Religion and spirituality have always played a major and intervening role in a person's life and health matters. With the influential development of patient autonomy and the right to self-determination, a patient's religious affiliation constitutes a key component in medical decision making. This is particularly pertinent in issues involving end-of-life decisions such as withdrawing and withholding treatment, medical futility, nutritional feeding and do-not-resuscitate orders. These issues affect not only the patient's values and beliefs, but also the family unit and members of the medical profession. The law also plays an intervening role in resolving conflicts between the sanctity of life and quality of life that are very much pronounced in this aspect of healthcare. Thus, the medical profession in dealing with the inherent ethical and legal dilemmas needs to be sensitive not only to patients' varying religious beliefs and cultural values, but also to the developing legal and ethical standards as well. There is a need for the medical profession to be guided on the ethical obligations, legal demands and religious expectations prior to handling difficult end-of-life decisions. The development of comprehensive ethical codes in congruence with developing legal standards may offer clear guidance to the medical profession in making sound medical decisions.
A module entitled 'SayangKU' (MyLove), based on the Islamic perspective, was developed as an instrument to assist adolescents that involved in premarital sexual activity. The module comprises four phases: Love of God (Allah), Love of the Prophet, Love of Oneself, and Love of the Ummah (world). From analysis of Rasch, the value of item reliability was .80 and an individual reliability was .95. Dimensionality value was more than 40 % variance explained by measures, and level of agreement among experts was 86.88 %. The posttest shows the better result from pretest and proves the effectiveness of the module.
Rapid social changes in current times which can be quite abrupt present a challenge to adolescent life. Adolescents who are unable to adapt themselves experience stress which may affect their health. Psychological issues of adolescents require attention because the long-term consequence is worse than the short-term effects, namely, there will be a group of people within society who live under stress. Stressed people show symptoms such as being aggressive, prone to rebel, uncontrollable anger, depression, mental disorders and health problems. Early recognition of adolescent stress symptoms is vital. Pursuant to this, a study is conducted among adolescents in Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia for the purpose of determining whether they experience stress or otherwise, based on stress symptoms in terms of psychology, physiology and social behaviour. An analysis is conducted on 403 respondents who comprise of male and female adolescents aged 16-17 years. The required data are gathered through questionnaire and structured interview. Analysis is based on descriptive statistical method and is explained in a table in terms of frequency, percentage and mode. Research results show that adolescents do experience stress and that the majority of them exhibit psychological stress symptoms.
This study seeks to measure religiosity in an Islamic context and to assess its effects on the personal well-being of Muslims. The determinants of religiosity included under this research are prayer, beliefs, and worship. This research also attempts to examine the coping strategies Muslims use to deal with life problems and changes such as prayer, supplication, trust and reliance on God, remembrance of death, and concept of life after death. Today, many scales of religiosity are being put into use among Muslims. This study measures religiosity and its effects on the well-being of Muslim academicians. The researchers used 315 Muslim female of academic staff as respondents, working in Research Universities in the Klang Valley such as University of Malaya, National University and Putra University area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Their ages ranged from 30 to 60 years. The results of this study show that there exists a positive yet significant correlation between personal well-being and religiosity. The well-being also shows significant positive correlations with beliefs and worship and prayer.
Religion has become more prominent in shaping attitudes and behavior, but little empirical information is available on the impact of religious behavior in shaping individual Muslims' health-related lifestyle behaviors in developing countries. The present study explores the relationship between religious behavior and the health-related practices of Malaysian Muslims. A convenience sample of 176 Malaysian Muslims was collected through a self-administered questionnaire. Structural equation modeling was used to develop the model. Result shows that health-related actions are strongly influenced, both directly and indirectly, by the health-related lifestyle choices consumers engaging in on a daily basis in accordance with Islamic teachings.
