The Islamic Treatment For Drug Addict: A Case Study At Madrasah Anharol-Ulum, Thailand


The using of drug for medical purpose is permissible, but an abuse is forbidden. The prohibition is due to the negative effects on the healthiness of man-kind, as well as to the structure of family ties and societies. It also ruins the development of society, which to create a healthy public with intelligent thinking. Therefore, various institutions have been set up to restore and treat drug abuse either by the government or private bodies. There are various approaches have been taken in the form of treatment such as modern, traditional, or from religious perspective. The combination of spiritual and physical treatment is unique and the approach is the focus of this study. This uniqueness is based on spiritual treatments that function as the main center for external health. The scope of the study is on the treatment process to drug addicts with special observation at the rehabilitation centre in South Thailand that is, Madrasah Anharol Ulum, (MAU). MAU is an institution that responsible in rehabilitating and nursing teenagers who are addicting with drug and restores them through Islamic treatment. The study is a field research which will examine the forms and methods of drug rehabilitation treatment in MAU. In order to meet this goal, deep interviews and literature studies were conducted. The information obtained was analyzed through content analysis. The study found that there are three aspects which have been emphasized in the recovery treatment, that are. spiritual, physical and soft-skill .

Keywords: DrugrecoverytreatmentIslamMadrasah AnharolUlum


Nowadays, problem of drug addict is seen as a global problem throughout the world and contributes to the increase in the annual statistic of drug abuse (Chie et al., 2015). The activities areforbidden which impeding in achieving maqasid syariah that aims to preserve religion, life, intellect, heredity and wealth. The drug abuse will damage a healthy mind, slow down the intelligentand create to unhealthy society. The problem is seen to be increasing year by year and this phenomenon is alarming the government (Chie et al., 2015).

Therefore, various institutions have been set up either by government bodies or non-governmental organizations, as well as by private entities in order to restore and treat for the drug abuse. Various mechanisms have been used in the treatment either in a modern or traditional or spiritual way. In this study, the discussion will focus on drug rehabilitation centres that adopt and practice a combination of spiritual and physical elements, through an inclusive religious method that was experienced by Madrasah Anharol Ulum (MAU) in Thailand.

Problem Statement

Based on statistic, most of drug addicts in Malaysia are Malay Muslims (Abdul Fatah, 2009). Data shows that the number of drug addicts is increasing every year. A total of 16,646 of drug addicts in 2010 compared to 15,736 in 2009, even after recovery measure is taken by the Drug Detention Centres (PUSPEN) or National Anti-Drugs Agency (Chie et al., 2015). The significant increase is believed due to easy in getting drug supplies as the distance between Malaysia and the golden triangle (Thailand, Laos, & Myanmar) is not too far. The golden triangle is known asa production center for narcotic. In order to recover the addicts, the Malaysian government has established 28 rehabilitation centers throughout the country. In 2001, the number of drug addicts who received treatment and rehabilitation was 13,339 and the number increased by 6.2% in the following year to 14,163. In the Islamic law, drug abuse is unanimously endorsed as illegal by the National Fatwa Council. The negative effects on oneself as well as to the society causing it to be considered contrary to maqasid shariah .

Good consideration is the value that one needs to have. An individual should be able to control the mind, spiritual and emotions so that he/she can become a good man kind. Therefore, in the case of drug addicts, weak consideration and frail way of thoughts should be recovered to rejuvenate self-value of one person. A strong spiritual life will provide an effective remedies to overcome the said problem especially for the drug addicts. It was sad to distinguish that more than 70% of drug addicts in Malaysia are Muslims (Khalid, 2008). This figure needs to be changed in order to put young Muslims as a leader of religious and national influential. In this case, the recovery should be done from the beginning and it must be one off. The method is through the building of high awareness among the addicts and is achieved through religion and value awareness. Therefore, this paper discusses on the process of recovery by focusing on drug rehabilitation center that using the element of spiritual treatment. In this motivation, MAU is chosen due to its treatment practice which uses the spiritual method of management.

Research Questions

The research question is anenquiry that helps in focusing on the desired answers, in which it will respond to the objective of the study. Among the questions are, how far Islam concerned about building spiritual value to form a strong personality? What forms of spiritual practice that are applied in MAU for drug recovery purposes? How long the recovery process took place and how far the recovery is succeed?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is a key to research, which is to solve the research problem. In this study, the purpose of the study is to investigate the role of Islam in the recovery of the patient. Examining the importance of spiritual characters in building a personality, and then reviewing treatment operations on Islamic drug addicts in MAU and to examine the extent to which spiritual practice can help eliminating the symptoms of drug abuse.

