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Home arrow Islamic Topics arrow Function of the Heart

Function of the Heart PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 February 2010

 

 

Function of the Heart

 

Does man think with his brain or the heart? This is a discussion that was a matter of controversy between Ahl al Sunnah wal jama’ah and the philosophers. The philosophers insisted as many Muslims do today that we think with our brain.

Allah (swt) created our organs for particular functions, he (swt) created ears for us to hear, he created eyes for us to see, and it is their right over us that we see and hear and smell only what Allah (swt) permits us and ordered us.

 

Allah (swt) created our organs for particular functions, he (swt) created ears for us to hear, he created eyes for us to see, and it is their right over us that we see and hear and smell only what Allah (swt) permits us and ordered us.

 

 

Allah (swt) created the heart in order to understand and comprehend things. He says that the heart is the king of all organs.

The Prophet (saw) said:

“There is an organ in the body, if it is good, the whole body will be good, and if it is bad the whole body will become bad, verily it is the heart.” 

The Prophet (saw) said: 
“Islam is explicit, and imaan is in the heart, (and then he pointed his hand to his chest and said) taqwa is here, …, …”


The Heart 

The heart has a role to understand, learn and to gain ‘Ilm, and it is upon us to transfer it to our tongue and body, and implement that ‘Ilm.

Ahl Al Sunnah wal Jama’ah believe that we do not use the brain to think, we use our heart to think.

This is why the Prophet (saw) said: 
“Imaan is what is settled in the heart. …”


Issues relating to the function of the heart:

1- The Heart

2- The levels of the heart (in relation to other organs)

3- Comparison between 3 creations

i. seeing

ii. Hearing

iii. heart

4- what is the Prophetic teaching of recovering the heart from sickness

5- what damages or corrupts the heart?

6- The functions of the heart

7- The reward and punishment of the function of the heart

8- The importance of caring about your heart and how to use it

9- The relationship between the heart and the actions

10- The causes and cures for the sicknesses of the heart.


1- The Heart

Al QALB The Heart



Linguistically:


- Khaalis (& sharif) The pure and honourable

- Turning something upside down/ the opposite

- Al Aql The mind

In the Shari’ah:


Anything that is pure is Al Khalis, is the “heart of the matter”


The heart of the man is called the heart because it is the most noble organ. 


Allah (swt) says: 
“And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).” [Isra’: 36]

- Allah mentioned seeing, hearing and the function of the heart

- He (swt) says that he created the heart for us to understand and comprehend



The Prophet (saw) said: 
“O the one who turn the hearts, make my heart strong on your deen.” [Hadith Saheeh - Tirmizi, ibn majah]

The function of the tongue is the 

- “sayings”



The function of the limbs is 

- “working, 

- walking, 

- fighting, 

- praying etc”

The function of the heart is heart is 

- “to believe, 

- to disbelieve, 

- to understand, 

- to comprehend, 

- tranquility, 

- confusion, 

- doubt, …”





In the heart is a gift from Allah (swt), that is the mind, this is the mind that the shaytan whispers into.

The Prophet (saw) informed us that when he was young, his heart had been washed and the clot that the shaytan whispers to was taken from his heart, and so the shaytan could not affect the Messenger (saw).

The function of the heart is ta’aqqul, (understanding):


The Qur’an informed us that the mind is in the heart not the brain, 

Anas bin Maalik narrated

The Messenger (saw) said:
“Jibreel (as) came to me while I was playing with the children, he came and made me sleep, and opened the heart, and took from it a clot, and said “that is the share of the shaytan from you.” Then he washed it in zam zam water, …” anas reported that he saw scar on the Messenger’s chest on his left side, from his neck to his stomach.



Anas said: 

“When he said: “didn’t we clean for you your chest?” [EMQ] that is to do with, Jibreel (as) when he took the clot from the heart of the Messenger (saw).”


“Blindness does not only affect the sight, it affects the heart also.” 


The Prophet (saw) said: 

“There is an organ in the body, if it is good, the whole body will be good, and if it is bad the whole body will become bad, verily it is the heart.” 


- This makes it clear that the heart has a tangible effect

- And the heart is in the chest

Allah (swt) says: 

“Should they not go out and see, we created for them a heart to comprehend.” [EMQ Hajj: 46]


It is narrated that:

“The Prophet (saw) when Allah (swt) said: “let man THINK about from what he was created” he (saw) pointed to his heart.” (i.e. let man think about it with his heart.)



When the Prophet (saw) spoke about taqwa, he said: 

“Taqwa is here (and he pointed to his heart.)”



The Prophet (saw) said: 

“Man can be summarised in two things, the heart and the tongue.”


However ibn taymiyyah said: 

“One of the functions of the heart is to comprehend, understand …”


Scientifically speaking nobody has said that the mind is in the heart, rather in the west they condemn the one who follows his heart.


They say that the mind is not an organ, and it is something that is implicit, it cannot be placed …, in fact the mind is ghaib, without wahi to say where the mind is, it is impossible to say where the mind is.


Scientifically it is impossible to say what is the mind or where the mind is, whether you say in the heart or the brain. However there is no ayah or hadith to say that the mind is in the brain.


It is apparent that the brain and the heart have very important functions to the extent that the body is reliant on those two.


Ibn Taymiyyah said: 

“It has been said that the Aql (the mind) is in the brain, the way many doctors and philosophers have said. And it has been said by the imam … that the mind is in the heart. … when it is complete (the thought), it will reach the brain and it will send the signal. And after we have studied deeply, the fact that the soul is related to that and the aql is related to the same principle, therefore the issues of looking to the brain as the center is in contradiction to the text, rather the centre is the heart, and the principle of the will, is in the heart, the ilm and ‘aml has it’s origin in the freewill in the heart. The heart will always envisage …” [Fattawa ibn Taymiyyah vol. ]

ibn Kathir said: 

“The arrogant philosophers say that the mind is in the brain.” [Tafsir ibn Kathir vol 4 p.508]


The implications 

The mind is the centre of imaan and taqwa, and kufr, nifaaq and shirk and the mind is in the heart,


So what if you have a Muslim man, and he has a heart transplant from the heart of the kafir, does that change his aqeedah? No, when you change a man’s heart however it will have an effect. 


Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, was with his son, and his son was crying, a woman came with a bad woman, who came and saw the child, she took him and started to give him breastfeeding, Imam Ahmad came and condemned the woman, took the child from her, and pressed his finger on his mouth until he vomited, and he made du’a that the suckling of the woman would have no effect on his son.

His son then grew up, and whenever he saw him do something incorrect, he used to say “By Allah, …” (he attributed it to the suckling of the woman.)

So putting anything belonging to someone else, into your body, it does have an effect.


Allah (swt) says: 

“Do not say what you do not have knowledge about, verily your seeing, your hearing, and your comprehending will be accounted…” [Isra’: 36]



‘Izz ibn Abdul Salam said: 

“The centre of all obligations and the source of all of the corrections of the body, is the heart, because the heart is the king of the whole body because it contains the mind.” [Qawa’id al Ahkaam vol1 p. 167] 


And the narration for that is the hadith in Bukhari and Muslim, - 

“There is an organ in the body, if it is good, the whole body will be good, and if it is bad the whole body will become bad, verily it is the heart.”



Imam Ibn rajab al Hanbali said on the same hadith: 

“The salah (all the goodness) of actions of any servant is the goodness of his limbs as long as he leaves the haram, and all this depends on the actions of the heart, if the heart is sound, and it is clean from …” [Jami’ ul uloom wa Hikam vol.1 p. 210] 

Salman Al Farsi said: 

“For every person his actions and his heart, because the mind is in the heart.” [Kitab ul zuhd for ibn Mubarak p.17]

A man came to Al Hasan Al Basri and asked 

“Give me advice” he said: “treat your heart, the servant’s need to Allah (swt) depends on the heart, Allah (swt) does not look to your body, nor to your … he looks to your heart and your actions.” And he quoted the hadith saheeh, “Allah (swt) does not look to your looks, nor to your body … he looks to your heart.”

He also said in his majlis, when they asked 

“Tell us what Allah (swt) told you.” He said: “If you want to think, remember Allah by your heart and your tongue, with the zhikr of Allah, the heart will be settled, then start to think.”

Allah (swt) says: 

“That is zikr for the one who has a heart, …” [Qaf: 37]


Allah (swt) says:

“Do you think that most of them hear or comprehend” [Furqan: 34]


The Messenger (saw) said: 

“The heart is always the one that is needy for Allah (swt), whosoever Allah gives them the hikmah.” (ibn Abbas said the hikmah is the fiqh and understanding in the heart.)

Functions of the heart:

- To believe

- To love

- To have tranquility

- To have tawakkul

- To be kind

- To have fear

- To have khushou’

- etc



The Ahkaam of the heart is like the Ahkaam of the body, 

“Consult your heart, if it gives you a fatwa of good, do it.”

If a person backbites someone by his tongue, he will be punished, if he prays with his body he will be rewarded, but what about if someone does not fear Allah (swt) but fears someone else?


Allah (swt) says: 

“Do not fear them, fear me, it is the shaytan tells you to fear the enemy.”

So you are accountable for the functions of the heart. 

“The sin is what you conceal in your heart and you do not want people to see it.”

2- The levels of the heart (in relation to other organs)

3- Comparison between 3 creations

i. seeing

ii. Hearing

iii. heart

4- what is the Prophetic teaching of recovering the heart from sickness

5- what damages or corrupts the heart?

6- The functions of the heart

7- The reward and punishment of the function of the heart

8- The importance of caring about your heart and how to use it

9- The relationship between the heart and the actions

10- The causes and cures for the sicknesses of the heart. 

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