Medicine: The Discovery of How "Hearts Find Peace"
Another branch of science affected by the collapse
of atheist suppositions was medicine.
According to results compiled by
David B. Larson and his team at the National Institute for Healthcare
Research, a comparison among Americans in relation to their observance
of religious duties yielded very interesting results. The risk of
arteriosclerotic heart disease for men who attended church frequently
was just 60 percent of that for men who were infrequent church attendees;
among women, suicide was twice as high among infrequent as among
frequent church attenders; smokers who ranked religion as very important
in their lives were over seven times less likely to have normal
diastolic pressure readings than were those who did not.29
Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard
Faculty of Medicine
Secular psychologists generally explain
such phenomena as having a psychological cause. In this sense, faith
raises a person's morale and contributes to his or her well-being.
There may be some truth in this explanation, but if we look more
closely, we see something much more dramatic: Belief in God is far
stronger than any other influence on one's morale. In comprehensive
research on the relationship between religious belief and physical
health, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School came up
with some interesting results. Although he has no religious faith,
Benson concluded that faith in God and worship had a far more positive
effect on human health than could be observed in anything else.
Benson concludes that he has "found that faith quiets the mind like
no other form of belief."30
Why is there such a special relation
among faith, the human spirit, and the body? Benson, a secular researcher,
stated that the human mind and body are "wired for God."31
This fact, which the medical world is slowly beginning
to notice, is a secret revealed in the Qur'an:
"Only in the remembrance of God can the heart find peace." (Qur'an,
13:28) The reason why those who believe in God, pray to Him
and trust in Him are physically and mentally healthier than others
is that they behave in harmony with their nature. Philosophical
systems opposed to human nature always bring pain, sorrow, anxiety,
and depression in their wake.
The basic source of religious people's peace is that
they act in order to gain God's approval. In other words, this peace
is the natural result of listening to the voice of one's conscience.
People who live the morality of religion simply "to be more at peace"
or "to be healthier" cannot live according to the morality of religion;
those who act with this intention cannot find peace in its true
sense. God well knows what people store in their hearts and what
they reveal. Peace of mind comes only by being sincere and attempting
to gain God's approval. God commands:
So set your face firmly toward the [true] religion,
as a pure natural believer, God's natural pattern on which He made
mankind. There is no changing God's creation. That is the true religion-but
most people do not know it. (Qur'an, 30:30)
In light of these
discoveries, modern medicine is starting to become aware of this
truth. As Patrick Glynn says, "contemporary medicine is clearly
moving in the direction of acknowledging dimensions of healing beyond
the purely material."32
29. Ibid., 80-81.
30. Herbert Benson and Mark Stark, Timeless Healing
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 203.
31. Ibid., 193.
32. Glynn, God: The Evidence, 94.