i) The heart – Qalb
We are living in an age of materialism, a world that is devoid of spirituality, of soul, of heart - an era that one could class as anti-spiritual. (Possibly laying foundations for the anti-Christ?)
Science and religion have not been the best of friends; many feel that you cannot belong to both worlds, that they are mutually exclusive. I will attempt to reconcile the two by concentrating on one thing, the heart – Qalb.
Scientists in general regard the heart as an organ, a fundamental one at that, one that pumps blood around your entire body. But can it be more than just that? Is there more to it? In the Islamic tradition it is. The brain houses the central nervous system; it instructs the body what to do, and when to do it. It is the “remote control”, however research suggests that the heart has sent messages to the brain, ones that it not only cognised, but obeyed too [Lacey] Those that have studied the heart know that it is myogenic, meaning that it is self-initiating and doesn’t require an external stimulus, this is what allows heart transplants to take place. (I’ll go into more depth about this in a later post)
So our hearts are not just a source of virtue and love, but of intelligence too.
And with that I hope I have laid the foundations for an exciting series that will look at the heart from an Islamic perspective and a science one too. All feedback is welcomed.
“The heart is more than just a pump, it conducts the cellular symphony that is the very essence of our being.” -— Paul Pearsall
“Close to a century ago, Rudolph Steiner said the greatest discovery of 20th century science would be that the heart is not a pump but vastly more, and that the great challenge of the coming ages of humanity would be, in effect, to allow the heart to teach us to think in a new way.” -— J C Pearce
“There is a piece of flesh in the body; if it is purified the whole body becomes pure, but if it gets spoilt the whole body becomes spoilt, and that is none other than the heart.” -— Ḥadīth