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    Do Jews pray/Prostrate like Muslims?

    i thought this was interesting and i believe i posted it on the old forum but dont think there ever was any discussion regarding it. does anyone have any thoughts on this? dont all 3 faiths prostrate before G-d? doesnt the bible also say Jesus fell upon his face and prayed?

    http://www.submission.org/jews.html
    Although the Quran is very clear that Abraham is the founder of Islam (22:78) and the one who received all the rituals of Islam, most of the traditional Muslims reject this Quranic notion. Please see our file Who founded Islam? Salat as we know it today was given to Abraham who taught it to his children and they taught it to their children and so on. Prophet Muhammad was commanded to follow the Religion of Abraham. Had the religion of Abraham not known to him, we would not expect God to command him to follow it.

    [16:123]"Then we inspired you (O Muhammad) to follow the religion of Abraham, monotheism; never was he an idol-worshiper."

    [19:58] "These are some of the prophets whom GOD blessed. They were chosen from among the descendants of Adam, and the descendants of those whom we carried with Noah, and the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and from among those whom we guided and selected. When the revelations of the Most Gracious are recited to them, they fall prostrate, weeping."

    [19:59] "After them, He substituted generations who lost the Contact Prayers (Salat), and pursued their lusts. They will suffer the consequences."

    Quran conforms that Salat was lost after some generations for the people of the book. Losing it involved changing it in every aspect. The Salat as practiced today by most of the Jews and Christians is different than what was given to their prophets. Very few Jews and Christians have maintained the inherited Salat.

    In a book entitles "To Pray as a Jew" I found a lengthy explanation of the Prayers as done by the ancient Jews and few of the contemporary Jews. In this book the author put diagrams showing the movement and positions during the prayer. One look at these illustrations is enough for the Muslims to realize the similarity of the prayers of the Jews then and Salat as practiced by the Muslims.

    In his comment about these positions the author wrote : "In most contemporary congregations very few people keep to the tradition of falling prostrate. Sometimes it is only the Prayer leader and the rabbi who does so. In more traditional congregations, however, some worshipers, men and women, will join the Prayer Leader and rabbi in the act of prostrating themselves. In Israeli synagogues, the practice is more widespread than in synagogues elsewhere. Since this is a position that we are unaccustomed to, one who has never done this before might very well demur. But once accomplished, the experience provides such a spiritual uplift that one looks forward to repeating it. Those willing to try this ancient ritual form on the rare occasions that call for it might welcome the following diagrams of the correct procedure"

    It is also interesting to learn from this book that the prayers of the Jews involve wash before the prayers, (like Wuduu or ablution for Muslims), and the call for Prayers (like the Azan for the Muslims).

    Reference
    Title:To pray as a Jew : a guide to the prayer book and the synagogue service / Hayim Halevy Donin
    Author onin, Hayim
    Publisher New York : Basic Books, c1980
    Paging
    xxii, 384 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
    Notes
    Includes bibliographical references and indexes
    Please Re-update your Signature

    #2
    I know a brother from the Gulf He said that submission ,org is banned in there, so I think it is unauthentic site for issues regarding Islam.
    Please Re-update your Signature

    Comment


      #3
      yeah, avoid submission.org, that site is completely corrupt,
      i think it might be run by christians or jews,
      a very few jews do still prostrate in their prayer but for most the closest theyll come to prostrating to Allah swt is that little rocking manouver you see them busting at the wall in Al Quds.
      Please Re-update your Signature

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for reposting this Tahiyah,

        I did reply earlier, but the reply was lost. I would like to ask why you think Christians and Jews don't prostrate in prayer, and to ask you what true prostration really is?
        .The Prophet sal Allahu alaiyhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”
        http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

        Comment


          #5
          I need to add Tahiyah, that my question is actually asked to more people than just you.

          You asked quite correctly about the prayer practices of all three of the main monotheistic groups.

          It's an important question.. thanks for asking it.
          .The Prophet sal Allahu alaiyhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”
          http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by *Muhammad* View Post
            I know a brother from the Gulf He said that submission ,org is banned in there, so I think it is unauthentic site for issues regarding Islam.

            Salaam Muhammad

            I'd like to ask you what was umislamic about what was said in the article that
            made you think it something to be avoided? You seemed more interested in the avoidance of the website than the article Tahiyah posted.
            .The Prophet sal Allahu alaiyhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”
            http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by *Muhammad* View Post
              I know a brother from the Gulf He said that submission ,org is banned in there, so I think it is unauthentic site for issues regarding Islam.
              Sure ...it's banned as may be unauthentic site
              Please Re-update your Signature

              Comment


                #8
                Sajdah Or Prostration.... Just A Thought

                SAJDAH OR PROSTRATION:

