Heart-Mind and Soul’s Relationship in the Holy Qur’an
Transribed By Wajeeha Nisar Ahmed Khan
An Educationist and a Freelance Writer
In order to understand the reason behind accepting and rejecting the guidance there is a need to understand the Quranic psychology. There are two basic entities al-Aqal or intellect related to mind and Qalb-the Heart.
The intellect refers to understanding, thinking, reflecting, learning and recognizing and it’s always progressive irrespective of the age. The linguistic meaning of intellect is to tie up the emotions (lies in the heart) and restrain them.
The other entity is the heart, its foremost quality is the remembrance of Allah سبحانہ و تعالی, it also contains, fear, caution, love, ego, hate and all other forms of psychological diseases. But these qualities of the heart are not progressive, they move and fluctuate.
In the Holy Quran Allah سبحانہ و تعالی has referred to the heart as a processor of information, particularly concerning emotions which attracts the attention to the relationship between the mind and the heart.
There are few Ayahs which mention the heart in the Holy Qur’an
وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْر
(آل عمران ، 3: 159).
If you were severe or harsh-hearted (in treating them), they would have left you. So, pardon them, and ask (Allah) to forgive them, and consult them in the affairs (of the community). (Al-E-Imran, 3: 159)
إِلَّا مَنۡ أَتَى ٱللَّهَ بِقَلۡبٍ۬ سَلِيمٍ۬ (الشعراء ، 26: 89).
Except he, who came to Allah with a sound heart ( Al-Shu’ara, 26: 89)
مَّنۡ خَشِىَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنَ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَجَآءَ بِقَلۡبٍ۬ مُّنِيبٍ (قاف ، 50: 33).
Who feared the unseen Al-Rahman (The Merciful), and came with a repentant heart (Qaf, 50: 33)
وَيُشۡهِدُ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا فِى قَلۡبِهِۦ وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ ٱلۡخِصَامِ (البقرة ، 2: 204).
… and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart; yet he is the most contentious of enemies (Al-Baqara, 2: 204)
وَلَا تَكۡتُمُواْ ٱلشَّهَـٰدَةَۚ وَمَن يَڪۡتُمۡهَا فَإِنَّهُ ۥۤ ءَاثِمٌ۬ قَلۡبُهُ (البقرة ، 2: 283).
Do not conceal the testimony. And whoever conceals it his heart is sinning. (Al-Baqara, 2: 283)
فَيَطۡمَعَ ٱلَّذِى فِى قَلۡبِهِۦ مَرَضٌ۬ (الأحزاب ، 33: 32).
… lest the one in whose heart there is sickness should aspire (to you).
(Al-Ahzab, 33: 32)
Now the question arise that after listening and reading the message of Allah سبحانہ و تعالی why a person accepts and rejects guidance? Either this acceptance or rejection comes from the heart or the mind?
One thing that is required to be clear first is that Allah سبحانہ و تعالی has made our heart clear, which recognize Him and His Sovereignty, that clearance of heart is called Fitrah’. But when this heart becomes ill with greed, jealously, hatred, ego and temptations it lost its Fitrah’. Our Fitrah’ (the inside light wants to connect with the outside light that is Revelation but our Nafs (the desires) want let this happen easily.
وَمَن يُعَظِّمۡ شَعَـٰٓٮِٕرَ ٱللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقۡوَى ٱلۡقُلُوبِ (الحج ، 22: 32).
…and whoever glorifies the rituals of Allah, it is (a sign) of piety of hearts
(Al-Hajj, 22: 32)
The soul of every human being is submitted to Allah سبحانہ و تعالی, but the desires of Nafs which resides in the heart made him deviate from the right path.
وَقَلۡبُهُ ۥ مُطۡمَٮِٕنُّۢ بِٱلۡإِيمَـٰنِ (النحل ، 16: 106).
..and his heart assured by faith (Al-Nahl, 16: 106).
We can better understand this with an example; Abu Jahl , Abu Sufyan and Akhnas ibn Shureikh used to listen the Quran secretly and they knew that the message which the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وآلیہ وسلم has brought is true and when on one day Abu Jahl was asked about this by Abu Sufyan and Akhnas ibn Shureikh ,he replied that although the teachings of Prophet Muhammed صلی اللہ علیہ وآلیہ وسلم are true but his heart want let him accept it as Prophet Muhammed صلی اللہ علیہ وآلیہ وسلم was from the clan of Banu Hashim and accepting the guidance means that Banu Quraish will surrender infront of Banu Hashim which he did not want.
This is how our nafs keep us away from accepting what is right. Nafs is a physical being and its food comes from this world (the desires n lust), as much you will feed it by fulfilling its desire as much it will become strong and starts overcoming your True self .i.e. your Fitrah’
أَفَلَمۡ يَسِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمۡ قُلُوبٌ۬ يَعۡقِلُونَ بِہَآ أَوۡ ءَاذَانٌ۬ يَسۡمَعُونَ بِہَاۖ فَإِنَّہَا لَا تَعۡمَى ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ وَلَـٰكِن تَعۡمَى ٱلۡقُلُوبُ ٱلَّتِى فِى ٱلصُّدُورِ (الحج ، 22: 32).
Have they not traveled throughout the Earth, with their hearts to reason with, and ears to hear with? Truly it is not the eyes that become blind, but do the hearts which are in the chests. (Al-Hajj, 22: 46)
The desires are like a horse and a man is like a rider, if our desires become uncontrollable they will surely win and when they’ll win our Fitrah’ will be hurt and that is why a man feels guilt when he goes against his Fitrah’ but as the desire is more strong and he has become the slave of his Nafs he just feel a guilt and carry on feeding the nafs
Balance is required in both our heart and mind as the mind asks philosophical questions whose answers are already been known to the heart. But because of being dirty by worldly desires the heart lost in darkness and this darkness can only be removed by the ayahs of the Quran which are the light and clean the heart from all the ailments.
Remember only a clean heart will get the satisfaction by getting and acting upon the guidance from the Quran.
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِۗ أَلَا بِذِڪۡرِ ٱللَّهِ تَطۡمَٮِٕنُّ ٱلۡقُلُوبُ (الرعد ، 13: 28).
Those who believe, and whose hearts find assurance (and peace) in the remembrance of Allah. For, in the remembrance of Allah, hearts find assurance (and peace) (Al-Ra’ad, 13: 28)