Impact of Nature on Human Body and Spirit
The advent of spring with all its delights is accompanied with wonderful changes in the nature. These changes affect the human body and spirit as well, in view of the role climatic factors and geographical features, such as fresh air, sunshine, and the verdant spectacle of mountains and valleys. It is generally seen that those dwelling in mountains and highlands are of better physic and health than those inhabiting urban areas, or living in inhospitable places and climes. According to philosophers and sociologists, such as Abu Ali ibn Sina of Iran, and Ibn Khaldoun of North Africa, people of the temperate zones, who are neither exposed to torrid heat or frigid cold, are generally moderate in terms of mood and temper. The impacts of the nature are to the extent that with climatic changes, the human body and spirit are also exposed to certain changes. For instance, researches have shown that those who suffer from psychological disorders get better in spring. The bloom of colours in the world of vegetation during spring also affects human psychology and behavior. The blue sky, the green environment, the colourful flowers have their own unique impact on the human body and spirit. Contemporary Iranian psychologist, Dr. Ibrahimi Moqaddam, says: In spring the 4 colours of blue, green, red and yellow are seen around us, affecting our manners and behavior. The blue colour of the sky brings the feeling of tranquility, satisfaction, love and affection. Green enhances the sense of belonging and dignity. Red instills the sense of hope, excitement and specific internal tendencies, while the yellow sunshine and the flowers of the same colour that sprout all around us, create a sense of freshness in life.
Spring, with its pleasant music of nature, including the pleasant chirping of birds and the rhythmic sound of flowing rivers, excites the spirit. Islamic teachings take these facts into consideration, as is evident by the verse of the holy Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Infallible Imams of his household. For instance, water in Islam enjoys a specific importance.
As God says in the holy Qur’an, water is the source of life for all creatures. According to Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S), the 6th infallible successor of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the taste of water is the taste of life.
Muslims believe that water is the symbol of sanctity and cleanliness. It inspires Muslims to have better communion with God Almighty, while taking ablution, while performing the daily prayer, and while reading the holy Qur’an. For instance, the pre-requisite for performing the Salaat is ablution, which is not possible except by use of water. Likewise, no Muslim can circumambulate the symbolic House of God, the holy Kaba in Mecca, and touch the holy Qur’an unless he/she is clean and had purified himself/herself with clean water. Water not only washes bodily pollution, but soothes the mind and provides solace to the heart while performing the daily ritual prayers. No doubt, the Qur’an and hadith describe water as Tahour which means clean and pure.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his set of advices to his disciple Mufadhal, has referred to the benefits of cold and heat throughout the year, considering it a lesson for human beings and a firm proof of the wise management of God. He tells him that both cold and heat strengthen the human body in their own peculiar way. Think and ponder how one of the two gradually enters the other, and how the other decreases little by little, while the other increases little by little. It is the proof of the balanced nature of human being created by God Almighty in harmony with the environment. It means that any sudden increase or fall of bodily temperatures, harm the person. Plants and trees have also a very important role in human life, and they need the proper air, sunshine and soil to grow and yield grains and foodstuffs.
Looking at green plants and their attractive leaves and flowers is recommended by Islam, in order to create the perfect balance and remove depression and psychological diseases. Imam Sadiq (A.S) has been quoted as saying that among the factors that enlightens the human face is watching green and blooming plants.
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