ART OF SPIRITUAL CARE IN ISLAM NazilaIsgandarova, C.C.C. SR & Care Coordinator, Cummer Lodge LTC
Importance of Spirituality, Diversity,and Spiritual Resources • Diversity in spirituality enriches the educational experience; • Diversity in spirituality prompts personal growth – and a healthy society; • Diversity in spirituality strengthens communities and the workplace.
What is the Islamic Spirituality? • God possesses a drink which is reserved for His intimate friends;when they drink they become intoxicated,when they become intoxicated they become joyful,when they become joyful they become sweet,when they become sweet they begin to melt,
What is the Islamic Spirituality? • when they begin to melt they become free,when they become free they seek,when they seek they find,when they find they arrive,when they arrive they joinand when they join there is no difference between them and their Beloved. • Imam Ali (a.s.)
Importance of Spirituality: • Imagine yourself in a patient/client situation where that person suddenly asks you: “Why did God choose me to suffer?” • Health professionals take a spiritual history - find out whether religious or spiritual beliefs are used to cope, are evoking religious struggles, are likely to influence medical decisions or are responsible for other special needs that trained clergy may help with.
Reasons to Define • Regardless of different forms of organized religions spirituality is the affirmation of our essential humanness through our search to be alive and fruitful in meaningful ways.
Multidisciplinary Definition of SpiritualityHay River, NWT Regional Hospital, 1997 • Spirituality is that aspect of every human being , rooted in our unique createdness which is on a sacred journey of completeness, sometimes seeking to connect with and trust in the divine being and in pursuit of such things as wisdom, faith, future, love, justice, hope, meaning, forgiveness, peace and more in order to affirm who we are in essence as human beings and with the goal of being alive and fruitful in ways that are meaningful.
Key aspects of Muslim spirituality • Search for meaning • wholeness • peace • individuality • harmony • a biological and integral part of being human • way of being • an energizing force for actualization • meaningful and extensive way of knowing the world
Spirituality in Islam has many forms and can be practiced in many ways: • Prayer (may be silent or spoken out loud and can be done alone such as five daily prayer and in any setting or in groups such as the Juma’a prayer on Fridays) • Regular attendance at a mosque may involve prayer which focuses on one's self (supplication) or on others (intercessory prayer). • Spirituality can also be practiced without a formal religion: • Meditation, 12-step work (as practiced in Alcoholics Anonymous and similar groups), and seeking meaning in life all involve spirituality. • Silent observation, listening, or gratitude can become part of an open-ended spirituality that can infuse everyday life. • Spending time with nature, doing creative work, or by serving others.
Forms of spiritual care in Islam • ‘Iyâdah (visiting the sick) is the practice, • rifq (exemplary kindness/care) is the approach, • and ihsân (doing what is beautiful) is the optimal state in which spiritual care should be offered.
Three Important Sources of Islamic Spiritual Care • 1 – The Qur’an • 2 – The Sunnah (traditions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) • 3 – the social sciences, expecially family therapy, counselling etc.
Sura al-Isra • We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss. • Wanunazzilu mina alqur-animahuwashifaonwarahmatunlilmu/mineenawalayazeedualththalimeenaillakhasaran • (Surah 17, ayah 82)
Importance of prayer from the Sunnah • can decrease the negative effects of disease, • speed recovery, • and increase the effectiveness of medical treatments. • to improve coping and provide comfort during illness. • Religious attendance is sometimes linked with • improvement of various health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, colitis, uterine and other cancers, and overall health status.
Who are the Muslim spiritual care givers? • Muslim clergy such as Imams are the religious leaders of Muslim community; • Muslim Chaplains are the professional healthcare providers trained to do the spiritual care in hospitals, prison, long term care homes, tc.; • Muslim medical clinicians are the Muslim doctors, nurses, etc.
Spiritual Concerns of Muslims • Loss • Mortality • Dignity • Hope • After-death • Isolation and connection, etc.
Spiritual Questions Muslims Ask • Why me? • Why now? • What does this mean? • Is there hope? • Can I be forgiven? • What happens when I die? • How will I be remembered?
Signs of Spiritual Crisis • The Dreaded Questions • Loss of long-held beliefs and practices • Seeking forgiveness, feeling abandoned • Depression/anxiety/isolation/anger • Non-adherence • Unexplained symptoms
The Greater Needs of Muslims • Companionship • Soothing • Authentic interest • Hope and Joy • Intimacy/Connection • The power of conversation
What is Healing? • In Islam, there are two main words for the purpose of treatment: • shifa’ which means healing and • another one is ‘mualija’ which means treatment. • The Muslim tradition of spiritual healing orshifa which is based on the recognition of the effect of spiritual health on the physical body (Isgandarova, 2006).
Importance of Spiritual Care • In Islamic tradition, visiting the sick and showing a spiritual care is a basic duty one Muslim has for another, and is not reserved only for close friends and family. • It is actually a basic form of worship to bring one closer to God. • In times of distress or illness, the Muslim finds the greatest solace and comfort in the remembrance of God.
Religious Accommodation of Muslims It is about: • Respect • Dignity • Obeying Law • Challenges: • Freedom of Religion – To observe a religious practice • Freedom from Religion – Freedom from religious proselytization and evangelism
Common Areas of Accommodation • Dress • Public Worship Service • Diet • Holidays • Obligatory Practices • Gender Issues • Iconography
Dietary Requirements • The Quran prohibits the consumption of alcohol and pork. • Muslims won’t eat any food that has touched pork. For example: picking the pepperoni off pizza isn’t going to work. • Muslims follow certain standards called Halal (permissible) to slaughter meat. • Some Muslims won’t eat any meat that isn’t certified Halal and some will, as long as it’s not pork. Slide 25 www.cairhouston.org
Dressing Modestly: Clothing and Dress • In public, some Mennonite, Jewish, Muslim women wear headscarf. This attire may vary in style and includes a head covering. But some believe they do not need to cover their hair in order to maintain modest dress Slide 26
Some men are also required to dress modestly • You might see some Jewish, Muslim, Sikh boys wearing a small, sometimes flat cap on their heads. This is called a Kufi for Muslims, Turban for Sikhs, and Kippa for Jewish. • If you see someone wearing a turban it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a Muslim. In fact chances are they’re not. • Cultural symbols for some countries in the Middle East so some men may wear one but it looks very different from a Sikh turban. Slide 27 www.cairhouston.org
Benefits of Spiritual and Religious Care to Muslims • decrease the depression and build the community for them • old and new friendships • share activities, communication and self-disclosure, etc.
The ongoing crisis of faithful and the secular: Some examples • A Muslim woman has a seizure in the library. Only male staff are available to help. What to do? • A Muslim mal patient refuses to receive a care from a female nurse. What to do? In all of these cases, Muslims have strong positions on matters which a secular worker may see as non-issues. Are these issues of religion, mythology, superstition, etc?