The Essence of the Holy Qur’an
♦How does the heart think?♦
Have they not journeyed upon the earth, that they might have hearts by
which to understand or ears by which to hear? Truly it is not the eyes that go
blind, but it is hearts within breasts that go blind. (Surah 22. al-Hajj, Verse -46)
Dear brothers and sisters,
In the Quran, the heart is the organ associated not only with sentiment, but also with consciousness, knowledge, and faith. In this verse, we see, the heart is the seat of knowledge and the organ of spiritual understanding. However, we all know the brain is the organ of thinking and understanding. So, from this verse, two fundamental questions will naturally arise: what is the relation between heart and brain? and how does the heart think?
In our breast, the heart beats at about 100,000 times a day. One of the interesting things about heart, it begins to beat without any connection to the central nervous system. The dominant theory was that the central nervous system is what is controlling the entire body from the brain, yet recently human beings have discovered that the nervous system does not initiate the beat of the heart. Heart is self-initiated, we would say, it is initiated by Allah. Now we know that all the connections of brain can be severed in a heart transplant, and another heart can be put in the human body, yet heart continues beat without any connection of the brain.
There are two-way communication between the heart and the brain. In our heart, there are over 40,000 neurons these are communicating with brain. The brain sends message to the heart, and the heart also sends massage to the brain. The brain gets signals from heart, which reach the amygdala and the thalamus and the cortex, but the heart does not automatically obey the messages of the brain. Sometimes the heart is speeded up and sometimes is slowed down. So, it is indicating that the heart has its own intelligence. For this reason and according to Islam, the center of human consciousness is the heart, not the brain itself.
Jobayer Al Mahmud
Student, Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey