بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The Following article is taken from Issue 5 of The Islamic Journal, which this subject matter is at it’s heart.
The History of the Lataif of Islam begins with Shaykh Najmudin Kubra (12/13century) but it’s basis starts with the prophet (saws) himself who better than anyone understood the physiology of the Human body, how Allah created it and gave it the ability to be inspired. The prophet (saws) understood both the physical and spiritual side of man’s physiology which reflected in many of His (saws) actions and dua (prayers) that He (saws) taught His Ummah. When the Angel Jibril (ra) first came to him He instructed the prophet (saws) to (iqra), “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)”.
That is, to Iqra (read) the Ayat (signs) in the Universe in the name of Allah, and the first thing Allah taught Him (saws) was that He “has created man from something that clings (Alaq, the fetus).” Then He told Him (saws) to again “Read!” these Ayat (signs) because “your Lord is the Most Generous” (96: 1-3), meaning He will be generous in revealing the signs to Him (saws), so He (saws) should continue to look for them and study them.
Because this knowledge was new to the prophet (saws), Allah wanted to first focus the prophets (saws) mind on how man was created and from there He would then think about man’s complete physiology as He (swt) revealed it to Him (saws) in other verses. The first verses of the Quran were not a warning to mankind but the scientific foundation for everything the prophet (saws) would later instruct man to do in Islam in order to perfect himself, because all actions in the Deen (religion) relate to mans creation and physiology.
It is the foundation of how to perfect the self because every action man takes reflects in his body chemically, psychologically and spiritually, to much of something or to little will push man’s psychology and perception in one direction or another and that will warp his view of the world, if he can’t perceive properly then he can’t know Allah properly, hence this religion is about being balanced.
In this verse Allah ties the ability to be balanced with being just and proper witnesses, ”Thus have We made of you a nation justly balanced, that you may be witnesses over the people and the Messenger a witness over yourselves” (al-Baqarah 143).
In the opening verses of the Quran Allah teaches man to ask to be made balanced people, ”Guide us to the straight way, the way of those upon whom You have bestowed Your grace, not those whose (portion) is wrath nor those who have gone astray (become unbalanced)“ (al-Faatihah 6-7).
Man needed to purify his body so it can be capable and ready to accept Allah’s (physical) light in his heart, this is because light or the electromagnetic field is the source for all knowledge we receive through our body and faculties. The Human body through our nervous system and organs such as the heart and brain produce a strong electromagnetic field, in simple terms Light, almost all the great scholars of Islam like Imam Malik who founded the Maliki (ra) madhhab understood and said knowledge is a light Allah places in the heart, this is because there is a physiological process behind gaining knowledge which starts at the subatomic level.
A pure heart free from fault is capable of holding, sensing and understanding a subtle light, some light is visible others invisible, a good example of this was at the battle of the trench, when the muslims were digging the trench a large rock stood in their way from completing it, the prophet (saws) struck the rock three times and each time He saw a flash of light, Salman al farisi (ra) saw the light as did the prophet (saws) who was granted three future victories at that time, He was shown the lands of the Romans, Persians and Yemen in the light, but while Salman noticed these visions vaguely he could not make out what was in the light, (the hadith is related in full at the end of this work).
This has to do with the purity of the heart which reflects in mans physiology, purity and light are terms from 1400 years ago while in modern times science has rewriten the language of knowledge, to put it simply if there is something in the heart that allows it to perceive light then doing harmful actions Allah termed sins would hinder the hearts ability to understand that light, Allah said “Nay, but what they were committing has spread like rust over their hearts.” (83:14), rust stops a machine from working Allah here is likening these harmful acts to rust that stops the heart from perceiving light properly hindering the flow of knowledge, the prophet (saws) explains “When a believer sins there is a black spot on his heart, and if he repents and asks pardon his heart is polished (the act has subatomic consequences); but if he does more it increases ‘til it gains the ascendancy over his heart. That is the rust mentioned by Allah Most High” (Ahmad).
In physics this transmission of information and knowledge through the electromagnetic field (light) is called the coherence of waves, (a field is just a bunch of waves together). When one electromagnetic wave connects with another, if they are in a state of coherence (synchronized, calm and there is no interference) then information can be passed on from one to the other clearly, this is like a mobile phone which also uses the electromagnetic field (light) to communicate, if there is bad reception because of interference with the signal from something (in terms of the human body, a persons bad character or mood or the “rust” that has built up) then you will get drop outs in the information the phone is sending and receiving, if there is a good signal (coherence, produced by good character and self control that creates calmness) then the information is passed on crystal clear.
This is where the entire matter of revelation begins, with Light and the Angels created from Light are charged with giving mankind the revelations of Allah. Imam Malik (as) said “Knowledge does not consist in narrating much. Knowledge is but a light which Allah places in the heart” this is the beginning of knowledge, what we witness of it in our lives is it’s results. Narrations are the end result of receiving knowledge not the beginning which is the light Allah placed in the prophets heart, the source of the prophets (saws) knowledge was revelation passed to him by the light of the Angels who revealed it to his heart, “For he (Gabriel) it is who hath revealed (the Quran) to thy heart by Allah’s leave.” (2:97)
This process of gaining knowledge wasn’t something unique to him because the Prophet had a human body that functioned like everyone else, “Say (O Muhammad): I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God)”(18:110), “And We did not create them (the Messengers, with) bodies that ate not food, nor were they immortals” (21:8), but their is a physiological process in receiving revelation that hasn’t been properly understood, “Their Messengers said to them: We are no more than human beings like you” (14:11).