Research Methods

This study is a qualitative study in which data is collected through library research and field research. Through library research, books and journals were referred to comprehend theory, history and development of the issue. While interviews were conducted to further consolidate data that were collected from literature. An unstructured interviews with MAU administrators were also done to get more in-depth information about real practice as well using observation technique while in the location. Then, the data that were collected will be analyzed using content analysis method. In term of literature, it also known as document analysis which is a one way of finding significant information from printed material through synthesizing and assessing of facts (Jasmi, 2012). Meanwhile in term of interviews analysis, it became a support tool and determinant aspect of the accuracy of a read fact. All of these methods will be filtered from raw data to precise data that is ultimately synthesized to the study's findings.


The findings of this study are divided into three aspects that are:

Background and Activities at Madrasah Anharol Ulum (MAU)

At the beginning, Madrasah Anharol Ulum is a traditional institution ( pondok ) for religious education. MAU was established in early 2003 and started from a small structure. Initially the pondok was established by Haji Abdul Kassim bin Abdul Kader who leading a committee, the Madrasah Management Board which responsible to funding the MAU. MAU is fully completed in early 2013, built on a waqf ground located on an island of Klong Kham, at Krabi, Thailand. MAU main source of funding is from the contribution of the public, zakah, waqf and student fees.

The MAU has numbers of blocks which consist of dormitories, musolla, home for headmaster ( mudir ), dining halls, cooking halls, and toilets.

The pondok began to change from a religious education center to a drug rehabilitation center after receiving a 16-year-old student/trainee who was a drug addict. Mudir of MAU at that time, Baba Abdul Razak felt responsible and wanted to help the trainee through religious care method. This step is to inculcate love and create a sense of family among MAU’s communities. Instead of learning religious acquaintance, trainees also disclosed with spiritual strengthening and social skills (Mustafa, 2017). These disciplines are important to instill a self-esteem’s individual, in addition to diligently practicing religious teachings. In order to manage the MAU, it has 10 main assistants who acts as guidance and mentor to trainees. The number of trainees usually does not exceed 10 people in one group. Each trainee only pays 2500 baht equivalent to RM250 a month for a meal and a lodging fee. The number of trainees who received guidance in MAU is about 1300, where the majority are teenagers.

In order to inculcate religious observance as well as faithful devotees, daily activities at MAU are in similar with any other pondok institution, which were scheduled to be neat, containing spiritual observes as well as outdoor activities (Mustafa, 2017). (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
See Full Size >

Daily activities at MAU start as early as 3.50am and end at 9.30pm. Activity begins with the purification of the soul at early of the morning, followed by learning class, the physical work and ends with the realization of the soul. In general, the trainees are busy with the seeking knowledge and social activities between them (Mustafa, 2017). Everyone is applied with a helpful attitude, namely the attitude of caring and compassion among fellow trainees. In addition to religious matters, trainees are also trained to be independent and have high self-esteem, such as being taught to cook, plant and carpentry. On weekends, routine activities such as Qur’an recitation and check the reading was applied especially for those who memorized certain verses. MAU also implement strict rules where violations of the rules can be fined, such as being removed from be a trainee. Any activity that is not in line with MAU objective is strictly prohibited and the trainees is forbid from watching television and listening to radio. The trainees of MAU are also provided with a set of uniforms for identification purposes.

The process of recovering drug addiction at MAU

Based on the observations, there are three stages that can be taken into account in managing trainees at MAU that are, the early, the intermediate, and the final stage (Mustafa, 2017).

The early stage is a stage that initiate to eliminate trainees’ addiction. The treatment method is 100% based on Islamic rituals, which focusing on mental, spiritual and psychological recovery. The method is by performing night prayers ( tahajjud ), remembering the God ( dhikr ), congregational prayers ( jama’ah ) and sunnah prayers that associated with compulsory prayers ( rawatib ). All of those rituals can shape a self-realization to trainees and provide spiritual energy towards consciousness of the goal of human creation and offer many psychological gain. This standard schedule allows them to be punctual, well-organized, and positive of the worth of time (Hani, 2013). They will realize the purpose of life and their role on the earth towards the Creator and surroundings. Thus, Islamic healing perspectives involve cognitive aspects reflecting upon a behavioural log of daily actions (Haque & Keshavarzi, 2014). To add, at this stage also the trainee have to do night bath. Applying cold water to the body is the best recovery step to eliminate drug addiction which function as a hydro-therapy. Therefore, taking bath during day and night as well as put an ablution are the ones that are mandatorily imposed especially when the feeling of addicted comes. The bath and ablution are symbolic deeds to purify soul, while the ritual of dhikr is to make someone who has a clean and resilient heart. However, all those practices do not interfere with trainees’ medications who are being prescribed with medications from the hospital.

