JOURNAL ARTICLE

Traditional healing practices among American Muslims: perceptions of community leaders in southeast Michigan

Sara Alrawi, Michael D Fetters, Amal Killawi, Adnan Hammad, Aasim Padela
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 2012, 14 (3): 489-96
21739160
Despite growing numbers of American Muslims, little empirical work exists on their use of traditional healing practices. We explored the types of traditional healing practices used by American Muslims in southeast Michigan. Twelve semi-structured interviews with American Muslim community leaders identified through a community-academic steering committee were conducted. Using a framework coding structure, a multidisciplinary investigative team identified themes describing traditional healing practices. Traditional healing practices can be categorized into three domains: Islamic religious text based practices, Islamic worship practices, and folk healing practices. Each domain may further contain therapies such as spiritual healing, medicinal herbs, mind body therapy, and dietary prescriptions. Traditional healing practices are utilized in three capacities of care: primary, secondary, and integrative. Our findings demonstrate that American Muslims actively utilize traditional healing practices. Healthcare practitioners caring for this population should be aware of the potential influence of these practices on health behaviors.

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