The heart cells are unique in the way that they are the only cells in the body to pulsate (beat rhythmically). If a single heart cell is placed on a slide under a microscope, it will beat for a short while, but will soon lose its rhythm. If two cells are placed on a slide at a far distance, they will also die after a short time of beating without rhythm. However, if two heart cells are put close together on a slide, surprisingly they start beating in synchrony and do not die. The reason the two cells beat in synchrony is because when cells in the heart pulsate in unity, they produce electrical energy, which forms an electromagnetic field. When the two heart cells synchronize, they strengthen each other and start to beat in unity. This phenomenon can be observed at a macroscopic level as well. When people are in close proximity in a room, their hearts start to beat with the same rhythm. Even their breathing pattern synchronizes. If we ponder over this above-mentioned research, we understand the wisdom behind the stressed-upon commandment of the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) who instructed his followers to straighten the rows in the congregational Salaah (prayers). Some narrations follow below wherein the importance of straightening the rows is emphasized:
1. Narrated from Anas ibn Malik (Radiyallahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Straighten your rows, for straightening the rows is part of perfecting Salaah (prayer).” (Bukhari)
2. Narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) used to touch our shoulders when we were praying and he would say “Make the rows straight and do not differ, lest your hearts differ.” (Muslim)
3. Narrated that Nu’maan bin Basheer (Radiyallahu Anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) used to straighten our rows as if he was straightening the shaft of an arrow, until he saw that we had learned it. Then he came out one day and was about to say the Takbeer, when he noticed a man whose chest was sticking out of the row. He said: “Slaves of Allah! Make your rows straight or Allah will cause discord among you.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The heart generates a very strong electromagnetic field that can be measured with special instruments from a distance of up to ten feet away. When people are in close proximity, the electromagnetic energy produced by their hearts is exchanged between them and this energy can be detected by sensitive instruments. The hearts also generate waves when they beat and this means that all the hearts start to be affected by the waves generated by the strongest heart (that of the leader, etc.) and start to beat in the same rhythm as the strongest heart.
When Muslims are praying behind one Imam (leader) and they straighten their rows, as a result their hearts become synchronized. Their hearts beat in unity and thus their hearts are strengthened. It is also for this reason that the power of joint worship is recognized in Islam.
The old adage which states that UNITY IS STRENGTH, is always true and the behaviour of the heart cells beating in unity testifies to this fact. The Khalif, Umar ibn Al Khattab (Radiyallahu Anhu) said: “There is no Islam without a Jama’ah (congregation) and there is no congregation without a leadership.”
Adapted from the book ‘Human Heart: Blood Pump or Source of Intellect?’ By Dr. Gohar Mushtaq.