Sunday, August 31, 2008

Satan, Brain and The Quran

He's let talk about him a bit especially how does this creature affect us.
Well, satan affects us with stems from the act of generating emotions by whispering as stated in the Noble Qur’an (113:4), where Allah (God) Almighty tells us that Satan can generate a feeling in the human body such that the feeling is exactly what you are supposed to feel when Satan whispers His ideas in your head. For example when Satan whispers the idea that you should commit adultery with a women; Satan at the same time generates a feeling of happiness in your body to trick you in believing that you are doing something lawful and at the same time your companion devil whispers an idea in your head telling you that: if it feels so good how can it be wrong?.
The question now arises as to how Satan can generate these feelings in the human body. The answer is stated in the same verse in the Noble Qur’an where Allah (God) Almighty tells us that Satan generates these feelings by stimulating certain neural nodes in the human brain. These nodes are stimulated when Satan whispers His ideas of Harm, Lust, and Blasphemy to you, such that when the vibrations generated from Satan’s voice passes through the neural nodes in the human brain which are responsible for generating various feelings in the human body it causes these nodes to be stimulated thereby generating chemicals which go through the body which in turn generate feelings that match the content of the ideas whispered by Satan. These nodes can be found in the human brain, where the brain contains groupings of neurons which form what are called neural nodes

These neural nodes when stimulated can produce feelings of happiness, sadness, thrill, etc. Thus the second way Satan attacks human by is by stimulating neural nodes in the human brain to produce feelings that reinforce the ideas He just whispered to people. It is worth discussing further the reason why Satan generates such feelings by stimulating neural nodes in the human brain. Allah (God) Almighty states in the Noble Qur’an that Satan tries to make you believe His lies.
Thus if Satan only whispered these ideas in your head they will not carry the same weight compared to the case when you hear these ideas and at the same time you feel feelings in your body that reinforce them. This is a way of Satan to make you see a wrong deed as a good one and a good deed as a wrong one. Wallahu A'lam

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brain Plasticity and Kusyu' in Solah

Human beings have always been brash enough to ask questions of why people behave or think the way they are and yet lacked the necessary gifts to answer them. I believe that human behaviors could be easily understood from nature and nurture perspectives. From nurture perspective, we could comprehend human behavior from environmental factors, which are modifiable and changeable. The way people behave and react is the product of his/her interaction with his/her surroundings. A person gets sad because of the significant sad events took place in his/her life. Similarly, another person laughs because something amuses him/her. The magnitude of sadness and laughs depends on the gravity of events.

The other way of understanding human behavior rest within the 1.4 kg lump of wrinkled tissue that serves as the motherboard for all the body’s other systems and this tissue is what we called brain. Previously, we used to an idea that adult human brain is essentially immutable, hardwired, fixed in form and function, so that by the time we reach adulthood we are pretty much stuck with what we have. We also accept the notion that drugs can alter brain’s structure. However, drug is not the only variable that could change our brains’ configuration. Recent study by Harvard University’s neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone proved otherwise as the brain reorganized itself based on the input it received be it an internal or external one.
Pascual-Leone instructed the volunteers to learn and practice a little five-finger piano exercise. He also directed the members of one group to play as fluidly as they could, trying to keep to the metronome's 60 beats per minute. Every day for five days, the volunteers practiced for two hours. Then they took a test. At the end of each day's practice session, they sat beneath a coil of wire that sent a brief magnetic pulse into the motor cortex of their brain, located in a strip running from the crown of the head toward each ear. The so-called transcranial-magnetic-stimulation (TMS) test allows scientists to infer the function of neurons just beneath the coil. In the piano players, the TMS mapped how much of the motor cortex controlled the finger movements needed for the piano exercise. What the scientists found was that after a week of practice, the stretch of motor cortex devoted to these finger movements took over surrounding areas like dandelions on a suburban lawn.

The finding was in line with a growing number of discoveries at the time showing that greater use of a particular muscle causes the brain to devote more cortical real estate to it. But Pascual-Leone did not stop there. He extended the experiment by having another group of volunteers merely think about practicing the piano exercise. They played the simple piece of music in their head, holding their hands still while imagining how they would move their fingers. Then they too sat beneath the TMS coil.

When the scientists compared the TMS data on the two groups--those who actually tickled the ivories and those who only imagined doing so--they glimpsed a revolutionary idea about the brain: the ability of mere thought to alter the physical structure and function of our gray matter. For what the TMS revealed was that the region of motor cortex that controls the piano-playing fingers also expanded in the brains of volunteers who imagined playing the music--just as it had in those who actually played it.

"Mental practice resulted in a similar reorganization" of the brain, Pascual-Leone later wrote. If his results hold for other forms of movement (and there is no reason to think they don't), then mentally practicing a golf swing or a forward pass or a swimming turn could lead to mastery with less physical practice. Even more profound, the discovery showed that mental training had the power to change the physical structure of the brain.

So, if we want to perfect our Solah and have a really Kusyu’ Solah, for example, we can start practising the solah itself in our mind. Start with the Niyah, follow by the Takbiratul Ihram then up to Tahiyatul Akhir and Salam. Slowly imagine in our mind the behavioural sequencing of this act. Feel it. Understand the meaning of every single Quranic recitation we make. Do it five minutes before each Solah. Only then you perform your real Solah. And only then you can feel the different. Cognitive rehearsal can get rid of your daily hassle stressors from your mind and heart and thus bring in you a different state of mind, a clear mind before Allah the AlMighty. In addition, you combine it with body scanning technique from the Mindfulness Therapy then you might double your chance to be kusyu’ in Solah. Wallahu A'lam

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chocolate anyone?

A chocolate lover appraises a creamy brown square, noting its glossy finish and delicate embellishments. The sight triggers a Pavlonian response-a conditioned reflex which causes the mouth to salivate in preparation for the tasty morsel.

The chocolate enters the mouth, melting at about 27 degrees and releasing the chemical theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffein (Theobromine exists in the dark part of the chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains). Later, endorphins are released into the brain, reducing stress and creating feelings of euphoria.

