UNDERSTANDING MIND, HEART, FAITH AND BIAS
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
There are two types of people in the world; (i) who accept the existence of God, and (ii) who deny the existence of God. The people who deny are known as atheists.
The people who accept the existence of God are divided into many groups. The beliefs of these groups are given below.
(i) Some people believe that there are different gods for different works in the cosmos. They make pictures and metallic/mud idols of their imaginary gods and worship them.(ii) Some people associate divinity (اُلوہيت) with some human beings and call them Godmen or Avataar.(iii) Some people believe god has a human-like lineage and has a son who appeared on planet Earth in the shape of a human being.(iv) Some people believe in Trinity, the Father God, the son of God and holy Ghost.(v) Some people believe God has a huge human like body with human like physical features and is sitting over the skies separated from his creatures.(vi) Some people believe angels are God’s daughters.(vii) Some people believe God can commit sinful acts; like He can lie, and to lie is within His powers. They argue that when people can lie and it is in their power to lie, then to deny this power for God is not correct.
Why some people deny the existence of God and and others have devised so many imaginary theories Him?
The answer is simple. It is because of their inability to comprehend the complex nature of this Cosmos and its Creator.
How can we explain the truth about this Cosmos and its creator to these people?
Since the problem lies in the perception of people, we need to understand how human mind works? What are the factors that contribute to our belief system. And what is meant by faith and bias? If we know these issues, we will be able to explain the facts to the people in a way that can be understood by them.
It is also important to know what causes a person to reject the obvious signs of our Creator in the Cosmos? The answer is available in Quran.
It is in Quran - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا سَوَاءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ - خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰ أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ [Indeed those who have rejected faith, it does not matter whether you (O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) warn them or not, they will not believe. Their hearts and their ears are fastened by Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) seal (because of their rejection of faith) and their eyes are veiled (in view of their insistence on disbelief) and for them there is a severe torment. ] (Al-Baqara - 6-7)
Some people say they believe in Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) but in their hearts they do not believe. This is known as hypocrisy. The question is why people practice hypocrisy? The Quran provides an answer to this question as well.
It is in Quran - وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ - يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ - فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ - [Among them, there are people who say that they believe in their Lord and on the Last Day (of Judgment) even though they are not believers. (These hypocrites) who like to deceive Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and the believers; in fact are deceiving their own selves but they are not conscious about it. There is a severe disease in the hearts (of these hypocrites). And Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی ) increases their disease; for them is harsh torment in view of their false assertions.] (Al-Baqara - 8-9).
We have explained these issues in this book in detail. It is an important read for people to find out the causes of their ignorance on this subject. This is a unique book. In Sha Allah (إن شاء الله) many people will benefit from it.
HUMAN 'INNER SELF' (نفس)
As compared to other creatures in the Cosmos, humans are complete within themselves as they have been rewarded with intelligence to differentiate between good and bad. Human 'inner self' (نفس) is a non-corporeal entity that controls our thought process, inclinations, intentions and the resulting in actions. To be successful in our lives, we are required to reform this entity and strive for virtue over evil inclinations. This aspect has been described in Quran.It is in Quran - وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا - فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا - قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا - وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا [And the 'self' (نفس) and the completeness given to it. Thus was given awareness of its evil and its virtue. He succeeded who purified it and he failed who corrupted it.] (Ash-Shams - 7-10)
What is human 'inner self' (نفس)?
We have discussed this issue in detail in our book "Understanding Human Self, Body and Soul". We suggest readers to read that book for full understanding of this subject. It will also help them to understand issues discussed in this book.
The human inner self (نفس) has two connotations, (i) Mind, and (ii) Heart, which are non-corporeal thought processes known as subtleties (لطائف) or distinctive faculties of human inner self. These are connected with human biological brain and biological heart.
Similarly, our senses like hearing, talking, seeing etc., all belong to our inner self but they do have a connection with respective body parts like eyes, tongue, ears, etc. In essence, all our physical faculties are dependent and connected with non-corporeal faculties of our 'self' (نفس) or innate/person (ذات).