                Sajdah or Prostration is an ancient practice as old as the time when the angels inhabited the gardens (Jannah) and long before the first human being Adam was created (Q.2:34; 7:12). It was primarily meant to be an expression of subservience and humility and obedience of angels to mankind.
                It has been designed to help us develop special qualities such as humility, respect and mental equipoise. The position of half-length prostration (sajdah) in which the forehead touches the ground is exclusively associated with the Muslim form of sajdah. The centre of our fore-head is placed at the ground level (half-length prostration, typical of sajdah seen in Islamic prayers) while some non-Muslims may extend the whole body onto the ground (full-length prostration).
                Every created being, whether angels or moving creatures (Q.16:49), trees (Q. 55:6) and inanimate objects prostrate to Allah (Q.16:48). Even in every atom of non-living objects, both the dextro (right) and laevo (left) forms of chemical substances as well as electrons and protons revolve like a shadow in opposite directions, prostrating to Allah in the humblest manner (Q.16:48).
                Sajdah (Prostration) is a unique position or stance during the regular Islamic prayers which could be an example to other onlookers who wish to emulate total submission to the Creator. The musalli (one who is praying) rests his forehead on the ground while his hands are placed at the sides. The hands are stretched out so that the forearm as well as arm muscles could bear the weight of the neck. Prostration is part and parcel of a Muslim’s prayer having involved mental, verbal and physical actions. It increases sense of humility in human beings (Q.17:109). As mentioned in a Hadith, a person is nearest to Allah in this position. The messenger of Allahص said: "The nearest a servant comes to his Sustainer is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication' (in this state)" (Ṣaḥiḥ Al-Bukhāri). Glorification of Allah’s name combined with prayer aids in purification of the self and leads to prosperity (Q.87:14-15). The usual supplication after every prostration goes thus: Rabbanaghfirlī, warḥamnī, warzuqnī, wahdinī, wa ‘āfinī. “Oh Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, provide for me, guide me and keep me healthy”.
                Prostration symbolises total submission to Allah. The importance of Sajdah could be gauged from the fact that a whole chapter of the Holy Qur’ān is called Sūratus Sajdah (Chapter 32). All the prophets themselves prostrated. In fact, “Whatever beings there are in the heavens and the Earth, do prostrate themselves to Allah “(Q.13:15). Allah commands us to “Proclaim the Sustainer’s Praise in the night and after the (prescribed) prostrations” (Q. 50:40). There are “Those who spend the night in adoration of their Sustainer, prostrating and standing” (Q.25:64). The effects of prostration become embedded in the memory and other brain circuits. “There are marks in their faces, being the effects of their prostration” (Q.48:29). It should be noted that the marks are in their faces and not on their foreheads. (Simāhum fi wujūhihim min atharis sujūd: “Fi” in Arabic means “in”; “ ‘Alā” in Arabic means “on”).
                Any clean place could be a suitable one for prostration, be it on the road, a house or a masjid (mosque). Even Prophet Muhammad’s house was sectioned off to make it a mosque for congregational prayer. (“Masjid” is derived from sajdah meaning prostration). Prayer is a private communication with God for the purpose of maintaining the presence of the divine in our personal lives. Since prayers are performed in a clean, quiet place, and after ritual purification called wudu, it adds a further refined dimension to the procedure.
                During Sajdah, the head assumes a lower position than the heart and hence the blood flows more easily to the brain as the heart does not have to work against gravity. This speeds up the supply of nutrients to the brain which is responsible for secretion of neurotransmitters such as gaba, serotonin, dopamine, enkephalin, acetylcholine, glutamate, anandamide, etc. These neurotransmitters are responsible for the well-being, peace, satisfaction, tranquility, optimism and contentment of the person and a balanced frame of mind.
                Some persons prostrate to the sun and the moon although we are commanded in the Holy Quran not to do so (Ch. 41:37). Some persons even prostrate before dead human beings in cemeteries and before the graves of dead saints, when they should be prostrating to the Creator and not the created, leave alone those human beings who are already dead, and who can neither help themselves nor help others. The Buddhists begin their devotion with a triple prostration before the Buddha image.
                Sajdah is an act much despised by Satan (Q.7:11; 38:74; 20:116) because it brings us closer to Allah (Q.96:19). The devil weeps when we prostrate during our prayers. Pious persons prostrate to Allah as an expression of deep humility and faith, and call on Allah in fear and hope (fearing that their dedication is not sufficiently worthy to be accepted and hoping that their short-comings will be overlooked by Allah’s Mercy) (Q.32:15,16).
                Our wealth and status will not bring us nearer to Allah. However, man can come nearer to Allah’s Attributes when he constantly strives for perfection. “It is not your wealth nor your children that shall bring you nearer unto Us”. (Q.34:37). Nearness to Allah does not mean nearness to place but nearness to the Attributes of Allah.
                Although sajdah is primarily meant to bring a person closer to Allah through humility, meditation, communion and focusing on Allah’s attributes, let it not be forgotten that it is also a form of exercise. Gentle exercise improves fitness and emotional well-being and increases longevity. The physical movements during the 34 daily compulsory sajdahs improve flexibility, co-ordination and relaxation response. Adrenaline and nor-adrenaline which are responsible for the consequent dynamism during the prayers combine with the tranquility and the serenity of the sajdah, due to the secretion of enkephalins, endorphins, gaba, glutamate, serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters. This makes the prayers unique in the sense that dynamism is combined in the same individual with serenity, euphoria and dignity. The effects of adrenaline and nor-adrenaline are apparent, even after the prayer is over, as evidenced by the continuing physical and mental activity. In fact, even the thought or intention (niyyah) of performing prayers is sufficient to activate the sympathetic nervous system to secrete adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Persons who perform prayers report feeling much better and healthier.
                In the elderly, the level of physiological activity drops. Bones become thinner and osteoporotic. The skin also becomes thinner and wrinkled. The repair processes of the body become slower and immune responses are reduced. Reserve functions of all vital organs decline and the aged are more vulnerable to falls and disease. But prayers being compulsory and repeated, the regular movements of the body during the rituals will improve muscle tone and power, tendon strength, joint flexibility and the cardio–vascular reserve. This will enable the body to improve the quality of life and to meet with unexpected challenges which would have resulted in their falls, with consequent damage to their bodies. This will improve their stamina, self-esteem and self-confidence in being independent. The body movements help to prevent osteoporosis in the osteoporotic bones of elderly men and post-menopausal women.
