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KCS Session 6: The Intersection of Islamic Jurisprudence and Mental Health: A Collaborative Care Model for Islamic Clergy and Mental Health Professionals

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This is the sixth and final session in the Khalil Center Educational Series

Presented by Bilal Ali and Hooman Keshavarzi

This program, when attended in its entirety, offers 1.5 APA CEs for Psychologists and other professionals, and 1.5 BBS California CEUs for LPCCs, LPSWs, and LMFTs

Workshop Description

Mental competency in Islam is an essential precondition for the validity of ritual worship, including ritual prayer, charity, and pilgrimage, and additionally plays an important role in a variety of ethical and social relational issues. Therefore, Islamic jurisprudence encompasses not only the permissions, limitations, and sanctions of the state, society, and civil conduct of the members of that society, but even the personal religious conduct of its adherents. Given that the global Muslim community turns to Islamic jurisprudence for ethical guidance on informing daily decisions, lifestyle choices, personal and interpersonal conduct, the implications of mental status can have wide reaching implications. Thus, the scope for Islamic forensic psychological practice can extend beyond the court or even hospital, and more commonly include issues regarding personal religious duties brought to community clergy or unofficial legal authorities (muftīs). Such enquiries commonly include questions about ritual purification and bathing, disability accommodations (rukhaṣ) in ritual prayer or for the month-long fast in Ramadan, the obligation to perform the pilgrimage (ḥajj), marriage status when a spouse is mentally incapacitated, and ethical grounds for seeking a divorce when dealing with a mentally ill partner, permissibility of abortion, permissibility of medications among others. In order to ensure sensitive care to patients, it is crucial for mental health practitioners to work with religious clergy who are well-grounded in Islamic law and preferably possess a working knowledge of the behavioral sciences to address the case specific consequences of mental illness upon the religious life of patients.

Establishing a collaborative care framework with religious clergy and mental health practitioners is critical to providing services that can supply disability accommodations when justified and avoiding ill-informed or insensitive recommendations (Keshavarzi & Ali, 2020). This presentation will walk through an interdisciplinary framework to help provide a common language and delineate the scopes of practice between clergy and mental health professionals in addressing psychological issues that are implicated by Islamic jurisprudence. There will be references to specific case illustrations as examples of how to effectively address the common ethical dilemmas or patient concerns surrounding the implications of their mental status upon personal religious practice. A survey of some of the most common mental health conditions and the types of disability accommodations made available to Muslims with mental illness will be provided.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this introductory-level workshop, participants will be able to:

– Determine the types of conditions that may implicate the religious life of Muslim populations.

– Describe the types of disability accommodations for mental health conditions within Islamic jurisprudence

– Integrate Islamic spiritual concepts into psychotherapy.

– Describe Islamic concepts, culture and Islamic scholarly contributions to human psychology

– Utilize religious dispensations in order to inform psychological treatment with Muslim patients

– Utilize a collaborative care model for working alongside of clergy in cases where religious ethics are implicated

Professional Bio of Hooman Keshavarzi, Psy.D, Executive Director Khalil Center and Assistant professor at Ibn Haldun University

Hooman Keshavarzi, Psy.D is a licensed as a psychotherapist in the state of Illinois, he holds a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology, a Masters of Clinical Psychology and a Bachelors of Science – specialist psychology track/minor in Islamic Studies. He is currently a visiting scholar for Ibn Haldun University (Istanbul, Turkey), Adjunct Professor at American Islamic College, Hartford Seminary, instructor of psychology at Islamic Online University and founding director of Khalil Center – the first Islamically oriented professional community mental wellness center and largest provider of Muslim mental healthcare in the US. He is also a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding at the Global Health Center, conducting research on topics related to Muslims and Mental Health. Hooman Keshavarzi is an international public speaker and trainer currently serving as a Clinical supervisor of graduate students of clinical psychology at the Village of Hoffman Estates (DHS). He also delivers seminars on specialized topics around multiculturalism and psychology.

