Scientifically looking, human brain is associated with various functions and attributes including feelings, decision-making, intellect, hearing, seeing and all kinds of bodily instructions. In Quran, nowhere the word ‘ brain’ has been used, but the various functions and attributes assigned to human brain are described with words ‘ qalb’ and ‘fuwad’. Word ‘fuwad’ is used for human feelings; whereas word ‘qalb’ is used for all brain’s functions like decision-making and intellect including feelings; In other words, in Quranic terminology, words ‘qalb’ and ‘fuwad’ are used with the meaning of brain or mind.
We know that human brain is associated with all kind of feelings-pleasures and sorrows, liking and disliking, excitements and shocks, sadness and happiness, love and hate, affection and aversion, hope and frustration, confidence and disbelief, self-respect and lack of self-respect, courage and cowardliness, patience and impatience, resilience and lack of resilience. In short, human brain is transmitter and source of all human feelings.
Similarly human brain is the origin of human decision- making, and intellectual exertions. It is also associated with human functions like acts of hearing and seeing. Apart from this, human brain is the center of all instructions under which human body acts and reacts.
It is strange enough to note that in Quran whose subject is HUMAN BEING is devoid of word ‘brain/mind’; nowhere in Quran this word ‘brain/mind’ has been used. In fact in Quran all attributes and functions of human brain/mind are described through words ‘qalb’ and ‘fuwad’. It means these words ‘qalb’ and ‘fuwad’ are used with the meaning of brain/mind. In Arabic language word ‘qalb’ means human intellect apart from other meanings associated with this word.
The word ‘fuwad’ is used in Quran for describing human feelings. As feelings are associated with human brain/mind, it means ‘fuwad’ is used in Quran to describe human mind/brain.
“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the ‘fuwad’/ feelings- about all those [one] will be questioned” (al-isra-36).
Human feelings are associated with act of hearing or seeing; that is why every person will be questioned about the working of these three human faculties, as has been mentioned in above quoted verse.
Similarly sura hud-120 states: “ And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the messengers is that by which We make firm your ‘fuwad’. And there has come to you, in this, the truth and an instruction and a reminder for the believers”.
In this above verse too, word ‘fuwad’ has been used with the meaning of human ‘mind’. In many other verses too, this word ‘fuwad’ has been used with the meaning of ‘mind’; the instances are Ibrahim-37; al-nahl-78;al-sajda-9; al-humaza-7; al-anam-110.
Similarly word ‘qalb’ has been used in Quran with meaning of human mind/intellect/wisdom and feelings as well. As mentioned earlier, human mind/brain is associated with human functions like decision-making, intellectual exertions, and acts of seeing and hearing, these facts have been described in Quran in many verses.
“So have they not traveled through the earth and have ‘quloob’ by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the ‘quloob’ in the upper parts(sudoor)” (al-hajj-46).
we know that human eyes’ and ears’ signals are linked with brain; if brain’s concerned parts are not functioning properly, one cannot see or hear even if one’s eyes and ears are without any defect. This fact is being mentioned in the above verse. This verse also mentions that human ‘qalb’ is associated with thinking and intellect; in other words ‘qalb’ means human brain/mind. These ‘quloob’ lie in ‘sudoor’; in Arabic language ‘sudoor’ means ‘upper portions’ apart from other meanings attached with this word. In this verse this word ‘sudoor’ does not mean breasts or chests; rather it means ‘frontal/upper portion’; it implies that act of seeing is associated with frontal/upper parts of human brain; this fact has been proved scientifically as well.
In many verses, this word ‘sadr/sudoor’ has been used with meaning of upper part of brain or human body. For instance, sura al-imran states:
“so that Allah might test what is in your upper parts and purify what is in your minds/brains. And Allah is Knowing of that within the upper parts” (al-imran-154).
Other instances, among so many, in which word ‘ qalb’ has been used with the meaning of human brain/mind are: al-imran-151; qaf-33; tawba-117.
“Indeed in that is a reminder for whoever has a ‘qalb’ or who listens while he is present [in mind] (qaf-37).
In this above verse, word ‘qalb’ is used in the meaning of human intellect/wisdom. This verse says Quran is advice for those who have intellect/wisdom; If we interpret word ‘qalb’ as heart, it would mean Quran is advice for everyone who has heart; as we know everyone has heart, so everyone should have advice/guidance from Quran. But we know this is not the case; in other words ‘qalb’ means human intellect/wisdom which everyone does not have. This verse states that everyone who has intellect/wisdom can avail advice from Quran.
We can conclude that in Quran words ‘qalb’ and ‘fuwad’ are used with meaning of human mind/ brain. The word ‘fuwad’ is used to express brain’s attributes like human feelings and word ‘qalb’ to express all brain’s functions like intellect/wisdom and decision-making including human feelings. The human mind/brain lies in the ‘sadr’ (plural is ‘sudoor’) which means upper/frontal part of human body; it does not mean chest or breast.