Welcome to Maristan
“Maristan” literally means “Place of Health”.
Historically “Maristan” and “Bimaristan” was the name given to hospitals throughout the Muslim world; hospitals were also called Dar-al-Shifa / Darussifa in places like Turkey.
One such Maristan was constructed by Nasrid Sultan Muhammad V in 1365. Its remains still lie at the bottom of the Al Bayzin district, across from the Alhambra. You can see them in the photo to the left.
Some Maristans, including the one you see, evolved to become a treatment center for the mentally ill. The treatment of mental illness has been a part of Islamic tradition for hundreds of years. The treatment incorporated holistic remedies like nature, music, water, and aromatherapy.
Our company Maristan is so named in order to continue this rich Islamic tradition.
Maristan, the Company
Maristan began as a vision of Asma Ali, it’s founder. While practicing psychotherapy in 2014, she realized that many individuals need a safe place of
healing to go to, away from the challenges of every day life, where they can receive professional care and support and build a sense of community, which she believes is essential to healing. She believed a wellness centre would serve this purpose and called the vision Maristan because it represented her vision. In 2017, she began Maristan with just retreats and in 2019, founded a physical centre just up the hill from the historical Maristan in Granada.
The vision of Maristan is to provide a place of refuge, solace, healing and transformation for individuals, where they can hold life in perspective and work through the changes required for transformation with professional and spiritual support. Maristan takes a holistic approach to transformation, engaging the mind, body, heart and soul in the process.
Asma works with her husband, Tariq Mahmood on Maristan programs. Many programs are a partnership
of our respective companies. You can find more information on us under “Guides”.
We also contract additional professionals to work with us, including mental health professionals, Islamic teachers and local guides and wellness
(e.g. yoga, massage) practitioners.
Alfonso Fernández Vázquez, & Rubén Mañá Ares. (2016). Islamic heritage in psychiatric cares. The Maristan of Granada. Cultura de los cuidados, 45, 52–63. https://doi.org/10.14198/cuid.2016.45.06
Ergin, N. (2015). Healing by Design? An Experiential Approach to Early Modern Ottoman Hospital Architecture. Turkish Historical Review, 6(1), 1–37. https://doi.org/10.1163/18775462-00601001
Pérez, J., Girón-Irueste, F., Gurpegui, M., Baldessarini, R. J., & de Leon, J. (2013). The Lions of Granada Maristan. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(2), 152–153. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12081066
Tanriover, S. H. (2016). Healthcare architecture on the Silk Road: Darussifas built by the Seljuk and Ottoman Empires on the Anatolian Trade Routes. Archi-Cultural Interactions through the Silk Road. 108.