The difference between human and animals is the ‘intellect’, the ability to learn and reason; the capacity for knowledge and understanding. intellect enables man to think rationally and discern right from wrong, truth from falsehood.
انسان کی دیگر مخلوقات سے برتری عقل کے استعمال کی بدولت ہے، اوراس وجہ سے ہے کہ انسان کو اس کے خالق نے ذہانت کا مالک بنایا ہے۔ کتاب اللہ میں بکثرت مقامات پر اس پر بڑا زوردیا گیا ہے۔ پڑھتےجائیں …[….] .جائیں
Quran repeatedly emphases and urge the people to use their intellect to understand its message. Blind faith without reason is faith of ignorants. Islam is a religion without any mythology. Its teachings are simple and intelligible. It is free from superstitions and irrational beliefs.
“No self can believe except with God’s permission. He places a blight on those who do not use their intellect” (The Qur’an, 10:100)
The oneness of God, the prophet-hood of Muhammad (pbuh), and the concept of life after death are the basic articles of its faith. They are based on reason and sound logic. All of the teachings of Islam flow from those basic beliefs and are simple and straightforward. There is no hierarchy of priests, no farfetched abstractions, no complicated rites or rituals. Islam awakens in man the faculty of reason and exhorts him to use his intellect:
And in the alternation of night and day, and in the provision God sends down from the sky, bringing Earth to life by it after it has died, and in the varying direction of the winds, there are Signs for people who use their intellect. (Qur’an, 45:5)Quran enjoins people to see things in the light of reality.
“Verily, the vilest of all creatures in the sight of God are those deaf, those dumb ones who do not use their intellect.” (Quran; 8:22)
“..he who perished might perish by a clear proof and he who survived might survive by a clear proof “(Quran; 8:42)
“There is no compulsion in religion. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong. Whoever rejects the devil and believes in God has firmly taken hold of a strong handle that never breaks. God is All-hearing and knowing.”(Quran;2:256)
Most frequently used words in this context in Quran are; albāb (أَلْبَٰب), aqal (عَقَلُ) meaning, understanding, intellect, fuād (فُؤَاد), qalb (قَلْب) & Sadr (صَدْر).The heart (♥) has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past, also intellectual core of a human being. According yo recent scientific research indicate that that heart is not merely a pump but has its own mini brain. Despite the importance of the brain, the heart seems to be serving as an organ of intelligence in its own right [click for details].
Quran also refers to brain for intellect as commonly perceived now:
بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ ۚ وَلَكُمُ الْوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ
“Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us)”. [Quran;21:18]
“Behold, in the heavens as well as on earth there are indeed messages for all who [are willing to] believe. (3) And in your own nature, and in [that of] all the animals which He scatters [over the earth] there are messages for people who are endowed with inner certainty. (4) And in the succession of night and day, and in the means of subsistence which God sends down from the skies, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, and in the change of the winds: [in all this] there are messages for people who use their reason.”(Quran;45:2-5)
Quran repeatedly exhorts the humanity to; Ponder [يَتَدَبَّرُ] over Signs [āyat ءَايَة], Albāb أَلْبَٰب understand, Think[فَكَّرَ ],seek Proof [بُرْهَانٌ] seek and employ Knowledge [il’mعِلْم] and Wisdom [Hik’matحِكْمَة] to be guided to true path for salvation. Those who reject the guidance are Ignorant جَاهِل. Some examples are mentioned below:-
Albāb أَلْبَٰب:The triliteral root lām bā bā (ل ب ب) occurs 16 times in the Quran as the noun albāb (أَلْبَٰب), meaning, understanding. For more details click here>>>
Ponder: yatadabbaru (يَتَدَبَّرُ):
Four times as the form verb yatadabbaru (يَتَدَبَّرُ) is used meaning ‘ponder’
Ponder, Thought, فَكَّرَ
The quadriliteral root bā rā hā nūn (ب ر ه ن) occurs 8 times in the Quran as the noun bur’hān (بُرْهَٰن). For more details click here>>>
The triliteral root ʿayn lām mīm (ع ل م) meaning ‘Knowledge’ occurs 854 times in the Quran, in 14 derived forms, including 105 times as the noun ʿil’m (عِلْم) meaning ‘knowledge’ For details click here >>
Opposed to knowledgeable, the triliteral rootjīm hā lām(ج ه ل) ‘ignorant’ occurs 24 times in the Quran, in six derived forms: five times as the form I verbyajhalu(يَجْهَلُ), once as the nounjāhiliyyat(جَٰهِلِيَّة), three times as the proper nounjāhiliyyat(جَٰهِلِيَّة), four times as the nounjahālat(جَهَٰلَة), once as the adjectivejahūl(جَهُول), 10 times as the active participlejāhil(جَاهِل).
