Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Let’s have a national day for Namaz, too!

Let's have a national day for Namaz, too!
Muslims have absolutely no objection to Yoga Day. Their only argument is that they should not be persuaded to join it, and they would have appreciated more if instead of the Government, the Hindu organisations had organised it. We wish all our Hindu brothers a Happy Yoga Day and will be more than happy if we find them engaged in Yoga exercises as a routine rather than simply being a part of a one day show.
Dr. Javed Jamil
India is going to have Yoga Day on 21st June. Not only it is being organised by the Government itself but is being organised on a day when "Surya Devata" (Sun god) will be visible for the maximum time in the year. And of course the initiative came from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been travelling around the world as Hindu Prime Minister of India, distributing Gita and visiting temples. It is always good if a person is practically religious, and those who campaign against the very name of religion are no friends of morality in life. Secularism in Indian context is not the denial of religion but respect to all religions. But a secular state like India needs to either equally respect all the religions or must avoid making show of its special respect for any particular religion. But Modi Government has chosen to do exactly the same. It does not stop reminding the people that despite its avowed proclamation of all communities being equal, in its eyes Hindus (and their practices) are more equal than others.
There is no denying that Yoga may be a good form of exercise like most of the rituals of most of the religions are. But Yoga is not simply a physical exercise; it is also a spiritual one and spiritual exercises involve some kind of devotion to some "supreme" entity. It would have been great if the initiative had been taken by the Hindu religious organisations rather than the government and Hindus had participated in big numbers.Hindus doing yoga can certainly be expected on average to be more morally and physically healthy than Hindus not doing it.
But the truth is that Islamic practices like Namaz, Fasting, and Circumcision, Qur'anic injunctions of breastfeeding for 2 years, Islamic bans on gambling, alcohol, promiscuity, homosexuality and abortions, all have huge beneficial effect on health, with almost each one of them substantially increasing not only the life expectancy but also the standard of health. Can we then have a Namaz Day for country, an anti-Drinking, anti-gambling, anti-obscenity, anti-gay, anti-abortion and a circumcision day for the whole country? What will be the reaction of BJP if such days are celebrated in a Muslim majority state of the country like Kashmir? They can certainly agree to some of them which are not directly recognised with the name of Islam.
Islamic prayers (Salat or Namaz) are even more beneficial to health than Yoga. In my latest book, "Qur'anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society", I have discussed in detail how during my days as MBBS student in King George's Medical College, Lucknow, I first authored a full paper on how the sequence of washing organs in Wudhu is in accordance with the sequence of organs on the post central gyrus of our brains, and how Sajdah (Islamic prostration) is a position in which the cardiological output is maximum, and the supply of blood and oxygen content in the brain is optimum. Here are some of the excerpts from the long chapters:
"It is important to note that
1.    The mapping is not in the order like head, face, trunk, hands, foot etc, but according to the spinal enervation. So is the order in the Wudu.
2.    Mouth is rinsed first and the face is washed later. This is exactly the sequence the homunculus shows.
3.    Again, instead of rubbing head along with the face, hands and forearms are washed first and then head is rubbed. This again is according to the sequence shown in the map.
4.    In Wudu, first, hands are washed followed by wrist, forearm and elbow. Homunculus again depicts the same sequence, not from elbow to hand.
5.    It is also highly significant that Homunculus, the mini man on the map, is a highly distorted image of man5-6. This is because the representation of different organs on the map is not in accordance with what the human image is but in accordance with the sensitiveness of different organs in the brain7. Thus the mini-man has massive lips and very big hands, face and feet. The portion from the neck to the legs occupies hardly 15-18 per cent of the mini-man. This means that by washing only certain portions in the Wudu, one activates almost the 80 percent of the mini-man inside the brain.
6.    The homunculus plays an extremely significant role in temperature control mechanism of the body. In the events of the infarction of this area of the brain, there are huge temperature regulation failures on the corresponding sides of the body
7.    As is seen in the picture of mini-man as mapped in the brain, hands and face occupy the largest portions and cover more than 70% of the total area. By rubbing these portions therefore, as in Tayammum, too, a very significant portion of the brain is activated. (In Tayammum, which is done in absence of water, hands and face are rubbed with sand or soil.)……..
"Wudhu helps in countering the skin cancers. Approximately 130,000 malignant melanomas occur globally each year, substantially contributing to mortality rates in fair-skinned populations…..
