One of the pillars of Islam is to offer Salah – the 5 daily prayers which are obligatory upon every Muslim. The importance of Salah cannot be phrased in a single word but it is laid throughout the pages of the Quran. It is noteworthy that even while you are unwell, there is no excuse for Salah. You HAVE to pray it, however you can – standing, sitting or lying down. The beauty of this obligatory ritual is that it symbolises your obedience and submission to God. There you are standing before The Almighty, praising Him, surrendering before Him. What could be more beautiful than the act of obedience towards the One who created you. But that is not it. Just like the spiritual benefits of Salah, the physical benefits of Salah are many. Let’s take a look at some!
The Physical Benefits of Salah
Among the physical benefits of Salah is that your concentration improves manifold. Think about it – during Salah, you are not supposed to look here and there. You are not allowed to talk. Your laser focus must be on the Salah. When you pray regularly, this focus becomes a habit and your brain keeps getting better at concentrating at what it is currently doing!
It makes you clean
You must have heard that when you stand in Rukuh, your sins gather atop your head and when you bow, they fall, thus cleansing you. But that’s not what we mean here. A prerequisite of Salah is the ablution – which means before every Salah, you must wash your hands, mouth, nose, face, arms, ears and feet. Doing this 5 times a day means that you naturally become clean. While praying, you also ensure that your clothes are not soiled and that there’s no dirt sticking to you. All of this implies that you develop a habit of keeping clean. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said, cleanliness is a part of faith.
It relieves your stress
All of us, without exception, have worries and problems which get to our head. They build anxiety and increase your stress levels. But that’s where Salah helps. Think about it – Salah is the time when you break free from this world and everything that it contains. It is a time when you hand over your worries to Allah – the only One who can set them right! If you’ve ever made a long dua in prostration, you’ll know what it means to relieve your stress through prayer. If you haven’t, give it a try. It is the most healing thing you will ever do.
It stretches your body
Ruku, prostration or tashahhud – the various postures of Salah stretch different parts of your body. This stretching also improves the blood flow. While this shouldn’t be the reason to offer Salah, it counts among the physical benefits of Salah too!