[Al-Quran 50:6-8] Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? And the earth - We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah].

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lying Sinful Forelock

The Holy Quran, 96:15-16
كَلَّا لَئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ لَنَسْفَعًا بِالنَّاصِيَةِ
نَاصِيَةٍ كَاذِبَةٍ خَاطِئَةٍ
Sahih International: No! If he does not desist, We will surely drag him by the forelock - A lying, sinning forelock.
Pickthall: Nay, but if he cease not We will seize him by the forelock - The lying, sinful forelock –


Q96:15-16 refer to a lying, sinful forelock. Q11:56 informs us that ‘...there is no living creature but He (Allah) holds it by its forelock...’ Q55:41 further states: ‘The criminals will be known by their marks, and they will be seized by the forelocks and the feet.’

Forelock or Forebrain?
The Qur'an 11:56, 55:41, 96:15 and 96:16 are the only four ayaat using the noun form of root letters ‘nun-sad-ya’, translated in all instances as forelock by most translators. Could the word be referring to the brain or the forebrain?  

Note: Q21:18 uses the root letters dal-mim-qayn which most translators translate as head, while some translate it as brain. 

Facts about the human brain[1]
·         The human brain is the largest brain of all vertebrates relative to body size
·         The cerebrum makes up 85 percent of the brain's weight
·         It contains about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons), the "gray matter"
·         It contains millions of nerve fibers (axons and dendrites), the "white matter"
Like all vertebrate brains, the human brain develops from three sections known as the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Each of these contains fluid-filled cavities called ventricles. The forebrain develops into the cerebrum and underlying structures;

What is the function of the Cerebrum in the forebrain? [2] [3]
The Cerebrum: The cerebrum or cortex is the largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. The cerebral cortex is divided into four sections, called "lobes": the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. …What do each of these lobes do?
·         Frontal Lobe- associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving
·         Parietal Lobe- associated with movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli
·         Occipital Lobe- associated with visual processing
·         Temporal Lobe- associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, and speech

What is the link between lying and the forebrain?
In a study in 2005: ‘Liars showed a 22-26% increase in prefrontal white matter and a 36-42% reduction in prefrontal grey/white ratios compared with both antisocial controls and normal controls.’ [4] [5]
‘Pathological liars have a surplus of white matter, the study found, and a deficit of gray matter. That means they have more tools to lie coupled with fewer moral restraints than normal people, ...  studies of autistic children – who typically have trouble lying – have showed the converse pattern of gray matter/white matter ratios.’  [6]
According to an article published in Brainfacts.org in 2013: ‘Although several brain areas appear to play a role in deception, the most consistent finding across multiple fMRI studies is that activity in the prefrontal cortex increases when people lie. The prefrontal cortex, situated just behind the forehead, is a collection of regions responsible for executive control (the ability to regulate thoughts or actions to achieve goals). Executive control includes cognitive processes such as planning, problem solving, and attention — all important components of deception — so it’s no surprise the prefrontal cortex is active when we lie. Dishonesty requires the brain to work harder than honesty, and this effort is reflected by increased brain activity. Studies even show people take longer to respond when lying.’ [7]

Lying: a voluntary decision or a hard-wired involuntary trait?
It remains to be investigated that: ‘whether the brain differences lead to lying or whether repeated lying somehow "exercises" connections in the brain.’[8]

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