Chaplain Services for Muslim Patients


One significant service that hospitalized patients or their families may need is spiritual or pastoral care that is provided for them at times of need. It is especially provided for patients who are in urgent and crucial need of spiritual support due to their critical physical condition which could be as serious as Extubation.  This service is assigned to professionals whom we know as hospital Chaplains. They provide emotional and spiritual care, also known as pastoral care. They help alleviate fear and stress by providing emotional and spiritual care.
At times that patients are faced with anxiety, despair, or even fear of death, the most help and support they can receive is from those who they can mentally and spiritually connect with. The situation would be optimal if the patient and the chaplain shared a religious affiliation.
Many hospitals have chaplains for different religions including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and patients can feel the comfort they are in need of, but in many hospitals finding the suitable chaplain is a challenge. A Christian chaplain for instance could be a source of comfort, but for a Muslim patient he may unconsciously only cause more loneliness and distress.
This is not only necessary for hospitals. We in Freemuslim believe that this inclusiveness is essential for other facilities as well. Years ago Freemuslim advocated for diversity in praying rooms in many airports. This was welcomed by majority airports as respecting passengers’ rights.
We believe that hospitals have to be careful about the patients’ rights and even provide chaplains for different sects of a religion, for example Shia and Sunni chaplains for Muslim patients. M0ujtaba Akhwand, Freemuslim’s director emphasizes that since for example extremist groups in Islam consider themselves religiously affiliated with Islam and at the same time have victimized many Muslims, it is important for the authorities not to bring the victims even face to face with those from the same sect which has victimized them, because not only it will not provide the patients with support and spiritual comfort at times of need, but it will also deepen the trauma they already suffer from.
Freemuslim believes that since hospitals are places where spiritual comfort is necessary, it is essential for the hospital authorities to provide Shia chaplains for Shia patients, Sunni chaplains for Sunni patients, and other chaplains separately for other religions. We believe this is a way to separate democratic countries with inclusive communities from the isolated ones with strict and inflexible regulations.
Moujtaba Akhwand appreciates all the hospitals with chaplains in their workforce and all those who try to help the patients spiritually when they need it the most. Moujtaba’s decade-long direct work with victims of extremism and advocacy for  inclusive societies has given him an insight into what turmoil minorities face in different countries. He ensures Freemuslim continues to represent the voiceless victims in the society and advocate for peaceful coexistence globally.