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There are so many benefits of the Holy Qur’an. There are around 89 verses of the Qur’an that speak about its purpose, aims, virtues and blessings. Some of these verses highlight healing as a quality of the Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O mankind! Surely, there has come to you a (heart penetrating) counsel from your Master, and a cure for all those (diseases) which are (hidden) in the chests. And it is guidance and mercy for those who believe. (Yūnus, 10:57)
From this verse, we learn that mankind, not just believers, are being told that when you have an issue in life that is affecting your heart — turn to the Qur’an. Its light will begin to cure it once you let it enter your heart. Allāh doesn’t say a cure for the heart using the word: Quloob, rather, He uses the word: Sudoor (breasts/chests). This is not restrictive but it expands to everything around the heart and all the organs (including the physical and the metaphysical). This is the place that satanic humans and devils seek access to through their constant subtle messages. The Qur’an is a defense.
Allah also conveyed:
وَلَوْ جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا أَعْجَمِيًّا لَّقَالُوا لَوْلَا فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ ۖ أَأَعْجَمِيٌّ وَعَرَبِيٌّ ۗ قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاءٌ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ
And if We had revealed this (Book) as a Qur’ān in a non-Arabic language, they would certainly have said: ‘Why have its Verses not been expounded expressly? Is the Book non-Arabic and the Prophet an Arab?’ (So, O Esteemed Beloved, We have revealed the Qur’ān also in your language.) Say: ‘That (Qur’ān) is guidance as well as healing for the believers, but those who do not believe, their ears are heavy with deafness, and that is blindness (as well) in their case, (as if) they are like men called from afar.’ (Fussilat, 41:44)
This verse informs us that healing is connected to the language of the Qur’an. It cures from its every letter and sound. There are also many traditions (ahādīth) that highlight the healing and blessings of the Qur’an. These highlight certain chapters and how they were used. For example, we see the first chapter (al-Fātihah) and through its blessings curing wounds. In particular, there are many that mention the last three chapters (al-Ikhlās, al-Falaq and an-Nās) across various hadith collections.
We likewise see many other mentions concerning cure from the Qur’an:
عَنْ عَبْدِ اﷲِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ رضي اﷲ عنهما قَالَ: فِي الْقُرْآنِ شِفَاءَانِ: الْقُرْآنُ وَالْعَسَلُ؛ القُرآنُ شِفَاءٌ لِمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ، وَالْعَسَلُ شِفَاءٌ مِنْ کُلِّ دَاءٍ. رواه البيهقي وقال: هذا هو الصحيح موقوف.
‘Abdullāh Ibn Mas’ud said that he heard the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as saying: “There are two cures for you all: Honey and the Qur’an.” [Hakim, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Tabarani, Bayhaqi]
He also said: “There are two cures in the Qur’an: honey and the Qur’an. One in the Qur’an (itself) and one in honey. The Qur’an is a cure for what is within the chests and honey is a cure from every other disease.” [Hakim, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Tabarani, Bayhaqi]
عَنْ وَاثِلَةَ بْنِ الأَسْقَعِ رضي اﷲ عنه: أَنَّ رَجُلاً شَکَی إِلَی رَسُولِ اﷲِ صلی الله عليه وآله وسلم وَجْعَ حَلْقِهِ. قَالَ: عَلَيْکَ بِقِرَاءَةِ الْقُرْآنِ. رواه البيهقي.
Wāthilah ibn al-Asqa’, may Allāh be pleased with him, said: A man complained of throat pain to the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and he said to him: ‘Recite the Qur’an upon yourself’. [Bayhaqi]
عَنْ طَلْحَةَ بْنِ مَصْرَفٍ قَالَ: کَانَ يُقَالُ: إِنَّ الْمَرِيْضَ إِذَا قُرِئَ عِنْدَهُ الْقُرْآنُ وَجَدَ لَهُ خِفَّةً، فَدَخَلْتُ عَلَی خَيْثَمَةَ وَهُوَ مَرِيْضٌ، فَقُلْتُ: إِنِّي أَرَاکَ الْيَومَ صَالِحًا. قَالَ: إِنَّهُ قُرِئَ عِنْدِي الْقُرْآنُ. رواه البيهقي.
Talha ibn Masrif said: It is said that indeed when the Qur’an is recited near a patient, he/she finds recovery. I visited Khaythamah when he was ill and I said: ‘I see that you are absolutely well today!’. He said: ‘The Qur’an has been recited on me (i.e. it is through its blessings).’ [Bayhaqi]
عَنْ عَلِيٍّ رضي اﷲ عنه قَالَ: خَمْسٌ يَذْهَبْنَ بِالنِّسْيَانِ وَيَزِدْنَ فِي الْحِفْظَ وَيُذْهِبْنَ الْبَلْغَمَ: السِّوَاکُ، وَالصِّيَامُ، وَقِراَءَةُ الْقُرْآنِ، وَالْعَسَلُ، وَاللِّبَانُ. رواه الديلمي
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Five things remove forgetfulness and increase the memory and remove phlegm: (1) the tooth stick (miswak), (2) fasting, (3) the recitation of the Qur’an, (4) honey and (5) frankincense.” [Bayhaqi, Daylami and others]
Let’s now see the various health benefits of listening, reciting and memorising Qur’an.
