Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 489–496

Traditional Healing Practices Among American Muslims: Perceptions of Community Leaders in Southeast Michigan

  • Sara AlRawi
  • Michael D. Fetters
  • Amal Killawi
  • Adnan Hammad
  • Aasim Padela
Original Paper


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.


Traditional healing Islamic healing Islamic medicine American Muslim health practices 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara AlRawi
    • 1
  • Michael D. Fetters
    • 1
  • Amal Killawi
    • 2
  • Adnan Hammad
    • 3
  • Aasim Padela
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars ProgramUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Community Health and Research CenterArab Community Center for Economic and Social ServicesDearbornUSA
  4. 4.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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