Say, [O Muhammad], “Is it other than Allah that you order me to worship, O ignorant ones?”[38:64]
Right Minded رَشِيدٌ
Derived from the triliteral root rā shīn dāl (ر ش د) occurs 19 times in the Quran, in seven derived forms: right path, rightly guided, rightly minded, guidance & guide.
Hik’mat (حِكْمَة) noun, meaning ”wisdom’ appears 20 times in Quran.
The triliteral root hamza yā yā (أ ي ي) occurs 382 times in the Quran as the noun āyat (ءَايَة) it is means ‘sign or proof’ at 172 places, which also include miracles. The other meaning is ‘verse’, in fact each verse of Quran is also a ‘sign’ of Allah.
“The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb – [those] from which men and livestock eat – until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.”(10:24)
And indeed We sent Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and a manifest authority;(11:96)
10:24) l-āyāti the Signs كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
(2:99) āyātin Verses وَلَقَدْ أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ وَمَا يَكْفُرُ بِهَا إِلَّا الْفَاسِقُونَ
(11:96 biāyātinā with Our Signs وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا
More details >>>>
Intellect عَقَلُThe triliteral root ʿayn qāf lām (ع ق ل) occurs 49 times in the Quran as the form of verb ʿaqalu عَقَلُ. Which means; mind, reason, brains, intellect, intelligence, sense, understand, understanding. For all 49 verses please click here >>>
On عَقَلُ aql and Rationale:
By: Abd-Allah Muhammad bin Abdul Karim and Hazreen Haizi binti Harith
Verses that contain the word عَقَلُ aql (ع ق ل ain-qaf-lam) or its derivatives are 49 in the Quran. Verses that contain any word that have similar meaning, like fikr (fa-kaf-ra), faqaha (fa-qaf-ha), dhikr (dha-kaf-ra), lubb (lam-ba-ba) or it’s plural, albab are numerous, which shows that the concept of thinking is indeed highly promoted in the Quran. However, for the purpose of simplicity, only verses containing the word عَقَلُ aql or its derivatives are being analyzed here, which is a total of 49 verses.
The word عَقَلُ aql means intellect or reason, or to restrain. The use of عَقَلُ aql is encouraged in the Quran, as mentioned when Allah says: ع And We have certainly left of it a sign as clear evidence for a people who use reason.’ (29:35). In all 49 verses, it was concluded that they could be divided into 2 main categories, which are:
1) verses inviting mankind in general to use their عَقَلُ aql and reflect upon the creations and signs of Allah, and;
2) verses addressing specific groups of people with regards to the use of their عَقَلُ aql.
In those verses that invite all kinds of people to use their عَقَلُ aql, there were few recurring themes or signs that were mentioned. Among them were:
i) the development and life of human,
ii) the life, through water, and death of the earth and its produces, and
iii) the alteration of night and day.
For example, the Quran states, “And it is He who gives life and causes death, and His is the alternation of the night and the day. Then will you not reason?’ (23:80), and ˜Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its lifelessness. We have made clear to you the signs; perhaps you will understand.’ (57:17), as well as, “And he to whom We grant long life We reverse in creation; so will they not understand?’ (36:68)
Upon further reflection on these verses, some of the lessons that could be extracted is that Allah is in control of each of His creation, He gives life to any, and as such, He gives death to any, and most importantly, none of His creation is exempted from death.
In the second category, the verses were addressed to specific groups of people. These verses can be further divided into 4 categories, which are, verses addressed to:
i) the non-believers who needs further guidance,
ii) the non-believers who rejects the belief in Allah,
iii) the people of the book [Jews & Christians] and
iv) the believers.
For the first group of people, they are those who still need guidance in putting their عَقَلُ aql to appropriate usage. After being invited to reflect on the signs and creations of Allah, and to believe that Allah is in control of everything, human could still be directed into different directions depending on the use of the عَقَلُ aql. However, Allah guides human further by rejecting the concept of worshipping multiple gods, idol-worshipping or blind faith. For example, the Quran states, He presents to you an example from yourselves. Do you have among those whom your right hands possess any partners in what We have provided for you so that you are equal therein [and] would fear them as your fear of one another [within a partnership]? Thus do We detail the verses for a people who use reason.’ (30:28), also, “And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?’ (2:170)
As mentioned in the Quran, the non-believers from different generations rejected their prophet(s) with various accusations, and Allah tells them to use their عَقَلُ ˜aql and ponder about this matter, when He says, Say, “If Allah had willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have made it known to you, for I had remained among you a lifetime before it. Then will you not reason?”’ (10:16)
Furthermore, they were also reminded to reflect upon and learn about the fate of previous generations who rejected their prophet and the message of Islam, in at least 3 different places. An example is, “So have they not travelled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts.’ (22:46)
The second group of people addressed are the non-believers who refused to believe and submit to the Oneness of Allah even after being invited to ponder upon the creations and signs of Allah, to reflect on His Oneness, His messengers and their roles, and the fate of the previous generations who refused to believe. For this group, the Quran simply state that they are those whom do not use their عَقَلُ aql, or do not think at all. Among others, they are addressed as;
1) the deaf, dumb and blind, as in this verse,˜The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries cattle or sheep – deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.’ (2:171), and
2) the worst of creatures in this verse, Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.’ (8:22)
It is also mentioned that, they have hearts that are divided as shown in this verse,˜They will not fight you all except within fortified cities or from behind walls. Their violence among themselves is severe. You think they are together, but their hearts are diverse. That is because they are a people who do not reason.’ (59:14)
And because they are people whom do not utilize their عَقَلُ aql, and consequently do not believe, their fate in this world is that they are defiled, while in the hereafter, their destination is the hell fire while regretting not using there عَقَلُ aql properly, as mentioned in these two verses, and He will place defilement upon those who will not use reason.’ (10:100), and ˜And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.”’ (67:10)
The third group of people addressed is the People of the Book [Jews, Christians]. In the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), some of them claimed that they believed, but refused to accept the message of Prophet (pbuh). For these people, the Quran addressed them by posing rhetorical questions, which portrayed the acts that they were questioned with looked even worse. From the analysed verses, none of the verses mentioned them as people who do not think directly. Some of the acts that were questioned were, first, them not practising what they preach in this verse, “Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?’ (2:44), second, their argument about Abraham (pbuh) in this verse, ˜O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Abraham while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason?’ (3:65), and, third, them preferring the lowly life as mentioned in this verse, And there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture [while] taking the commodities of this lower life and saying, “It will be forgiven for us.” And if an offer like it comes to them, they will [again] take it. Was not the covenant of the Scripture taken from them that they would not say about Allah except the truth, and they studied what was in it? And the home of the Hereafter is better for those who fear Allah, so will you not use reason?’ (7:169)
One important lesson that could be extracted from these verses is that, they used their عَقَلُ aql based on their whims and desire, and their refusal to believe was due to sheer arrogance.
The final group of people addressed is the believers, who submit to the Oneness of Allah, who worship Allah alone, and obey the teachings of His messenger, Muhammad (pbuh). Upon reflecting on the signs and creations of Allah, the Eeman or faith of the believers should be reaffirmed and solidified, resulting in increased `ubudiyyah (worship acts) to Allah. However, the use of عَقَلُ ˜aql for a believer has to be accompanied with knowledge i.e. in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. As mentioned in the Quran, none would properly understand, except people with knowledge, ˜And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.’ (29:43) In addition, in few occasions, the Quran tells the believers, to ponder and learn from the Quran itself, Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.’ (12:2)
In the remaining of the verses addressed to the believers, most begins by Allah mentioning His commands, and ends with عَقَلُ so that you may understand’, implying that, it is not for the believer to question the details of these commands, rather, obey it and be assured that there are lessons to be learned from these commands. For example, “Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”’ (6:151), and ˜O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason.’ (3:118)
The believers are also reminded to reflect upon the deceptions of Satan (shaytaan) that has led many astray, ˜And he had already led astray from among you much of creation, so did you not use reason?’ (36:62).
