Study Shows Prayer’s Physical Benefits
“Such research may attract Muslims and non-Muslims’ attention,” Abdullah said.(Reuters)
CAIRO — The initial results of an ongoing study by Malaysia’s top university has proved that postures of the daily Muslim prayers have physical benefits to the human body, the New Straits Times reported on Wednesday, December 13.
“The study investigates the physiological interactions and effects of the Muslim prayer postures on the human body,” Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi told the Third Kuala Lumpur International Conference on Biomedical Engineering, currently in session.
The study, conducted by the University of Malaya’s Biomedical Engineering Department, concluded that postures during the prayers are beneficial to the heart, spine and increasing the capacity for memory and attention.
Muslims pray five times a day, which each prayer made of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak’ah.
The faithful starts in a standing posture then bows down with his/her hands placed on his/her knees keeping the back straight.
The worshiper then returns to the standing position before prostrating with forehead, nose, hands, knees, and bottoms of the toes touching the ground. The forearms and elbows should be raised off the floor.
Prime Minister Abdullah said the study affirmed the power of prayer in a person’s life.
“Since the majority of our population are Muslims, it is both of interest and importance that we not only understand the spiritual benefits of salat, but also … its biological and medical effects,” said Abdullah.
The University of Malaya (or Universiti Malaya in Malay) is the oldest university in Asian Muslim heavyweight Malaysia.
It is widely recognized as the top university in Malaysia and many prominent Malaysians are alumni of UM.
Likening the prayers postures to those in yoga, Abdullah said that practitioners of both would see the similarities and benefits.
“Such research may attract Muslims and non-Muslims’ attention,” he asserted.
Muslim Malays comprise about 60 percent of Malaysia’s 26 million people, while ethnic Chinese and Indians – most of them Buddhists, Hindus and Christians – make up about 35 percent.
Abdullah said his country was committed to supporting the emergence and development of new scientific areas, especially those that have direct impact on the people’s quality of life.
“Development of new scientific areas also serves to move Malaysia up the global value chain.”
Malaysia entered the space club after launching on October 4 Southeast Asia’s first space center, in a major milestone for its plan to see the first Malaysian astronaut blast off next year.
Abdullah has been encouraging Muslims worldwide to give equal importance to education, science, technology and development alongside the spiritual aspects of the religion.
Malaysia, the current chair of the umbrella Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), offers the image of an ideal Muslim country, heading towards the status of developed nation with huge buildings, beautiful cities and a fast track economy.
[Source: Islamonline.net and Newspapers]