Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research
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Episode 6: Has COVID Impacted My Faith? | DoubleTake

COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more available around the world, and people are starting to return to their places of work, recreation, and worship. However, life still feels far from normal for many of us. How have the lives of Muslims changed during the past year? What can we learn from the experiences of early Muslims who endured similar plagues?

Host Mohamad Zaoud explores these questions and more as he speaks to Dr. Rania Awaad, Research Fellow at Yaqeen Institute and lead author of the paper “Coping with Pandemics: Psychological and Spiritual Lessons from Islamic History.

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Dr. Rania Awaad

Dr. Rania Awaad

Senior Fellow | Dr. Rania Awaad, M.D. is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the Muslim Mental Health Lab and Wellness Program and Director of the Diversity Clinic. She pursued her psychiatric residency training at Stanford where she also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research and clinical work are focused on the mental health needs of Muslims. Her courses at Stanford range from teaching a pioneering course on Islamic Psychology, instructing medical students and residents on implicit bias and integrating culture and religion into medical care to teaching undergraduate and graduate students the psychology of xenophobia. Her most recent academic publications include an edited volume on "Islamophobia and Psychiatry" (Springer, 2019), Islamic Psychology (Routledge, 2020) and an upcoming text on Muslim Mental Health. She has also produced a toolkit, fact sheet, CME course, and is now editing a clinical textbook on Muslim mental health for the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Awaad is particularly passionate about uncovering the historical roots of mental health care in the Islamic intellectual heritage. Through her outreach work at Stanford, she is also the Clinical Director of the San Francisco Bay Area branches of the Khalil Center, a spiritual wellness center pioneering the application of traditional Islamic spiritual healing methods to modern clinical psychology. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants for her work.
Prior to studying medicine, she pursued classical Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certifications (ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. Dr. Awaad has also served as the first female Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College, a Muslim Liberal Arts College in Berkeley, CA where she taught courses on Shafi'i Fiqh and Women's Fiqh and Qur'anic sciences for nearly a decade. In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls. At Rahmah, she oversees the Murbiyyah spiritual mentoring program for girls. Dr. Awaad is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning teacher, researcher and author in both the Islamic and medical sciences. Follow her on I/T: Dr.RaniaAwaad