In addition to his academic training, Hooman Keshavarzi has studied Islamic theology both formally and informally. He is a student of Shaykh Muhammad Zakariya from Toronto, Canada, where he attended his hadith and spiritual discourses for a number of years. After moving to Chicago, he studied informally with Shaykh Azeemuddin Ahmed, later formally enrolling in Darussalam Academy for 4 years. During this time he also did some specialized coursework with Shaykh Amin Kholwadia in Islamic counseling. He then transferred to Darul Qasim where he is continuing his higher Islamic education.

Professional Bio of Bilal Ali, Seminary Degree (ordained Islamic Clergy), BA in Behavioral Sciences, Religious Consultant, Khalil Center

Bilal Ali received his undergraduate education in Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL, and in the Applied Behavioral Sciences at National-Louis University in Lisle, IL, from where he graduated with a Bachelors in Arts in the field of Applied Behavioral Sciences with a focus on adult learning theory (andragogy).

Mawlana Bilal acquired an education in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Jāmiʿat al-Ḥasanayn in Faisalabad, Pakistan, where he studied classical and modern texts in Arabic, Islamic Theology, Islamic Law, Qur’anic Studies, and Hadith. His teachers there include Mawlana Khwaja ʿUbayd Allāh, Mufti Aḥmad ʿAlī, and Shaykh Ramzī al-Ḥabīb al-Tūnisī.

Mawlana Bilal completed his Dars Niẓāmī studies at the Jāmiʿat Dār al-ʿUlūm in Karachi, where received certification (ijāzah) in Hadith from Mufti Muḥammad Taqī al-ʿUthmānī, Mufti Muḥammad Rafīʿ al-ʿUthmāni, Muftī Maḥmūd Ashraf al-ʿUthmāni, Mufti ʿAbd al-Raʿūf al-Sikharwī, and Mawlana Iftikhār Aḥmad al-Aʿzamī. Mawlana Bilal’s specialization-level research in Hadith studies was supervised by the critical scholar ‘Allamah Dr. Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm al-Nuʿmānī (al-Chishtī).

Mawlana Bilal also holds certification in hadith from Mawlana Dr. ʿAbd al-Halīm al-Nuʿmānī, Mawlana Salīm Allāh Khān, Mawlana Sarfarāz Khān Ṣafdar, Mawlana ʿAbd al-Ḥamīḍ al-Sawātī, and Mawlana Khān Muḥammad — direct students of Shaykh al-Islam Ḥusayn Aḥmad al-Madanī and/or Mawlana Fakhr al-Ḥasan al-Murādabādī.

He has continued studies in discursive theology (kalām), Islamic Jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh), and Islamic Philosophy under Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia at Darul Qasim. His research interests include early Hadith methodology and nomenclature, Ḥanafī legal theory, Education and curriculum development, Mental Health, and Islamic Bioethics. He currently teaches courses in Arabic, Islamic Law, and Hadith Studies.

Program Standards and Goals  

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.3: Program content focuses on topics related to psychological practice, education, or research other than application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that are supported by contemporary scholarship grounded in established research procedures. 

This program meets APA’s continuing education GOAL 1: Program is relevant to psychological practice, education, and/or science.

References:  

Ali, B. & Keshavarzi, H. (2016). Forensic Psychology in Islamic Jurisprudence. Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics.  

Elzamzamy, K. & Keshavarzi, H. (2019). Navigating ethical dilemmas between professional mental health ethics and religious values. Journal of Islamic Faith & Practice, 2 (2).  

Keshavarzi, H & Ali, B (2018). Islamic Perspectives on Psychological and Spiritual Well-being and Treatment. In H. S. Moffic,, J. Peteet, A. Hankir, R. Awaad, Islamophobia & Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment. Switzerland: Springer.  

Keshavarzi, H. & Ali, B. (2020). Exploring the role of mental status & expert testimony in the Islamic Judicial process. In A. Padela, Doctors & Jurists in Dialogue: Constructing the Field of Islamic Bioethics. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press (in Press).  

 CONTINUING EDUCATION:  

Target Audience: Any mental health or heath care practitioner engaged in therapeutic care and interested in furthering the discussion about evidence-based practice. Graduate students are welcome.  

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.5 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.  

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.  

Other Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.  

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.  

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.  

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  

The Institute for Professional & Continuing Studies at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.