                The reinforcement of the calf muscle pump by active ankle movements prevents deep vein thrombosis, which is a common cause of pulmonary embolism and chronic ulcers of the legs in the elderly.
                Growth hormone secretion is further elevated by exercise during prayers. As this hormone is necessary for collagen formation, this may be an important factor in the long delay of the wrinkling of skin of those Muslims who perform regular prayers. Exercise of prayer improves mood, thought and behavior. Although memory for short-term events deteriorates with old age, prayers improve memory in the elderly, for short-term events, by keeping the memory circuit in the brain open with neurons communicating with each other, especially by constant repetition of the verses from the holy Qur’an and other memorised supplications of Allah’s glory. This procedure also helps to screen the mind from other incoming thoughts.
                The repetition of a prayer, supplications of glorification, dhikr (words glorifying Allah) or muscular activity, coupled with passive disregard of intrusive thoughts, causes a relaxation response, leading to lowering of B.P. Thus prayer puts the mind at ease. Islamic prayers are unique in that tension builds up in the muscles, during the physical movements of prayers, with accompanying adrenaline and noradrenaline. Simultaneously, tension is relieved in the mind due to the spiritual component, assisted by the secretion of enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins, serotonin, dopamine and so many others. All those persons who perform regular prayers feel more alert and active, even after the age of retirement. They can meet with unexpected challenges of life much better, such as running for a bus. This improves their stamina, self-esteem and self-confidence in being independent.
                Islamic prayer incorporates gentle exercise, and the beneficial effects of gentle exercise on the body are as follows:
                SKELETAL MUSCLE: An unused muscle atrophies in spite of availability of ample proteins. During prayers, every muscle in the body contracts. Just as a person who exercises regularly feels better, persons who perform the prayers regularly have also observed that they feel much better. Regular physical exertion also increases the probability that a person can remain active past the standard age of retirement.
                TENDONS AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE: Exercise improves physical strength and joint stability and reduces risk of injury.
                SKELETON: Bone mineral content falls with age, especially after age 40. Decrease in the bone density can be prevented or even reversed by mild exercise, in menopausal and in elderly women. Exercise increases bone mineral density at sites of maximal stress. Some areas of the skeleton have to bear extra pressure during Rukū‘ and Sajdah. The strain put on the forearm during prostration in lifting the body from the ground increases the bone mineral content of the forearm. Exercise also prevents osteoporosis and maintains normalcy in bone structures. The risk of osteoporosis and consequent hip fractures should be substantially less in those who take regular exercise or pray the five-time daily prayers.
                The neck muscles also take an active part in the exercise of prostration. Both the flexor and the extensor muscles of the neck become stronger, and hence such persons do not suffer much from spondylosis and radiculopathies (‘pinched nerves’) of the cervical vertebrae. The same applies to the back and perineal muscles.
                JOINTS: Exercise improves lubrication and range of movement and maintains flexibility. The varying load during the different postures of prayers causes a lubricating and therefore a protective flow of synovial fluid into the joint cavity.
                ERHYTHROPOIETIC SYSTEM. Repeated exercise activates the erythropoietic processes (blood formation) in the bone marrow.
                PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS. Exercise improves mood, thought and behavior. It improves the quality of life, reduces anxiety and depression, influences mood favourably and contributes to enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence. It improves memory in the elderly, especially if accompanied by constant repetition of the verses from the Holy Qurān and other verses of His Glory which additionally would help to screen the mind from other incoming thoughts. It puts the mind at ease. This relaxed state of the mind may be partly due to the release of enkephalins, beta endorphins and others into the circulation.
                Islam is the only religion where physical movements of prayers are combined with spiritual exercise. Prayers being made compulsory throughout a person’s life, recurring every few hours or so, trains a person to undertake the difficult task of meditating during physical movements of prayers, so that he benefits both from spiritual as well as physical exercise.
                Islamic prayers are unique in that tension builds up in the muscles during physical movements of prayers, while at the same time tension is relieved in the mind due to spiritual component. Still the best blessing is the peace of mind and the mental equipoise which a person derives by the accomplishment of his duty to Allah by fulfilling an obligation.
                We prostrate in the direction of the Qiblah, which is the spiritual compass of the Muslim world. The central region of the Earth encompasses Makkah, the centre for the Muslim Ummah, and the point where, for Muslims, the heavenly axis touches the terrestrial plane. Makkah is also called the Mother of Cities (Umm-al-Qura) in the Holy Quran, and in popular literature, the “navel of the Earth”. The Ka‘bah is now, not only placed in the Centre of the Earth, according to the navel theory, but it forms the central point of the whole universe. The composition of the Black Stone (Ḥajaral-aswad) of the Ka‘bah has not yet been determined, whether it was originally a meteorite or not, and if so, whether any electro-magnetic waves are emitted from it in a radial direction.
                The pineal gland situated in the brain is also called the Third Eye. It plays an important part in directional sense. Damage to the pineal gland causes defective sense of direction, perhaps by altering the intrinsic intracranial electro-magnetic environment and thus affecting the magnetic response mechanism. There is a high concentration of magnetite (a magnetic oxide of iron) in man, in the bones at the base of the skull. (Even worker honey bees and some other insects have a ring of magnetite in their abdomens which can detect magnetic fields useful for their navigation and direction. In birds and other animals the pineal gland contains magnetic material and is a centre for navigation. It is possible the same mechanism applies to humans, and if so, then the pineal gland may be our navigational system towards Sirāṭal Mustaqīm). The billions of red blood cells which contain iron and which are circulating in the body with every heart-beat form a magnetic flux at the base of the skull. It has not been worked out as to what effects these iron-containing red blood cells produce when they come near the base of the brain, and in turn, normalise the sense of direction through a neural or humeral or electro- magnetic pathway to the pineal gland. Added to this, by putting our forehead to the ground during sajdah so many times daily, it is not impossible to imagine that some electromagnetic waves radiating from the Ḥajar al Aswad would reach the pineal gland and help to straighten our sense of direction (Ṣirāṭ Al Mustaqim); if so, prostration may be one of the mechanisms available to Muslims who are prostrating in the direction of the Ka‘bah with a view to seeking the straight path.