Chocolate also contains cocoa flavanols found which is useful in enhancing brain function for people fighting fatigue, sleep deprivation, and even the effects of ageing. A study led by Professor Ian Macdonald from the University of Nottingham found that consumption of a cocoa drink rich in flavanols — a key ingredient of dark chocolate — boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours. The effect is also linked to dilation of cerebral blood vessels, allowing more blood — and therefore more oxygen — to reach key areas of the brain. Therefore, eating chocolate or drinking cocoa drink could sharpen up the mind and give a short-term boost to cognitive skills. Further, the pleasantness of eating chocolate were associated with increased blood flow in areas of the brain, particularly in the orbital frontal cortex and midbrain, that are also activated by addictive drugs such as cocaine as reported by Dana Small, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Medical School. So for those who took drug to get the euphoric feelings, I would humbly suggest, to seriously think about this modest 'migration'....from drug to chocolate...Hey it is much cheaper to consume chocolate!

Chocolate has also been found to slightly lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease, but this does not mean eating more chocolate results in healthier heart. Islam encourages moderation in eating. So don't transgress even the smell and the look of the chocolate are simply irresistable. Allah says in the Quran: (Eat and drink and be not immoderate. Verily Allah does not like the transgressors] (Al-A`raf 7:31). If you must eat make sure you fill one third of your stomach with food, one third with water and leave one third for air i.e. leave it empty. The Prophet is reported to have said:

“The stomach is the tank of the body and the veins go down to it. When the stomach is healthy the veins come back in a healthy condition, but when it is in a bad condition, they return diseased.”

The Qur’an recommend food rich in nutrients: (You people: eat of what is on earth, lawful and wholesome] (Al-Baqarah 2:168)

Reading this Qur’anic verse and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad above, some people may think that Islam is too caught up with details of everyday life. Why is so much attention given to something like food and eating when there are more important things like charity, mercy, love, and piety to be discussed? This stress on daily details of life is, however, part of the worldview of Islam. The essence of Islam lies in the relationship between the human being and his or her Creator: God (Allah). Therefore, Islam lays down suggestions and rules for living in order to promote the maintenance of the kind of living that achieves the best results for this relationship. Consequently, Islam believes that optimum spiritual health can only be achieved if one is physically sound. Malaysia is known as food heaven during Ramadhan. Thus, in the light of the coming Ramadhan, dear fellow Muslims, eat and drink moderately.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ramadhan and Psychological Benefits

Ramadhan, mother of all months is around the corner. Allah knows best the incentives of why He ordains fasting. To give meaning to the benefits of Ramadhan, I've gathered information on the psychological benefits of Ramadhan. Evidently, Ramadhan is for the betterment of this Ummah. There are reasons and wisdom behind every single act in Islam, no matter how small. In time we may know the wisdom for behind some acts, and for others we may never know. Salaat, for instance, is a daily training for purifying the believer and reminding him that he is a member in a community of believers. Fasting, on the other hand, is an annual institution containing all conceivable attributes for human excellence. It is a training for the body and soul, a renewal of life, encouraging the spirit of sharing and giving. Therefore, it is important to understand how fasting works and also some of the general benefits:

How Does Fasting Work

At the beginning, fasting achieves a physiological rest to the digestive, assimilative, and protective organs, probably the first time for most people. Next, the bodily energy normally used to digest and assimilate food is now used to purify our body. The purification process is called autolysis, or auto-digestions in which our body draws energy by decomposing and burning unused substances and metabolic wastes with the help of bacteria and enzymes. Waste materials to be decomposed, reused, and eliminated include fat and calcium deposits, atheromatous plaque, morbid accumulations, abnormal cells, dead and dying cells, damaged tissue, and various kinds of neoplasm (Burroughs, 1976; Ehret, 1966; This is the single most important phase of fasting: breaking down superfluous tissue and mobilizing the toxins from their storage areas. Non water-soluble chemicals are also transformed into relatively polar substances and then quickly excreted through enhanced cleansing ability of all the eliminative organs (Gormley, 2000).

During the auto-digestion process, because waste materials, chemicals, and toxins begin to circulate in blood stream and throughout the body, they can cause headache, nausea, and some other physical symptoms. At this point, many people quit fasting and start to eat. They blame fasting as the cause of their uncomfortable conditions. However, it is well-known fact that these symptoms will go away in few days as the elimination process progresses and fasters feel better and even stronger. Auto-digestion stops when they start to eat (Bragg & Bragg, 1999; Ehret, 1966).

One caution should be made here. Those who have been seriously ill or on heavy medications need to fast only under medical supervision because a prolonged fast can be dangerous because of the large amount of toxic substances they have to eliminate (Bragg & Bragg, 1999; Burroughs, 1976; Ehret, 1966). “Fasters who died from a long fast did not die from lack of food, but actually suffocated in and with their own wastes” (Ehret, 1966, p47). All fasters must educate themselves to know what physical conditions occur during a fast.

The Physical and Psychological benefits

The physical and psychological benefits cannot be separated. Fasting purifies cells all over the body, including those in the brain. Negative mental states such as anxiety, boredom, loneliness, tension, and fear, to the some extent, can be said as the mental expression of a physical state. When the brain is free of toxic poisons, the mind is liberated both physiologically and then psychologically. Although psychological drugs only temporarily alter the mental states by affecting the brain, fasting may free the brain forever (Bragg & Bragg, 1999). In the last 50 years in Russia, therapeutic fasting has been found to be the most effective treatment for schizophrenia. As early as 1972, Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, director of the fasting unit of the Moscow Psychiatric Institute, reported on the use of fasting to successfully treat over 7000 patients who suffered from various mental disorders including schizophrenia. Now Nikolayev after 30 year’s experience fasting over 10,000 patients says, “seventy percent of those [schizophrenia patients] treated by fasting improved so remarkably that they were able to resume an active life” (

Many fasters report that their mind is sharpened and focused. This is explained by the fact that the cleansing process of fasting actually gets rid of cementing and intrusive particles of the nerve tissues. As a result, a greater number of our brain cells come into contact with purified blood and the improved flow of blood to the brain helps to clarify our mind. An Irish literary critic and dramatist, George Bernard Shaw, attributed his successful works to the effect of fasting (