Imam Al-Dhahabi, along with many other scholars, all similarly said, Knowledge (al-`ilm) “is not the profusion of narration but a light which Allah casts into the heart.” From here Imam Dhahabi goes on to explain what all the major scholars understood, that man passes on knowledge that he knows to his students, friends, family, children…etc, through the light (electromagnetic field) of his own heart, knowledge is passed on to the light produced by the heart of the student or child they are teaching in their presence. This is along with the normal manner of communicating, what we sense about the way a person is speaking is because this electromagnetic field exists, which adds depth to the teachers words. A person with a clear heart will be able to take in more of what they are learning and hearing if they can form a coherent link with the teacher, usually achieved through respect and good conduct towards the teacher, something Islam’s scholars said is the foundation of learning.
Imam Dhahabi said about the light the heart receives “Its condition is followership”, ittibaa, following someone, akin to a respectful teacher student relationship which is what following the sunnah meant to the companions who received from His (saws) light of prophethood, it was because of the Prophet’s light that Madinah the city He lived in was called Madinah al Munawara (the illuminated city) a literal name which meant “The City that is Enlightened”, it referred to the amount of knowledge being passed on through His (saws) light of prophethood which many companions living in the city could sense and see clearly, and when He (saws) died the companions said that light left and the city became darker.
There are many ahadith about the light of prophethood which was something Allah gave to each prophet but for it to work as the light of knowledge there had to be a physiological basis in the human body for it work on the wider islamic community, this is why light holds a special place in all religions on earth.
Allah in the Quran clearly says He sent the prophet (saws) as a light for people because of this, “O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good tidings and of warning, And as a summoner unto Allah by His permission, and as a lamp that giveth light.”(33:45-46) Just like the lamp creates light the Human body creates light, in this verse Allah said He sent him as a lamp for people whose role was to illuminate them, because physiologically people are guided by the light (electromagnetic field) of people so Allah gave each prophet the light of prophethood to help them reach people.
The Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, said “Allah created His creation in darkness then He sprayed them with His light. Those whom this light reached became rightly guided, while those it did not went astray.”(Tirmidhi)
Those who saw the prophet (saws) in the full moon noticed that his blessed face was brighter than the moon (Tirmidhi), and one of his Companions, the Lady Rubayyi‘, when asked to describe him, said, “My son, had you seen him, you would have seen the sun shining.”(Tirmidhi)
Aisha (ra) the prophets wife related how she saw the whole room fill with light one night, then it disappeared, while the Prophet continued to call upon Allah. Then the room was filled with a more powerful light which disappeared after a while. She asked, “What is this light I saw?” he said, “Did you see it. O ‘A‘isha?” “Yes!” she replied. He said, “I asked my Lord to grant me my nation, so He gave me one third of them, so I praised and thanked Him. Then I asked him for the rest, so He gave me the second third, so I praised and thanked Him. Then I asked Him for the third third, so He gave it to me, so I praised and thanked Him.” She said that had she wished to pick up mustard seeds from the floor by this light she could have (Hilya).
This is the basis for the Tariqah’s of Tassawwuf and learning from a teacher who has a silsila (genealogy) of teachers that goes back to the prophet (saws), because as the scholars have been saying for 1400 years the silsila (genealogy) of teachers means your are receiving from the light of a teacher who received from the light of a teacher who, going all the way back, received from the light of the prophet (saws) himself, Allah speaks about this reality in very clear terms in the Quran, in a few places.
The scholars understood the importance of this and preserved this chain of teachers very carefully, today every tariqa (path) of Tassawwuf can recount the lineage of teachers they received their knowledge from all the way to the prophet (saws), usually through Imam Ali (ra) or Sayidinah Abu Bakr (ra), the same is true for scholars of the madhhabs of Fiqh and Aqeedah in which it is called Ijaza.
This is what Allah means in the verse “They aim to extinguish Allah’s light with their utterances: but Allah has willed to spread His light in all its fullness (until the coming of the hour), however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth”, this expression is Jawmi al-Kamil encompassing of more knowledge, literally the verse is saying they want to extinguish the light of Allah the prophet (saws) is passing on to his students by their bad conduct, the foul things they are saying which destroys the light of knowledge, other translations have “They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it”.(61:8)
“Allah will perfect His light”, Allah’s light is already perfect so this is referring to it’s role and spread on earth that will be perfected, it primarily spreads from teacher to student through the Ijaza of the Madhhabs and the Silsila of the scholars of Tasaawwuf otherwise their is no physical connection back to the prophet (saws) at the heart of this matter and it would be lost.
Allah in the verse refers to revelation as light because of how it will spread on earth, this isn’t frivolous or hollow speech which is beneath Allah, it has significance and purpose, Allah is trying to teach us something by stating the verse in this unique way, and He promised to protect this light as it spreads from person to person until the coming of the hour.
