Issues in forensic psychiatry in Islamic jurisprudence

Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1996;24(1):117-24.


There are few other specialties in psychiatry where the cultural nature and social norms of a society has more impact than the specialty of forensic psychiatry. In the Muslim and Arab worlds, Islamic principles govern the foundation of thoughts required to make laws. Those necessarily include legal issues in psychiatry. The impact of these matters on individuals as patients and the community at large can not be overestimated. Those issues will include laws of involuntary hospitalization and evaluation of mental competence toward different life functions such as commercial interaction, writing a will, marriage, divorce, and child custody. Islamic law has a definite position on criminal responsibility as well as other vital matters such as compensation of damages, including medical malpractice. This article discusses problems and peculiarities involved in the canonization of these laws in islamic communities, considering different arguments presented from one point of view versus another.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Custody
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill
  • Confidentiality
  • Culture
  • Expert Testimony
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Humans
  • Islam*
  • Malpractice
  • Mental Competency
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Social Values
  • Suicide