upon their hearts-intellectual consciousness-locus of understanding

: Prepositional phrase coupled with Possessive phrase


First occurrence:

  • Allah the Exalted has sealed the wraps upon their hearts-intellectual consciousness and upon their faculty of listening - acoustic faculty.


  • And note, a veil extends upon their faculties of observation - optical faculty.

The prepositional phrase coupled with possessive phrases: "upon the hearts of them" and: "upon their faculty of listening" relate to the Verb. It signifies that the effect of the act denoted by the verb is upon their hearts and faculty of listening. And ultimate result is that a grave torment is in wait for them. This is their epilogue, the detail of outcome-inevitable consequence of what they did and earned in life. This is the concluding remark of Allah the Exalted that He has put the epilogue upon their hearts which symbolizes with sealing their self made wraps upon their hearts. The point in time for sealing an object is when it has since been wrapped in some covering, envelop.

Grand Qur’ān describes the human heart as the locus of understanding; and belief and disavowal is the result of knowledge and understanding. Wrapping the heart and sealing it signifies that henceforth no knowledge and understanding can enter into it to enlighten the person and to react rationally.

The concept embedded in the sentence: خَتَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ  becomes explicit when we see the recurrences of understudy grammatical unit: عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ  .

Similar information is given in Ayah 9:93 by the change of verb:  طَبَعَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ . The Root of this verb is "ط ب ع". Ibn Faris stated that it signifies the ending, the fate that a thing reaches to the point of conclusion; thereafter it is used to denote the nature, temper and disposition of man. Lane's Lexicon states its perception and meanings are, "sealing, stamping, imprinting, or impressing; impressing a thing with the engraving of the stamp; to brand or mark". It further quotes, "accord to Aboo-Is-hák the Grammarian, طَبْعٌ and خَتْمٌ both signify the covering over a thing, and securing oneself from a thing's entering it."

It thus means to conclude, end, close or finish a performance. It denotes sealing an object after accomplishment of job at the point of entry and exit in such manner that thenceforth nothing can enter therein or spill over. The effect of: طَبَعَ confirms the perception of this Root; it is: فَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ; thereby and thenceforth they know not - they gain not the knowledge.

Once this stage is reached they seize to logically comprehend the truth because their locus of understanding is wrapped and sealed. It is explicitly mentioned in Ayah 9:87 with the same phrases and same verb in passive construct: وَطُبِعَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ, having this state reached, the effect is:فَهُمْ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ thereby and thenceforth, they comprehend not.

The concept highlighted by both these verbs is simplistically portrayed by using a more common and general word:

  • Moreover, they said [to the Messengers whom they irritated]; "Our hearts are wrapped with coverings".

  • No, the fact is that Allah the Exalted has discarded them as condemned and cursed because of their persistent disavowal.

  • Thereby and thenceforth, what they believe is inadequate belief. [2:88]

The word: غُلْفٌ , singular: غِلَافٌ, is a well known thing, i.e. covering, or an envelop of a thing, like pillowcase. Their statement is negated by the fact that it is because Allah the Exalted has discarded them as condemned and cursed because of their persistent disavowal.

The point being emphasized is that not understanding and comprehending the warnings is volitional to remain absorbed in their self interests and purposely behaving like the slaves of the Plato's famous "allegory of cave". They feign that they listen while their hearts are busy in thinking about trivial matters. Why their hearts comprehend not the message? It is told:

 وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ

Studying the understudy grammatical unit in ayahs where it occurs will render the concept explicit which are reproduced below:



Progressive number of grammatical units: =   + 13