A religious approach is one of the matters emphasized in counseling today. Many researchers find that there is a need to apply the religious element in counseling because religion is important in a client's life. The purpose of this research is to identify aspects of the Islamic approach applied in counseling clients by counselors at Pusat Kaunseling Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Sembilan (PKMAINS). In addition, this research also analyses the Islamic approach applied in counseling at PKMAINS with reference to al-Quran and al-Sunnah. This is a qualitative research in the form of case study at PKMAINS. The main method used in this research is interview. The research instrument used is interview protocol. The respondents in this study include 9 counselors who serve in one of the counseling centers in Malaysia. This study also uses questionnaire as an additional instrument, distributed to 36 clients who receive counseling service at the center. The findings of the study show that the Islamic approach applied in counseling at PKMAINS may be categorized into three main aspects: aqidah (faith), ibadah (worship/ultimate devotion and love for God) and akhlaq (moral conduct). Findings also show that the counseling in these aspects is in line with Islamic teachings as contained in al-Quran and al-Sunnah.
This article is part of a larger study on the role of spirituality in coping with breast cancer among Malaysian Muslim women. The study seeks to reveal the meaning of the experience through the stories of three Muslim women surviving advanced breast cancer, to better understand the deep meanings that inform their experiences with spirituality and transformation as they cope with the challenges of breast cancer. Data were gathered using in-depth interview. Qualitative methods were used in identifying two themes--illness as an awakening and hope and freedom comes from surrendering to God. The themes were discussed in the context of two broad areas: (1) what are the new meanings these women discovered in their experiences with cancer; and (2) how did the new meanings change their lives? The study suggests that cancer survivors' experiences with cancer and their learning processes must be understood within the appropriate cultural context. This is especially so for spirituality. The common emphasis of spirituality on relationship with God, self and others, may significantly influence how people learn to live with cancer.
Religion has been found to moderate the stress-strain relationship. This moderator role, however, may be dependent on age. The present study tested for the three-way interaction between work experience, age, and religiosity in the prediction of women's well-being, and predicted that work experience and religiosity will combine additively in older women, while in younger women religiosity is predicted to moderate the relationship between work experience and well-being. In a sample of 389 married Malay Muslim women, results of the regression analyses showed significant three-way interactions between work experience, age, and religiosity in the prediction of well-being (measured by distress symptoms and life satisfaction). While in younger women the results were in line with the predictions made, in the older women, both additive and moderator effects of religiosity were observed, depending on the well-being measures used. These results are discussed in relation to the literature on work and family, with specific reference to women's age, religion, as well as the issue of stress-strain specificity.
The variation in suicide patterns across ethnic groups with different religious background is a puzzling social phenomenon. This study sought to examine the impact of religious commitment and attitudes toward suicide on suicidal behaviors of college students across major ethnic and religious groups in a multicultural society of Malaysia. A total of 139 college students completed Religious Commitment Inventory-10, Attitudes Toward Suicide Scale, and Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire-Revised. Findings showed significant discrepancies in attitudes toward suicide, but not suicidal behaviors across ethnic and religious groups. Suicide acceptance significantly affected suicidal behaviors as well. Although religious commitment is not associated with suicidal behaviors, its deviation is reflected in students' acceptance of suicide. Additionally, college students' suicide risk, lifetime, and recent suicide ideation, as well as their likelihood of future suicide attempt can be associated with their acceptance of suicide. The influence of attitudes toward suicide and religion, therefore, should be taken into consideration while implementing suicide prevention programs as it helps shape the norms about suicide among youths.
The birth of people with confused or ambiguous sex makeup as a biological fact since the annals of history has posed the challenge of accommodating them within the binary gender of sociocultural systems. In this process, the role of religion as a defining factor in social engineering has been paramount. Major religions, such as Islam and Christianity, have addressed this issue within the frame of their God-ordained laws by devising a set of moral and legal imperatives specific to the "third gender." Modern developments in medicine and biology, however, have made sex reassignment possible for this category of people, today called transsexuals. The question is: How do Islam and Christianity respond to it. After presenting an analytical view of both Muslim scholars and Christian religious authorities on the legitimacy of sex reassignment for transsexuals, this paper attempts to explore if such a dilemma can be resolved.