Behavior Modification
One of the most important things fasting affords the observer is helping him control or change his or her habits, the reason being human life is an embodiment of acquired habits. To change or control a habit is to wage a war on yourself. If jihaad is mandatory on every believer because it is the peak of the essence in Islam, and it entails changing habits, the fasting is the training ground for the inevitable that will occur. The believer cannot wage a war and hope to defeat an enemy if he or she cannot wage war against his soul. Thus, the faster is admitted to the compulsory training opened only in Ramadan, the learning in this school is mandatory and succeeding or scoring high is mandatory, otherwise it is like you never entered. The Prophet (saas) said: "Many a faster receives naught from his fast except the pain of hunger and thirst." (

If he scores high the reward is guaranteed: "Three people's prayers are not rejected-among them - the faster, until he breaks." (Ibn Hiban) Now, does a Ramadan fast control one`s habits? Simple, two of the most important habits are food and drink. An average person eats three meals a day, 21 meals a week. The way the fast is structured, with its basic and drastic alteration of eating habits, a faster takes light meals early in the morning and late in the evening. If the believer can control these two habits, food and drink, it will undoubtedly be easy for him to control other habits, including the habits of smoking, drug abuse and illicit sex. Do you not see that, if you can control your tongue, hands and all other parts of your body, it will be easy for you to apply the same training for the rest of the year.

Heath Care
The benefits of fasting transcend guiding the faster from idle talk and indecent acts. It is a sentinel against disease, provided the faster follows the strict dietary rule: eat during fast breaking and avoiding over-eating. Allah (SWT) states: "...Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not wasters." (Al-Qur`an, 7:31)

A great deal of ailments originate from stomach indigestion. This is why the Messenger of Allah (saas) says: "The son of Adam will never fill a container with something worse and evil than his stomach. It will suffice him some morsels (food) that will keep him on his feet, otherwise, he should divide his stomach into three parts: one third for his food, the other for his drink and the other third for his breath." (Ibn Hibban)

This hadith indicates that the stomach is the origin of harmful bacteria. Even in the age of sophisticated machines, you can hardly find a machine so fragile but yet so remarkably durable and efficient like the stomach. This is the machine that receives food particles, processes and refines them, and distributes the products to different parts of the body. This is a lifelong operation. For the non-faster, the stomach will have no chance for rest. When the stomach is empty, as a result of fasting, it gets well-desired rest, to renew and rejuvenate its energy. With the fasting, the stomach is forced to go through a discharge whereby harmful residue are eliminated through perspiration as the body searches for food during fast.

During fast, the system of secretion is organized, and this in turn benefits the blood pressure, inhibiting hardening of the arteries. The heart and kidney functions are enhanced as the work load tapers off. The fast helps to correct the problem of obesity and diabetes. Doctors over the years have used fasting as a prescription for certain ailments.

There was a discussion between Ali Bin Husain bin Waquid (raa) and a Christian physician to the Khalifah, Haroon Ar-Rasheed, about Islam's outlook on the science of medicine and health care. The physician said to Ibn Waquid: "There is not in your Book, Al-Qur`an, anything about medicine. For if Al-Qur`an is a book of science, what about this science?. Aren't there two kinds of sciences: the science of the body and the science of the soul?" Ibn Waquid responded: "Allah, the Most High has combined both sciences in half of a verse, when He states: "...Eat and drink but waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters." (Al-Qur`an, 7:31)

The physician said: "Why, then, has nothing been mentioned about medicine from the mouth of your Messenger?" Ibn Waquid replied: "Our Messenger (saas), has combined the sciences about medicine in a few words when he says: "The stomach is the house for disease and prevention is the essence of medicine." The Christian physician then said: "Then your book, Al-Qur`an, and your Prophet Muhammad left nothing about medicine for Jalienas (a famous physician of the ancients)." (Arkanul Arba`ah by Abul Hasan Nadwi)

An American physician published a report on fasting and its benefits saying: "It is mandatory on every person who is sick to restrain from food certain days in a year whether he be wealthy or poor because if bacteria can find food in abundance in the body, it will grow and multiply. But with fasting it becomes weak.'' He then praised Islam. It should be considered as the wisest religion, for as it mandated fasting it has mandated health care. He continued: "Indeed, Muhammad, who brought this religion, was the best physician who succeeded in his teachings, for he called for prevention before ailment, that is apparent in fasting and the nightly prayer (Taraweeh) that Muslims observe after fast breaking every day of Ramadan, for these physical acts contain big benefits in digesting food." (Arkanul Arba`ah by Abul Hasan Nadwi)

Fasting helps in conditioning the heart, the soul, and the body on the virtues of patience, tenacity, and firmness in the face of adversity. Patience is the pinnacle of self-mastery, discipline and spiritual agility. Patience is to turn the phrase "I can't" into "I can." It is to say, the difficult is easy. It is an inner and psychological demolition of things perceived by others as impossible. Fasting helps in all these shades for the virtuous, patient person because, the conditioning is that if a believer can exercise patience, and forsake gourmet food and drink, and the exhilaration we enjoy while eating or drinking our favorites, as well as marital association, the gratifying of other normal appetites for a whole day, for a month the realization that the barrier between you and food is your consciousness of your Creator, can better make you able to exercise patience in virtually everything in life.

Social Outlook
Socially, fasting is an expression of solidarity with the poor, the family and the whole society. This is a period in which the rich have first-hand experience of what it is to be poor, the pains the indigent suffers in normal living conditions. The process of disciplining resulting from Islamic fasting, instills in the rich the virtue of mercy, Rahmah, which is very important in terms of social well - being and proliferation of harmony. Allah bestows his mercy upon those who themselves are merciful to others. "Those who are merciful to others, the Merciful will have mercy upon them," the Messenger said. He continued, "Have mercy upon those on earth, and those in heaven will have mercy upon you." (Abu Dawud/Tirmidhi)

Family Ties
Fasting strengthens family ties, especially in that the family is an endangered institution in western society. It helps the family gather together to break fast, at Iftar, and eat sahuur together at least twice a day for a month. The family even makes Salaat, together with the father as Imam.

Fasting enhances and energizes friendship, as Ramadan is known as the month of invitations and visitations. Friends, family members and neighbors extend invitations to each other to come to their homes to have Iftar together. The Messenger said, "When a believer invites you, you should respond." Besides, Muslims gather together in the Masajid for taraweeh and ta'aleem.
Wallahu A'lam

Friday, August 22, 2008

Brain and Kusyu’ in solah

What happened when one prays and has an indeed kusyu’ solah?

