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A Deeper Insight into Prayer

Tuesday 06/07/2010


·        Five phrases that help you stay healthy
The Quran says (what means): {"Give glad tidings to those who exercise patience when struck with adversity and say, 'Indeed, we belong to God and to Him is our return.' Such ones receive [the] blessings and mercy of their Lord, and such are the guided ones."}
The human brain works in harmony with the other organs of the body and receives nutrients and hormones from the same bloodstream. If we keep this in mind, we can understand how the mind affects us physically and vice versa.
Staying patient and calm is the key to physical strength, and this fact is confirmed by the Prophetic narrations. In a Hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), said: "The strong [person] is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong [person] is the one who controls himself while in anger."
Strenuous mental activity uses up the body's mineral resources. For example, the mineral phosphorus can be depleted by mental stress and a lack of spiritual calm. Similarly, due to a disruption in the functions of the thyroid gland -- the primary organ to handle our emotions -- we can suffer from a deficiency in iodine. Stress in any form can cause a loss of potassium and sodium in the body because it affects the adrenal glands, creating a greater need for these minerals. 

In fact, even conditions like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be caused by nervous excitement. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), advised and exemplified the moderate path in life for humanity in all his actions. However, we often engage in or expose ourselves to intense excitement and stimulation by yelling, excessively watching television, and going to the mall, movies, parties, amusement parks, etc. When we see something exciting, our adrenal cortex is stimulated and there is an increase in our blood sugar. This, in turn, stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin into the blood to lower the sugar level, causing us to feel tired or weak. 

All this notwithstanding, we still have a measure of control in our lives to introduce healthy habits and tranquility in our lives. The key is to say the words "Alhamdulillah" for the situations we face and whatever decree of Allah The Almighty comes to us. We should try to keep our home and work environments tranquil and as free from stress as possible. One way we can counteract the effects of stress are to simply be aware of the stress we are encountering, and to consume sufficient nutrients and supplements such as herbs. 

One such time when we undergo a period of strenuous physical and mental activity is the month of Ramadan. For instance, if a person is up late praying or reading the Quran during Ramadan, they can eat nutrient-rich food to make up for the loss of vital minerals like phosphorus. Similarly, if a person is traveling or performing Hajj or 'Umrah, they should increase their intake of foods rich in potassium and sodium as well as vitamin B complex.

In conclusion, we ignore the relationship between mental, spiritual and physical health at our own peril. The only way to avoid having negative attitudes and emotions control our bodies is to implement the wisdom of the Quran and Sunnah. The five phrases which are as important as vitamins in our lives are:
·        "Alhamdulillaah" (Praise be to Allah) for what we have
·         "In sha' Allah" (If Allah wills) for what we intend
·         "Subhaan Allah" (Glory be to Allah) when we see something exciting or amazing.
·        "Astaghfir'Allah" (I seek the forgiveness of Allah) when we lose our tempers or become weak
·         "Allahu Akbar" when we are faced with the challenges of life.
Prayer regulates the body's natural ‘rhythm’
Modern scientific research has repeatedly proved the far-reaching benefits of the obligatory Muslim prayers (Salah). According to recent findings, the timings of the obligatory five daily prayers correspond with the natural physiological cycle of the body. In other words, if the normal activities of the body are set to a certain tempo, prayers are the synchronizers that regulate the ‘rhythm’ of the whole body.
In his book ‘Seeking Cure from Prayers’, Dr. Zaheer Rabeh explains that cortisone is the hormone of activity in the human body, that shows a sharp increase with the approach of dawn. It is also associated with the rise in blood pressure. People usually experience a spurt of activity right after dawn prayer between 6 and 9 a.m. Thus, the time after prayer is considered the best time for hard work and seeking livelihood. The Prophet Mohammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was quoted saying: “O Lord, give benediction to my Ummah (nation) in the early morning time.” Ozone, which has an invigorating effect on the nervous system, and muscular and mental activity, reaches the highest levels in air at such a time. 
As opposed to this, the forenoon (Dhuha), is a period when the secretion of cortisone reaches the minimum limits, leading man to feel exhausted with the stress of work, and the triggering the need to have rest. This is almost after 7 hours after a person has awoken early. 
This is followed by the time of noon (Thuhr) prayer, which gives the exhausted heart and body tranquility and repose. It was the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) to get approximately an hour of sleep in the afternoon. This enables one to take some rest and reinvigorates his energy levels. This is called Qayloolah (nap) before (Asr) (afternoon) prayer. The benefits of this short nap have been mentioned in the Prophetic narration: Get help with Suhoor (meal before dawn time) for fasting, and with Qayloolah for Qiyaam (voluntary night prayer).” The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said: Have Qayloolah, as Satans do not have it.”  
During this period there is an increase in an anesthetic chemical substance secreted by the body that has a tranquilizing effect and incites drowsiness and sleep. A person, having woken up early, will be at the lowest levels of concentration and activity. Thus, if a person foregoes sleeping at that time, his neuromuscular efficiency and general concentration decreases drastically for the rest of the day.  


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