Rania Awaad

Rania Awaad

Rania Awaad


Disclaimer: the work linked below reflects the view of the author and does not necessarily reflect the view of ISPU.

Rania Awaad, MD, is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is the chief of the Diversity Section, director of the Diversity Clinic, and the director of the Muslim Mental Health Lab (Awaad Lab). She pursued her psychiatric residency training at Stanford where she also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research and clinical work are focused on the mental health needs of Muslims. Her courses at Stanford range from teaching a pioneering course on Islamic psychology, instructing medical students and residents on implicit bias, and integrating culture and religion into medical care, to teaching undergraduate and graduate students the psychology of xenophobia. Her most recent academic publications include an edited volume on Islamophobia and Psychiatry (Springer, 2019) and Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health Care (Routledge, 2020). She has also produced a toolkit, fact sheet, and CME course, and is now editing a clinical textbook, on Muslim mental health for the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Awaad is particularly passionate about uncovering the historical roots of mental health care in the Islamic intellectual heritage. Through her outreach work at Stanford, she is also the clinical director of the San Francisco Bay Area branches of the Khalil Center, a spiritual wellness center pioneering the application of traditional Islamic spiritual healing methods to modern clinical psychology. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants for her work.

Prior to studying medicine, Dr. Awaad pursued classical Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria, and holds certifications (ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic law, and other branches of the Islamic sciences. Dr. Awaad has also served as the first female professor of Islamic law at Zaytuna College, a Muslim liberal arts college in Berkeley, CA, where she taught courses on Shafi’i Fiqh and women’s fiqh and Qur’anic sciences for nearly a decade. In addition, she serves as the director of The Rahmah Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls. At Rahmah, she oversees the Murbiyyah spiritual mentoring program for girls. Dr. Awaad is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning teacher, researcher, and author in both the Islamic and medical sciences.


MD, Wright State University School of Medicine; Residency and Fellowship, Stanford University School of Medicine; Ijaza in Islamic Studies, Damascus, Syria

Areas of Expertise

  1. Muslim Mental Health
  2. Islamic Psychology
  3. Psychiatry
  4. Islamic Faith
  5. Islamic Law
  6. Islamic Studies
  7. Muslim Women


Hooman Keshavarzi, Fahad Khan, Bilal Ali, and Rania Awaad, ed., Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health Care: Introducing Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (New York: Routledge, 2020).

Rania Awaad, Danah Elsayed, Sara Ali, and Aneeqa Abid, “Islamic Psychology: A Portrait of Its Historical Origins and Contributions,” in Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health Care, 9–95.

Rania Awaad, “Coping with COVID: Best Practices for Mental Health Professionals during the Pandemic,” Institute for Muslim Mental Health, August 10, 2020.

Tabish Riaz and Rania Awaad, “Insights into the Psychological Sequelae of Spiritual Abuse,” Hurma Project, 2020.

Rania Awaad, Aaron Fisher, Sara Ali, and Natalie Rasgon, “Development and Validation of the Muslims’ Perceptions and Attitudes to Mental Health (M-PAMH) Scale with a Sample of American Muslim Women,” Journal of Muslim Mental Health 13, no. 2 (2019).

H. Steven Moffic, John Peteet, Ahmed Zakaria Hankir, and Rania Awaad, ed., Islamophobia and Psychiatry (Springer, 2019).

Rania Awaad, Alaa Mohammad, Khalid Elzamzamy, Soraya Fereydooni, and Maryam Gamar, “Mental Health in the Islamic Golden Era: The Historical Roots of Modern Psychiatry,” in Islamophobia and Psychiatry, 3–17.

Sara Ali and Rania Awaad, “Islamophobia and Public Mental Health: Lessons Learned from Community Engagement Projects: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment,” in Islamophobia and Psychiatry, 375–90.

Omar Reda, Sara Maklad, and Rania Awaad, “Caring for Muslim Refugees: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment,” in Islamophobia and Psychiatry, 335–45.

Rania Awaad, Sara Maklad, and Imman Musa, “Islamophobia from an American Muslim Perspective: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment,” in Islamophobia and Psychiatry, 209–19.

Rania Awaad, “A Muslim Graduate Student from Sudan Trapped by the Travel Ban,” American Journal of Psychiatry 174, no. 10 (2017): 925–26.

Bahar Hashemi,  Sara Ali, Rania Awaad, Laila Soudi, Lawrence Housel, and Stephen Sosebee, “Facilitating Mental Health Screening of War-Torn Populations Using Mobile Applications,” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 52, no. 1 (2016).

Rania Awaad and Sara Ali, “A Modern Conceptualization of Phobia in al-Balkhi’s 9th Century Treatise: Sustenance of the Body and Soul,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders 37 (January 2016): 89–93.

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