Naveed Baig

Muslim patients at Nordic hospitals- the role of faith and spirituality during times of sickness and tribulations

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Religion can be a meaningful tool and guidance for patients during their struggles to overcome severe crisis situations such as sickness and pain. The purpose of this Ph.D. project is to elucidate and explore what types of spiritual and religious thoughts- if any- are occurring among patients with a Muslim background who are ill and in crisis situations at Nordic hospitals.

The central questions of this empirical study are:

1. What spiritual and religious thoughts - if any - do Muslim patients experience when faced with a crisis related to severe illness?

2. What do patients with a Muslim background think, feel and do in concrete situations when they are embraced by a crisis related to severe illness?

3. How and from where do patients get the strength to bear the suffering (if the case) when they are impacted by a crisis during times of severe illness?


This Ph.D. project will combine different methodological approaches. The data collection will be done through interviews with Muslim patients and their relatives and coordinators / imams working at hospitals. In addition to interviews with coordinators / imams, there will be observations of their clinical work.

The study will analyze the patients' answers and compare them with theological, existential and ethical discourses within the Islamic spectrum such as questions of theodicy, meaning, thankfulness, guilt, anger and angst.

The planned fieldwork, which focuses on clinical environs includes hospitals in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The aim is to make agreements with those hospital wards where the patients in severe crisis are hospitalized such as palliative wards, ICU’s, and cancer wards in Nordic hospitals.

Contact information

Naveed B. Baig.


Associate Professor Anne Hege Grung.


Doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Theology.


Published Apr. 6, 2020 8:38 AM - Last modified Apr. 6, 2020 8:38 AM