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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 02 December 2009 at 9:50am

The Medicine of the Prophet(pbuh): A Message Par Excellence

Islamic Foundations of Well-Being

The Prophet Muhammad laid down the foundation for a social order in which every member of society was advised to maintain a healthy life, physically, psychologically, and spiritually. No aspect of life was to be disregarded.

In the opinion of Douglas Guthrie (A History of Medicine, 1945), great advances in medicine made by Muslims during the Middle Ages were mainly due to the impact of the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. Guthrie writes, “Had not the Prophet Muhammad himself said, ‘O Servant of God, use medicine, because God hath not created a pain without a remedy for it’”?(Al-Tirmidhi)

As a matter of fact, there are several such sayings in which the Prophet laid great stress on medicine and discouraged seeking help through amulets, relics, and charms. For instance, the Prophet once said, There is a remedy for every malady and when the remedy is applied to the disease, it is cured.” This and several such hadiths have been described in Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud.

Once the Prophet was asked by one of his companions, “Is there any good in medicine?” To this he emphatically replied, “Yes.” As a result, Islamic teachings make it the duty of every society or group of people to conduct research and discover the remedy for diseases that afflict human beings. The concept of incurable diseases is thus alien to Islam.

Changing Age-Old Attitudes

There were several occasions when the Prophet visited the sick, and after enquiring about the ailments advised to take the medicine prescribed from experienced physicians. On several occasions he advised the sick to approach Harith bin Kalda, a well-known Jewish physician of Thaqif (a place near Madinah, Saudi Arabia where the Prophet resided at the time). On one particular occasion the Prophet visited Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas who had suffered a heart attack. When the Prophet placed his hand on the chest of Sa`d he felt great relief, but the Prophet cautioned him and said, “You’ve had a heart attack and therefore should consult Harith Bin Kalda, who is the expert physician.” It is these and many other similar occasions that greatly changed the attitude of the Arabs towards diseases. Arabs, during the pre-Islamic period, depended mainly on invoking supernatural aid or different deities for the treatment of disease.

The Prophet Muhammad, realizing the consequences of infectious epidemics, advised his companions that, “When you hear about a break of plague in any area, do not enter there and when it has broken in a land where you are, then do not run way from it (and thus spread it elsewhere).” On the basis of this hadith, Muslims considered precaution and vigilance against infectious epidemics as the command of God.The Prophet also opposed charms and incantations as a form of remedy for diseases.

The Prophet always cautioned physicians to take extreme care in treating their patients and warned those not well-versed in the skill of medicine not to attempt treating the ill lest they might be held responsible for any complications. Quackery is, therefore, forbidden in Islamic medical ethics.

The Prophet Muhammad advised his followers to always care for their health, and whenever they were ill, whether seriously or otherwise, consoled them and told them not to feel that they were victims of the wrath of Allah. “Disease,” he said, “is not the wrath of Allah, because Prophets also suffered great pains, much greater than ordinary people.” Imagine what a solace these sayings would have provided to the followers of Islam.

Hope as Medicine

There are many Prophetic hadiths in Bukhari, Muslim and others that show that people were accustomed to go to the Prophet regularly and tell him about their ailments. He would advise them to resort to medicine first and then pray to God to get rid of the disease. On several occasions he would himself suggest certain medicines. For instance, in case of loss of appetite he frequently advised his followers to take talbina, a preparation made from barley. For constipation he used to recommend the use of senna. He was also in favor of regular use of honey for keeping fit. Similarly, for different ailments he would advise the use of olives, black cumin, chicory, endive fenugreek, ginger, marjoram, saffron, vinegar, and watercress. Hadiths on these medicines and others show the concern of the Prophet for the welfare and good health of his followers. For even apparently small matters like drinking water, eating food, and keeping clean and tidy he also gave advice. He is noted to have said, “Cleanliness is half of faith.”

Some of the hadiths on black cumin, senna, and watercress are very thought provoking. For instance, the Prophet is reported to have said that, “Black cumin is a remedy for every disease except death.” The Prophet expressed similar views on the efficacy of senna and cress.

The style and language of these hadiths are a clear indication of the fact that the Prophet placed great stress on medicines. These hadiths also put emphasis on confidence building of the ill towards their diseases and agonies suffered. Very rational advice was given that none should be disheartened by the intensity and duration of the disease because remedies have been provided by nature. They were also advised not to be afraid of impending death.

Once during the time of the Prophet, a person committed suicide as he could not bear the agony of his disease. The Prophet condemned the act and refused to participate in the last rites. Thus, hopelessness, despondency, dejection and frustration on account of serious disease and pain are against the spirit and tenets of Islamic medical ethics, as shown by the tradition of the Prophet.

The Human Prophet

Although the Prophet on one hand gave suitable advice to his followers on earthly affairs when such situations were brought to his attention, on the other hand he tried his best to create confidence in themselves so that they could act according to their own experience and opinions. Once, while withdrawing his advice given earlier on the cross pollination of date palm he said, Whenever I command you to do something related to religion, do obey. And if I command you something about earthly matters, act on your own (experience) and (do remember) I am a human being.”



