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Shia Islam
What is Shia Islam?
Who are shias?
Shia Islam: Five Principles of the
Religion
Oneness of God
Justice
Prophethood
Guidance
Resurrection
Near-Death Experiences
Non-Western near-death
experiences (NDEs)
Muslim NDEs
Near-Death Experiences
Recent research on Muslim NDEs
Joel Kreps (2009): Muslim NDEs
“appear to be quite rare in fact” (...
Near-Death Experiences
Our research and two unique
contributions to the near-death
literature
Participants were Shia Mus...
Near-Death Experiences
In light of these considerations, we undertook a
study of Iranian Shia Muslim NDEs to:
 Examine co...
Method
Procedures
Established a website
Posted an announcement about the
study
Posted the questionnaire
Instruments
Demographic survey (developed by
researchers)
NDE Scale (Greyson, 1983)
Development and reliability of Pers...
Participants and Analyses
Self-identified Shia Muslims
18 years and older
Living in various cities in Iran
Quantitativ...
Results - Quantitative
46 submitted
questionnaires
33 were
complete
20 (60.6%)
scored 7 or
higher
13 (39.4%)
scored below 7
Results - Quantitative
14
9
6
4
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
NDErs CBrs
Participants by Sex
Men
Women
Results - Quantitative
2
10
5
1
2
1
6
4
2
0
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
No high
school
diploma
High school
diploma
Bachelor’s
degree
M...
Results - Quantitative
5
14
1
3
8
2
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18–30 31–50 51+
Participants by Age
NDErs
CBrs
Results - Quantitative
2
8
1
6
2
11
8
0
2
0
2
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Participants by Type of Near-Death Circumstances
NDErs
C...
Results - Quantitative
Regarding Persian NDE Scale scores
Total score
range M SD
13 CBrs 0-6 3.84 2.37
20 NDErs 7-24 13.50...
Incidence of selected NDE features
 OBE (Material aspect: Observing physical/material domain)
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)...
Incidence of selected NDE features
 Passing into or through a tunnel
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)
1 1 2 (10%)
Case number ...
Incidence of selected NDE features
 Positive emotions or feelings
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)
8 4 12 (60%)
Case number 13...
Incidence of selected NDE features
 Encountering an unearthly light
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)
6 4 10 (50%)
Case number ...
 Encountering other beings (mystical beings
or deceased relatives or friends)
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)
5 3 8 (40%)
Cas...
Incidence of selected NDE features
 A sense of alteration of time and place
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)
14 3 17 (85%)
Cas...
Incidence of selected NDE features
 Life review
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)
6 2 8 (40%)
Case number 8:
Suddenly, I felt a...
Incidence of selected NDE features
 Encountering unworldly realms
Men (14) Women (6) All (20)
4 3 7 (35%)
Case number 5:
...
Gratitude
 investigate possible differences in GQ-6
scores between NDErs and CBrs
 Significant with medium effect,
t(31)...
Results - Qualitative
 Three NDE narratives translated from
Persian to English:
 Mr. Abolhamid’s Narrative
 Mr. Behnam’...
Discussion and Conclusion
Limitations:
 Sample size
 Translation
Findings
 Muslim NDEs do occur and they are not rare.
 NDE contents same between Shiite and
Western NDErs
 Ineffability...
Findings
 Aftereffects similar between Shia and Western
NDErs
 Loss of fear of death,
 Paradox of looking forward to de...
Conclusions
 Shia Muslim NDEs may not be heavily influenced
by cultural or religious variations.
 NDEs may be universal ...
Unique contribution
 About using psychometrically sound
instrument to assess gratitude
Recommendation for Future
Research
 Use larger sample sizes of representative Muslim
populations.
And finally…
 It is hoped that this study and future investigations of
non-Western NDEs will advance understanding of
NDE...
Special thanks to:
Janice Holden, Ed.D.
and co-authors:
Jeffrey Long, M.D.
Farnoosh Faith Nouri, Ph.D.
Komeyl Farahnakian,...
Shia muslim NDEs
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Shia muslim NDEs

The brief of a research about Shia Muslim Near Death Experiences.

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Shia muslim NDEs

  1. 1. Shia Islam What is Shia Islam? Who are shias?
  2. 2. Shia Islam: Five Principles of the Religion Oneness of God Justice Prophethood Guidance Resurrection
  3. 3. Near-Death Experiences Non-Western near-death experiences (NDEs) Muslim NDEs
  4. 4. Near-Death Experiences Recent research on Muslim NDEs Joel Kreps (2009): Muslim NDEs “appear to be quite rare in fact” (p. 84). Michael Nahm and Joachim Nicolay (2010) Cheryl Fracasso, Seyed Aleyasin, Harris Friedman, and M. Scott Young (2010)
  5. 5. Near-Death Experiences Our research and two unique contributions to the near-death literature Participants were Shia Muslims Investigated sense of gratitude
  6. 6. Near-Death Experiences In light of these considerations, we undertook a study of Iranian Shia Muslim NDEs to:  Examine contents of NDEs among Iranian Shiite Muslims,  Investigate similarities and differences between Iranian and Western NDEs and aftereffects, and  Compare gratitude as an aftereffect between Iranian NDErs and those who survived close brushes with death without NDEs (CBrs).
  7. 7. Method Procedures Established a website Posted an announcement about the study Posted the questionnaire
  8. 8. Instruments Demographic survey (developed by researchers) NDE Scale (Greyson, 1983) Development and reliability of Persian version Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6; McCullough et al., 2002)
  9. 9. Participants and Analyses Self-identified Shia Muslims 18 years and older Living in various cities in Iran Quantitative analysis Qualitative analysis
  10. 10. Results - Quantitative 46 submitted questionnaires 33 were complete 20 (60.6%) scored 7 or higher 13 (39.4%) scored below 7
  11. 11. Results - Quantitative 14 9 6 4 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 NDErs CBrs Participants by Sex Men Women
  12. 12. Results - Quantitative 2 10 5 1 2 1 6 4 2 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 No high school diploma High school diploma Bachelor’s degree Master’s degree Doctoral degree Participants by Education NDErs CBrs
  13. 13. Results - Quantitative 5 14 1 3 8 2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18–30 31–50 51+ Participants by Age NDErs CBrs
  14. 14. Results - Quantitative 2 8 1 6 2 11 8 0 2 0 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Participants by Type of Near-Death Circumstances NDErs CBrs
  15. 15. Results - Quantitative Regarding Persian NDE Scale scores Total score range M SD 13 CBrs 0-6 3.84 2.37 20 NDErs 7-24 13.50 5.41
  16. 16. Incidence of selected NDE features  OBE (Material aspect: Observing physical/material domain) Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 8 4 12 (60%) Case number 2: I was above my body. I could see the street and people around my corpse like a camera that is mounted above. They were worried about me.
  17. 17. Incidence of selected NDE features  Passing into or through a tunnel Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 1 1 2 (10%) Case number 6: I remembered that I separated from my body and exposed to a tunnel of light. I didn’t want to go to the tunnel willingly; it vacuumed me. There was no way out, just a light that I was on the path to reach it.
  18. 18. Incidence of selected NDE features  Positive emotions or feelings Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 8 4 12 (60%) Case number 13: I cannot describe the feeling of pleasure or sense of flight. I perceived love, kindness, and affection to the extent that I wanted to leave my body completely, and then my soul connected to somewhere else. I saw myself full of love and affection.
  19. 19. Incidence of selected NDE features  Encountering an unearthly light Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 6 4 10 (50%) Case number 13: I was going to a gate from which a light was coming. As I came closer to the light it became shinier, more beautiful and more gorgeous, even I could see colorful particles of the light.
  20. 20.  Encountering other beings (mystical beings or deceased relatives or friends) Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 5 3 8 (40%) Case number 6: I saw two strange beings. I cannot describe them. They blamed me for my suicide attempt and told me: “You should not be here. You have to go back.” Our communication was something like telepathy. Incidence of selected NDE features
  21. 21. Incidence of selected NDE features  A sense of alteration of time and place Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 14 3 17 (85%) Case number 4: During my experience, time and place were meaningless. I could see anytime from the past and be anywhere even with long distance involuntarily.
  22. 22. Incidence of selected NDE features  Life review Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 6 2 8 (40%) Case number 8: Suddenly, I felt all my life with all I have done in earth life, all of my sins were shown to me like a movie. This was along with severe mental punishment like shame before God and Martyrs.
  23. 23. Incidence of selected NDE features  Encountering unworldly realms Men (14) Women (6) All (20) 4 3 7 (35%) Case number 5: I felt like I'm in a different place with different feelings. Great, good, tranquilizer, without fear, without pain.
  24. 24. Gratitude  investigate possible differences in GQ-6 scores between NDErs and CBrs  Significant with medium effect, t(31) = 3.00, p = .005, d = 1.06. Groups Range M SD NDErs 20–30 26.35 3.34 CBrs 14–30 22.00 5.00
  25. 25. Results - Qualitative  Three NDE narratives translated from Persian to English:  Mr. Abolhamid’s Narrative  Mr. Behnam’s Narrative  Mrs. Batool’s Narrative
  26. 26. Discussion and Conclusion Limitations:  Sample size  Translation
  27. 27. Findings  Muslim NDEs do occur and they are not rare.  NDE contents same between Shiite and Western NDErs  Ineffability—difficulty describing NDE in human language  NDErs and CBrs not different regarding gender, age, education, or time since close brush with death
  28. 28. Findings  Aftereffects similar between Shia and Western NDErs  Loss of fear of death,  Paradox of looking forward to death while holding a conviction that life has purpose  Commitment to live life to its fullest,  Tendency to become more spiritual while becoming less affiliated with organized religion.
  29. 29. Conclusions  Shia Muslim NDEs may not be heavily influenced by cultural or religious variations.  NDEs may be universal in their fundamental nature  NDEs may reflect transpersonal and transcendental phenomena
  30. 30. Unique contribution  About using psychometrically sound instrument to assess gratitude
  31. 31. Recommendation for Future Research  Use larger sample sizes of representative Muslim populations.
  32. 32. And finally…  It is hoped that this study and future investigations of non-Western NDEs will advance understanding of NDEs.  NDErs in non-Western cultures might face specific challenges openly expressing their NDEs as a result of the dearth of literature and public awareness.  If so, studies of non-Western NDEs may advance appreciation of their challenges and hopefully help NDErs address such challenges to the greatest extent possible.
  33. 33. Special thanks to: Janice Holden, Ed.D. and co-authors: Jeffrey Long, M.D. Farnoosh Faith Nouri, Ph.D. Komeyl Farahnakian, M.A.

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