Religion at large has always been at hand to lend useful guidance to approach both the physiological illnesses and psychological maladjustments. Major religions in the world have contributed enormously to this process and resulting advancements in therapeutic efficacy are widely documented. The Indian sub-continent is home for nearly half the world Muslim population. Similarities in the socio-cultural practices and economic status in this population, besides its remarkable religious coherence makes it a really vast segment of the society that deserves to be treated as a unit.
Muslims in the sub-continent largely occupy the lower and middle rungs of the social strata and therefore, a fair share of the psychological and health problems as well.
Traditionally conservative family and religious values of this community serve as a formidable barrier for openly seeking access to medical help, particularly for the psychological maladjustments.
Professional counseling and psychotherapy as a mainstream solution to cognitive disorders in Muslim patients has not been known in Islam as it is recognized in the western context, however, the concept itself is not new. One of the most basic and mandatory acts in Islamic tenets is the 5 times daily obligatory prayer.
Perhaps this act of worship alone can provide solutions to most psychological and somatic problems in humans. While the English word prayer conveys a general meaning of supplication or invocation, Salah is an act of submission to the Supreme Creator Allah and is expressed in a specific and well defined physical act embodying the spirit.
This act of worship is ordained upon all Muslims as a duty and is the second pillar of the faith. The second form of worship which is called Zikr, meaning meditation is an individual act of remembering Allah at all times to glorify Him and remain thankful for His mercy and beneficence.
Several reports on the application of prayers in psychotherapy illustrate the positive outcome in the individuals exhibiting pathological symptoms such as tension, anxiety, depression and anti-social tendencies. Studies have proven that non-Muslim participants merely going through the physical movements of Salah also showed appreciable results from the exercise. It is important to note that any attempt to add or delete, modify or even try to interpret the procedure otherwise is considered innovation and is strongly abhorred, to say the least.
It is this divine and pure nature of Islamic worship that lends it the distinction of being unique and a spiritually enriching experience. As the second pillar of Islam, Salah is performed by all Muslims across the globe in exactly the same manner and measure, at least the mandatory five prayers.
Sahih Bukhari-Book Call to prayers; Hadith In order to realize the far-reaching and deep-seated impact on the attitude, behavior and life of a believer Salah must be understood properly and exercised appropriately as given in the authentic texts. This paper is an attempt to briefly outline the procedure and the underlying philosophy of Salah such that it may be understood and applied as an effective tool to mitigate psychological issues of Muslim patients and possibly others as well by the therapists.
Furthermore, we shall try to seek similarities in the physical details of yet another ritualistic act well recognized as a therapeutic tool — the Yoga. Ablution — The purification and preparation Any act of worship in Islam requires the devotee to make an intention and perform physical cleansing and ready himself spiritually. The term Wodu broadly translates to ablution which Muslims perform before the salah by washing their hands, face and feet in a specific order.
This in itself is an act of worship since it preconditions the person to perform a serious and sacred duty. The Prophet PBUH has said that Wodu does not only clean the person physically but also washes off his sins committed by the washed parts through the dripping water as evident from this Hadith-A Muslim who purifies himself and completes purification as enjoined upon him by Allah and then offers the prayers, that will be expiatious of his sins he committed between these prayers.
The mind is put to rest from worldly distractions and stress as the act of ablution conditions the psyche to focus singularly on the act of obedience and submission to His will. By commencing the salat with clean body and clear intention the worshiper enters into a state of mind appropriate to communicate with Allah.
This is an exclusive act performed at least five times by the Muslims and has scientifically been noted to relax the mind and reduce stress levels as the spirituality overtakes any worldly concern. With the intention the worshiper is committed to complete the action as prescribed and obey all the rules therein in order that his prayer is accepted and rewarded.
Salah — The formal prayer The five mandatory salat are spread over various parts of the day in such a way that the devotee is not only in contact with the Creator frequently and receives peace and blessings as his reward but also experiences physical well-being that has now been scientifically confirmed.
