The Status of heart in Human Personality

The Status of heart in Human Personality



In the previous article entitled ‘The Evil Web’ we have described its concept, components, and its founder and lifetime leader (Iblis). Moreover, we indicated that the main target of the evil web is the hearts of the human beings. In this connection the Qur’an says: 

And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion. And indeed, they (the devils) avert them from the way (of guidance) while they think that they are (rightly) guided (1). (43:36-37).

The verse 43:36 of the Qur’an means that whoever knowingly turns a blind eye towards the Qur’an and wahy (revelation), Allah assigns to him a devil (satan) who accompanies him all the times in this world to prevent him from virtuous deeds, and to divert him towards evil. When such a man will be resurrected in the Hereafter, his devil will also be with him, till they both will be pushed into Hell. Such a person commits vices but thinks that he is doing very well (2). 

This devil who is assigned to such a person is in addition to the satan who is attached to every believer and disbeliever, because that satan does leave the man alone at certain specific times, whereas this devil accompanies him all the time (3).

The one who does not remember Allah and attributes of His glory and does not reflect on Quranic verses will be occupied with falsehood and entertains satanic thought in his heart. Such thought hinders the path of truth and the passage of angels to his heart; as a consequence of which his heart turns into the camp of devils and they take control of him surrounding his heart. Under such a situation he will falsely claim that he was on the right path while he was in error (4). 

The Holy Prophet said, “I too have a devil, but Allah helped me to overcome him and he has submitted to me, so he does not order anything except good (5). 

Keeping in view the importance of the heart in the functioning of the human personality and the heart as a battlefield for the angelic and satanic forces round the clock and throughout one’s productive life, it is therefore imperative to discuss in detail the concept, significance and its status in the kingdom of human personality. 

According to Imam Gazzali the heart is like a pitched pavilion around which are doors through which external and internal states and circumstances pour into it, a target at which arrows from all directions are shot, a mirror reflecting assorted forms and images and a pool into which water from different channels flows. Just as things that are good and beneficial can enter it, those that are harmful, repugnant and evil can also find room therein. The ways in which these things enter the heart, both positive and negative, come forth either through the five senses or through intangible means (anger, lust, and imagination, etc). The positive thoughts or suggestions entering the heart are referred to as ilham (inspiration), while the negative suggestions are called waswasa (whispering). The inspiration is from angel (mulhim), and waswasa from Satan (devil) (6)

The heart is equally open to angelic inspiration and satanic whispering. Subjected to attack from two fronts, the heart is forced to choose one of these influences. The heart that remembers Allah and is occupied with invoking Him, the opportunity for Satan to intervene decreases or even totally vanishes. In such a situation, Satan’s position is replaced by an angel who, in opposition to Satan’s whispering, provides inspiration. Purging the heart of Satan’s promptings can only be possible through placing in the heart something other than that which is the source of these promptings. The only thing that protects the heart from Satan’s urgings is remembrance of Allah. A thing is only treated with its opposite. The opposite of all the evil promptings of Satan is the remembrance of Allah by taking refuge in Him and disclaiming one’s own strength and power. The heart is shaped in accordance with the attributes that are dominant therein. When Satanic attributes prevail, the heart becomes estranged from Allah and reaches the point of being a helper to Satan and other enemies of Allah. When angelic attributes become dominant, it does not pay heed to the enticements and deceptions of Satan and, despite its ceaseless persistence endeavours, the heart inclines towards worship and devotion to Allah (7).  

Benefitting from the remembrance of Allah is directly related to the condition of the heart. Healthy heart shows inclination towards Allah and resists the attack of Satan and other members of the evil web. It is imperative to seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the Accursed for preventing his whisperings. When a person is at the threshold of getting out of control, he should turn to Allah and seek refuge with Him against evil forces including one’s lower soul. 

And If an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing. Indeed, those who fear Allah – when an impulse touches them from Satan, they remember (Him) and at once they have insight. But their brothers – they (the devils) increase them in error; then they stop short (8). 

Those who follow their lower souls instead of Allah’s commandments their hearts are sealed and they become blind. In this connection the Qur’an says: 

Have you seen he who has taken as his god his (own) desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? (9). 

The word knowledge in the above verse can refer to Allah’s knowledge of that person and of his reference for his own inclinations or to that person’s knowledge of the truth while he refuses it (10).

In this article we intend to discuss the concept, and a number of wonderful aspects of the heart, such as the relationship between material heart and spiritual heart; heart as a king of human personality; an endocrine gland; an electromagnetic generator; as a seat of intelligence and reason; communication of heart with senses and other organs; interaction of the heart with brain; an organ of coordination; a centre of love and hate; a centre of belief and guidance; a centre of feeling and emotions; heart and intuition; miscellaneous aspects of the heart; and different dimensions of the heart. 


We will discuss the concept of the human heart in the light of both revealed knowledge and acquired knowledge. In this connection, we intend to give statements of a number of eminent religious scholars, theologians, philosophers, mystics, commentators of the Qur’an, and intellectuals, such as Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi a 13th century eminent Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi Mystic; Sir Muhammad Iqbal, a philosopher, poet and scholar; Muhy al-Din Ibn Arabi, a Muslim scholar, mystic, poet, and philosopher; Fakhruddin Razi, an eminent theologian, polymath, scientist; Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali, the greatest theologian of Islam, religious scholar, philosopher and the proof of Islam; Bediuzzaman (wonder of the age) Said Nursi, an eminent religious scholar; Sultan Bahu a 17th century Sufi mystic, poet, scholar and historian; Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi (Mujaddid Alf Thani, a religious scholar, philosopher, and mystic. In addition we will give statements of eminent writers on the subject, such as Minoo Asadzandi, Mehmet Yavuz Seker, and Salem, M.O.  

In the world there were two major viewpoints in connection with the control of human personality: the cardiocentric and cephalo-centric. The cardiocentric hypothesis was the historical belief that the heart controls sensation, thought, and body movement. They believed that the heart was the seat of the soul and the origin of the channels to all other parts of the body, including arteries, veins, and tendons. The heart was also depicted as determining the fate of ancient Egyptians after they died. Therefore, the heart was kept in the mummy while other organs were generally removed. This idea was later accepted by some eminent Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, Diocles of Carystus, and Praxagoras of Cos. Aristotle promoted the cardiocentric hypothesis based on his studies on the dissection of animals. From his investigations, Aristotle concluded that the heart was the centre of the psycho-physiological system. He was also of the view that the existence of pneuma (it is an ancient Greek word for breath; and in a religious context for soul). Its existence in the heart was to function as a messenger, travelling through blood vessels to produce sensation. Movement of body parts was thought to be controlled by the heart as well. He asserted that the heart was composed of sinews which allowed the body to move. Diocles reasserted that the heart was the physiological centre of sensation and thought. He believed that the heart was dominant over the brain for listening and understanding. Avicena (Abu Sina) stated that activation for voluntary movement began in the heart and was then transported to the brain. Albertus Magnus suggested that nerves branched off from the brain but that the origin was the heart. He concluded that philosophically, all matters originated from the heart, and in the corporeal explanation, all nerves started from the brain. William Harvey was of the view that the heart was the centre of the body and the source of life in his treatise (11).  

The heart as the commander of the body is responsible for decision making, it commands and forbids the members, and through that one contemplates and understands. Different heart conditions in the Qur’an include: the Sound heart of the people with spiritual well being, the heart of repentance, and the sick heart of the wrong doers. The owners of Sound heart reach spiritual health by gaining wisdom, chastity, courage, justice, friendship, and intercession. They can bear their suffering. Spiritual health is essential, for health personnel, patients, families, and clients, etc. (12).

In Islamic understanding, alongwith the outward facet of religion, the inward element, or the realm of the heart, is also of utmost importance. In Islamic tradition in general, and in Sufism in particular the heart assumes a central position. The heart’s being understood implies understanding the spirit of Islam. The heart is the name of the organ which enables the circulation of blood throughout the body of human beings. In the religious and Sufi context, it is the vehicle of knowledge and cognition; it has the capacity to understand, perceive, think, and penetrate the realities of the creation; can differentiate the fundamental qualities distinguishing human beings from other creatures; and it is the seat of beliefs and site of piety, therefore, it is responsible and accountable for the beliefs, utterances and actions of human personality in front of Allah. The Qur’an and Prophetic traditions emphasise not the nature, but, functions and characteristics of the heart  (13).

In many cultures throughout history, the heart has been considered the source of emotions, passion, and wisdom. Also people used to feel that they experienced the feeling or sensation of love and other emotional states in the heart. In this connection recent studies have explored physiological mechanisms by which the heart communicates with the brain, thereby influencing information processing, perceptions, emotions and health. These studies provided the scientific basis to explain how and why the heart affects mental clarity, creativity, and emotional balance (14). 

The heart gives a higher type of knowledge and  it is the stage of Divine Realities and a gate of love: 

 When love for Allah has been doubled in your heart,

There is no doubt that Allah has love for you.

Some of the quotes about heart are as Follows:
Sorrow shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh green leaves can grow in their place. 
Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place. 
I looked at the temples, churches and mosques, but I found the Divine within my heart. 
As you live Deeper in the heart, the Mirror gets clearer and cleaner. 
Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go, find yourself in its hidden depths. 
Find the sweetness in your own heart, then, you may find the sweetness in every heart. 
There is a window from one heart to another heart. 
When someone criticises or disagrees with you, a small ant of hatred and antagonism is born in your heart. If you do not squash that ant at once, it might grow into a snake, or even a dragon. 
The light which shines in the eye is really the light of the heart…The light which fills the heart is the Light of Allah, which is pure and separate from the light of intellect and sense. 
Our greatest strength lies in the greatness and tenderness of our heart. 
Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction (Sources: 15). 

 An illumined heart is, supernal,

Like Omar’s or Ali’s heart;

An illumined heart is the alchemy,

burnish the human soul.

Create an illumined heart,

For when the heart is dormant,

Neither my words nor thine,

Can permeate my soul

Comparison of the heart and Intellect: 

All this is true, but look at me as well, what I am

You understand the secrets of life, but seeing them with my own eyes I am

Concerned with the manifest order your, and acquainted with the inward I am

Learning is from you, but Divine Knowledge from me

You only seek Divinity, but showing Dignity I am

Restlessness is the end of Knowledge, but the remedy for that malady I am

You are the candle of the assembly of Truth

The lamp of the Divine Beauty’s assemblage I am

You are related to time and space, the bird recognizing the Sidrah I am

Look at the grandeur of my station, the throne of Allah of Majesty I am (Source: !6). 

The heart does not merely consist of the brain (mind), but contains much greater depth than the brain alone. Human beings receive counsel by means of their hearts. They evaluate and comprehend the realities they hear according to the level at which they experience the life of the heart. Therefore, Truth and Reality are perceived and understood at different degrees and depths in each person. The sound mind is a heart purified from false beliefs and remaining in the state in which it was first created (17)

Changes in emotions are accompanied by predictable changes in the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and digestion. So, when people are aroused, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system energises them for fight or flight, and in more quiet times, the parasympathetic component cools them down. It can be assumed that the autonomic nervous system and the physiological responses moved in concert with the brain’s response to a given stimulus (18)

As the body becomes ill and requires care, our hearts also need spiritual care, both in health and disease. Occasionally, healthy persons suffer from spiritual illness because of neglect of Allah’s remembrance and spiritual vacuum. Sometimes people with physical illness suffer from a spiritual crisis because of fear and anxiety about the future or sadness about losing their health. Sound Heart owners do not suffer from the sadness about the past events, anxiety, and fear of the future. They are happy with the past and hopeful and optimistic about the future. This feature is considered by the World Health Organization and positive psychology as a feature of people with mental health (healthy heart). Spiritual vacuum creates destructive excitement, unhealthy lifestyle, and high-risk behaviour. Life-threatening illness, in certain cases, is a Divine tradition in order to reward them for their patience in such difficult situations and for thanksgiving due to their sound heart (19). Heart is the centre of knowledge, perception, cognition, and belief (20). 

Heart is a divine subtle faculty (Latifa al-Rabbaniyya) not the piece of flesh shaped like a pinecone – the emotions of which are manifested in the conscience and the thoughts of which are reflected in the mind (brain) (21).  

In the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) various terms are used for the English word Heart: Qalb, Sadr, Fuad and Lubb. Qalb is the general term which is mainly used for material heart, but it can be used for the spiritual heart as well. Some religious scholars, especially Sufis differentiate these terms based on certain characteristics. It is believed that the qalb is in the middle of the sadr.

And We will turn away their hearts and their eyes just as they refused to believe in it (the revelation) the first time. And We will leave them in their transgression, wandering blindly (22).  

But if Allah willed, He could seal over your hearts. And Allah eliminates falsehood and establishes the truth by His words. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts (23).    

There are a large number of definitions of spiritual heart by different scholars, but none of them encompasses all its facets. Spiritual heart is an entity that is the centre of human consciousness, conscience, feeling, perception, mind and will.

Imam Gazzali has discussed different aspects of the human heart. We intend to mention here some salient points from his books. He discussed the character, essence, and functions of the heart from which it becomes evident that it is very intricate, convoluted, and enigmatic. The pure heart is the site of knowing  and getting close to Allah; but the diseased heart may disobey and rebel against Him; it is responsible for all goodness but may be a source of wickedness as well. The heart which strives and endeavours for Allah and makes efforts to meet with Him, all the body organs including senses attain salvation. The piousness or wickedness in man is mainly related to the condition of the heart. The Soul, lower soul and intellect (aql) are associated with the heart and can be considered within the broader meaning of the word qalb. Human beings cannot know Allah with any organ other than the heart and can draw near to Him only by means of heart, therefore, the heart simultaneously assumes the position of discoverer of the divine mysteries. Moreover, the heart is the addressee of Allah, therefore it is held accountable in all utterances and doings of a person. The hearts play a key role in the relationship between Allah and human beings (24).

The heart is of two types: material heart and spiritual heart (Divine subtle faculty). The material heart is a piece of flesh shaped like a pine-cone. The spiritual heart is the divine subtle faculty, the emotions of which are manifested in the conscience and the thoughts of which are reflected in the mind. Despite the heart being intrinsic to the human being, it is more a part belonging to Allah. As a mechanism, the heart is given to human beings in trust. In this section we will use the word ‘heart’ for ‘Divine subtle faculty’ proposed by Nursi. Due to heart, human beings are in a position of using it to actualise their purpose of creation, know their Lord and believe in Him. The heart has two very important dimensions: wijdan (conscience) and dimagh (mind). Of these, conscience is the heart’s wellspring of emotion, while mind or intellect or consciousness (shu’ur) constitutes the place where thoughts and imaginations pertaining to the heart are reflected. So, the heart is an umbrella and presents the conscience and intellect as its two complementary elements. The heart arises from conscience, which is the source of spiritual perception, discernment and emotion, and mind, projects ideas, thought and knowledge. In other words, the heart’s representative with respect to perception and feeling is the conscience, and its representative in terms of knowledge and thought is the mind. These are not completely disconnected and separate entities, but are the elements that make up the heart (25). 

The heart is a roof with four elements constituting its foundations: will, mind, emotion, and the subtle inner faculties, which constitute four elements of the conscience and four faculties of the heart, each have an ultimate aim. The ultimate aim of the will is worship of Allah; that of the mind is knowledge of Allah; that of the emotions is love of Allah; and that of the inner faculties is the vision of Allah (26). 

The inner dimension of creation is called the malakut and the outer dimension is called the mulk. In this respect, a person and the heart are both the envelope and the contents of one another in both ways (27).  

In order to grasp the idea of Sultan Bahu about the spiritual heart we have gone through his book and selected a few couplets relating to  heart, which are given below: 

Heart is deeper than rivers and oceans who can fathom Heart – Hoo,

Seamen, boats and oars all are inside ocean of Heart – Hoo,

All the fourteen Realms (Spheres) are open in Heart like a tent – Hoo, 

Those who fathom Heart Bahoo, are the one who recognize Lord – Hoo. 

Heart is deeper than oceans, dive in it like a diver  to seek pearls – Hoo, 

One who did not drink deep, would remain thirsty – Hoo, 

Heart is like tidal waves of Khawaja, with many whirlpools in it – Hoo, 

Thoughts and concerns swirl in it, countless – Hoo, 

The heart within heart you are saying is beyond your perceptions – Hoo, 

Broaden remits of your heart from finite to infinite – Hoo,

Qalb is excellent of beautiful beings and abode of Majestic Lord – Hoo, 

The Qalb is illuminated Bahoo, with Allah’s presence in it – Hoo. 

Blackened face is better than a darkened heart, if anyone understands it – Hoo. 

Pure heart, despite dark face, will recognize Friend – Hoo,

The heart should always follow the Friend as He may take notice of it – Hoo,

Hundreds of scholars relegated external preferences Bahoo, when they attained reality of heart – Hoo. 

Heart is the centre of Oneness, always study it – Hoo,

The whole life was spent in studying books, and still you remained ignorant – Hoo, 

Read only the Name of Allah, that is the only lesson to be learnt – Hoo, 

Both worlds bow before those hearts Bahoo, that become the abode of Lord – Hoo.

Breast is the city, heart is bazaar therein and mouth is the gate – Hoo, 

Soul is merchant and lower soul is a bandit who robs  the way to Truth – Hoo,

Until you suppress the lower soul, you will be wasting time – Hoo, 

All your efforts are useless Bahoo, and you lose life (in this ignorance) – Hoo. 

Everybody recite Kalima verbally, but nobody recites it from heart – Hoo, 

When heart recites Kalima, verbal utterance has no value – Hoo, 

Lovers who recite Kalima with their hearts, how can tongues-twisters understand it, 

Murshid taught me this Kalimah (of heart) Bahoo, and I became blessed forever.  

Whose dwelling is in the heart, Murshid taught it to me – Hoo, 

It is the breath that counts, nothing else is of consequence – Hoo. 

They love Allah and sacrifice their lower soul with the knife of love as He wills, 

Fourteen Realms are within heart Bahoo, if you just peep into it – Hoo. 

People travel to Makkah and Medina, while I have found Essence within my heart, 

The Faqeer of Meeran tells you Bahoo, that all the treasures are in the heart. 

Love pitches its tents in the heart and lives in seclusion – Hoo, 

Rich and poor all accept love Bahoo, what do ignorant people know – Hoo. 

A Murshid met me, who inspired my heart – Hoo,

I sacrifice for such Murshid Bahoo, who revealed secrets of Allah to me – Hoo. 

I barged into my heart and did unusual thing – Hoo, 

Whenever I glanced inside I always found only Beloved there -Hoo.

Heart is purified Bahoo, only when Kalimah runs through every cell – Hoo. 

Nothing is achieved by travelling far, within the house (self) the objective is gained, 

Purify the heart like a mirror Bahoo, all veils will be removed – Hoo. 

No remedy is enough for heart, Kalimah is cure of hearts – Hoo,

Kalima cleans rust and it takes away defiles – Hoo (28). 

Sultan Bahu asserts that the path of gnosis (marifat) is based on three modes of certainty of belief. The first mode is ilm-ul-yaqeen in which the seeker adheres to shari’a (the outward law); in the second (ain-ul-yaqeen), the seeker, due to the heat of remembrance (zikr) and not having the strength and capacity to withstand the witnessing of the Tajalli manifestation of the light of Allah on the mirror of his heart; experiences various spiritual ailments such as qabz (contraction), bast (expansion), sukr (intoxication), sahwa (oversight), etc. Due to these ailments the seeker becomes perplexed in an ocean of wonderment and remains in a state of confusion. The third mode – certainty – haq-ul-yaqeen is loftier of the two. Here the seeker, through the use of the personal Name of Allah and meditation and contemplation  inculcates in himself the capacity and vessel ship to withstand the Divine Light – thus with courage and determination, he succeeds in his endeavour to attain Marifat (Gnosis-knowledge of Allah). Such a person’s heart, through the blessings of the personal Name of Allah becomes healthy and soft. People think him to be gregarious with the people, but in reality he is constantly in communion with Allah – his sustenance is to strive and struggle in the ‘path,’ his vision – a witness to Reality; his speech characterises his state; and his state – annihilation in the Truth. For a dervish, each morsel of food taken with a presence of mind is a seed planted on the land of the heart. A seed, though earned lawfully, but planted in a state of unawareness, robs the seeker of the tranquility of the mind. He further says: all limbs, organs and faculties (material and spiritual) are not given for this world, but in order to earn eternal happiness. In this connection the heart has the capacity to allow human beings to attain eternal bliss in the Hereafter, therefore, the heart becomes a Divine gift and bestowal, due to which a person achieves eternity, satisfies the need and achieves ultimate objective. 

The human heart is a jawahar (jewel) and substance, which expresses the ‘alam-i amr (world of command), and the encompassing reality of the human being. The world of command is the otherworldly, invisible realm which is not contingent upon space and time. Human body belongs to the world of witnessing. Moreover, the heart constitutes the most important facet of the human being because of its bringing together many of the qualities that make a person human. The human being is a miniaturised summary of this realm or the miniuniverse. In this regard, an example of everything in this world is present in the human being. For instance, the counterpart in the human being of the Supreme Throne is the heart. Just as there is an intermediate realm between this world and the world of command, the heart in the same way is an intermediate realm between this world and the world of command (29).


Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was an organ responsible for feelings and emotions because it was the one organ that pumps blood throughout the body and that also displayed detectable alterations in its beating when one altered one’s feelings or emotions. They assumed that their anatomical hearts (physical hearts or material hearts) and their emotional hearts (spiritual hearts) were the same. In other words the material heart and spiritual heart is one organ in the body and performs both the functions.

The physical heart is a piece of flesh located within the centre of the breast (chest) of human beings. It circulates blood throughout the body supplying oxygen to each cell. Then cells use nutrients and oxygen from the blood to create ATP (the energy source) that fuels cells’ functionallity. 

Imam Gallali was of the view that Qalb (heart) is of two types: material and spiritual. Material heart is a piece of flesh in the left breast, which is hollow in the interior, and is merely a blood pumping machine. Its detailed description is to be found in anatomy. Spiritual heart is an immaterial thing or formless Latifa or basic suitable element which has got connection with the material heart. It is just like unseen electricity. It is the principal thing in a man. It catches knowledge of Allah and the spiritual world. It is punished and rewarded. The connection of Soul with Qalb is the connection of attributes with the bodily limbs, or a machine with its operator, or a house with its inmates (30). 

Material heart is a hollow, conical and muscular organ, enclosed by a thin membrane inside which is present a fluid. This fluid acts as shock-absorber and protects the heart from mechanical injury. It is different from all other body organs with regard to its composition, tissue, and self-functioning nature. It is at work round the clock and throughout the life of a person and never takes rest. It is the first functional organ to develop and start to beat for performing its functions. It is composed of roughly 200 to 400 million cells at the time of birth. With increase in age, cells increase in size, while increase in the number of heart’s cells is negligible. It is a muscular pump forcing blood through about 430,000 kilometres of blood vessels (arteries and veins) popularly known as blood circulation. Heart pumps 8000 litres of blood every day in the whole blood circulation, which extends to about 150 kilometres throughout the tissues of the body. 

The pumping action of the material heart is performed by alternate contraction and relaxation of its chambers called systole and diastole, respectively. The impure blood is collected in the right auricle from where it reaches the right ventricle and then to lungs. Blood carries food and Oxygen to every part of the body and removes waste products formed in them. The products of excretion are absorbed by the blood, which makes it impure and blood is again conveyed to the right auricle by veins. In this way the circulation of blood goes on.  The heart pumps on an average six litres of blood per minute. Blood cells act as guards of the body. In case of infection, blood cells gather round the germs and try to eat them up or at least suppress their activities. Blood platelets play an important role in the arrest of bleeding and in healing of wounds.

All the cells of the heart need to work in synchrony for it to work as a force-pump to distribute the blood to all cells of the body which are about two trillions on an average. The electrical system of the heart coordinates the mechanical system. Signal passes through its cells, which in each individual cell causes a contraction, and when that contraction happens together the heart works as a pump. It is the ion channels that carry these signals to contract throughout these millions of cells. So, every second, ion channels tell each individual heart cell to contract. It is a communication system among all the cells of the heart.

According to Imam Gazzali the relationship between material heart and spiritual heart is like the relationship between colours and forms, qualities with the objects they qualify, or the relationship between a person who resides in a particular place with that place, the relationship between the characteristics of a particular thing and that thing being characterised, it is like connection between the description and the described. In short, the physical heart covers the spiritual heart like a sheath, houses it like a home or encases and protects it like a suit of armour.

The heart may be considered as the centre of spiritual life; the spiritual aspect of the heart is dominant over the material aspect of the heart. Activities of human beings both good or bad, mainly depend on the condition of the heart. If the heart is healthy, shining or soft, this will reflect on senses and other organs and limbs of the body in a positive manner and the people will continue their lives with positive personality traits and with good conduct and behaviour towards others. In cases where the hearts will be diseased or sick, rusted, black, hard or sealed, they will be with negative personality traits and most of them will be members of evil web and the companions of Satan and they will create fitna in the world at different levels.   


Some people are of the opinion that just as the physical heart supplies blood to the body, the spiritual heart nourishes the soul with wisdom and spiritual light. Hearts play an important role in the development of personality, and it moderates between soul and lower soul and helps the soul to keep lower soul under control and do not allow the satisfied soul or self-accusing soul into an evil-commanding soul. 

The heart maintains the relationship between one’s Creator and Lord. To achieve this objective it has been endowed with many qualities by Allah (swt). It possesses reason, understanding, perception, comprehension, love, fear, reverence, and humility, etc. All its functions and attributes are primarily and directly connected with its capacity to understand and perceive. It is necessary for the heart to ponder upon the Qur’an and understand its meanings. Heart has the potential to find Ultimate Reality and reality in both the material and spiritual aspects of human personality and that of the universe and its components and constituents. Both the material progress and spiritual progress of human beings mainly depends on the condition of the heart and its manner of governance in the human kingdom. 

Based on revealed and acquired knowledge, we intend to describe its different aspects under the sub-headings: the heart as a king of human personality; working as an endocrine gland; an electromagnetic generator; as seat of intelligence and coordination; communication of heart with senses and organs; interaction of the heart and brain; the heart: an organ of coordination; a centre of love and hate; a centre of belief and guidance; and a centre of feelings and emotions; the heart and intuition; and miscellaneous aspects of the heart Brief description of these attributes of heart is as follows: 

 4.1. The Heart as a King of Human Personality

Heart is the king of the human kingdom, while the senses,  glands and other organs or limbs of the body are its public or servants. They obey the heart under all circumstances. The use and misuse of the senses and other body organs and limbs will depend upon the condition of the heart. The development or deterioration of the entire human personality depends on the condition of the heart. 

Al-Nu’man bin Bashir reported that The Holy Prophet said, “Verily, there is in the body a piece of flesh, that if it is correct, the rest of the body will be correct due to it, and if it is corrupt, then the rest of the body will be corrupt due to it,  verily, it is the heart” (31). 

The tradition of the Prophet Muhammad mentions that in the human body there is a piece of flesh (heart) which if sound, the entire body is sound, if corrupt, the entire body becomes corrupt. ‘Rest of the body will be correct’ means not only physical aspects of human personality, but also the psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects or the psychological health, emotional well-being as well as spiritual states will be healthy. Based on this tradition of the Prophet Muhammad we can conclude that the same heart, which is a piece of flesh in the body, performs its functions both as material heart and spiritual heart. 

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet Muhammad said, “The heart is a king and the body parts are its soldiers. So if the king does good then the soldiers will be good. And if the king does wickedness, then the soldiers will do wickedness” (32). 

The heart always remains in a position of dominance and power over the other organs of the body. The relationship between the heart and other organs is akin to that between a ruler and his subjects, a commander and his men, and a master and his slaves and servants. Just as servants carry out every command of their master without hesitation, different organs and limbs of the body carry out the orders and commands of the heart with the same submissiveness and obedience. The heart puts all the organs to work, while the organs execute its commands immediately and without delay. In his view, the obedience and compliance of the heart’s soldiers to the heart resembles the obedience and compliance of the angels to Allah, with one notable difference being angels fulfilling their tasks consciously and the bodily organs fulfilling them unconsciously. The leadership of the heart should be understood as a spiritual one. Without the leadership of the heart, all the other organs will lose their connection with each other and there will be no coordination between them in the spiritual journey towards Allah (33).  

There are three armies of the human heart: Will, Anger, and five senses. The first army greed (Will) does benefit to heart. The second army is anger which moves the bodily organs to give the object of greed power and strength. The third army is of senses which work like secret agencies. These defined powers are entrusted to different organs – hearing (ears), sight (eyes), smell (nose) taste (taste glands) and touch (surface of the body or skin). In the brain there is power of idea, power of thought, power of memory, power of retention, and power of consolidating them together. In the kingdom of human personality the heart is like a king; hands, feet and other organs are like businessmen and industrialists; greed is a collector of revenue; anger is its police; intellect is its minister and heart is its king. The human kingdom goes well if all organs and attributes are under the rule of the heart. When the heart takes the help of intellect, it rules over greed keeping anger in control. In order to bring anger under control, sometimes it seeks the help of greed and then its character and conduct become good (34). 

From the above statements of eminent religious scholars it can be concluded that the heart is the king or ruler of the human personality (kingdom) and inherently all the body organs and limbs based on their destinies have to obey the heart in discharging their duties without any deviation. 

Heart is probably the noblest of body organs, the cornerstone of life, and instinctive drive. It is the source and essence of intellect, science, tolerance, courage, generosity, patience, resignation, love, will, satisfaction, anger, and all the traits of integrity, therefore in one way or the other obey orders of heart like soldiers. For example, the eye as a scout reports to the heart whatever it sees, and it may be considered as the mirror of the heart. The ears provide information to heart about the utterances of people and other sounds whichever they hear from their environment. It is on these grounds that Allah combines all these three (heart, ears, and eyes) in the Holy Qur’an: 

And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – of each of these  will be asked (35). 

The above verse of the Qur’an reveals that questions will be asked on the Day of Judgment about the ear, the eye and the heart about their use and misuse. Heart as a king has greater responsibility to set the system of human kingdom in order.  

The heart is a kind of inner intuition or insight which, in the beautiful words of Rumi, feeds on the rays of the Sun and brings us into contact with aspects of Reality other than those open to sense. It is according to the Qur’an, something which sees, and its reports, if properly interpreted, are never false. We must not, however, regard it as a mysterious special faculty; it is rather a mode of dealing with Reality in which sensation, in the physiological sense of the word, does not play any part. Yet the vista of experience thus opened to us is as real and concrete as any other experience (36)

Allama Iqbal says: 

The heart’s freedom is kingly; its slavery is death,

It is for thee to decide.

Man’s heart can reach the heights of the great empyrean,

Though his handful of dust cannot aspire beyond the skies

4.2. The Heart as an Endocrine Gland 

The heart is a hormonal gland and communicates with other organs of the body via hormones. Hormones are of great importance for the proper functioning of the heart in the human kingdom. In this connection an article about the discovery of two hormones secreted by the heart played a great role in proving the importance of the heart. Hormones have dramatic effects on the behaviour of the cardiovascular system. 

These hormones are released mostly in the muscular walls of the atrial (upper chambers) and in lesser amounts in the ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart. These granules in the heart are similar to granules found in the cells of other endocrine glands or organs. The hormones are ANP (A-type natriuretic peptides or atrial natriuretic peptides) or ANF (atrial natriuretic factor) and BNP (B-type natriuretic peptides). ANP (ANF) exerts effects on blood vessels, kidneys, the adrenal glands, and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. BNP hormone plays an important role in regulating the circulation. It acts on blood vessels, causing them to dilate or widen; enabling kidneys to secrete more salt and water. Heart also secretes oxytocin (love or bonding hormone), which plays a role at the time of child birth, lactation, cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual, and maternal behaviours, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds (37).  

Researchers have determined that the hormones secreted by the heart muscles suppress the action of rennin which are secreted within the kidney outside of the nephron region. The action causes an increase in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to filter out more sodium from the bloodstream and in this way increases the urine output.

The existence of hormonal systems in the heart provides it with the ability of participating in cardiovascular homeostasis and metabolism in addition to its pumping function. These cardiac hormones may affect remote tissues (endocrine function of the heart) and/or have local effects (paracrine and autocrine actions which may influence the action of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs).

Heart secretes a number of hormones and neurotransmitters that have a wide-ranging impact on the body as a whole. Balance hormone synthesised and secreted by the atria of the heart seems to play an important role in fluid and electrolyte balance and may help regulate the blood vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands and many regulatory centres in the brain. Its increased release inhibits or at least minimises the release of stress hormones, reduces sympathetic outflows and appears to interact with the immune system. It can also influence motivation and behaviour. Moreover, it reduces an expanded extracellular fluid (ECF) by increasing renal sodium excretion. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing arterioles, and by inhibiting the secretion of renin and aldosterone and inhibits the reabsorption of sodium ions by the kidneys. So the volume of urine increases as does the amount of sodium excreted in it. The net effect of these actions is to reduce blood pressure by reducing the volume of blood in the circulatory system and is associated with the maintenance of extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure and homeostatic control of body water, sodium, potassium and fat and exerts physiological and pharmacological actions.

The discovery of the endocrine heart provides a shift from the classical functional paradigm of the heart that regarded this organ solely as a blood pump to one that regards this organ as self-regulating its workload humorally and that also influences the function of several other organs that control cardiovascular function. From the haemodynamic point of view the endocrine heart serves to regulate cardiac preload and afterload due to its influence in the regulation of extracellular fluid volume mediated by targets such as the kidneys, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and arterial and sympathetic tones. Further research on these aspects of the heart will be very helpful to change the viewpoint of those scientists who consider the heart merely a pumping machine. 

4.3. An Electromagnetic Generator

The heart as it contracts in systole also rotates producing torsion. Torsion is the action of twisting or the state of being twisted, especially of one end of an object relative to the other; or the state of being twisted. The heart also produces a significant electromagnetic field with each contraction due to the coordinated depolarization of myocytes producing a current flow. Depolarization is when a change occurs inside a cell that causes the distribution of electric charges  to alter, leaving the cell with a less negative charge than the outside. Numerous cell functions, cell-cell communication, and the general physiology of an organism all depend on depolarization. The muscle cell, also known as the myocyte, is the smallest subunit of all muscular tissues and organs throughout the body. 

