What are the health benefits of Salah?

Q. Nimaz padhne ke jismani fayde kya hai?
Brief Answermuslim-prayer-physical-benefitsPerforming Salah every day:
▻ Calms mind & body
▻ Reduces stress, anxiety & even epilepsy
▻ Reduces low back pain
▻ Decreases neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction
▻ Improves circulatory system
▻ Increases consciousness & longevity
▻ Increases the elasticity of joints
Reference: Aqlan 2017 IJISE 25(3):279-96

Detailed Answer

Salah or Salat or Namaz is like an exercise.

Mind is not directly under control.

Psychologists say that the human-mind is not directly under our control and many a times it keeps wandering. The body is directly under our control. If we want to raise our hands, we can raise them, if we want to take a step forward, we can do it. But human mind is not directly under our control. Therefore to humble the mind you have to humble the body and there is no better way of doing this than what we Muslims do i.e. to bring the highest part of the body i.e. the forehead to the lowest level (i.e. the ground) and then say ‘Subhana Rabbi al-Aala’, i.e. Glory be to Allah, the Most High.

Medical benefits of Salah:

Besides the spiritual and social benefits, there are several physical and medical benefits of Salah.

1. Ruku – Bowing:

During Salah when a person bows down in Ruku :-

a. Additional blood is pumped in the upper part of the body.

b. Spine is made supple.

c. Spinal nerves are nourished and this provides relief for back-ache and pain.

d. Effective posture against flatulence.

2. Ar-Rafu – standing after bowing:

When a person stands up from Ruku, fresh blood which was sent to the upper half of the body returns back to its normal flow and the body is relaxed.

3. Sajdah – Prostration:

health-benefits-of-prayer-salah-salat-nimaz-sajdah-prostration

Sajdah i.e. prostration is the most important part of Salah.

a. Electrostatic charges:

Daily people are subjected to electrostatic charges from the atmosphere. These charges are precipitated on the central nervous system which becomes super saturated. If these extra charges are not got rid of we may have headache, neckache, muscle spasms, etc.

The best way to get rid of these electrostatic charges is by dissipating them and discharging them out of the body. As a heavy electric appliance requires a three pin plug, the third pin and wire for grounding and earthing, similarly a human being has to earth these charges on the ground. He has to put his forehead on the ground. There will be maximum dissipation of the extra electrostatic charges from the brain and the central nervous system into the ground. In Sajdah the forehead is put on the ground, because the thinking capacity of the brain is in the fore lobe and not at the top of the head. Hence we receive peace and relaxation of mind and soul by prostrating during our five daily prayers.

b. Increased blood supply to brain:

During Sajdah, the blood supply to the brain is increased which is beneficial to the mind.

c. Increase blood supply to the face:

During Sajdah, the blood supply to the face is increased which promotes facial circulation especially in the cold season. It may also help to avoid fibrositis (muscle pain and tenderness) and chilblains (skin sores or bumps that occur after exposure to very cold temperatures) by increase of blood flow to face and neck.

d. Drainage of paranasal air sinuses face:

Five times regular Sujud (prostration) helps in drainage of paranasal air sinuses. The maxillary air sinus has its ostium at its upper and medial part and bending of the body will be like tilting a pot containing fluid. Normally due to the continuous erect posture throughout the day, the maxillary air sinus cannot be drained and a person suffering from maxillary sinusitis usually gets afternoon headache.

Similarly the frontal, sphenoidal , and ethmoidal sinuses drain better during the various postures of Salah.

e. Drainage of the bronchial tree:

Sajdah causes drainage of the bronchial tree and prevents the secretions from accumulating in it. It is a natural treatment for drainage of secretions in bronchiectasis and other pulmonary diseases leading to stasis of secretions, dust of various kinds and bacteria.

f. Exhaling of residual air:

Normally only 2/3 rd of the lung capacity receives fresh air. The remaining 1/3 rd is residual air . During Sajdah the abdominal viscera press against the diaphragm which presses against the lower lobes of the lungs and that helps in exhaling the residual air thus allowing more fresh air to be inhaled and thereby maintaining healthy lungs.

g. Increased venous return from the abdominal organ:

During Sajdah due to reduced gravitational force, the venous return from the abdominal organs are increased.

h. Useful against femoral and esophageal hernia:

The Sajdah and Ruku postures are very useful against femoral and esophageal hernia by decreasing pressure at these openings.

i. Prophylaxis against hemorrhoids (piles) and prolapse of uterus:

Sajdah can help a lot in prophylaxis against hemorrhoids (piles) and prolapse of uterus.

j. Increased venous return to lower half of the body.

During Sajdah when a person lays his body weight on legs flexed at knee, the soleus muscle (in the back part of the lower leg or calf) which has extensive venous network and is also called as the peripheral heart of the body is put into action which increases venous return from the lower half of the body and also acts as a massage for these muscles.

k. Beneficial against cervical and other spinal diseases

During Sajdah, a person supports his body on knees, hands and forehead. This posture has it is effects on the inter vertebral joints especially in the cervical and other spinal diseases. Due to the sedentary lifestyle and and lack of bodily movements, heart problems have increased in the modern world. The posture is Sajdah is an effective cure in cardiac disease.

4. Jalsa – Squatting:

i. Fresh blood which was sent to the upper half of the body returns to normally and the body is relaxed.

ii. Stimulates circulation in the nerves and muscles of the thigh.

iii. Relaxes the muscles of the body including those related to the spine.

iv. Eliminates indigestion and constipation.

v. Beneficial against peptic ulcer and other stomach ailments.

m. Rising back to standing position (Qiyam)

5. Rising from sitting to standing position on the toes puts the complete body weight on the toes and thus

i. Increases the strength of the muscles of the backbone, thighs, knees and legs.

ii. Reduces backache.

iii. Reduces degenerative disease of the knee.

6. Medical benefits are only side dishes, Salah is offered for pleasing and thanking Allah:

We Muslims do not offer Salah for all these worldly perks. We offer Salah to thank Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), to please Him and to follow His commandments. These health benefits are only fringe profits which may attract an unbeliever or a person of less faith. Thus our main course is to seek Allah’s pleasure.

Summarymuslim-prayer-health-medical-benefits-pain-reductionBy offering Takbir at the beginning of Salat, we move hand and shoulder muscles thereby increasing the flow of blood towards torso. Akamat performs a similar function. The most important function in Salat is Sajdah where we touch the ground with our forehead. This posture increases fresh supply of blood to our brain. In Tashahud position, our hip, elbow, knee joints, backbone, wrist joints move in a way that it provides a form of relaxation to our entire body. Pressure is applied on the body parts as if it was a kind of massage which releases tension. A remarkable tissue in our body is cartilage. It is unique in being a living tissue with no direct blood supply. The only way it receives nutrients and oxygen is by movements of the joints. Salat therefore, has many orthopedic benefits for all Muslims. These body movements performed during Salat are an excellent source of exercise for our heart as well. According to a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم) ,“There is an organ in the body, when it is healthy, the whole body is healthy, and when this is sick, the entire body becomes sick. It is the heart.” And Allah Knows the Best.

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