Did I discover something? I still ask myself this question. Thanks to a contest from Khan Academy which my son and his friend entered, my secret love for science was rekindled. During the contest preparation, I saw a video on an Oil Drop experiment by Robert A Millikan and H Fletcher. I almost jumped out of my seat.
My quest for finding the link between Islam, nature and science began during my Islamic Studies classes in my school Anjuman e Islam – Mumbai, especially the book we studied for four years called “Hamara Deen” (Our Religion). The study of Quran and its explanation by Maulana Maududi and Dr Israr Ahmed as well as my High school science studies answered many questions on the purpose of God’s creation.
God Almighty kept the brain close to the eyes and the ears, so that by reading, listening and observing simultaneously, we can learn, ponder, reflect, calculate, match, conclude and comprehend.
This comprehension can answer questions regarding the sun, moon, trees, animals, bees and so on. Also, questions linked to our acts of worship.
I would like to share my understanding of the question: “Why do Muslims pray?”
All thanks to Allah, the Almighty, Muslims have been praying for 1439 years. By submitting to God’s will and following His commandments on the basis of Islamic principles, i.e to hear and follow God’s Messenger. There are hundreds, if not thousands of Hadiths, Prophet’s (s) sayings, on the five daily prayers.
Ibn Umar (r) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (s) stated the following: “The place of prayer (salah) in religion is like the place of the head in the body.” (Majmau’l-Awsat, 3:154, (2313.) Imam Tabarani, Mu’jamu’s-Saghir)
So why pray?
Why do we thank the person who has done a favour for you? Because we acknowledge the fact that someone was kind enough to spare and sacrifice some of their time, effort, money or just a little attention, to help or support us.
In the same way, God Almighty who created us looked after all our needs, creating a beautiful world, giving us parents, families and friends. So why shouldn’t we thank him?
There are several signs in the Quran pointing to the purpose of the prayers e.g
“Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds” (al-Ankaboot 45). Nadwi has described this effect in the following eloquent way:
Its aim is to generate within the subliminal self of man such spiritual power, light of faith and awareness of God as can enable him to strive successfully against all kinds of evils and temptations and remain steadfast at times of trial and adversity and protect himself against the weakness of the flesh and the mischief of immoderate appetites. [Nadwi, p. 24]*.
For more details please visit *https://islamqa.info/en/12305.
But since we are in the age of Science, someone can still ask, “Why we have to ‘physically’ pray?”- Are there any scientific benefits in prayer? What is the logical reason behind praying?
To answer these questions, I got great help from one of Dr Zakir Naik’s video lectures, “Salah (Muslim Prayer) – a programme towards righteousness”, along with this and the explanation of oil drop experiment, I was stunned.
This is just my assumption based on observation and needs further citation.
So far the Quran does not contradict with science; in fact it has scientific facts in it since the 1400s, which were discovered within the last century or so, still the Quran contains many more facts which are yet to be uncovered.
In the oil drop experiment, atoms of the oil droplets get positively charged between the electric force and gravity, by losing the negatively charged electrons. In relation to one aspect of the Muslim prayer, by standing and sitting down again and again during the prayer, we get up against the gravity; this may result in our blood becoming positively charged, thus, making our blood more balanced and more capable of fighting diseases.
I have prepared this slide as a picture to explain the above mentioned assumptions and other scientific benefits of Muslim prayer from Dr Zakir Naik’s lecture. This diagram can explain it more simply and precisely for visualisation.