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What is recovery? An Islamic perspective

How recovery is understood from an Islamic perspective, drawing out contrasts with healthcare and bio-psycho-social models of mental health problems

In this video, Dr Yusuf explains how recovery is understood from an Islamic perspective, drawing out some contrasts with healthcare and bio-psycho-social models of mental health problems.

An Islamic perspective on recovery from mental health problems includes all aspects of mainstream models such as: feeling better; functioning as usual; a reduction in symptoms; building resilience in case mental health problems reoccur.

However, Dr Yusuf explains that it also includes Islamic concept of Afiya (a comprehensive sense of wellbeing), based on the Islamic principle that with hardship comes ease. Recovery from an Islamic perspective is not simply feeling better but the ability to reframe illness in a different way, with a sense of blessedness and gratitude even when experiencing mental health problems.

Muslims believe that if they experience illness or distress with patience and a sense of trust in God, they will be rewarded in the afterlife. Opportunities to find meaning and achieve personal growth can be found, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Dr Yusuf recommends the CHIME model of recovery as a holistic approach to assessing recovery from mental health problems.

Image explaining the five stages of the CHIME model of recovery

Image used with permission by Recovery Place.

The CHIME framework is as follows:

Connectedness Having good relationships and being connected to other people in positive ways. Characterised by: peer support and support groups; support from others; community
Hope & Optimism Having hope and optimism that recovery is possible and relationships that support this. Characterised by: motivation to change; positive thinking and valuing success; having dreams and aspirations.
Identity Regaining a positive sense of self and identity and overcoming stigma
Meaning Living a meaningful and purposeful life, as defined by the person (not others). Characterised by: meaning in mental ‘illness experience’; spirituality; meaningful life and social goals
Empowerment Having control over life, focusing on strengths, and taking personal responsibility


The Recovery College in Greenwich is an adult education institution based in Woolwich, London. They work within the CHIME Framework to provide education courses to support recovery and wellbeing. Find out more about CHIME at the Recovery Place website.

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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