Trains our brains
Dr. Haneen Jarrar at Camali Clinic states that “Memorising an information and acting upon it, improves the working memory.” and working memory plays a major role in creativity among individuals. Mohamed Ghilan reflected on why the Qur’ān shapes the brain. He says: “While learning the Qur’an, the careful attention to listening and pronunciation of verses stimulates an area of the brain located in the temporal lobe. The temporal lobe is also where the hippocampus is located, which is the memory consolidation center. It’s also the brain region activated for processing of musical sounds such as the case when the Qur’an is recited. Moreover, it becomes involved when the student engages in handwriting exercises similar to the ones on the wooden board. Where this matters is that this is the part of the brain whose activity levels and capacities have been correlated with a person’s aptitude for learning new information. The more activation this area receives, and the more involved this activation is such as the case with the Qur’an, the better and more efficient it becomes in its functions for learning and memory.”
Scientists from the University of Mohaghegh Ardabili in Iran took this research a step further in a study by trying to find out whether the Qur’an’s melody provides a similar positive effect on the memory of 5th grade students.
The results were amazing. Just by listening to Qur’an for only 15 minutes a day, without using any other skill or training, our memory can be improved significantly. How wonderful is that?
It important to note that the research participants were listening to the Quran actively by using a headphone. It is a commandment from Allah for us to listen to the Qur’an attentively:
وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُون
“When the Qur’an is recited, listen to it and be quiet so that hopefully you will gain mercy.” (Al-A’raf, 7:204)
So, the Qur’an improves our memory space and stimulates creativity.
Slows down mental deterioration
Progressive mental deterioration such as Alzheimer’s or disorders of mental processes such as dementia can occur in middle or old age. In early stages, memory loss is mild. As memory declines further, it can impact thinking skills with the effects ranging from losing the ability to hold a conversation or responding to the environment.
Memorizing the Qur’an and regularly revising it can be a form of memory training as a healthy lifelong habit. Researchers from the National Institute on Health and Aging have found that practicing memorization allows the elderly adults to delay typical cognitive decline by seven to 14 years and potentially prevent cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Youths who start practicing memory training now can stay sharp in years to come.
Reduces anxiety and mental health issues
A lack of memory and organization can create a hectic life, whether in your studies, at work or at home. Since memorising trains your brain to increase your memory capacity, this can help you become better organised in your life and lower stress levels.
In a study conducted by the University of Technology in Malaysia, the scientists researched the psychological and emotional benefits of the recitation of the Quran.
To measure the brain activities during the recitation of the Qur’an, the researchers used an Electroencephalogram (EEG), a device that is used for capturing brainwave signals.
Brainwave signals indicate the status of one’s mind. From the five categories of brainwaves such as alpha, beta, gamma, delta and theta, the alpha wave is attributed to a calm, peaceful mind.
Science has proved that by reducing our brainwave frequencies to alpha and theta, we can enjoy loads of benefits:
- We are more spiritually connected, and more at peace. This makes us enjoy life more.
- We are healthier due to lower stress levels
- We can control our mind to focus completely on the present
- We can remain calm even while under pressure
- We can accelerate our learning
- We can go into the state of deep relaxation, which is important to our health and emotional wellbeing
As we know, stress is related to many health afflictions such as heart disease, obesity, anxiety and depression. Lowering our stress can thus lead to improving our health. Concurrently, simply lowering your stress levels actually improves your memory further and accelerates the positive benefits with a cascading effect.
A mind that is operating at alpha waves is also linked with creative and lateral thinking. Lateral thinking is the ability to look at a problem from many angles instead of tackling it head-on. Additionally, an alpha level mind can memorise up to 1500 words a day, as is the case with small children.
Article sources: https://medium.com/how-to-memorise-the-quran/10-unbelievable-health-benefits-of-memorising-the-qur%C4%81n-77cd3fe31c2b, https://leanandhealthy.me/quran-uplifting-and-heres-why/, https://islamicbridge.com/2019/12/29/mental-and-spiritual-benefits-of-memorizing-the-quran/
Picture sources: https://madrasatelquran.com/the-holy-quran-speech-of-allah-and-miracle-of-islam/, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/inside-the-science-of-memory, https://biginterview.com/interview-anxiety/, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/849632285922098673/