A Brief Illustrated Guide To Understanding Islam

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D) The Quran on the Cerebrum:

God has said in the Quran about one of the evil unbelievers who forbade the Prophet Muhammad  from praying at the Kaaba:

 No!  If he does not stop, We will take him by the naseyah (front of the head), a lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!  (Quran, 96:15-16)

Why did the Quran describe the front of the head as being lying and sinful?  Why didn’t the Quran say that the person was lying and sinful?  What is the relationship between the front of the head and lying and sinfulness?

If we look into the skull at the front of the head, we will find the prefrontal area of the cerebrum (see figure 12).  What does physiology tell us about the function of this area?  A book entitled Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology says about this area, “The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex...”1  Also the book says, “In relation to its involvement in motivation, the prefrontal area is also thought to be the functional center for aggression....”2

Figure 12 (Click here to enlarge)

Figure 12: Functional regions of the left hemisphere of the cerebral cortex.  The prefrontal area is located at the front of the cerebral cortex. (Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Seeley and others, p. 210.)  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

So, this area of the cerebrum is responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behavior and is responsible for the telling of lies and the speaking of truth.  Thus, it is proper to describe the front of the head as lying and sinful when someone lies or commits a sin, as the Quran has said, “...A lying, sinful naseyah (front of the head)!”

Scientists have only discovered these functions of the prefrontal area in the last sixty years, according to Professor Keith L. Moore.3



(1) Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Seeley and others, p. 211.  Also see The Human Nervous System, Noback and others, pp. 410-411. Back from footnote (1)

(2) Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Seeley and others, p. 211. Back from footnote (2)

(3) Al-Ejaz al-Elmy fee al-Naseyah (The Scientific Miracles in the Front of the Head), Moore and others, p. 41. Back from footnote (3)

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