The Malaysian official Islamic authorities have issued a "fatwa" (Islamic ruling) regarding smoking practice which prohibits Muslims from smoking because of its potential harm to health. Since the prevalence of smoking among Malaysian students is high, this study was designed to explore the perceptions and opinions of Malaysian Muslim students towards smoking in International Islamic University of Malaysia. A prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted among School of Science students in International Islamic University Malaysia. Convenience sampling approach was used to recruit 323 students based on sample size calculation. A content- and face-validated questionnaire was used to collect the data from the participants. Non-smokers highly supported the fatwa on smoking forbiddance than smokers (94 vs 64.3 %, p = 0.001). A significant proportion of non-smokers believed that Islam prohibits smoking because of its potential harm (94.9 vs 71.4 %, p = 0.001). Majority of smokers agreed that addiction is the main barrier towards smoking cessation (78.6 vs 61.5 %, p = 0.019). The results showed positive influences of Islamic beliefs on the non-smokers. Further studies are required to validate these findings by surveying other universities of Malaysia.
Suicide is an important public health problem for adolescents, and it is essential to increase our knowledge concerning the etiology of suicide among adolescent students. Therefore, this study was designed to examine the associations between hopelessness, depression, spirituality, and suicidal behavior, and to examine spirituality as a moderator between hopelessness, depression, and suicidal behavior among 1376 Malaysian adolescent students. The participants completed measures of depression, hopelessness, daily spiritual experience, and suicidal behavior. Structural equation modeling indicated that adolescent students high in hopelessness and depression, but also high in spirituality, had less suicidal behavior than others. These findings reinforce the importance of spirituality as a protective factor against hopelessness, depression, and suicidal behavior among Malaysian adolescent students.
Islamic healing is frequently referred to as the treatment of choice by many Muslim cancer patients in Malaysia. Despite its widespread use, there is limited information relating to patients' healing preferences. With rising cancer rates in the country, this issue has become a concern to public health policy makers. The purpose of this study was to understand why cancer patients seek Islamic healing. This qualitative study utilized in-depth interviews with 18 cancer patients. The findings indicate three main reasons: (1) recommendations from family, friends and doctors; (2) belief in Islamic healing and (3) the perceived ineffectiveness and dissatisfaction with conventional treatments. Islamic healing will likely continue to be popular complementary cancer treatment in Malaysia as it is grounded in strong cultural and religious beliefs.
Ibadah is one of the important components in Islamic teachings other than aqidah (belief) and akhlaq (moral). Its importance is determined through the purpose for creation of humans, namely to be devoted to Allah. In the context of counseling discipline, however, the element of ibadah or worship (submission) of Allah is not applied in the counseling process and is not recognized as one of the spiritual therapies able to help the client know his true potential in decision-making and problem-solving. Hence, the purpose of this study is to determine the importance of applying ibadah in counseling and its implications to the client. This study selects survey research as the method to collect data from clients. A set of questionnaire instruments was constructed and distributed to 30 clients selected through convenience sampling. Data obtained from research questionnaire are then analyzed using descriptive statistical technique. Research outcome finds that application of ibadah is very important in counseling and has four implications for the client: the client is able to control his behavior, gain peace of mind, control his emotions and becomes increasingly diligent in ibadah.
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Silent Mentor Program promotes the donation of one's body to science as a selfless act by appealing to the Buddhist ethics of compassion and self-sacrifice. Together, faculty, families, and donors help medical students to learn the technical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of medicine. Students assigned to each "Silent Mentor" visit the family to learn about the donor's life. They see photos and hear family members' stories. Afterwards, students write a brief biography of the donor which is posted on the program website, in the medical school, and on the dissection table. In this paper, we: (1) summarize the Silent Mentor Program; (2) describe findings from an assessment of medical students who recently completed a new version of the program in Malaysia; and (3) explore how healthcare settings could benefit from this innovative program.