The heart functions as a generator of bioinformation that is central to normative functioning of the body. This bioinformation is derived from the vortex pumping action of the heart and the cardiac electromagnetic field. The physiologic purpose of cardiac pumping is to provide the energy to circulate metabolites throughout the body. The heart produces a magnetic field in the body due to the organised electrical depolarization and repolarization of cardiac myocytes. The electrical currents in the human body produce time-varying vector oriented magnetic signals……… .The beating heart produces electromagnetic, acoustic, and pulsatile signals that provide an information field for the entire body. The cardiac field effects are bi-directional because they extend outside the body. There is a field effect generated by the heart and there are outside field effects from other electromagnetic systems that impact upon the same heart (38)

Heart communicates information throughout the body including the brain via electromagnetic field interactions. The electric field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronising signal for the entire body (39).  Moreover, subtle and influential electromagnetic or energetic communication systems contribute to magnetic attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social relationships (40).  

Human heart is the strongest generator of both electrical and magnetic fields in the body. Brain also has an electric and magnetic field, they are both relatively weak compared to the heart. It has been estimated that the heart is about 0.1 million times stronger electrically and about five thousand times stronger magnetically than the brain. Heart is also the strongest faculty of both love and devotion in the spiritual aspects of human personality. 

The human heart keeps human beings alive and when it ceases to work human death occurs. To perform its functions, the heart relies on a specialised network of cells called the cardiac conduction (electrical) system. In this system, cells generate electrical impulses and distribute the signals throughout the heart in a wonderful way. The timing of muscle’s action is very critical. The heart generates a pattern of energy including electrical, magnetic, sound, pressure, temperature, and electromagnetic energies.The mechanism of such a system is not fully understood yet and needs a lot of more studies. 

Heart is an intelligent electromagnetic field generator that acts like a broadcasting device. It is the first organ to function after conception (within 20 days), but, brain starts functioning roughly after 90 days. As the heart beats, it sends out electromagnetic waves that contain essential information. The waves of information are received by all cells of the foetus; therefore, they affect how the foetus is developed. 

4.4. Seat of Intelligence and Reason 

Studies carried out at Heart Math Institute reveal that  heart intelligence is the flow of awareness, and understanding when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. Heart intelligence transfers intelligence to the emotions and instils the power of emotional management. It means the heart’s intelligence is really the source of emotional intelligence. Intelligence and intuition are heightened when we learn to listen more deeply to our own heart. 

The heart is one of the main mediums for connecting us to each other and to the universe. It is estimated that 60-65% of heart cells are neuron cells. This discovery has proved that the heart works similar to the brain and in some ways is even superior to the brain.

Allah (swt) created the heart to understand and comprehend things. The role of the heart is to learn and gain knowledge. The heart is the source of imagination. One of the functions of the heart is to comprehend and understand (41). 

So have they not travelled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts (42).  

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are their locks upon (their) hearts? (43). 

Hearts are the main source of reasoning (22:46). No organ works if the heart does not work. One cannot reflect if one’s heart is locked (47:24). We should try to think with an open heart instead of an open mind, because if the heart is open eventually the mind will be open because thinking sprouts from the heart.

Scientists have discovered that the heart receives emotional information about two seconds earlier than the brain.  Heart senses it five to seven seconds before it happens, while the brain senses it three to five seconds beforehand.

The Qur’an mentions that certain people are deprived of their ability to reason due to their hearts being sealed:  

They were satisfied to be with those who stayed behind, and their hearts were sealed over, so they did not understand (44). 

The above verse  rebukes those who seek permission to stay behind due to their fear when the situation of fighting in Allah’s way arises. They are unable to grasp the wisdom behind such struggle and the delicacy in obeying the Prophet Muhammad’s commands and experience serenity and happiness. Their failure to fulfil the command has resulted in their hearts becoming sealed. 

And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless (45). 

And We had certainly established them in such as We have not established you, and We made for them hearing and vision and hearts (intellect). But their hearing and vision and hearts availed them not from anything (of the punishment) when they were (continuously) rejecting the signs of Allah; and they were enveloped by what they used to ridicule (46). 

This does not mean that Allah has created some people for the specific purpose of fueling Hell. But it means that even though Allah has bestowed upon men faculties of observation, hearing and reasoning, some people do not use them properly. Thus because of their own failings, they end up in Hell (47).  

In the commentary of verse 7:179 of the Qur’an Mufti Shafi writes: Many jinn and human beings have been created for Hell, because in spite of having all the means of guidance, the heart, the eyes, and the ears, they do not use them to seek guidance. They could find the right path, had they used these faculties in the proper way. They do not use their hearts to understand, their eyes to see things to be seen and their ears to hear things to be heard. Allah has blessed us with these faculties for acquiring knowledge  and recognition of our Lord. The people of Hell invest these abilities in worthless objectives and are evidently heedless of the real aim of human beings’ lives, that is, to earn with his capabilities eternal comfort and peace in the Hereafter through seeking guidance (48)  

Based on the available literature mentioned here and elsewhere it can be concluded that human beings inherently possess the highest and most comprehensive system of guidance to achieve falah (true success) in this world and in the Hereafter. Their guidance is based on instinct, inspiration, five senses, an additional sixth sense, faculty of reason and above all the revelation. 

By proper utilisation of the guidance, human beings can discover the Truth. The person who does not do so will not be in a position to discover the Truth. Only those people who purify their hearts and complete their personalities in this world will be able to remove different veils and screens between them and their Lord in this world.   

Other animals and other known creations (except jinn) do not possess faculty of reason and revealed knowledge. It is therefore the obligation of human beings to recognise their Creator and Lord and get nearness to Him by performing all their duties towards Allah, fellow human beings and other creatures. They should win the battle against Iblis and his evil web at any cost and under all circumstances. Physical or material advancement is of less importance  than spiritual advancement, but both are of great importance. Without firm faith in Allah and other articles of Islam, and doing righteous deeds, human beings are considered worse than animals and even worse than inanimate creators including stones, and human beings with Qalb-e- salim are considered best of all the known creations. 

4.5. Communication of Heart with Senses and Other organs of the Body

Senses are the gates of knowledge and each sense provides information which is of paramount importance for the proper functioning of the kingdom of human personality. There exists between the heart and the senses channels and paths. Each one of the sense organs is linked to the heart with nerves and other means; that these nerves set out from the heart to reach each of these sites of sense. When the eye sees an object, it will transmit what it has seen to the heart, via the channels that connect it to the heart. In the same way, when the ear receives a sound, it will convey it to the heart, and that is so with all the senses. It is generally believed that all the vessels in the body reach the heart, directly or via other vessels. There is no organ or vessel, but it is linked to the heart as close quarters or far. These vessels and canals carry to each organ what fits it and what is adapted to it. It is the heart that caters for all these organs, senses, and powers. It is right then to deduce that the intellectual function emanates from the heart. It seems that the intellectual function starts at the heart then finds its elaboration and fruition in the head. 

The heart communicates to different organs and limbs of the body, with four major ways: through its brain (heart brain), through hormones produced in it, biochemical information via blood pressure, and through energetic information from the strong electric and electromagnetic fields. 

Based on the research findings conducted by the HeartMath Institute it can be concluded that heart rate variability (heart rhythms) is the most dynamic and reflectic indicator of one’s emotional states and current stress and cognitive processes. Heart is a highly complex information-processing centre with its own functional brain that communicates with and influences the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways. These influences affect the brain function and most of the body’s major organs and play an important role in mental and emotional experience and in the quality of one’s life. Moreover, the heart’s magnetic field radiates outside the body, carries information that affects other people and even animals which are near to a person, and links them together in surprising ways. There are also indications of interconnectivity of humans with earth’s magnetic fields.

In the 1930’s, Dr. Walter Cannon, in Harvard Medical School discovered that the heart plays an important role to maintain or improve human health in a number of ways. Joel Kahn, cardiologist discovered that the heart controls the brain much more than previously thought. Heart plays a central role in controlling the brain. 

If you were to see the brain and witness its formation and structure, you would be astounded and overwhelmed. It is so complex that the mind boggles, and it is shrouded in membranes and layers that lie on top of each other, so that it is protected from any mishaps, and to maintain its well-being the brain cells are some of the noblest parts of the body, since they represent the body’s governing system, which faithfully does the thinking and knowing task of the body. The rest of the body is the public that submits to the ruler with loyalty and obedience (49)

The heart communicates to the brain neurologically (through the transmission of nerve impulses), biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters), biophysically (through pressure ways), and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Communication along these conduits, the heart significantly affects the activity and performance of the brain. Under normal physiological conditions, the heart’s intrinsic nervous system plays an important role in much of the routine control of cardiac function, independent of the central nervous system the heart’s intrinsic nervous system is vital for the maintenance of cardiovascular stability and without it, the heart cannot function properly. The neural output, or messages from the intrinsic cardiac nervous system travels to the brain via ascending pathways in the both spinal column and vagus nerves where it travels to the medulla, hypothalamus, thalamus, etc. and then to the cerebral cortex. The heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart on a daily basis via these four means of communication.  

The heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a little brain. It is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells similar to those found in the cranial brain. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently to learn, remember, feel and sense. This nervous system contains about 40,000 neurons (sensory neuritis). Information from the heart is sent to the brain through several afferents, where they may influence perception, decision making, and other cognitive processes (50,51, 52). 

Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibres running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. It has been proved scientifically that the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how one perceives and reacts to the world. The heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not only understood, but also obeyed. It affects mental clarity, creativity and emotional balance (53)

A neural pathway and mechanism has been discovered by neurophysiologists whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (54).  

When heart rhythm patterns are coherent, the neural information sent to the brain facilitates mental clarity, improved decision making, increased creativity and positive feeling states. So the heart seems to be intimately involved in the generation of psychophysiological coherence (55 and 56). 

Heart’s afferent neurological signals directly affect activity in that part of the brain which coordinates behavioural, immunological and neuroendocrine responses to environmental threats. It compares incoming emotional signals with stored emotional memories, and accordingly makes instantaneous decisions about the level of perceived threat. Due to its extensive connections to the limbic system, it is able to take over the neural pathways, activating the autonomic nervous system and emotional response before the higher brain centres receive the sensory information. Research has shown that the heart’s afferent neurological signals directly affect activity in the amygdala and associated nuclei, an important emotional processing centre in the brain. The amygdala is the key brain centre that coordinates behavioural, immunological and neuroendocrine responses to environmental threats. It compares incoming emotional signals with stored emotional memories, and accordingly makes instantaneous decisions about the level of perceived threat. Due to its extensive connections to the limbic system, it is able to take over the neural pathways, activating the autonomic nervous system and emotional response before the higher brain centres receive the sensory information (57, 58). 

The heart actually communicates with the brain in ways that greatly affect how we perceive and react to the world around us. Both the heart and brain receive and respond to information about a future event before the event actually happens. Heart appeared to receive this intuitive information before the brain (59). Input from the heart to the brain may inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (60)

Wisdom is a matter of both heart and mind. Does the action of the senses and thinking start in the brain or the heart? In this connection Ibn Qayyim had made analysis based on the available knowledge at that time: one group of people has said it begins in the heart and that there exists between the heart and the senses channels and paths. Each one of the sense organs is linked to the heart with nerves and other means that these nerves set out from the heart to reach each of these sites of sense…..All the vessels in the body reach the heart, directly or via other vessels. These vessels and canals carry to each organ what fits it and what is adapted to it…..It is the heart that caters for all organs, senses, and powers. In fact, the intellectual function emanates from the heart. Other groups hold that that intellectual function is in the head. Another group asserts that all the senses are linked to the brain. They deny that there are nerves or vessels that connect the heart with senses or organs. According to Ibn Qayyim, the truth seems to be that the intellectual function starts at the heart, and its elaboration and fruition occurs in the head. He supported his claim with 22:46 and 50:37 verses of the Qur’an. The heart provides energy to the senses, a non-physical energy that does not require any particular paths and nerves to be its carrier. What is required for this energy to be transmitted is that the senses and organs accept it and are receptive to it, and the heart supplies that energy without any need for paths and nerves. But Allah knows best, and I take refuge in Him to lead us to the truth (61).

