Islamic practices of performing Salah have been proven to provide a longer, healthier life, as the Danish Twin Study highlights the influence of lifestyle over genetics in determining life span.
In our daily search for a long, healthy and peaceful life, we often come across incredible research that offers different ways and strategies to increase our lifespan. However, what if we were told that the key to a long life could be found in the already existing practices of Islam?
In the 1900s, research on twins was conducted in Denmark to discover how much role genetics play in the lifespan of each individual. The study, known as the Danish Twin Study concluded that our lifespan is mainly influenced by our lifestyle and environment rather than genetics.
In 2003, a curious explorer and National Geographic writer named Dan Buttener and a team of anthropologists, nutritionists, historians, and geneticists set out to unravel the mystery of long life.
They analyzed population data and visited regions where people lived exceptionally long lives, well into their hundreds. These included 5 places marked as blue zones. What they discovered was truly amazing.
They found that there were common lifestyle factors among these long-lived individuals, which they called “9Power. A key element was engaging in healthy activities and maintaining natural body movements throughout the day, along with moments of relaxation to reduce stress.
One such practice that aligns with these findings is salah, an Arabic word meaning meditation. Salah involves various natural body movements, from prostration to standing and bending.
It is not only a religious obligation, but also a form of meditation that brings inner peace and tranquility by releasing stress. Meditation is increasingly recognized for its health benefits, particularly in reducing anxiety and chronic stress.
Research published in the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences has also shown that chronic stress can increase the risk of heart attack, tumors and cancer and reduce life expectancy.
In addition, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, which focused on the study of morality rate and its relationship with leisure time, indicated a 34% higher mortality rate among adults who sat for more than 10 hours per day.
As scientific research and Islamic concepts converge, we find ourselves at a crossroads. In our search for a peaceful and long life, we should not overlook the wisdom passed down through the centuries, such as Salah, which may indeed hold the key to a healthy and fulfilling life.