At the intermediate stage, the trainees will be busy with a full daily schedule. Trainees have to attend classes which contains spiritual and ethical syllabus. At a meantime, they are trained to memorize the Qur'an based on some particular chapter. From the sunna, the Prophet Mohammad used to seek protection and remedy from Allah by reciting certain verses of the Qur`an. This reflects on the need of spiritual involvement for good health (Rahman, 2016). Their memorization will be reviewed from time to time. In addition, they are also trained to fast on every Monday and Thursday. Thus, by attending and classes and memorizing the Quran, this makes them busy with daily tasks. As a result, they are unconsciously forgetting the past stories and focusing on new life. They become disciplined, respectful of time, carry out their daily duties and responsibilities with great dedication and perseverance (Mustafa, 2017). However, there are also trainees who are difficult to comply with this training schedule. They will be punished in order to discipline them by restricting their movement and return them to comply with the earlier stage.

The final stage is a stage that the trainee's addiction has been reduced well as well as they have learnt the training programme. The trainee is capable practicing the rituals by themselves, they become mentors to others and assist in the implementation of activities in MAU. Therefore, all activities and rituals from night prayers, fasting, reading and memorizing the Qur'an as well as dhikr are continues to apply in their daily life. It became their routine and increase the amount of reading and memorizing Quran from time to time. Indirectly, such spiritual activities and rituals have caused a change in themselves and their future life perspective. The ethics and moral value also being improved. At this time, trainees will be trained to cook, do their daily work such as washing, planting and carpentry. This is important as a basic knowledge that enables them to be independent after leaving the MAU. In a meantime, continuous counselling and motivation will always be provided by counsellors to each trainee to ensure that each trainees has completely changed and recovered, as well as have a focused life guide.

Analysis of recovery focus in MAU rehabilitation treatment

Based on the daily activities and the stages of recovery treatment at MAU as discussed earlier, researchers found that there are three aspects that are emphasized in treating MAU's trainees, that are spirituality, physical, and soft skills (Mustafa, 2017).

The most dangerous drug effect is that it destroys the emotion and intelligent of mankind. Therefore at the beginning of treatment process at MAU, the focus is at treating spirituality by recuperating soul and intelligence. According to the Third Edition Dictionary, spirituality comes from word spiritual, which means sense (intelligence), soul and values of life. These elements formed as spirituality features, which need to be restored so that their minds return to adhere the greatness of God and observe their role as human being. Thus, his recovery aim will restore their psychological aspects and at the same time rebuilding their intellectuals. The process also setting a balance between physical and spiritual needs (Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, 1993) which as a result will produce the perfection of human identity who knows responsibilities. This has been explained in the Qur'an which means, “The believers have indeed attained true success; those who, in their prayers, humble themselves” (Al-Mu’minun: 1-2). Therefore, the appreciation of religion serves as a spiritual or mental needs in one’s daily life. In this case, al-Ghazali has outlined that the beneficial manners of human beings is by adhering to religious teaching and knowing the God, as he said which means, “and the most beneficial manners is to cultivate and understand religion, zuhud in the world and makrifat (wisdom) of Allah SWT” (Ahmad & Hassan, 2015).

Thus to build a superior Muslim individual, a person's focus must be re-established by knowing the purpose of his life on earth. In this case, performing worship such as prayers, reciting Quran and dhikr (chanting) will definitely help one's spiritual to survive and flourish (Saniotis, 2015; Fatah Yasin, 2012). In this way, spiritual aspect is also significant in generating positive values and commendable qualities. For instance, dhikr is observed as a psycho-physical therapeutic exercise, imaging the believer in propinquity with Divine curative (Saniotis, 2015). The spiritual aspect also has a close relationship with the nature of self-determination to produce good morals. This is because, a straight character is the manifestation of a healthy spiritual soul (Ahmad & Hassan, 2015). According to al-Ghazali (1988), an outside character of someone is derived from the state of one individual soul ( ruhiyyah ). Hencein order to fix the character, the treatment should go to one soul and heart (Ahmad & Hassan, 2015). The view is in line with what have been opined by Baba (2013) that education and application of religious rituals play an important role in building spiritual health. It will cause feeling oftaqwa and faith in God. The argument has been acknowledged by the Spiritual Research Foundation (2012), Ahmad, Sipon, and Abdul Mutalib, (2007), that recovery and treatment are very related to one's psychology and spirituality which then produce goods morality and intelligence. They will know what is good and bad, as well as what needs to be done first.

