TISA at AMC Annual Conference

On Saturday, January 13, 2024, TISA presented at the 2024 Association of Muslim Chaplains Members conference which took place virtually on Hopin. The theme of the conference this year was Integrating Faith and Practice and attended by about 100 chaplains and pastoral caregivers from across the nation.  The program consisted of a wide array of enriching and relevant topics, including student presentations given by two TISA master’s students.

TISA student Adnan Mukhtar, a board member and an Islamic education and spiritual development leader at a local masjid in Atlanta Georgia presented the topic “Unlocking Wisdom: How a Masjid Library Empowers the Community” in which he established the importance of preserving our heritage of Islamic literature through the establishment of libraries within mosques.

In his presentation, Adnan discussed the challenges our ummah experiences with books. Some of the challenges he discussed include mushafs collecting dust, subpar standards in Sunday schools, unanswered existential questions, unqualified chaplaincy, dangers with translations of the Quran and hadith, and incomprehensibility of Arabic. He went on to offer solutions to these challenges including promoting books through book clubs, community-led studies, allowing checkouts from community center libraries, digital libraries, use of social media, and others.

Additionally, TISA student Omar Khan, the Co-Founder and CEO of Ruh, gave a presentation on “Islam and Mental Health: Bridging History and Contemporary Solutions” in which he first addressed many misconceptions held in the Muslim community about mental health and the common misalignments that are made. Some of these include spiritual bypassing, attributing mental illnesses to Ayn or Jinn, or the misunderstanding of the causes of mental health issues.

He then substantiated the validity of mental health care in our tradition by describing the bimaristans from earlier centuries, various forms of sound and aroma therapies, as well as the example of Sayyida Aisha (r) who treated psychological illness through making special soups.  He reminded us of the obligation that Islam places on taking care of the intellect, which requires one to take care of their mental health.                          

He concluded the session by giving a walk-through demo of various organizations such as Maristan, the FYI, and Ruh which are taking the lead in helping Muslims with mental health issues on various levels including education, seeking therapy, to medical treatments. 

On Sunday, January 14, TISA Executive VP Dr. Jimmy was a member of a panel on “Roundtable on Chaplain Qualifications”.