National Conference 2017 – Professor Clare Gerada


BIMA is honoured to welcome Professor Clare Gerada MBE at the BIMA National Conference 2017.

Professor Gerada is a London-based GP and the Former Chair of Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners from 2010-2013; she was the first female Chair for over half a century.

She is currently Medical Director for the NHS Practitioner Health Programme (PHP), a service which provides help to sick doctors and dentists, and has held a number of national roles including Senior Policy Advisor, Department of Health Drugs and Alcohol; Director of RCGP Substance Misuse Use Unit & was Chair of RCGP National Expert Group on Substance Misuse. In both of these roles, Professor Gerada provided national leadership in substance misuse, developing the RCGP Certificate in Substance Misuse and supporting the creation of shared care working across England.

Professor Gerada was named one of Britain’s top 100 most influential women by BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour.

National Conference 2017 – Sheikh Abdul Hakim Murad



Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad will be giving the closing session on spirituality at the BIMA National Conference 2017.

Shaykh Abdul Hakim, also known as Dr. Timothy Winter, is a leading scholar, researcher, writer and academic. He is currently the Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, Director of Studies (Theology and Religious Studies) at Wolfson College and the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge University.

He has published and contributed to numerous academic works on Islam, including as Director of the Sunna Project, and is a leading figure in inter-faith activity, notably as one of the signatories to the Common Word statement. He is well-known as a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’.

National Conference 2017 – Sheikh Asim Yusuf



Dr Shaykh Asim Yusuf will be speaking on Mental Health at the BIMA National Conference 2017.

Dr Yusuf is a Consultant Psychiatrist with a special interest in Spirituality and Mental Health. He has received twenty years of rigorous theological training and has been granted an ijaza to instruct students in the art and science of Islamic thought by scholars from four continents.

He is the founder and Director of the Path to Salvation Diploma in Classical Islamic Studies, one of the largest Muslim grass-roots teaching organisations in the UK, and of the Islamic Ethics and Global Citizenship Initiative. He serves on the advisory panel of the Islamic Medical Ethics Council, as well as being in an advisory capacity to various community initiatives and charities.

National Conference 2017 – Professor Aziz Sheikh



Professor Aziz Sheikh OBE will be a keynote speaker at the BIMA National Conference 2017.

Professor Aziz is a Professor of Primary Care Research & Development at The University of Edinburgh, where he is also co-director of its Centre for Population Health Sciences and the head of its Allergy & Respiratory Research Group.

He is a global leader in primary care research and on the epidemiology and management of anaphylaxis, bringing allergy research into primary care and leading the development of UK, European and international guidelines.

He also leads research on asthma management in General Practice and has led UK research into ethnic differences in health in primary care. In 2014 Professor Sheikh was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for Services to Medicine and Health Care by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


February Events Roundup

1. BIMA London hosted a string of events last month, tackling taboo subjects in the 3rd annual RUMS medical conference (Life Behind A Label), addressing the issue of mental health in the Muslim community (Undermind), and bringing together several Muslim doctors to speak about juggling faith, family and a medical career (Striving for Excellence).

2. Doctors and medical students joined the BIMA Yorkshire & Humber team in hosting a free health advice session in Leeds.

3. The History of Islam & Medicine Exhibition, in collaboration with IMed Birmingham, was held over 3 days at the University of Birmingham. If you are interested in getting involved with the Islamic Medical Ethics and History team please check out the recruitment section below.

4. BIMA North West held its 5th and 6th themed health awareness sessions, this time addressing diabetes and dementia. As always, more sessions to follow in the near future, including a series in multiple locations on stroke and its management.

General Pharmaceutical Council – Public Consultation

The GPC have launched a consultation on religion, personal values and beliefs in delivering person-centred care in pharmacy.

The consultation concerns wording on personal values and beliefs in the new standards for pharmacy professionals, due to come into effect later this year.

The consultation is open until 7 March 2017. More information here

February News & Views

Firstly this month, a study published in the Journal of Religion and Health investigated the effect of listening to Qur’anic recitation on depressive symptoms in haemodialysis patients in Iran. The authors found that listening to the Qur’an being recited had a soothing effect in Muslim patients similar to the widely used music therapy, which subsequently reduced depressive symptoms calculated using the Beck Depression Inventory-II assessment tool.

