Across the Bedrock of Islam

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source link This process encourages us to observe our cultural practices with a critical eye, selecting only those cultural practices that do not contradict Islamic principles and that respect its religious creed. Separating between culture and religion is not an easy job especially for the first generation Western Muslims though it is easier for the second and third generations since they were born and raised in the host country and are more apt to adopt its culture and absorb its language.

Religion Vs. Culture: Where does Islam fit?

This may result in a generational conflict because new generations are not satisfied with some of the elements of the culture their parents carried from their country of origin. These elements are seen by younger generations as both un-Islamic and contradictory to the culture of the host country that they are more familiar with.

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This process of acculturation and cultural integration occurred in many countries where Muslim minorities reside. The new Muslim generations in Europe and the US are fully embracing Islamic principles, adhering to their Western culture and equally proud of their European and Western heritage. A recital of the following words by the pilgrim during Umra and Hajj: Love the token of faith, as taught by the Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad loved all those around him, loved all mankind. Subscribe to our mail list.

Where does Islam fit? Adjuicature Customs New Issues. All rights reserved to Dar al-Iftaa Al-Missriyyah. 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.

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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! 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.

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Khushu refers to a state of mind in salah when we stand in front of Allah and fully direct our minds and hearts towards Him. 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.

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From their majestic capital in Isfahan, the Safavids expanded their empire while patronizing artists and scholars. A process of cultural selection went underway to keep what did not contradict Islamic principles. However, in Algeria for example, they will use many local tunes as well, appropriate to the verse metre. The second level of diversity is cultural. 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. Call to prayers; Hadith

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. 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.

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If dictators in the Middle East or radical Muslim preachers oppose the as the bedrock of its civilisation – and for practising, informed Muslims, .. steps to abolish slavery and liberate women across the Arab world whose. Naipaul's controversial account of his travels through the Islamic world was the reader on a journey through some of the bedrock Islamic societies to winnow.

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 techniques and practices of mental healthcare in Yoga are: A Somatogenic and B Psychogenic techniques. 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.

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Similarly, the latter i. However, the entire domain of yogic sciences and its practices are only concerned with quality of life to be achieved through healthy, contented and spiritual lifestyles, and not at all related to any sect or religion. Thus, it does not involve any essence of partiality with Hinduism or superiority over Islam or any other religion of the existing world. Indeed, the aim of the authors is not to explore superiority of one religious practice over the other, rather, to prompt and suggest to the concerned clinicians as well as the clients to perceive these viewpoints as supplementary combinations toward the best possible benefits in mental healthcare.

Moreover, a direct one on one comparison between Islamic salah and the yoga will not be in order as the basic religious tenets are at variance and may result in sending inflammatory signals. Therefore, setting aside the core religious sentiments and basic tenets, and having a closer look at these two forms of worship reveal a number of similarities in their physical execution and the accrued medical and psychological improvements in the life quality of the practitioner. Central to achieving the desired outcome in either of the practices is the fact that they are rendered in the correct form and for the minimum effective duration.

Physical similarities between Salah and yoga are in the body movements that are repeated in a set pattern. When performed involving just the physical movement-hatha yoga and salah have been found to evoke comparable medical benefits in all major organ systems.

As mentioned earlier, Islam is a prescription for a complete and balanced way of life, hence, Salah besides being an act of worship doubles as a holistic health tonic.

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The concept of specifically activating these nerve centers through Salah or yoga is like the chiropractic therapy. The major steps in salah have been associated with the nerve pathways or chakras in a broad sense. The standing position or Qiyaam is said to be similar to the mountain pose in yoga, which has a bearing on self-awareness. The folding of hands above the navel in this position are said to activate the solar plexus. The position of bowing or Ruku is equated with the forward bend position in yoga.

The crowning glory of salah is the prostration or sujood. During this movement, the crown chakra related to the person's spirituality is stimulated. Bending movements during sujood also activate the base chakra and the sacral chakra toning up the lymphatic, skeletal and reproductive systems at large. Completion of the salah is done by salutation and turning of the head to the right and then to the left side of the body. This is said to activate the throat chakra. Unification of mind and body is brought about by the intention of Salah and focus on the recitation whereby mental distractions and stress are relieved and the physical body yields itself to the positive entrainment through the movements.

In yoga, activation of all the seven energy levels at least once in a day is advocated to realize the true potential of the practice. Since salah is procedurally less complex than yoga and is practiced ritually five times in a day without requiring any formal training it is a boon to the Muslims that they get to tune the energy chakras effortlessly integrating the practice with their daily routine. Nonetheless, combining several aspects of Yoga with salah could be able to catalyze the many more folds of advantages of activating energy chakras.

Present day psychotherapists in the predominantly urban setup find themselves confounded with issues arising from clients with intense religious sentiments and intervention in such cases is nothing short of a challenge. The technique used in therapy, therefore, should be based on accepting and acknowledging that many religious, spiritual, and ethnic clients believe that God is the central part of understanding themselves, their core values, and being part of the solution for their worldly problems. If professional counselors, operating in predominantly Muslim areas, are equipped with a reasonable proficiency in the religious prescriptions, their chances of success in building a better rapport with their clients and thereby rendering effective services will considerably improve.

Recently, countries like Malaysia[ 20 ] and Indonesia[ 21 ] have looked at yoga suspiciously as infringing into Islamic monotheistic principles since yoga is mainly a practice of the polytheistic Hindu religion. Issuance of Fatwa — the Islamic religious Rulings against the practice of yoga by members of the Muslim community in South-East Asia at large has reemphasized the need for carefully approaching the matter of employing heterogeneous cross cultural techniques in therapy.

Such confrontations and lack of basic understanding of the finer sensibilities of these religions compounded with the under preparedness of a therapist would only aid in escalating the conflict in patient's mind. The way forward for the psychotherapists operating in multi religious and multicultural setups, therefore, is to integrate the positive and possible aspects of the Yoga, mainstream western counseling with the spiritual aspects of Islam to develop a combined psycho-spiritual methodology.

Multiple methods of intervention drawn from diverse sources may well be incorporated in such practice, such as the use of hatha yoga or power yoga with adequate patient education on the neutrality of these techniques to enhance its efficacy. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Indian J Psychiatry v.

Shabbir Ahmed Sayeed and Anand Prakash 1. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Box , Jeddah , Saudi Arabia.

A journey through Hajj, Islam's special pilgrimage

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3. Abstract Religion and its practices have been duly implicated in treating not only problems related to medical health, rather, intervening and preventing such problems as well. Islam, mental health, salah, yoga.

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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. Niyyah — The intention Expression of intention called Niyyah in Arabic to perform the salat is an essential precondition and is usually done within one's heart appropriately for the Salah of the time.

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.

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. 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.