"The recurrent washing of the skin and the removal of sweat, dust and other chemicals will also decrease the incidence of infective and allergic disorders of the skin. These include furuncles, pyomas, deep-seated abscesses, rashes, allergic dermatitis, etc….
"Oral Hygiene is another important outcome of the Wudu. The rinsing of the mouth and the brushing of teeth (Miswak) are sure to cause a substantial decrease in all the diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums……
"The regularity of the prayer ensures that a person maintains a strict regime of hygiene. A Salat cannot be offered unless a man purifies himself. If one is in a state of impurity following a sexual intercourse, one has to take bath in a specified manner to ensure that all the discharges involving a sexual contact are fully removed. If one is not in a state of sexual impurity, one is required to wash one's organs that are usually exposed during the day…..
"Different postures of the prayer have been designed in a way that most of the motor system of the brain gets activated and an overwhelming majority of the muscles of the body are brought into action. Different postures help in the relaxation of the muscles that usually become taut owing to taxing activities of the different types of works. The postures of Salat are also a more comprehensive and easier-to-do alternative of the various yoga exercises. …..
"The timing of the prayers and the number of units in different prayers are also significant in terms of their impact on health.  As has been elaborated above, every Salat comprises a certain number of units (rakahs), which are repeated several times thus repeating postures from standing to bending to prostrating to sitting a number of times. This ensures several rounds of exercises involving the activation of different muscles and motor areas in the brain and spinal cord as well as increased circulation of blood to different areas in a rhythmic pattern. Obviously, the more the number of units the more will be the refreshing effect on the body. Now the timing and the number of units in the 5 compulsory Salats have been designed to produce maximum effect….
"It can be seen that 48 units in 5 prayers a day will involve 96 Sajdahs, 48 rukus, 48 qayam (standing) and 74 sitting positions and 34 salams (turning neck right and left). It also involves 18 movements on the elbow joint (Takbeer), this number being much greater in Shafai and Shia schools, 248 movements (flexion and extension) of hip joints and at least 96 movements of the knees. These are approximate numbers. With these kinds of figure, the net impact on the physical, mental and spiritual health of the individuals has to be tremendous. But it must be clarified that the basic aim of the prayers is not body building; Prayers are meant for proximity with God, but God has been kind enough to design a scheme of prayers that also cause huge physical and mental benefits."
Alcohol causes more than 2 million deaths worldwide annually and is also the leading factor in crimes in general and crimes against women in particular, road accidents, murders, unhygienic sexual practices, suicides and family tensions. Homosexuality is the unhealthiest of all sexual relations and can cause a decrease of 20-30 years in life expectancy.
Circumcision on the other hand can increase life expectancy by several years as it has a protective effect against AIDS and several cancers.
This reminds me of my book, "Islamic Model for Control of AIDS", written in 1997. In a programme at Chandigarh, Mr. Rashpal Malhotra, Director CRRID, tauntingly said in a gathering, "Look at this man Dr Javed. He links everything to Islam, and now he is advocating that all Hindus must circumcise." I retorted, "Mr Malhotra! Yes, I am the first in the world to advocate that circumcision should be included in AIDS Control programme. But I tell you now that it is only this one suggestion out of the whole programme I have presented, which will ultimately be accepted by WHO. This is because circumcision does not affect any market, while bans against promiscuity, homosexuality and pornography would never be acceptable to market forces," 7 years later, WHO accepted circumcision as one of the measures in AIDS control programme.
Qur'anic injunction of 2 years' breastfeeding has also immense importance for health and has been shown to increase life expectancy by around 10 years.
Even if a Namaz day is organised, Muslims will never like non-Muslims to perform Wudhu and Namaz, even if it involves no chanting of Islamic prayers and Surahs, because Namaz is essentially for those who believe in the oneness of God and Quran and Muhammad  (SAWWS) being the Final of all messages and messengers of God. But they would certainly appreciate if the government allows special concessions on this day in offering collective prayers, and special programmes (attended by people belonging to all religions) allowing Muslims to explain the importance of Namaz.
Muslims have absolutely no objection to Yoga Day. Their only argument is that they should not be persuaded to join it, and they would have appreciated more if instead of the Government, the Hindu organisations had organised it. We wish all our Hindu brothers a Happy Yoga Day and will be more than happy if we find them engaged in Yoga exercises as a routine rather than simply being a part of a one day show.


Posted by: Abu Taha <>

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