Read “The Effect of Holy Qur’an Recitation on Depressive Symptoms in Hemodialysis Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trialhere


With Ramadan just over 3 months away, another article published in the Journal of Religion and Health found that fasting may have a positive impact on blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride/HDL/LDL levels.

The study analysed and compared participants’ blood samples collected on the first and last day of Ramadan (the authors did not include a mid-month sample, which would have provided a better understanding of the progression throughout the month of the different blood parameters measured).

The authors conclude that the positive biological effects of Ramadan come from improved blood glucose and lipid profiles instead of weight loss, although this may vary on geographical location and participants’ diets. This study was conducted in Pakistan and on healthy patients (many studies are done on diabetic patients), and it would be interesting to see the results of a similar study done in the UK with its longer fasting hours.

Read “Study of Human Biochemical Parameters During and After Ramadanhere


And finally this month, with gender equality (in scientific research, in Islam and within Muslims) perennially being a hot topic, an article in the Journal of Religion and Health found an increase in female representation in studies relating to Islamic bioethics in the past 15 years, both in Muslim-majority as well as non-Muslim-majority countries, with the authors arguing against the popular idea of female oppression in Muslim-majority countries.

Read “A 15-Year Review of Trends in Representation of Female Subjects in Islamic Bioethics Researchhere


We are always looking for relevant articles and news to include in our monthly newsletter. Please send any items to [email protected]

January News & Views

Following on from last month’s article about medication regiment adjustment for patients during Ramadan, and the finding that the most frequently discussed disease between patients and their pharmacists is diabetes, a study published this month in the journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy looked at pharmacist awareness of diabetic patients in Australia, concluding with the need for more cultural competency and a proactive approach from pharmacists in discussing fasting and medication before Ramadan begins.

Read “Pharmacists’ perspectives about their role in care of patients with diabetes observing Ramadanhere


Continuing with the theme of cultural competency, another article published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management investigated the usefulness of a 1-hour educational intervention provided to palliative care clinicians in America in changing their notions on Muslim patients’ beliefs regarding end-of-life decisions.

The article also includes a useful appendix for palliative care specialists, summarising the Islamic viewpoints on disease and death.

Read “How Islam Influences End-of-Life Care: Education for Palliative Care Clinicianshere


And finally this month, an essay by Dr. Aasim Padela in the journal Developing World Bioethics looks at and argues for the state’s duty to provide universal healthcare coverage from an Islamic perspective, specifically using the concepts of huquq Allah (‘rights of God’), maslahah mu’tabarah (public interest upheld by Islamic scripture), and fard al-kifayah (communal obligations), and how American Muslim healthcare organisations have used these ethico-legal constructs to support healthcare reform in the United States.

Read “Social Responsibility and the State’s Duty to provide Healthcare: An Islamic Ethico-Legal Perspectivehere


We are always looking for relevant articles and news to include in our monthly newsletter. Please send any items to [email protected]

January Events Roundup

1. Christmas saw volunteers from BIMA North West helping out at the Unitarian Chapel in Oldham, giving free health advice and working with the UKEFF food bank, a regular food hub operating every Monday at the Unitarian Chapel helping the poor and needy with social and drug/alcohol recovery services. BIMA North West intends to volunteer regularly at this food hub and if anyone would like to give some time volunteering on Mondays please get in touch with us.

2. BIMA North West also held the third of its health awareness sessions on paediatric first aid. The next sessions will be on eye conditions related to diabetes, and another on dementia.

3. Our East Midlands team hosted a networking dinner at the An Najeeb restaurant in Leicester, where Professor Saad Amer (consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist) delivered a talk entitled ‘Abortion and Contraception: An Islamic Perspective’ which received very good feedback from attendees.

BIMA North West at Unitarian Chapel in Oldham

BIMA Ramadan Initiative 2017

BIMA Ramadan Initiative 2017 are now recruiting for teachers!

The Ramadan Initiative aims to increase awareness amongst healthcare professionals and advise them on Muslim patients who fast during Ramadan, looking at practical considerations to help optimise their healthcare.

Last year was incredibly successful, with the team delivering 20 teaching sessions across the UK – from hospital grand-rounds to GP practice updates – and presenting a poster at a national conference at UCL.

This year we intend to expand our reach nationally, focusing more on primary care, particularly in areas with a large Muslim population.

What will a teacher need to do?

📕 Book a teaching session in your chosen area
📕 Attend the monthly training webinars
📕 Deliver the ready made presentation and collect feedback using ready made evaluation forms

Examples of where to present are hospital grand rounds, specialty department meetings, GP surgeries etc.

What will BIMA provide?

📕 A certificate of participation for your portfolio
📕 FREE training and troubleshooting webinars including Fiqh of Ramadan training
📕 A regional lead to support you through the process
📕 Peer support via Whatsapp
📕 Email support via a clinical and islamic advisory panel
📕 Access to an e-resource bank

If you would like to present at a session please register your interest at the following link:

This is a great chance to be part of an exciting and expanding project and to develop your presentation skills, enhance your portfolio and work for a good cause. Teachers can be of any grade from medical student up to consultant level.

If you have any further queries please contact [email protected]

BIMA Lifesavers & Trainees 2017 Recruitment

BIMA’s largest national projects are now recruiting!

If you’re a Muslim healthcare professional/student interested in uniting, inspiring and serving the British Muslim community then get involved in the BIMA Lifesavers or BIMA Trainees & Students teams for 2017.

BIMA Lifesavers: help organise and deliver one of the UK’s largest CPR courses, with over 300 volunteers last year, working with 35 mosques to train nearly 3,000 members of the public.

BIMA Trainees & Students: enhance the trainee and student experience by organising national educational programmes and helping hundreds of delegates to assist with workplace orientation and postgraduate training.

Or click on the posters to register your details.

December News & Views

Firstly this month, a qualitative study published this month by the Violence Prevention Research Unit (of Queen Mary University London) in the British Journal of Psychiatry argues that young British Muslim men with poor mental health may experience protection from depression via their Islamic identity, but that this may determine targets of violence following any radicalisation.

The study investigated the associations between participants’ attitudes to three main variables (cultural identity, support for/opposition to the war in Afghanistan, and fighting for/against the British Army) and participants’ demography, ethnicity, religion, psychiatric morbidity, and violent/criminal behaviour.

While the study found that ‘anti-British extremism’ (opposition to war, not identifying as British, belief in fighting against the British Army) was positively associated with poor socioeconomic status and Black and Minority Ethnic men, and that depression was more prevalent among Pakistani and Black men than UK-born White men, it also found that holding these anti-British extremist views allowed for protection against depression.

Read “Extremism, religion and psychiatric morbidity in a population-based sample of young menhere

While Ramadan may be months away, a study examining initiation and communication of medication regiment adjustment (MRA) to patients by pharmacists in Egypt found that communication gaps exist between pharmacists and their Muslim patients.

The study, published this month in the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, found that while ‘more than three quarters of pharmacists reported 60% or more of their patients with chronic conditions decided to fast in Ramadan’, only 16% of pharmacists surveyed initiated communication of MRA, and only 3% initiated this conversation 8 days or more before the start of Ramadan.

While this study was conducted in a Muslim-majority country (with surprising results), certain lessons can be learnt and applied here in Britain. For example, endocrine diseases like diabetes were the most frequently discussed between patients and pharmacists in the study, and with a notable incidence of these diseases in the British Muslim population, British pharmacists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, would do well to initiate conversations on MRA early enough to help their patients get through Ramadan safely, which would include pharmacists learning more about Islamic teachings with regards to illness and medication while fasting.

Read “Pharmacist–patient communication about medication regimen adjustment during Ramadanhere

And finally this month, an article recently published online in the journal Human Fertility studied the extent of support and guidance received by Muslim (and Christian) patients with reproductive health issues.

Some of the patients studied felt they did not have an opportunity to raise questions about conditions like infertility because they felt that religion did not belong in the clinic. The authors argue that healthcare professionals working in reproductive health are encouraged to actively explore their patients’ faith issues, particularly in light of recent advances in reproductive technologies.

Read “Experiences of faith group members using new reproductive and genetic technologieshere
We are always looking for relevant articles and news to include in our monthly newsletter. Please send any items to [email protected]

December Events Roundup

1. BIMA Yorkshire & Leeds Muslim Medics hosted Mr. Suhail Anwar (consultant general surgeon) in the well-attended Miracles of the Qur’an event at the end of November.

2. BIMA North West held the second of its health awareness sessions, this time focusing on asthma. As advertised earlier in the newsletter, the next sessions are on eye conditions and paediatric first aid.

3. Leading Muslim healthcare professionals in the West Midlands were invited to speak at BIMA West Midlands’ Best of Both Worlds event, which also saw the launch of its mentoring scheme, which we hope will foster greater ties within the Muslim health professional community. BIMA West Midlands also collaborated with Human Appeal International and Primary Trauma Care Foundation to host a fundraiser for training doctors working inside Syria.

4. Over 150 attendees went online for our Motherhood & Medicine webinar. Keep an eye out for future webinars coming soon – ideas and speakers for future webinars also welcome!

Dr. Hussein Nagi, consultant anaesthetist, speaking at Best of Both Worlds: Being a Muslim Healthcare Professional
Health awareness session on asthma by Dianne Cook, Director of Nursing at SicKids

BIMA National Conference 2017 Tickets

Mark your calendars for the first ever national conference for Muslim healthcare professionals in the UK. Preparations are in full swing and we are excited to announce the release of our early bird tickets!

Ticket prices go up on 15th January so make sure to buy your tickets as soon as possible!

View the conference programme and buy your tickets here (student discount tickets available)

Date: Sat 18th – Sun 19th March 2017
Venue: King’s College London, Strand Campus
With the BIMA Awards Ceremony and dinner on Saturday the 18th.

Featuring poster presentations, awards and exhibitions. Follow us on Facebook for further updates on this unmissable event! Look out for us on Twitter and Snapchat (@BritishIMA).

In conjunction with KCL ISoc and Islamic Relief

#WhatsYourLegacy #BIMA2017


November Events Roundup

1. This month we hosted our second annual SJT Workshop, with nearly 200 final year medical students attending from all over the country. We wish everyone the best with their SJT and foundation applications.

2. The first of our North West health awareness sessions was held in Manchester on the topic of mental illness and how patients and their families can better deal with conditions such as schizophrenia.

Our recent SJT workshop, with nearly 200 attendees

Talk on schizophrenia and other psychoses by psychiatrist Dr. Ahmed Sewehli

November News & Views

Firstly this month, an article by Dr. Goleen Samari (University of Texas) published in the American Journal of Public Health summarises the effects of Islamophobia on the health of the growing population of Muslim Americans. Islamophobia invariably brings about stigma and discrimination of Muslims, with adverse effects on physical and mental health as a result of Islamophobia’s interference with individual, interpersonal and structural systems of Muslims and the Muslim community.

As in the United States, the racial makeup of Muslims in the UK is largely South Asian and Middle Eastern, but Dr. Samari argues that “pathogenic conditions of Islamophobia have to be understood across racial groups”. Dr. Samari concludes by calling for more qualitative research into the impact of Islamophobia on Muslims, more importantly at the structural system level.

Read the article “Islamophobia and Public Health in the United Stateshere




The Open Society Justice Initiative has issued a report titled Eroding Trust: the UK’s Prevent Counter-Extremism Strategy in Health and Education, which criticises the Government’s Prevent strategy that is now applied in healthcare settings. The report also analyses the disruptions to provider-patient relationships using two health-related case studies: one involving a patient quizzed about his political views and affiliations by his GP, and the second involving a nurse called in for a ‘Human Resources’ meeting after regularly wearing a hijab at work.

Read the report and executive summary here




And finally this month, a touching narrative by Dr. Raya Kheirbek published in the journal Academic Medicine reminding us of the importance of understanding our patients’ different belief systems.

Read “Behind the Veilhere




We are always looking for relevant articles and news to include in our monthly newsletter. Please send any items to [email protected]