                THE PINEAL GLAND: Just a few words about the pineal gland. It is a small reddish gray, highly vascular pea-sized body referred to as “the Third Eye” because of its proximity to the surface of the skin in primitive animals and also because of its structural similarities to the human eye. The Western Fence Lizard has a fine and functional pineal gland with a photoreceptor element, directly on top of the head protruding through a foramen. The pineal gland of Pacific Tree frog and dog-fish shark contains cells which look like the cone cells of human retina which differentiate colours. (However, this is not the case in human beings who are already endowed with two eyes containing cones that can differentiate colours. Because we have the neo-cortex (the new brain, which distinguishes humans from animals), our pineal gland has shifted to a more central position in the brain, and is connected to many areas which control other functions of the body.
                It produces melatonin, a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan and which regulates the circadian rhythm. Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin which is a necessary neurotransmitter of electrical impulses in the brain. The pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin which controls body rhythms, in particular our internal body clock and our sleeping and waking patterns. It may also play a role in a person's sexual development.The production of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. (Light is detected by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) which has direct connections to the retina, extending from the SCN to the spinal cord into superior cervical ganglia and from there into the pineal gland).
                The pineal gland produces many hormones some of which are yet to be discovered. It is also involved in stimulating the immune system and probably gonadotrophins.
                The pineal gland is sensitive to change in the electro-magnetic field of the Earth as well as those emanating from the Ḥajar al Aswad. During prostration, these waves may adjust the brain waves in our electroencephalogram which may be responsible for the sense of ego to vanish and usher humility, through neural connections with the amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex. Probably these brain waves are also responsible for balancing the secretion of both the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters responsible for inducement of humility. During prostration, the pineal gland may act as an “on and off switch” and may cut off undesirable signals arising in other parts of the brain, by producing melatonin or some such sedating hormone. Hence, the pineal gland is of interest both to scientists and theologians as it may well be a bridge between the spiritual third eye and the physical eye asking us to see for ourselves how far we have gone up Ṣirāt al Mustaqīm.
                Prophet Muḥammadص used to incline his head and fix his gaze towards the ground at the area of prostration. In fact, he prohibited looking at the sky and hither and thither during prayers. This may have an additional effect due to some as yet undiscovered scientific basis. It is also said that we should sleep with our head (and not our feet) towards the Ka‘bah. Since Muslims believe in logic and not in magic, some scientific explanations may be forthcoming for the above statements in due course.
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                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Imaan View Post
                  SAJDAH OR PROSTRATION:

                  Sajdah or Prostration is an ancient practice as old as the time when the angels inhabited the gardens (Jannah) and long before the first human being Adam was created (Q.2:34; 7:12). It was primarily meant to be an expression of subservience and humility and obedience of angels to mankind.
                  It has been designed to help us develop special qualities such as humility, respect and mental equipoise. The position of half-length prostration (sajdah) in which the forehead touches the ground is exclusively associated with the Muslim form of sajdah. The centre of our fore-head is placed at the ground level (half-length prostration, typical of sajdah seen in Islamic prayers) while some non-Muslims may extend the whole body onto the ground (full-length prostration).
                  Every created being, whether angels or moving creatures (Q.16:49), trees (Q. 55:6) and inanimate objects prostrate to Allah (Q.16:48). Even in every atom of non-living objects, both the dextro (right) and laevo (left) forms of chemical substances as well as electrons and protons revolve like a shadow in opposite directions, prostrating to Allah in the humblest manner (Q.16:48).
                  Sajdah (Prostration) is a unique position or stance during the regular Islamic prayers which could be an example to other onlookers who wish to emulate total submission to the Creator. The musalli (one who is praying) rests his forehead on the ground while his hands are placed at the sides. The hands are stretched out so that the forearm as well as arm muscles could bear the weight of the neck. Prostration is part and parcel of a Muslim’s prayer having involved mental, verbal and physical actions. It increases sense of humility in human beings (Q.17:109). As mentioned in a Hadith, a person is nearest to Allah in this position. The messenger of Allahص said: "The nearest a servant comes to his Sustainer is when he is prostrating himself, so make supplication' (in this state)" (Ṣaḥiḥ Al-Bukhāri). Glorification of Allah’s name combined with prayer aids in purification of the self and leads to prosperity (Q.87:14-15). The usual supplication after every prostration goes thus: Rabbanaghfirlī, warḥamnī, warzuqnī, wahdinī, wa ‘āfinī. “Oh Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, provide for me, guide me and keep me healthy”.
                  Prostration symbolises total submission to Allah. The importance of Sajdah could be gauged from the fact that a whole chapter of the Holy Qur’ān is called Sūratus Sajdah (Chapter 32). All the prophets themselves prostrated. In fact, “Whatever beings there are in the heavens and the Earth, do prostrate themselves to Allah “(Q.13:15). Allah commands us to “Proclaim the Sustainer’s Praise in the night and after the (prescribed) prostrations” (Q. 50:40). There are “Those who spend the night in adoration of their Sustainer, prostrating and standing” (Q.25:64). The effects of prostration become embedded in the memory and other brain circuits. “There are marks in their faces, being the effects of their prostration” (Q.48:29). It should be noted that the marks are in their faces and not on their foreheads. (Simāhum fi wujūhihim min atharis sujūd: “Fi” in Arabic means “in”; “ ‘Alā” in Arabic means “on”).
                  Any clean place could be a suitable one for prostration, be it on the road, a house or a masjid (mosque). Even Prophet Muhammad’s house was sectioned off to make it a mosque for congregational prayer. (“Masjid” is derived from sajdah meaning prostration). Prayer is a private communication with God for the purpose of maintaining the presence of the divine in our personal lives. Since prayers are performed in a clean, quiet place, and after ritual purification called wudu, it adds a further refined dimension to the procedure.
                  During Sajdah, the head assumes a lower position than the heart and hence the blood flows more easily to the brain as the heart does not have to work against gravity. This speeds up the supply of nutrients to the brain which is responsible for secretion of neurotransmitters such as gaba, serotonin, dopamine, enkephalin, acetylcholine, glutamate, anandamide, etc. These neurotransmitters are responsible for the well-being, peace, satisfaction, tranquility, optimism and contentment of the person and a balanced frame of mind.
                  Some persons prostrate to the sun and the moon although we are commanded in the Holy Quran not to do so (Ch. 41:37). Some persons even prostrate before dead human beings in cemeteries and before the graves of dead saints, when they should be prostrating to the Creator and not the created, leave alone those human beings who are already dead, and who can neither help themselves nor help others. The Buddhists begin their devotion with a triple prostration before the Buddha image.
                  Sajdah is an act much despised by Satan (Q.7:11; 38:74; 20:116) because it brings us closer to Allah (Q.96:19). The devil weeps when we prostrate during our prayers. Pious persons prostrate to Allah as an expression of deep humility and faith, and call on Allah in fear and hope (fearing that their dedication is not sufficiently worthy to be accepted and hoping that their short-comings will be overlooked by Allah’s Mercy) (Q.32:15,16).
                  Our wealth and status will not bring us nearer to Allah. However, man can come nearer to Allah’s Attributes when he constantly strives for perfection. “It is not your wealth nor your children that shall bring you nearer unto Us”. (Q.34:37). Nearness to Allah does not mean nearness to place but nearness to the Attributes of Allah.
                  Although sajdah is primarily meant to bring a person closer to Allah through humility, meditation, communion and focusing on Allah’s attributes, let it not be forgotten that it is also a form of exercise. Gentle exercise improves fitness and emotional well-being and increases longevity. The physical movements during the 34 daily compulsory sajdahs improve flexibility, co-ordination and relaxation response. Adrenaline and nor-adrenaline which are responsible for the consequent dynamism during the prayers combine with the tranquility and the serenity of the sajdah, due to the secretion of enkephalins, endorphins, gaba, glutamate, serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters. This makes the prayers unique in the sense that dynamism is combined in the same individual with serenity, euphoria and dignity. The effects of adrenaline and nor-adrenaline are apparent, even after the prayer is over, as evidenced by the continuing physical and mental activity. In fact, even the thought or intention (niyyah) of performing prayers is sufficient to activate the sympathetic nervous system to secrete adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Persons who perform prayers report feeling much better and healthier.
                  In the elderly, the level of physiological activity drops. Bones become thinner and osteoporotic. The skin also becomes thinner and wrinkled. The repair processes of the body become slower and immune responses are reduced. Reserve functions of all vital organs decline and the aged are more vulnerable to falls and disease. But prayers being compulsory and repeated, the regular movements of the body during the rituals will improve muscle tone and power, tendon strength, joint flexibility and the cardio–vascular reserve. This will enable the body to improve the quality of life and to meet with unexpected challenges which would have resulted in their falls, with consequent damage to their bodies. This will improve their stamina, self-esteem and self-confidence in being independent. The body movements help to prevent osteoporosis in the osteoporotic bones of elderly men and post-menopausal women.
