The human mind

October 06, 2017


IN a classroom, a teacher was discussing the utility of various parts and organs of the human body, asking his pupils which one was the most important. All students were quiet but after a short while, a student raised his hand, saying that our hands are the most important part of the human body as we work with them to earn our livelihood.

But another student differed, saying that our legs are most important as we walk with our legs. All students had different views. The teacher said in the end that every organ of the body has its own importance but the mind is singularly the most important as it is the ‘control room’ of the entire body.

The human mind is the most wondrous amongst all creations; it is yet to be understood completely. It is a challenge for science to map out each and every cell of the human mind with its precise working. The great German philosopher Kant says that there are two outstanding wonders of God’s creation: the starry heavens above and the human brain within.

Great as the exploits of science in the external world are, greater still are the future discoveries that await us. Humans will draw back startled when they understand the mysterious processes which occur within these inverted bowls of bone called the skull.

Dominant thoughts make a person move towards his mission.

The human mind, roughly weighing about 40 to 50 ounces, is made up of billions of cells. Mapping the human mind is one of the most gigantic tasks yet to be accomplished. As per research and observation, a normal human mind continues to grow from birth till the age of 30. It is connected with all senses to process and retrieve information from memory. Psychologists divide the brain into the conscious and sub-conscious states but are still far away from describing the exact and accurate functioning of the brain.

In the Quran, nowhere is the word ‘brain’ or ‘mind’ used, but the functions and attributes assigned to the human brain are described with the words ‘qalb’ and ‘fuwad’.

The Quran usually uses the term ‘qalb’ for heart and mind as the thinking faculty of humans. It has tremendous force which makes a person travel in his/her thoughts into the past or future. The mind seldom remains in the present. When a person prays, his mind goes hither and thither reflecting on past events or thinking of future happenings. Thoughts are like flying birds, hopping from one branch of a tree to another. Therefore, one needs a strong will and determination to concentrate and eliminate all material thoughts while praying.

The mind can be a base of constructive and positive thoughts as well as of destructive and negative thoughts. Dominant thoughts make a person move towards his mission while worrisome thoughts make a person’s nights sleepless.

Therefore, every individual is supposed to guard his/her thoughts; negative thoughts should be nipped in the bud before they strike firm roots and make a person act negatively.

We are all living in a vast ocean of thoughts that are continuously charging our inner and outer atmosphere. In other words, every effect one sees in the outside world has its origin within the mind. To gain access to the greatest creative power, one must learn to control the nature of his/her thoughts and to align oneself with the one source of all power — the Creator.

The whole universe works according to the system designed by Allah. At many places in the Holy Book, Allah says that He creates, maintains, sustains, manifests and controls the universe. He is the Light of the heavens and earth (24:35).

In the entire system, the human mind has a pivotal role in discovering the mysteries of the divine system. It is an instrument of nature to manifest its miracles; the manifold wonders and sublime manifestations all around us are the result of the mind’s energies bestowed by Allah.

Every castle the world has was first a thought in the architect’s mind. Every book written and published was first an idea in the writer’s mind.

Similarly, every mechanism the world has ever known was first formed in the mind of its inventor. At first, an idea is born in the mind as a thought, and then takes solid material shape in the world. Divine forces dictate and help the human mind propel the energies into the hand that draws the model and clothes it in material form.

Allah has promised to show His signs to vindicate His truth. He says “We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. … (41:53)”.

The writer is an educationist with an interest in religion.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2017