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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 46 (Qalb [heart]: seat of human perception)

30 Nov

(My dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children)

Assalamu Alaikum,

We were discussing the theories on perception and how Qur’an indicates Qalb or heart to be the seat of perception or human thought and reflection.

Another important thing to realize is that these are just theories by many Muslim scholars and differ in interpretation, as Qur’an has just given indications. As mentioned earlier, deducing from these theories: human being consists of five elements:

Ruh (From Allah subhana wa ta’ala)
Qalb (The thinking or reflective faculty or part)
Nafs (The actual resultant human entity)
Aql (The info processing unit, may be the processor of logic)
Jism (The human body and its carnal or sensual tendencies)

The Ruh (soul) communicates to the Nafs (humanself) through Qalb (heart), likewise the Jism (body) with its sensual tendencies influences the Nafs and Qalb through Aql. Brain seems to be the seat of this Aql. The senses information processing unit. Qalb seems to influence the Aql, and same way, the Aql influences the Qalb. Probably it is the Qalb which creates perception filters. Perception filters is a process due to which a person just listens and sees what s/he wants to listen and see and not much more. That is the reason why a non-believer (kafir) cannot see signs (ayahs) of Allah subhana wa ta’ala. Qur’an says:

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الأرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لا تَعْمَى الأبْصَارُ وَلَكِنْ تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ

Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts. (Al-Hajj:46)

كَذَلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

Thus does Allah seal up the hearts of those who understand not.  (Ar-Room:59)

There is Hadith of the holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:

ألا إنّ حِمَى اللَّهِ في أرْضِهِ مَحَارِمُهُ ألا وإنّ في الجَسَدِ مُضْغَةً إذا صَلَحَتْ صَلَحَ الجَسدُ كُلُّهُ وإذا فَسَدَتْ فَسَدَ الجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ ألا وهْيَ القَلبُ

“Indeed there is a piece of flesh in the human body, if it stays alright, the whole body stays alright, if it goes astray, the whole body goes astray. Listen with open ears: that is Qalb”. (Bukhâri Sharief).

When we are resurrected in the next life, our whole body will be resurrected (as time and again indicated in the Qur’an) not just ruh (soul) or jism (body). This is indicative of the fact that the actual human self is the combined effect of all the elements, i.e: Ruh (spirit), Qalb (heart), Nafs (the actual human), Aql (intelligence or brain), and Jism (the body). I also deduce that the seat of human perception is Qalb, which is the reflective unit. The Qur’an says:

كَذَلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

Thus does Allah seal up the hearts of those who understand not.  (Ar-Room:59)

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الأرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لا تَعْمَى الأبْصَارُ وَلَكِنْ تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ

Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts. (Al-Hajj:46)

The above verse is indicative of perceptional filters, where a person will only see and hear what her/his perception is trained or ready for.

I will appreciate if the audience put some questions and queries on the above concepts. Insha’Allah in my next e-mail I will speak on March and Simon’s perceptual model, which indicates how the perception is developed.

Truly,
Br. Abid.

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