This is why the prophet (saws) said He has left for us his descendants to learn from, the scholars among them carry this light the best which Allah wished for them in the Quran, and that they and Islam will not separate from each other until He meets them all at His reservoir (al Kawthar) on the day of Judgment. He (saws) said “I am leaving among you something which is very important and should (both) be followed, you will not go astray if you get hold of it after I am gone, one part of it being more important than the other: Allah’s Book, which is a rope stretched from Heaven to Earth, and my close relatives (and descendants), who belong to my household. These two (the Quran and my descendants) will not separate from one another till they come down to the reservoir (al Kawthar, on the day of judgment), so consider how you act regarding them after my departure.” (Tirmidhi)
“Allah has willed to spread His light in all it’s fullness” meaning in every manner the light of the heart can spread knowledge and through this means His religion, Allah prepared the way until the hour by saying about the prophet (saws) descendants in the Quran “Allah intends only to remove from you impurity (to cleans their hearts), O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification”(33:33), it is significant enough that the last Khalifah the Muslim Ummah (nation) will have, Imam Mahdi (ra), will be a descendant of the prophet (saws) showing how Allah is fulfilling this promise, and only the pagans among the muslims “want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths”.
Al-Mahdi (the Mahdi) is an Arabic word which means “The Guided”, the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The Mahdi is from us, the people of the (Prophet’s) Household. Allah will rectify him in one night.” (Ahmad). There are many ahadith about how Allah preserved the light of Islam and who is responsible for what in history;
Jabir bin Samura said “I heard the Prophet (saws) saying, “There will be twelve Muslim rulers (Allah will send for the muslims after the prophet).” He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, “All of them (those rulers) will be from Quraish (the tribe of the prophet (saws)).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari ) Abu Dawud in his Sunan also reported this Hadith, but added to it “and the whole community will agree on each of them.”
Ibn Umar said Allah’s Apostle (saws) said, “This matter (the light of Islam) will remain with Quraish even if only two of them were still existing.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari ), if this wasn’t talking about a spiritual (subatomic) reality Allah placed in the world then any person who can read a book on Islam would fulfil this role Allah intended, but we are talking about the light of Allah spreading, the prophet (saws) was sent among the tribe of Quraish and they witnessed the light of prophethood directly, a book can’t reproduce that.
Abu Huraira said Allah’s Messenger (saws) said, (referring to spiritual succession) “The kingship belongs to Quraish, the legal authority (belongs) to the Ansar (people of Madinah), the call to prayer (belongs) to the Abyssinians, and faith (belongs) to Azd (A Tribe in Yemen).” (Tirmidhi), The Prophet beckoned with his hand towards Yemen and said, “Belief (the light of Iman) is there.” (Bukhari).
The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “This matter (the light of Islam) will be in Al-Madina, then in AsSham, then in the Al-Jazirah, then in Iraq, then in Al-Madina (which is today), then in Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem, with Imam Mahdi). And when it comes to Bayt al-Maqdis, then it will be in its homeland. And it will never go away from a people and afterwards return to them, (the Hour will be established after this time)” (Nuaim bin Hammad’s Kitab Al-Fitan)
Allah calls the human body a light in the Quran many times because it produces light, and in fact because of this He called the prophet (saws) a Lamp to illustrate this point literally; “O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good tidings and of warning, And as a summoner unto Allah by His permission, and as a lamp that giveth light.”(33:45-46)
Allah says the body doesn’t just produce light it follows the light of other people, the heart perceives the light of others, in this context the prophets (saws) light, “Is he whose bosom Allah hath expanded for the surrender (unto Him), so that he followeth a light from His Lord (as he who disbelieveth) ? Then woe unto those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah. Such are in plain error. (39:22)
“On the day when thou (Muhammad) wilt see the believers, men and women, their light shining forth before them”. (57:12)
“On the Day when the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women will say unto those who believe, look on us that we may borrow from your light! It will be said: Go back (to the previous life) and seek for light!” (57:13)
“Now hath come unto you a light from Allah and a plain scripture.” (5:15) light isn’t a metaphor for the Quran, Allah mentions giving muslims two seperate things light and the Quran.
“Then those who believe in him (Muhammad) honor him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him: They are the successful.” (7:157)
“O mankind! Now hath a proof from your Lord come unto you, and We have sent down unto you a clear light”(4:174)
Allah instructs mankind to follow the light He sent down “Believe, therefore, in Allah and His Messenger, and in the Light which we have sent down. And Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do.”(64:8)
Light plays a significant physiological role, mankind will ask Allah to perfect it for them so their bodies can benefit from it, “O you who believe! turn to Allah a sincere turning; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, on the day on which Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him; their light shall run on before them and on their right hands; they shall say: Our Lord! make perfect for us our light, and grant us protection, surely Thou hast power over all things.”(66:8)
Mankind will have their reward and their light in Jannah because strengthening light in the human body enhances a person in every way, this is why it is mentioned next to the reward in Heaven, “And those who believe in Allah and His messengers, they are the loyal, and the martyrs are with their Lord; they have their reward and their light; while as for those who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, they are owners of hell-fire.” (57:19)
To help mankind Allah made reading the Quran produce a light people can benefit from, “ And thus did We reveal to you an inspired book by Our command (the book is granted something unique by Allah’s command). You did not know what the Book was, nor (what) the faith (was), but We made it a light, guiding thereby whom We please of Our servants; and most surely you show the way to the right path”(42:52)
When the body is deprived of it’s ability to produce light this creates torment in the person, “On the same Day, the hypocrites, both men and women, will say to the believers, ‘Wait for us! Let us have some of your light!’ They will be told, ‘Go back and look for a light.’ A wall with a door will be erected between them: inside it lies mercy, outside lies torment.(because their bodies are deprived of light)”(57:13).
