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6th International Congress of WIAMH

Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 13 - 15, 1999.

THE ROLE OF THE MOSQUE IN MENTAL HEALTH

Osama Mohammad Al-RADI

Ex-President, World Islamic Association for Mental Health, Saudi Arabia


The centre of the Islamic approach to therapy is the role of the Mosque. In the Mosque a Moslem goes for Prayers five times a day where he offers his Prayers with the group. Before offering his Prayers, a Moslem has to perform Ablution by washing his face, forearms, hands and feet with clean water, giving him a sense of moral purification as well as physical cleanliness, as he feels that God forgives his sins after performing Ablution. Due to offering Prayers five times a day in the Mosque, a Moslem feels in close intimate contact with God from Whom he may ask for purification and forgiveness for whatever sins he may have committed before. After that, a Moslem feels relieved from the burden of his sins by the Grace of God. In Islam, the relationship between God and each Moslem is a direct personal one. No intermediate agent is conceived in between. Feelings of guilt and the self-approach can be greatly reduced in this direct relation with God. In addition to that, going to the Mosque five times daily strengthens the social relations between Moslems, as they meet each other five times daily and know the circumstances of each other and therefore help each other. This gives a large measure of social support in case of personal difficulties. Islamic Group Therapy, which is a combination of Islamic religious principles and compatible western group therapeutic techniques, have been developed and practised with success in the Mosque. The goals of the Islamic Group Therapy are as follows.

  1. Curing symptoms;
  2. Defeating feelings of loneliness;
  3. Changing of behaviour through conscious control of the patient with the help of a group;
  4. Correct adaptation
  5. Personality growth and promoting of inner consciousness and releasing of personal gifts and abilities;
  6. The ultimate goal is to form a central idea based on the Islamic principles and values for every member of the group and for the group as a whole in a way that gives this central idea a strong power of attraction, which that makes other activities of the individuals move around it.

Key words: Mosque – Mental health – Group Therapy

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