Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 849–857 | Cite as

Understanding Mind/Body Medicine from Muslim Religious Practices of Salat and Dhikr

  • Arthur Saniotis
Psychological Exploration

Abstract

There has been an increasing medical interest in Muslim religious practices in promoting well-being. Central to Muslim religious practices are salat (prayer) and dhikr (chanting). These two religious forms may be argued as comprising elements of mind/body medicine due to their positive effect on the psychoneuroimmunological response. The aim of this article was to further understand the mind/body aspects of Muslim salat and dhikr.

Keywords

Al-tibb al-jismani Al-Tibb al-Ruhani BDNF Psycho-physical well-being 

References

  1. Akkach, S. (1995). In the image of the cosmos order and symbolism in traditional Islamic architecture Part (1). The Islamic Quarterly, 39(1), 5–17.Google Scholar
  2. Al-Barzinjy, N., Rasool, M. T., & Al-Dabbagh, T. Q. (2009). Islamic praying and osteoarthritis changes of weight bearing joints. Duhok Medical, 3(1), 33–44.Google Scholar
  3. Alberini, C. M. (2009). Transcription factors in long-term memory and synaptic plasticity. Physiological Reviews, 89, 121–145.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Al-Ghazal, S. K. (2003). The valuable contributions of Al-Razi (Rhazes) in the history of pharmacy during the middle ages. JISHIM, 2, 9–11.Google Scholar
  5. Al-Rawi, S., & Fetters, M. D. (2012). Traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine: A conceptual model for clinicians and researchers. Global Journal of Health Science, 4(3), 164–169.PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Al-Tharshi, A. (1992). As-salaat war-riyadhiyya wal-badan (prayer, exercise, and the body). Beirut: Maktabatul Islami.Google Scholar
  7. Avicenna, (1952). Avicenna’s psychology. In F. Rahman (Ed.), An english translation of Kitāb al-Najāt, Book II, Chapter VI, with historico-philosophical notes and textual improvements on the Cairo edition. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology Science and Practice, 10, 125–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bakhtiar, L. (1991). Sufi: Expressions of the mystic quest. London: Thames and Hudson.Google Scholar
  10. Berntson, G. G., Norman, G. J., Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2008). Spirituality and autonomic cardiac control. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 35, 198–208.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Chishti, A. G. M. (1985). The book of sufi healing. New York: Inner Traditions International, Limited.Google Scholar
  12. Cotman, C. W., & Berchtold, N. C. (2002). Exercise: A behavioural intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends in Neurosciences, 25(6), 295–301.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Cotman, C. W., Berchtold, N. C., & Christie, L. A. (2007). Exercise builds brain health: Key roles of growth factor cascades and inflammation. Trends in Neurosciences, 30, 464–472.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Desjarlais, R. R. (1994). Body and emotion: The aesthetics of illness and healing in the Nepal Himalayas. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Deuraseh, N., & Talib, M. A. (2005). Mental health in Islamic medical tradition. The International Medical Journal, 4(2), 76–79.Google Scholar
  16. Dissanayake, E. (1992). Homo aestheticus: Where art comes from and why. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  17. Editorial. (2012). New insights into BDNF signaling: Relevance to major depression and antidepressant action. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 1137–1140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eliade, M. (1957). Patterns in comparative religion. Rosemary sheed. Trans. Cleveland: World Publishing House.Google Scholar
  19. Ernst, E., Pittler, M. H., Wider, B., & Boddy, K. (2007). Mind–body therapies: Are the trial data getting stronger? Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 13(5), 62–64.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Geels, A. (1996). A note of the psychology of dhikr: The Helveti–Jerrahi order of dervishes in Istanbul. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 6(4), 229–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Goldberg, D., Hoffman, A., Furomoto-Dawson, A., & Nelson-Johnson, H. (1998). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and its effects on well-being. Journal of Investigative Medicine, 46, 278A.Google Scholar
  22. Goldziher, L. (1917). Vorlesungen uber den Islam. Translated by K. C. Steelye. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gordon, J. S. (2008). Mind–body medicine and cancer. Hematology/oncology Clinics of North America, 22(4), 683–708.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., et al. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57, 35–43.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Haas, W. S. (1943). The zikr of the Rahmanija-Order in Algeria: A psycho-physiological analysis. The Moslem World: A Christian Quarterly Review of Current Events, Literature, and Thought Among Mohammedans, 33, 16–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Haque, A. (2004). Psychology from Islamic perspective: Contributions of early Muslim scholars and challenges to contemporary Muslim psychologists. Journal of Religion and Health, 43(4), 357–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Helman, C. G. (2008). Medical anthropology. Hampshire: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  28. Hoffman, V. J. (1995). Sufism, mystics, and saints in modern Egypt. South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  29. Hölzel, B. K., Lazar, S. W., Gard, T., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Vago, D. R., & Ott, U. (2011). How does mindfulness meditation work? Proposing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 6537–6559.Google Scholar
  30. Jevning, R., Anand, R., Biedebach, M., & Fernando, G. (1996). Effects on regional blood flow of Transcendental meditation. Physiology and Behavior, 59(3), 399–402.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Jha, A. P., Krompinger, J., & Baime, M. (2007). Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, 109–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kabat-Zinn, J., Massion, A. O., Kristeller, J., Peterson, L. G., Fletcher, K. E., Pbert, L., et al. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149(7), 936–943.Google Scholar
  33. Kapferer, B. (1983). A celebration of demons. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Kapferer, B. (1997). The feast of the sorcerer. Chicago: Universtiy of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  35. Khizer, M. M. (1991). Sufism and social Integration. In A. Asghar (Ed.), Sufism and Carnival Harmony (pp. 102–123). Printwell: Jaipur.Google Scholar
  36. Laughlin, C. D. (1996). The mystical brain: Biogenetic structural studies in the anthropology of religion. http://www.biogeneticstructuralism.com/articles.htm
  37. Lazar, S. W. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging, 191, 36–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lewis, I. M. (1971). Ecstatic religion: An anthropological study of spirit possession and shamanism. Baltimore: Penguin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Loeppke, R. (2008). The value of health and the power of prevention. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 1(2), 95–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Luders, E., Clark, K., Narr, K. L., & Toga, A. W. (2011). Enhanced brain connectivity in long-term meditation practitioners. Neuroimage, 57(4), 1308–1316.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  41. Mason, O., & Hargreaves, I. (2001). A qualitative study of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 74, 197–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mattson, M. P. (2012a). Evolutionary aspects of human exercise—born to run purposefully. Ageing Research Reviews, 11, 347–352.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Mattson, M. P. (2012b). Energy intake and exercise as determinants of brain health and vulnerability to injury and disease. Cell Metabolism, 16, 706–722.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. Mel’nikova, V. I., Isvol’skaya, M. S., Voronova, S. N., & Zakharova, L. A. (2012). The role of serotonin in the immune system development and functioning during ontogenesis. Biology Bulletin, 39(3), 237–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Miller, J. J., Fletcher, K. E., & Kabat-Zinn, J. (1995). Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. General Hospital Psychiatry, 17, 192–200.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Mills, N., & Allen, J. (2000). Mindfulness of movement as a coping strategy in multiple sclerosis. A pilot study. General Hospital Psychiatry, 22, 425–431.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Myerhoff, B. G. (1974). Peyote hunt: The sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Nadwi, A. H. A. (1977). Saviours of the Islamic spirit (Vol. 2). Lucknow: Academy of Islamic Research and Publications.Google Scholar
  49. Newberg, A., d’Aquilli, E., & Rause, V. (2002). Why wont god go away: Brain science and the biology of belief. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  50. Newberg, A., Pourdelnad, M., Alavi, A., & d’Aquilli, E. E. (2003). Cerebral blood flow during meditative prayer: Preliminary findings and methodological issues. Percept Motor Skills, 97, 625–630.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Nicholson, R. A. (1976). The idea of personality in sufism. Delhi: Idarrah-I-adabiyat-I Delhi.Google Scholar
  52. Noakes, T., & Spedding, M. (2012). Run for your life. Nature, 487, 295–296.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Obeyeskere, G. (1981). Medusa’s hair: An essay on personal symbols and religious experience. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  54. Pace, T. W., Negi, L. T., & Adame, D. D. (2009). Effect of compassion meditation on neuroendocrine, innate immune and behavioural responses to psychosocial stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34, 87–98.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Penn, M. S., & Bakken, E. E. (2007). Heart–brain medicine: Where we go from here and why. Cleveland Clinic Journal Medicine, 74(Suppl 1), S4–S6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Phillips, A. A. B. (1989). Ibn Taymeeyah’s essay on The jinn (demons). Abridged, annotated and translated by Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips. Riyadh: Tawheed.Google Scholar