Edited by a well wisher - 02 December 2009 at 10:24am
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Healing and Faith
 
The relationship between faith and healing has always been a point of curiousity and controversy. Most of us have heard stories of people recovering from serious diseases due to their faith. Exploring and investigating this relationship by scientific means has been a taboo among scientists and medical doctors for centuries. As recently as 15 years ago, it would have been considered academic suicide to propose such a study.

But this has started to change. Increasingly, professionals from respected institutions are conducting scientific studies of the effects of faith in healing. Recent conferences at Harvard, the Mayo Clinic, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) signal this change, as does major media coverage on PBS, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and CBS This Morning. The examples of such scientific studies, the people behind them, and their findings....

http://www.fountainmagazine.com/article.php?ARTICLEID=207

 


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 16 December 2009 at 1:05pm

Medical Team's Support of Terminal Cancer Patients' Spiritual Needs Improves Quality of Life

ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2009) — In a new study of terminally ill cancer patients, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found support of patients' spiritual needs by the medical team is associated with greater use of hospice, less aggressive care, and greater quality of life near death. The study is published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology on its web site and later will be published in a print edition.

"Recent research has shown that religion and spirituality are major sources of comfort and support for patients confronting advanced disease," says the study's senior author, Tracy Balboni, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber. "Our findings indicate that patients whose spiritual needs are supported by their medical team, including doctors, nurses and chaplains, have better quality of life near death and receive less aggressive medical care at the end of life."

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 19 December 2009 at 8:27am

Be Happy, Be Healthy… Be Altruistic

"Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancor (Qur'an, 5:3)." Kindness is a teaching of most of the world's religions - from Buddhism to Judaism and from Christianity to Islam.

Studies have shown that the Muslim doctrine of " Amr bil ma'rouf wa nahi 'ani almunkar" (ordering good and denouncing or literally "dis-ordering", evil) has significant health benefits in both the physical and psychological realm.

Among the many doctors who have performed studies on philanthropy is Allan Luks. In his study, he concluded that "Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders both serious and minor, psychological and physical." His experiment on more than 3,000 volunteers revealed that after an act of kindness, people first feel a "rush of euphoria" and then a long period of tranquility and well-being. During this stress-reduced period, immune system responses are improved. "This feeling of well-being is critically important" (Luks).

Luks also observed that 95% of his altruistic volunteers had better health status compared to others of the same age. He noted that acts of altruism in 57% cases increased self-esteem and in 53% produced a feeling of happiness and optimism, reducing depression. Further studies by other experts have confirmed his findings.

A Stanford University study demonstrated that rheumatoid arthritis pain could be improved if the patient reduced depression and bad feelings. "Civic connections are predictors of life happiness," writes Robert Putnam in his book Bowling Alone. "Studies show that American society is decreasing in connection with others: family, friends, and neighbors… Social happiness has to be based on altruism and solidarity" (Luks).

Another study, lead by Dr. David McClelland at Harvard University, determined the effects of altruism on the immune system. One of his experiments consisted of showing movies of altruistic acts to his students; he then measured the rate of immunoglobulin A - which helps fight against cold viruses - in the students' saliva. He discovered that the amount of this immunoglobulin increased for those who watched the altruistic movies and even more for those who wanted to do something good after (Luks).

Here is a list of diseases that Luks calls "the ills that helping helps":

  • Obesity
  • Sleeplessness
  • Acid stomach, ulcers
  • Headaches and backaches
  • Depression
  • Colds and flu
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Asthma
  • Faster recovery from surgery
  • Cancer
  • Coronary artery disease

The desire to act kindly may also be a way to repair a previously committed bad act writes Luks.

Dr. Dean Ornish found that hostility seriously damages the circulatory system saying, "It creates an exaggerated focus on the self that can intensify feelings of isolation and separateness, which, in their turn, invite increased stress and further physical damage." This increased stress can be counterbalanced by acts of kindness.

To further the good benefits of altruism, Putnam developed a theory called "generalized reciprocity" in order help nurture a happier society. His "golden rule" states that, "I'll do this for you without expecting anything specific back from you, in the confident expectation that someone else will do something for me down the road."

But this is difficult to put into action for no one has the certitude that someone else will really do something for him one day. On the other hand, if we change just a bit of this theory it becomes much more practicable: "I'll do this for you without expecting anything specific back from you for I know Allah will reward me anyway."

Most philanthropic acts include the idea of being rewarded and "Religion has been a factor in humankind's perception of obligations since the dawn of human history" (Joseph).

Finally, when we look at the precedent set by actual societies, we find that among the happiest of societies was the first Muslim society. Those Muslims were the reflection of Islamic doctrines in the Qur'an and Sunnah; they were helping each other, neither for money, nor for fame but for the sake of Allah.

"A believer is like a brick for another believer, the one supporting the other," said the Prophet Muhammad (saws) (Bukhari)."

Sources:

  • The Holy Qur'an
  • Joseph, James. "Council on Foundations." National Council on Foundations. September 2001.
  • Luks, Dr. Allan. "Health Benefits of Altruism." The Random Acts Of Kindness Foundation.
  • Sahih Bukhari

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&pagename=Zone-English-HealthScience/HSELayout&cid=1157962522634

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 24 December 2009 at 4:39pm

How Prayer Accelerates the Treatment of the Sick

The positive effect of faith and prayer on the sick and the way these accelerate treatment is a matter that has attracted the attention of and is recommended by doctors. Under the heading "God and Health: Is Religion Good Medicine? Why Science Is Starting to Believe," the November 10, 2003, edition of the famous magazine Newsweek took the curative effect of religion as its cover story. It reported that faith in God raised people's morale and helped them recover more easily, and that science had also begun to believe that people with religious faith recover more easily and quickly. According to a Newsweek survey, 72 percent of Americans say they believe that praying can cure someone and that prayer facilitates recovery. Research in Great Britain and the USA has also concluded that prayer reduces patients' symptoms and accelerates the recovery process.

According to research conducted at Michigan University, depression and stress are observed to a lesser extent in the devout. And, according to findings at Rush University in Chicago, the early death rate among people who worship and pray regularly is some 25 percent lower than in those with no religious convictions. Another study conducted on 750 people, who underwent angiocardiography, proved scientifically the "curative power of prayer." It was established that the death rate among heart patients who prayed decreased by 30 percent within a year after their operations...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 19 January 2010 at 2:43pm

Prophetic Medicine

A common concern among some students of the Sunnah is with the 'medicine of the Prophet'. They focus their energy and concern on the medicines, nutriments, herbs, grains, and other things from what the Prophet, peace be upon him, described as being medicines in the treatment of some bodily defects or illnesses. They quote well-known hadiths in this regard, for example:

"The best of what you can use as medicine is cupping." [Al-Tabarani]

"[It is incumbent] upon you [to treat] with this black seed, for in it there is healing for every ailment except al-sam, and that is death." [Ibn Majah]

"Wear kohl with antimony for it clears the vision and makes the hair grow." [Al-Tirmidhi]

These prescriptions and their likes are not of the spirit of the Prophetic medicine. Rather, its spirit is preservation of the life and health of the human being, and soundness of the body and its strength, its right to rest when tired, to food when hungry, and to treatment when ill. Its spirit is that the seeking of treatment does not contradict faith in predestination (al-qadr), nor reliance upon God. Its spirit is that for every ailment there is a cure, and confirmation of the law of God (sunnat Allah) in respect of contagion; the legitimization of quarantine for health reasons; the concern for hygiene of the person, the house and the road; and the prohibition of pollution of water and land; the emphasis on prevention above cure; the stipulation of relaxation to preserve bodily well-being; and the preservation of the health of the mind alongside bodily health - and other teachings which represent the reality of the Prophetic medicine, in those aspects of it which are true for every time and place.

The means change at times, from age to age, from one situation to another. Indeed it is inevitable that they should change. So, when a hadith stipulates a particular means, that is only to be taken as an explanation of the reality of its time: we are not bound by it, and we are not restricted to it.


Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
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Healing and Mercy

 
 
 
"We send down (stage by stage) in the Quran, that which is a healing and mercy." (17:82)

The results of researches conducted over a group of volunteers from the USA who were subject to a recitation of the Quran were striking. A trace of a tranquilizing effect was recorded on 97% of the participants. Although many of these volunteers did not know Arabic, they nonetheless experienced involuntary physiological changes that led to notable alleviation in the acuity of tension they were observed to possess in their nervous systems prior to the experiment.

Furthermore, an EEG experiment during the Quran recitation revealed that the encephalic waves moved at a slower pattern, indicating a state of deep calmness. Non-Arabic speaking people felt assured, quite, and relaxed when listening to the Quranic verses, in spite of their inability to understand their meaning. This is one the miracles of the Holy Quran.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, revealed this miracle by saying, "People assembled in one of the houses of Allah (Mosques), and who recite and study the Book of Allah, find that a tranquility prevails over them, and that mercy encompasses them, and that the angels surround them, and that Allah mentions them in the presence of those near Him."


Medical Miracales of the Quran - Dr. Sharif Kaf Al-Ghazal

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 24 January 2010 at 3:52pm
Physiological Prevention of Cancer
Cancer as a distorted state of cellular behavior
The development of cancer in the human body is multi-stepped and it may take several years before the cancer is detected by modern technology. In fact, cancer begins when there is an error at the molecular level that is not put right, deep inside the cell. This error can be a single mutation in the reference manuals or “codes” called genes, or it can be another factor that is either inadequate or excessive. This mutation can happen in many ways; but why does it happen? There certainly must be an important reason for it happening. If we choose to understand the message then we will see that one of the purposes of this change could be to enable us to learn from the consequences of our actions.

How is this so? One only truly appreciates a system when it no longer functions properly. Hence, we can see that cancer may be the consequence of a single mistake that has not been corrected in one gene. This means that a single mistake can be amplified in such a way that it affects the entire being, and this is only because each event is connected to every other event. Understanding this will enable us to become more aware of our actions and to think more about their consequences before we act.

The connection between faith, moral virtue and the biological entity
 
In a healthy individual, cancer cells are always being created, however, they are immediately destroyed by specialized immune cells. The formation of full-blown cancerous tissue happens when the initial cancer cell is not destroyed. This clearly indicates that the health of the individual depends on the ability to destroy the cancer cell in the first instance. The tolerance or acceptance of the cancer cell as a healthy cell only occurs when the immune cells required for the destruction of the cancer cell are not activated or sensitized. In a similar manner, the moral and spiritual integrity of an individual depends on how aware they are of their mistakes, or indeed, whether they recognize their mistakes as mistakes.
 
This is exactly the same process that is referred to as repentance in the three monotheistic religions. The one who repents feels remorse for their sins/mistakes and turns toward The One who will forgive sins. In an ideal society, this process is manifested as actively and strategically forbidding evil (or injustice) and advocating good, as without this process, without the application of good social justice will spread.

When the ability to recognize or sense a mistake is lost in an individual, then the person concerned will fail to regret any mistakes they make and begin to think all their actions are correct. Such a negative process is a delusion which leads the individual to think that they never commit any mistakes. The consequence of this process is a downward spiral in moral values and accountability of the individual and can be directly likened to a biological system that has allowed the growth of cancer. ..

On the other hand, in a spiritually and biologically healthy individual, mistakes are repaired and are not long-lived, just like in the healthy cells that work unceasingly for the benefit of the being in which they are found. They respond to all their own needs as well as to those around them, they are not oblivious of others and they respect the individual rights of the people in their lives, especially the ones who have given the most to them, for example, parents, family, and friends. The balanced individual learns from the mistakes they commit, and they take care not to commit them again. In this way, as each action is connected to all the other actions of other entities, this individual becomes a means of an amplifying, productive cycle that has far-reaching consequences for the entire community.

The human being is brought into this world pure and with a perfect constitution. However, each individual's unrefined ego must be trained so it can acquire the ability to recognize the mistakes that will interrupt its connection with the rest of the universe. These mistakes can only be recognized through great virtues like faith and knowledge of the Creator, knowledge of the self, gratitude, honesty, trustworthiness, sincerity, and humility, as well as perseverance in the face of adversity. It as if one who has been given these values can take the correct precautions to prevent any possible spiritual contamination, just as in a healthy biological system.
Hence, faith enables a believer to behave in conjunction and in harmony with the myriad of systems in the visible and invisible universe with which it is connected...
 
 
 
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Healing Power of Faith and Prayer: Religious and Scientific Perspectives
 

Religion is commonly relied upon to cope with the stress caused by health problems. Now the medical effects of faith are considered a matter not just of faith but also of science.

More than three hundred scientific studies demonstrate the medical value of religious commitment (including worship attendance, prayer, scripture study, and an active participation in a spiritual community). These benefits include enhanced prevention and treatment of mental disorders (e.g. depression, suicide, and anxiety), medical and surgical illness (e.g; heart disease, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases), and addiction, reduced pain and disability; and prolonged survival.(7) In addition, spiritual treatment (e.g; prayer, religiously based psychotherapy) enhances recovery. (8)

For the faithful, religious commitment offers many health advantages. A cohesive, comforting set of beliefs and participation in sacred rituals may endow a sense of meaning, purpose, & hope. Faith offers a “peace that passeth understanding” in times of pain, grief and disability. Healthy life style choice (e.g. exercise, proper diet) are more common and unhealthy behaviors (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, & drug use, suicide attempts; high risk sexual activity) are less common among religious persons. Persons of faith usually cope effectively with stress and have strong social support and a high quality of life. (9)

Dr. Frankle, who developed a system of psychotherapy, which in his own words, “not only recognizes man’s spirit, but actually starts from it” quotes research findings which indicate that about 20 percent of neurosis result from inability of the patients to find any purpose in life. He further says that it may be the task of the therapist to direct them to a meaning in life by the realization of some value. This realization may be achieved, not only by accomplishing worthwhile tasks, but also sometimes by the adoption of an attitude of acceptance of inevitable sufferings. (10)

It is not surprising, then, that three major studies (recently published in the American Journal of Public Health and Journal of Gerontology performed in different parts of United States by different research teams have found religiously active people living considerably longer than non-religious. The lack of religious involvement has an effect on mortality that is equivalent to forty years of smoking one pack of cigarettes per day (11)

Several studies have now discovered a connection between religious involvement and immune system function. For example, in a study of 1718 subjects( age sixty five or over) conducted by Duke University researchers, low level of church attendance were associated with higher levels of interleukin – 6 (IL-6), a blood protein indicative of immune system dysfunction. Higher levels of religious attendance in 1986, 1989 and 1992 all predicted lower IL-6 levels. Higher levels of IL-6 (< 5ng/ml) are found in persons with AIDS, osteoporosis, Al- zheimer’s disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. Frequent church attendees were only half as likely as non-attendees to have high levels of IL-6 in their blood, suggesting that they have strong immune system. (12)

Likewise, studies of patients with AIDS indicate stronger immune system functioning among those who are more religiously involved. (13)

In an another extensive study of healing by Dr. Dale Matthews and associates, personal prayers caused an overall 20 percent decrease in the amount of pain experienced by patients with arthritis. Patients also reported less swelling in their joints, greater mobility, and a heightened sense of spiritual peace. Dr. Matthews describes the reason of comfort,

“It raises the possibility that perhaps the effect of prayer is not going through the inflammatory mechanism, but instead is happening at a man cerebral level.”

Dr. Mathews also identified the act of physically putting one’s hand on the patient as more interactive, identifying the patient-healer interaction as a possible mechanism. (14)

Many modern psychologists like Jung, Brill, Link, Borgin, Loewanthal, Worthington, etc; acknowledge the fact that a person having a strong belief and practicing religion can better cope with psychological disorders than the one who does not practice religion. (16)

Recently an interesting study was conducted in Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, on the effect of ‘Tahajjud Salat’ (late night prayer) in curbing depression. In this study, one experimental group was advised to recite the Holy Quran, offer prayer and be busy in invocation (dhikr). The other group was advised to remain busy in home tasks, etc. Then the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was used to measure results. Astonishingly, 25 out of 32 patients of experimental group showed remarkable recovery from depression. The other group’s majority showed no change. (15)

Dr. Charles T. Kaelber reported in his article LINK BETWEEN DEPRESSION and SPIRITUALITY that depression is less common in people who are actively involved in religious activities. (17)

Kate Loewenthal also concludes in his book “The Psychology of Religion” religion can affect patterns of stress, and this can affect patterns of distress and of minor psychiatric disorders. We could suggest that minor anxiety is a disorder associated with the religious life, while major depression is a disorder associated with secularization.

Religious Activity –> Belief that God is in control, supporting all for the best –> positive mood –> Lower distress (18)

Why religion supports people and why faith in God is so helpful to people in distress, Dr. Pargament, the author of “The Psychology of Religion and Coping” speaks:

“I believe religion offers a response to the problem of human insufficiency. Try as we might to maximize significance through our own insights and experiences or through those of others, we remain human, finite and limited. At any time we may be pushed beyond our immediate resources, exposing our basic vulnerability to ourselves and the world. To this most basic of existential crises, religion holds solutions. The solutions may come in the form of spiritual support when other forms of social support are lacking, explanations when no other explanations seem convincing, and a sense of ultimate control through the sacred when life seems out of control or new objects of significance when old ones are no longer compelling.” (19)

Johnson sums it up more eloquently:
“It is because man is finite with infinite possibilities that he ventures upon the religious quest. He is naturally finite, yet he learns infinite possibilities which he cannot reach alone. Thus, he will never be content to endure the finite loneliness of self – sufficient isolation …. Religious learning is the discovery of ultimate resources to meet infinite longings of the finite spirit. (20)

Mark Su, a physician at the Tufts University Family Residency Program in Boston, Massachusetts, examined 212 studies from the past 20 years that examined the relationship between spirituality & health… most from the Judeo – Christian Perspective. Su found that 75 percent of these studies reported a positive benefit, 17 percent showed mix or no effect, and 7 percent found a negative impact on health.

Su found religion had the most positive impact on health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and hypertension. Presenting the findings at the annual scientific assembly of the America Academy of Family Physicians in Atlanta – October 2001, Su said asking patients about their religious backgrounds practices and community is a relationship builder: “it leads to meaningful discussions: it creates a bond.” (21)

The Holy Quran also describes in its various verses that the real peace of mind and tranquility lies in faith in Almighty Allah and in His remembrance. Quran declares:

Those who believe, and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, do the hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Those who believe and do right, joy (Tuba) and true happiness is for them and a beautiful plea of find return. (22)

Abdullah Yousaf Ali comments on the word ‘Tuba’
‘Tuba’ an internal state of Satisfaction, an inward joy which is difficult to describe in words but which reflects itself in the life of the good man through good and ill fortune, through good report and evil. And then there is the final goal to which his eyes are turned, the beautiful Home of rest in the Hereafter, after his life’s struggles are over. That goal is God Himself. (23)

So the true happiness in fact comes from the true belief in almighty Creator and from the values one cherishes and the virtues one nourishes. While all pleasures stemming from carnal desires and material phenomena disappear soon after their satisfaction, the bliss surrounding moral and spiritual consummation always remains alive and fresh in human mind and soul.

When we acquire complete satisfaction by advancing from doubt to faith, ignorance to knowledge, negligence to remembrance, sin to repentance, hypocrisy to sincerity, falsehood to truth, pride to humility, lethargy to action, haughtiness to lowliness, the soul is pacified. The delight, joy and comfort of soul are with the remembrance of Allah, from Him it comes and to Him it will return.

So we can say that real satisfaction is due to closeness to God and remoteness from God results in mental diseases.

 

http://www.fiqh.org/2009/04/healing-power-of-faith-and-prayer-religoius-and-scientific-perspectives/

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 26 February 2010 at 6:47pm

ISLAMIC SOLUTION TO DEPRESSION

Belief is the Greatest Cure No pill, counseling session, techniques to cope can compare to a strong belief in God. As long as one believes in a loving God, one has a reason to be optimistic. Belief can give you the ability to handle all sorts of difficult situations. It can give a person the ability to see the positive in the overwhelmingly negative situation. If you do not believe in God, I would suggest to believe in Him, give it a try and see if your outlook on the situation changes for the positive. We all need a something to keep us focused and keep us going, we all need something that bring clarity to our world, all need to hold on to something for support. If there is a God, and there is, there is nothing stronger then the knowledge you can hold on to him to help you cope with your situation. Also, if there is a God, there must be good in what you are going through, you may not understand that today, but if we look at our past situations in life, we will see how the hard times, made us grow. There is a saying, “God does not create trash.”—Humans being the greatest creation of God, and YOU were an idea God had that came into existence, so your worth is that God thought of you to begin with. Also, God does not forsake His care over his creation and you are His creation.

Expectations Most of our depression happens due to high and sometimes unrealistic expectations. If we can lower our expectations, we minimize the risk of going into depression. If we can minimize our expectation from others-then we really put ourselves in a position of strength and fortify ourselves from being exposed to feelings of being let down, betrayal and rejection-which are strong precipitating factors for losing self esteem, feeling low and going into depression.


Some Basic Truths

  1. No human being is burdened with trouble and difficulties they cannot bear.The Quran teaches “(God) will never place a burden on a soul that it can not bear”. This shows that the human being can bear many unthinkable burdens, that one initially feels that they cannot bear. How many times in your life, you felt you cannot take it anymore, but you lived through it? How many humans go through great difficulties in life but live through it?
  2. After every hardship is ease Life is one difficulty after another. One task after another, one issue after another. However, it is important to know that while life tests us, there is ease after hardship. There is the ease of death after the hardship of life, there is ease of sleep after the hardships of the day, there is ease of retirement after the hardship of a career, and everything has a high and a low. What goes up, must come down, likewise, Tough times only mean, the times of ease are near. The Quran teaches, “The morning light after the stillness of darkness”….when its dark everything seems still as if it will never go away. The fact is nothing remains forever and nothing remains the same. So, after every time of difficulty there is ease. The Quran teaches, “There is ease after hardship, Indeed there is ease after hardship.”
  3. Suffering purifies our humanness

    When we go through difficult times, when we have a financial loss, when we lose a loved one, when we struck by bad times, it brings out the real humanness in us, and we begin to ask the very questions that are most fundamental to us, “Why are we here?”, “What is the purpose of life”, “why me”, “What happened to all my plans and dreams, etc. We learn the frailty of our humanness. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Look at the ones who are less fortunate then you, not at the ones are more fortunate then you.”

    Hunger attracts food. Hunger is a spiritual experience, it is good for the soul, and food is an experience of the body. In the same way, ease and happiness is good liked by the body and is welcomed, and hardships and difficulty are disliked by the body but are very good for the soul. It forces the soul to deal with the difficult questions of life. It helps us to grow as humans, to find and deal with our human frailness. And our human frailness helps us to find our inner most nature.

    It’s not the events, which take place that cause happiness or depression-but it’s our inner reflection of our situation that determines our spirituality and our emotional maturity.

  4. You are not in control, but can choose what you want to do Depression happens because of a feeling of helplessness. A feeling that we are not in control; you should embrace that you are not in control at the moment. You should embrace your lack of control over your situation. Most depression occurs because of external situations and how we allow external situations to affect our insides. Perhaps, it’s a good time to turn to the One Who does control everything. All we ask is you is to, try this… pray to God, even if you don’t believe in God, pray to Him, talk to Him, and you will feel so comforted in your heart. Tell God that you know He is in control. Cry to him. We are taught that by turning to God, we restore ourselves like a dying plant becomes green with water. As an experiment, do this on blind faith and see if it works, say, “All admiration belongs to you, if good comes to me its from you, and if some trouble comes to me its from you, I submit to you, and this situation to you.” Say this even if you do not believe in God, and see how you feel in the inside. Second, you can take action regarding your situation. Life is all about choices; a choice is like putting a seed in the ground that may bare fruit. You put the seed, and the unseen forces bring the rain. Work on what you can do, you can sow the seed, you can make the right choices, and you can start to work in a direction that you want to move in.
  5. Three Days The past is gone forever. The Present is all you have, and the future; leave it for when it comes. The life in this world is short, our time for this life is constantly running out. One of the great scholars of Islam said, “There is only one day separating me and the Kings. As for the yesterday, their taste of it has vanished, and both they and I equally fear what tomorrow will bring. Thus, there is only today. What will today bring?”
  6. Everything is in a Flux, and Most Change is Spontaneous Nothing stays the same. The atoms, the celestial bodies in the heavens, air, water, etc, nothing stay the same from one moment to the next. Everything is in a flux, this means people in health will soon face illness, people in illness will soon have relief. Those that are happy today will soon undergo some sadness, and those that are sad will have happiness. Most changes in life are spontaneous; losing a job, death of a loved one, an accident, a terminal illness, etc. This means that your situation will not be the same forever, if you are not in control today, there will come a time where it is.


Edited by a well wisher - 26 February 2010 at 9:40pm
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 11 March 2010 at 5:34pm
The Newly Discovered Dimension of The Heart

In our world of knowledge and wisdom, there are two meanings for the word “heart”; as an emotion that is open to the spiritual realms and an important power plant for the biological structure. Our Lord, Who has created everything in pairs, has created the heart as a dual structure too, as both the material and the spiritual heart.  But since the content and nature of the relationship between these two hearts has not yet been fully revealed, it is still open for research.
 
Modern medicine, which tries to understand the biological structure of human beings, has been carrying out research in recent years that reveals the manifestations of the above fact. For instance, in classical text books the heart is introduced as a mechanical system that pumps the blood, a center to which all the organs of the body are directed; but recent research shows that there is a nerve system in the heart, just as there is in the brain, and that the heart assumes responsibility, to the same degree as the brain, in the control of the body. It has been revealed that the harmonious functioning of all the other bodily systems is regulated by the heart to the same degree as done by the brain. In recent years, the heart has been depicted as the sage and master of the palace that is the body. Alongside the abstract, analytical, and logical intellect of the brain, the heart is equipped with emotional and communicational intellect.
 
