O Believers! Your servants and the children who have not attained puberty must request permission (before entering your rooms). This is done in three instances, before the dawn prayer, at noon when you change your clothes to rest, and after the night prayer. These are three private times for you. At other times, it is not wrong for you or them to mingle with one another. God thus clarifies the revelations for you. God is Omniscient, Most Wise.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 24, Verse 58)
The institution of prayer is one of the most established concepts in Islam, and the healthiest prescription to all Muslims is to say prayer five times daily. Prayer has not only been researched to have numerous benefits to the surrounding energy fields, the health and spiritual benefits of prayer have only been recently confirmed by scientists and health-care researchers. Medical scientists now consider religious prayer to be a reliable answer to stress-free life, longevity, and healthy living. The hormonal, chemical, electrical, physical and physiological effects of prayer and meditation are apparent and this information is extensively covered in contemporary medical journals. Fortunately, even schools are compelled to implement a prayer program for their students in the daily curriculum. Weston (1998), for example, recommends his patients to pray daily for a month to invite good health to oneself and others.
If there were a stream at the house of one of you in which one washes himself five times a day, will there remain any dirt over his body? Verily, the likeness of prayers is the same as the stream. The person who establishes ritual prayers clears out his sins .
(al-Sadiq (AS) - Biharul-Anwar - Volume 82, page 236, al-Majlisi, 1627 (AR)
The Prophet further said:
The daily prayer is like a fountain of clean water right in your home, which removes, five times a day, the dirt, which settles on your body and soul.
We have a tradition from the Prophet (S) that says:
When you go to bed, the devil comes from behind and ties three knots over your vertex. Over each knot, he recites an evil spell, saying, sleep a long and slumberous night! When you wake up; if you commence by invoking God's Name, the first knot will breakup; if you leave your bed to make ablution, the second knot will breakup, and when you stand up for prayer, the third knot will breakup. Upon breaking up the devil's spells, one will feel energetic and in good spirits, otherwise, he will feel exhaustion and malice.
There are many situations in Islam where even a sick person or an injured person has to worship Allah (SWT) and say his prayer, regardless of his position, even if his time of death is nearby. The Prophet (S) further advised sick people to stand up and say prayer whenever they are sick, in pain or feeling unhealthy. He often used to say to the sick:
Stand up and pray, for there is a cure in prayer.
In an instance, when a thief asked the Prophet the solution to his stealing, the blessed Muhammad told him to pray to Allah and it is reported that this act of prayer in itself refrained him from stealing again. Clearly, the act of praying resulted in the transformation of the information resting within his energy fields and a change was imminent.
This concept of body and mind, when in harmony, can exert a powerful influence on the person's energy and force fields were studied in depth in the sixties by Dr. Ravitz, a Yale Neuro Psychiatrist. The role of prayer in spiritual growth has been well documented and is widely accepted. Its role in creating Islamic equality, discipline, unity, good ethics, discipline, and limitless reward cannot be overlooked. With years of praying and performing rituals, one's energy and information contained within the energy system becomes well-adjusted, free flowing and favorable. With prayer:
Images and misconceptions about reality within our negative belief system also clear away, creating more lightness, less stagnation and higher vibrations in energy. (Brennan, 1987)
Brennan calls prayer the Energy Metabolizing System, which serves as a protective screen
, drawing only pure energy and limiting entrance of lower vibrations of energy from the space and the universal energy field. When the human energy is charged up and bright with vital energy, even personal troubles tend to slide away (Lindgren et. al., 1997).
If we do not have such a protective screen (which Muslims apply on them five times per day), then the energy becomes weaker and the frequency of the fields start to slow down, unable to repel incoming adulterated energy that is unhealthy for one's system to assimilate.
Apparently, scientists nowadays employ infrasonic machines to balance energy in disturbed and sick people. According to Richard Lee (1999), one of the functions of energy therapy with the infrasonic equipment is to allow ones energy to harmonize and create an energy barrier whereby the individual concerned heals faster, strengthening and increasing the vibration of his energy system.
Islam has another answer, a much better and natural answer - the daily prayer at different times during the day, afternoon and evening.
Ostrander and Schroeder (1970) report scientists at Kazakh University in the Soviet, for a while, were trying to figure out as to what procedures or actions would strongly affect the human energy filed in a positive manner, when they realized it was none other than the simple act of breathing. Breathing seems to charge the entire body, renews the reserves of vital energy, and helps to equalize disturbed energy patterns (Bruce, Lindgren & Dlitt, 2000). No doubt, there is breathing aspect involved in all rituals, and the reason why Muslims have been encouraged to say prayer at all times, in particular before eating, before entering the bathroom, before intercourse, before rituals, and so forth. As in prayer, relaxation and meditation, one slows down his breathing and makes it deep, abdominal, without even noticing. Prayer puts one in this state.
Fortunately, the role of prayer in medicine is now being confirmed and medical doctors and surgeons permit this practice in their offices without hesitation. In a review of prayer and meditation as medical therapies, Harmon and Myers (1999) write the following:
Prayer and meditation have been used as healthenhancing techniques for centuries. Their use has been investigated more recently in the context of more conventional, allopathic medical approaches. These studies, despite methodological limitations, show some promise for the formal application and integration of these techniques into western medical practice.
Some potential benefits from meditation include reduced perceived stress and improvement in mild hypertension. Prayer appears to offer subjective benefit to those who pray; the effects of intercessory prayer on the health status of unknowing individuals require more investigation.
Few years ago, a review showed that 20-year old Americans could expect to live 6.6 years longer if they attend religious services at least once a week. Now Harold G. Koenig, who teaches Psychiatry at Duke University, reports that elderly people who are not disabled run a 47 percent greater risk of dying before long if they are not engaged in regular prayer, meditation or Bible study (Siemon-Nieto, 2003).
Koenig is the Director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Spirituality, Health, and editor-in-chief of Research News in Science and Theology. Discussing his longterm study with a sample group of 4,000 men and women above the age of 65, he related in an interview that praying and attending divine service regularly seem to result in a 40 percent reduction in the likelihood of high blood pressure.
