Monday, April 13, 2009

Health and Congregational prayer

Congregational prayer or solah al-jamaah is an important concept in Islam. Islam encourages the Jama’ah prayers. The Prophet (SAW) in an agreed Hadith states that the Jama’ah prayers is worth 27 times the prayers of a person by himself.

In another Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) mentions that if three Muslims are present in a community, they need to establish Jama’ah prayers, or Satan will get to them, as we are weakened by being separate, and strengthened by the Jama’ah. In fact, establishing Jama’ah prayers is a definite Sunnah, to the extent that we are informed in another Hadith, that if we leave the Jama’ah prayers, we are actually abandoning an established Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW).

Other examples of the reward for attending the mosque for Jama’ah prayers are the following Hadith. The Prophet (SAAWS) said who ever attends the mosque and returns, God prepares for him paradise on every occasion he attends and leaves. The Prophet (SAW) also says when you witness a person that regularly attends to the mosque for prayers it is a testimony of his faith.

There is always more reward when we pray together. The rewards that we are obtaining are not limited to the hereafter but we are benefiting it here and now, continuously. Unfortunately we are not aware of it.

In congregational solah, we are actually connecting with other people. It's a scientific fact that people who connect live longer. Lawrence Katz and Manning Rubin in their gem of a book, Keep Your Brain Alive, quote studies by the McArthur Foundation and the International Longevity Center in New York and at the University of Southern California. These studies show that people who stay socially and physically active have longer life spans. So, don't just go to the mosque to perform prayer and leave. Mingle around. Help to set the prayer hall for prayer.

When we make new connections in the outside world, you make new connections in the inside world— in our brain. This keeps us young and alert. Edward M. Hallowell, in his very savvy book Connect, cites the 1979 Alameda County Study by Dr. Lisa Berkman of the Harvard School of Health Sciences. Dr. Berkman and her team carefully looked at 7,000 people, aged 35 to 65, over a period of nine years. Their study concluded that people who lack social and community ties are almost three times more likely to die of medical illness than those who have more extensive contacts. And all this is independent of socioeconomic status and health practices such as smoking, alcoholic beverage consumption, obesity or physical activity!

During the prophet time, we hardly heard from the sirah that the companion died because of heart attack, obesity or diabetic but most of them syahid in jihad. Be healthy by praying together. Wallahu A'lam

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