                  The reinforcement of the calf muscle pump by active ankle movements prevents deep vein thrombosis, which is a common cause of pulmonary embolism and chronic ulcers of the legs in the elderly.
                  Growth hormone secretion is further elevated by exercise during prayers. As this hormone is necessary for collagen formation, this may be an important factor in the long delay of the wrinkling of skin of those Muslims who perform regular prayers. Exercise of prayer improves mood, thought and behavior. Although memory for short-term events deteriorates with old age, prayers improve memory in the elderly, for short-term events, by keeping the memory circuit in the brain open with neurons communicating with each other, especially by constant repetition of the verses from the holy Qur’an and other memorised supplications of Allah’s glory. This procedure also helps to screen the mind from other incoming thoughts.
                  The repetition of a prayer, supplications of glorification, dhikr (words glorifying Allah) or muscular activity, coupled with passive disregard of intrusive thoughts, causes a relaxation response, leading to lowering of B.P. Thus prayer puts the mind at ease. Islamic prayers are unique in that tension builds up in the muscles, during the physical movements of prayers, with accompanying adrenaline and noradrenaline. Simultaneously, tension is relieved in the mind due to the spiritual component, assisted by the secretion of enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins, serotonin, dopamine and so many others. All those persons who perform regular prayers feel more alert and active, even after the age of retirement. They can meet with unexpected challenges of life much better, such as running for a bus. This improves their stamina, self-esteem and self-confidence in being independent.
                  Islamic prayer incorporates gentle exercise, and the beneficial effects of gentle exercise on the body are as follows:
                  SKELETAL MUSCLE: An unused muscle atrophies in spite of availability of ample proteins. During prayers, every muscle in the body contracts. Just as a person who exercises regularly feels better, persons who perform the prayers regularly have also observed that they feel much better. Regular physical exertion also increases the probability that a person can remain active past the standard age of retirement.
                  TENDONS AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE: Exercise improves physical strength and joint stability and reduces risk of injury.
                  SKELETON: Bone mineral content falls with age, especially after age 40. Decrease in the bone density can be prevented or even reversed by mild exercise, in menopausal and in elderly women. Exercise increases bone mineral density at sites of maximal stress. Some areas of the skeleton have to bear extra pressure during Rukū‘ and Sajdah. The strain put on the forearm during prostration in lifting the body from the ground increases the bone mineral content of the forearm. Exercise also prevents osteoporosis and maintains normalcy in bone structures. The risk of osteoporosis and consequent hip fractures should be substantially less in those who take regular exercise or pray the five-time daily prayers.
                  The neck muscles also take an active part in the exercise of prostration. Both the flexor and the extensor muscles of the neck become stronger, and hence such persons do not suffer much from spondylosis and radiculopathies (‘pinched nerves’) of the cervical vertebrae. The same applies to the back and perineal muscles.
                  JOINTS: Exercise improves lubrication and range of movement and maintains flexibility. The varying load during the different postures of prayers causes a lubricating and therefore a protective flow of synovial fluid into the joint cavity.
                  ERHYTHROPOIETIC SYSTEM. Repeated exercise activates the erythropoietic processes (blood formation) in the bone marrow.
                  PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS. Exercise improves mood, thought and behavior. It improves the quality of life, reduces anxiety and depression, influences mood favourably and contributes to enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence. It improves memory in the elderly, especially if accompanied by constant repetition of the verses from the Holy Qurān and other verses of His Glory which additionally would help to screen the mind from other incoming thoughts. It puts the mind at ease. This relaxed state of the mind may be partly due to the release of enkephalins, beta endorphins and others into the circulation.
                  Islam is the only religion where physical movements of prayers are combined with spiritual exercise. Prayers being made compulsory throughout a person’s life, recurring every few hours or so, trains a person to undertake the difficult task of meditating during physical movements of prayers, so that he benefits both from spiritual as well as physical exercise.
                  Islamic prayers are unique in that tension builds up in the muscles during physical movements of prayers, while at the same time tension is relieved in the mind due to spiritual component. Still the best blessing is the peace of mind and the mental equipoise which a person derives by the accomplishment of his duty to Allah by fulfilling an obligation.
                  We prostrate in the direction of the Qiblah, which is the spiritual compass of the Muslim world. The central region of the Earth encompasses Makkah, the centre for the Muslim Ummah, and the point where, for Muslims, the heavenly axis touches the terrestrial plane. Makkah is also called the Mother of Cities (Umm-al-Qura) in the Holy Quran, and in popular literature, the “navel of the Earth”. The Ka‘bah is now, not only placed in the Centre of the Earth, according to the navel theory, but it forms the central point of the whole universe. The composition of the Black Stone (Ḥajaral-aswad) of the Ka‘bah has not yet been determined, whether it was originally a meteorite or not, and if so, whether any electro-magnetic waves are emitted from it in a radial direction.
                  The pineal gland situated in the brain is also called the Third Eye. It plays an important part in directional sense. Damage to the pineal gland causes defective sense of direction, perhaps by altering the intrinsic intracranial electro-magnetic environment and thus affecting the magnetic response mechanism. There is a high concentration of magnetite (a magnetic oxide of iron) in man, in the bones at the base of the skull. (Even worker honey bees and some other insects have a ring of magnetite in their abdomens which can detect magnetic fields useful for their navigation and direction. In birds and other animals the pineal gland contains magnetic material and is a centre for navigation. It is possible the same mechanism applies to humans, and if so, then the pineal gland may be our navigational system towards Sirāṭal Mustaqīm). The billions of red blood cells which contain iron and which are circulating in the body with every heart-beat form a magnetic flux at the base of the skull. It has not been worked out as to what effects these iron-containing red blood cells produce when they come near the base of the brain, and in turn, normalise the sense of direction through a neural or humeral or electro- magnetic pathway to the pineal gland. Added to this, by putting our forehead to the ground during sajdah so many times daily, it is not impossible to imagine that some electromagnetic waves radiating from the Ḥajar al Aswad would reach the pineal gland and help to straighten our sense of direction (Ṣirāṭ Al Mustaqim); if so, prostration may be one of the mechanisms available to Muslims who are prostrating in the direction of the Ka‘bah with a view to seeking the straight path.

