Prof. Tarhan explained: Is prayer a need?

President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan spoke about prayer which is described as asking for help from a powerful being especially when people feel helpless and the effect of prayer. Prof. Tarhan stated that prayer is a mental shelter, makes people strong and a need that makes them feel that they are not alone in the universe.

President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan, who spoke to İLKHA correspondent about the effect of prayer on people due to the fact that people turn to more worship and prayer during the holy 3 months and especially in Ramadan, said that prayer is actually a knock on the door and that people feel the need to connect when they feel weak, desperate, helpless and inadequate.

"Prayer is spiritual refuge"

Tarhan said, "It is the second rank in the pyramid of man's life, especially in the pyramid that shows Maslow's psychosocial needs. In the first place, there are needs such as eating, drinking and sheltering. Human being is a social being. Human being was not created according to living alone. Therefore, things happen that one can control the power, however, in some cases a person feels very weak, desperate and helpless. In such situations, the fact that the person has a mental refuge, belief in a guardian angel, believes in a higher power and is connected and asks him for help makes them feel that they are not alone. It gives meaning to your life and comforts you. Especially in matters where the person is weak and helpless, where one is not able, such as death and natural disasters, prayer is a serious mental and spiritual refuge for the person. Even if one has a firm faith that is within reason, prayer increases their spiritual resilience by making them feel that they are not alone in the universe.".

A man with limited power in the face of unlimited needs finds strength through prayer

Reminding that there is a concept as psychological resilience also translated into Turkish languages, Tarhan said, "In this concept, an event or calamity experienced by the person is a reason for resilience for them. In order to endure the pain and their experience, one must not despair and must feel safe. Prayer for a sense of trust and hope is that in such situations, it provides a way of thinking as 'there is a higher power that knows everything, that controls everything, that knows what goes through your heart, that knows the memories’ in your mind. There is a closer will than my jugular vein' and he gains a sense of confidence. When a person gains this confidence, their fear decreases and they can move on more easily. Otherwise, excessive fear makes you lose control and feel like you are having a heart attack. The person feels like they are going to die. With that feeling, the body physiology also deteriorates. For example, a businessman came to me and said, ‘I manage a billion-dollar budget, but I can't manage my tension.’ We told him, 'Your body is smarter than you. There are therapy techniques that we need to apply to what you need to do in matters that you who create your body cannot afford to intervene and disrupt.’ Because some people with high control power see themselves as gods of the earth. If some people have a sense of omnipotence, they do not want to pray or accept prostration. They believe that their power is omnipotent, but our power is not all-powerful. There are infinite needs in the creation of human beings, but they have limited power. The needs and strengths of other living beings are balanced. Man wants to dominate the universe. Since their psychological and mental needs are limitless, they are not enough to meet their needs. When it is not enough, man suffers. In such cases, if people with a strong spiritual aspect integrate prayer into their lives as a serious basic need, and if they accept their impotence at any moment and live because 'there is an omniscient power and sees me and I can be on the last day of my life', they will not be afraid of death. Prayer is actually a spiritual connection with the creator of the universe. The person who establishes such a bond has a great advantage in terms of psychological stability and physical health.".

"Death is not to disappear, but to change place"

Tarhan said, "Children who have made a habit of praying in the face of life events do better fear management. Either fears or facts manage the child. Parents should guide the child. If the parents have guidance, if the right guide is given to them in order to take refuge in a high power in the face of death, in the face of things they cannot control, the child will overcome this process easily. There was even a first-year elementary school boy whose father had passed away and who was brought in therapy. His mother said, ‘My son! Your father went on a long trip. He will not come, we will go to him in the future.’. This means that we will meet in the future. Death is not destruction, it is changing place. There is a life in the future and we will meet there. What the mother says to her child is also a kind of prayer. After the mother told this to her child, he never asked her father again."

Stating that there are 4 genes in human beings that are not found in other living things, and that these are called metacognitive genes, Tarhan said, "One of them is the search for meaning, one is the search for innovation, the other is the question of the past and the future, and the fourth one is the gene for perceiving death. No being other than human is aware that they will die. Only human being is aware of this. Anxiety about the past and future affects people's lives very much.".

"The holy 3 months is an opportunity to question the meaning of life"

Emphasizing that holy 3 months should be seen and evaluated as an opportunity, Tarhan finally stated the following expressions:

"It is necessary to see holy 3 months as fairs where everything is discounted. They should be seen as months of spiritual trade. These are the months of spiritual opportunity and investment. In these months one to one thousand is given. For this reason, 3 months is an opportunity for people to stop, think, start again. These are the months of self-renewal. We call this the 15 percent rule in innovation education. If one works 10 hours a day, they should spare 1.5 hours to the question 'why am I doing this?'. What is life in these holy days? What is the meaning? Why am I living? Am I permanent or a guest in this world? Is the world a game or is it real? Is this real life or is there real life after death? These are the months that provide opportunities for a person to ask questions in their own way, to question the meaning of life.".