IslamProven.com is a Mishkah University Project.

 

Before they were spared, Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) had so much conviction that he was willing to sacrifice his son on Allah’s command. And yet his story shows that he was still a human who questioned and who asked Allah for signs to increase his faith.

The Quran decrees:

And (remember) when Ibrahim said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe” He (Ibrahim) said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith.” (Then) He (Allah) said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”)

In one of the traditions, reported by Al-Bukhari through Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet Muhammad said:

We are more liable to be in doubt than Ibrahim when he said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” Allah said, “Don’t you believe?” Ibrahim said, “Yes (I believe), but (I ask) in order to be stronger in faith.”

Prophet Ibrahim sought evidence to increase certainty. Drawing parallels, in one of the chapters of the Quran called ‘Maeda’ (Food Table) – premising the story around the disciples of Jesus – who wished to eat the food from heaven and witness its descent, in hopes to affirm that Jesus indeed spoke the truth and to increase their faith in him, as a Prophet. (Maeda: Verse 111-116)

In our context, attaining certainty of faith often requires learning, contemplating, and reasoning. The premise of IslamProven is to provide fact-based scientific studies, news, and op-eds that supports knowledge and solutions to problems often derived from Islamic principles founded 1400 years ago. Furthermore, the platform aims to demonstrate enhanced well-being of individuals and society through embracement of Islamic based principles.

What follows are several examples of the benefits of knowledge sourced to the principles of Islam.

Drugs are forbidden in Islam as the Quran states:

“They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” (2:219)

For example, marijuana clouds consciousness and impairs judgment. Intoxicants that do are forbidden by consensus in Islam.

Colorado has legalized marijuana and recreational users might seek the effects of reducing stress. Yet if the remedy was found in hasheesh, it would not have been forbidden in Islam.

The fact that the drug does not have long-term rewards for the brain and even pleasure is confirmed by a study (Cannabis Use is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users). Their study with MRI scans found that marijuana use is correlated with alternations of the “neural matrix of core reward structures” of the brain.

In contrast, the article called “Rewarding Prayers” in Neuroscience Letters demonstrates the cognitive centrality of the recurring pattern of prayer for believers of the world’s major religions, suggesting that it increases dopamine reward centers in the brain, despite what might seem as dogma. This is one of the benefits of Muslims praying five times a day.

Additionally, MuslimLink, Ottawa’s Community newspaper, mentions that the gentle exercise involved in the ritual prayer improves blood circulation, making the worshiper feel more peaceful and relaxed. Another benefit of Muslim prayers is that the timing marks exposure to the sun for activity and the time allotted for night rest. Even in the Middle Ages, Muslims made scientific advances to denote the times of the day and to be aware of their prayer schedule, developing astrolabes and sundials.

Is Spain’s afternoon siesta from the Arabs? What about powernaps? The Prophet (PBUH) recommended 15-30 minute naps around the noon time.

Research has suggested that short naps can decrease blood pressure and stress. Furthermore, the journal article mentions,

“Recent studies have shown that short daytime naps improve vigilance, cognitive function, and memory consolidation and reduce mortality related to coronary artery disease.”

These are just some examples of the scientific benefits of Islamic practices and beliefs.

Being born into a Muslim family, belief can be taken for granted and lack the nurturing it needs to blossom. Converts to Islam often inspire us by what attracts them to faith, despite mischaracterizations and caricatures in the media.

Take for example, Sonny Bill Williams, once considered to be a notorious Rugby player, who has taken on a revitalizing life, thanks to Islam. He reported to CNN, “I’ve become a true Muslim (and) it’s given me happiness. It’s made me become content as a man, and helped me to grow. I’ve just got faith in it and it has definitely helped me become the man I am today.”

While there is conviction among born Muslims, one can nevertheless ask: How can Muslims in the West and abroad, and generally, maintain certainty?

As new findings and discoveries are being uncovered and are sourced back to Islamic principles and traditions, we hope that IslamProven serves as a source for increasing faith.