Divine Speech | Intricate Word Choice #1 : Two Different Words for ‘Heart’

There are 2 words for ‘heart’ that are used in the Qur’an & both carries different meaning:

1. [Qalb] is the typical word for ‘heart’; it comes from the word [taqallub] which means to change because the heart is constantly changing / beating. Figuratively, our feelings & emotional states also change.

2. [Fu’ad] is not usually used in normal circumstances; it comes from [fa’ada] which means roasting. So this word is used to describe a heart that is on fire – when a heart is overwhelmed by any extreme emotion.

The Heart of the Mother of Musa a.s.

And the heart [fu’ad] of the mother of Musa became empty [from every thought, except the thought of Musa]. She was very near to disclose his (case, i.e. the child is her son), had We not strengthened her heart [qalb], so that she might remain as one of the believers. [Al-Qasas 28:10]

Both [qalb] & [fu’ad] are used in this Ayah. When the mother of Musa a.s. put her baby in the water & later saw him again in Fir’aun’s household, she was so excited that her heart became [fu’ad]. Any mother who sees her baby in the arm of someone else, their first impulsive reaction is that they would immediately rush towards her baby without even realizing it.

In this Ayah, Allah s.w.t. says Musa’s mother was so close in exposing her secret & the ONLY thing that stopped her & strengthened her heart was because of Allah’s intervention – notice that the word [qalb] is used at this point. It is Allah s.w.t. who calmed her [fu’ad] into [qalb] and the entire psychological transformation through Allah’s intervention is captured with just these 2 words. If we were to read the English translation, we would have missed out this gem.

All human beings will suffer emotionally traumatic experiences & sometimes we are convinced that we will never recover from it. But this Ayah teaches us that Allah s.w.t. can intervene & give us a peace of mind & heart; to let us heal so we can move on.

Fu’ad: “Sorry, I didn’t really mean it.”

Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart [fu’ad],
of each of those one will be questioned (by Allah).

[Al-Israa’ 17:36]

Here comes the scary part. Allah s.w.t. says that on Judgment Day, we will be questioned about what we heard, what we saw, as well as our heart [fu’ad]. Why does Allah s.w.t. mention the excited heart in this Ayah? Here is one of its benefits:

Imagine you’ve had a really bad day at work. You’ve got yelled at by your boss, you’re tired & stressed out. On top of that, on your way back home, you got stuck in traffic. For a really long time. When you finally got home… guess who gets to be the recipient of your bad mood? Your spouse. Later on, when you’ve calmed down, you say to your spouse: “Sorry, I had a really bad day. I didn’t mean what I said. What happened just then wasn’t me. That wasn’t my [qalb]. That was just my [fu’ad].”

Sometimes when we get really angry, we say things we don’t mean. When we’re excited, we do things that we shouldn’t have done. Then to justify what we did, we say things like:
“I get like that sometimes.”
“That wasn’t really me, it was just the hormones.”
“It was a difficult time, you can’t hold it against me.”

Does one think that they can give such an excuse on Judgment Day? Allah says in this Ayah that He s.w.t. will interrogate about our hearing, seeing & our [fu’ad]. There will be no excuses. Our “I didn’t really mean it” STILL got recorded & we will be asked about it.

So one of the important lessons of this Ayah is that we don’t get to blame our excited emotional state in order to justify our sins and bad behavior. We don’t get to say, “I was really scared, that’s why I lied.” “I was really angry, that’s why I hit you.” Not good enough. Our [fu’ad] will still be interrogated.

The placement of [Fu’ad] in this Ayah serves as a very strong reminder to us all. This is the precision & perfection of Kalamullah, subhanallah.

Fu’ad: The Good Kind!

Usually, at the beginning of our endeavour to serve the Deen, we get really enthusiastic like doing a da’wah project or helping out those who are in need. But over time, as weeks or months, or years pass by, we get totally burned out. In comparison to that, Rasulallah s.a.w. didn’t serve Islam part-time like we do. He s.a.w. was committed full-time yet his zeal, energy & enthusiasm to serve the Deen never burned out.

And those who disbelieve say: “Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once?”
Thus (it is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart [fu’ad] thereby…
[Al-Furqan 25:32]

Allah s.w.t. gave him s.a.w. a heart that always remains [fu’ad], through the Qur’an, to serve the Deen. So here’s the gem: If we want to have a passionate heart when it comes to our Deen, we need to have a strong relationship with the Qur’an – it is our fuel to keep our hearts going.

May Allah s.w.t. give us all a burning heart for the love of this Deen and serving this Deen.

Reference: Divine Speech Seminar by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan