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Annals of General Psychiatry

, 16:28

First Online: 06 July 2017Received: 02 February 2017Accepted: 27 June 2017


Islam is the dominant religion in about 56 countries around the globe, and has more than 1.2 billion followers. Islam represents a holistic way of life, and according to a large proportion of its followers, the Islamic law or Shari’ah should prevail over secular law and should be implemented as state law. The etymological root of the word Shari’ah can be traced back to the harsh life in the desert and it means -pathway to be followed- or -path to the water hole,- since the water was the basic element and preserver of life. At the dawn of its historical course and at its moral and ethical core, Islam introduced many interesting and innovative beliefs concerning the mentally ill. Islam underlines the moral necessity for the protection and care of the vulnerable individuals, as dictated by God himself. On the other hand, beliefs about -possession- and stigmatization influence the peoples’ attitude against and apprehension of mental disorders. This strange admixture is reflected upon the status of the mental health services and corresponding legislation found in the different countries of the Islamic world.

KeywordsIslam Mental health Forensic psychiatry Mens rea  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Georgios A. Tzeferakos - Athanasios I. Douzenis


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