June 11th, 2016

Tarawih prayer benefits health

THE Tarawih prayer is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. Muslims should perform the prayer every night of Ramadan.

Even though it is not obligatory for Muslims to perform it every night, without a valid excuse, they will be questioned on the Day of Judgment as to why they did not perform the sunnah.

During the month of Ramadan, additional prayers are performed after Isyak, called the Tarawih prayer, which varies from eight rakaat (unit of prayer) to 20, with a few minutes break after every four rakaat.

After iftar (the breaking of fast), the blood glucose level continues to rise from ingested food. Just before the iftar meal, blood glucose and insulin levels are at their lowest.

An hour or so after the meal, blood glucose begins to rise, as well as plasma insulin. The liver and muscles begin circulating glucose.

Blood sugar reaches high levels in an hour or two, right when the benefits of the Tarawih prayer comes into effect. The circulating glucose is metabolised into carbon dioxide and water during the prayer.

Hence, the Tarawih prayer helps expend extra calories and improves flexibility and coordination, reduces stress-related autonomic responses in healthy persons, and relieves anxiety and depression.

The gentle exercises performed during the prayer improve physical fitness, emotional wellbeing and increases longevity.

It is said that the five daily prayers produce the same physiological changes without any undesirable side effects as those produced by jogging or walking at almost 5kph.

Islam is the only religion in which the physical movements of the five daily prayers and the Tarawih prayer are combined with spiritual exercise.

When these prayers are performed throughout a person’s life every few hours or so, it trains a person to undertake the difficult task of meditation so that the one who performs the prayers benefits from both spiritual as well as physical exercise.
Rasyidah Yaakob, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Kota Baru, Kelantan NST Opinion You Write Saturday, June 11, 2016 - 11:01