It is true that when one is deeply involved and pre-occupied in prayer, he is introducing to his system, free flowing and highly charged energy, and attracting the same, thereby making his surrounding network of energy fields stronger and favorable. The info-energy is also that of peace, quite and solitude. This kind of energy purity within his system is not only good to that person's body and soul, but to the people near him as well. This code of behavior can be observed in almost all energy therapists as they prepare for a healing session. They organize their energy flow and the surroundings by several forms of meditation and prayer. Brennan (1987) lists more than 20 such exercises of bodywork including breathing and repeating phrases that should be employed before a healing session.
Muslims Pray Five Times Daily
And, the believers keep their word. They are trustworthy. Their testimony is truthful. They consistently observe their prayers on time.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 70, Verses 32-34)
al-Ridha (AS) has said:
The secret of prayer is that it is the confession of the lordship of Allah (SWT) and negating all kinds of partners and plurality for Him. In addition, standing before the Omnipotent, with humility, humbleness and the confession (of sins), and begging forgiveness of the previous sins; placing the face on dust five times a day as (a sign of) honoring and confession of His Greatness.
Prayer is the cause of remembering Him and taking distance from the arrogance and neglect. Prayer becomes the cause of humility, submission and humbleness (towards Allah (SWT), and the eagerness, keen fullness, enthusiasm regarding the desire of enhancement of material and spiritual progress (both in the world and hereafter).
Moreover, prayer makes a person engaged constantly in the remembrance of Allah (SWT), both day and night, so that one must not forget one's Lord, Master, Administrator and Creator, since forgetfulness will become the cause of rebellion.
Man, while offering prayer, stays in the presence of His Lord and in the state of His remembrance, and this very condition constrains, stops him from sins, and prohibits him from many kinds of corruption.
Hughes (1997) examined the relationship between prayer and healing and its relationship to holistic health. He writes that the apparent healing that results from prayer mystifies researchers. Numerous theories may be offered as to the mechanism by which this healing occurs. The belief of the praying person in the power of the prayer itself may stimulate healing, as the placebo effect suggests. The relaxation response and the sense of self-efficacy gained through the act of praying may enhance the immune system. All the above physiological and psychological changes are strongly related to one's energy system. The favorable additions to one's info-energy can hardly be ignored.
Scientists have for long related the effects of prayer and meditation, and the so-called unknown factors to the human energy system - the more strong and balanced the system is, the more healthy and vibrant that person will turn out to be in that particular situation. Unfortunately, medical doctors are infrequently aware of faith-healing beliefs and experiences among their patients, and they are further divided in their views about faith healing, with a majority expressing skepticism about faith healing, and a sizable minority favorable toward it (King et. al, 1992).
Further, the study by Bushwick and King (1994) supported the hypothesis that although many patients desire more frequent and more in-depth discussions about religious issues with their physicians, the concerned physicians generally do not discuss these issues with their patients.
Many doctors are aware that spiritual, mental, and emotional factors play a major role in illness and health; but, their training has emphasized the physical, and they often feel at a loss as to how to address the energy concept. The divine Qur'an has suggested to all Muslims to meditate and remember Allah constantly. Prayer, as we understand, is clearly the most effective way of creating exceedingly steady fields of energy and favorable info-energy system within the person.
And when you have finished the prayer, remember Allah (SWT) standing and sitting, and reclining.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 4, Verse 103)
The verse below from Qur'an confirms that prayer is indeed a powerful energy metabolizing system
that will repel all incoming unsteady energy and unfavorable, corrupt info-energy:
. Verily! Prayer restrains one from filth and evil. And certainly, the remembrance of Allah (SWT) is the greatest (duty of the believers) and God is aware of what you do.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 29, Verse 45)
In his interview with the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (S), Shaytan, the accursed said:
Allah made one deed, which if your followers performed it with right intention and at right time, I can never deceive them. And that deed is the five daily prayers (salat/obligatory prayers).
But, to solve this problem, what I did is that with every one of your followers I have assigned one of my soldiers whose name is Mutawaqee. And, his job is to make your follower lazy and involved in such activities due to which your follower recites prayer at the last time. When your follower recites prayer (salat) in the last minute, he / she recites it in such a way that his prayer is not acceptable to Allah.
Therefore, the tradition from the Infallible (AS) that if one's morning prayer is accepted, then he would not involve himself, or even be attracted to sinful or vile acts until the time for afternoon prayer. And the same applies until the time for evening prayer
, is now clear. This avoidance is due to the powerful energy screen developed during prayer that assists the person to counter and balance any weaker fields of energy and adulterated info-energy he comes across during the few hours before his next prayer. This way he is less vulnerable to disobedience to the Almighty. This person is also protected from his own thoughts.
Lindgren et. al. (1997) report such negative encounters not only to unbalance the individual's energy system and make him or her vulnerable, but also develop in the person depression, confusion, unhappiness, or just becoming plain sick, as the energy centers are stuck or torn (due to the absence of the protective screen). Islam, therefore, takes good care of its followers throughout the day, and throughout one's lifetime.
Weston (1998) further believes that major healing outcomes are through Soaking Prayer. One must constantly bathe in prayer and good energy and this therapeutic level can be well maintained. This is another reason why Muslims soak themselves in prayer five times daily, and perform regular acts of worship and meditation throughout the day, and throughout ones life.
Islam and Restrictions on a Child
The right of a child upon his father is that he should give him a nice appellation, train him well and teach him al-Qur'an.
(Ali (AS), Nahjul-Balagha - Saying 399)
When your children grow up to seven years, teach them the prayer; when they are ten years of age, seriously admonish them for it.
(Prophet (S), Kanzul-Ummal - Volume 16, No. 45330)
Islamic law strictly prescribes that all puberty-aged children should have been given enough training to begin fasting, saying prayer and to have good moral character before the time these actions are strictly due from them. This firm ruling for prayer requires Muslims to wake up early in the morning and say prayer, as well as during the day and evening. This kind of attention and growth in the fields of energy surrounding the child is only now clear after researchers and scientists are encouraging parents to introduce their young children to the science of energy early during childhood.
As a human being matures, and the energy surrounding him develops, each field represents the psychological patterns evolving in the individual's life. If the child is let free to do what he or she wants, or if that child is encountering parental aggression for example, his energy centers will develop blockages and there will be a disruption in its growth (Brennan, 1987). According to Brennan, large changes in the energy also begin at puberty. The energy becomes infused with vibes from peers, and is vulnerable to disharmonious and discordant energy.
The history and current sets of information, memory and experience within this young person's energy system are also vulnerable. The blocked energy brings about new longing and new vulnerability that the individual has not yet experienced. At times, the entire energy system may be disrupted, resulting in psychological and physiological harm. Therefore, by training the children from the very young to be highly involved in prayer, fasting and other rituals, alterations and adulterated additions to the energy system, from an energy perspective, cannot reach the Muslim child whose energy system is protective and pure, much stronger, highly charged and free flowing. This is why the learned scholars of Islam always kept their babies near them when they were having Islamic discussions.
Importance of Early Morning Prayer
The prayers are decreed for the believers at specific times.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 4, Verse 103)
Early morning is a time when we have a relatively clear mind after having had enough sleep. After the right amount of sleep but still with a little bit of sleepiness left, it is most difficult to get up, but this period remains the best time for prayer.
There is freshness about the early morning, which belongs to no other period of the day. The sun has a more kindly brightness, with little geomagnetic activity that could affect one's energy fields. The air is fresher and this freshness is largely lost, as the day grows older. Because of all this, the ablution before prayer and prayer itself has a larger and more significant effect on one's energy system than any time during the day. This is why Islam has laid much emphasis on early Morning Prayer. Moreover, the increased rate of vibration developed during early Morning Prayer would serve as an energy protective shield and repel most of the low charge, discordant and disharmonious energy that one would encounter during the day. No wonder why spiritual masters, researchers and scientists recommend meditation during the early hours of the day.
Sri Chinmoy writes:
If you meditate in the morning, you will find that your meditation will be most fruitful. Before the sun rises, the earth-consciousness is not yet agitated. The world has not yet entered into its daily turmoil. Nature is calm and quiet, and helps one meditate. When nature is fast asleep, the animal in us also sleeps. At that time, we are still in the world of energizing and fulfilling dreams, from which reality can grow. That is why the awakened aspiring consciousness can get the most out of early morning meditation.
Once the day dawns, Mother-Earth becomes divinely energetic or undivinely restless. Especially in the West, because of its present dynamic nature, there is some feeling of irritation in the cosmos or in the outer nature. These restless qualities of the world do not have to enter into you, but usually they will. When people move around, immediately their vibration enters into you, no matter where you are. The air, the light, everything around you becomes permeated with the vibration of human activity and human anxieties. The world is standing in front of you like a roaring lion. How can you enter into your highest meditation in front of a roaring lion? But if you can meditate before the world awakens, when the cosmos is still and people around you are taking rest, then you will be able to have a deeper meditation.
Meditating during the day is very difficult. In the evening, meditation is also a little difficult, because for eight or ten hours you have been in the hustle and bustle of the world. During the day, you have met with many uninspiring people, and unconsciously their undivine thoughts and impure ideas have entered into you.
Recent scientific research has shown performing Fajr (dawn) prayer regularly in time daily is the best preventive and remedial measure for heart diseases, congestion of blood vessels, arteriosclerosis and cardiac infarction which causes brain stroke. A research conducted by the Jordanian Heart Doctors Society said the studies established that the cardiac infarction disease, which is one of the most dangerous diseases and congestion of blood vessels, was mainly caused by long hours of sleep in the day or night. The study stressed the need to refrain from long periods of sleep and get a sleep not exceeding more than four hours after which it is important to get up and do an activity for 15 minutes at the least.
The 8 Units of Prayer in the Middle of the Day
You shall consistently observe the prayers, especially the middle prayer, and devote yourselves totally to God.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 2, Verse 238)
The influence of Circadian Rhythm on the human body is a scientific fact. Our bodies display hundreds of these circadian rhythms; a few of the most important are sleep and wakefulness, body temperature, blood pressure, and the production of hormones and digestive secretions. Circadian rhythms are controlled by a biological clock in the brain, a tiny clump of cells known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. The SCN is strongly influenced by the daily change between sunlight and darkness, with morning sunlight promoting early wakefulness and darkness setting the stage for sleep.
In essence, we are programmed by our circadian rhythms to sleep at night and to be awake in the daytime. For most people, it is difficult to concentrate and maintain alertness between midnight and 7 a.m. and to sleep during the daylight hours. And it is hard to eat in the overnight hours, when our digestive system essentially shuts down.
Dumont, Montplaisir and Infante-Rivard (1997) and Scand (1998) have studied such effects and their results showed that a high insomnia index was associated with a high number of awakenings, and that former night-shift workers had a significant reduction in slow-wave sleep, whether or not they had subjective sleep complaints. These results suggest that working at night may have persistent deleterious effects on quality of sleep.
According to Islam and Qur'an, the day has been reserved for all humanity to work and produce for their families, and the night has been reserved for quietude:
He is the One who designed the night to be a cover, and for you to sleep and rest. And He made the day a resurrection.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 25, Verse 47)
Allah is He Who has made for you the night that you may rest in it and the day to give you light. Verily! Allah is gracious unto the people, but most people are unthankful.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 40, Verse 61)
A similar call is made in the following verses in al-Qur'an - Chapter 10, Verse 67; Chapter 28, Verse 73; Chapter 30, Verse 23.
There is also strong evidence of heightened solar activity during the day, and the sun continuously emits streams of charged particles, mostly electrons and protons, which travel at speeds from 400 to 700 meters per second. Even though the earth's magnetic field acts as a shield protecting us from such damage, some particles do escape and may affect the human or the surrounding universal energy. Because of the sun's large effect on the geomagnetic field and human behavior (Becker, 1990), Islam has prescribed men and women to work during the day and say prayer in the afternoon (and return back to work), and earn a peaceful rest during the night when such disturbances to the frequencies of these energy fields to humans are minimal.
