“And (also) in yourselves (There is evidence of the truth). Can you then not see?” [Az-Zaariat 51:21]
Did the thought ever cross your mind on how exactly the human body functions? The functioning of the human body is indeed a miracle of Allah. The human body is mainly based on the nervous system. The main organ that makes up the nervous system is the brain. Scientists and biologists have yet to figure out exactly how the brain functions. The brain is such an organ that gets information from the environment through the five senses. These senses take information from the environment and transform it into such information that the brain can understand. Each of these five senses function in relatively different ways:
1) The ears: Vibrations in the air molecules hit the part of the inner ear which is filled with fluid. Depending on the pressure it was hit by, the ear turns it into an electric signal. This signal is then sent to the brain.
One amazing fact about the ear is that the ear is made up of two types of receptor cells; phasic and static. The static cells are those that are always present; however, the phasic cells are those that detect changes. By these receptor cells, all the different sounds in the background are filtered out helping you focus on one thing.
2) The eyes: Your sight is completely dependent upon light. The light particles enter through the eye and then they are projected onto the back of the eyeball (i.e. the retina). Upon hitting the eyeball, there is the optic nerve which conducts impulses from the eyeball to the brain.
One amazing fact about the eyesight is that everyone has a blind spot. In spite of that, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta`ala has made the eyesight in such a way that the blind spot gets completely blurred out.
3) The nose: Different particles in the air attach to the receptor cells inside the nose. Thus, it sends the message to the brain. The sense of smelling is completely based off of how you were raised. If you grew up smelling a certain aroma, you will be used to it whereas someone else may find this aroma to be very disturbing, such as the smell of musk when a Muslim meets a non-muslim.
4) The tongue: The tongue functions similar to the nose. One fact to point out concerning the tongue is the way babies are always putting objects into the mouth and continuously drooling. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta`ala`s wisdom behind this is that the tongue consists of very sensitive receptor cells. Therefore, when babies put objects into their mouths, they tend to learn much more about the object as compared to simply holding it in your hands. At the same time, there are certain enzymes in the saliva that fight off the bacteria from the object. This is also why babies drool excessively.
5) Touch: This also functions in the same way as the nose and the tongue. The extraordinary factor in the sense of touching is when something touches the skin, not only does it send a message to the brain but it also inhibits the message of the cells around it. This comes out to be extremely useful because now the brain has a much sharper idea on where the object is located on the body.
These were just a few amazing factors regarding the five senses. Relating back to the brain, it generally has three levels of control over the body:
- 1)Voluntary (such as your hands, feet, etc.)
- 2)Involuntary (such as your heart, intestines, etc.) There is a lot of wisdom behind Allah Subhanahu wa Ta`ala keeping these actions involuntary. You can just imagine what would happen to an infant if he was obliged to control his heart from the moment he was born. They would surely not be able to do so.
- 3)Voluntary and involuntary. This is something that you can control but you don’t have to such as the lungs. When we breathe, we are actually contracting and pushing down on the muscle called the “diphragm”. This increases the space in the rib cage for the air pressure that goes into the lungs and as a result, the chest expands. When the muscles are relaxed, they go up and push down onto the lungs and that is how the air comes out.
This is truly amazing. If we were obliged to think about every action that we were doing, our whole life would go into just working the human body. We would never be able to concentrate or do anything else.
However, there are times when the nervous system won`t have enough time to send a message to the brain. Hence, it ends up sending the message to the spinal cord. For example, if you accidently step on a needle, you will automatically lift your foot up. It doesn’t stop there. Your left foot also gets straightened out and your arms go into such a position that will help you maintain your balance. All of this takes place before the brain even realizes that you stepped on something. If the message had been sent to the brain, it would’ve taken too long for your limbs to respond. By that time, the needle would’ve made its way pretty deep into your foot. From this we realize the miracles and bounties Allah Subhanahu wa Ta`ala has instilled justwithin us. Forget about our surroundings. We should take heed from this and obey the commandments of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta`ala in response to the blessings Allah Subhanahu wa Ta`ala has given us.
Written by: AbdulMannan Nizami
Student Darul Iftaa