THE IMPACT OF ISLAMIC SALAH ON BALANCE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION
The issue of balance disturbance leading to falls in older individuals is a significant concern, with statistics indicating a high prevalence of falls among those aged 65 and above. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a substantial percentage of individuals in this age group experience falls each year, with the risk increasing as individuals advance in age.1 Furthermore, falls have been identified as a major cause of unintentional death across all age groups, emphasizing the critical nature of this issue. While gender differences in falls-related injuries have been noted, it is evident that falls pose a significant threat to both older and younger adults.2
The maintenance of balance is a complex process that involves the interaction of various sensory systems, including somatosensory, visual, and vestibular systems.3 Achieving and maintaining balance is crucial for individuals, particularly in older age, as it directly impacts their physical well-being and overall quality of life. The significance of balance is further underscored by its association with religious practices, such as Salah in the Islamic faith. The performance of Salah involves a multitude of bodily movements, which contribute to enhanced flexibility, equilibrium, and lower leg performance. Considering the frequency of obligatory Rakah in Salah, it becomes evident that this religious practice involves a substantial number of postures on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.
Given the importance of balance and its association with religious practices, it is essential to explore methods to enhance balance, particularly in the context of rehabilitation. Tai chi Chuan has been recognized as a cost-effective approach to improving balance, with its potential benefits extending to individuals of various age groups. Additionally, the Otago Exercise Program has been identified as an effective means of enhancing balance. Furthermore, virtual reality training (VRT) has emerged as a valuable tool in rehabilitation plans for balance disorders, highlighting the diverse range of interventions available to address balance-related issues.4
The influence of Islamic Salah on balance has been the subject of research, with studies indicating a positive relationship between prayer postures and balance. Findings suggest that practicing Salah contributes to improved muscle strength, psychological and cerebral functions, as well as enhanced visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems. Notably, individuals who regularly engage in Salah have exhibited improved stability indexes and favorable scores in balance tests, as compared to non-practicing individuals. This underscores the potential of Islamic Salah as a means to enhance balance and its implications for rehabilitation.