Thursday, August 27, 2009

Surah Al Maida (5:6) – Benefits of Ablution and Ghusl


 


 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُواْ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مَّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

O you who believe! when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash (yourselves) and if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy, or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith, Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful.

M Shakir's Quran Translation

Medical Benefits of Wudu

Wudu is the Islamic act of washing parts of the body using water. Muslims are required to perform Wudu in preparation for ritual prayers. As the Ayat indicates Wudu involves the following things

  1. Washing hands up to the elbows
  2. Washing face
  3. Wiping the Head (and ear)
  4. Washing the feet up to ankles

Wudu possesses two manifest benefits - the medical benefit and spiritual one. 

Ablution before going to sleep

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) encouraged doing ablution before going to bed. This same ritual is also encouraged by Yoga experts who say that washing important motor and sensory organs such as the hands, arms, eyes, legs, mouth and genitals before sleep using cool water relaxes the body preparing it for a deep sleep.

Biological Active Spots (idea behind Chinese reflex therapy)

In an article titled "Muslims Rituals and their Effect on the Person's Health", Dr. Magomed Magomedov, assistant to the department of the Man's General Hygiene and Ecology in the Daghestan State Medical Academy, speaks about how ablution stimulates the biological rhythms of the body and specifically Biological Active Spots (BASes), very much like the idea behind Chinese reflexotherapy. Man's internal organs, in their turn, present a no less sophisticated bio-energetical whole; they all have indissoluble multi-channel bilateral connections with the skin, which hosts special spots, whose functions resemble those of buttons on "control" and " recharge boards" responsible for particular organs. These spots are called biologically active spots (BASes).

While pointing out to the similarities between ablution and the science of Chinese reflexology in his fascinating article, Dr. Magomedov also states the main different points. To become a doctor in reflexology, he says, one has to take a 15 to 20 year course of study, incomparable with the simple learning techniques of ablution.

In another comparison, reflexotherapy was primarily used to cure diseases and very rarely for prevention, while, as we shall see, ablution has many preventive benefits. There was also a negative side to reflexotherapy, he says, one that is not found in ablution; a patient was exposed to traumas since doctors used cauterization. (Cauterization is a medical term describing the burning of the body to remove or close a part of it.)

"The majority of the most powerful BASes are being washed during the Muslim ritual. It is not the doctor, who had studied for many years, who does it, but every Muslim by himself. Besides, praying five times a day obliges a Muslim to take the preventive measures against diseases beforehand."

According to Dr. Magomedov, Chinese medicine says that there are more than 700 BASes, and sixty-six of them have quick reflex therapy effects and are named the drastic (or aggression or antique or prime-elements) spots.

Out of these sixty-six spots, sixty-one of them are located in zones required for Wudu while the other five are located between the ankle and knee.

THE FACE: When the face is washed during Wudu, it "recharges" such organs as the intestines, stomach and bladder, in addition to having a positive effect on the nervous and reproductive systems, says Dr. Magomedov in his findings, adding that the BAS responsible for the osseous system, intestine, nervous system, lumbar area, stomach, pancreas, gall-bladder, thyroid gland, solar plexus and others are situated on the right leg, another area reached during Wudu.

THE LEGS: When a Muslim washes his left leg, the BAS responsible for the work of the pituitary gland is stimulated.This gland is located in the brain and regulates the functioning of the endocrine glands and controls growing.

THE EARS: In the ear's cochlea are hundreds of BASes that "harmonize the work of almost all organs, decrease high blood pressure and relieve tooth and throat pain."Ear ablution is considered Sunna (Prophetic tradition). Washing the ear helps in getting them free from wax accumulation, which may cause ear infections as well as affecting the inner ear, this eventually causes body imbalances.

Another aspect that Dr. Magomedov stresses on is that Prophetic tradition emphasized the importance of massaging and applying pressure during ablution, which is something that has a scientifically-grounded explanation.

Dr. Magomedov said that his studies were triggered by his solemn belief that the five-time-a-day Muslim prayers were bound to have not only an "indisputable spiritual effect" but were also bound to "have a purely physical healing effect as well."

Other Benefits of Wudu

Wudu protects the body from mycosis in the toes, skin infections and suppurations as well as pus accumulations. It also minimizes possibility of skin cancers, as it removes chemical substances from the skin before they accumulate thereon. That is why skin cancers are rare in Islamic countries. Also, massage of the different parts of the body, which is done in Wudu stimulates blood circulation and causes more blood to flow through the whole body, particularly to the brain and kidneys. Ablution also protects from tooth decays, eye infections, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, pelvic infections and other bacterial infections

Medical Philosophy behind 'Ghusl'

Besides ablution it is compulsory for a Muslim to perform ghusl (complete bath) after a seminal discharge, be it due to a seminal discharge or sexual intercourse. Someone might ask that: Why does Islam order a person to wash his entire body after seminal discharge whereas it is only a particular organ that becomes unclean.

Studies conducted by the scientists reveal that within the human body exist two vegetative nervous networks which control and regulate all the activities of the body.  These two nervous networks - the Sympathetic nerves and the Para-sympathetic nerves - are spread out throughout the body and around all the internal and external systems and tracts. The function of the Sympathetic nerves is to accelerate and stimulate the activities of the various tracts of the body, whereas the Parasympathetic nerves function to decelerate and diminish them.  In effect, one plays the role of the accelerator of an automobile while the other plays the role of the brakes; with a balanced functioning of these two sets of nerves, the systems of the body work in a balanced and normal manner.

 At times certain occurrences in the body disrupt this balance and equilibrium - one of these being the issue of 'orgasm', which is usually contemporaneous with a seminal discharge.

 In such cases, the Parasympathetic nerves (the decelerating nerves) tend to take a lead over the Sympathetic nerves and consequently disrupt the equilibrium, negatively.

 It has also been established that amongst the things that could force the Sympathetic nerves into activity and re-establish the lost equilibrium is contact of water with the body, and since the effect of orgasm is noticeably felt on all parts of the body and the equilibrium existing between these two sets of nerves is disrupted all over the body, hence it has been ordered that after sexual intercourse or seminal discharge the entire body should be washed with water so that as a result of its regenerative effect, equilibrium is once again established between these two sets of nerves, all over the body. 

 In addition to the above, the obligation of the ghusl on seminal discharge (known as ghusl of janabat) is an Islamic compulsion for maintaining cleanliness of the body and observance of hygiene, throughout the life.  This is because there are numerous individuals, who are neglectful of their cleanliness and hygiene, but this Islamic ruling forces them to wash themselves at regular intervals and keep themselves clean.  And this is not specific to the people of the past eras, for even in our times there are numerous such individuals, who, for various reasons, tend to be neglectful of their cleanliness and hygiene.


 


 


 

See the complete list of Scientific Miracles in Surah Al Maida here


 

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

barik ALLAH fi ilmaika wa amalaika!

Anonymous said...

SUBHANALLAH, Literally I was crying while reading that post, truly "فَبِأَيِّ آلاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ"

Anonymous said...

i love islam

Muhammad Abdullah said...

Furthermore, by washing the feet frequently as in ablution wuzu, you protect yourself from dryness of the brain,
lack of sleep, nervousness, and depression. However, in European conference of physiotherapists,
it was narrated that washing the feet frequently can get the patient rid of depression and desperateness,
hence only a fewer Muslims get themselves suffered from depression.

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