                  THE PINEAL GLAND: Just a few words about the pineal gland. It is a small reddish gray, highly vascular pea-sized body referred to as “the Third Eye” because of its proximity to the surface of the skin in primitive animals and also because of its structural similarities to the human eye. The Western Fence Lizard has a fine and functional pineal gland with a photoreceptor element, directly on top of the head protruding through a foramen. The pineal gland of Pacific Tree frog and dog-fish shark contains cells which look like the cone cells of human retina which differentiate colours. (However, this is not the case in human beings who are already endowed with two eyes containing cones that can differentiate colours. Because we have the neo-cortex (the new brain, which distinguishes humans from animals), our pineal gland has shifted to a more central position in the brain, and is connected to many areas which control other functions of the body.
                  It produces melatonin, a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan and which regulates the circadian rhythm. Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin which is a necessary neurotransmitter of electrical impulses in the brain. The pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin which controls body rhythms, in particular our internal body clock and our sleeping and waking patterns. It may also play a role in a person's sexual development.The production of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. (Light is detected by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) which has direct connections to the retina, extending from the SCN to the spinal cord into superior cervical ganglia and from there into the pineal gland).
                  The pineal gland produces many hormones some of which are yet to be discovered. It is also involved in stimulating the immune system and probably gonadotrophins.
                  The pineal gland is sensitive to change in the electro-magnetic field of the Earth as well as those emanating from the Ḥajar al Aswad. During prostration, these waves may adjust the brain waves in our electroencephalogram which may be responsible for the sense of ego to vanish and usher humility, through neural connections with the amygdala and the pre-frontal cortex. Probably these brain waves are also responsible for balancing the secretion of both the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters responsible for inducement of humility. During prostration, the pineal gland may act as an “on and off switch” and may cut off undesirable signals arising in other parts of the brain, by producing melatonin or some such sedating hormone. Hence, the pineal gland is of interest both to scientists and theologians as it may well be a bridge between the spiritual third eye and the physical eye asking us to see for ourselves how far we have gone up Ṣirāt al Mustaqīm.
                  Prophet Muḥammadص used to incline his head and fix his gaze towards the ground at the area of prostration. In fact, he prohibited looking at the sky and hither and thither during prayers. This may have an additional effect due to some as yet undiscovered scientific basis. It is also said that we should sleep with our head (and not our feet) towards the Ka‘bah. Since Muslims believe in logic and not in magic, some scientific explanations may be forthcoming for the above statements in due course.