The heart is in continuous communication with the brain and whole body through multiple pathways: neurologically (through the Autonomic Nervous System), biochemically (through hormones), biophysically (through pressure and sound waves), and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Because of the extensiveness of the heart’s influence on physiological, cognitive, and emotional systems, the heart provides a central point of reference from which the dynamic of such processes can be regulated. The heart’s sensory neurons translate hormonal and mechanical information into neurological impulses which are processed in the intrinsic nervous system and then sent to the brain via afferent pathways in the vagus nerve and spinal cord (62).  

4.6. Heart: An Organ of Coordination

Research at Heart Math Institute revealed that the heart is an organ of coordination of all organs and limbs at cellular level within the human personality. The heart sends  emotional and intuitive signals to help govern the lives of human beings. It directs and aligns many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another. As a king, the heart has interaction with his public belonging to different professions and positions and directs them to work in coordination with one another; it communicates with senses, other body organs and limbs, especially with the brain, in this manner the heart works as coordinator of different components of the human kingdom.  

4.7. Centre of Love and Hate

So by mercy from Allah (O Muhammad), you were lenient with them. And if you had been harsh (in speech) and hard in heart, they would surely have disbanded from you (63). 

The above verse of the Qur’an reveals that hard-heartedness brings harshness in the behaviour of a person which is not liked by other people, and they do not like to establish relationships or friendship with such persons. If they have already established some relationship, then due to one’s behaviour they may part away from him. People like kind-hearted people and hate hard-hearted people. Moreover, a sound and healthy heart leads to love and hate for the sake of Allah only. Love with Allah and with His Prophets, especially with the Prophet Muhammad and love with human beings and with other creatures is of great significance. There is also a need to hate the enemies of Allah, His Prophets and the enemies of believers. In this endeavour the heart can play an important role. 

And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers (64). 

Anas bin Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah said to me, “Young man, if you are able every morning and evening to remove any rancour from your heart towards anyone, do so. Young man, that is my Sunnah. Whoever revives my Sunnah has loved me, and whoever loves me will be with me in Paradise” (65). 

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “By the One in whose hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you submit to Allah and you will not submit until you love one another. Spread peace and you will love one another. Beware of hatred, for it is the razor. I do not say that it shaves hair, but rather it shaves away religion” (66). 

Abdullah bin Amr reported that the Apostle of Allah said, “No human being will enter Paradise if there is as much as the weight of a seed of arrogance in his heart” (67).  

Amr bin Habib the Messenger of Allah said, “A servant has failed and lost if Allah has not placed mercy in his heart towards humanity” (68).

4.8. Centre of Belief and Guidance 

(Who say), “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Your mercy” (69). 

And that He might make evident those who are hypocrites. For it was said to them, “Come, fight in the way of Allah or (at least) defend.” They said, “If we had known (there would be) battle, we would have followed you.” They were nearer to disbelief that day than to faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah is most knowing of what they conceal (70). 

Allah (swt) created the heart to understand and comprehend things. The role of the heart is to learn and gain knowledge. The heart is the source of imagination. According to Ibn Tamiyyah one of the functions of the heart is to comprehend and understand.

Abdullah bin Amr reported: we said, “O Messenger of Allah, who are the best people?” He said, “One with a heart swept clean truthful in speech.” We asked, “What is a heart swept clean?” The Holy Prophet said, “One that is God Fearing and pure, in which there is neither sin, nor transgression, nor envy.” We asked, “Who shows a sign of it?” The Holy Prophet said, “One who despises worldliness and loves the Hereafter.” We said, “Who shows a sign of it?” The Messenger of Allah said, “A believer with good character” (71)

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “O Turner of the hearts, affirm my heart upon your religion.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, we believe in you and in that with which you were sent. Do you fear for us?” The Holy Prophet said, “Yes, for the hearts are between the fingers of Allah. He turns them whichever way He wills” (72)

Abdullah bin Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Verily, the faith of one of you will wear out within him, just as a shirt becomes worn out, so ask Allah to renew faith in your hearts” (73)

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Verily, one who does not hold anything from the Qur’an in his heart is like a ruined house” (74).  

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Greed and faith  can never be combined in the heart” (75).  

The heart is the site of belief in Allah and other articles of Islam. Heart is the place and wellspring where belief is born and nurtured. In the Qur’an the word ‘their hearts’ precede hearing and sight because it is the seat of belief; and because the first evidences of the Creator are manifested from the heart’s consultation with itself, and from the conscience referring to the innate disposition. For when a person consults himself, he feels an acute sense of powerlessness that drives him to seek out a point of support, and he perceives his clamouring need to fulfil his hopes and is compelled to find a source of assistance. But there is no support to be found and no help except in belief. The heart has two deeper dimensions: point of reliance and point of seeking help. Whenever the heart, in continuing its worldly life, experiences a sense of powerlessness, it looks for someone who will rescue it from his predicament, make it forget its deficiency and offer it true consolation. This is the natural state of the heart. It is precisely in such a situation that the authority on which the heart will depend and thus be free of his distress is Allah. When the heart experiences inclination, desire and expectation in relation to the world or to the Hereafter, its seeking someone who possesses the power to fulfil its needs and wants also comes naturally to the heart. It is only Allah, who can meet the needs that the heart so strongly feels. These are two points where the heart indicates Allah and attests to His existence. Those who do not have belief are deprived of these points of reliance and seeking help. The endless impotence of human beings and their countless weaknesses cause them to seek someone who can rescue them from helplessness and weakness. The One on Whom human beings can rely and in Whom they can seek refuge in the face of worldly trials and retributions, and turn to so as to fulfil their worldly expectations and goals, is Allah Himself. The heart’s knowing its Creator is connected with the effort it exerts in seeking Him. His approach to the heart is considerably dynamic (76). 

4.9. Centre of Feelings and Emotions

Emotion is defined as every type of experience which contains joy and sorrow. An immaterial event and experience that is pleasant is joy, while that is not, is sorrow. Positive personality traits provide joy, while negative personality traits result in sorrow. Emotions sometimes can take control of a person so much that they get swept up in them. The heart is never at rest and never finds real joy and happiness until it attaches itself to the Creator and Lord of the universe. 

It has been observed that in broken-heart syndrome, when a patient experiences severe emotional stress, one really feels it in one’s heart. The hormones surge and the heart’s left ventricle swells and is misshapen and pumps blood less efficiently. 

4.10. The Heart and Intuition

The intuition is the voice of one’s self and the message of the heart. The spiritual heart holds the divine spark, and it nourishes the soul, supplies wisdom, and spiritual light in the form of intuition, a way through which Allah interacts with human beings. In this connection heart and brain work as gateways through which one can communicate both with the material world and the spiritual world, including the Creator and the Lord of universe. Both physical heart and spiritual heart continuously work round the clock throughout life from birth to death. The spiritual heart is the cause behind all of human intuitive deeds (77).  

The heart is involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive information. It is believed that the heart field was directly involved in intuitive perception, through its coupling to the energetic information field outside the bounds and space and time (78)

Researchers are now theorising that the energetic heart functions as a receiving station through which non-linear information couples to the physical heart. By intentionally engaging sincere heart-feelings like love, care, appreciation or compassion, we generate a coherent or sine-wave like heart rhythm pattern. The more coherent we are, the more receptive we become to this field of intuitive heart intelligence. Heart intuition is a bridge line that provides the transfer of wisdom and knowledge from this information field into our perception. Heart possesses a level of intelligence, and plays a greater role in mental, emotional and physical processes in the body. The heart’s energy field emits and is used to communicate with other energy systems is extremely varied and complex.

4.11. Miscellaneous Aspects of the Heart 

Abdullah bin Masud reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “O Allah, bring our hearts together, reconcile between us, guide us to ways of peace, and deliver us from darkness into light. Keep us away from immorality, outwardly and inwardly, and bless us in our hearing, our seeing, our hearts, our spouses, and our children” (79). 

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah pointed to his heart and said, “Righteousness is here” (80). 

Ibn Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Do not speak too much without remembering Allah. Verily, too much talking without remembering Allah hardens the heart. The furthest of people from Allah is one with a hard heart” (81).  

Imam Gazzali has discussed different aspects of the heart in his Ihya Ulum-Id-Din, vol 3, Pages 1-52. We are discussing here some salient features only. The attributes for which man’s heart fit to approach Allah (swt) are knowledge and will. Knowledge means knowledge of the material and spiritual world and the reality of intellect. Then matters lie behind the knowledge gained by the senses. Regarding will, when a man can understand by one’s intellect the result of any action and know what will bring good, then there grows in one’s mind the will to obtain that good and to do that action. Intellect wills what will be its good in future and spends for it. 

Allah’s inspiration comes on some hearts unknowingly and for that they gain spiritual knowledge. Some hearts acquire spiritual power by learning and efforts. Some hearts acquire spiritual power quickly and some late. The rank of Prophets in this regard is the highest. All secrets are disclosed to them. A child in its mother’s  womb does not know the condition of a boy. A body does not know the condition of a grown-up man. A grown-up man does not know the condition of an intelligent man and his acquired learning. An intelligent man does not know the blessings, mercy and gifts showered by Allah on the Prophets.These blessings are cast upon those hearts which remain prepared and become fit to receive them. Allah does not withhold His mercy on anyone, but the people themselves are to be blamed for they do not cleanse their hearts or minds from the impurities that are heaped on them. 

As air does not enter a pot full of water, so knowledge of Allah does not ether a heart if it remains filled up with things other than Allah. Heart is the house of knowledge. Human nature depends upon the condition of the heart. When it controls the evils, it is endowed with divine qualities such as wisdom, knowledge, strong faith and knowledge of the nature of  things. 

As a mirror, the heart has got connection with figure and form, so also a heart has got connection with objects of knowledge. In other words, a picture, or figure can be seen if placed in front of a mirror. So different objects of knowledge are reflected in the heart. A mirror assumes the colour of a figure placed before it. Similarly the heart assumes the colour or nature of an unknown object of knowledge. Every object of knowledge has got a nature and every nature has got a figure. That figure is reflected in the mirror of the heart and is clearly visible. Mirror is a thing, figure is a different thing. Similarly a man has got three things: heart, real nature of things and the knowledge of its real nature. Heart is the name of the thing with which knowledge is gained. So, the heart is the container of knowledge, the object of knowledge and knowledge itself and these are interconnected. Knowledge does not arise unless the object of knowledge falls in heart. 

