Lines of Research
The Islamic Psychology line integrates traditional Islamic principles and psychology to develop an Islamically orientated-approach to psychotherapy. It aims to bridge modern psychology and Islamic principles to destigmatize mental health. Many Muslims may reject modern mental health practices because they lack spiritual sensitivity. This information can help provide the foundation to develop modalities for psychotherapy that adhere to Islamic ideologies and are congruent with the Islamic belief system. This line of research is used to showcase that psychology and Islam are not mutually exclusive. Our work encompasses the historical, clinical/applied, and theoretical aspects of the field of Islamic Psychology. The historical work within this line aims to rediscover and unearth the lost practices of psychiatry and psychology pioneered by Muslim scholars of different fields in Islamic history that allude to the significance of mental health as an integral part of premodern Islamic culture. These practices encompassed basic mental healthcare, as well as how mental illnesses were perceived, classified, diagnosed, and treated at the time. This research sheds light on the forgotten significance of mental health that is now common in modern Muslim cultures. To date, the lab has reviewed and synthesized over 200 medical manuscripts written between the 6th and 17th centuries.
Substance Abuse and Addiction
The Substance Abuse and Addiction Line aims to understand substance use and addiction in Muslim communities including their prevalence, factors that lead to each, the firsthand experience of each, and obstacles in accessing treatment and support. Moreover, the line aims to equip Muslims with a culturally/religiously informed framework and set of practical resources to support individuals, families, and the communities at large dealing with substance abuse and addiction. Finally, the line aims to destigmatize the discussion of substance use and addiction in Muslim communities through work in Islamic ethics. The line is currently working on synthesizing existing literature that explores substance use and addiction in Muslim communities in order to identify gaps in the existing literature and chart future research directions. The line is also creating resources to equip the Muslim community and religious leaders to address substance use and addiction in their own communities.
Global and Refugee Mental Health
The Global Mental Health Line aims to understand the psychosocial wellbeing and mental health challenges of the refugee population within a global context. The displacement caused by political agendas has impacted the lives of countless innocent bystanders which undoubtedly has caused severe mental trauma within these populations. This line intends to explore the psychosocial conditions of refugee experiences to create the most efficient approach to address their mental health challenges.
The Suicide Awareness Line focuses on encouraging the conversation of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in the Muslim community. It also aims to prepare leaders of the community on how to facilitate these conversations by developing practical tools and educational content. Because the topic of suicide is viewed as taboo, the Muslim community is not properly equipped with the necessary knowledge to understand suicide in its entirety. This line aims to diversify the literature, create educational tools, and destigmatize suicide and suicide-relatedtopics for the Muslim community.
Social Justice and Muslim Mental Health
The Social Justice and Muslim Mental Health Line addresses the psychological impact of discrimination and Islamophobia on the well-being of Muslims. Muslim Americans face various types of discrimination with regard to the unique aspects of their identity, particularly as it intersects with race, ethnicity, gender, and other factors that further marginalize them within society. To better understand and address the unique challenges caused by Islamophobia, the lab is evaluating the psychological effect of micro and macro-aggressions on the Muslim community and using those findings to educate the public.
The Psychoeducation Line utilizes different mediums of spreading information to inform the public about various aspects of psychology and mental health. The literature surrounding psychology is technical and so it may be difficult for the general public to recognize how mental health manifests, thus it is important to translate the complexity of these topics into easily comprehensible measures. The purpose of this line is to convert our research as well as existing research into educational tools to cultivate an informed understanding of mental health within the Muslim community.
Community-Based Participatory Research
The Community-Based Participatory Research Line aims to understand how specific Muslim communities facilitate the spread of mental health awareness to adequately meet the needs of their community. Due to the diversity of Muslim communities, it is important to understand how each community functions to provide the best approach to mental healthcare. The goal of this research line is to create a model of how community-based mental health support is implemented.
Student Mental Health
Muslim student mental health refers to the mental well-being and challenges faced by Muslim students in educational settings. Like students from other religious and cultural backgrounds, Muslim students may encounter various stressors and pressures that can impact their mental health. Access to culturally sensitive mental health services is in demand for Muslim students. The lab is here to foster inclusive environments that promote understanding, respect, and support that can allow students to thrive academically and personally.
Psychometric Scales Research
The Muslim Mental Health Database Project
Culture and Religion