Why One Hearing But Many Sights and Hearts?

The Quran says that Almighty Allah as the Creator of man has bestowed on him the hearing, the sight and the heart.

These senses, or faculties, are meant to make man knowledgeable, productive and responsible. With them, he is expected to understand himself, his physical surroundings and, with the guidance and help of the revelation, some of the most crucial metaphysical dimensions of the life reality in general.

These senses and their projected functions distinguish man, as the vicegerent on earth, from the rest of creation. They make him more relevant than others and his actions more impactful and more consequential. They also make him more accountable.

The Quran reminds:

And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing (sam’), the sight (basar) and the heart (fu’ad) – about all those (one) will be questioned (Al-Isra’, 36).

Qalb, Fu’ad and Lubb

As a small digression, according to the Qur’anic vocabulary, there are two chief terms used for the heart: qalb and fu’ad.

The first is the general meaning of the heart. It is that biological organ upon whose proper corporeal and spiritual functioning a person’s life depends. It is the essence and most important (inner) part of something. It can also mean the mind (’aql) with which people reason. It is almost synonymous with it.

The Quran points out that hearts are engaged in thinking processes, and can be conscious as well as blind (Al-Hajj, 46).

Fu’ad, on the other hand, means the core of the heart (qalb), or the “heart” of the heart, so to speak.

If qalb is the nucleus of the mind (‘aql), fu’ad is the nucleus of qalb. It is more profound and more intense than qalb. It is the “burning side” of the latter. It is the place where the most significant emotions and the deepest forms of knowledge (enlightenment) take place and reside.

Fu’ad is the home of decision making. To it all processes lead, including the reasoning processes of both ‘aql and qalb, and those pertaining to the emotional fluctuations of qalb. Fu’ad is therefore often understood as ultimate human intelligence and consciousness.

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About Dr. Spahic Omer
Dr. Spahic Omer, an award-winning author, is an Associate Professor at the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). He studied in Bosnia, Egypt and Malaysia. In the year 2000, he obtained his PhD from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in the field of Islamic history and civilization. His research interests cover Islamic history, culture and civilization, as well as the history and theory of Islamic built environment. He can be reached at: [email protected].