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Mental Health in the Classroom



November 17, 2023




Michigan Islamic Academy
Ann Arbor, Michigan

It’s time to break the stigma surrounding mental health and talk about what we can do better as individuals and students. Mental illness is not understood or given the same respect as many medical illnesses even though the effects are very real. You’ll learn about common misconceptions and historical contributions of Muslims to the field of psychology. We’ll also discuss common factors that contribute to poor mental health and what you can do to help reduce the stigma and increase mental health literacy!

Many students in the Muslim community are quietly suffering from mental health issues. While the effect is real, mental illness is not understood or given the same respect as many medical illnesses. This lecture highlights common misconceptions surrounding mental health and presents the historical contributions of Muslims to the field of psychology. Common factors that contribute to poor mental health will be identified. Finally, ideas on how to reduce the stigma of mental health issues and ways to increase mental health literacy will be presented

This in-depth interactive workshop is on the importance of Mental Health awareness and support. Members of our communities are silently suffering from mental illness. These individuals often do not seek help due to stigma, lack of knowledge, and/or resources related to mental health resulting in a negative impact on their lives and families. The FYI’s Mental Health workshop will provide research and clinically based information to increase participants’ awareness of mental health by (1) presenting accessible and accurate mental health education on anxiety, depression, and suicide and (2) intervention and prevention strategies at the individual, family, school, and community levels.



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16th Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference Dates: Friday, March 1st & Saturday, March 2nd, 2024 Location: Stanford School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).