HUMAN NON CORPOREAL MIND
As we have described above, human mind is a non-corporeal faculty related with our 'inner self' (نفس).
Physicalists and Materialists consider that everything is physical or material in this world. They cannot comprehend anything beyond matter, therefore they consider that human brain is human mind.
There are some philosophers and scholars of medical fraternity who consider that human soul rests somewhere at a tiny place in human brain. Needless to say that these understandings are wrong.
The fact is, our physical body is a material covering/dress in which we have appeared in this world. We can neither see our non-corporeal 'self' nor others' non-corporeal selves except via their covering (physical bodies).
Our physical body is changing every second in a continuous process known as 'revival of similitude' (تجدُّدِ امثال). This is the reason we look considerably different from what we looked, say 10 years ago. It is scientifically proved that our body changes in about 10 years time. However, we remember the things happened, say 50 years ago. If our physical (biological) brain is our mind, then how it is possible that our brain which has changed completely 5 times in a span of 50 years, but still remembers things happened 50 years ago? This proves that our non corporeal entity, our 'self' (person) is different from our physical body.
The soul is the bestowal and support of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) with which we exist in this world. We need this divine support every moment and every second of our lives. If this support is taken back, we do not exist. The soul is supporting who? It is supporting the human 'Self', whose external covering is its physical body. Read the following Quranic verses that confirm this fact.
It is in Quran - وَهُوَ مَعَكُمۡ أَيۡنَ مَا كُنتُمۡۚ [And He is with you wherever you are.] (Al-Hadid - 4).
It is in Quran - وَفِىٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡۚ أَفَلَا تُبۡصِرُونَ [He is in your own self, will you not see.] (Adh-Dhariyat - 21)
It is in Quran - وَنَحۡنُ أَقۡرَبُ إِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ ٱلۡوَرِيدِ [ And We (Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی) are nearer to him (human being) than his jugular vein.] (Qaf – 16).
The soul is Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) Tajalli which is formless and comprehensive existential support of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to human beings. How can it be confined to a tiny place in human biological brain which is undergoing change every movement? Our scientists and medical fraternity should think beyond the matter, to realize the facts of our existence.
We will briefly discuss about human physical brain and biological heart to see how they are connected to non-corporeal human mind and non-corporeal heart.
The Human physical brain
Human brain is a super computer, which works on the basic principle of input and output. And it works directly in association with our non-corporeal mind. For understanding purposes, we can say that our non-corporeal mind is like a system software and our physical brain is its hardware computer. Whatever data is fed, it provides the output accordingly.
Brain is the command center for the human nervous system. It receives input from the sensory organs and sends output to the muscles. It is reported that Brain is made up of over 100 billion nerve cells, each of which is connected with over 10,000 other cells. The building block of our nervous system are known as Neurons. The information travels, back and forth, from our senses to the brain via these neurons, as electrical signals.
The largest part of the brain is known as Cerebrum, which is divided into two halves (hemispheres) by a deep fissure. These hemispheres are known as Corpus Callosum.
Brain is divided into four lobes, viz., (i) The frontal lobes control thinking, planning, organizing, problem solving, short-term memory and body movement. (ii) The parietal lobes interpret sensory information, like taste, temperature, touch etc. (iii) The occipital lobes process images from our eyes and relate the information with images that are stored in memory. (iv) The temporal lobes process information from senses of smell, taste and sound. They also play a role in memory storage.
We use our senses to gather information about the outside world. We see, hear, taste, smell and touch things. We also detect pain, pressure, temperature, position and movement of our body. These sensations are changed into electrical signals and carried to our brain which then puts all the information together to produce the whole picture.
It is reported that our brain starts wiring itself even before we are born and carries on this activity till we are about two years old. The connections between these neurons are known as synapses. Around teenage, a pruning process takes place that eliminates certain unused connections in the brain. The changes in the brain are a continuous process throughout our lives. The changes take place as a result of changes in our hormones, social and cultural environments, etc.
HUMAN NON CORPOREAL HEART
Human non-corporeal heart is different from human biological heart. The non-corporeal heart rests in Human inner-self which is a non-corporeal entity. The human biological heart works directly in association with non-corporeal heart.
The Human Biological heart
The human biological heart is a complex machine that plays a pivotal role in our lives. If it stops, we die. The heart is not just a pump for the purification and supply of life blood to our body, it is also a powerful generator of electromagnetic energy, producing rhythmic electromagnetic field of our body's organs.
It is reported that the communication between the heart and brain is a two-way dialogue. The heart communicates with brain in 4 ways; (i) Transmission of nerve impulses, (ii) Hormones and neurotransmitters, (iii) Pulse waves, and (iv) Electromagnetic field interactions.
The heart has its own nervous system composed of 40,000 neurons. These neurons are capable of detecting circulating chemicals sent from the brain and other organs. While the heart can be influenced by messages sent from the brain, it doesn’t necessarily obey them, all the time. Rather, at times sends signals to the brain that influences the brain to function differently. Like Oxytocin hormone, which helps people in affection and bonding with each other, is released both from heart and brain.
Heart is composed of a network of neurons, support cells and neurotransmitters which enables it to process information, learn, and produce 'feelings of heart' and then transmit this information from one cell to another.
In 2002, a joint research paper was published by the University of Arizona and University of Hawaii titled "Changes in Heart Transplant Recipients that Parallel the Personalities of their Donors". The research confirmed that there were marked changes in the behavior of heart transplant recipients in food, music, art, sexual, recreational, and career preferences, as well as specific instances of perceptions of names and sensory experiences that related to the donors. Some of their findings are given below.(i) There was a case of a straight vegetarian health-conscious donor, that turned a militant gay McDonalds loving recipient, into a straight vegetarian, health-food seeking person after the transplant.(ii) Another case was of a young donor who was a violin musician that made the older classical-music-hating recipient, all of a sudden want to listen to hours of violin music after surgery.(iii) A third case was of a young woman who was a “hell-raiser”, all of a sudden picking up her donor’s love for music and poetry. She was even able to finish the words to his (donor's) songs, which she never heard before.(iv) A 47-year-old man, who received the heart of a 14-year-old girl died in a gymnastics accident, changed dramatically after the transplant. His wife commented that, after surgery, "Gus has become a teenager. No doubt about that. He is no a kid but he started thinking thinking he is a kid. Even when we are bowling, he yells and jumps around like a kid. He has got this weird laugh now. It is a girl’s laugh and we tell him that. He doesn’t care."
Another team of researchers published their findings in 2003 in a Medical Journal, titled "Heart and Mind - The relationship between cardiovascular and psychiatric conditions". They concluded that there is a relationship between emotions and mind on one side, and heart disease on the other. There is a strong evidence linking cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric disorders and the mechanisms and pathophysiology of this association. Anxiety, panic disorder, and depression are common in patients with coronary heart disease and hypertension.
In 1983, the heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland when a new hormone called Atrial Natriuretic Factor (ANF), which affects blood vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands and regulatory regions in the brain, was found to be produced by heart.
It is now accepted by the medical and scientific community all over the world that heart's functions are complex, and it complements the brain in intelligence and cognition.
HUMAN MIND IN QURAN
Human Mind is a bestowal of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to human beings to comprehend things, reason, make rational conclusions and behave sensibly.
Quran has identified many capabilities of human mind, like, (i) understanding common issues, (ii) projection of coherent and non-conflicting thoughts, (iii) understanding proof and evidence of truth, (iv) making intelligent choices about what is good and what is harmful, (v) differentiating between short and long term benefits, (vi) learning from everyday life experiences, (vii) learning from history, (viii) noticing the signs of Almighty in the Cosmos, etc.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has provided mind and heart to every human being and it is imperative that they use them properly, ponder over the facts of this Cosmos and walk on the right path.
(i) It is in Quran - كَذَٰلِكَ يَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ [So Allah places degradation on those who do not believe." (Al-An'aam - 125)
(ii) It is in Quran - وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ [ And He places degradation on those (subjects them to torment) who have no understanding. ] ( Yunus - 100)
The above Quranic verses clarify that the punishment for rejection and punishment for 'not trying to understand', is the same.
(iii) It is in Quran - يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لِمَ تُحَاجُّونَ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَا أُنزِلَتِ التَّوْرَاةُ وَالْإِنجِيلُ إِلَّا مِن بَعْدِهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ [O'people of earlier scripture! Why do you argue about Ibrahim (عليه السلام), when the Torah and Injeel were not revealed until after him? Don't you have minds?] ( Aal-i-Imran - 65).
In the above verse, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is questioning Jews and Christians why they contradict themselves in case of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) saying he was Jew or Christian. Don't they have minds?(iv) It is in Quran - انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ [ Look, how we make clear the signs for people who understand.] ( Aal-i-Imran - 65).(v) It is in Quran - وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ ۖ وَلَلدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ [And the worldly life is no more but play and diversion, surely the last abode is better for those who are pious, then will you not understand?] (Aal-i-Imran -32).(vi) It is in Quran - إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ [Surely in the creation of the Skies and the Earth, in the disparity of the night and the day, in the ships that course in the sea which benefits people, in the water that Allah sends down from the sky, reviving with it the earth after it was barren, in His spreading in it all kinds of living things, in the changing of the winds and the subjected clouds between the skies and the earth; indeed are signs for people who have understanding.] (Al-Baqara - 164).(vii) It is in Quran - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِن وَرَاءِ الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ [Indeed those who call out to you (Prophet Mohammad - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) from behind the chambers, most of them do not possess minds.] (Al-Hujurat - 4)HUMAN HEART IN QURAN
The word heart is mentioned in Quran more than 100 times. And whenever it is mentioned, it is to describe its ability of rational thinking. The heart is also described as the processor of information, particularly concerning emotions. The issues associated with Heart as mentioned in Quran, include; faith, soundness, repentance, rivalry, sinfulness, sickness, trouble, guidance, assurance, peace, love, fear, thankfulness, reasoning, etc.
(i) It is in Quran - وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا وَنَسِيَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ ۚ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا ۖ وَإِن تَدْعُهُمْ إِلَى الْهُدَىٰ فَلَن يَهْتَدُوا إِذًا أَبَدًا [Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord's proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided.] (Al-Kahf - 57).
There is a difference between 'the heart of a believer' and 'heart of a non believer'.
(ii) It is in Quran - إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ [The true believers are those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited to them, their faith is strengthened, and they trust in their Lord.] (Al-Anfaal - 2)
(iii) It is in Quran - وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ [ When Allah, the one only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter, shrink with aversion. But when others (the idols worshiped by them) are mentioned, their hearts get filled with joy.] (Az-Zumar - 45)
(iii) It is in Quran - ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الْأَنْهَارُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَاءُ ۚ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ ۗ [ Despite this, your hearts hardened like rocks, or even harder. For there are rocks from which rivers gush out. Others crack and release gentle streams, and other rocks cringe out of reverence for Allah. ] (Al-Baqara - 74).
Quran was revealed 'on the heart of Prophet Mohammad' (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). This fact has been mentioned in the following verse.
(iv) It is in Quran - قُلْ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّجِبْرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ [ Say, 'Anyone who opposes (angel) Jibreel (عليه السلام) should know that he has brought down this (Quran) into your heart, in accordance with Allah's will, confirming previous scriptures, and providing guidance and good news for the believers.] (Al-Baqara - 97).
The light of guidance of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is received by human beings via their hearts. This is mentioned in the following verse.
(v) It is in Quran - أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ ۚ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ [ If Allah renders one's heart content with submission, he will be following a light from his Lord. Therefore, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against Allah's message; they have gone far astray.] (Az-Zumar - 22).
Human beings are required to use their hearts and other sensory organs in the pursuit of seeking truth. If they fail, they will be punished.
It is in Quran - وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ [ And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the men; they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear; they are as cattle, nay, they are in worse errors; these are the heedless ones. ] (Al-A'raaf - 179)
Quran describes that one cannot reflect on issues properly if his heart is locked. Meaning, people are required to think with an open heart, rather than an open mind. Because if a person's heart is open, his mind will also be open.
It is in Quran - أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا [ Then do they not reflect upon the Qur'an, or are there locks upon (their) hearts? ] ( Muhammad - 24).
It is in Quran - إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ [ Surely the worst of breasts (hearts) in Allah's sight are those that are deaf and dumb, those (who) don't understand.] (Anfaal - 22)
CORRELATION BETWEEN HEART AND MIND
As we have described above, human inner self (نفس) has two in-built subtleties (لطائف) known as (i) Mind, and (ii) Heart. These are non-corporeal subtleties/faculties of our non-corporeal inner self. The heart is where the meanings reside, and the mind is where reason is processed. In essence these two complement each in many ways.
It is in Hadith - Allah has forgiven my Ummah for the evil suggestions of their hearts, so long as they do not act upon them or speak about them. (Ibn-e-Maja).
It is in Hadith - Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said, I have prepared for My righteous servants (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can even think of. (Bukhari).
It is important to note that the mind does not get dominance over heart, rather it is the heart that often overrules the mind's conclusions/suggestions.
It is in Hadith - Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) does not look to your bodies nor to your faces, but He looks to your hearts. (Muslim).
The non-corporeal subtleties of mind and heart, are connected with human biological brain and biological heart.
It is in Hadith - Abu Hurairah (رضئ الله تعالى عنه) narrated - 'I came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and spread out my garment to him, then he took it and gathered it on my heart, so I did not forget any Prophets (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying after that. (Tirmidhi).
It is in Hadith - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) supplicated - O' changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion. (Tirmidhi).
The subtlety of heart is the place of our faith. Also it dominantly governs our emotions and passions. The heart acquires it meanings from both sensory experiences and from arguments of reason. On the other hand, the mind is always attempting to form a consistent story by reconciling contradictory information using reason.
The Islamic message is based on reasoning to lead us towards the truth. Reason is the cornerstone to validate the authenticity of the Quran as a divine revelation. The revelation would not be true if it was contradictory.
It is in Quran - أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا [Do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been from someone other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.] (An-Nisa - 82)
THE FAITH AND BIAS
As we have described above, the heart is where the meanings (faith) reside, and the mind is where reason is processed. Faith means 'to consider something to be sure'. The meanings in heart could be based on facts or just a conviction (belief, not based on facts) that something is like that.Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has provided humans with mind, heart and senses and they are required to use them in finding facts in this cosmos. As an additional help, He sent His prophets to teach humanity about the truth of this cosmos. Now, it is up to the individual to make good use of his faculties and find the right path. If you get attracted to the spurious, then Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) light of guidance which is inherently kept in human hearts, goes away. Once the darkness occupies the heart, the progeny of Satan and his followers get associated with it and lead to further darkness of evil. They associate their evil powers with your hand made gods and show some jugglery. As you watch this evil show, you start believing idols are associated with divinity and their hearts get hardened in darkness, meaning their hearts are sealed in ignorance. If you reach this stage, there is very little hope that you will ever come back to the right path. This aspect has been described in Quran as follows.
(i) It is in Quran - أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ ۚ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ [ If Allah renders one's heart content with submission, he will be following a light from his Lord. Therefore, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against Allah's message; they have gone far astray.] (Az-Zumar - 22).
(ii) It is in Quran - وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ [ And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the men; they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear; they are as cattle, nay, they are in worse errors; these are the heedless ones. ] (Al-A'raaf - 179)
During Prophet Moses (عليه السلام) times, a person named Samiri carved a gold calf. The calf was hallow from inside and used to make a some kind of sound. He claimed it to be the god of Israelis. Some people believed him and started worshiping that calf.
The role of senses is important in shaping the meanings (faith) in our heart. If these meanings are opposed to fact of the matter, this is not true faith, it is the 'bias in faith'.
The people who are struck with 'bias' never try to see logic. For them the facts are not important. It is their conviction (biased faith) that matters.
We are required to uphold proper values and virtues to lead our lives in this world and have salvation in Hereafter. Our senses are required to deliver correct meanings to our heart. If they fail to do so, or deliver the meanings opposed to the fact of the matter, they will be considered to have failed in their intended functions.
It is in Quran - قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاءٌ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى [Say (O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) For those who have faith, it (the Quran) is guidance and healing. And for those who do not believe, it is deafness in their ears and blindness over them.] (Fussilat - 44).
The problem with perception arises when the mind and the heart are in conflict. Allah warns us against putting the heart above all else, at the expense of reason, as it will invalidate the facts and disables the senses from arriving at true meanings.
It is in Quran - أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ [ Have you seen one who has taken his desire as his god, and Allah has sent him astray, despite his knowledge, and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put a veil over his vision? So who will guide him after Allah? Then will you not be reminded?] (al-Jathiyah - 23)
Mind is the place where reason is processed. You should not dwell in a wrongful comfort zone and get convinced in your heart for something which is wrong. Indeed Satan and his army of Shayateen influence us to walk on the wrong path. But remember, Satan has no power to influence us unless we follow him.
It is in Quran - إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ [Verily, you have not authority over my servants except for those who follow you among the deviated. ] (Al-Hijr - 42).
Wisdom is the balance between reason (mind) and meaning (heart).
It is in Quran - يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا [ He gives wisdom to whomever he wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given an abundant good.] (Al-Baqara - 269).
Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) created human beings with intelligence, provided them with knowledge and gave them the required free will. Therefore they are expected to use these faculties as per the commandments of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). If they act against this requirement, they will harm themselves in this world and in Hereafter.Everything in this Cosmos has a special significance and purpose; and all these things are Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی). signs and people who use their minds can recognize them.How do we use our minds and reason to recognize these signs. Let us discuss it in a little detail.
There are five internal faculties of our mind that help in processing the information and restoring it for future use. These are; (i) Common Sense, (ii) Incredulity (Doubt), (iii) Imagination, (iv) Notion (thought), and (v) Memory. Common Sense is the processor that analysis the information in the following two ways.
(a) If the information is coming from outside, through our external senses, like eyes, touch, taste, etc., the process is called as ‘Incredulity’ (doubt).
(b) If the information is coming from inside, the process is called ‘Imagination’.
There are two drives or reservoirs in our mind where processed information is dumped for future use. These are, (i) Notion (thought), and (ii) Memory.
When we look at an outside picture, the 'common sense' studies it and separates meanings from the apparent picture. For example, when we look at a tiger, our common sense separates the meaning 'powerful' from tiger's picture. And the information analyzed is 'tiger is powerful'.
The process of separating 'meanings' from outside 'picture' in the Common Sense is known as ‘the process of Incredulity (doubt)’. Why this process is called ‘Incredulity’? Because drawing of meanings by individual men and women could be right or wrong, depending upon their knowledge or ignorance about facts of things. Like, a person is looking at a hand made Idol. His common sense is analyzing the picture and drawing the meanings that the ‘idol is his god’. Another person is looking at the same idol, and his common sense is drawing the meaning that the idol is 'a statute of mud/metal, made by a human being which does not have life and power even to move on its own’.
When we move our attention away from the outside thing, the picture goes into ‘Notional Reservoir’ and its meanings go into our ‘Memory’. After sometime when we draw our attention back on the that thing, its picture comes out of the ‘Notional Reservoir’ and its meanings come out of our ‘Memory’ and together they become visible in our common sense.
'Imagination' is also the name of the process of our common sense. In 'Imagination' the thing does not come from outside. It comes from our mind. Like a man brought a headless human body and body-less head of an elephant from his 'notional reservoir' and joined them together in his common sense.
People belonging to all religions, all regions and ethnic background are basically reasonable, and when they are explained issues in the light of facts and logic, they will understand. It will not take much time for them to find the right path of their creator. It is their scholars and leaders who have concocted stories and convinced them to believe in them. Like, someone among the early religious elderly among Idol worshipers imagined a face/form consisting of head of an elephant over a human body. They imagined this shape to be 'knowledgeable and eloquent'. They gave a name to this form 'Ganesha' and brought it out in the world in the shape of an idol which has a long trunk and big belly and convinced their followers that this is their god. Gradually it became a popular Hindu idol god. Similarly, when some religious elderly among idol worshipers looked at cow, they associated 'motherhood' with it as people drink its milk. They also drew the meaning of sacredness with cow and considered cow as divine and started worshiping it.
It is in Quran - وَإِذْ وَاعَدْنَا مُوسَى أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَنْتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ [ And we specified forty nights for Musaؑ and then, while he was away, you started worshiping the calf. And you (surely) were wrongdoers (in that worship). ] (Al-Baqara - 51)
In the same way some religious elderly among idol worshipers imagined about the beginning of life. They could not understand it as to when life began on planet Earth. Their imagination rested on penis. They imagined it to be sacred and divine. They made an idol of human penis and started worshiping it. Their followers followed them in this worship. They are known as people of Lingayat.
Needless to say that all idol gods and deities worshiped in the world have originated from the 'Imagination of different people. This was the reason there were 360 Idols placed in an around Kaba and their number was increasing all the time.
When Christians looked at the miraculous birth of Isa (عليه السلام), they could not understand it. As there was no male intervention in his birth, their 'common sense' concluded that ‘he is the Son of God’ (Astaghfirullah). If they had used their minds and pondered over the facts of things and sought Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) guidance, they would have realized that as Adam (عليه السلام) was born without biological father and mother, then it is possible that Isa (عليه السلام) can come into this world without a biological father.
Some Muslim sects, like Salafis and their like minded groups, read certain metaphorical verses (Aayaat-e-Mutashabihaat) of Quran and misinterpret them on the basis of their textual meanings and claim that (Nauzubillahi) Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is a huge planetary Idol god, who has a physical body like humans and is sitting over the skies. They worship this Sky God 5 times a day during their Salah. If they had studied Quran and Ahadith in the guidance of Shaiks of Ihsan, who are true Islamic monotheists, and pondered over the creation of this cosmos and sought Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) guidance, they would have understood the facts of things in this cosmos. All animals they sacrifice is in the name of this Sky Idol God and all their prayers and supplications are to this Sky God.
How do we escape from the clutches of misleading people in power and their associate corrupt scholars on Earth? The only way is to turn our attention towards our Creator and seek His guidance. Supplicate to the one who has created you and ask for His help to find you His path. He will show you His path.
Remember, there is only one God who is the creator of this Cosmos. He does not have partners. Divinity only rests in Him. Other than Him is spurious.
It is in Quran - لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا ۚ فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ [ Had there been within the skies and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.] (Al-Anbiya - 22)
Quran is the only book that has not been altered since its descent. How can it be possible without the intervention of God?
It is in Quran - إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ [We (Allah) have descended Quran and We only will preserve it.] (Al-Hijr - 9).
Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has challenged the entire humanity and Jinns, many a time in Quran that if they doubt in Quran, they should bring a Surah like that of Quran. Since the word of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and the word of His creature cannot be equated, this challenge remains unfulfilled and will remain so till the day of resurrection.
It is in Quran - وَإِن كُنتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِّمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَى عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِّن مِّثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ [ If you doubt (in this Quran) which has been sent down on Our chosen servant, (Apostle Mohammad ﷺ) then bring a chapter like it; and call all your helpers other than Allah, if you are truthful.].
It is important that every human being in the world, belonging to any faith, region or ethnic background, reads this book carefully. Your sincere reading, and supplications to your Creator in showing His path, will surely lead you to His path.
It is also important that you find a sincere teacher to explain you the meanings of Quran. Supplicate to your Creator to find you a teacher who could explain you the true meanings of Quran and Sunnah and lead you on the right path of Islam.