Kitaba’s Successful Conference On Mental Health

March 3rd marked the second anniversary of Imran Sabir’s death. Imran, the founding chairman of the Islamic Texts for the Blind, remains a major influence in the thinking of the organisation. Kitaba decided to mark his death with an annual lecture addressing an issue affecting society. Last year, Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa talked about prejudice and racism and this year Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed talked about mental health issues in relation to the Muslim community.

The talk was organised in conjunction with Strathclyde University Islamic Society (SISOC) and the Islamic Studies Trust. It was attended by 150 people including students, practicing psychologists and psychiatrists, Muslim activists and those interested in inclusion. The lecture was broadcast online and attended by students as far away as Australia and Chile.

Shaykh Abdul Aziz described how the recognition and treatment of mental illness was mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, and developed by scholars such as Abu Zayd al-Balkhi. In recent times, the Muslim community has lost the initiative in addressing mental illness in a progressive and proactive way and allowed dangerous superstitions and cultural traditions creep into our community. These have led to stigma and lack of competent support from within the community. There was a positive conclusion that there is a growing interest in providing culturally competent and focused counselling and a increasing awareness that the problem is now too serious to ignore.

Sayka Hussain gave a brilliant and motivational talk on living with blindness. Both Sayka and Balal addressed several audiences during their weekend stay in Glasgow.

The notes and presentation will be available in the resources section soon.

Date Posted: 13/04/2011

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