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Welcome to Mindfully Muslim

Assalamu Alaikum! May Peace be upon you! May the Source of Peace (as-Salaam) Shower you with peace! Ameen.

Welcome to Mindfully Muslim.

Mindfully Muslim is a group therapy program rooted in the Islamic tradition, but it is also a gateway to so much more.

Existing evidence-based mindfulness therapies such as MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) have provided inspiration for this program.  Although these therapies explicitly draw from Buddhist teachings and have been adapted for a secular audience, there is also a strong Islamic component already present within them.  For example, MBCT centres around a poem entitled, “The Guest House” by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, a Muslim theologian, jurist, and poet.  

Rumi has been a best-selling poet in North America for decades now, but very few of his non-Muslim readers realize that his work is an embodiment of Islam. In fact, his verses which are sprinkled on café chalkboards, inked in graffiti on alleyway walls, shared on Instagram posts and scattered on the pages of self-help books are an exegesis of the Qur’an and an expression of the tradition of Muhammad, peace be upon him. How ironic that in the midst of so much apparent hatred, divisiveness & Islamophobia, there is actually so much love, unity & Islam.

Mindfully Muslim picks up on this thread and runs with it.

This project strives to be in complete alignment with the spirit of Islamic civilization when Muslim scholars borrowed broadly from other traditions (specifically, Roman, Greek, Indian and Chinese), translated this work into Arabic, enhanced it with new insights and adapted it to an Islamic context.  

Muhammad, peace be upon him, urged Muslims to "Seek knowledge even if you must travel to China" and his early followers heeded this injunction, setting in motion a period of intense scientific discovery, cultural exchange, and exploration.  Later, their work was translated from Arabic back to Latin and Greek and then to English and French, paving the way for the Renaissance and Enlightenment in Western Europe and the Americas.

Mindfully Muslim honours the rich vastness, openness, and curiosity of this history and attempts to re-attach the threads that have disconnected us from this past, from our texts, from our humanity, our earth, and our shared common traditions.  Religion and spirituality remain fundamentally woven into the lives of many Muslims and there is a wellspring of wisdom & beauty within Islam that needs to come forth and be expressed in fresh and relevant ways.  

In fact, religion and spirituality matter to a great many people on this planet, not just Muslims.

Mindfully Muslim thus recognizes that the next wave of work within the field of psychiatry, mindfulness, and mental health must acknowledge the value & importance of incorporating religion and spirituality into a mental health framework so that we are truly employing a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model.

With Gratitude & Blessings of Peace,

Dr. Yusra Ahmad


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