Benefits of Prayers
The Prophet(pbuh) said, "The metaphor of the five prayers is that of an sizeable flowing river at the door of one of you in which he washes five times every day." (Hadith, Muslim)
Prayer is performed with a series movements such as standing, bending, kneeling and prostration. Praying serves as an excellent exercise, which has a wide range of health benefits. Exercising regulary reduces blood sugar level and reduces the risk of blood cholesterol.
Effect on blood circulation
Prostration is a unique position as this is the only position in which the head becomes lower than the heart, whereas in all other positions (even when lying down) the brain is above the heart and the heart has to work against gravity to send blood to the brain.
In the position of Prostration, the blood gushes towards the brain and due to the increased blood supply, the brain receives more nourishment, which has a good effect upon memory, vision, hearing, concentration, psyche and all other cognitive abilities. People who offer their prayers regularly may have stronger willpower and they are less vulnerable to disorders of the cognitive functions.
When we are standing in daily life, blood tries to creep from the feet to the heart beacause it has to move in the opposite direction of the gravity. This fact increases the vein pressure over the feet dorsum and in the veins at the ankle joint. When prostrating, wein pressure in the feet is reduced which provides a nice rest to the veins that are normaly tired due to the pressure that occurs while standing. Therefore, performing prayers regularly decreases the risks of having varicose which is a dysfunction in the legs veins .
Effect on muscles
The unique position of prostration also has positive effects upon the back muscles as while going into prostration and getting up from it, the back muscles contract actively and they become stronger. It is because of this reason that a person who offers prayers regularly, seldom gets a backache or a herniated disk in spinal cord.
Stronger cervical muscles mean the cervical vertebra will be better protected. The strength of the cervical muscles is important, as the head rests upon cervical vertebra, supported by cervical musculature. It is uncommon that a person who offers his prayers regularly will get common neck ailments like myalgias or cervical spondylosis, because the neck muscles in particular become very strong due to the prostrations offered daily in five prayers.
Effect on internal organs
Most of us do not know that the position of prostration is an excellent exercise for humans. While rising from prostration the abdominal muscles pull the trunk back to sitting position and they contract actively. This exercise makes intestines work better and it is uncommon that a person who offers his prayers regularly will get common intestine problems like constipation.
Effect on bones
In the phase of youth and growth, human's bone cells are more in the stage of anabolism and bones become thicker and stronger. As human age advances, catabolism increases and bones become weaker. Exercises of the muscles and tendons, during the flexion and extension movements in the prayers, help increase anabolism and weakens catabolism cells. Prayers help the growth process in youth and slows down the process of weakening of the bones in older ages.
Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Abdullaah Ibn Masood narrated the following: I asked the Prophet(pbuh):
- Which deed is the most beloved to Allah(God)?
- Prayers performed on time.
I then asked:
- Which one is next?
- Goodness to parents. ( Hadith, Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)
Prayer is also a physiological relaxation that helps calm the human soul and is the best method to gain peace of mind. Performing prayers is a good and regular exercise that decreases several stress related disorders. Research has revealed that people who perform prayers regularly can deal with stresses in life in a better manner. Depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders occur less in people who perform prayer activities.
( pbuh = peace be upon him )
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