The most significant verse in the Quran about this subject is the one in which Allah literally states the heart has the ability to see and gain knowledge, referring to when the prophet (saws) saw Allah, Allah says “And He revealed unto His slave (Muhammad) that which he revealed. The heart did not lie (about) what it saw.” (53:10-11)
From all this we can see light plays an important role not just in gaining knowledge, but being happy and avoiding hardship because increasing light in the human body makes everything easy for man, the prophet (saws) understood this perfectly which reflected in the many acts He (saws) did to increase the light in his body.
Imam Dhahabi, who was Ibn Taymiya’s student, then explains what preserves this light that the heart is taking knowledge through from being destroyed… “Its condition is followership and the flight away from egotism (hawa) and innovation (which destroys that light)”, “They aim to extinguish Allah’s light with their (foul) utterances” their ego and pagan innovations.
Imam Ali (ra) understood all this and said “Enlighten the heart with prayers”, meaning prayer causes the heart to create light which helps it sense and translate knowledge, increasing light in the body is the foundation of why we do everything in religion.
In this regard Allah said “Whomsoever Allah desires to guide, He expands his breast (heart) to Islam (so it can easily understand that light); whomsoever He desires to lead astray, He makes his breast narrow, tight, as if he were climbing to heaven (it becomes difficult to perceive the light of religion, even if someone is talking to us about it). So Allah lays abomination upon those who believe not.” (6:15)
The heart produces an electromagnetic field (light) but the chest concentrates it, this is the significance of Allah mentioning the chest in this ayah instead of the heart directly. We can effectively take out the word Islam from this verse and replace it with the word knowledge, “He expands his breast to knowledge”, but Allah mentions Islam because He is referring to a specific type of knowledge that man is given or deprived of as punishment, while the heart is still capable of perceiving other kinds of worldly knowledge. A man can be cut off by Allah and still perceive knowledge but religion is being able to understand wisdom, this is why most irreligious people are also the least wise people and care little for it, whatever standard they think they have it isn’t on pare with the standard of real morality, to them it’s like becoming a priest or some uphill climb they have to take, “He makes his breast narrow, tight, as if he were climbing to heaven”.
If for some it is difficult to see the connection between all these things, all we have to ask is, what does Allah mean by expand a persons chest in relation to Islamic knowledge, and what is in the chest that literally receives that knowledge because it isn’t the brain or the lungs, the only receptive organ is the heart.
From here we have to then ask, how is the heart able to receive knowledge because to most people it just pumps blood, but this simple understanding is the old outdated view of western medicine over the past 100 years, that the heart is just a muscle, in fact the heart has very a complex nervous system, it’s “electrical wiring and circuitry” which does some very sophisticated things like a computer, because of recent advances in technology that allowed for a closer inspection of that organ science has shown that the heart is like a mini brain.
This state of western medicine over the past century was unfortunate because mankind, most of the world, has always understood the heart had a sophisticated role to play in man’s body, but as the west became secularized during the 19th century it attacked religion and used it’s pseudo scientific discoveries of the past 100 years to prematurely justify it’s Atheism, which now it is moving away from because the science is crystal clear and can’t be ignored.
Like the human body all animals produce an electromagnetic field, through it they sense the world around them and hunt other creatures, through it birds can migrate large distances and navigate the magnetic currents of the earth, most animals have specific organs designed to interpret what they sense or see through the electromagnetic field that their body produces and the human body is closely related to theirs, but perfected as Allah states, “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds”(95:4) the human body is a perfected animal and every creature has an ability to sense through the electromagnetic field our senses are more perfected than theirs because while they focus on locating things we deal with higher realities and gain knowledge.
The electro-magnetic field is made of two things, an electric field and a magnetic field which feed upon each other, both exist because of the electro-magnetic force which is like gravity (but not exactly the same) for small (subatomic) particles.
The electromagnetic force is one of the fundamental forces that the universe relies on, in importance it is second behind gravity, it affects everything in the universe including gravity and is the force behind magnetic fields, electric fields and light. It is also responsible for giving things strength, shape and hardness because it is responsible for how particles are attracted to each other or how they repel each other, just like in magnets.
This force is approximately 10 to the 36 (10^36) times stronger than the gravity on earth, but it mainly works on the small (quantum) particles, if this force wasn’t there everything would collapse into a black hole because particles are no longer being kept apart (repelled), which tells us how significant it is to life and space as well as how widespread it is in the universe.
The electromagnetic force is also responsible for giving us the ability to hold and move things, the electric field (technically it’s called the electrostatic field) generated among atoms and molecules near the surface of our hand generates a force field that doesn’t allow large objects to pass through our hand, it’s also responsible for dirt sticking to our hand, but this is how common and far reaching this force is in the universe, our heart, brain and entire body are governed by it, through it they produce an electromagnetic field that surrounds the entire human body by a distance of 3 to 4 feet which can be measured with scientific instruments.