Also, in lieu of the lesson of life and death and that no creation of Allah could escape from death (from the first main category), which invites people to ponder upon the signs of Allah, the believers were asked to think beyond this life through rhetorical questions. For example, ˜And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason?’ (6:32). As well as, ˜And whatever thing you [people] have been given – it is [only for] the enjoyment of worldly life and its adornment. And what is with Allah is better and more lasting; so will you not use reason?’ (28:60)
In conclusion, even though these verses are directed towards different groups, each of it serves as a reminder for the believers. As for the verses directed towards those who do not submit to the Oneness of Allah and the people of the book, a believer should continue reexamining him/herself so that he/she is free from the characteristics associated with these groups. As for the verses directed to the believers, one should always pause and reflect upon them. Indeed there are great lessons to be learned. Allahu ta`ala a`lam.
Quran emphasizes use of intellect, reason and understanding to ponder over Quran to grasp the real message. Translation of some verses is given below:.
“…We explain our signs clearly for those who use reason.” [Quran 30:28]
“They will say: If only we had listened or used reason, we would not have ended up as inmates in the burning fire.” [Quran 67:10]
“We have made the revelations clear to you, if you will use your reason.” [Quran 3:118]
“But none will grasp the message except the men of intellect.” (Quran 2:269)
We have made it a Quran in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand. (Quran 43:3)
Verily, We have made this (Quran) easy, in your tongue, in order that they may give heed. (Quran 44:58)
This is a Book full of Blessings that we have revealed unto you so people ponder upon its verses and men of intellect may reflect. (Quran 38:29)
Do they not then ponder on the Quran, or are there locks on the hearts? (Quran 47:24)
“He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! The Satan is but a traitor to man!” The messenger said, “My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.”(Quran 25:29-30)
Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful. (2:111)
God changes not what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves … (13:11)
They follow nothing except conjecture, and what the self desires … (53:25)
If thou obeyest the most part of those on earth, they will lead thee astray from the path of God: they follow only surmise, merely conjecturing. (6:116)
And pursue not that thou has no knowledge of … (17:36)
And when it is said to them: ‘Follow what God has sent down’, they say, ‘No; but we will follow such things as we found our fathers doing.’ What? Even if their fathers had no understanding of anything, and if they were not guided ? (2:170)
In the creation of the heavens and Earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships that sail the seas to people’s benefit, and the water that God sends down from the sky—by which He brings Earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind—and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and Earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect. (Qur’an, 2:164)
How many Signs there are in the heavens and Earth! Yet they pass them by, turning away from them. Most of them do not believe in God without associating others with Him. (Qur’an, 12:105-06)
Such metaphors—We devise them for humanity, but only those with knowledge understand them. (Qur’an, 29:43)
Among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and Earth and the variety of your languages and colors. There are certainly Signs in that for those who know. (Qur’an, 30:22)
What about the one who spends the night hours in prayer, prostrating and standing up, mindful of the Hereafter, hoping for the mercy of his Lord? Say: “Are they the same—those who know and those who do not know?” It is only people of intelligence who pay heed. (Qur’an, 39:9)
Rather, We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through its brain and it vanishes clean away! Woe without end for you for what you portray! (Qur’an, 21:18)
Heart & Intellect
The debate on heart or brain to be the centre of intellect is very old. The cardiocentric model of Aristotle [384–322 B.C.E] went against the encephalocentric (brain-centered) model of his teacher, Plato. Aristotle may not have been completely wrong in his belief that the heart is an organ of intelligence. Brain is the portion of the vertebrate central nervous system that is enclosed within the cranium, continuous with the spinal cord, and composed of gray matter and white matter. It is the primary centre for the regulation and control of bodily activities, receiving and interpreting sensory impulses, and transmitting information to the muscles and body organs. It is also the seat of consciousness, thought, memory, and emotion. While it most certainly is true that the brain is the major relay centre for cognitive function, it seems that the heart is not just a muscle pump, as many believe it to be.
Now let’s examine the functions of heart from latest scientific research. While it most certainly is true that the brain is the major relay centre for cognitive function, it seems that the heart is not just a muscle pump, as many believe it to be. Human heart has its own nervous system that is composed of approximately 40,000 neurons. These neurons are connected differently and more elaborately than elsewhere in the body and while they’re capable of detecting circulating chemicals sent from the brain and other organs, they operate independently in their own right. Having it’s own “mini-brain” is the reason why heart transplants work, given the fact that severed nerve connections do not reconnect in a different body. Furthermore, this elaborate nervous centre in the heart has more functions than simply regulating the electrical activities of the heart to keep it pumping. However, it is interesting to note that the heart starts beating in the unborn fetus even before the brain has been formed. Instead of simply pumping blood, it may actually direct and align many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another.
