Islam is the second most popular monotheistic religion in the world. Its followers, the Muslims, are about 1.2 billion people and are the majority in 56 countries around the globe. Islam is an holistic way and model of life and its rules, according to a large proportion of Muslims, should have more power than the laws deriving from any secular authority. This means that the divine laws, as depicted from Islam’s holy scripts, should be the laws of the land. In the strict Islamic states, as Saudi Arabia, the Islamic law or the Shari'ah prevails. Shari'ah means the path, the road each faithful Muslim should follow according to the rules of God. The Islamic views on mental health have some interesting characteristics: on the one hand, the moral necessity for the protection and care of the vulnerable individuals is very strong, but on the other hand superstitions and stigmatization influence the peoples’ attitude against mental health patients. At the beginning of its historical course, Islamic world was a pioneer concerning mental health care. Unfortunately, as time passed by, we have observed considerable regression. In our days mental health services provided in most of the Islamic states cannot be considered adequate according to modern Western standards. The same course characterizes the Forensic Psychiatric services and the relevant legislation in the Islamic world.

Key words: Islam, mental health, forensic psychiatry, Islamic law. 

G. Geferakos, L. Lykouras, A. Douzenis (page 303) - Full article (Greek)