Impact of Prayer on Psychotherapy
Standing before Allah makes man recognize his weakness. This helps him remove all his inside fears and negative emotions. Almighty Allah says:
Those who believe, do good deeds, keep up the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms will have their reward with their Lord: no fear for them, nor will they grieve. (Al-Baqarah 2:277)
Prayer is an effective healing for anger as it trains man how to be quite, surrender to Allah, and be patient.
It provides the believer with a great amount of spiritual power which leads to heart comfort, anxiety alleviation, peace of mind, and clearness. This energy increases with submissiveness (khushu`) which, in turn, intensifies concentration, the best way to deal with nervous tension. Therefore, the Almighty God orders us to offer prayer with submissiveness:
Certainly will the believers have succeeded. They who are during their prayer humbly submissive. (Al-Mu’minun 23:1-2)
Scientific Studies about the Psychological Impact of the Prayer
Prayer is a Healing
A number of scientific studies conducted in Malaysia (Axhar et. al., 1994) on some patients suffering from public anxiety and others suffering from depression. It turned out that those with religious backgrounds among them benefit from using religious psychotherapy courses in addition to the psychotherapy drugs more than other patients. These methods are summarized in performing ablution properly and lengthening the period of bowing.
Prayer and Reverence
R0WTH Aachen University, located in Aachen city, Germany, published a study that showed that human minds take a longer time to react if the person does two jobs at the same time which will lead to an increase in errors.
Kohler, the German psychologist, affirmed that the consequences of doing more than one task at once are fatigue and headache. The solution is summed up in one word that is ‘submission’. If each one practices ‘reverence sport’ for half an hour every day, a lot of things will change in one’s life. He will have more ability to face difficulties and burdens of life.
Prayer and Relaxation
Dr. Hossam Ar-Rawi says that relaxation method recommended by doctors as a treatment for nervous tension is just a simple pattern of relaxation in general, and will not achieve what could be achieved by prayer. The slave’s silent supplication to Allah is the highest rank of relaxation. If a person keeps up his concentration and reverence during prayer, he will relieve the growing tension and anxiety in his being.
Prayer is a Healing for Disasters
With respect to the physical terms, namely the physical movements during prayer, the psychiatrist, Tedues Costropala from California, advises those suffering from depression and frustration to practice simple muscular exercises if they cannot run. He says that this increases the blood circulation and facilitates its arrival to the brain which means an increase in the proportion of Oxygen in the brain. For this reason, when anything big happened to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) or anything concerned him, he would seek refuge in the Prayer. (Ahmad)
Prayer: Tranquility and Prevention
Dr. Tomas Hayslop says, “Prayer is the most important element which I have known through experience and experiments over long years. As a doctor I say that the prayer is the most important known means to tranquility and calmness.” Indeed, the virtue of prayer is not limited to the eradication and treatment of the disease, but exceeds to bringing calmness to the heart and peace of mind. The Almighty Allah says:
Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured. (Ar-Ra`d 13:28)
Finally, prayer is a therapeutic and preventive healing taken five times per day at fixed times by the Muslim. Therefore, he or she will not be affected by the psychological diseases easily except if Allah wills. Indeed, prayer is a comfort to the human being, that is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) has expressed in his statement to the companion Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) when he said: “Give us comfort by it, O Bilal.” (Abu Dawud)
Don’t we all seek comfort? So, let us follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Source: Translated and adapted from Al-Alukah website.