The first reported case of Expressive aphasia-Sa'mri- "لا مساس no touching"


The Grand Qur'aan, after informing that every animal and bird having distinct feature for classification, who flies with his two wings are but species in the likings of us, has this for our information:

Some species of birds have numerous parallels with Human species in relation to its peculiar feature, that is speech. I do not know whether songbirds get stroke causing Expressive aphasia, but it certainly is a relevant matter of concern for Humans. The term Expressive aphasia ordinarily takes us only to learned Paul Broca [1824-80] and his patient "Tan", so named because that is all he could say.

However, this is not the whole truth. "Tan" is not the first person who suffered Expressive aphasia. The most authentic history record, Grand Qur'aan names the first person who suffered Expressive aphasia as "Sa'mri", a person of Bani Iesra'eel  who could say only "لا مساس no touching" later in his life. And the first Man who knew the art of assessment of aphasia and other symbolic manipulation deficits perhaps is Syedna Mūsā alai'his'slaam.

Allah the Exalted had conveyed and promised to the humanity in this simple and easy to comprehend manner:

Whatever Allah the Exalted will show to human eye, it will seem exactly as is verbally mirrored in the statements of Qur'aan. The episode of sculpting of a Calf  by Sa'mri by melting the gold and silver ornaments of some people of Bani Iesra'eel will picturesquely portray as to what Expressive aphasia is; simultaneously conveying a strong message to believers to avoid extremely deviational conduct.

The background information about the incident of crafting of famous Golden Calf is that Mūsā alai'his'slaam left his nation earlier than appointed day for the appointed location for conversation with Allah the Exalted, the Designer of Language and speech mechanism. He left earlier, over confident that his nation will keep following his dictates in his absence. This confidence in his nation caused him embarrassment when he was informed what has happened in his hastened absence.

This had happened in his absence:

Mūsā [alai'his'slaam] admonished them on betrayal of promise [7:150; 20:86]. A group of people submitted explanation:

This group of people; who were otherwise of better recognition in Nation since they had been entrusted precious belongings, are trying transfer the entire blame upon the other group and Sa'mri. Moreover, they tried to absolve themselves of their guilt by taking refuge in having been deceptively fascinated by the sound producing feature of golden calf, but not volitionally. Their plea of innocent victims was rebutted by confronting them simple point of common sense:

There is no denying that shrewd, crafty and cunning persons have been misleading and misguiding people, since their majority do not apply common sense what to say of reflecting with reason and logic. Such shrewd persons are usually aware of the weakness, desires and passions of other people, and quite conveniently deceive them. Sa'mri exploited their old passion which they had expressed while crossing a locality of polytheists-idol worshippers:

Sa'mri not only satisfied their passion, but also fascinated them with his craftsmanship of producing buzzy-sound in effigy. The best way to get people out of fascination and enable them reflect on simple realities is to confront them with the truth Bani Iesraa'eel of that time, after listening plain and simple fact, had accepted their folly and stupidity, and repented. Allah the Exalted accepted their repentance and exonerated them, except Sa'mri who did not repent.

We skip here some details about the Episode. Thereafter, Sa'mri the main character of incident was questioned:

It should be noted that the answer is quoted verbatim. The verbal answer of Sa'mri in relation to what people had explained is lacking coherence and sense, exhibiting his difficulty in expressing himself about the sequence of happenings like collection of ornaments, melting and sculpting. He is not able to verbally convey a meaningful thought which could conveniently be perceived by the listeners.

Ignoring conjectural gossips of both Muslim and Jew scholars, please read the response of Mūsā [علیہ السلام] quoted verbatim in the above Ayah.  He did not administer or award him a punishment. The Subjunctive Particle and verbal sentence is the Subject of Verb Like Particle that emphasizes the certainty of the following predicate about its subject. Verb    is in Subjunctive Mood that denotes a future possibility, probability. relates to the predicate and the circumstantial clause. This future happening quoted in the Subject of the sentence was predicted to take place for him and then it will remain his circumstantial state throughout life.

Mūsā [علیہ السلام] seems to have assessed his stage of Expressive aphasia and predicted that in his future life he will be in the state wherein he might be able only to say ""-"No touching". It might be a puzzle even for the Experts of the level of learned Paul Broca that how Mūsā [علیہ السلام] adjudged that Sa'mri will be able to utter only "" in his life.

It is evident in the Episode that Sa'mri was perfectly alright in his speech before he took away the jewellery, ornaments. What could have caused him develop this state? He had exhibited craftsmanship of a goldsmith who crafted a hollow body of a calf, such that the air passing through pipes inside it could produce lowing sound. It is obvious that he did not have a proper workshop since they were in wilderness after Exodus from Egypt. Heat, fumes or toxic effect of some chemical he used for melting and molding the scrap-gold to craft Calf effigy seems to have caused him stroke.

Sa'mri had in fact befooled and made mockery of entire nation of Bani Iesra'eel causing frustration and embarrassment to Ha'roon [علیہ السلام] and Mūsā [علیہ السلام]. It was, however, a temporary phase since the entire nation, following the word of Mūsā [علیہ السلام], cursed their selves feeling ashamed, repented and sought forgiveness. Allah the Exalted exonerated and forgave them all.

It was Sa'mri who became the permanent victim of his own deceptive craftsmanship of mocking the otherwise quite intelligent nation of Bani Iesra'eel, merely through lowing sound emitting calf effigy. Like his masterpiece production Golden Calf, he was to utter only one sound throughout rest of his life. He met the fate in the worldly life that was prescribed for those who did not repent:


It is interesting to note that speech deficit finds particular mention in the history of  Mūsā [علیہ السلام] portrayed in Qur'aan. Moreover, he seems quite sensitive about it which perhaps made him an expert in the art of assessment of Expressive aphasia and other symbolic manipulation deficits. Let us see how he complains and explains his speech related problem:

The above statements of Mūsā [علیہ السلام] quoted verbatim in Grand Qur'aan are reflective of the fact that he was aware of the cause of his speech problem and its effect. He used the verb: Imperative/Prayer, which denotes untying, to dissolve, liquefy something. Moreover, he specifically mentioned the object needing liquefaction: which denotes a knot, to tie a cord, or fibrous bond. He also mentioned its effect upon the listener which relates to comprehension.

He complains in this context about his Chest that it feels or acts: constricts, narrows. Further he reported that his Tongue does not: . It is Form-VII Verb and is intransitive, that is, it will not take an object, because it has an inherent object already which is its Subject. Therefore, it has passive meanings. The basic perception infolded in its Root "ط  ل ق" is "to become loosed from bond" [Lane Lexicon-طلق]; to be free from: knot, bond.  

The effect of the problems he mentioned with regard to his speech mechanism was that he is less fluent with regard to verbal arguing as compared to his brother Ha'roon [علیہ السلام].

He was assured about resolving of his problem before reaching Egypt for conveying message to Pharaoh and others which we observe that only he remained involved in verbal arguments and speeches instead of Ha'roon [علیہ السلام].

The experts in the field of  brain and speech related mechanisms might find it as an honour for them that their point of study, interest and concern is not neglected and finds mention in the Grand Qur'aan.


           Main Page/Index