Fourteen centuries ago, our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) gave usa prescription of 26 washing movements to be carried out 5 times a day, a total of 130 daily washing movements, to grant us optimum health. “O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub yourheads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your wholebody. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces andhands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favor to you, that ye may be grateful.” —Al-Maida, Sura 5, Ayah 6[
• The Wudu comprises ofSTEPS OF WUDU washing the hands, arms right up to the elbow, face, mouth, nostrils, and feet up the ankle, all three times each. The inside and behind the ears, as well as the part of the head above the forehead is wiped once. • Done five times a day, it not only cleanses these vital parts of the body from dust and dirt but also "softens" and refreshes them.
• The obvious reason behind washing the mouth during ablution is to remove the food particles, which could cause teeth and gum problems. That is also the reason why miswak is also encouraged before ablution.• When washing one’s nostrils, one is also performing a preventive health measure as the germs trapped in the nostrils are removed and do not pass on to the respiratory system (lungs).• According to a study conducted by a team of doctors in Alexandria University, the Prophetic tradition, which urges the exaggeration of washing the nostrils by introducing the water in the nostril then blowing it out, positively affects the inner coating of the nostrils. Those who carried out the washing in the correct form had clean, shiny nostrils with no dust clinging to the small hair inside.
• Repeated washing of the face invigorates the facial skin cells and helps prevent early wrinkles as well as having a cleansing effect on the inside of the eyes, which prevents eye infections.• Washing the ear helps rid them from wax accumulation, which may cause ear infections as well as affecting the inner ear, which eventually causes body imbalances.• The Prophetic tradition of encouraging one to wash between the toes while washing the feet, is also extremely important as it prevents the foot, which in our modern times is trapped most of the day inside shoes, from acquiring athlete’s foot.
Ablution helps prevent skin cancer• The areas that are washed during ablution are the parts of the body that are most prone to be exposed to pollution, whether it is pollution from the internal secretions of the body on to the skin surface, such as sweat, or whether it is external. Ablution, removes this ‘pollution’ five times a day, and hence maintains a clean outside layer of skin, which in turn helps the cells underneath to function properly.• Research has proven that one of the main reasons behind skin cancer is that the skin is exposed to chemicals, especially petrochemicals, and that the best way to prevent skin cancer is by constantly removing these chemicals.
QIYAAM• During the voluntary clenching of the hands, blood flow is increased in the hand area and the brain.• When we recite verses from the Holy Quran various muscles are exercised. There is a bilateral increase in blood flow in the face, tongue, mouth sensory and motor areas, and the upper premotor cortex in the brain during speech . During creative speech, there is also an increase in blood flow in Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas of speech in the brain. Blood flow in the brain can be measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET.)
RUKU• Bowing (Ruku) is done by forward movement of the backbone.• The unique position of Ruku has positive effects on the back muscles. The back muscle contract actively and they become stronger.
SAJDAH• The position of Sajdah is the climax of Namaz and as mentioned in a Hadith a Muslim is nearest to Allah in this position.• Abu Huraira (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the messenger of Allah said:"The nearest a servant comes to his Lordis when he is prostrating himself, so makesupplication (in this state)“ [Sahih al-Bukhari]
SAJDAH• Sajdah is a unique position as this is the only position in which brain (or head) becomes lower than the heart and hence for the first time the blood gushes towards the brain with full force• In the position of Sajdah due to the increased blood supply the brain receive more nourishment and it has good effect upon memory, vision, hearing, concentration, psyche and all other cognitive abilities. People who offer their prayers regularly have more will power and can cope with the difficulties of life in a much better manner. They have less incidence of headaches, psychological problems and other defects of cognitive function.
SAJDAH• In the unique position of Sajdah the neck muscles get best exercise.• It is uncommon that a person who offers his prayers regularly will get the usual neck myalgias (pain) or cervical spondylosis as the neck muscles particularly become very strong due to the 34 sajdahs offered daily in five prayers.
JALSA & QAIDA • After performing Sajdah either the musalli stands up or he sits to pray Attahiyyat. In this position the person sits calmly while his hands rest at his thighs which are folded backwards. This is much similar to the relaxation position of Yoga and has soothing effect upon ones health and mentation.
**IMPORTANT** It must be reminded thatprayer is not meant to be anexercise. However there area lot of medical advantages associated with it
MEDICAL ADVANTAGES ASSOCIATED WITH SALAT• Salat prayer has psychological, musculoskeletal and cerebral effects• Salat has special characteristics in that it is a short duration mild-to-moderate psychological, physical and brain activity. Scientific evidence also supports the notion that even moderate intensity activities, when performed daily, can have some long-term health benefits (American Heart Association)
• It improves memory especially with constant repetition of the Ayaat (verses) from the Holy Quran. This constant repetition of the Quranic Ayaat would help to screen the mind from the incoming thoughts. It has been found by a Harvard University researcher, Dr. Herbert Benson that repetition of a prayer, Ayaat of the Quran or remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah or muscular activity coupled with passive disregard of intensive thoughts causes a "relaxation response" that leads to the lowering of Blood Pressure and decreases in oxygen consumption and a reduction in heart and respiratory rates.
The following benefits have been noted among those who perform the prayers on regular basis:• Burning off calories and losing weight• Maintaining muscle tone and body composition• Joint flexibility• Improving heart and lung function and aerobic capacity• Decreasing heart disease risk profile• Increasing your sense of self-control• Reducing your level of stress• Increasing your ability to concentrate• Reducing depression and resistance to depression• Helping you sleep better