Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Lucia Volk
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_526


A Muslim is a follower of Islam, one of the three monotheistic religions to emerge out of geographic South West Asia. Muslims see themselves as a community of believers that descended from Abraham, whom they consider a prophet, and they profess actual and metaphoric kinship with members of the Jewish and Christian faith. A practicing Muslim follows the teachings of the Qur’an, which include references to people and events in the Old and New Testaments, and tries to emulate things Prophet Mohammad said and did during his lifetime, which were recorded in a set of writings called Hadith. Based on the Qur’an and Hadith, Muslim jurists throughout history established a body of law, called the Shari’a, to which believers turn to settle everyday questions and disputes. A pious Muslim will profess that there is only one God, pray several times daily, fast during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and, if health and income permit it, embark on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Cainkar, L. (2009). Homeland insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim American experience after 9/11. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Haddad, Y. Y. (Ed.). (2002). Muslims in the West: From sojourners to citizens. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Haddad, Y. Y., & Smith, J. I. (Eds.). (2002). Muslim minorities in the West: Visible and invisible. Walnut Creek: Altamira.Google Scholar
  4. Inhorn, M. C. (2006). Making Muslim babies: IVF and gamete donation in Sunni and Shi’a Islam. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 30, 427–450.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Inhorn, M. C., & Sargent, C. F. (2006). Medical anthropology in the Muslim world: Ethnographic reflections on reproductive and child health. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 20(1), 1–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Leonard, K. (2003). Muslims in the United States: The state of research. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
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  8. Nimer, M. (Ed.). (2002). The North American Muslim resource guide: Muslim community life in the United States and Canada. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Sargent, C. F. (2006). Reproductive strategies and Islamic discourse: Malian migrants negotiate everyday life in Paris, France. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 20(1), 31–49.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Volk, L. (2009). ‘Kull wahad la haalu’: Feelings of isolation and distress among Yemeni immigrant Women in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 23(4), 397–416.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Yosef, A. R. O. (2008). Health beliefs, practice, and priorities for health care of Arab Muslims in the United States. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 19(3), 284–291.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Council on American-Islamic Relations. http://www.cair.com
  2. Islamic Society of North America. http://www.isna.net
  3. Muslim Mental Health Inc. http://www.muslimmentalhealth.com

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucia Volk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and Middle East and Islamic StudiesSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA