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The relationship between the human brain and Islam

The complexity of the brain

The brain is known to be one of most intricate organs in the human body. It creates our every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience of the world around us. So how can such a complex creation exist without a Creator? Learning about the human body and the complexity of the world, helps strengthen our belief in Allah. Without Him(SWT), such complex creations would not exist.

Quran 2:117– “He is the One Who has originated the heavens and the earth, and when He wills to (originate) a thing, He only says to it: ‘Be’, and it becomes.’’

To Allah, the creation of such complex things are simple as explained by the verse above, therefore this complex world we live in, that no one completely understands, surely must be created by Him. To further illustrate this point, scientists are currently saying that they struggle to understand the brain of a worm, let alone that of a human. Humans do not understand how the brain works so how can such people argue that such a complex creation has no creator?

“So which of the favours of your Lord would you deny?” (Ar-Rahman)

How can one deny the miraculous and complex creations of Allah which we are reliant upon on a daily basis? Without which we would not be able to think, see, act, feel or experience.
Quranic evidence supporting scientific discoveries? The Quran can be used to explain certain scientific discoveries – a book which was revealed 1400 years ago.

For centuries, scientists believed that the frontal part of the brain handled vision because
it was closest to the eyes. The front part of the brain is called the prefrontal cortex and is now known to be responsible for devising lies. Compulsive liars have increased white matter at the prefrontal cortex. But 1400 years before this was discovered the Quran said that disbelievers will be dragged from their “lying, sinful forehead.’’ [Quran 96.16]

This is one of many scientific facts that the Quran has revealed 1400 years ago when discovering such facts would be nearly impossible. So how can one deny Allah as the creator who is all knowing and has given us everything we know and see?

Impact of prayer on health and the brain

There is research to show that being religious has significant positive impact on your health. For example it was found that (a Buddhist praying) reduces blood pressure, eliminates depression and anxiety and reduces heart pulse. Furthermore it was discovered that praying and meditating for 12 minutes a day delayed ageing and effectively reduced stress and anxiety.

Prayer also impacts our brains in significant ways; the first image shown above reflects an increase in activity in the frontal lobe after meditation and the second shows reduced activity in the parietal lobe. This region is responsible for the sense of space, thus illustrating a sense of losing yourself in prayer.

As Muslims we are all aware of the peace and love that prayer brings to our hearts and such scientific studies further help illustrate this.

“Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah.” [Quran 39:22] 

This verse clearly shows that prayer softens the heart as illustrated by studies above, again
something that we as Muslims have been practicing for years has now been supported by science.

Does the brain give us ultimate control?

Scientifically speaking the brain is known as the ultimate control centre. So how can you go from having complete control over your thoughts, actions, feelings and memories to no control over your body or consciousness then five minutes later being in full control again? This is what happens when you have a seizure. Scientists have yet to understand why this occurs and the causes. But as a Muslim and as someone who suffers from epilepsy it further shows me the power that Allah possess, with his mercy I am able to come back to consciousness and be in control again. It is indeed a blessing in disguise.

A constant reminder of how life can end in any moment and any control we think we have over our lives can be taken away in an instance. This reminds me to be constantly grateful for my life and all that I have. Overall the brain is clearly a complex creation which we have yet to understand and it is clear from the evidence discussed that such a complex creation must have a creator. To whom we must all be grateful for as it can be taken away from us just as easily as it was given to us. It is truly the best gift to us all without which we would not be able to maintain a normal life as a human. This is a favour which we surely cannot deny.

– Somya Hasanzada


  • Localisation of increased prefrontal white matter in pathological liars. Yang Y, Raine A, Narr KL, Lencz, T, LaCasse L, Colletti P, Toga AW. Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;190:174-5. PubMed PMID: 17267937.



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