- May 27, 2020
Culture refers to people’s way of life. It consists of languages,social habits, behaviors, beliefs, religions, nationalities, customs,traditions, values, attitudes, spatial relations, among otherfactors. There are numerous culture and subculture in the world, andthey all have “a complete way of life.” Islamic culture is one ofthe main cultures in the Middle East. Generally, it reflects thecustoms of Muslims according to the Quran lessons. Although there arediverse sub-groups of Islamic cultures all over the globe, this essayfocuses on those in the Middle East.
Health Beliefs and Practices
In times of spiritual and psychological distress or physical illness,Muslims seek healing from the Qur’an, medicinal treatment orperform rituals to ease the pain. Historically, Muslims were open toincorporate and improve their healing practice. They implemented andimprovised several practices such as dietary restrictions, medicinaltonics, homemade herbal, and amulets to keep away bad spirits.Besides, they also adopted other practices such as ligaturing,cauterization, bloodletting, cupping, and male circumcision(Ezenkweleand Roodsari, 2013). Up to date, they base their healthcare approaches on preventative measures. For example, personalhygiene, avoidance of addictive habits like over-consumption of foodor smoking tobacco, dietary measures like the restriction of someingredients such as pork and alcohol, among others. Although theyseek curative procedures, they still look upon their cultural andreligious heritage to address their cultural, social, and spiritualneeds.
The family is the pillar of Islamic society. It consists of father,mother, and children. A stable family is essential for spiritualgrowth for the members as it brings peace and security. Islamicculture teaches that parents should respect one another, as well astake good care of their children. Correspondingly, children who are agreat treasure to the family should respect and obey their parents.It does not allow divorce and same-sex marriage.
The official language of communication of Muslims is Arabic, althoughit has diverse dialects, words, and meanings. They are passionate inthe way they articulate words. They also embrace nonverbalcommunication, such gestures, and facial expressions to passinformation. They use the right hand to eat and the left for bodilyhygiene. They also allow close body contact, but with the same sexonly. They hug, hold, and put arms around each other to signifycloseness and intimacy.
Islamic culture dictates that there should be physical distancebetween to two people from the opposite sex, a minimum of two feet.It also discourages touching of strange people. Handshakes arepermissible, but in the case of opposite sex, the female shouldextend hard first. Maintaining regular eye contact is inessential andconsiders it rude and unethical.
In Islamic culture, punctuality is vital. It also accepts fate andargues that everything happens for a reason whether good or bad. Itstates that time is utmost importance and it is disrespectful to belate. Islamic teaches that time is precious, passes swiftly, and isirretrievable. Therefore, a believer should not waste it on thingsthat draws him or her away from the creator or on the actions thatare not beneficial. Prophet Muhammad encouraged Muslims to be timeconscious and categorize things based on priority. One of the waysthat a Muslims manage time is by sleeping and waking up early hence,yield great blessing, comfort, and peace of mind.
Muslims have dietary rules whereby they have halal (permissible) andharam (prohibited) foods. They avoid consuming alcohol, pork, andanimal fats including their byproducts unless they are life-savingand they do not replacements. For instance, they take porcine heparinand insulin though they contain pork products. Moreover, they containa small amount of pork, which do not fit in consumption definition(Blais andHayes, 2015). In hospitals, Muslims pay attention tomedication that contains these products and avoid them. During theRamadan month, dietary sensitivity occurs where all healthy adultsfast. However, those who are lactating, pregnant, menstruating, orill do not fast. Alternatively, they pay alms to cover up.
Pain is inevitable in human life. Muslims fear pain and they try toavoid it at all costs. In case it occurs, they express it throughfacial grimaces, moans, and body posture. In some situation,especially in the presence of friends and relatives, they may expressit in a dramatic way. Islam culture permits treatment to minimize orstop pain and suffering. It encourages its members to seek treatmentwhen they fall ill. It also recommends pain relief by analgesic toprevent pain including morphine. Muslim believes pain obliterate sinsand shorten life, but should be treated since God is against humansuffering.
Childbirth And Prenatal Care
During delivery, only the husband, female friends, and relativeshould be present. The culture allows a woman to use birth controlmethods to space children, as well as artificial insemination betweena husband and wife. Further, it does not allow abortion except incases where the mother’s life is at risk. After birth, there aremany celebratory activities to thank Allah. Then the father orgrandfather of the newborn recites prayers in his or her ears. Islamencourages breastfeeding, which normally continues until the childattains two years. However, it discourages women to breastfeed in thepublic, and if it is in front of family members, then they should notexpose their breasts. According to Purnell(2014), the pregnant and lactating mother mothersencouraged to do minimal work, rest, and eat well.
Death And Dying
According to Islamic culture, life belongs to God and it is sacred.It states that all creatures should die at God’s given time.Therefore, it prohibits euthanasia, suicide, autopsy, cremation, andembalming. According to Qur’an, death is a transition where thesoul departs from the body to another realm. However, it does notgive any signs of the departure, but they believe it occurs when allbody organs stop to function. Since Muslims view death as a naturaloccurrence, they accept discontinuation of life support machine toprolong life (Rassool,2014). However, medical practitioners should clearlyexplain such a situation to the family of the victim to avoidmisinterpretation with euthanasia. In case, death occurs in thehospital, the deceased bed is placed in a way that his or her headface Mecca. Immediately, the deceased family prepares ghusl andfuneral ceremony to bury the body before it decays.
Spirituality, Religion, And Faith
Muslims believe in one God, Allah. They also believe Mohamed wasGod’s prophet whom he revealed to him many things, which herecorded in the Quran. Fridays are the official religious dayMuslims. They gather in the mosque and perform special prayers beforenoon. Eid Adha and Eid Fitr are two essential holidays in Muslimculture. During Eid Adha, they celebrate Abraham willingness tosacrifice Ishmael, his son. On the other hand, Eid Fitr marks the endof Ramadan when they break fasting. On these days, they visit thesick in the hospitals and those at home, as well as remember the deadby visiting their cemeteries. Further, they also pay alms to charity.
Prayers And Meditation
Prayers are a very significant component of Islam. It is mandatoryfor a Muslim to pray/salaat five times daily, at sunrise, noontime,mid-noon, sunset, and late at night. Additionally, they should washtheir feet, face, arms, mouth, and ears prior every prayer.
Prior this research, I had little knowledge about Islamic culture.However, I now have a better understanding, and can provideappropriate and effective care to the Muslims patients. I havelearned if a patient is in unconscious, I should turn him or her toface toward Mecca. I have also learned how to handle patient duringbirth and death. In addition, I have learned that touch is anessential aspect of Islamic culture. Although it cannot be ignoredwhen caring for Muslim patient, it is important for the medics tounderstand how further they can go on it. In this culture, there is adefined boundary about touch and may have a positive or negativeimpact. Further, I have learned that although some foods are used ascurative and preventative for some illness, not all cultures eatthem. Therefore, it is important to inquire from the patient what hisor her culture dictates about them.
Blais, K., &Hayes, J. S. (2015). Professionalnursing practice: Concepts and perspectives.Boston: Pearson
Ezenkwele, U.A., & Roodsari, G. S. (2013). Cultural competencies in emergencymedicine: Caring for Muslim-American patients from the MiddleEast. TheJournal of emergency medicine, 45(2),168-174.
Purnell, L.D. (2014). Guideto culturally competent health care.FA Davis.
Rassool, G.H. (Ed.). (2014). Culturalcompetence in caring for Muslim patients.Palgrave Macmillan.