Animals have specific organs that allow them to interpret or see with these fields, man has his heart and we do more complex things in our body, through them we sense and feel what others want or intend and through them we pass on knowledge, there isn’t an organ or cell in the human body that isn’t affected by this force.
Science and medicine, with many recent advances over the past decade, have already in our time established what we have known about the human body from the first days of Islam, for example if we hear a second hand conversation from someone, we take less information from what we are told than if we witnessed it ourself because our body takes input on many more levels from the presence and atmosphere of the people speaking or events unfolding in front of us, if this didn’t relate to mans heart and senses than any second hand conversation will do because it is the same words being repeated.
Our body senses through our organs, the heart and it’s electro-magnetic field as well as our sense of touch, hearing and smell, the heart is that extra bit of input we all know is there and rely on to judge events. We sense what people are feeling and expressing and the mind which receives all that information from our body translates all these inputs so we can comprehend it.
Most scientists agree that cognition and emotion are distinct functions in the body, mediated by separate but interconnecting neural system’s, moreover, communication channels in the brain are hard wired, and linking the mental and emotional systems together are essential for the expression of our full range of mental capacities, meaning our emotions and what we sense and feel are part of mans ability to perceive and understand, they are not useless “women’s” emotions as the western view came to be for many years.
It is very significant that the actual number of neural connections in the brain going from the emotional processing areas (centres) to the cognitive (rational) centres in the brain is greater than the number going the other way, meaning the body and brain are hard wired to translate and pay attention to what we sense and feel first then to be rational.
This goes some way to explaining the powerful influence of emotions on thought processes, and the brains receptiveness to emotions, or the bodies input to the brain through our senses, this is why the heart is the seat of the intellect because rational thought comes after what we sense and feel, western psychology has been teaching the opposite of this for well over 100 years with drastic results to society.
Ali ibn Abi Talib said “The seat of reason is the heart (al-`aqlu fi al-qalb)” the prophet (saws) said “Verily, Allah looks not at your bodies nor at your faces but He looks at your hearts.”(Muslim) Allah wouldn’t be looking at the heart if it was just a lump of flesh that pumps blood, the brain would be more deserving of consideration but Allah chose the heart above it because it does something significant for man. Imam al-Nawawi stated that this narration was used as proof that the seat of the mind is the heart and Ibn Hajar similarly adduced the same and Imam Ahmad likewise said “Its seat is the heart”.
Neuroscience has shown that because of the way the body is hardwired that while emotions can easily dispel non emotional thoughts from our awareness, non emotional thoughts do not easily displace emotions from the mental landscape.
In this regard the scholars said the heart is the seat of the intellect not the brain, Imam Ali (r.a) said at Siffin, “The (seat of the) intellect is located in the heart. Mercy is located in the liver, Compassion is located in the spleen. The self (soul) is located in the lungs (these refer to regions in the body that affect these types of emotions).”(Adab al Mufrad, Hasan). Imam Ali (ra) also said: “The (spiritual) disease of the heart is worse than the disease of the body.”
What is emerging from the most recent research is that the human body also has another layer of sensory input on top of our physical senses, and this is the input from mans electromagnetic field produced by the brain and heart. Our body is made from cells which are sensitive to what occurs at the quantum (subatomic) level of the universe because they need light to survive, so the heart and brain through the electromagnetic force are connected to the most basic level of matter, the subatomic world.
When there is coherence within and between the mental and emotional systems of the body, they impact constructively to expand awareness, they also enable the body to work optimally both psychologically and physiologically. In relation to this very point the prophet (saws) on a regular basis used to make dua for Allah to increase him in light (the electromagnetic field) (Bukhari, Muslim and many others). He (saws) would ask Allah to place light in very specific organs of the body because He understood how the body uses and relies on the electromagnetic field (light), these dua are among the most repeated prayers in Islam.
There is no doubt that the prophet (saws) understood the importance of the electromagnetic field (Light) in the body and the significance of keeping it strong. The Prophet (saws) would ask “O Allah, place light in my heart, and on my tongue light, and in my ears light and in my sight light, and above me light, and below me light, and to my right light, and to my left light, and before me light and behind me light. Place in my soul light. Magnify for me light, and amplify for me light. Make for me light, and make me light. O Allaah, grant me light, and place light in my nerves, and in my body light and in my blood light and in my hair light and in my skin light.”(Bukhari, Muslim)
“O Allaah, make for me a light in my grave… and a light in my bones.”(Tirmidhi)
“Increase me in light, increase me in light, increase me in light.”(Adab al Mufrad)
“Grant me light upon light.”(Bukhari)
“And make the light greater for me.”(Muslim)
Opposite to the coherence of light is when the mental and emotional systems are out of phase, they lack synchronisation and they interact in a conflicting manner, degenerating the performance of the human body.
Many positive thinking strategies, developed today, “follow the assumption that all emotions follow thought, which occurs first, and so by changing one’s thoughts, we should be able to gain control over our emotions. However, in the last decade, research in neuroscience has made it quite clear that emotional processes operate at a much higher speed than thoughts, and frequently bypass the mind’s linear reasoning process entirely. In other words, emotions do not always follow thought; in many cases, in fact, emotions occur independently of the cognitive system and can significantly bias or colour the cognitive process (in other words how we perceive and gain knowledge) and it’s output or decision.”
This is completely in line with the Islamic understanding that man reacts after he senses, the brain isn’t the starting point of the self and is just sitting there reacting and creating everything we experience as western medicine concluded last century and spread around the world. Mans senses give him input from what is occurring around him and the body is hardwired to process and translate this input, again reinforcing what Imam Ali (ra) and many verses in the Quran indicated, that the seat of the intellect is located in the heart.
Researchers state that “Since the mind and emotions affect a wide range of abilities and responses, mental and emotional coherence (synchronisation) are of the utmost importance. Vision, listening ability, reaction times, mental clarity, problem solving, creativity, and performance in a wide range of tasks are all influenced by the degree of coherence of these two systems at any given time. Because emotions exert such a powerful influence on cognitive processes, emotional incoherence often leads to mental incoherence and is often the root cause of mental problems and stress.”
Allah speaks about the consequences of this in the Quran clearly, “Such are they whose hearts and ears and eyes Allah hath sealed (the heart has a perceptive faculty which can be sealed, when it is), And such are the heedless.” (16:108), when He mentions the heart, He is referring to its cognitive processes, starting from the subatomic level of the Universe and the consequence is complete heedlessness in the person.
In the Quran Allah says many times, He guides man from the subatomic level (ghayb) for example the verse of light (24:35), after Allah explains how His light exists in the Universe by outlining how the Atom comes into existence from the subatomic part of our universe, He says He guides man to Him through this process, (our book “How Is Allah The Light Of The Heavens and The Earth” explains this in detail).
“Increasing stability in the emotional systems of the body can often bring the mind into a greater sense of peace and clarity”, we achieve stability through the acts of worship we perform because they all impact upon mans body and then self physiologically, Allah mentions this connection very clearly in the Quran when He says, “Then (O people)…prostrate yourself (in prayer first then) draw nearer to Us.” (96:19), nearness is achieved in the heart but it requires a physical act in order to attain it, this is the relationship between prostration and the self coming closer to Allah.
When the mental and emotional systems of the body are in sync (in coherence), we have greater access to our full potential in order to achieve our aims because we are focused.
Research has shown through experimentation with heart rate variability patterns, it’s rhythm as it beats which shapes the electromagnetic field it produces, that our emotional state constantly reflects in the field produced by the heart.
Very literally, our emotions are broadcast through the electromagnetic field produced by the heart like a broadcast tower, for example anger produces a very distinct wave from love, another layer of complexity is added once we consider quantum mechanics and the entanglement of particles, at the quantum level this is how all particles interact with each other to cause all reactions, and the body is certainly entangling quantum particles in it’s vicinity through it’s fields.
Particles are prevalent through out the universe, for example physicists estimate that about 60 billion solar neutrinos, particles created by the sun, pass through a persons fingernail every second, but this is all due to the latest research which is making the old western understanding of science obsolete as they re-evaluate their core beliefs about the body and man ’s psychology.
‘Current (western) scientific knowledge regarding the physiology of emotions has it’s roots in Gaelic medicine. Galen’s influence on scientific thinking persisted well into the 1800s, with the notion that thought’s circulate in the ventricles of the brain, and emotions circulate in the vascular system (circulatory system of the blood). A persons temperament was determined by four “humors” or secretions in the body: sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic. Modern biochemical research has added much to this inaccurate and simplistic model but the withdraw from this perspective, that the brain does one thing and the heart another and each part of the body works separately, has been slow and guarded for two reasons: “Old theories do not die easily, and there is an aspect of truth to this view, the thoughts circulating in the ventricles have turned out to be neural electrical activity and the humors are endocrine secretions (the secretion of hormones and other products into the blood)”’, this view has tied the hands of western society for well over a hundred years slowing any progress because it is still far to simplistic from the actual reality of the human body which is faster and more complex then the worlds fastest super computers.
By comparison to what we know today, this is a two dimensional understanding of the body, while the latest scientific understanding perfectly explains what the pseudo science of the 19th and 20th century attempted to throw out rather than advance, Eastern and Islamic medicine.
There is a deep relationship between emotions and physiology which western science and medicine has deliberately turned away from for the past 100 years, “even ordinary conversations about emotional experiences contain many physiological allusions. So there is no question that emotions are accompanied by a vast array of physiological changes, this is why people often describe emotional experiences in physiological terms, such as “My heart was pounding”, “My throat went dry”, “My blood ran cold”, “My skin crawled”, “It was gut wrenching”, “and it took my breath away.”
In the 1920’s physiologist Walter Cannon (erroneously) proposed that the essential mechanism of emotion occurred within the brain, and that bodily responses and other inputs were not needed to fully experience emotions. Much of his research centred on responses that occur in states of hunger or intense emotion (and not normal situations), and led him to propose the “fight of flight response”, his views won over the scientific community of the day and shaped western scientific views for decades to come, others simply built upon his original ideas and assumptions. In 1937 James Papez introduced the Papez circuit, and later in 1950 Paul Maclean suggested the Limbic system of the brain, responsible for emotions, both would later prove flawed and incomplete.
The result of cutting out the body and heart as the centre of emotions would shape the heartless world we now live in today, as many adopted this philosophy around world that emotions ‘were just chemicals’ and ‘it was all in the brain’, the cruelest and most desensitised period in man’s history would follow, WW2 and the rise of Capitalism, secularisation of the christian world was the real motivation because they focused on spirituality and secular Atheist needed a “heartless” society to achieve capitalism. As was often the case they looked for scientific proof for their preconceived ideology that man was just a blank slate waiting to be moulded, an ideology that came to be known as Tabula Rasa. Capitalism was the commercialisation of every aspect of life, literally everything was rationalised and stripped of it’s value then put up for sale and used to make a profit. With this new found belief that “love is a chemical” independent of who the person is, everything was devaluated since nothing had the same meaning any longer, nothing remained sacred in the world of chemicals, not religion, not morality, not women, not chastity, not even the family.
This fatal error and path in western medicine that emotions occurred within the brain alone, ignoring what man already had understood and been studying for millennia would not only shape their understanding of physiology but psychology and psychiatry as well. With the advent of recent advances in technology and the discoveries that came with neuroscience these two fields had to literally throw out the past 100 years of their doctrines and teachings to rewrite the book, this is their history as they teach it. Along with western medicine, psychology ands psychiatry were the foundations that secular Atheism came to build itself upon.
The Islamic’s worlds fundamental understanding of the human being is now proving true after almost a century of being challenged by premature theories based on incomplete science.
The impact of assuming that emotions were manufactured by the brain alone had a significant impact not just on western medicine but religious and secular beliefs as well, it almost certainly fuelled the evolutionary debate which attempted to downgrade the significance of Man in the universe in order to promote their likewise flawed theories that he originated from monkeys, despite the fact that still to this day the missing archeological link their theories relied upon hadn’t been found, there is still a few hundred thousand years gap in the archeological record between their ancient monkeys that fraudulent scientists have been passing on to the scientific community (see piltdown man and other hoax’s designed to shape the views of society) and when they assume Man first appeared on earth.
What is more shameless than the proven hoax’s they used to win over the public is the fact Darwin learnt about evolution from historical Islamic text, the religion they know want to rid the world of by using evolution. He came from a family of physicians and educated people and prior to the modern age most of Europe still heavily relied on Islamic text which were widely taught, his family was known for studying them religiously. Much of what He states is directly paraphrased from famous islamic scholars.
While Islam certainly advanced the idea of evolution in creatures through out history (see past issues of the Journal), it was now being used to attack religion through the manipulation of facts.
Evolutionary assumptions were responsible for the rise of secular Atheism which relied on evolution and psychology to prove that man was just another animal, in order to challenge religious perceptions and secularise society through what is by todays standards pseudo science.
What we know today in physics and quantum mechanics alone could debunk many of their beliefs, which is why new fields of science like biophysics are emerging which establish the relationship between man’s body and the subatomic universe.
Most medical textbooks are replete with diagrams that illustrate the nervous system sending signals from the brain to the organs in line with the idea that the brain produces emotions alone, this fuelled the over rationalised secular Atheist belief that the brain is doing everything, medical textbooks though do not complete the circuit because they omit the existence of the pathways which carry signals from the body to the brain.
“Remarkably we now know that the heart sends more neural traffic to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.”
Most academic theorists now agree that emotion involves, at the most basic level, stimulus from memory in addition to information from the human body (it’s various organs) and the emotional state we are in, and in recent years attempts have been made to determine the correct sequence of these components.
Although even more recently it is now understood that it is indeed possible to have emotional processing in specific brain areas simultaneously with input from the body to the brain, each building on the other to contribute to what we ultimately sense and feel at that moment in time.
It was first observed in the 1970’s that input from the heart and cardiovascular system (nervous system etc) significantly affected perception and behaviour, this was the first time Cannon’s theories were challenged because it was observed that the heart seemed to behave as if it had a mind of it’s own.
Subsequent research also revealed a link between the heart rate response (independent of other parts of the body) to different environmental stimuli, and a persons cognitive attitude to the environment around him. This indicated that the heart’s response was not merely a mechanical (or automatic) response due to signals being sent from the brain, it literally thought on it’s own, which implied it can react before the brain to situations.
What was more intriguing were the results of simple human reaction time experiments, or reflexes, the heart decelerated during preparation which resulted in faster reflexes, man reacts to what he senses because the electromagnetic field of the body is the first point of contact with the outside world, then man’s sight hearing and body follow, most martial artists trained at having “superhuman” reflexes would attest to this while lethargic people would have hardly experienced this, Athletes call this being in the “zone”. This led researchers to propose that the feedback to the brain plays a role in accepting or rejecting what is going on in the environment, very literally the heart was telling the brain to block out the world around it, or tune out so the person could focus, a similar mechanism seen in animals when they hunt.
When the signals from the heart to the brain are compromised by disease, there is less awareness of feeling sensations in the body, evidence now clearly demonstrates that signals from the heart significantly influence the way the brain processes, the signals are not only relayed to the brain so it can balance the body, but they have a separate and specific effect on higher mental processes of the brain related to perception.
This is literally part of the mechanism involved in revelation (wahy), because revelation (knowledge) is revealed to the heart and not the brain.
“In addition to functioning as a sophisticated information processing and encoding centre, the heart is also an endocrine gland, it controls the way our body functions by producing and releasing hormones and neurotransmitters, that travel through out the body to maintain our tissues and organs.”
“So with each beat of our heart it not only pumps blood, but also continually transmits dynamic patterns of neurological, hormonal, pressure, and electromagnetic information to the brain and body. Therefor the multiple inputs from the heart and cardiovascular system to the brain are a major contributor in establishing the dynamics and patterns of the brain.”
The brain familiarises itself with the rhythmic patterns of the heart, whether ordered or disordered, it then regulates the body to keep it’s balance and at the same time process emotions and senses.
The systems of the brain operate essentially as a pattern recognition system, it’s to simplistic and inaccurate to say it processes singles from the body, the brain in reality processes the complete picture being sent to it by the body rather than just individual signals, this old way of thinking is what limited western medicine and gave rise to many incorrect theories in psychology.
It’s like watching a movie, the body is relaying the complete picture to the brain, scene by scene, along with atmospheric effects (feelings) that dramatise the moment, while science and western medicine for a long time assumed the body was sending random and almost unrelated pixels. The incomplete and incorrect understanding of the heart and body inevitably lead to incorrect doctrines that shaped the course of history.
This is where western science fell short in comparison to the Islamic understanding of the human body for more than 100 years, because looking back on western history starting with the dark ages came Europe’s enlightenment then it’s secularisation, there wasn’t a period in western history where they accepted this reality of the heart, until now.
In addition to monitoring and controlling the bodies stability in each moment of time, there are also processes that assess the degree of harmony between the past (moment), what is occurring now, and the projected future, these give rise to more complex emotions like optimism and pessimism, like wise subatomic particles are entangled in more complex ways than just simple reactions, because in the subatomic universe time is a significant factor in how particles behave.
If the body doesn’t perceive (or predict) it is going to return to stability this can give rise to fear or anxiety. In simple terms the body is equipped to process and deal with time itself and what arises due to the passing of time, this is one of the more significant ways in which the western understanding of the human body fell short because they looked at the body in a two dimensional manner, completely ignoring the fact that time even exists and how the body deals with it.
If we were to take this a step up, above this simple view of man, in a Hadith Qudsi Allah said, the “Sons of Adam inveigh against [the vicissitudes of] Time, and I am Time, in My hand is the night and the day” (Bukhari).
Allah created man in His image or likeness, but with human limitations, so that man is capable of knowing Him completely, regarding this mans body must then be capable of understanding and dealing with time. The word for Time used in this Hadith is Dhuhr, in classical Arabic according to the Ullumah (scholars), Dhuhr means the Span of Time, or Time stretched out, so Allah (swt) is saying in regards to knowing His qualities He is “the Span of Time”, His qualities are known through the passing of time and the body must be able to quantify and understand through time.
It was because of this Imam Ali (ra) said “The vision of the eye is limited; the vision of the heart transcends all barriers of time and space”, this is because the heart gives a complete image (picture) of what it is focused on, and not jus a single signal that is relayed to the brain in that second, what it does is more complex than that.
One of the ways an emotion is generated is through the comparison of information received from our external senses, such as sight, sound and smell, against those present in our memories, this occurs almost with out thinking about it, but it is how the feeling of familiarity in new environments occurs.
With this understanding we can view emotions and thought emerging from an intricate array of interactions, occurring within a complex system that is the body, it’s main components include the brain, heart, nervous system, and the hormone system.
Although there are many sources for input to the brain, the heart is given particular importance due to the unique degree of inputs and rhythmic patterns that indicate a change in a persons overall emotional state.
Allah mentions the heart in the Quran often teaching us it has a complex role to play in man’s body;
“Have they not travelled in the land so that they should have hearts with which to understand, or ears with which to hear? For surely it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts which are in the breasts.”(22:47)
“Already have We urged unto hell many of the jinn and humankind, having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle – nay, but they are worse! These are the neglectful.”(7:179)
“They preferred to be with those who remained behind, and a seal is set on their hearts so they do not understand.”(9:87)
“These are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith, and whom He has strengthened with an inspiration from Him: and He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein; Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him these are Allah’s party: now surely the party of Allah are the successful ones.”(58:22)
“Your Allah is one Allah; so (as for) those who do not believe in the hereafter, their hearts are ignorant and they are proud.”(16:22)
“Whosoever believeth in Allah, He guideth his heart. And Allah is Knower of all things.”(64:11)
“Most surely there is a reminder in this for him who has a heart or he gives ear and is a witness.”(50:37)
“And obey not him whose heart we have made heedless of Our Remembrance, who followeth his own lust.” (18:28)
“He it is who sent down peace of reassurance into the hearts of the believers that they might add faith unto their faith.” (48:4)
“He it is who supporteth thee with His Help and with the believers. And (as for the believers) hath attuned their hearts.” (8: 62-63)
“Say (O Muhammad, to mankind) who is enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this scripture) to thy heart by God’s leave.” (2:97)
“The day when wealth and sons avail not (any man). Save him who bringeth unto Allah a sound heart“ (26: 88-89)
“Whoso is blind in here (this life) will be blind in the Hereafter, and yet further from the road.”(17:22)
(The main source used in writing this was “Heart-Brain Neurodynamics: The Making Of Emotions”)