Islam has thus reserved the longer obligatory worship during the mid-day when every Muslim is obligated to offer eight units of prayer, when morning prayer includes only two units and the evening prayer seven units. One wonders as to why the burden of long worship during the mid-day when most people are exhausted and want to return back to their respective work schedules. Some people do not even spare time for this prayer because of their busy work schedule.
In most cases, the office space, meetings with people, and the interaction with electronic machinery, all introduce weak electric and magnetic fields to our energy system. This can compromise our energy. Further, the air conditioning strips air of its electrical vitality, and the steel structure blocks earth's magnetic field. When our energy becomes weak, our thinking becomes cloudy and our productivity declines. We also become more sensitive to the 60 Hz. electrical activities from fluorescent lights and office equipment, and the high frequency magnetic fields from the computer (Payne, 1988).
As noted, these effects can be dramatic to plants, humans and animals. The afternoon prayer is thus a required and much needed act of obedience to Allah and assisting in bringing about a balance in one's energy fields. Nowadays, even doctors of stress management advice their patients to take a few minutes off their schedule every afternoon to quiet the mind to be more resourceful in the later part of the afternoon. Prayer does just that.
Another reason as to why the long worship during mid-day is because; most persons are at most unstable and fatigued at noon, in particular after sharing various energy frequencies and info-energy (favorable or unfavorable) with different people while at work. To cleanse the spiritual dirt and bring back to the body, soul, the free flowing, and highly charged energy to perform during the later part of the afternoon, Allah (SWT), in His Infinite Wisdom has prescribed to all Muslims to be patient, perform ablution and say their 8-unit prayer in the afternoon. Regardless of the circumstance the people are in (those working late, those not working, and so forth), they may still earn the benefits of the afternoon prayer by balancing their energy fields through meditation, relaxation and worship, achieving higher states of vibration in the individual's force fields.
Saying Prayer on Time
Of the important distinguishing characteristics of Imam al-Khumeini was that, he always performed the prayer at the beginning of its time. He would also give importance to the recommended prayers (nawafil). This characteristic was present in him since the beginning of his youth age, when he had not exceeded twenty years.
Some friends used to say, We thought in the beginning that God forbid, he performs his prayers at the beginning of its time, out of show off. For this very reason, we tried to do something that if this action was out of showiness we stop the same.
For a long time we thought of it, and tried him several times in various ways. For example, exactly at the beginning of the prayer time, we would spread the tablecloth (for having our meals), or arrange to set out on a journey. However, he would say, You go on with your food, and I shall perform my prayers. I shall eat whatever remains.
On the other hand, while leaving for a journey (at the beginning of the prayer time) he would say, You go ahead. I shall follow and reach you. A long time had passed since this matter took place, and not only was his timely prayer not left, he (also) compelled us to perform our prayers at the beginning of its time.
The other issue was prayer at the beginning of its time, that he laid great importance to. He would narrate a tradition from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq that said, If a person takes his prayer lightly, our intercession will not reach him. Once I said to him, Taking prayers lightly may mean that a person sometimes performs his prayers, while sometimes he does not. He said, No. This, rather, is against the religion. Imam al-Sadiq meant that when Dhuhr (noon) comes to transpire (for example), and the person does not perform his prayers at the beginning of the prayer time, he has in reality given preference to something else.
al-Mahdi (AS) has said:
Reciting prayer on the dot of time at its very outset is a cause of disgrace for Satan.
Know that the people of knowledge and of observance pay attention to, and take care of, the times for the prayer (five daily prayers) according to the depth of their knowledge of the sacred state of the Lord. According to their longing for supplication with the Creator, Honored be His Name, as these times are for supplication and meeting Allah.
They watch for the times of the prayer with all their hearts, and eagerly wait for the time of supplication to Allah, preparing them to be present at a fixed time to meet Him. Their hearts are present, and from the Presence, they demand the Present, as they respect the Presence for the sake of the Present. They believe that servitude is association and sociability with the Absolute Perfect and their eagerness for worship is due to this fact.
(al-Khumeini, The Disciplines of The Prayer)
al-Taba Tabai and Ayatullah Behjat (a contemporary Shia Gnostic presently residing in Qum-Iran) quoted Ayatullah Qadhi (the teacher of al-Taba Tabai in Gnosticism), as saying, If a person prays the obligatory prayers at the beginning of its time and does not attain lofty stations, he should curse me! (Alternatively, he said, he should spit at my face!).
The beginning of prayer time is a great secret! Safeguarding your prayers is itself a point other than establish the prayer the fact that man gives importance and binds himself to perform prayer at the beginning of its time in itself has many effects, even if the prayer is not performed with the presence of heart (and concentration).
Shaykh Muhsin Gharawiyyan
Some wives of the Messenger of Allah have said that the Messenger of Allah used to talk to us and we used to talk to him. But when the time for the prayer (daily prayer) arrived, he appeared as if he did not know us and we did not know him, as his attention was completely directed to Allah.
When he (the servant) knows that it is time of prayer and he does not pray, he is indeed careless about Me.
In Wasail al-Shia - Volume 3, Page 90, al-Sadiq (AS) says:
Whoever performed the obligatory prayer at the beginning of their times and observed their restrictions, the angels would raise them white and pure into heaven. The prayer would say (to the performer), May Allah (SWT) preserve you as you preserved me and entrusted me to a generous angel.
Nevertheless, whoever performed them after the appointed times with no excuse, and did not observe their restrictions, the angels would raise them, black and dark. The prayer would shout at the performer, You have lost me, may Allah (SWT) lose you, and may He not care for you as you did not care for me
Therefore, the importance of saying prayer on time is established. Now we can look at the science behind this command.
Weston (1998) writes that in a large city, 100,000 people praying would produce 10 billion sacred units of prayer energy that can significantly transform the group. In a nation of 10 million, one million citizens would produce one trillion units of prayer energy for their sacred group's energy field. If people in a particular city got together five times daily and said their prayer together, or they all prayed at one given time, the corresponding network of energy produced can have remarkable effects on the physical and spiritual nature of that group and nearby people. This is one of the main reasons, why Islam has recommended its followers to say their prayers in congregation. In addition, at a given time,
and that this time for prayer becomes lapsed after a few hours.
We can also appreciate the fact that with all this specific and intelligent acting energy produced by thousands of worshippers at one given time in a congregation or throughout the country/world would most certainly have a constructive effect (including increased attention, concentration) on the energy fields of that person saying his prayer on time.
According to Weston (1998), these countless units of energy are strong enough to even ward off an earthquake, reduce airborne and water pollution, remove manmade radioactivity throughout the planet. This energy may even control weather patterns and topical storms (Nelson, 1983). Sending energy (coupled with the right information, as in prayer) to clouds and other objects of creation is possible and history notifies us of many such occurrences.
For instance, the Infallible Prophet communicated with Allah and sometimes directly to the clouds for rain. Emoto (2004) writes that such communication with clouds is very possible and anyone can try to be successful. Shamanistic practitioners communicate with the spirits of weather and request a change in weather patterns (not having full knowledge of the effects of rain or no rain on the creation as a whole), though this is a highly unwarranted practice and this aspect has been explained.
On saving the earth from a comet or meteor that is heading towards earth, Weston (1998) suggests that four billion people praying for the comet's path to veer away from the earth will create 16,000,000,000,000,000,000 volts of intelligent-acting energy (far stronger force than nuclear bombs could provide). This conscious and intelligent energy, with information, might just do the job. In a similar way, groups of people praying can alter the path of a hurricane or stop a predicted earthquake.
One can now understand the importance and benefit of individuals offering their prayers together and in one time. Islam has not wanted anything but good for its followers. No wonder, Muslims practice invocations and prayers for the sick in large gatherings. Furthermore, there has to be clear benefits to Muslims all around the city or the world when they gather at a particular place or in their homes and recite couplets or send salutations to the Infallible at a particular, specific time. Such kinds of practice take place only at certain hours and in certain days, so thousands may gather at one time to fulfill the act.
A good example is sending salutations to al-Husain and his children on the 40th day after his martyrdom is highly recommended and the timing - afternoon prayer time - is very important to achieve maximum productivity. Undoubtedly, such practices like the Pilgrimage bring together thousands of Muslims to perform worship, all of which have a strong effect on one's energy fields and the surrounding universal energy.
Quantum physics has shown that energy follows thought. Consider what will happen, then, if many people in a gathering or across the world focus on the same vision at the same time. Thought, then, is energy, and can influence all aspects of reality. This is particularly the case if it is held in clarity with focused intent, and even more so if large numbers of people do this together.
The world has witnessed many Prayer Circles arranged by large communities informing the entire world to pray at a particular time. Most recent, the Global Prayer for Iraq was launched in May 27th 2003 by the leaders of National Christian Evangelical Organizations. Ted Haggard, President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), announced operation - Iraqi Care at a press conference in Washington. The initiative provides an opportunity for Christians worldwide to join as prayer partners in helping Iraqis rebuild their country.
The internet-based effort, supported by the World Prayer Team, the Presidential Prayer Team, World Relief and the Christian Emergency Network, provides a specific avenue for Christians to encourage and bless the Iraqis through the power of prayer and through the adoption of a specific Iraqi city to lift up in prayer
, Haggard said. In fact, the World Prayer Team and the Presidential Prayer Team were developed for these very reasons; to have millions of people pray at the same period of time or in the same time span, just what Muslims do on a daily basis when it comes to prayer, praying for the sick, or worship.
September 10th, 2003 has been made the World Earth Healing Day and the request to people is to gather in their respective and nearest energy portals and pray collectively on that day to heal the soul of the planet earth and invite peace on earth and reduce suffering. These energy portals or energy centers of the planet earth and power vortices that include many rock formations around the world are mentioned later. There will be two simultaneous global linkups in meditation. The first will be at 12 noon GMT (1pm in the UK). The second will be at 16:30 GMT (5:30pm in the UK). This day would provide an opportunity for people across the world to join in spirit and hold a collective vision of universal love and peace. When people who pray join in this way, their collective energy is greater than the sum of our individual energies. This annual event, which began in 1996, has linked up thousands of people across the world in meditation, prayer, and mindful activity to help raise world consciousness and further world healing.
The World Earth Healing Day thus seeks to promote a greater awareness of our interconnectedness as a global family. It provides an opportunity for individuals to express collectively their vision of a more harmonious and peaceful world in which all forms of life are honored as sacred aspects of one essential whole - the universal energy that the new physics says underlies all manifestation.
It is believed that sufficient numbers of people sharing the same focused intent at the same time can influence the collective consciousness or planetary energy field. It has been shown that subatomic particles do in fact respond to focused intent, and recent experiments conducted in the United States have shown that dramatic changes can be registered in the earth's magnetic field in response to our experience of planetary love.
It is reported in historical war accounts that devout persons have been able to pray and send powerful energy to destroy incoming attacks. In one incident, it is reported that two helicopters crashed onto each other after a prayer was made for that to happen. Of course, these events and many others do not get the attention of science. The possibility of such events will be explored in much detail in later sections.
Special Room for Prayer
Muslims have been strongly advised by the Prophet (S), the Infallible (AS) and the Scholars of Islam that the place they say their prayer should be special. al- Amini (AR) writes the following about the prayer room in his book Self Building - rooms that we do not use regularly, and should be neat and clean, a comfortable temperature, and dark. We should also burn incense to perfume the room. It should be an isolated place reminding us of Allah (SWT) and the hereafter. It is advised to select an isolated place free from noises and interference.
The place should be free from pictures and other objects that might attract our attention or stimulate a memory or thought. Finally, it should not be where we practice disobedience to the Almighty on a daily basis.