According to Imam Gazzali there are five obstacles or hurdles which prevent real pictures in a mirror. A picture cannot be seen in a mirror if the thing which the mirror is made of is spoiled or if impurities fall in the mirror, or if the mirror is not directed towards the picture, or if there is something  between the mirror and the picture, or if the picture is not in front of the mirror. Similar is the case with the human heart. It has got the fitness to receive the true picture of everything, but if it cannot do its function, it will be understood that knowledge cannot come owing to five obstacles. The first obstacle is a natural defect of the heart as the hearts of young children. The second obstacle is the impurities of sins owing to greed, passion and low desires. If the impurities of sins are not removed, truth is not reflected in it. If dust falls on a mirror, it can be removed by a duster. Heart becomes bright if it does not allow low desires and the urge of passion. Real picture of a thing does not fall in the heart if it is misguided from the real object of research and inquiry.  Brightness of truth is not reflected in the heart owing to the object of inquiry not being directed towards the heart although it is clean and pure. The picture of an object about which a man thinks falls in his heart. He who confines his thoughts and efforts to the different modes of health gains health. So he who engages his whole attention and energy to the attainment of Divine love can acquire it. But he whose attention is diverted only to worldly pursuits gets them no doubt but is not blessed with divine love and grace. It is an obstacle to acquisition of Kashf or secret divine knowledge. The fourth obstacle is the screen or veil between the human heart and a thing desired, its true picture cannot be reflected in the heart. Truth cannot come out from a screened heart. Whoso follows one’s passions and low desires, screen falls in one’s heart. The beliefs which take root in early years of life from  the surrounding environments paint the future of a man and create obstacles in finding out the truth of a thing. This is also true in case of open taqlid or blind faith in a sect. The fifth obstacle of the heart is ignorance. This ignorance occurs in connection with a special object. As a result, defect is cast upon the object of enquiry. New knowledge cannot be generated unless the mode of union is not known. If one does not stand in front of a mirror, he cannot see his face therein. If the mirror is kept in front of face, he cannot see his back. So there are certain methods of acquiring knowledge. 

Heart is naturally fit to bear the trust towards which other creatures showed their inability to accept that, but it cannot reach its real nature due to the aforementioned obstacles. If devils do not have the control of the working of the heart of the son of Adam he could have seen the divine realm. Whoever lifts up the screen of sins from the heart, the pictures of unseen things are disclosed in his heart. Then he can see Paradise which extends in heaven and earth. There is no existence of anything except that of Allah, His actions and His sovereignty. His servants are included within His actions. The objective of all actions is to make the heart pure and bright. The objective of purity of heart is to gain light of faith therein or to enkindle the light of divine knowledge. 

This light of faith in the heart has three stages. In the first stage, the light of faith of an ordinary man. It is the light of blind faith. In the second stage, it is the light of faith of the followers of jurisprudence. It is mixed with some sort of proof. In the third stage, it is the light of faith of the friends of Allah. The friends of Allah come out of the gate of hearts which remains open towards the spiritual world, and the knowledge of the learned and the scientists come out of that gate of hearts which remains open to the material world through the help of five sensors. So it is impossible for the latter to acquire spiritual knowledge. Scientists and scholars learn the basic principles of learning and friends of Allah act to purify their hearts and to make them bright and pure. The spiritual knowledge of a believer is everlasting as the heart (soul) of a believer has got no death. At the time of death, the knowledge does not go. The knowledge of Allah is a light without which the believer will not be able to secure divine vision. 

If anything is disclosed to anybody by ilham (inspiration) from unknown sources he is termed as Sufi or an ascetic with knowledge of Allah by the help of correct means. Allah takes him out from doubts and difficulties and gives him knowledge without formal education and natural understanding without experience. In other words Allah endows him with Furqan, which means light with which truth and falsehood are distinguished and with the help of which one can come out of doubts. One is upon the light of Allah whose heart Allah has opened for Islam. Some knowledge comes from Allah and some knowledge is acquired through the medium of men. 

The vision of the heart is the subtle essence with which spiritual things are seen. This essence is like a rider and its eye is like a conveyance. For it, the blindness of the rider is more harmful than the blindness of the conveying horse, that is the blindness of heart is more harmful than the blindness of the eye. 

By using ilm and irada a person increases in esteem and becomes worthy of attaining close proximity to Allah. The site of knowledge is the heart, therefore there is a relationship between heart and knowledge. The responsibility of Divine Trust mentioned in the Qur’an is shouldered by the human heart. The heart of every person in its original constitution, fitted for and capable of bearing this trust. Ilm means belief and marifa. For a believer, the means for true happiness is directly proportional to their knowledge and experiential knowledge. The greater one’s experiential knowledge of Allah, the greater is one’s happiness. 

 Can he whose breast Allah has opened up for Islam and whose is thus (moving along a path) illumined by a light from Allah (be likened to him who derives no lesson from what he observes)? Woe, then, to those whose hearts were further hardened after Allah’s admonition. Such are indeed in obvious error (82)

Opening of a man’s breast for something is, in fact, a state in which there remains no anxiety, ambiguity or suspicion and doubt about the thing, nor has the feeling of any danger and loss in accepting and adopting it (Islam), and he decides with full satisfaction of the heart that it is the truth and he obeys it with pleasure and without any hesitation, as if it is the voice of his own heart and obeys every aspect of Islam under all circumstances with pleasure in the light of the knowledge of the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). As against the opening of the breast there can be two other states of man’s heart: (1) The state of narrowing of the breast and squeezing of the heart; and in this state there still remains some room for the truth to permeate it. (2) The state of hardening or petrifying of the heart; in this there is left no room for the truth to permeate. About the second state, Allah says the person who reaches such a stage is totally ruined. There cannot be a greater misfortune and unworthiness of man than that his heart should become even more hardened, instead of becoming soft, when he hears Allah being mentioned and the admonition sent by Him. Further information is available in the reference (83).  

It is perpetually the heart that believes in Allah, knows and loves Him, feels reverence toward Him, shivers and shakes, and is filled with respect for Him. The heart has two important attributes: perception and thought. The dimension whereby the heart’s emotions, perception, and discernment are manifested is the conscience, while the mirror on which thought and the like are reflected is the intellect, which can also be called mind (84).   


Abu Sa’id reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “There are four kinds of hearts: A polished heart shiny as a radiant lamp; a sealed heart with a knot tied around it; a heart that is turned upside down; and a heart that is wrapped. As for the polished heart, it is the heart of the believer and its lamp is the light of faith. The sealed heart is the heart of the unbeliever. The heart that is turned upside down is the heart of a pure hypocrite, for he had knowledge but he denied it. As for the heart that is wrapped, it is the heart that contains both faith and hypocrisy. The parable of faith in this heart is the parable of the herb that is sustained by pure water, and the parable of the hypocrisy in it is the parable of an ulcer that thrives upon puss and blood; whichever of the two is greater will dominate” (85). 

The Arabic language is the richest language in terms of words. There are many multiple words describing the same thing that are in different states and conditions. For example, for the English word ‘heart’ there are four terms in Arabic: qalb, fuad, sadr, and lubb. qalb is the seat of faith (iman); fuad is connected with gnosis (marifa); Sadr is connected with Islam; and lubb is the seat of tawhid (Oneness of God). 

According to some religious scholars Sadr (bosom) is the seat of Islam; the qalb is the seat of belief; fuad (inner heart) is the seat of beholding Him. They also use different terms relating to the heart. These terms include ilm al-qulub (Knowledge of Hearts), ma’rifat al-qulub (Gnosis of Hearts), ahl al-qulub (Peoples of Hearts), ashab al-qulub (Companions of Hearts), and arbab al-qulub (Masters of Hearts). 

The term qalb is an Arabic word derived from the q-l-b. The term takes various plural forms such as qulub, eqlab, qilaba, and aqlub. The term has been defined in a number of ways by different religious scholars: turning something inside out, inverting and transforming; changing something from its existing state to another; and turning and rotating an object and changing its direction. In this connection rotating involves turning something upside-down, inside out, left-to-right, right-to-left, and front-to-back. In short, qalb is constantly in a state of flux and change, and is the centre of both material and spiritual existence. Moreover, it carries out the function of blood circulation throughout the body and actualizes spiritual elements such as willpower, perception, feeling and knowledge. Further information on this aspect is available in reference (86). 

The word qalb is used in numerous places in the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This word can be used as a verb, qallaba, which stands for an alteration of something from one particular state to another. The heart too can alternate from one state to another. It represents the true tranquil core of the heart itself. None can have direct access to it except the individual who possesses it, or the Creator Himself. In this connection the Qur’an says: 

Indeed, that is a reminder for whoever has a heart  or who listens while he is present (in mind) (87).   

The word fuad comes from the Arabic word fa’ada, which stands for burning. When heart is described as fuad, it means a heart which is in flames. During these instans, a person can often accomplish something really good or something really bad. When one is spiritually enthusiastic, the person can adhere to compassion, gentleness, forgiveness, or even achieve something productive of extraordinary nature. When the heart is engulfed with agony or distress, then the person may adhere to agony or distress, then the person may adhere to anger, jealousy and hatred. 

The root letters f-a-d forming the word fuad (Fouad, foud, Fuaad, Foad) denote warmth and extreme heat; beating circulating heart; burning or flame; dynamic in nature; it burns due to different pains; and is always in movement and provocation. Its relation with qalb is as the pupil to the eye, as Masjid al-Haram to Makkah, and as the room within a house. It is the site of experiential knowledge of Allah, memories and dreams. It is accountable, confirms or denies; inclined or predisposed and punished. It is the heart that is inflamed with emotion; and the heart which sacrifices for some cause. It is also known as a kindling heart. The fuad is at the centre of the qalb, and the qalb is within the sadr

So make hearts (afida) among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful for (88). 

And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and hearts (afida) that perhaps you would be grateful (89). 

In the above mentioned verses of the Qur’an the word afida  is used, which is the plural of the word fuad.  

Sadr literally means chest. The word sadr is considered as the outer section and starting point of the Qalb; it is dwelling place of whisperings or suspicion, arrogance, enmity, carnal desire, and emotions of desire and need. It has a disposition that at times becomes contracted and expands; and the place where the light of the belief and knowledge is safeguarded and protected. This word appears in the Qur’an at different places and in various contexts. Some of the verses of the Qur’an in this connection are as follows: 

Say, “Whether you conceal what is in your breasts (Sadr) or reveal it, Allah knows it (90). 

Indeed, Allah is knowing of that within the breasts (91).  

Indeed, He is aware of that within the breasts (92).

Unquestionably, they (the disbelievers) turn away their breasts to hide themselves from him………. He (Allah) knows what they conceal and what they declare. Indeed, He is knowing of that within the breasts (93).  

And indeed, Your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they declare (94).   

Is not Allah most knowing of what is within the breasts of the worlds (all creatures) (95). 

He knows that which deceives the eyes and what the breasts conceal (96)  

He knows what is within the heavens and earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare. And Allah is knowing of that within the breasts (97). 

And conceal your speech or publicise it; indeed, He is knowing of  that within the breasts (98). 

Even in the English language when people mention chest, they are often referring to the heart. For example, they would use the expression, “I want to get it out of my chest” meaning: I have something in my heart, and I would like to express it out loud. The difference between the qalb and sadr is that the qalb contains the individual’s secrets of belief, including the experiences with the divine and the devil is unable to penetrate through it. As for the sadr, it is the place which safeguards the heart, just as the treasury protects the valuables inside of it. The devil can whisper to the sadr but not to the qalb (99). 

In this connection the Qur’an says: 

Who whispers (evil) into the breasts (chests) of mankind from among the jinn and mankind (100). 

Some religious scholars are of the view that the word lubb means the essence of something; others assert that it means mind’s perfection; other scholars insist that the term lubb means illuminated mind free of all kinds of stain and blemish; it means mind illuminated with divine guidance. Some eminent scholars consider it as the type of heart. Some scholars mention in their writings that every person who possesses lubb is intelligent but every intelligent person cannot be said to possess lubb. Some people are of the view that intellect, heart, and belief become united through lubb. Lubb is the intelligent part of the heart which stands above the distinctive rationality of the brain. It is the place where unpolluted wisdom originated from. In the Qur’an, people who possess such a quality are called ‘people of the inward intellect’ (ulu albab) (101).  

