Israk Mikraj and overall well-being

Israk Mikraj and overall well-being

By: Assoc. Prof Dr. Nor Azlida Mohd. Nor, Dr. Maryani Mohamed Rohani

The Israk Mikraj symbolizes a miraculous night journey by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and holds profound spiritual significance in Islam. The Night Journey (Israk Mikraj) is a testament to the Prophet’s miracle or Mukjizat, where he was not only transported from Masjid al-Haram in Mecca to Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem but ascended through the heavens, meeting various prophets and ultimately standing in the presence of Allah. This significant event had a direct impact on Muslims, as it was the night when the Prophet was commanded to establish five daily prayers or Salah.

As we reflect on the event of Israk Mikraj, several key lessons emerge, highlighting the interconnectedness of daily prayers and holistic well-being. There is a beautiful integration of spiritual devotion, physical cleanliness, purification, and holistic well-being within the practice of Salah. The act of performing Salah is intricately tied to this physical and spiritual journey. The structured routine of Salah, with specific timings throughout the day, reflects the importance of staying connected with Allah, embodying self-discipline in fulfilling the daily commitment to prayer. The Prophet once said, “Praying on time, whoever leaves the prayer, then there is no religion for him, and the prayer is the pillar of religion.”

Research has consistently highlighted the positive impact of Salah on general health and well-being. Studies have indicated that engaging in regular prayers promotes mental focus, reduces stress levels, and fosters a sense of inner peace. The structured routine of Salah, aligned with the circadian rhythm, contributes to a balanced and disciplined lifestyle, positively influencing physical and mental health. Furthermore, the act of Salah involves physical movements, such as bowing and prostration, which have been associated with improved flexibility, coordination and muscle strength. These physical aspects of Salah not only serve as acts of spiritual worship but also contribute to physical wellness.

In addition, the ritual ablution (Wudu’), performed before each prayer, is a purification process that precedes the act of worship. It involves specific steps such as rinsing the mouth, washing the face, hands, and feet. By adhering to the principles of cleanliness in Wudu’, Muslims prepare themselves both physically and spiritually during prayer. From a scientific perspective, regular rinsing with water helps remove food particles from the mouth and neutralizes acids, reducing the risk of bacterial growth in the oral cavity. The use of siwak, or toothbrushing, recommended by the Prophet for oral hygiene, finds relevance in the broader context of Israk Mikraj.

The emphasis on maintaining oral cleanliness aligns with the overall theme of purity and cleanliness associated with the Prophet’s miraculous journey. Our Prophet Muhammad emphasized the importance of oral cleanliness in one of his Hadiths recorded by Sahih al-Bukhari, stating, ‘If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwak for every prayer.’ This message highlights the Prophet’s guidance towards a holistic well-being that even with the smallest act of personal hygiene also contributes to one’s spiritual and physical cleanliness.

The celebration of Israk Mikraj serves as a spiritual reminder for Muslims, encouraging us to embrace daily rituals that mirror the Prophet’s journey and teachings. Keeping up with personal hygiene is more than just a habit; it’s a fundamental aspect of one’s faith, symbolizing a dedication to both healthful practices and spiritual values. The incorporation of ablution, prayer and oral hygiene into an individual’s life establishes a seamless connection between spiritual and physical well-being. Through these Islamic practices, we, as believers, aim to follow the Prophet’s example, promoting a holistic approach to well-being that addresses the spiritual, emotional and physical dimensions of life.

The authors are from the Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Malaya, and may be reached at [email protected]

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