Well, when people perform solah, the frontal lobes are highly active, increasing beyond their normal state. This is the area of the brain that controls our state of attention. It is well known that prayer "experts" around the globe are intensely focused and in a state of high attention when they pray.

The second things that occur when people pray is a decrease of activity in the posterior parietal areas of the brain. This is the part of the brain that gives us our sense of self, separates everything "outside" of us, from us, and gives us a sense of individualism. Also it is the part responsible for spatial orientation. Studies with regards to brain and meditation have confirmed this phenomenon.

Solah is to detach oneself from desires and objects by offering full submission to Allah the AlMighty and effectively separate oneself from the transitory nature of the world. This is undeniably a mental effort. In addition, our body has its own way of communicating outwardly to the world and inwardly to oneself. How we position our body has a lot to do with what happens with our mind and our breath. In Solah, we move our muscles in sequencing and repetitive manner accompany by rhythmic recitation of the quranic verses which is again a mental activities and physiological efforts. The correlation of physical states with mental states in solah reinforces the correspondence between neural functions and behavior.

This is so because during Solah there is "an increase in the areas of the [cerebral] cortex taking part in perception of specific information and an increase in the functional relationship between the two hemispheres". These observations support the cognitive claims of the "mindful state" in Solah by showing an increase in functional awareness. Performing solah is believed to result in increased EEG coherence, blood flow to the brain, muscle relaxation, and a decrease in stress hormones (see

In addition, neurobiologist James Austin suggests that the decrease in respiration (during solah) reduces neuronal firing in the medulla, most likely through corollary discharges from the central pattern generator for the diaphragm to the brain. The inhibition of the medulla causes alteration of higher-level functioning because when it is inhibited, it cannot inhibit higher functioning. Austin also claims that mental "transition periods" increase, shifting "rhythm of entry into activated states," in addition to fashioning different roles for other neurotransmitters. The alterations in bodily rhythms are consistent with the observed effects on neuronal responses in meditation. Additionally, the effect on neurotransmitters explains how set-points for mood can change, if recent research suggesting roles for dopamine and serotonin in mood is accurate. Solah could also do some of the work of the psychotropic drugs that either block or facilitate the uptake of certain neurotransmitters.

A different study suggests that daily meditation can alter the physical structure of the brain and may even slow brain deterioration related to aging. Study condcuted by Sara Lazar, a research scientist at Harvard Medical School's Massachusetts General Hospital, showed that parts of the brain known as the cerebral cortex were thicker in 20 people who prayed, compared with 15 people who did not pray. She presented the study at Neuroscience 2005, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. It also appears in the journal NeuroReport issued that year.

Our Brain Structure

Wallahu A’lam

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sujud or Inverted poses - The benefits

Why do Muslims have to place themselves in an inverted position or sujud when performing solah. We might not have the answers. Allah knows best why He has ordained us to do so. But since human beings are equipped with brain, understanding such injunction, sometimes need logical paradigms. Muslims nowadays are wrappped with the belief that everything needs reasons. So, I decided to embark on a journey looking for answers (off course scientific one) and my journey to shed some lights and perhaps answer for some staggering questions regarding the inverted position ends with the following reasons:

Muscles- Strengthens neck, shoulders, arms. Relieves tired legs; Inversions do much the same for the body that aerobic exercise does; Inversions use gravity to bring more blood to the heart - turning yourself upside down encourages venous return. The muscular system of the abdomen and legs are toned.

Physiology: four major systems in the body that the practice of inversions positively influences: circulation/cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine. Inversion exercises the heart and encourages venous return. Reduces heart strain, Minimise fatigue and brain tissue degeneration. Increasing the blood flow through the brain cells increases your thinking power, clarity, memory, concentration, and the sensory faculties. Fluid build up reduced, Strengthening the immune system, Increases mental alertness and clarity, Soak brain fresh blood, Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression, Healthier lung issue, Strengthens the lungs, Increase heat and improves digestion, Tones and cleans digestive organs, Constipation eliminated. While the body is in an inverted asana, the breath becomes slow and deep.

Organs: The entire physical system, under control of the brain, is energized and nourished as the brain is washed clean and flooded with rich new nutrients, Stimulates circulation, digestion, elimination. The abdominal organs: the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and pancrea receive a powerful massage helping them to perform their functions more efficiently.
Glands: Favorable reconditioning effect on endocrine gland secretion (Copeland, 1975), to enable it to withstand greater stress and strain (Kuvalyananda & Vinekar, 1963). The shoulder stand stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands by pressing the chin into the base of the throat.

Lymphatic System

The inversion position also importantly increases circulation and drainage of lymphatic fluid. Fluid build up reduced. Lymph, like the blood returning to your heart via the veins, is dependent upon muscular movement and gravity to facilitate its return. Thus, in the headstand, lymph fluid is relieved from the legs and ankles and with regular practice prevents the buildup of fluid in the legs and feet.

Strengthening the immune system. Because the lymphatic system is a closed pressure system and has one-way valves that keep lymph moving towards the heart, when one turns upside down, the entire lymphatic system is stimulated, thus strengthening your immune system.

Nervous System

Inverted position stimulates the nervous system. Increases mental alertness and clarity. The immediate change felt after performing this pose is an enhanced alertness which lasts through the day. Soak brain fresh blood. The most important aspect of inverted poses is to soak the brain with blood for a fixed period of time which never happens in other systems of exercises. According to Dr Raman (Raman, 2004):

“This rejuvenates the brain cells and prevents age related cerebral atrophy. Senile changes in brain are prevented. And as mentioned before ischemic strokes can be completely prevented as the blood supply is enhanced without pressure.”

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. It is a centering, calming and soothing pose. A cooling effect is felt on the face in the pose.

Respiratory System

Healthier lung issue. Inversions also ensure healthier and more effective lung tissue. During the prostration position, gravity pulls our fluids earthward, and blood "perfuses" or saturates the lower lungs more thoroughly. The lower lung tissue is thus more compressed than the upper lungs. As a result, the air we inhale moves naturally into the open alveoli of the upper lungs. Unless we take a good, deep breath, we do not raise the ration of air to blood in the lower lungs. When we invert, blood perfuses the well-ventilated upper lobes of the lungs, thus ensuring more efficient oxygen-to-blood exchange and healthier lung tissue, oxygen consumption and blood flow (Jevning et al, 1983).