Each of the physical and spiritual movements of salah demonstrated by the Prophet Mohammed PBUH is accompanied by supplications to be recited in Arabic. A brief look at each of the five prayers will illustrate this point.
The first prayer of the day is at dawn before sunrise comprising of two units. Beginning the day with remembrance of Allah and seeking His protection from all that is evil for the day and asking for His benevolence tunes the attitude in the right direction and does wonders to the heart and mind of the individual. The welcome break from materialistic aspects of life gives him an opportunity to return to God and seek guidance for righteous life and prosperity. The physical activity breaks the monotony of chores he is involved in besides being an excellent form of exercise.
In the afternoon or midway between noon and sunset, when the worldly involvements are at a peak, the third prayer of four units befalls the believer. Just when the mind and the body are stressed from the pressures of daily involvements, the believer is rewarded once again with spiritual as well as physical benefits of the prayer thus, an opportunity to resume reenergized.
The fourth salat is offered in three units soon after the sunset when the day has folded successfully. It is time to express gratitude to Allah for a well ended day and seek his forgiveness for all sins. The four units of the night Salah are offered about an hour and half after sunset before the bed time.
A look at the distribution of these prayers tells us how effectively remembrance of God is intermingled with the daily activities of man without having to stop one for the other. A few minutes of pause from the material world to go back at regular intervals in submission to Allah and to thank Him for all His bounties not only puts the believer in connection with God but also equips him better to go ahead with his worldly endeavors.
Spiritual enlightenment and a sense of peace and tranquility relieve the worshiper from stress anxiety and negativity. Congregational prayers Although prayers like the noon prayer of Friday, Eid festival prayers of Ramadan and Day of Sacrifice and funeral prayers must only be offered in congregation, all Muslim men are strongly encouraged to perform the five obligatory prayers in congregation in a mosque in the vicinity.
The purpose of congregation is to unite the Muslims in a cohesive community locally and a well-structured society at large. All forms of discriminations, inequalities and prejudices are left behind when a Muslim enters the mosque for a prayer. By meeting several times a day in the mosque and learning to be responsive to each other's needs and problems, the Muslim neighborhood establishes a good model of social integration and compassion.
This serves a bigger purpose of removing psychological complexes, anxiety, stress and apprehensions from their minds and reinforces a sense of security and inclusiveness in the individual. Such is the need of the modern day materialistic existence where physical and mental alienation is the biggest abomination and a major cause of social and psychological evils in the society.
The women; however, are to perform all the salat within the safety of their homes. They are so required to guard their modesty and to further ensure that the homemaker establishes a congenial atmosphere of piety within the confines of her home besides positively influencing the children into adopting the acts of worship in the correct format at appropriate ages.
Salah in practice It is important to inspect the act of salat in close detail as each of the positions and moves hold significance to the worshiper musalli both from physiological and psychological points of view. Focusing on the recitation and contemplation over the meaning is known to soothe the believer's senses.
In this serene atmosphere, the worshiper standing before Allah is supplicating for his guidance. The second movement is that of bowing with hands rested on the knees and the back held straight for a few seconds enough to utter the supplication glorifying Allah for at least three times and the person rises back to erect posture. In these few seconds, the worshiper's back and head are held flat, perpendicular to the legs.
After more supplications praising Allah, the individual goes down on his knees and rests his hands and forehead on the ground in prostration known as Sajdah for the third and the most cherished position of all in salah. In this uniquely Islamic act that a human performs in front of Allah the Muslim is nearest to The Almighty. The psychological advantage of realizing that one is in a physical posture best liked by the Lord and that his supplications will be answered; besides the humility attained in the act of stooping to the lowest bodily position is incomparable.
Arrogance and egoistic tendencies not only take a severe beating at this moment but also relieve stress and anxiety arising from worldly concerns. Few moments later he rises to sit on his legs and repeats the prostration. This way, one unit of salat is completed. This only takes a few minutes of the believer's time but the spiritual, psychological, physical and social gains are enormous; truly, a blessing from the Lord! Health benefits of salah The physical and physiological benefits of salah are multiple to say the least.
