The Chicago Muslim Medical Alliance (CMMA), the largest network of Muslim physicians in Illinois, has released the following statement from President, Dr. Tajammul Hussain: “In response to recent events around the world, CMMA offers its deepest sympathies to the victims, families and communities impacted by these horrible attacks. No one should fear visiting a house of worship, a sacred place that embodies a sense of safety and peace. As an Islamic organization, it is our duty to stand by the principles of Islam including love, kindness and compassion for the oppressed. Such acts not only go against the teachings of Islam, they go against the moral teachings of humanity. We stand with citizens of all faiths in condemning acts of violence wherever they take place and whomever they target.”
How would you feel if your elderly neighbor needed to get an important doctor’s appointment but had no way of getting there? Dr. Tajammul Hussain, a Hematologist/Oncologist has seen this happen all too often with his own patients for the last 25 years. The Prophet (S) is narrated to have said: “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself” (Sahih Muslim). Knowing that the well-being of our neighbors plays such an important role in Islam, Dr. Hussain knew that he had to do find a way to help the elderly and disabled get the medical help they need.
Having practiced medicine all over the Chicagoland area, Dr. Hussain knew that there were so many other Muslim doctors who could make a difference if they worked together, by collaborating their efforts. He had to find a way to get Muslim doctors in Chicago to connect. While there are national organizations made up of doctors around the country, there was no way for doctors in a specific region, say Chicago, to connect with doctors nearby. So say you wanted to get a recommendation for a Muslim specialist, there was no way to do so unless you already had a social connection.
In early 2017, Dr. Hussain started talking to friends and colleagues in the medical field about creating a Chicago-based network of Muslim doctors. “I wanted to find a way to help each other in our profession that would be beneficial to everyone,” Dr. Hussain explains. His friends told their friends and colleagues and after finding enough doctors who were interested, in February 2017, Dr. Hussain hosted over 200 doctors and their families in what would be the first unofficial meeting of the Chicago Muslim Medical Association (CMMA).
The success of the meeting in February made it evident that the CMMA was something that was both wanted and needed in Chicago. In early March, Dr. Hussain created a WhatsApp group to bring together the friends and colleagues who had attended the meeting. Soon, so many requests were flooding in to join the WhatsApp group that it filled to capacity and a second WhatsApp group had to be created. “The main goal was to bring Muslim doctors together and it kind of happened on its own,” Dr. Hussain admits.
During this time, Dr. Hussain learned about a similar group in Dallas called the Muslim Medical Alliance, Dallas (DMMA). When contacted, the group in Dallas was happy to work with the CMAA and helped to get the CMMA established and up and running.
The CMMA held its first official meeting in June 2017, where over 300 doctors attended. The organization is led by 20 Board Members from all over Chicago to represent the different communities and diverse backgrounds of Muslim doctors in Chicago. Members come from all different types of specialties making it easy for doctors to help each other out, for example, an anesthesiologist can discuss an issue with a cardiologist through a simple text-message. The organization has six different branches: 1. Continuing Medical Education (CME) – These are educational events that have been approved for CME credits. Every program hosted by CMMA has a CME program as well.
2. Youth Mentorship – This branch helps students and medical students find opportunities to shadow, intern, do research and connect with a mentor to help guide them through their medical career.
3. Outreach – This branch works on local community and charity projects. CMMA is currently working with ICNA Relief to provide donations to its food pantry for local refugee families in the area. This branch is also working on establishing the first Muslim nursing home so elders in the community will have access to halal food, prayer areas, and Muslim doctors and medical staff. Through CMMA efforts, there are currently three different nursing homes that are serving halal food and have prayer areas in the Chicago area. CMMA also recently launched a matrimonial service for members to help their friends and family find suitable matches.
4. Islamic Entrepreneurship – CMMA is working on establishing a Muslim Accountable Care Organization (ACO) to help health care providers give coordinated high-quality care to their Medicare patients.
5. Networking – These include family events throughout the year to build strong bonds and solidify social networks within the CMMA community.
6. Financing – This is a program where CMMA members work with Islamic bankers to help students pay off their loans in a halal, interest-free way.
Since it first began, the CMMA has hosted multiple events for both doctors and their families and each event has included a CME program.
Less than one year since its inception, the CMMA Outreach branch is currently working on a program where community members can request to be picked up and driven to medical appointments or to a pharmacy, to pick up a prescription. While the CMMA is on its way to reaching one of Dr. Hussain’s initial goals, that’s just the beginning. As the organization continues to grow, the CMMA plans to expand its community programs and bring Muslim doctors in Chicago together to help those who need it the most.
Medical Care Services
Dental Care Services
Social Care Services
For a full list of services, please visit our services page