In support of the mind-gut connection, one could say that sometimes the “gut feeling” is a lot smarter than the “brain droppings” The latter is a fancy name for such brain activity as thinking and reasoning. Gershon says, that the digestive system has its own nervous system and constantly communicates with the brain. It learns and it remembers.
The heart communicates with the brain and the rest of the body in three ways documented by solid scientific evidence: neurologically (through transmissions of nerve impulses), biochemically (through hormones and neurotransmitters), and biophysically (through pressure waves). In addition, growing scientific evidence suggests that the heart may communicate with the brain and body in a fourth way – energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Through these biological communication systems, the heart has a significant influence on the function of our brains and all our Systems. Scientists are discovering that our hearts may actually be the “intelligent force” behind the intuitive thoughts and feelings we all experience.
Dr. J. Andrew Armour is a neurocardiologist that has shown some fascinating facts about the heart’s nervous system. You can review his book “Neurocardiology: Anatomical & Functional Principles” if you’re interested in the technical details. For example, while the heart can be influenced by messages sent from the brain, it doesn’t necessarily obey it all the time. Furthermore, the heart’s “mini-brain” can send its own signals to the brain and exercise its influence on it. To give one illustration: oxytocin, which is typically referred to as the “love hormone”, has been shown to be released not only from the brain, but also from the heart. Oxytocin is not only important for love and bonding, especially for pregnant and lactating mothers, but it also has roles in social behavior, wound healing, learning, memory, and empathy. In short, it’s one hormone that affects a very wide variety of important functions.
It’s generally assumed that learning and memory are a central nervous system function. Meaning, this is a function for that organ inside our heads. However, due to some bizarre, controversial and anomalous observations, there is a growing push towards a systemic memory mechanism. In other words, not to limit intelligence functions to the brain. This came from observations in organ transplant patients – more specifically, heart-transplant recipients.
In a study from 2002, researchers from the University of Arizona and University of Hawaii collaborated to publish a paper titled “Changes in Heart Transplant Recipients that Parallel the Personalities of their Donors”. Ten recipients who received heart or heart-lung transplants underwent evaluation through a series of open-ended interviews. These interviews involved the transplant recipients, recipient families or friends, and donor families or friends, in hospitals in various parts of the US. Several parallels were being investigated including, changes in food, music, art, sexual, recreational, and career preferences, as well as specific instances of perceptions of names and sensory experiences related to the donors.
The interview transcripts are beyond astounding to read. There was a case of a straight vegetarian health-consious donor that turned a militant gay McDonalds-loving recipient into a straight vegetarian health food seeking person after the transplant. Another case was of a young donor who was a violin musician that made the older classical-music-hating recipient all of a sudden want to listen to hours of it after surgery. A third case was of a young woman who was a “hell-raiser” all of a sudden picking up her donor’s love for music and poetry. She was even able to finish the words to his songs, which she never heard before. A funny one was the 47-year-old man receiving the heart of a 14-year-old girl injured in a gymnastics accident. His wife commented at how he changed after surgery, “Gus is a teenager. No doubt about that. He’s a kid – or at least he thinks he’s a kid. Even when we’re bowling, he yells and jumps around like a fool. He’s got this weird laugh now. It’s a girl’s laugh and we tell him that. He doesn’t care.”
This study is only an example of many others. Overall, the researchers here found that on average, the recipients picked up two to five parallels per case from the ones they investigated. This is a very high transfer of personality traits that immunosuppressant drugs, stress of surgery, and statistical coincidence cannot explain.
All of us at one point or another have experienced situations where we mentally worked it out, and despite the calculations that show it to be a good thing to be involved in, something was off and it just didn’t feel right. Most of the time we realize that our “strange feelings” feeling, or “gut-instinct” was confirmed.
The human body is much more mysterious than reductionist science would like us to believe. While Aristotle’s cardiocentric view lost the battle, it hasn’t necessarily lost the war. Despite the importance of the brain, the heart seems to be serving as an organ of intelligence in its own right. There is an interesting difference in definition that seems appropriate to point out here. Intelligence is defined as the capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and having the aptitude in grasping truths and meanings. It comes from the Latin meaning “faculty of understanding, comprehension, and discerning”. Cognition on the other hand is the act or process of knowing and perception, and it comes from the Latin meaning, “a getting to know; acquaintance; and knowledge”. The definition implies that intelligence is a higher faculty than cognition, and the question that poses itself in turn becomes: Is the heart our organ of intelligence, while the brain is our organ of cognition? Another research has revealed the gut-brain
Quranic Terminology for Intellect
Quran repeatedly exhorts the humanity to; Ponder [ يَتَدَبَّرُ] over Signs [āyat ءَايَة], Albāb أَلْبَٰب understand, Think [فَكَّرَ ], seek Proof [بُرْهَانٌ] seek and employ Knowledge [il’m عِلْم] and Wisdom [Hik’mat حِكْمَة] to be guided to true path for salvation. Those who reject the guidance are Ignorant جَاهِل. Quran refers to brain for intellect as commonly perceived now:
بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ
فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ ۚ وَلَكُمُ الْوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ
“Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us)”. [Quran;21:18].
The sixth word of verse (21:18) فَيَدْمَغُهُ fayadmaghuhu translated
as: ‘and it breaks its head / it knocks out its brain.
It is divided into 3 morphological segments. A conjunction, verb and object pronoun. The prefixed conjunction ‘fa’
is usually translated as “and”. The imperfect verb (فعل مضارع) is third person masculine singular and is in the indicative mood (مرفوع).
The verb’s triliteral root is dāl mīm ghayn (د م غ).
دماغ means brain.
Moreover while talking about ‘intellect’ and ‘understanding’ Quran also uses other terms like; albāb (أَلْبَٰب) understanding’, fuād (فُؤَاد) ‘heart’, qalb (قَلْب) heart & Sadr (صَدْر) breast. The heart (♥) has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past, also intellectual core of a human being. Metaphoric use of words is common in all all languages. [click here for more details]
The triliteral root lām bā bā
(ل ب ب
) ‘understanding’ occurs 16 times in the Quran as the noun albāb
). For details Click here >>
The triliteral root fā hamza dāl
(ف أ د
) ‘heart’, occurs 16 times in the Quran as the noun fuād
). For more details click here >>>
Comments by Dr. Zakir Naik
The Arabic word qalb means the heart. It also means intelligence. In the Arabic language the word ‘heart’ is also used to connote one’s centre of understanding. Several words used in English language whose literal meaning is different. Even in English language there are several words which are used to explain something, though the literal meaning of these words are different. Consider the following examples
a. Lunatic – Struck by the moon:
The word ‘lunatic’ literally means struck by the moon. Today people use the word lunatic for a person who is insane or mentally unstable. People very well know that a mad or a mentally unstable person is not struck by the moon. Yet even a medical doctor uses this word. This is normal in the evolution of a language.
b. Disaster – An evil star
The word ‘disaster’ literally means an evil star. Today the word disaster is used for a great or sudden misfortune or calamity. We know very well that a misfortune has nothing to do with an evil star.
c. Trivial – Three roads meet
The word ‘trivial’ literally means where three roads meet. Today the word ‘trivial’ is used for something of small nature or little importance. We know very well that if something is of small value it has nothing to do with where three roads meet.
d. Sunrise and Sunset
‘Sunrise’ literally means rising of the sun. Today when the word ‘sunrise’ is used most of the people know that the earth is rotating and is moving in relation to the sun. Most of us know that the sun does not rise during sunrise. However even an astronomer uses the word ‘sunrise’. Similarly we know that during sunset, the sun does not actually set.
5. In the English language heart is the centre of love and emotion
In the English language heart means an organ in the body which pumps blood. The same word heart is also used for the centre of thought, love and emotion. Today we know that brain is the centre of thought, love and emotion. Yet while expressing emotions a person is likely to say “I love you from the bottom of my heart”. Imagine a scientist telling his wife, “I love you from the bottom of my heart” and the wife replies, “Don’t you even know the basics of science, that the brain is responsible for the emotions and not the heart? In fact you should say I love you from the bottom of my brain.”
6. Arabs know that the word heart in Arabic is also used for centre of thought and understanding
No Arab will ever ask the question as to why Allah has sealed the hearts of the kafir because he knows that in this context it refers to the centre of thought, understanding and emotions.
- Thinking With The Heart Besides The Brain
- Heart is the Seat of Emotions and More: by Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D
- INTELLIGENCE: IS IT IN THE BRAIN OR THE HEART?
- Qur’anic Outlook Regarding the “Heart”
- Definition of the Heart
- Characteristics of the Heart
- “Heart” (Qalb), “Kindling Heart” (fuaad), and the “Pure Intellect” (lubb)?
- Heart cultural symbol
- Thinking Heart