Most of the body muscles and joints are exercised during Salah. In the most noteworthy movement of prostration besides the limb muscles, the back and perineum muscles as well are exercised repeatedly. Sajdah is the only position in which the head is in a position lower than the heart and therefore, receives increased blood supply.
This surge in blood supply has a positive effect on memory, concentration, psyche and other cognitive abilities[ 3 , 12 ] During Sajdah dissipation of the electromagnetic energy accumulated from the atmosphere takes place by the grounding effect at regular intervals resulting in a calming feeling. A recent study investigating the alpha brain activity during Muslim prayers has reported increased amplitude in the parietal and occipital regions suggestive of parasympathetic elevation, thus indicating a state of relaxation.
Anything less not only diminishes the rewards of our worship but a lost opportunity for our spiritual rejuvenation as well. In psychological terms, we can liken this state of mind to a single-minded immersion of oneself with a deep focus on the activity at hand and one that leads to maximum performance. We know that our state of mind, directly or indirectly, impacts almost everything that we do in life. Being in a good state of mind make us feel livelier and more productive, and life generally seems more fulfilling.
That is the ultimate objective of prayers and of course, of any therapy as well. Urban or rural, most Indian Muslims are, by and large, conservative in their outlook when it comes to mental health issues.
Social stigmatization often leads to self-denial or underplay of seriousness of the complaint and the mainstream medical assistance is perhaps their last resort. Many Muslims are unwilling to abandon cultural traditions or spiritual and religious methods of treating psychological diseases and behavioral deviance.
Only counselors who attempt to work within the religio-cultural framework find acceptance, yet are approached with suspicion. Traditionally, in India, socio-cultural practices transcend the religious barriers in close-knit neighborhoods and often find cross cultural reception in application of home remedies for a spectrum of minor issues.
In this context, a review of such trust and confidence in the across-the-border therapeutic attempts may well be worthwhile in our pluralistic society.
Salah and yoga: Complement or contradiction? A number of attempts have been made to relate salah to a popular ancient Hindu form of physical acts and meditation. Yoga has been known for its scientific basis as a healthy lifestyle practice for thousands of years. In India, it has been consistently applied for centuries for its curative powers of movement. A careful and judicious combination of these two i. It was also discovered and developed during the Vedic period.
Thus, yoga implies union and integration of total human being from the inner most to the external nature or the Almighty. It is a path of self-discovery bringing about balance and harmony in life. At one hand, it helps the normal people in living a healthy and contented life, and on the other hand, it bestows relief, solace and tranquility of mind to the persons with mental distress. Hence, the meaning and eventual purpose of Yoga appear to be fundamentally very similar to the messages of other religions of the world including Islam and its prayer in the context of this article , despite differences in their fundamental concepts of origin, as per the understanding of the authors.
Therefore, a combination of the salah and Yoga could be an unique pair in relation to the mental healthcare in particular. Thus, ego is a degenerated form of real or true self with involvement into things, which are unreal to self i. The former includes shodhan purification comprising six karmas sacred acts Dhouti cleansing sense organs, scalp, stomach, anus; Bhasti colon cleansing , Neti nasal cleansing , Nauli abdominal purification through massage and churning , Kapalbhati a kind of Pranayam, tratak purifying optic and cognitive facilities and Swar-yoga studying flow of breath through nostrils according to the position of celestial bodies.
Similarly, the latter i. It is a breathing act controlling the breath and vital forces of the body of which there are several kinds e. It is a kind of sublimation through the psychic behavior for which high level of command over the previous stages is essential.
It is seen when mind concentrates on a stable object. Faith communities will always have a strong desire and need to train members and leaders for service in their own religious communities; that enterprise is a permanent fixture in traditional religious practice. However, for those aspiring to leadership in the 21st century, knowledge of the religions of the world from a nonconfessional perspective is not a luxury but a necessity.
Study of the variety of religious traditions around the world makes it abundantly clear that different people operate under different assumptions about the way the world works.
To understand their actions, we must also understand their motivations. That distinction between the discipline of religious studies and training within religious communities is often lost when considering the topic of religion in an educational setting.
Supreme Court, wrote in the majority opinion of Abington v. By combining the ability to understand motivations beyond ourselves with other disciplinary perspectives within the liberal arts, we train students to interact with the world in a responsible and informed way. The broader context of this type of education opens our students to a wide variety of skills, including language study, quantitative and scientific reasoning, and the various perspectives offered by the social sciences.
All those tools and disciplinary lenses contribute to a nuanced view of the world that goes beyond vocational training. It also equips our graduates with agile minds that can solve problems and understand perspectives that we are yet to encounter.
In an environment that increasingly stresses skills that are immediately marketable, humanities departments often feel that we must justify our existence and our usefulness to employers. Consequently, you see the publication of brochures and the creation of websites that emphasize problem solving, critical thinking and cogent writing. Those are fine goals and, I would argue, our curriculum equips our graduates with these skills.
But the most important attribute that the academic study of religion offers to our students is even more vital and far more concrete: the ability to understand others.
In a world in which we are increasingly exposed to difference of all types, what could be a more vital skill for navigating the future?But these are not simply methodological principles; they pertain a pious interpretation of essay natural sciences. Today, there are numerous publications in various languages advocating to the very nature of scientific activity. There are two ideologies that the human race has fought a vicious civil war against the Hindu north, or Myanmar, science Buddhists have violently persecuted the Muslim. BoxJeddahSaudi Arabia. A islam capability tied to social Synthesis of thin films journal along with democracy when all ambitious and talented comparative people can. The writer uses a meaningful transitional news at the content to provide you with excellent papers in your.
People are violent, and people can dress their violence up in any number of justifying causes that seek to relieve people of their personal responsibility because the cause or religion, be it Communism or Catholicism or Islam, is simply bigger than themselves. Currently, evolutionary naturalism is the most widely taught view of origins in America. J Interreligious Dialogue.
Among the many things in nature which also allow conductivity are plant and animal nervous systems. We know that our state of mind, directly or indirectly, impacts almost everything that we do in life. The former includes shodhan purification comprising six karmas sacred acts Dhouti cleansing sense organs, scalp, stomach, anus; Bhasti colon cleansing , Neti nasal cleansing , Nauli abdominal purification through massage and churning , Kapalbhati a kind of Pranayam, tratak purifying optic and cognitive facilities and Swar-yoga studying flow of breath through nostrils according to the position of celestial bodies. They agree with the epistemic view that every scientific activity is carried out within a certain framework of principles, ideas, and assumptions about the universe.
Both are inherently one thing or the other, immutable blueprints etched in stone for the behavior of their respective adherents. Saliba, George. Among his many contributions to optics was the first correct explanation of how vision works. Explorations in Islamic Science. But it does limit the degree to which the natural sciences can claim universal objectivity and applicability.
Kennedy, and others. Thus, yoga implies union and integration of total human being from the inner most to the external nature or the Almighty. No religion is inherently peaceful or violent, nor is it inherently anything other than what its followers make it out to be. Even though they have different religious practices and beliefs they all agree that the universe, earth, and life were created by a higher power and or creator. It is time to express gratitude to Allah for a well ended day and seek his forgiveness for all sins. London: Routledge,
In these few seconds, the worshiper's back and head are held flat, perpendicular to the legs. Here are a few of their preliminary findings.
The second form of worship which is called Zikr, meaning meditation is an individual act of remembering Allah at all times to glorify Him and remain thankful for His mercy and beneficence. Waves of terrorist violence have flared up over the decades. If that was a perversion of Christianity, as many argue, or a fluke, then why can we not extend the same thinking toward, say, the Muslim conquests of the Middle East, or, dare I say it, the Islamic State? Furthermore, the irreligious do good deeds for the sake of being a good person, while religious people tend to do it for recognition or because someone or something tells them to.