We Will Show Them Our Signs in the Horizons and Within Themselves

Do faith and prayers help in the healing process?

A question that puzzled scientists and researchers for centuries.

However, the size of scientific evidence that supports the existence of a relationship between faith and health is continuously increasing, and all the experiments and research answer the previous question with a “yes”… Faith helps with recovery and has a strong effect on the physical and psychological status.

This topic was the headline and the title of an article in the American Times Magazine this week of June 24, 1996.

This is not the first article of a kind, but it accurately illustrated the results of scientific research and studies conducted in that field.

The article pointed that more than 200 clinical studies were made at the National Institute of Health by Dr. Levine and Dr. Larson, who made and analyzed a lot of previous studies in the same field.

Both doctors confirmed that faith and religion have a great effect on recovery and healing.

As we are unable to discuss all the clinical studies mentioned in the article, I will provide highlights of some of those studies briefly.

Dr. Oxman examined 232 patients who underwent open heart surgery. He discovered that patients who found strength and comfort from religion were 3 times more likely to recover compared to patients who did not believe in a religion or an afterlife.

Among the 232 patients who participated in the study, 21 patients died during the 6 months that followed undergoing cardiac surgery.

Dr. Oxman, who conducted the study, explained that the cause of death in most patients was heart arrhythmia. “It is possible that spirituality might have a direct effect on human physiology… When the mind and soul are in a calm and balanced state, it is less likely for heart arrhythmia to occur,” said Dr. Oxman.

In another 30-year study, results showed that individuals who believed in God and attended religious services enjoyed a lower blood pressure than nonbelievers, with a 5-mm difference. Moreover, the rates of having a heart disease were 50% lower.
A study made this year by the National Institute of Aging included 4000 elderly adults from North Carolina, concluded that those who believed in God and attended religious services were less likely to develop depression and psychological disorders compared to nonbelievers. It also found that they enjoyed better health in general and stronger immunity and less likelihood to suffer from health conditions.


Another study on 30 elderly women during recovery from a broken hip showed that the best and fastest recovery times were among those who believed that God is the source of healing and recovery and attended prayers.

The article went on with mentioning other similar studies, all of which were in favor of the prospective association between attending religious services and subsequent recovery.

Dr. Benson, a researcher and expert in the field at Harvard and the author of many related books translated to multiple languages, confirmed that the physiological and psychological nature of the human body require faith and religion to get the best health results, and that physical and mental relaxation during prayers is the response to chemical, neurological and hormonal interactions that lead to a lower blood pressure and the relaxation of the heart and blood vessels. It even has a direct effect on the immunity system, according to Dr. Benson.

“Faith is an effective method for the treatment of 60-90% of regular and chronic illnesses,” says Dr. Benson.

Dr. Levin, also a researcher, asked if God’s care for believers was what caused fast healing.

In a study made by Dr. Byrd, a cardiologist from the Hospital and University of San Francisco, 393 patients were selected at the heart ICU. The patients were secretly and randomly divided into two groups, where members of the first group were visited by religious believers who prayed with them for a fast recovery. The second group did not receive these visits, and at the end of the study, it was found out that members of the second group needed 5 times more antibiotics than the first group, and developed 3 times more side effects.

Dr. Jarvis, a professor at the Loma Linda University in California and the president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, said that it might be hard to understand the relationship between spirituality and health, but there is no doubt about the existence and influence of this relationship.

In a statistical study made this week by the CNN, in cooperation with the American TIMES MAGAZINE, 1004 Americans were asked about this subject and 82% believed that recovery and healing were associated with spirituality, and 64% believed that a doctor should pray for his patients and even pray with them if the patients requested.


Dr. Larson called all doctors to ask their patients about the importance of prayers and recovery, and if the patient believed in their importance then the doctor should ask the patient if they would like to talk about the topic or if they need to talk to a religious clerk as part of treatment. Doctors, however, fear that such a phenomenon might be misunderstood by patients, who might rely on the power of religion and faith only and neglect treatment, which can lead to tragic results as Dr. Jarvis explained.


Christianity, represented by the Catholic Church, persecuted scientists for centuries until there was a divorce between religion and science, leading to the secular movement. As a result, the West improved scientifically and steered away from religion, but science is now forcefully leading the West back to God, religion and spirituality, as the accurate scientific research proves that spirituality plays a great role in treatment besides medication.


In our societies, a group of people only believes in medicine and denies the effect of the mind and spirituality on recovery, and another group does not believe in treatment and depends solely on spirituality and faith thinking that it is the meaning of trusting God… Both groups are wrong.

The right group is the one that takes all needed steps for medical treatment but believes that recovery is from God, and uses faith and prayers to speed up recovery.
We are in need of skillful doctors who received education from the right resources… Those who realize the importance of psychological and religious factors in the speed of recovery, and deal with their patients in a wholesome and complete approach as a mind, body and soul.


We also need studies and research centers operated by well-educated doctors using the internationally recognized accurate scientific approach, to study the effect of religion, attending religious services, praying and reading the Quran on the physiology of the human body and its ability to resists various conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. We are more deserving than the West of such studies, having the book where God said “And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss”. We can present new medicine to the world that combines the latest of what has been discovered in the science of diagnosis and treatment, and complete what is missing and hidden; an essence taken from the prophetic medicine that cares about the psychological and religious factors in treatment, to reach a complete and balanced medicine that does not neglect the mind and soul when treating the body. It can be a contribution to humanity and become a way for call to God.


“We will show them our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that this is the truth.”


Okaz Newspaper – Sunday 7 Safar 1417 AH falling on 23 June 1996 AD