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10 minute presentation

Breathing exercises have been known to help relaxation. The proposed
intervention uses this as part of a meditation technique based on an Islamic ideology
called Sufism. The term Sufi means wisdom; referring to the ability to understand or
know one self intuitively. Sufism is deeply integrated in culture, language, poetry and
prose, music and all parts of intellectual and spiritual life.
To point out; Muslims strong belief in reliance on Allah (God) affects them
relationally, cognitively, behaviourally and emotionally. This strong conviction is one of
the critical stages of spiritual development which is used as a coping mechanism for
facing challenging situations; prayers in stressful situations and coping with stresses of
illnesses. Moreover, studies show that seeking spiritual comfort and God’s guidance in
decision-making is tied to a greater wellbeing.

Unfortunately, in recent times some Muslims have undergone massive stressors from
the aftermath of 9/11 and to the Arab Springs wars in their native countries. Furthermore,
they face bias and negativity on a global scale due to these events. Some of these people
are victims of war who immigrate to Western nations, have mental issues of stress;
PTSD, depression, anxiety due to the circumstances of new environment, different
language and culture. Consequently, there has been a profound need for psychological
services to be extended to generally all Muslims as Western based psychology may not
be fully equipped to offer proper services if they do not have a basic understanding or
concept of Muslims’ life, background and culture. Additionally Muslims, may not be able
to relate to Western concepts of interventions, especially in Eastern countries where the
population is predominantly Muslims, for example Indonesia, Malaysia and UAE.

Additionally according to, PEW Research Centre (2017) reports: Muslims in Europe
are projected to increase even without further migration, by 2040 Muslims will become
the second largest population in The US, globally, by 2035; Muslim babies born will
outnumber Christians and by 2060, there is estimated to be an equal amount of Muslims

one-tenth of his population were optimistic although facing adversities. However. Mindfulness is deepening conscious attention to a cause or activity.232). . a recent study reports that current interventions for treating depression among Muslims mention insufficient therapeutic remedies which do not suit Muslim clients although. using rhythmic breathing exercises have positive immunological. with these statistics. it is agreed that religious belief is an important positive factor in mental health. and physiological effects on health. they cognitively responded to each negative event with self-directed motivational thoughts believing their temporary set back would improve. may alleviate stress. He noted that these events made individuals passive and left feeling helpless. Christians. The author calls this learned optimism (p. schizophrenia and suicide. Likewise. A significant study shows that meditation. support and integration in society. religion promotes lower risk behavior and increases healthy behavior and enhances effective coping skills during stress and illness while providing larger and stronger social networks. it is expected that an Islamic based combination of mindfulness and meditation techniques. so much so they were oblivious to their success and how it could positively affect their future. studies reveal that religion and spirituality may act as a shield against the influence of stressful life events. Furthermore. Therefore based on these reasons. not withstanding improving influence lifestyle and behaviours. affecting positive improvement in mental and physical health in self-perception and emotions. On the contrary. which makes this group the fastest growing religious group in the world today. which triggers awareness and enjoying the quality of an experience. An important key point is Professor Seligman’s study of people who were exposed to more bad events in life and were prone to depression. A Quranic verse comes to mind : “With every hardship comes ease”. one can hardly ignore the fact that the science of positive psychology will need to begin understanding and recognising Eastern psychology of Muslim communities as much as they do Buddhist and Hindu culture. Therefore.

The simple words recited are familiar to Muslims. multidimensional understanding of Islam. bereavement and general anxiety disorder after incorporating prayer and Quranic recitation with observational and clinical studies associating better mental health with greater religious involvement. When the pulse is felt. guiding the breath to the forehead area: stopping and saying “Hu” then releasing the breath with saying “Allah”. This art of zikr (remembrance) utilises imaginary positions called spiritual centres that facilitate relaxing as concentration is built to focus on positive emotions by consciously eradicating negative emotions. The focus is “ to rid the heart” from negative feelings. Second step: The person feels for his or her own pulse while placing a finger on the wrist area. may be used to establish a scientific based. Then. Interestingly. This is done for 5 minutes. There are many forms of Sufi meditation but this proposed method is simplest. Indeed. the person follows the rhythm of the heartbeat and silently says “Allah” with each heart beat (following the heart rate). This slow breathing is done for 5 minutes. 5 points at the chest area And finally. or Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale. a 60-item Psychological Measure of Islamic Religiousness (PMIR) scale. The entire phrase is “Allah Hu Allah” is repeated as a loop. Imagining the heart organ area as the main spiritual centre. It may be likened to “polishing the mirror of the heart”. Third step: . Second. many psychotherapy interventions for Muslims have reported significantly better results for depression. To explain further: Spiritual centres are located at : First the Navel. at the tip of the Forehead First step: Breathing in while focused on the navel area silently saying “Allah” holding and carrying the breath through the chest area envisioning it revolving through the spiritual centres. which is needed to help understand Muslim clients.

while concentrating on the beginning point. Eventually. within a building of an Islamic organisation or in an Islamic school in small groups for 3 months. that is the navel. so when these factors within a human are complementary to one another and integrated well. Eventually. meeting twice a week at designated venues. it also encourages relaxation and concentration thereupon being mindful of keeping positive thoughts and emotions. The aim is to increase emotions of security and peace. The environment for the program may be held in a home. if needed. benefits are expected as mentioned earlier. this intervention program directed at Muslims. Thereafter. be reminded of better behavior. help Muslims cope with stress. the person takes a breath and vocalizes the word “La” while imagining bringing it through the five points in the chest area in a loop before reaching the forehead point and stopping briefly at the tip of the forehead then joining . In summary. mind and soul. These exercises are done while sitting comfortably with keeping the eyes shut. As Quranic verses are incorporated within.Is a vocal exercise. to help with concentration. for all daily activities through life and till death. . This is done 50 times per session. utilising two most popular Litanies called “Ratib ul-Attas” and “Ratib Al-Haddad”. Islam views health in terms of an interwoven sheet of cloth that joins body. “ila” at point 1 “ha” at point 2 “illa” at point 3 “Allah” at point 4. This verse is repeated twice with one breath. while releasing the breath. Islam is different to other faiths in that it incorporates specific guidelines into every aspect of daily lives of Muslims in a comprehensive way. use mechanisms for increasing health and overall well-being. hence the focus on spiritual centres. An evaluation will be conducted after the first 3 month period. a person will increase healthy well-being and flourishing. Not only do these exercises help to build a sychronised system of meditation. participants will continue for another set of 3 months. The next step of this intervention is to recite a Litany. it is hoped participants will sustain a daily habit of these exercises with the aim of encouraging independence and greater social commitment. Subsequently. offers guidance.