Islamic Perspectives

Health benefits of Salat

By Dr. Zakir Naik
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There are several health benefits of Salat – of offering Salat and as every Muslim knows that the best part of Salat is the sujood, that is the prostration in front of Allah.

No wonder, Allah has mentioned the word sujood, prostration, no less then 90 times in the glorious Qur’an. Where do you do sujood in Salat? Normally when you stand erect, blood does flow into the brain but this is not sufficient for a healthy brain. During Salat, when you go into sujood, extra blood flows into the brain, which is very important for a healthy brain. When you do sujood, this extra blood supply to the skin on the face helps prevent diseases such as chilblain etc.

When you do sujood there is drainage of sinuses and there are fewer chances that a person will have sinusitis, that is inflammation of the sinus. With this drainage of module sinus, of the frontal sinus, a person has less chances of having inflammation of the sinus, that is sinusitis.

There are various other benefits. For example, when a person does sujood even the bronchitis’, the secretion of the bronchitis, gets drained. There are less chances of having bronchitis.

When a person breathes normally, only two thirds of the capacity of his lung is exhaled out, the remaining one third remains in the lung as a residual air. Now when you do sujood the abdominal visra, they press against the diaphragm and the diaphragm presses against the lower part of the lungs, the lower lobes, and when you breath during sujood even this one third residual air is aired out and that’s very important for a healthy lung. As a result, there are less chances of having diseases of the lungs.

When you do sujood, there is increased venes return, there is less chance of having hernia, etc. Due to posture in sujood there is less chance of having hemorrhoid, that is piles.

In Salat, we stand up and we sit down, do qayam, ruku’, sujood and when we stand up from same position the weight is localized on the bottom of the feet and the calve and the thigh muscles are activated and they increase the blood supply to the lower part of the body, which is very important for health. Further, we do various postures like standing erect, bowing down, prostrating, the vertebra column takes various postures and there are less chances of having diseases of the vertebrae, of the spine.

There are medical benefits and you can give a talk only on this topic. But we Muslims, we offer Salat to thank Allah ta’ala, to praise Him. These are just side dishes. They are like dessert. You know it may attract a person who is a non-Muslim towards Salat but our main meal, our main biryani, our main course is to thank Allah ta’ala and to obey the commandments of Allah and the Prophet. That is the reason we offer Salat five times a day.

Salat is a sort of programming towards righteousness, that we are programmed towards righteousness. And the requirement is that it should be repeated a minimum of five times a day. For example, for a very healthy body, a doctor will tell you, you require a minimum of three meals a day. Similarly, for a spiritual soul, a person is required to offer Salat five times a day. And the requirement is that there are chances that because of the evil in the society around us, we may get de-programmed. So if we are kept on being re-programmed, there are more chances that you will remain steadfast on the Siraat al mustaqeem, on the straight path. Therefore, it is compulsory that every Muslim should offer Salat a minimum of fiave times a day.

Doesn’t Salat disturb my job productivity? If you know the rules of management, you will know that a person cannot work continuously for hours together. If a person comes to office at 9 o’clock in the morning and sits till 6 o’clock in the evening, continuously for 9 hours, in fact he will be less productive. That is the reason why there are some short breaks in between. So a person can get re-created, you know we have recreation. Similarly, Salat is a sort of recreation. It rejuvenates you. If someone tells me that I am losing time, I am less productive, because I waste 15 minutes having lunch break, I would say that he is not a logical person because only if he has meals regularly, can he do more work. Similarly if a person offers Salat at intervals, I do agree he will have to stop work for a few minutes but when he does so and he comes back to work he works with a much better frame of mind and productivity overall will be much enhanced. So for a logical person and a modern person he has to agree that there should be breaks so that a person can get recreated and Salat is the best form of rejuvenating your mind.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2011 on page no. 28

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