  57. Rani, R., Tiwari, S. C., & Srivastava, N. (2012). Yoga Nidra as a complementary treatment of anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with menstrual disorder. International Journal of Yoga, 5(1), 52–56.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  58. Reza, M. F., Urakami, Y., & Mano, Y. (2002). Evaluation of a new physical exercise taken from salat (prayer) as a short-duration and frequent physical activity in the rehabilitation of geriatric and disabled patients. Annals of Saudi Medicine, 22(3–4), 177–180.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Rizvi, A. A. (1965). Muslim revivalist movements in Northern India in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Agra: Agra University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Saniotis, A. (2001). Speaking with the saints: Hukm as a creative source of Faqirs’ mystical expression. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 12(3), 355–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Saniotis, A. (2012a). Attaining the mystical body: Indian sufi ascetic practices. Australian Journal of Anthropology, 23(1), 65–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Saniotis, A. (2012b). Mystical strategies: Sufism in the 21st century. Prajna Vihara. The Journal of Philosophy and Religion, 12(1), 45–50.Google Scholar
  63. Schimmel, A. (1976). Mystical dimensions of Islam. Chapel Hill: The University of Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  64. Shirayama, Y., Chen, A. C. H., Nakagawa, S., Russell, D. S., & Duman, R. S. (2002). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor produces antidepressant effects in behavioral models of depression. The Journal of Neuroscience, 22(8), 3251–3261.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Stoddart, W. (1994). Sufism: The mystical doctrines and methods of Islam. New Delhi: Taj Company.Google Scholar
  66. Streeter, C., Gerbarg, P., & Saper, R. (2012). Yoga therapy associated with increased brain GABA levels and decreased depressive symptoms in subjects with major depressive disorder: A pilot study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12(Suppl 1), P31.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  67. Syed, I. B. (2002). Islamic medicine: 1000 years ahead of it times. JISHIM, 2, 1–9.Google Scholar
  68. Tang, Y.-Y., Lu, Q., Geng, X., Stein, E. A., Yang, Y., & Posner, M. I. (2010). Short-term meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(35), 15649–15652. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011043107.
  69. Turner, V. (1967). The forest of symbols: Aspects of Ndembu ritual. Ithaca: Cornell.Google Scholar
  70. Turner, V. (1969). The ritual process: Structure and anti-structure. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  71. Veenstra-VanderWeele, J., Anderson, G. M., & Cook, E. H. (2000). Pharmacogenetics and the serotonin system: Initial studies and future directions. European Journal of Pharmacology, 410(2–3), 165–181.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Vestergaard-Poulsen, P., van Beek, M., Skewes, J., Bjarkam, C. R., Stubberup, M., Bertelsen, J., & Roepstorff, A. (2009). Long-term meditation is associated with increased gray matter density in the brain stem. NeuroReport, 20, 170–174.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. Wahbeh, H., Elsas, S. M., & Oken, B. S. (2008). Mind–body interventions: Applications in neurology. Neurology, 70(24), 2321–2328.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  74. Wahbeh, H., Haywood, A., Kaufman, K., Harling, N., & Zwickey, H. (2009). Mind–body medicine and immune system outcomes: A systematic review. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal, 1, 25–34.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  75. Werbner, P. (1996). Stamping the earth with the name of Allah: Zikr and the sacralising of space among British Muslims. Cultural Anthropology, 11(3), 309–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Widiyanto, W. (2006). Spiritualiuty amidst the uproar of modernity: The ritual of Dhikr and its meanings among members of Naqshbandy Sufi Order in Western Europe. Al-Ja>mi‘ah, 44, 252–274.Google Scholar
  77. Winkelman, M. (2000). Shamanism: The neural ecology of consciousness and healing. Westport: Bergin and Garvey.Google Scholar
  78. Winkelman, M. (2002). Shamanism as neutheology and evolutionary psychology. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(12), 1873–1885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Winkelman, M. (2004). Shamanism as the original neurotheology. Zygon, 39(1), 193–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Yücel, S. (2010). Prayer and healing: With addendum of 25 remedies for the sick by Said Nursi. New Jersey: Tughra Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medical SciencesUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations