Published in Malay Mail Online
By Zurairi AR
KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — In 2006, the Health Ministry started offering traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) in public hospitals, ranging from traditional Malay massage, acupuncture, herbal therapy for cancer, to Ayurveda therapy.
While recognised in the National T&CM Policy, Islamic spiritual healing that mostly consists of reciting Islamic scriptures and supplications to heal illnesses, has yet to find mainstream acceptance.
Packaging the treatment as “Islamic psychospiritual therapy”, several psychiatrists and religious experts are now lobbying for its inclusion along modern medicine. But a big barrier remains ahead of them: empirical scientific evidence.
“Islamic psychospiritual therapy must prove itself capable to help in rehabilitating emotional disturbance, anxiety and depression,” said Datuk Prof Dr Azizan Baruddin, the director-general of the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) yesterday.
“It must also prove itself capable in helping solve psychosis disorder, personality disorder, and problems involving the LGBT,” she added, referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.