, Koenig HG, Al-Zaben F, Jahani C, Ghorbani R. The effect of Holy Qur’an recitation on depressive symptoms in hemodialysis patients: a randomized clinical trial. J Relig Health. 2017;56(1):345–54.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Babamohamadi H, Sotodehasl N, Koenig HG, Jahani C, Ghorbani R. The effect of Qur’an recitation on anxiety in hemodialysis patients: a randomized clinical trial. J Relig Health. 2015;54(5):1921–30.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Basit A, Hamid M. Mental health issues of Muslim Americans. J Islam Med Assoc N Am. 2010;42(3):106–10.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Bostwick JM, Pankratz VS. Affective disorders and suicide risk: a reexamination. Am J Psychiatr. 2000;157(12):1925–32.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  12. Ciftci A, Jones N, Corrigan PW. Mental health stigma in the Muslim community. J Muslim Ment Health. 2013;7(1):17–32.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  13. Coin A, Perissinotto M, Najjar A, Giaradi EM, Inelmen G, Enzi EM, Sergi G. Does religiosity protect against cognitive and behavioral decline in Alzheimer’s dementia? Curr Alzheimer Res. 2010;7(5):445–52.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  14. Conrad R, Schilling G, Najjar D, Geiser F, Sharif M, Liedtke R, et al. Cross-cultural comparison of explanatory models of illness in schizophrenic patients in Jordan and Germany. Psychol Rep. 2007;101(2):531–46.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. CSTH. In: Ciarrocchi JW, Schechter D, Pearce MJ, Koenig HG, Vasegh S, editors. Religious cognitive behavioral therapy (Muslim version). 10-session treatment manual for depression in clients with chronic physical illness. Durham: Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health; 2014. Retrieved from http://www.spiritualityandhealth.duke.edu/index.php/religious-cbt-study/therapy-manuals (Accessed on 6/24/17).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Eapen V, Revesz T. Psychosocial correlates of paediatric cancer in the United Arab Emirates. Support Care Cancer. 2003;11(3):185–9.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Guze SB, Robins E. Suicide and primary affective disorder. Br J Psychiatry. 1970;117:437–8.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  18. Hestyanti YR. Children survivors of the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia: a study of resiliency. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006;1094:303–7.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  19. Hodge DR, Zidan T, Husain A. Depression among Muslims in the United States: examining the role of discrimination and spirituality as risk and protective factors. Soc Work. 2016;61:45–52. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/swv055.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Hosseini M, Salehi A, Khoshknab MF, Rokofian A, Davidson PM. The effect of a preoperative spiritual/religious intervention on anxiety in Shia Muslim patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery: a randomized controlled trial. J Holist Nurs. 2013;31(3):164–72.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  21. Inzelberg R, Afgin A, Massarwa M, Schechtman E, Israeli-Korn S, Strugastsky R, Amin A, Efrat K, Lindsay AF, Friedland R. Prayer at midlife is associated with reduced risk of cognitive decline in Arabic women. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2013;10(3):340–6.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  22. Johnstone J, Tiliopoulos N. Exploring the relationship between schizotypal personality traits and religious attitude in an international Muslim sample. Arch Psychol Relig. 2008;30(1):241–53.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  23. Koenig HG, King DE, Carson VB. Handbook of religion and health. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Koenig HG, Al Shohaib S. Health and Well-being in Islamic societies: background, research, and applications. Cham: Springer International; 2014.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  25. Koenig HG, Al Shohaib S. Islam and mental health: beliefs, research, and clinical applications. Amazon: Create Space Publishing Platform; 2017.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Koenig HG, Pearce MJ, Nelson B, Shaw SF, Robins CJ, Daher N, Cohen HJ, Berk LS, Bellinger D, Pargament KI, Rosmarin DH, Vasegh S, Kristeller J, Juthani N, Nies D, King MB. Religious vs. conventional cognitive-behavioral therapy for major depression in persons with chronic medical illness. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2015;203(4):243–51.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  27. Nurasikin MS, Khatijah LA, Aini A, Ramli M, Aida SA, Zainal NZ, Ng CG. Religiousness, religious coping methods and distress level among psychiatric patients in Malaysia. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2013;59(4):332–8.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  28. Pew Research Center. The future of the global Muslim population. Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life; 2011. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/the-future-of-the-global-muslim-population/. (Accessed on 6/24/17).

  29. Pew Research Center. The future of world religions: population growth projections, 2010–2050. Religion & Public Life. April 2. 2015. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050. (Accessed on 6/24/17).

  30. Pritchard C, Amanullah S. An analysis of suicide and undetermined deaths in 17 predominantly Islamic countries contrasted with the UK. Psychol Med. 2007;37(3):421–30.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  31. Razali SM, Aminah K, Khan UA. Religious-cultural psychotherapy in the management of anxiety patients. Transcult Psychiatry. 2002;39(1):130–6.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  32. Razali SM, Hasanah CI, Aminah K, Subramaniam M. Religious – sociocultural psychotherapy in patients with anxiety and depression. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1998;32:867–72.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  33. Saffari M, Pakpour AH, Naderi MK, Koenig HG, Baldacchino DR, Piper CN. Spiritual coping, religiosity and quality of life: a stud on Muslim patients undergoing haemodialysis. Nephrology. 2013;18:269–75.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  34. Salib E, Youakim S. Spiritual healing in elderly psychiatric patients: a case-control study in an Egyptian psychiatric hospital. Aging Ment Health. 2001;5(4):366–70.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  35. Scholte WF, Olff M, Ventevogel P, de Vries G-J, Jansveld E, Lopes Cardozo B, et al. Mental health symptoms following war and repression in Eastern Afghanistan. J Am Med Assoc. 2004;292(5):585–93.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  36. Suhail K, Chaudhry HR. Predictors of subjective well-being in an Eastern Muslim culture. J Soc Clin Psychol. 2004;23(3):359–76.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  37. Zhang W. Religious participation, gender differences, and cognitive impairment among the oldest old in China. J Aging Res. 2010. article ID 160294.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Harold G. Koenig .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Koenig, H.G., Al Shohaib, S.S. (2019). Religiosity and Mental Health in Islam. In: Moffic, H., Peteet, J., Hankir, A., Awaad, R. (eds) Islamophobia and Psychiatry. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00512-2_5

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00512-2_5

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-00511-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-00512-2

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)