All this is because whatever low charge energy, and unfavorable info-energy (energy with adulterated information and memory) we have projected into the environment whilst doing undesired acts inside that room will lower the vibrations in our energy, the surrounding energy and thus weaken our performance in prayer, and make us lethargic and inattentive. This alteration and fault in the ambient energy field would take place because, while praying, we would be in direct contact with discordant fields of energy that the machines or we ourselves produced in that room.
Emotional outbursts, radiation from television and computer screens, and so forth, have their own way of unbalancing the electrical matrices in any given environment. Such unsteady and unbalanced energy fields, with adulterated info-energy do remain in a room long after the acts are committed. Goldberg has extensively studied this aspect in the late sixties, as well as Becker in the early nineties. The harmful effects of radiation, X-rays, fluorescent lights, rays from computer screens, and so forth on the energy as a whole can hardly be questioned. The mental and physical effects are also apparent. Their negative effects on the growth and health of plants and water have also been studied.
Weston (2000) comments that he preferred sick people not to enter his room because not only they had severe energy blockage, it took a long time for their energy to go away and the energy in the room to neutralize. Apparently, the Prophet advised Muslims to decorate their mosques with the remembrance of Ali. Clearly, the info-energy produced from such conversations of the life of an Infallible would bond itself to energy fields on carpets and walls, and even walls have been recorded to respond in a specific manner.
Shia Muslims have also been strongly recommended to perform the same actions performed by the Infallible and Prophets, and in the same places. A case in point, the learned scholars of Jurisprudence have advised Shia Muslims to perform I'tiqaf (seclusion from everything except the worship of the Almighty for a few days) only in mosques where the Prophet or the Aimmah have led the Friday prayers. Clearly, this order is there to establish a relationship with the energy of the Infallible (AS) and us Muslims who would benefit from such a communication.
Barbara Brennan (1987) writes the following about her special room for healing:
The room has to be clean and cleared of low energy, bad vibes, or dead energy. Burn incense - sage and cedar recommended (the smoke apparently attracts dead energy and carries it out the door). Some of these herbs are well known for their ability to unclog weak and clogged energy frequencies and charge the human energy field. Avoid fluorescent lights, as they have a very unhealthy spectral and frequency range. A ventilated room is advised.
In order to have stable and favorable info-energy in a room, we have to reserve that room only for prayer and worship that will project into the atmosphere highly charged and free flowing energy. This type of favorable info-energy in any given room would not impede our performance while praying since our energy system will be projecting energy with similar and higher, stable frequencies and wavelengths. But if we watched movies, entertained alcohol drinks, had emotional flare-ups, or even committed undesired acts in that room, we will have created and introduced into the room fields of energy with lower vibrations and adulterated information. Undoubtedly, to say one's prayer in that room will only be difficult and hard work for us, thus being unsuccessful and apologetic in our endeavors. This is a reason why Muslims have been recommended to say certain prayers on an open ground and directly under the sky.
Islam also prohibits impure items, ceremonially unclean individuals, swearing, backbiting, and so on, so forth inside a mosque. Inside a mosque, one is not allowed to hang pictures or drawings of people, have parties or commit sins. For the same reason, Atheists are not allowed to near the vicinity of the Ka'bah in Makkah, or even a mosque. Refer al-Qur'an - Chapter 9, Verse 17. The corruption of the surrounding info-energy is imminent. This aspect has been well explained.
The idea of a holy ground, or sites and places of religious congregations such as mosques, the Ka'bah in Makkah, achieves a completely new meaning. This worship area becomes a sacred space where reverence is shown through personal attitudes and sacred usage. According to Weston (1998), this is why spiritual wisdom advises people to carry out their spiritual disciplines of worship, meditation and prayer in one place in their homes. Experienced healers do all their healing in one particular healing room, even placing subjects in the same chair.
A Brief Note on Breastfeeding
Based upon the above understanding it is now clear why a Muslim woman will abstain from watching illicit movies or even participate in immoral acts whilst breast-feeding her child. The negative effect on ones energy fields and the effect of unfavorable info-energy developed from these acts alters the milk production and changes its chemistry at many levels.
As noted, during the battle of Siffin, Muhammad Hanafiyya was seen by Imam Ali (AS) to falter and weaken whist in the battle. Imam Ali (AS) tapped his shoulders and told him that this weakness in his behavior during the battle was a result of his mother's milk (not Fatima al-Zahra (AS). al-Husain (AS) also informed his enemies in Karbala that it was the forbidden foods creating such illicit behavior and denial.
Muslims also do not wear clothes or belts that are made of leather that is from an animal that has been slaughtered in a non-Muslim manner. Even if they wear such belts, they remove the belt during their obligatory prayer as prayer becomes void when performed with the leather-belt on.
It is related that Ayatullah Murtadha al-Ansari was one of the greatest scholars of his century, and all this was because his mother always breastfed him in the state of wudhu, ablution - a state of purification that creates in the surroundings of a person highly charged energy fields. Apparently, and as mentioned, scholars of Islam have for centuries even kept their babies nearby the discussions they had on religious matters.
It is now apparent that the energy and physical relationship with ones baby is a crucial matter and Islam has laid great importance to it. A Muslim woman carrying a baby is not recommended to watch, hear, or participate in events that lead to illicit and immoral acts of disobedience to the Almighty. This woman is also recommended to read Qur'an daily - certain specific chapters in Qur'an for the child to develop certain characteristics, be in the state of ablution at all times, spend much time in prayer, and so forth. Islam knows and appreciates the effects of the surrounding energy fields and info-energy on an unborn baby. Moreover, these acts create a peaceful state of mind and highly charged energy fields, both of which have positive effects on the unborn baby.
In Elixir of Love, Shaykh Rajab Ali's mother once told him:
One night when I was pregnant with you your father - who was then working in a restaurant - brought home some wholesome Kebabs. When I proceeded to eat, I found that you began to stir and beat my belly with your feet. I felt I should not eat from this food. I refrained from eating and asked your father why he had brought wholesome Kebabs that night, whereas the other nights he used to bring the customers' leftovers. He said he had actually brought these Kebabs without permission! So, I did not eat from that food.