Emotions are first produced in the heart; the signals produced in the heart are then carried very rapidly over to the limbic system of the brain. It is then through the brain that the emotional response is carried over to the body and communicated to those around it. Research which has been carried out in the framework of studying the heart-brain relationship has revealed things that may change our attitude toward the heart, as well as affecting our presuppositions about humanity and how our health can be protected.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 24 March 2010 at 3:00pm

Health Benefits of Saying "Alhamdulillah"

There are many examples in the Qur'an and Hadith of the virtues of a positive mental attitude, perseverance and optimism in the face of adversity. However, did you know that patience and a positive outlook on life are two of the greatest healing tools that you can use?

The Qur'an (2:155) says, "Give glad tidings to those who exercise patience when struck with adversity and say, 'Indeed, we belong to God and to Him is our return.' Such ones receive [the] blessings and mercy of their Lord, and such are the guided ones." According to the findings of modern science, it appears that this mercy may often come in the form of improved health.

Bernard Jensen says, in his book The Science and Practice of Iridology, "The doctor of the new day will recognize that a man's most important workshop is not the physical body, but the mind that controls it." Dr. Ted M. Morter confirms this in his book, Your Health... Your Choice, when he says that "negative thoughts are the number one acid producer in the body (and high body acidity levels are a major cause of disease)… because your body reacts to negative mental and emotional stress brought about by thought the same way it reacts to 'real' threats of physical harm."

In fact, hospital studies show that, of all the patients who consult outpatient clinical facilities in the United States, an astounding seventy percent are found to have no organic basis for their complaint. That figure is amazingly high. However, although medically these patients are not found to have an obvious organic source for their complaints, there actually is a physical basis for this phenomenon....The mind is in the brain, and the brain is an organ. Like all other organs, it feeds from the same pool of nutrients that other body organs feed from and is susceptible to all of the same problems. Ultimately, the brain is just a part of our body like all of the other parts and is completely dependent on the body.If we keep in mind that the brain is an organ and that it works in harmony with the other organs and feeds from the same bloodstream, we can understand how various mental events can affect us physically.Causes eventually would be found to be biochemical.

Staying patient and calm is key to physical strength.
 
It produces calm and health to practice saying, "Alhamdulillah" for what we have and for what we are faced with.
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 03 April 2010 at 6:10pm

Prayer Increases Forgiveness, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2010) — We have all been guilty of a transgression at one time or another. That's because we're not perfect. We all commit hurtful acts, violate trust, and hope for forgiveness.

That's simply a fact, and here's another one: Nine out of 10 Americans say that they pray -- at least on occasion. Florida State University psychologist Nathaniel Lambert put these two facts together and came up with an idea: Why not take all that prayer and direct it at the people who have wronged us? Is it possible that directed prayer might spark forgiveness in those doing the praying -- and in the process preserve relationships?

Lambert and his colleagues decided to test this scientifically in two experiments appearing in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. In the first, they had a group of men and women pray one single prayer for their romantic partner's well being. Others -- the experimental controls -- they simply described their partner, speaking into a tape recorder.

Then they measured forgiveness. The scientists defined forgiveness as the diminishing of the initial negative feelings that arise when you've been wronged. Their results showed that those who had prayed for their partner harbored fewer vengeful thoughts and emotions: They were more ready to forgive and move on.

If one single prayer can cause such a striking difference in feelings, then what could prayer over a period of time do for a relationship? In a second study, the researchers had a group of men and women pray for a close friend every day for four weeks. Others simply reflected on the relationship, thinking positive thoughts but not praying for their friend's well-being. They also added another dimension. They used a scale to measure selfless concern for others -- not any particular person but other people generally. They speculated that prayer would increase selfless concern, which in turn would boost forgiveness.

And that's just what they found. But why? How does this common spiritual practice exert its healing effects? The psychological scientists have an idea: Most of the time, couples profess and believe in shared goals, but when they hit a rough patch, they often switch to adversarial goals like retribution and resentment. These adversarial goals shift cognitive focus to the self, and it can be tough to shake that self-focus. Prayer appears to shift attention from the self back to others, which allows the resentments to fade.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 06 May 2010 at 7:18pm
Inside a Patient's Room

Hospital chaplains often intersect a person’s life at the time of their most desperate need. An unwed mom watches the scene unfold, as her newborn leaves the hospital with adoptive parents. An elderly gentleman speaks of war’s atrocities witnessed on the battle field, firsthand. Anxious, desperate parents wanting their young child to live, wait desperately for lab test results. Facing what may be the final season of life, saddened by illness, and unrealized hopes and dreams, many simply need to tell their stories.

Walking into patients’ rooms during random visits always demands courage, self-esteem, and a positive outlook, together with a strong sense of spirituality. But chaplains learn early on to overcome a fear of rejection when they initiate a visit, enter a hospital room and experience a patient who opens their heart in a slow but sincere manner.