Spiritual intelligence is an emerging term that is widely discussed and accepted as one of the main components that addresses and solves many life problems. Nonetheless there is no specific study being done to synthesize the spiritual intelligence themes from Western and Islamic philosophical perspectives. This research aimed to identify common spiritual intelligence themes from these two perspectives and elucidated its contents by the view of two well-known Islamic scholars; al-Ghazali and Hasan Langgulung. Seven spiritual intelligence themes were identified through thematic analysis; meaning/purpose of life, consciousness, transcendence, spiritual resources, self-determination, reflection-soul purification and spiritual coping with obstacles. These findings will be the groundwork for centered theory of spiritual intelligence themes that synthesize the Islamic and Western philosophical perspectives. It is hoped that this study will contribute significantly to the development of valid and reliable spiritual intelligence themes beyond the social and cultural boundaries.
Some Malaysian scholars believe that the theoretical basis and models of intervention in Islamic counseling practices in Malaysia are deficient and not eminently identified. This study investigated and describes the nature of current Islamic counseling practices including the theories and modules of Islamic counseling that are been practiced in Malaysia. This qualitative research has employed data that mainly consist of texts gathered from literatures and semi-structured interviews of 18 informants. It employed grounded theory analysis, and the result shows that most of the practitioners had applied integrated conventional counseling theories with Islamic rituals, references, interventions and ethics. Some had also applied Islamic theories and modules formulated in Malaysia such as iCBT, al-Ghazali counseling theories, Cognitive ad-Deen, KBJ, Prophetic Counseling and Asma Allah al-Husna Counseling Therapy.
There is a lack of studies looking into religiosity and religious coping in cancer patient. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the religiosity using Duke University Religion Index, religious coping using Brief Religious Coping Scale, anxiety and depression based on Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale among 200 cancer patients. The association between religiosity and religious coping with anxiety and depression was studied. The findings showed that subjects with anxiety or depression used more negative religious coping and had lower non-organization religiosity. Hence, measurements in reducing negative religious coping and encouraging religious activities could help to reduce psychological distress in cancer patients.
One of the popular approaches of preventing youth sexual activity in Malaysia is using religion to promote premarital sexual abstinence. Despite this intervention, youth continue to practise premarital sex. Thus, the purpose of this exploratory mixed methods study was to understand the role of religion on sexual activity among college students in Klang Valley, Malaysia. A self-administered questionnaire survey to determine the relationship between religiosity and youth sexual activity was carried out on 1026 students recruited from 12 randomly selected colleges. Concurrently, face-to-face interviews were conducted on 15 students to explore how religiosity had influenced their decision on sexual activity. The survey data were analysed using logistic regression, while the qualitative data from the interviews were examined using thematic analysis with separate analysis for each gender. Both quantitative and qualitative results were then compared and integrated. Religious activity significantly reduced the risk of continuing sexual activity among female students (AOR = 0.67, CI = 0.47, 0.95, p = 0.02) but not male students. There was no significant relationship of religious affiliation and intrinsic religiosity (inner faith) to sexual activity by gender. Having faith in religion and strong sexual desire were the main themes that explained participants' sexual behaviour. Engaging in religious activity might be effective at preventing female students from being sexually active. However, when sexual urges and desires are beyond control, religiosity might not be effective.
Diseases involving the nervous system drastically change lives of victims and commonly increase dependency on others. This paper focuses on senile dementia from both the neuroscientific and Islamic perspectives, with special emphasis on the integration of ideas between the two different disciplines. This would enable effective implementation of strategies to address issues involving this disease across different cultures, especially among the world-wide Muslim communities. In addition, certain incongruence ideas on similar issues can be understood better. The former perspective is molded according to conventional modern science, while the latter on the analysis of various texts including the holy Qur'an, sunnah [sayings and actions of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad (pbuh)] and writings of Islamic scholars. Emphasis is particularly given on causes, symptoms, treatments and prevention of dementia.