Ariane Bakhtiar

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Dialectical Living answered our seven questions about their workshop and Mad Pride. Check out the Introduction to Mindful Living workshop at Mad Pride Week Toronto on Friday, July 15 at Ryerson University (4:30-5:45 SHE 660 (99 Gerrard St E, near Jarvis)) [Full event list]

Mindfulness by http://www.dialecticalliving.ca/
Mindfulness by http://www.dialecticalliving.ca/

Q. What are you most excited about with your workshop at Mad Pride?

1. Dialectical Living is most excited about sharing with Mad activists and allies the innumerable benefits of mindfulness in everyday life on July 15th at Ryerson University (4:30 – 5:45 pm SHE 660 (99 Gerrard St E, near Jarvis)). Thanks to Mad volunteers for setting up this great space.

Q What do we need to know about you and your Mad Self (as a group or individual)?

2. What you need to know about Dialectical Living is we are a peer based organization. That means all Dialectical Living employees and volunteers have lived experience.

Q How do you describe your experience with madness?

3. Our peers have various experiences with madness. One of our peer workers, Kristen, wrote a great piece on being a mother with a mental health history. Check it out!

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Mad in Islam: Compassion for the Muslim Alcoholic

Ariane Bakhtiar

Man drinks beer
Alcohol isolation darkness – Madness? David Jones/PA Wire

Note to the Reader: Terms like mad, crazy, drunk, or junkie are often harmful in that they have historically been used to marginalize people with mental health challenges. In an effort to reclaim harmful language, this article includes mad as a term of empowerment for those who have been excluded socially and/or pathologized by the clinicians, hospitals and rehab centres that have “treated” them. The title “Mad in Islam”, then, refers to Muslims and their allies who recognize the need for programs and services established by Muslim communities for mad Muslims.

The surah Al-Ma’idah (the table spread) – a chapter of the Qur’an – states: “Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist? (5.91) Intoxicants, but in particular alcohol, create a spiritual barrier between God and the believer. While scripture does not provide much explanation as to what establishes this barrier, the dulling properties of alcohol are a detriment to prescribed activities, like salaat – prayer – or iqraa – the study of scripture –, that require alertness and authentic intention. (more…)