Muslim American Families: A Social Worker’s Reflections


  • P. Aneesah Nadir, MSW, PhD Before the Nikah Institute



Muslim, Islam, family, mental health, Islamophobia, racism, social work


Muslim families are diverse culturally, in their practice of Islam, and in the challenges they face. They often experience spiritual, social, mental health, and behavioral health concerns. Among them are those whose members are impacted by the problems of childhood traumas, intergenerational communication problems, and marital problems; caring for children and adults with special needs and aging members; and those confronted by mental illness, suicide, domestic abuse, substance use disorder, incarceration, poverty, racism, and Islamophobia. Even as families strive to be healthy in terms of functioning, their struggles are real. Being Muslim does not totally shield one from these and other trials and tests.

As a Muslim, social worker, and active community member, I have had a front row seat to the successes and challenges facing these families. I have observed aspects of the community’s growth and development over the past 45 years. In this article, I share my reflections.

Author Biography

P. Aneesah Nadir, MSW, PhD, Before the Nikah Institute

Marriage Educator and Coach, Before the Nikah Institute