The heart has been created by Allah (swt) and has four different aspects. Heart is the centre wherein human beings can meet with Him. The heart from the outside consists of the nested layers: sadr, fuad, and lubb. These harbour Islam, belief, and experiential knowledge of Allah, respectively. Islam mobilises the outer layer, sadr. Religious actions activate the qalb –  the safe haven of belief. This process of spiritual development continues until only Allah’s love remains in fuad (102). 


In this article we have discussed the status of the heart in the human personality based on revealed knowledge and acquired knowledge both, but we did not take into consideration the viewpoint of those scientists who give the status of king or ruler of human personality to the brain and consider the heart just a pumping organ of blood throughout the human body. We have tried to prove that the heart is not only an organ which circulates the blood, but is the king or ruler of the kingdom of human personality; it is an endocrine gland, an electromagnetic generator; a seat of intelligence and reason; a centre of love and hate, belief and guidance, and feelings and emotions; it communicates with senses, other body organs, especially with the brain in order to coordinate almost all activities of human body including different systems; heart interacts with intuition; and have other various activities. In order to prove these aspects of the heart we have  given the statements from the Qur’an, the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), selected statements of eminent commentators of the Qur’an; religious scholars, mystics, philosophers, and intellectuals such as Imam Gazzali, Nursi, Sultan Bahu, Imam Rabbani Alif Sani Sirhandi and a number of eminent writers on this subject. We have also given some salient points from the findings of modern scientists.

At the time of writing this article, we were especially inspired from the hadiths relating to the purification and energising of the heart of the Prophet Muhammad at least two occasions by angels, especially by the angel Gabriel: first at the age of four years and the second at the night of Isra wal Mi’raj (celestial ascension). 

Anas bin Malik reported that Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah while he was playing with other children. He took hold of him and lay him on the ground and tore open his breast (chest) and took out his heart from it and then extracted a blood- clot out of it and said: That was the part of Satan in thee. And then he washed heart with the water of Zamzam in a golden basin and then it was joined together and restored to its place. The boys came running to his mother (nurse) and said: Verily Muhammad has been murdered. They all rushed towards him (and found him alright), but his colour was changed. Anas said, “I used to see the marks of a needle on his breast (103).  

Anas bin Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Two angels came to me and took me to Zamzam, where they split open my stomach and took out my inwards in a basin of gold, and washed them with Zamzam water, then they filled my heart with wisdom and knowledge (104).  

Allah (swt) opened the heart of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to Islam as a religion and law, which is the greatest thing to which the heart may be opened (Ibn Abbas, Bukhari). The chest was opened in order to fill the heart with wisdom, knowledge and faith and to remove the clot of blood from his heart. About the clot of blood which was removed from the heart of the Prophet Muhammad the angel Gabriel told him, “This was Satan’s share of you.” In each instance the angel washed his heart and purified it. The cleansing of the Prophet’s heart shows the importance of its purification. Purifying one’s heart and mind has been an essential part of Islam since the early stages of faith. In this connection the Holy Prophet said, “Surely the best of property is a clean heart” (105). 

By cleansing the heart, one will be able to replace one’s negative energy into positive one; and transform negative personality traits into positive traits, and may feel a sense of inner peace and strength in making right decisions and courage to face difficult situations. 

The statement of the Prophet Muhammad reported by Abu Dharr ‘ Gabriel split open my chest, then he washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a golden basin filled with wisdom and faith and emptied it into my chest (Bukhari, Muslim) is of great significance. 

Wisdom of opening the breast is also mentioned in the Qur’an:  

So whoever Allah wants to guide – He expands his breast to (contain) Islam; and whoever He wants to send astray – He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe (106). 

Did We not expand for you (O Muhammad), your breast? And We removed from you your burden, which had weighed upon your back (107). 

It is important to mention here that opening of the breast at different occasions – according to the majority of the religious scholars was two types, but some other scholars are of the view that it was four times (at the age of 4 years, and 10 years, at the time of his appointment as  prophet, and at the occasion of Isra wal Miraj).  However, the authenticity of the opening of the breast of the Prophet Muhammad at the age of ten and at the time of appointing him as the Prophet is questionable. In this connection Allah knows the best.

Expansion of the chest is either the splitting, or opening, or enhancing of the chest. If the first meaning is taken (splitting of the blessed chest), then consider that the Holy Prophet’s blessed chest was split, and his heart was washed on four occasions. (1) at the age of four years, so that an inclination towards playing is not found in his heart; (2) in the beginning of his adolescence (10 years) so that the heedlessness of youth does not affect him; (3) Near the time of being granted prophethood so that his heart could bear this responsibility; and (4) on the night of Isra wal Miraj, so that he could see the celestial spectacles and experience the vision of Allah (swt). This is the apparent expansion of the chest. The expansion of breast mentioned in the verses 6:125 and 94:1-3 is of metaphorical nature (108). 

What was the wisdom behind the usage of a golden tray for the purification and energising the heart of the Holy Prophet? Gold is the most superior and excellent metal; and the heart of the Holy Prophet is the most excellent of all hearts. Gold has some unique qualities which are not found in other metals. Likewise, there are such excellences of the heart of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which no one else in the creation possesses. Fire does not consume gold, nor does soil ruin it, nor does it rust. The heart of the Prophet is not tainted by any form of sin or disobedience. Gold is generally the heaviest type of conventional jewellery. The tray being fashioned from gold alludes to the weight and responsibilities of revelation (109)

It is evident from the two basic sources of religious knowledge that the heart of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was opened and it was further purified and enriched with wisdom and knowledge by angels, especially the angel Gabriel in order to enable him to reach the stage Insan-e-Kamil and discharge his duties in an excellent way. He is the Role Model for all the human beings in the world because the institution of Prophethood was completed by him. In the end, we pray to Allah (swt) to purify our hearts; keep our hearts shining and soft; save our hearts from rust, black dots and spots and from spiritual diseases; shower Your mercy on us and provide us true success (flah) in this world and in the Hereafter. 

In the next article of this series we will discuss spiritual diseases of the heart with the grace of Allah (swt). 

Related Posts
Ali Hassan

The heart’s significance in human personality is profound. Incorporating psychological theories would provide a holistic view. Great work


While you’ve touched upon the emotional aspects of the heart’s role in personality, it could be valuable to incorporate more references to scientific studies or psychological theories that support your points. This would lend additional credibility to your insights and make your post even more informative.

Mazhar Hamid

This article is truly a remarkable exploration of the intricate concept of the heart within Islamic teachings. The depth and thoroughness with which it delves into various aspects of the heart’s significance are truly impressive. The metaphorical battle between angelic and satanic influences, the heart’s role as a mirror reflecting both positive and negative inputs, and the emphasis on remembrance of Allah all contribute to a thought-provoking and spiritually enriching read.

On a different note, I’d like to express my appreciation for the web developer of the website . The layout and presentation make navigating the content a seamless and engaging experience. The user-friendly design truly enhances the accessibility of such profound teachings.

Out of curiosity, if you don’t mind sharing, could you provide some insight into the effort that went into producing this article? How much time and dedication were invested in bringing together such a comprehensive exploration of the heart’s significance within Islamic teachings?

Ayesha wahid

While the article delves into an intricate exploration of the concept of the heart within Islamic teachings, it could benefit from a more concise presentation. The extensive detail and multiple dimensions covered in the article make it quite lengthy and potentially challenging to read in one sitting. In order to make the content more accessible to a wider audience, it might be helpful to distill the key points and central themes into a more condensed format. This way, the essence of the article can be effectively communicated without overwhelming readers with an abundance of information.


Kudos to the website developer for creating an outstanding Website. The user-friendly design, and SEO, this website has started ranking on Google Scholar, and that too early? How? Could you share a bit about the investment—time and resources—that went into building such an impressive website? Please share Developer Email…
Wajid From India

Azka Rehman

Dr Sb, your article about the heart’s significance in Islamic teachings, Your dive into this concept is seriously impressive, and it’s awesome to see such dedication in shedding light on these insights.

Now, let’s talk about the article’s length. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for detailed exploration, but I couldn’t help but notice it’s quite the marathon read. While I’m loving the deep dive, I wonder if a tad more brevity might make it an easier for fellow readers. Think about it – trimming down some excess words while keeping that brilliant content intact could strike a cool balance between thoroughness and readability. Still, major kudos for going all out in creating this enlightening piece! 🙌

Zakir Qureshi

Guess what? Your article about the heart’s role in Islamic teachings popped up on Google Scholar – and it’s a good article! The way you’ve explored every nook and cranny is seriously impressive. Still, gotta ask, is there a way to capture the essence of your insights without going full-on encyclopedia? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on that!

Nawaz Khan

A round of applause for the website developer! Your meticulous work and dedication are evident in the seamless and engaging design of this website. Navigating through the articles, including the one on the heart’s significance in Islamic teachings, has been a breeze thanks to your efforts. Your contribution in creating a user-friendly platform for valuable content is truly appreciated. Keep up the fantastic work, You deserve That! I’ll hire you very soon

Faryal ahsan

The heart’s spiritual journey is a captivating topic, but its complexity might challenge some readers. Could you share your thoughts on incorporating interactive elements like guided meditations or reflection exercises to enhance the spiritual experience within the content?


First off, hats off to you for taking us on an intellectual journey through the concept of the heart in Islamic teachings. Your comprehensive exploration of this intricate subject is truly commendable. The depth with which you’ve covered the heart’s role, its angelic and satanic influences, and the importance of remembrance is both enlightening and thought-provoking.

However, I must admit that the article’s length was quite the commitment. I’m grateful for the wealth of information you’ve shared, but it did take me a solid four days to absorb it all. I wonder if breaking down the content into categories or sections could make it easier for readers to navigate and digest. This way, readers could dive into the specific aspects they’re most interested in without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information.

Nawaz Kareem

How can individuals nurture their heart’s spirituality amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life?


Considering the heart’s role as a battleground for influences, how can individuals practically strengthen their heart’s connection with angelic inspirations and shield it from satanic whisperings in their daily lives?

Minahil Khan

The article’s depth is admirable, but its length could be a hurdle for some readers. Have you considered segmenting the content into categories or sections to provide a more accessible roadmap for readers on their spiritual journey?

Huda khan

With the heart’s spiritual attributes at the forefront, how do you see the connection between an individual’s spiritual journey and their sense of purpose, fulfillment, and inner peace?

Zakir rehman

Dr Sb What inspired you to delve into the heart’s relationship with angelic and satanic influences?


I never realized how deeply the heart’s attributes impact our personality until reading this article. The Quranic and Hadith references provide such clarity.

Zakir Canada

The discussion on seeking refuge in Allah and its alignment with guarding the heart from negative influences is a reminder of the Quranic wisdom guiding us.


The heart’s transformation from attributes of angels to devils is profound. This article expands my understanding of how our hearts shape our choices.

Dr Rashida Naqvi

Dr Sb,

I have been truly inspired by your article delving into the heart’s role in human personality, as guided by the Quran and Hadith. Your ability to connect these teachings to our daily lives is both enlightening and thought-provoking.

With your expertise in exploring the heart’s attributes and influences, I would like to suggest a topic that I believe could be immensely impactful: ‘Transforming the Heart: A Journey towards Spiritual Enlightenment’. This title beautifully encapsulates the essence of your previous work while highlighting the potential for personal growth and transformation through understanding and nurturing the heart’s attributes.

