The Muslim ‘prayer bump’ and Traumatic Brain Injury

Aggression, depression and reasoning affected…

In a report last year by the Voice of America, the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood has called on its members and supporters to rally in support of fellow member, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Reportedly, supporters of the Shari’a-friendly movement number in the millions in the North African nation.

A physical characteristic that is prevalent of many members of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as millions of Muslims throughout the world share is the noticeable prayer bump, or more correctly, the zebibah (Arabic for raisin).

Seen by many of its bearers as a sign of true devotion to Islam, the cranial bruising is

Deputy General-Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Rashad Bayoumi.
Deputy General-Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Rashad Bayoumi.

caused by the repeated hitting of their foreheads to the ground while making their daily Salah, or prayers required of every male Muslim.

Not Just For Boxers Anymore…

Great Britain’s Oxford University published an academic research paper entitled “Repeated mild injury causes cumulative damage to hippocampal cells,” in which repeated Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (rMTBI) has;

“An emerging hypothesis in the study of neurotrauma is that repeated mild traumatic brain injury (rMTBI) may cause cumulative damage to the brain, which could ultimately result in memory and learning dysfunction.”

The medical reference website MedScape.com cites the medical term for repeated mild head trauma as Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome, authored by Dr. David Cifu, MD, and Dr. Sherwin SW Ho, MD.

The doctors pointed out that those suffering with the syndrome displayed;

“cognitive impairments when compared with a control group in the areas of episodic memory, short-term memory, visuospatial processing, object naming, and semantic processing.”

Convicted terrorist Parviz Khan.
Convicted terrorist Parviz Khan.

The U.S. government’s Center for Disease Control cited the functional changes of TBI in layman’s terms;

TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions.

  • Thinking (i.e., memory and reasoning);
  • Sensation (i.e., touch, taste, and smell);
  • Language (i.e., communication, expression, and understanding); and
  • Emotion (i.e., depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness).

As cited, TBI can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.