The science on the above acts by Muslims follows.
According to scientific experiments, a baby's heart rate often slows down when its mother is speaking; suggesting that he not only hears and recognizes the sound, but is calmed by it. Research findings on the ability of a baby in the womb to recognize its mother's voice, and even distinguish it from other female voices, confirms what scientists have speculated about for more than 20 years, experiences in the womb help shape your newborn's preferences and behavior.
The findings about the baby's learning and memory during gestation period and influence of maternal environment on the unborn baby bring even greater responsibility for a family. This extremely exciting finding provides evidence of sustained attention, memory and learning by the fetus. The fetuses learn about their mother's voice in the womb and then prefer it after birth. The findings provide evidence that in-utero experience has an impact on newborn/infant behavior and development, and that voice recognition may play a role in mother-infant attachment.
Further, newborns have been shown, via a variety of learning paradigms, habituation, classical conditioning, associative learning and imitation, to possess a functioning memory (Hepper, 1996). After all, babies do enter this world with certain emotional tendencies and these emotional tendencies are not entirely derived from inherited genes. Environment also plays a part in shaping a child's emotional tendencies. Well, if the environment does shape behavior, what about the maternal environment, the only environment with which the unborn baby is involved.
The mother's emotional state of mind and her physical health during pregnancy constitute the maternal environment for the baby. We know that excessive stress or depression experienced by the mother can somehow influence the baby in the womb and he or she may enter this world with skewed emotional characteristics. A mother must do her best to minimize her stress level and to remain in a happy and positive mood during pregnancy. A father must do his best to give maximum emotional support to the expectant mother to help give the baby a jump-start in this world.
The idea that the pregnant mother's emotional state during pregnancy might have a positive or deleterious effect on the developing baby within is certainly not new. In an early study from 1941, Sontag found that pregnant women who were anxious, angry and/or afraid tended to have babies with higher heart rates, digestive problems, lower birth weight, and hyperactive. Numerous studies since have confirmed these findings, reinforcing Sontag's original results.
For instance, emotionally disturbed women tend to have infants who are irritable, poor sleepers, prone to gastrointestinal difficulties, have higher activity rates, cry more, are perceived by their parents as having a difficult temperament, and score lower on mental and motor skills tests. Several studies have connected anxiety and/or various psychiatric diagnoses in pregnant women with a much higher incidence of various birth complications.
Along with the ability to feel, see, and hear comes the capacity to learn and remember. These activities can be rudimentary, automatic, even biochemical. For example, a fetus, after an initial reaction of alarm, eventually stops responding to a repeated loud noise. The fetus displays the same kind of primitive learning, known as habituation, in response to its mother's voice, Fifer has found. But the fetus has shown itself capable of far more.
In the 1980s, Psychology Professor Anthony James DeCasper, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, devised a feeding contraption that allows a baby to suck faster to hear one set of sounds through headphones and to suck slower to hear a different set. With this technique, DeCasper discovered that within hours of birth, a baby already prefers its mother's voice to a stranger, suggesting it must have learned and remembered the voice, albeit not necessarily consciously, from its last months in the womb. More recently, he is found that a newborn prefers a story read to it repeatedly in the womb - in this case, The Cat in the Hat - to a new story introduced soon after birth.
Behavior doesn't begin at birth, declares DiPietro. It begins before and develops in predictable ways. One of the most important influences on development is the fetal environment. As Harvard's Als observes, the fetus gets an enormous amount of hormonal bathing through the mother, so its chronobiological rhythms are influenced by the mother's sleep/wake cycles, her eating patterns, and her movements. Studies have also indicated that a fetus heart races when mom reads poetry.
Scientists have advised parents-to-be who want to further their unborn child's mental development should start by assuring that the antenatal environment is well nourished, low-stress, drug-free. Various authors and experts also have suggested poking the fetus at regular intervals, speaking to it through a paper tube or pregaphone, piping in classical music, even flashing lights at the mother's abdomen.
One study looked at the ability of the fetus to learn a TV theme tune, Neighbors, frequently heard by the mother during her pregnancy. In the first experiment, newborn infants (2-4 days of age) of mothers who watched Neighbors during pregnancy (and heard the theme tune) became alert stopped moving and their heart rate decreased (orienting) upon hearing the tune. These same individuals showed no such reaction to other, unfamiliar tunes. Newborns of mothers who did not watch the TV program during pregnancy showed no reaction to the tune. There was no exposure to the TV tune after birth, the last exposure occurring before birth. Hence, individuals must have learned the information about the tune prenatal and retained it 2-4 days until tested postnatal.
These studies do indicate that the fetus is able to learn and remember familiar auditory stimuli in the womb, retain this information over the birth period and that this learning is specific to the familiar stimulus. Other studies have confirmed the ability of the fetus to learn familiar auditory stimuli in utero.
Scientists have further advised us that it is not a real stretch to say that by carefully choosing and presenting appropriate sensory experiences involving movement, touch, and sound for your child before birth, you can guide the development and perhaps even increase her learning potential. More importantly, you can give your child a sense of security while you are developing a sense of closeness through emotional communication, even before birth.
Scientists also report that prolonged exposure to rock music can result in fetal distress and may actually inhibit sensory perception. It is best to avoid any music with a very heavy beat. As we shall note later, Islam has not only prohibited pregnant Muslim woman to avoid exposure to loud, piercing rock music, but it has prohibited such an act in general to all Muslims at all times.
Therefore, Islam has been in the forefront recommending its followers the importance of a good quality psycho affective communication between mother and child during pregnancy. This relationship has been shown to be decisive for fetal growth and for the prenatal period and further development of the child. Maternal psychological stress leads to adverse pregnancy outcome. Chronic anxiety causes an increased stillbirth rate, fetal growth retardation and altered placental morphology.
Experimental studies have demonstrated a relationship between specific episodes of maternal psychological stress and exacerbation of fetal asphyxia in utero. It is concluded that all the psycho affective interchanges between the mother and child are decisive for harmonious fetal growth and brain development (Relier, 2001).
Prayer, meditation, fasting, reciting Qur'an, not engaging in disobedience to the Almighty (in general), to be in the state of ablution at all times, are all ways to refresh one's energy fields and thus create a favorable stress-free environment for a growing child in the womb of the mother. Suffice to note that the great scholars of Islam - Allamah Taba Tabai, Shaykh Murtadha Ansari, and so many others are reported to have attained such high status in fear of the Almighty because they were breastfed in the state of purification at all times.
Perfume Before Prayer
O Children of Adam! Be adorned at every time of prostration .
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 7, Verse 31)
Mir Ahmed Ali (1998) comments on the above verse and refers adornment to cleanliness and decency of apparel. He reports al-Hasan (AS) putting on decent dress whenever he went to pray. When asked about his appearance and fragrance, he used to reply:
God is All-beauty and loves beauty!
Adornment may further represent perfect attention toward God whilst praying. It is reported that the Prophet (S) applied the oil of musk before he wore his pilgrim's cloth, on the Day of Sacrifice, and before he performed circumambulation of the Ka'bah. Apparently, he enjoyed using perfume extensively. His house was most fragrant. The smoke of wild sage, cedar, sweet grass and lavender has been used for centuries to cleanse the human energy and the surrounding universal energy. This process, also known as smudging purifies the energetic fields (Poole, 1999).
The recommendation to perfume yourselves and burn incense during prayer is one of the most effective ways to charge your energy fields during prayer. Apparently, aroma has been scientifically proven to open energy blockage within a person or in any environment and permit free flowing of energy. So, to apply perfume or burn incense whilst praying is highly meritorious to one's worship. Surprisingly, more health-care professionals (dental surgeons, in this study) are employing aroma in their clinics to help balance their patients' anxiety, so treatment can occur at ease and without fear (Smith, 1998).
Although it has been researched and used longer by European physicians than Americans, aromatherapy, or the applied use of scent to affect physical or psychological changes, is a rapidly expanding scientific frontier in the entire world. In fact, medical research is spurring the development and use of aromatherapy products with life-enhancing capabilities. Some of the more compelling results promoted by inhaling certain scents include weight loss, anxiety reduction, deep relaxation, etc. Considering all these benefits, the scents most certainly have something to do with one's energy system and the information within.
Further explanation forwarded by Schwartz and Russek (1999) is that these oils extracted from plants contain essential systemic memories that reflect the wholeness of the plants themselves in addition to the unique combination of physical components that comprise the individual plants. The aroma also charges one's energy, and introduces favorable info-energy into the room, replacing the lower vibrations energy fields that may hinder the performance of prayer.
Another way of looking at the significance of scent is the physiology and the way aroma works. The scent is first perceived by the nerve endings at the back of the nose, and signals are passed to the limbic system in the brain. An important part of the limbic system, the hypothalamus, governs the pituitary gland, which controls hormone release throughout the body. Additionally, production of different neuro-chemicals can be triggered by smells. These neuro-chemicals can change your moods - like serotonin, which calms, or endorphin, which gives a natural high. Therefore, applying scents into one's clothing for prayer is another nice and effective way to balance the surrounding energy during prayer.
Muslims Face the Ka'bah whilst Praying
Verily! The First House made for humankind is the one at Makkah, blessed and guidance for the worlds.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 3, Verse 96)
Wherever you go, you shall turn your face (during prayer) towards the sacred mosque (Ka'bah); wherever you might be, you shall turn your faces towards it. Thus, the people will have no argument against you, except the transgressors among them. Do not fear them, and fear Me instead. I will then perfect My blessings upon you, that you may be guided.
Burujardi, al-Khumeini's son-in-law narrates:
Whenever the Imam performed wudhu, he would perform all the parts of it facing the direction of the Ka'bah in Makkah. Even if the basin was not in the direction of the Ka'bah, at every instance, after taking a handful of water, he closed the tap, and facing the Ka'bah, washed his face or hand.
In al-Qur'an - Chapter 2, Verse 125, Allah makes the Ka'bah a resort and sanctuary for Muslims. He has specifically asked the Prophet (S) to keep it pure for the believers who direct themselves towards it. Even Prophet Ibrahim was asked by Allah (SWT) to keep it clean and maintain its purity.
Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take the station of Ibrahim as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Ibrahim and Ismail, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 2, Verse 125)
And, when We fixed for Ibrahim the place for the House, saying, associate not with Allah and clean My House for those who make the circuits and stand in prayer, bow and prostrate themselves.
(al-Qur'an - Chapter 22, Verse 26)
One of the main reasons why Muslims say their prayer directing themselves to the Ka'bah in Makkah is to draw and attract to oneself from the Ka'bah, highly charged energy and favorable info-energy and therefore, be as energetic, attentive, and humble as one possibly can during prayer and other worship. What a powerful energy unity exists
when thousands of Muslims stand for prayer and direct themselves towards he Ka'bah, all projecting and sharing higher vibrations of energy with desirable info-energy from the same untainted source.
Similar is the case when millions of Muslims visit the Ka'bah once a year and this is compulsory for every healthy and able Muslim man and woman, and this has been done for centuries. It seems that circling the rock and absorbing its highly charged fields of energy is an ancient practice that Shamans do it until today and tomorrow. Siegel (1994) writes in her book Eyes of the Jaguar that during her journey with the Shamans, she circled the Inti Huatana rock in Machu Picchu and leaned her hands and forehead against the rock to absorb its power.
Muslims do a similar act with the Ka'bah; the water of Zam Zam; the Qur'an; the Mohr and the Shrines of the Infallible (AS). We know that even water in these areas has the ability to form beautiful crystallizations (Emoto, 2004 - Water on Machu Picchu, and Zam Zam water near the Ka' bah). This entire process creates an extremely powerful, free flowing universal energy fields a