Some people think it is about religion. But I found that people accept or reject a chaplain’s visit for a variety of reasons. Religion often never enters the conversation. Chaplains are, in most cases, expected to leave that part to the patients. We just carry them wherever they want to go. Sometimes people respond that they are “Okay that way,” which I interpreted as having their own way of meeting their spiritual or emotional needs. For many, loneliness was one of the main reasons to accept, and anger, the main reason to reject a visit from a chaplain.

In the emergency room, when doctors put forth their greatest efforts to save a patient’s life, death is oh so near. How this death, which we always imagine as being a million miles away from us, so close at that moment? I reflect; "Am I in the same room with the angel of death at this very moment?" The reality of death removes all blocks between the chaplain and the patient; it brings us back to our humanness and our primordial state in front of God.

I encounter lonely, elderly men. These were once tough men, brave men; men who fought in our country’s wars. They were hard workers, often at menial jobs done sacrificially to provide for their families. Most never knew how to express their emotions. Many of them, shattered by the horrors from fighting in wars and suffering family tragedies, needed to be heard. It is a privilege to be the one listening to their stories and moved by a compassion that was never before experienced.

It is not often that any of us witness older men shedding tears. In the privacy of our visit, they voiced their doubt, fear and anger. “No one should ever have to see what I saw, what I was involved in. God – where was God then?” My heart would be crying out to God, “How do I respond? What do I say?” They were asking difficult questions that deserved more than a glib reply. I did not possess the words or the compassion in my own strength. I needed to increasingly rely on God in my encounters. I too wondered “why” and felt their fear and frustration. I listened. I know “God works all things for the good for those who love him” (Romans 8:28). Yet, meeting these men and women, voicing their prayers and concerns to God with them, I grieved.

A life-threatening illness grants a saint’s wisdom to the most vulgar person. Not an automatic or an easy transition, but it cultivates the soul gradually, inch by inch. Since the time Albert learned about his cancer, he has been seeing through a different lens; “All my accomplishments, my goals and ambitions meant nothing for me in seconds when I learned that I had cancer.” Lost is the pleasure of health, and the reality of life and death are finally under daylight. The sick person has the longest time in the world to reflect on this.

Anxious and distressed, an old lady complains that the young do not understand the suffering that old age brings. “Why does God, whom we know as merciful and compassionate, let us suffer?” is a common question among the sick. Some patients are angry with God. Their inner struggle covers up the beauty behind the illness. Yet, it is not ours to correct anything too fast. Their feelings are precious. Acceptance of God’s will can eventually follow the anguish, uneasiness and questioning in the beginning of illness.

To say that life sometimes hurts and is often unfair is an understatement. And it does not satisfy the “why” questions. Facing what is a major fear of all people, the loss of all we hold dear – abilities, youth, dreams, beauty, wealth, pride, fame, life itself – we can only listen.

They see with the eye of certainty and I come to understand with them, that our bodies are prone to separation and death; and the pleasures of this world do not continue. This warning is very bitter and painful at first, yet then it becomes beautiful. We should remember that we are mortal; we have a duty in life and we should prepare well for the next life. It is said that a good friend is harsh but honest. So is illness, it seems.

Sometimes being around patients’ sadness, fear and hopelessness day after day is depressing. But the most draining encounters are with the ones who have turned completely away from God. I honestly grieved for those, who in their times of terrible tragedy, seemed to feel no need for God.

Amidst the dark thoughts, I hear a patient reminding me that life is not only about sickness, but it is a reflection of God’s beautiful Names in miscellaneous ways. I happen to see only the sad part of patients’ life stories, as a chaplain, but that is not all. “Just as, through hunger, you learn of His Name, the All-Providing, so too through your illness, you come to know His Name, the All-Healing.” Thoughtful as he is, Jack says: “I might have cancer now, but I appreciate life in general; there is so much that I am thankful for. Just one big thing that I learned from my sickness: I never thought that I took life for granted. But now, I understand that I did.”

Arthur Frank, a former cancer patient and the author of At the Will of the Body, says there is a problem with the view that physical recovery is the ideal ending of illnesses. He asks “if recovery is taken to be the ideal, how is it possible to find value in the experience of an illness that either lingers on as chronic or ends in death?” Along the way of a health problem, there is the opportunity for spiritual transformation and renewal. This renewal, as a result of physical illness, is the ideal. Either an illness ends with death or not, but one should be aware that there is more than pain that one can receive from illness. From Job we learn, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).

I feel that this man who became poor-looking and weak in the hands of his illness was one of the fortunate ones, as he benefited from this gift of his serious illness. While some of his fellows become neglectful and forget God Almighty through the calamity of good health, this man’s long talk was only about God’s beautiful Names. His illness is good health while for some of his peers good health is a sickness.

Listening to patients is the most valuable gift that one can offer them. Asking questions to make patients talk is one major task of a chaplain, and preaching is not a way to reach out to them without truly understanding their problems. Who would care to listen to any advice without given the right of being heard? As I listen to the words of wisdom pour out of this very old man, he reprimands me and says “You’re the one who should be preaching to me, but here I am preaching to you.” Yet I smile at these words of comfort about God’s love and our need for Him. And I remember the verse: “Those who say when afflicted by calamity: “To God do we belong and to Him is our return” (Qur’an, 2:156).

http://www.fountainmagazine.com/article.php?ARTICLEID=1123


La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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