Your articles have demonstrated your skill in presenting profound concepts in a relatable manner, making them accessible to readers of various backgrounds. I believe that by focusing on the theme of transforming the heart, drawing from the wisdom of the Quran and Hadith, you could provide invaluable guidance for individuals seeking to embark on a journey of spiritual development.

Your insights have the power to inspire positive change in the lives of your readers, and I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explore your perspective on this transformative journey.

Thank you for your dedication to sharing knowledge and wisdom. Looking forward to your continued contributions!

Thank you for your encouraging and inspiring comments. I am in the process of writing at least six articles relating to human heart and evil web. The next article hopefully be ready within a week: “HUMAN HEART: DIFFERENT STSTES AND THEIR TRANSFORMATION”. After the completion of evil web series with the grace of Allah I have made my mind to write on your proposed topic.

asfand Yar

Dear Dr. Muhammad Salim,

I wanted to reach out and express my sincere appreciation for your impressive article on the heart’s significance in human personality. Your insightful exploration has been a guiding light in my research and thesis work, contributing greatly to my understanding of this vital topic.

I am truly grateful for the depth and clarity with which you connect islamic spiritual teachings to our daily lives. Your work has provided me with valuable insights that I am eager to incorporate into my research. I wanted to assure you that I will be including proper references to your article in my thesis, acknowledging the wisdom you have shared.

Additionally, I wanted to express my sincere interest in your book . Due to current economic challenges, I find myself unable to afford it at the moment. I kindly request if it would be possible for you to provide a copy. Your generosity would not only aid in my research but also greatly assist me in furthering my understanding of this subject.

Please know that your efforts are making a lasting impact, and your insights are shaping the academic journeys of student like me. I am deeply grateful for your contributions to the field, and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Thank you once again for your valuable work.

With warm regards,
Asfand Yar

Dr muhammad Salim

Thank you for sparing time for reading article and for encouraging comments.. I am willing to extend help but in this connection please let me know the title of your thesis and short introduction. Looking forward of your response.

Ikram R

Hey there, what a thought-provoking topic! In Islam, the heart is more than a physical entity; it’s like a mirror reflecting our spiritual state. It’s through our heart that we connect with Allah and seek guidance.


Hey, kudos for delving into this enlightening topic! In Islam, the heart isn’t just an organ; it’s like a lantern guiding our spiritual path. It’s through our heart’s intentions that we draw closer to Allah.


In Islam, the heart is more than a physical entity; it’s like a vessel for our spirituality. It’s where our devotion, love, and connection with Allah find their home.


Well, well, well, someone’s delving into the depths of spirituality in Islam! The heart isn’t just a biological organ; it’s like a mirror reflecting our connection with Allah. Our actions and intentions shape its clarity.


Reading this article on the heart’s role in human personality felt like a lightbulb moment. Suddenly, the pieces of the puzzle started coming together!


So, our heart is like a conductor guiding our emotional orchestra? 🎶 This article simplified a complex topic, making me think, “Why didn’t I realize this before?”


This article’s like a guidebook to understanding ourselves better through the lens of our heart. 📖 It’s like learning the inside scoop on how we tick!


I just finished this article on the heart’s role in human personality, and I’m mindfully amazed. It’s like understanding a whole new layer of ourselves.


This article on the heart’s status in human personality really got me thinking. The concept of the heart coordinating with our senses – how does that resonate with your experiences?


This article about the heart’s status in shaping human personality made me ponder how our emotions play a part. Do you believe our feelings guide our decisions?

Fakhar Nadeem

Great Insights on heart, Will be waiting for next article… Bookmarked

Muhammad Zahid Khan

Dear Dr Muhammad Salim Sb,

I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for your enlightening articles on two profoundly important topics – “The Status of the Heart in Human Personality” and “The Evil Web.” Your work has left a lasting impact on me and countless others who seek wisdom and understanding in these areas.

Your article on the heart’s role in human personality was a true revelation. The way you articulated the intricate connection between our emotional core and our personality traits was both illuminating and thought-provoking. Your insights have deepened my understanding of the human psyche, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Similarly, your exploration of the concept of the “Evil Web” was eye-opening. It shed light on a topic often overlooked, yet of immense importance. Your ability to merge religious teachings with scientific and philosophical concepts is commendable, and it has provided readers like me with a broader perspective on this subject.

I’d also like to extend my appreciation to the web developer responsible for the platform hosting these insightful articles. The website’s user-friendly design and functionality greatly enhance the reading experience. It’s evident that a lot of effort has gone into making this platform accessible to readers, and I want to acknowledge that.

Now, I’d like to offer a suggestion. Given the quality of content you provide, have you considered integrating a payment gateway into your website? While exploring your website, I couldn’t help but think about the possibility of introducing a payment gateway for book purchases. Given the depth and quality of your articles, I believe that many readers, including myself, would be eager to delve further into your insights through longer-form works.

Here are a few reasons why incorporating a payment gateway could be beneficial :
Accessibility: Your articles have demonstrated your profound knowledge and unique perspective on various subjects. Expanding your offerings to include books would allow readers to explore these subjects in greater detail.

Support for Your Work: Your dedicated readers would welcome the opportunity to support your research and writing by purchasing your books. It could be a way for your audience to contribute directly to your continued exploration of important topics.

Convenience: A payment gateway would make the process of purchasing your books quick and convenient. Readers could easily access your work and enjoy it at their own pace.

Broaden Your Reach: Publishing books can help you reach a wider audience, including those who prefer in-depth, comprehensive content. Your unique perspective deserves to be shared with as many people as possible.

As without payment gateway we can’t purchase the book due to security reasons our banks doesn’t allow us directly

Once again, thank you for your valuable contributions to the world of knowledge and enlightenment. Your work has made a difference in my life, and I look forward to reading more of your thought-provoking articles in the future.

Wishing you continued success and inspiration in your endeavors.

Warm regards,
Dr Muhammad Zahid Khan

Mazhar Hamid

Zahid Sb You are right, I also want to purchase a book after reading your articles, but there is no online payment gateway, we all i think, prefer online gateway not offline payment gateway

Azka Rehman

Your insights have been a source of inspiration for me, and I was looking forward to delving deeper into your work through your books. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to purchase them on your website. Any plans to change that?

Zakir Qureshi

I’ve recommended your articles to countless friends, and we were all excited to support your work by buying your book. But it seems we can’t do that on your website. Will there be a payment gateway added soon?

Muhammad Saqlain

Your articles have a great knowledge Masha Allah, I haven’t seen online at that level Keep up the Good work Dr sb, and I was excited to explore your book. However, I couldn’t find a way to purchase them here. Is there any update on when we can expect a payment gateway?”

Azhar Islam

I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt appreciation for the thought-provoking articles you have authored on two significant subjects – “The Status of the Heart in Human Personality” and “The Evil Web.”

Your articles have been nothing short of enlightening. They have provided me and countless other readers with a deeper understanding of complex topics that are often overlooked in our everyday lives.

Your exploration of the heart’s role in human personality was truly eye-opening. The way you dissected the heart’s attributes and its influence on our emotions and choices was both informative and enlightening. It has added a new layer of comprehension to my understanding of human psychology.

Similarly, your analysis of the concept of the “Evil Web” was remarkable. Your ability to weave together religious teachings, scientific insights, and philosophical perspectives created a holistic view of a subject that is of immense importance. Your work has shed light on a topic that is often shrouded in darkness.

I want to express my gratitude for your dedication to sharing knowledge and wisdom through your articles. Your unique perspective and ability to simplify complex ideas have made a significant impact on me.

Thank you for your contributions to the world of thought and understanding. Your work is a beacon of light in a world often clouded by confusion and misinformation. I look forward to reading more of your insightful articles in the future.

Warm regards,

Asifa Rehman

Dear Dr. Muhammad Salim,

I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. I wanted to share a suggestion that I believe would be of immense value to your readers and the broader community. Considering your expertise and thoughtful approach to complex subjects, I would like to suggest that you consider writing an in-depth article on “Women’s Rights in Islam.” Women’s rights in Islam is a topic of great significance and relevance in today’s world. There are often misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding this issue, and your well-researched, comprehensive article could serve as a beacon of clarity and understanding.

Zakir Sultan

Dr sb as an enthusiastic reader of your articles, I recently noticed the “Discussion Board” on your website. I’m curious to learn more about this feature and its purpose. Could you kindly explain


Dear Dr. Muhammad Salim,
I’ve been following your work with great admiration and have noticed the increasing interest and engagement from your readers. With this in mind, I’d like to suggest the idea of starting a magazine subscription service.
Considering the growth in your viewership and the dedication of your readers, launching a magazine could be a strategic move that not only serves your audience but also sustains your important work.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this suggestion and whether it aligns with your future plans. Your unique perspective and insights have made a significant impact, and a magazine subscription could further enhance the experience for your readers.

Thank you for considering this idea, and I look forward to your response.

Fakhra Naheed

Dear Dr. Muhammad Salim,

I trust this message finds you well. I wanted to reach out and express my deep appreciation for the remarkable articles you have authored. Reading your work has been an enlightening journey that I felt compelled to share with you.

It took me a total of 9 days to fully absorb the profound insights and wisdom encapsulated within your first two articles, “The Status of the Heart in Human Personality” and “The Evil Web.” These articles are nothing short of masterpieces, and I applaud your dedication to researching and articulating these complex topics with such clarity and depth.

Your ability to seamlessly blend religious teachings, scientific knowledge, and philosophical perspectives is truly remarkable. Each paragraph felt like a revelation, and I found myself pondering over the concepts you presented long after I had finished reading. Your work has left an indelible mark on my understanding of these subjects.

Currently, I am immersed in your third article, and I am already captivated by your exploration of the heart’s multifaceted role in human personality. It’s evident that you approach each topic with meticulous research and a genuine passion for sharing knowledge.

I wanted to extend my gratitude for the time, effort, and thoughtfulness you invest in your articles. They have been a source of intellectual growth and have sparked meaningful contemplation. Your work is a testament to the power of knowledge and the impact it can have on those who engage with it.

Thank you once again for your invaluable contributions to the realm of thought and understanding. I eagerly anticipate future articles and the profound insights they are sure to offer.

Warm regards,


Your articles are thought-provoking, and I’ve noticed the growing community of readers who engage with your work. To further connect with your audience, you might consider hosting periodic webinars or Q&A sessions where readers can interact with you directly. This could foster a deeper sense of community.

Dr Fakhar

Your work is truly inspiring. Have you ever thought about collaborating with other experts in related fields for joint articles or projects? This could provide a fresh perspective and reach a broader audience.

Nawaz Kareem

Dear Dr. Muhammad Salim,

In addition to your written articles, consider creating multimedia content such as podcasts or video presentations. This would cater to different learning preferences and expand your reach.

Best regards,

Dr Hammad Khan

Dr sb ,
Your articles are lengthy and rich in content, which is undoubtedly a strength. However, they can sometimes be quite overwhelming to digest in a single sitting. I would like to suggest dividing them into smaller, more manageable parts. This would make it easier for readers to engage with your ideas and concepts gradually.

Secondly, incorporating relevant images or visual aids within your articles could greatly enhance the reader’s understanding and engagement. Visuals can often convey complex ideas more effectively and break the monotony of long textual content.

While I understand that maintaining the quality and integrity of your work is paramount, these suggestions are intended to improve the reader’s experience and accessibility to your valuable insights. Your articles have had a profound impact on my understanding, and I believe that implementing these changes could make them even more impactful for a broader audience.


I admire your thorough research, but splitting articles into parts might make them easier to absorb

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