In physical aspects, the treatment involved on an external body or physical appearance. In this perspective, the healthy of the outside body is represent from the inner side. Thus, the spiritual aspects that discussed above is a significant factors towards the outside of an individual. According to Mohamad Jodi, Mohamad, and Che Seman (2014), religious and spiritual elements play an important role in influencing physical health. The fact is parallel to the Arab proverb, "A healthy mind is in a healthy body". Hence, physical activities should also be prioritized among trainees by doing enough exercise, adequate sleep and rest. There has to be balanced between spiritual aspect and physical activities, so that the development of the mind is maintained through a healthy body. Luckily, some of the rituals in Islam involve both spiritually or physical like prayer. In this case, science perspective has approved that prayers ritual (solat) has its influence on human nervous system as well as assists in the psychotherapy process of neurological discrepancies and musculoskeletal destructions. To add, it also capable for mental and physical health as different postures of prayer helps to recover stagnant and dynamic balance (Ghous & Malik, 2016). In fact, God loves his strong servant as the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said;

"The strong believer is more beloved to Allah than the weak believer " (narration by Muslim).

A healthy person can perform a good and perfect obligation, as being a caliph of God. Therefore, MAU trainees are obliged to perform most of physical task such as congregational prayers, rawatib prayers as well as other outdoor activities.

The last aspect is an initiation of a soft skills to trainees. The skills are the knowledge that must be mastered in this life regardless of status in society. Indirectly, the recovery process at MAU not only takes care of the addiction of trainees, but also makes them ready to return to community and family life (Esa, Abd Aziz, & Mohamad, 2014). Among the skills is to control one sentiment and be well-mannered to even those who one hates. The urge is to change the heart to be positive towards others with feeling of full of love (Zainal et al., 2015). The exposure and skills that are acquired during the recovery program function as a supply for them to manage their lives after walking out from MAU. The faculty of self-esteem and independent that are taught to the trainees is parallel to the prophet (pbuh) once said, “... you know more about your world, and then do what you want...” (narration by Ibn Majah)

Mastering certain skills in life is a challenge that has to be explored. This requirement is in line with today's world challenge, in order to bring good and benefit to ummah . According to Zainal et al. (2015), the training skills are not only provides for specific purpose, but should bring goodness in a wider perspective. In the case of MAU, it should benefit the trainees on the whole point of view especially in their life outside the rehabilitation. The taught skills are of common needs such as on career guidance, entrepreneurship, information and communication technology (ICT), problem solving, teamwork, interpersonal, and personality development. However, these skills are trained based on personal tendency and interest (Idris, 2013). This is because one's interests and skills are vary. The MAU trainees can freely explore their own potential such as painting, tying bricks, building banners, cooking, planting, and so on. This freedom can give them satisfaction in starting a new life, which can guarantee a brighter future.


Based on the above discussion, the study found that a spiritual aspect is strongly emphasized in the recovery process for drug addicts at MAU. This emphasis has started from the beginning through the process of correcting spiritual and psychological. Then, other aspects of physical and soft-skills are taught as a continuation of the treatment process. The association of those three aspects is in line with the emphasis of the scholars about human well-being, beginning with soul cleansing, physical emphasis, and the application of skills and knowledge. Therefore, the method of treatment at MAU is paralled with the responsibility of a Muslim in his real life. When a Muslim performs all obligatory instructions and is accompanied by additional rituals ( sunnah ), in fact he has performed for a quality spiritual and physical exercise to his good self.


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23 September 2019

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Zaki*, M. M. M., & Sulong, J. (2019). The Islamic Treatment For Drug Addict: A Case Study At Madrasah Anharol-Ulum, Thailand. In N. S. Mat Akhir, J. Sulong, M. A. Wan Harun, S. Muhammad, A. L. Wei Lin, N. F. Low Abdullah, & M. Pourya Asl (Eds.), Role(s) and Relevance of Humanities for Sustainable Development, vol 68. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 337-345). Future Academy.