Are There Any Physical Benefits of Prayer?
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Are There Any Physical Benefits of Prayer?

Questioner

Aziz

Reply Date

Dec 24, 2017

Question

I am wondering if there are any physical benefits for prayer in Islam. I need a solid source as I am going to use it for da`wah purposes.

Mufti

Answer


Are There Any Physical Benefits of Prayer?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

Some of the physical benefits of prayers include:

1- Standing up straight is a correct position for the spine.

2- Bowing at a right angle allows a flow of energy from the pituitary gland in the back of the head.

3- Placing the head on the ground in sujud (prostration) allows a large amount of blood to enter into the brain.

4- Sitting to say the tashahhud with the back straight and focusing all one’s attention on the right finger while moving it helps in enhancing the concentration.


Answering your question, Sheik Yusuf Estes, Director of islamtomorrow.com, and National Chaplain WAMY, states: 

Praise be to Almighty Allah Who made us Muslims, and entrusted us with the task of propagating this precious way of life.

Keep in mind that Islam is more than just a religion. In fact, as you well know, Islam is a complete way of life for all people, in all places and all times.

Giving da`wah has certain hard and fast rules that must be taken into consideration at all times. If you want to convince someone to become a Muslim and you try to show him that performing Prayer will somehow give him or her physical benefits in this world, you need to demonstrate a cautious approach.

There are many things that we do every day that do not necessarily have any scientific proof indicating physical benefits.

One clear example is performing Hajj (Pilgrimage) to the House of Allah. Could you tell me any scientific proof that there is a physical benefit behind gathering 2,000,000 people to go to the same place at the same time in a place that normally holds only around 200,000?

There is no physical benefit according to “modern science” for performing Hajj. So this type of argument would only take a person farther from the truth of Islam.

Concerning the “benefits” which “science” has made clear that one derives from physical positions or movements one assumes in the salah (Prayer), you might note the following:

1- Standing up straight is a correct position for the spine.

2- Bowing at a right angle allows a flow of energy from the pituitary gland in the back of the head.

3- Placing the head on the ground in sujud (prostration) allows a large amount of blood to enter into the brain.

4- Sitting to say the tashahhud with the back straight and focusing all one’s attention on the right finger while moving it helps in enhancing the concentration.

I recall back in the 1960’s a program on television called “Today Show”. It had a segment on overcoming a deficiency in proper mental development. The doctor, hosted as a guest speaker in the program, explained that in modern society, given the fact that people were not getting enough time during the early years of development as a baby to crawl on the ground, he had developed a special exposure and women would be crawling around on the floor doing this exercise which, according to how it was demonstrated on the show, meant their heads were hanging down. He said that this was a necessary part of the proper development of the brain and mental well-being.

However, I don’t advise that you use this type of approach in your da`wah. The reason is that it is not established from the Qur’an or the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that you need to give scientific proofs to call people to Islam.

Guidance is the main issue in calling to Islam. It is only Allah who guides and it is only Allah who misguides.

So, explain Islam the same way that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did and then pray to Allah to guide them.

This can be clarified more further through the hadith narrated by Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) sent Mu`adh to Yemen and said, “Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I am Allah’s Messenger, and if they obey you to do so, then enlighten them that Allah has enjoined on them five Prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the Zakah from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.” (Al-Bukhari)

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.




About Sheikh Yusuf Estes

a prominent Muslim scholar and director of Islamtomorrow.com

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