Strengthens the lungs. When done properly, inversion helps the spine become properly aligned, improving posture, facilitating good breathing and reducing muscular stress. The inversion rests the lungs which feel refreshed. The vital capacity increases as the lungs learn to breathe against the strain of the body organs resting on it in the posture (Raman, 2004).

Wallahu A'lam

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Understanding The Human Brain from The Qur'an

Al-Mulk and Science

Light and Al Quran

Quranic Recitation and Healing Effects Part 3

Effects of Recitation with Understanding

Our Qur'anic understanding can take various forms:

- Simple comprehension of the literal meaning. Such comprehension must be the bare minimum requirement, the key to all other stages, but it is not enough.

- The next step is to find out how the Islamic scholars have understood it, either by hearing their expositions or reading their exegeses and other sources.

- Third is to study and ponder, on your own in order to discover and absorb the meanings using your imagination and knowledge. And,

- Finally to discover the benefits of it's meanings and commands by obeying the messages and fulfilling the duties and mission that it entrusts us.

If someone recites Qur'an properly and with understanding of its meanings it would have a pleasant and positive effect on the body besides the spiritual gains.

Qur'an is guidance and mentor for everyone. It's a complete book of life. There is a lot more to it than what the eye catches. In between the lines and beneath the simple meanings there are treasures of wisdom and knowledge for us to explore and benefit. Man is yet to decipher many of the codes that it contains.

Understanding it is therefore vital; otherwise it will remain no more than a sacrament. Allah has openly invited mankind to understand the Qur'an instead of just reciting it without comprehending the meanings. At so many places the Lord of the lords asks us: Why you hear not? Why you see not? Why you think not? Why you reason not? Why you ponder not? Why you understand not? Why you take not to heart? To whom are these invitations addressed if not to every human being who possesses the senses of hearing, seeing and thinking?:

What, do they not ponder the Qur'an? Or, is it that there are locks on their hearts? (Muhammad 47:24).

Indeed we have made this Qur'an easy for understanding and remembering (dhikr). Is there any, then, that will take it to heart (Al-Qamar 54: 17)


The Divine Prescriptions

In light of the above discussion we can formulate a very effective and convenient prescription for healing that is not only free of cost but also free of side effects:

Prescription # 1

Recital of verses and words that have unusual rhythmic involvement of the 'magic spot' has a healing effect on the body. The Prophetic prescription of reciting "Lahaula wala quwata illa Billah L-Aliyyil-Adhim" 100 times daily should be made a regular practice. All patients with chronic problems would immensely benefit from it besides in healthy people it would help in disease prevention and promoting health as a whole. Experience indicates that it is easiest to do so if one can make a habit of reciting it before going to bed. Also please remember to recite it a hundred times in one go. The knock at the magic spot has to be sustained otherwise the exact dosage will not be delivered. It is also advisable to do so in a state of wudu as it is a basic pre-qualification for the prayers to be accepted as is apparent from a Hadith about a blind man who asked the Prophet (PBUH) to restore his sight. The Prophet (PBUH) taught him a dua to recite, but He (PBUH) didn't say to him, "Go and read this dua". Instead He (PBUH) said to the blind man: "First go to the ablution area and make ablution".

Prescription # 2

Every day recite in a loud voice or listen to a good quality audio of Qur'anic Recitation for at least 5-10 minutes. More would be even better. Ideally, the environment should be calm, quite, and free of noises. The best time would be early in the morning before starting work. Chronic or terminally sick patients should have an audio player in their room and listen to 30 to 60 minutes of recitation 2-3 times daily.

Prescription # 3

Make a habit of reciting "La ilaha illallah", the other "kalimas" or simply "Allah, Allah" in your free time like walking, driving, climbing stairs, etc. Nothing can be a better utilization of your time than the remembrance of Allah.

Prescription # 4

Always make a genuine effort to understand the "meanings" of the recited verses. First know the literal meanings and follow it up by reading authentic commentaries by Muslim scholars. Afterwards ponder through your imagination on the verses of Allah as they can have multiple meanings and explanations.


1. Have complete and unbreakable faith in Allah and the Last Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. 2. Wudu (purification) is an important pre-requisite to attain maximum benefit. 3. Though faith is an essential ingredient but still Non-Muslims can also gain health benefits by following this prescription, as Allah has no limits. 4. Death is pre-destined and fixed. When the time will come no prescription will work. Here I also wish to emphasize that we must not view Qur'an as a substitute for medical treatment. Anas ibn Mas'ud reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:

Verily, Allah has not let any malady occur without providing its remedy. Therefore seek medical treatment for your illnesses (Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, and al-Hakim).

Jabir (RAW) narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "There is a cure for every disease. Whenever an illness is treated with its right remedy, it will, by Allah's permission, be cured" (Sahih Muslim).

God did not send down an illness for which He did not send a cure, except old age (Sahih Bukhari).

When the Prophet (PBUH) was ill, he sought medical treatment although the Prophet (PBUH) knew the Qur'an by heart and he recited it all the time. Yet, he wished to show us that trying to overcome an illness by proper medicine or herb is necessary. It is not acceptable, from the Islamic point of view, to deny the body by saying that the Qur'an is a better substitute. The best approach for seeking a cure is to combine the spiritual remedies with modern medicine.

Note by the Author

This article is not meant to prove the truth of Islam. It doesn't need a proof. A small mind like me can never decipher the complexities of the creations of the Creator of All. It's just an effort to scientifically acknowledge that whatever Allah has proscribed has multiple benefits for us, though we may not comprehend them.

Each Qur'anic verse and expression has a universal content. For the last 1400 years scholars and common people like me have been trying to elucidate and relate it to their level of knowledge. However, Qur'an's interpretations at the same time can be time-specific and not time-specific. Time-specific interpretations address only the aspects of a particular period in the history of the world while in the future man would relate the same verse or phrase with the knowledge of their era in a very different context or scenario. Qur'anic expressions have multiple meanings. If a Qur'anic verse or expression appears to point exactly to an established scientific fact, we should not restrict its meaning to that fact; rather, we should consider all other possible meanings and interpretations as well. The same applies here. The interpretation I have made is just another way to look at it. There can be hundreds and thousands more. Only Allah, The Magnificent knows all.

My analysis is more of a theoretical work. But if instruments and aids like sensors that can measure the touch and pressure of tongue, and equipment to scan brain activity during recitation are available a much better and convincing analysis can be done. This is a healing revolution in waiting for which I request Muslim philanthropists to fund such research to make it possible in our life times. I also request my colleagues from the medical profession to ponder on these lines and dig out the real bio-electrochemical processes. I would appreciate your comments and suggestions.


Quranic Recitation and Healing Effects Part 2

Frequency of Sound Waves

Sound is basically a compression waveform at a certain frequency. Sound can move through air or other materials like water or solids. It causes vibration in the object it strikes.

Sound is a primitive & powerful force. It has been used to blast off mountains; in medicine Radiologists use it for scanning the body in the form of ultra sound and Urologists use it to break Kidney and Gall Bladder stones. Creation of the earth was through a massive sound when Allah All Mighty said the very powerful word "Kun"; and its end, the doomsday will also be through an extremely powerful sound form called 'Soor' that will destroy the whole world. As Qur'an reveals:

And when the trumpet shall sound one blast; And the earth with the mountains shall be lifted up and crushed with one crash (Al-Qur'an 69:13-14).

For when the trumpet shall sound; Surely that day will be a day of anguish; Not of ease, for disbelievers (Al-Qur'an 74:8-10).

For centuries, healers have intuitively used sound's therapeutic powers. In ancient cultures, many examples of use of sound and vibration as treatment are found. Numerous tools have been used since the beginning of time to create music that aids healing: planetary gongs and Tibetan bowls, didgeridoos, rattles and drums.

Even today, a growing number of medical professionals are embracing sound as an effective tool for healing. It has been proved that the entry of sound waves into the human body is not just through the ears. We also hear and perceive sound by skin and bone conduction. We are sensitive to sounds in ways that most people do not even consider. It passes through the body and in the process the human tissues transduces pressure waves (sound waves) into electrical stimuli primarily by means of the pacinian corpuscles (a special type of mechanoreceptors). The frequency range in which the human tissue can transduce sound waves lie between 50 and 800 cycles per second while the human ear is sensitive to sound waves between 20 and 20,000 cycles per second. Now lets see what sound waves do when they enter the body:

Entry through Ears - The Hearing Effect

Ears are extraordinary organs. They pick up all the sounds around us and then translate this information into a form that the brain can understand. A remarkable aspect of this process is that it is completely mechanical. On the other hand the senses of smell, taste and vision all involve chemical reactions.

The pinna, the outer part of the ear is like an antenna. It "catches" the sound waves. Outer ear is pointed forward and has a number of curves that determine the direction of a sound. Sound reflection by pinna alters the pattern of the sound wave. Your brain recognizes the distinctive patterns and determines whether the sound is in front of you, behind you, above you or below you. Once in the ear canal, sound waves vibrate the tympanic membrane (eardrum). This vibration translates through a group of 3 very small bones (smallest bones of the body), the ossicles into a force that acts as a piston creating waves in the inner-ear fluid to represent the air-pressure fluctuations of the sound wave.

The ossicles amplify the force from the eardrum. This amplification system is extremely effective. The pressure applied to the cochlear fluid is about 22 times the pressure felt at the eardrum. This pressure amplification is enough to pass the sound information on to the inner ear, where it is translated into electrical information that is transmitted by the cochlear nerve to cerebral cortex, the part of brain that contains the hearing center and provides us with the final perception of sound.

Entry through Body Tissues - The Vibratory Effect

The Bible equates "the Word", a form of sound, with God and creation: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John I: 1-2).

Waves in sound move at certain frequencies. Sound in itself is a frequency just like light, aroma, vibration, music, brain waves or nerve impulses. Everything, as its most common denominator, is frequency. In reality, there are no solids. We exist in a universe that consists entirely of energy at different frequencies. Einstein proved this. Frequency defines it.

Everything in the universe is in a state of vibration creating sound waves at variable frequencies. Each celestial body, in fact, each and every atom, produces a particular sound frequency on account of its movement, rhythm, or vibration. This includes the human body. Every organ, bone, tissue and other parts of the body have a healthy resonant frequency (vibratory rate of an object). When that frequency changes, that part of the body vibrates out of harmony and this is what is termed disease. If it were possible to determine the correct resonant frequency for a healthy organ and then project it into that part which is diseased, the organ should return to its normal frequency and healing should occur. Our body is receiving and absorbing sound frequencies all the time from its surroundings. These external sound frequencies together with the vibration of the body organs make up a composite frequency, a harmonic that is your own personal vibratory signature. This signature encircles the whole body with a field, like an aura.

How does the body know what to do with all of the frequencies it receives? The body hears frequency. The ears change that sensory input into biochemical impulses and send that information to the brain. The eyes feast on frequencies of light input, change those impulses into biochemical energy, and send that information to the brain. The nose receives frequencies of aromas and changes it into biochemical input and sent it to the brain. Each sensory organ collects information as frequency input and changes that input into biochemical impulses, which it sends to the brain. The brain in turn digitizes the information and redistributes it to systems and functions of the body to maintain homoeostasis.

When sound at different frequencies enters the body it is not only translated into electrical signals but it also comes in contact with the body cells and alters their basal vibratory resonance that can be detrimental or beneficial for the body depending on the frequency of sound.

Researchers are desperately trying to find the healing frequencies. There's plenty of scientific proof that it can be effective for everything from enhancing the mental faculties, reducing stress and boosting mind-power. Many studies in recent times have shown that music (sound) can reduce pain and ease anxiety during surgical procedures. In a German study there were lower levels of stress hormones in the bloodstreams of patients having endoscopies when they listened to the music of their choice during the procedures. At the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland, USA, doctors found that men who listened to music during sigmoidoscopies felt more relaxed during this uncomfortable examination.

Sound therapy can make you smarter too - at least temporarily. A study at the University of California, USA, found that college students who listened to Mozart for 10 minutes scored eight to nine points higher on intelligence tests than they did after sitting in silence for the same amount of time. However the effect lasted only 10 to 15 minutes, after which the scores returned to normal.

Another study from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, USA, concluded that listening to slow and easy music lowered heart rates and allowed longer training sessions in a group of 24 young adults. While listening to hard-driving rock music had the opposite effect: heart rates increased and workouts were shorter when the subjects tuned in to rock 'n' roll. A new branch of sound therapy, called Music Thanatology, has evolved that seeks to ease the emotional and physical suffering of terminally ill patients through soothing sounds at specific frequencies.

In one of the few medical studies conducted on listening to the recitation of Holy Qur'an Dr. Ahmed E. Kadi and Associates (Cairo), have shown a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, and smooth muscle relaxation in Muslims as well as non-Muslims.

There should be no doubt that the sounds of the words of Allah have divine healing powers. Allah has made the work of scientists easier by revealing the healing frequencies: "And We sent down in the Qur'an that which is healing and a mercy to those who believe; to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss" (Qur'an 17:82).

The sound of recitation enters the body just like all other sounds or frequencies:

- Through the ears into the brain, and

- Directly into the organs and tissues.

All of us are familiar with the first type of entry mechanism as this is what we hear; its effect is the audible sound, which in case of Qur'anic recitation would result in pleasing and positive effects mediated through unknown processes taking place in the brain.

The second mode is entirely different. In this case, sound wave frequencies pass right through the body organs and tissues, in the process altering the vibratory resonance of the body cells into a healthier pattern and getting converted into electrical stimuli.

Prophet (PBUH) always stressed reading Qur'an loudly and not silently by saying: "The comparison between a silent reader and a recitor is like a bottle of perfume when it is closed and when it is opened".

Allah has also emphasized reciting Qur'an slowly (with pauses) for complete absorption of its effects. That means that if we recite very fast then the frequencies can overlap and mingle up resulting in a vibratory chaos thus rendering the beneficial effects useless.

Quranic Recitation and Healing Effects Part 1

Recitation of the Qur'anic verses can have healing effects that are mediated through both the tongue movements and sound waves.

Healing can be mediated through recital of some specific verses and words that involve touching of the tip of the tongue on the 'magic spot' located in the hard palate on the back of the gums of upper incisors (front teeth). Touch of tongue stimulates the mechanoreceptors located underneath the mucosal lining covering the hard palate, which in turn activates more obscure processes in the brain leading to health positive effects. The sacred words specially related with the 'magic spot' include 'Allah', 'La ilaha illallah' the first four 'kalima's and specially the verse about whom the Prophet (PBUH) has said that it gives cure from 99 diseases: "Lahaula wala quwata illa Billah L-Aliyyil-Adhim".

Effects of sound waves generated during Qur'anic recitation are mediated by two mechanisms. Firstly, through the ears sound waves are converted into electrical stimuli that activate the Auditory area of the brain that in turn stimulates release of chemicals and messengers that have healing properties. Secondly, the sound waves especially at frequencies ranging from 50 - 800 db pass through the body and in the process they are transduced by the body tissues and cells leading to a positive change in the vibratory frequency of the cells and generation of electrical stimuli.

Discussion in the following pages makes it clear that stimuli are generated as a consequence of movements of tongue and the effects of sound waves on the body and the brain, but it is still not clear how these stimuli promote health. More work is needed. However on face value we can correctly assume that they must have healing effects as Allah has disclosed in very plain terms in the Holy Qur'an: "And We sent down in the Qur'an that which is healing and a mercy to those who believe" (Qur'an 17:82)


Medical science has made rapid progress during the last two centuries; treatment modes have changed. This development has been largely focused in one direction: the pharmaceutical industry driven Allopathic Medicine.

Human beings have existed in this world for a much longer time. During all the eras and phases of history cure from disease has been of prime concern to mankind. Various holistic approaches have been explored and practiced based on a variety of philosophies. Even today people seek cure through other modes like the Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Unani Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, etc. And patients do get cured with them as well.

Being a psychologist, I have always been fascinated with the multiple approaches that one can adopt to treat diseases. After 10 years of practice based on the knowledge of modern day psychological medicine I believe that there are other effective ways to treat that can supplement medical treatment. Allah, the Creator, has made some very categorical statements in this regard:

O Mankind: There has come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (disease) in your hearts - and for those who believe a guidance and mercy!" (Qur'an 10:57)

"And We sent down in the Qur'an that which is healing and a mercy to those who believe; to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss" (Qur'an 17:82)

"Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of God, for in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest" (Qur'an 13:28)

Scientifically healing effects of reciting Qur'an have not yet been studied in detail; medical science of the 21st century does not understand the exact processes and chemical reactions that take place during recitation. However with the belief that whatever Allah has said is true we can relate the modern day scientific findings with the hints and leads given by the Creator to hypothetically postulate a viable but vague bio-electro-mechanical model of some of the processes that may be taking place. I have tried to do the same thing. It is a view based on my limited knowledge and may not be true. Only Allah knows best.

Every action needs some input. In the case of healing through Qur'an what can be that input? Let us analyze the different forces, factors, or events that are involved in recitation and can be the input leading to healing effects. Body parts involved in recitation are:

1. Vocal cords, tongue & lips: Read or recite.

2. Eyes: See (reading).

3. Ears: Listen (reciting in a loud voice or if listening to a recorded source.

4. Brain / Mind: to analyze and absorb the meanings and the sound.

Activities that take place during recitation include:

1. Movements of lips, tongue and vocal cords.

2. Generation of sound waves.

3. Perception of sound waves by the brain and the body as a whole.

I could only relate the tongue movements and the effects of sound waves with healing. I have failed to understand the role of lips and vocal cord movements or the effects of meanings mediated through nerve impulses triggered in the brain and elsewhere.

Effects of Tongue Movements

You must have noticed the tongue touches the walls of the oral (mouth) cavity while we speak. Recently scientists have found out that there are very sensitive receptors underneath the mucosal lining of the oral cavity specially the hard palate. Theses receptors are stimulated when even lightly pressed by the tongue. It has been documented that this pressure at various points is responsible for initiating the swallowing reflex and other motor movements when we have food in the mouth cavity.

For a moment say the word "ALLAH" and notice your tongue. The tip of the tongue gently presses against a spot (see the spot in the figure above) on hard palate in the mid line just above the back of the gums of the upper front teeth (incisors). Pressure on this spot stimulates the release of signals from mechanoreceptors embedded in the mucosa covering the hard palate.

Allah Almighty has 99 names (Asma ul Husna). Each of them indicates a different attribute of God. Only "ALLAH" is the name (al-ism al-a'zam, the Greatest Name) that God has chosen for himself. Why not something else? God could have taken any name. Why specifically this word. Can the sound of ALLAH have healing powers?

Signals generated through pressure at this 'magic spot' are transmitted to centers in the brain; what these signals do is not yet known. At least we can very safely assume that they cannot be harmful. They must be beneficial as they relate to the name of our Creator.

An authentic saying of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) further supports the possibility of this spot possessing some magical properties. He (PBUH) is reported to have said that reciting the following verse a 100 times daily has cure for 99 diseases and the most minor disease among them is Leprosy: "Lahaula wala quwata illa Billah L-Aliyyil-Adhim" ("There is no power and strength except in Allah, the Exalted, the Majestic"). Now again notice the finely calibrated knock on the 'magic spot'. The tip in a very rhythmic fashion presses against this magic spot almost 10-12 times in about 3 seconds that are consumed in one recital. The advise of the Prophet (PBUH) is for continuous recitation for a 100 times resulting in 1200-1300 continuous harmonically synchronized knocks.

Here I would also draw your attention towards another saying of the Prophet (PBUH): "Jabir (RAW) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, 'the best way to remember Allah is to say: La ilaha illallah (there is no God but Allah)." (Ref: Tirmidhi)

Once more notice the tongue movements during the recital of 'La ilaha illallah'. Same spot is touched four times in an amazingly synchronized manner.

It is worth mentioning that more than routine involvement of this spot is also observed while reciting all the Kalima's specially the first four:

Kalima Tayyab: "Laa ilaaha ilallahu Muhammadur Rasulullah"

Kalima Shahadat: "Ashadu anla ilaha ilallahu Wa ashadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah"

Kalima Tamjeed: "Subhanallahu Wal Hamdulillahi Wa Laa ilaha illal Lahu Wallahu Akbar. Wa La haula Wala Quwwata illa billahil AliYil Azeem"

Kalima Tauheed: "Laa ilaha illalLahu Wahdahoo Laa Shareekalahu Lahul-Mulku Walahul Hamd Yuhyee Wa Yumeetu Wa Hua Haiy Yul La Yamutu Biyadihil Khair. Wa hua Ala Kulli Shai 'in Qadeer"

Involvement of this particular magic spot during the recital of some of the most important words and verses in Islam besides the one prescribed by the Prophet (PBUH) as cure cannot be a coincidence. Everything ordered by Allah is very well thought of; human intelligence cannot comprehend it. It becomes even more interesting when we notice that during our daily conversation or routine recital of Holy Qur'an, this spot is not involved as much and in the same rhythmic manner as it is during recital of the prescribed verse.

Scientific research has pointed out towards existence of very sensitive 'Mechanoreceptors' in the oral cavity including the hard palate. Although these studies were not done to prove this hypothesis, I have benefited from them by correlating them with the 'magic spot' phenomenon discussed above. I have here reproduced abstract of one of those studies that documents complex sensory perception of these receptors involved in initiation of reflexes and coordination and timing of patterned motor behaviors. (For my non-medical friends I have highlighted the main points in italics):

Study: Mechanisms of Oral Sensation Norman F. Capra, Department of Oral and Cranio-facial Biological Science, University of Maryland Dental School, 666 W. Baltimore St., 21201 Baltimore, USA:

Sensory nerves that supply mechanoreceptors in the mucosal lining of the oral cavity (incl. mucosa lining the hard palate), pharynx, and larynx provide the substrate for a variety of sensations. They are essential for the perception of complex or composite sensory experiences including oral kinesthesia and oral stereognosis. Relevant to the concerns of the oral health care delivery specialist they also contribute to initiation of reflexes and coordination and timing of patterned motor behaviors. The response of oral mechanoreceptors to natural stimuli is determined to a large degree by morphological factors such as the nature of the relationship between nerve ending and certain cellular specializations, their distribution in the mucosa, the diameter of their primary afferent nerve fibers, and the central distribution of these fibers in the brainstem. Because of morphological similarities to certain cutaneous mechanoreceptors, the mucosal lining may be considered as an internal continuation of the large receptor sheet for localization and detection of mechanical stimuli. In some regions of the oral, pharyngeal, and laryngeal mucosa, this analogy is appropriate whereas in others, existing data suggest a different role consistent with regionally specific demands (i.e., initiation of protective reflexes).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brain and God- Athan for newborn baby

It is interesting indeed when Islam heartens Muslims to pronounce Athan and Iqamah to their newborn babies. Why this 'injunction' is postulated by Islam and propagated as the first thing parents should do upon their babies entry in this world. The incentive could lie in the recent scientific finding. Dr Michael Persinger, a Canadian Neuropsychologist from Laurentian University, Ontario conducted an experiment to unravel an interesting question on the connection between the temporal lobes of the brain (They are near our ears.) and religious feeling. In the experiment, his experimental subjects report that an artificial magnetic field focused on those brain areas gives them a feeling of 'not being alone'. Some of them describe it as a religious sensation. His work raises the prospect that we are programmed to believe in god, that faith is a mental ability humans have developed or been given. And temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) could help unlock the mystery of why muslims make athan on their newborn babies. An abrupt shift from their world in the womb, could lead to feeling of remoteness and insecure. That is why a baby entrance is followed by a loud cry. Being reassured that God AlMighty is looking after them is the great easement for these newborn babies. With regard to this, Allah mentioned in the Quran the follwoing ayats:
"And HE gave You (the faculties of) hearing And sight and feeling (And understanding)."
[AL-QUR'AN 32:9]
"Verily WE created Man from a drop Of mingled sperm, In order to try him: So WE gave him (the gifts), Of Hearing and Sight."
[AL-QUR'AN 76:2]
"It is HE WHO has created For you (the faculties of) Hearing, sight, feeling And understanding: little thanks It is ye give!"
[AL-QUR'AN 23:78]
Obviously, the newborn babies are equipped with various faculties. Interestingly, hearing comes first, follows by sight, feeling and understanding.One could spot an amazement on these cute baby faces when the parent makes an athan. Slowly,the baby will drift into silence as an indication of listening, getting reassurance (feeling) and understanding (there is One God- Allah the AlMighty...alastu birabbikum..bala syahidna...). Wallahu A'lam