Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Muslim experiences of dementia - practitioner perspective

Mohammed Akhlak Rauf responds to the following question: how do Muslims experience dementia distinctively?

This step, and those that follow in this activity, include excerpts from an interview with Mohammed Akhlak Rauf MBE.

Akhlak is founder and director of Meri Yaadain Community Interest Company (CiC). He is also a PhD student at the University of Bradford, researching how South Asian carers manage care transitions for family members with dementia. In these steps, Akhlak shares his experience and expertise on dementia in Muslim communities.

Meri Yaadain (My Memories) CiC is a charitable initiative that supports ethnic minority people who live with dementia and the people who care for them. Meri Yaadain CiC also works to raise awareness of dementia in ethnic minority communities, and of ethnic minority experiences of dementia among statutory and voluntary community organisations. You can find a link to the Meri Yaadain CiC website below.

In this step, Akhlak responds to the following question: how do Muslims experience dementia distinctively?

Akhlak begins by reminding us of the contextual factors that lead to diversity among Muslims. Muslims with dementia, and people around them, may see dementia and experiences of caring as a punishment from God. Muslims who understand dementia from a religious framework may be more likely to seek guidance from an imam than from a mental health professional.

Akhlak also speaks about a religiously-informed sense of duty of care among Muslim carers. Muslims may feel obliged to care because of their religious beliefs around patience and forbearance, and therefore may not recognise seeking support for themselves, and for the person living with dementia as an option for them.

In this video at 03:44 Akhlaq says: “No soul is burdened with more than he can carry.” The quotation from the Qur’an referred to reads:

On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. (Qur’an 2:286)
At 03:56 Akhlaq refers to a verse in the Qur’an the verse reads:
It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is all-Knowing, all-Powerful. (Qur’an 16:70)


For dementia support, contact Meri Yaadain

Over to you

Considering the information shared in this step so far, do you think that Muslim people living with dementia, and their carers, experience mental health problems in distinctive ways? Can you name one (or more) reasons why?

This article is from the free online

Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now