                  Salaam Imaan,

                  Nice article.. but it was written by someone else I assume. I would really like to hear your version of what YOU think prostration is.
                  .The Prophet sal Allahu alaiyhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”
                  http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by carol_au View Post
                    Salaam Imaan,

                    Nice article.. but it was written by someone else I assume. I would really like to hear your version of what YOU think prostration is.
                    Salaam Carol

                    Alhamdulilah prostration in prayers does immense good to me both spiritually and physically ....alhamdulillah .....I feel sorry for people who do not prostrate ...

                    :) :D
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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Imaan View Post
                      Salaam Carol

                      Alhamdulilah prostration in prayers does immense good to me both spiritually and physically ....alhamdulillah .....I feel sorry for people who do not prostrate ...

                      :) :D
                      Imaan .. thankyou for replying

                      But please.. think about my question.. what is true prostration? Is it what we do with our bodies in prayer, or is it much much more than that?
                      .The Prophet sal Allahu alaiyhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”
                      http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by carol_au View Post
                        Imaan .. thankyou for replying

                        But please.. think about my question.. what is true prostration? Is it what we do with our bodies in prayer, or is it much much more than that?
                        carol

                        you are just about right .....just physical prostration is not enough....I mean to say that salah is designed so as to get best of both such as spiritual enlightenment and physical upliftment ...and all this for free .....think about people who spent vast amount of money for yogas and medication .....
                        God understand human requirements the best and he gives the best gift of salah in which every movement and words are barkat blessings ... alhamdulilah.....i got cured of many physical problems such as back ache etcetra ...but the most important about prostration is submission which inculcates descipline in us and increase our iman faith....alhamdulilah....
                        these is just a personal openion

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Imaan View Post
                          carol

                          you are just about right .....just physical prostration is not enough....I mean to say that salah is designed so as to get best of both such as spiritual enlightenment and physical upliftment ...and all this for free .....think about people who spent vast amount of money for yogas and medication .....
                          God understand human requirements the best and he gives the best gift of salah in which every movement and words are barkat blessings ... alhamdulilah.....i got cured of many physical problems such as back ache etcetra ...but the most important about prostration is submission which inculcates descipline in us and increase our iman faith....alhamdulilah....
                          these is just a personal openion

                          My sincere appreciation Imaan.

                          You have written what I think is truth. I can prostrate but unless my heart is prostrating my prayers are meaningless. Prayer is indeed the greatest healer, and prostrating before God is a spiritual discipline that I personally have no problem with and do practice.

                          But.. when I see millions upon millions prostrating ... the question remains.. is their heart as prostrated as their body? Unless we can individually say yes, then we are only praying in the way Jesus condemned the Pharisees.

                          He said

                          And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you
                          .The Prophet sal Allahu alaiyhi wa sallam said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”
                          http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by carol_au
                            My sincere appreciation Imaan.

                            You have written what I think is truth. I can prostrate but unless my heart is prostrating my prayers are meaningless. Prayer is indeed the greatest healer, and prostrating before God is a spiritual discipline that I personally have no problem with and do practice.

                            But.. when I see millions upon millions prostrating ... the question remains.. is their heart as prostrated as their body? Unless we can individually say yes, then we are only praying in the way Jesus condemned the Pharisees.

                            He said

                            And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you
                            Of course heart must be there .....Islam recommends congregational prayers for unity of human hearts and also prayers which you quoted in the said verse like pray in home or closed rooms ......secret prayers are possible each moment ....
                            :) :) :)
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                              #15
                              Originally posted by carol_au View Post
                              Salaam Muhammad
                              Salaam Carol:)
                              Originally posted by carol_au View Post
                              I'd like to ask you what was umislamic about what was said in the article that
                              made you think it something to be avoided?You seemed more interested in the avoidance of the website than the article Tahiyah posted
                              I was commenting on the source not what he/she quoted:)
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