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  • Sri Lanka MPs hurl 'chilli powder' and chairs in fresh chaosLegislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashes
    Legislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashes
    and  in Colombo Fri 16 Nov 2018 10.28 GMTLast modified on Fri 16 Nov 2018 14.12 GMT Read More...
  • Sri Lanka MPs pass no-confidence vote against new prime minister
    Lawmakers show their support for Sri Lanka's ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during a parliamentary session in Colombo on November 14, 2018. Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN)Sri Lankan lawmakers have passed a no-confidence motion against the country's new Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, declaring his appointment "void and invalid" amid raucous scenes in the country's Parliament. Supporters of Rajapaksa refused to recognize the vote as legitimate, plunging the country deeper into crisis, as fears grow that the political dispute could spill into wider instability. The move follows the shock decision last month by President...
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  • Pandemonium in Sri Lankan parliament as MPs hurl books at speaker
    Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters throw books, chilli paste and water bottles at speaker to disrupt second confidence vote.

    Sri Lanka's parliament descended into chaos for a second day on Friday as legislators supporting newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa threw books, chilli paste and water bottles at the speaker to try to disrupt a second no-confidence motion.

    The vote went ahead anyway and for a second time, legislators turned against Rajapaksa and his new government, possibly opening the way for the return of Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister.

    Wickremesinghe was removed by President Maithripala Sirisena late last month and replaced with Rajapaksa, plunging the country into a constitutional crisis.
    WATCH: Chaos in Sri Lanka parliament as MPs exchange blows (1:53)

    "We have the...
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    පාර්ලිමේන්තුව විසිරුවමින් ජනාධිපතිවරයා නිකුත් කළ ගැසට් නිවේදනය දෙසැම්බර් 18 තෙක් තාවකාලික අත්හිටුවමින් ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණ අද (13) අතුරු තහනම් නියෝගයක් නිකුත් කළේය. ජනාධිපතිවරයාගේ ගැසට්ටුව අවලංගු කරන ලෙස ඉල්ලා ගොනු කළ පෙත්සම් කිහිපයක් විභාගයට ගැනීමට අවසර දෙමිනි. අගවිනිසුරුවරයා ඇතුළු ත්‍රිපුද්ගල විනිසුරු මඩුල්ලක් ඉදිරියේ...
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  • SC stays proclamation dissolving parliament
    The Supreme Court today issued an interim order till December 7 staying the proclamation issued by President Maithripala Sirisena to dissolve parliament. The three-Judge bench of the Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petitions which sought the court order against the President dissolving parliament. (Shehan Chamika Silva)
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/SC-stays-proclamation-dissolving-parliament--158295.html
    Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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    TheVirtues of Jumu’ah (3min read) Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “Friday is the best of days. It was on this day that Hadrat Aadam alayhis salaam was created, it was on this day that he was granted entry into jannah, it was on this day that he was removed from jannah (which became the cause for man’s existence in this universe, and which is a great blessing), and the day of resurrection will also take place on this day. ” (Sahih Muslim)   Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “There is such an hour on Friday that if any Muslim makes Dua in it, his Dua will definitely be accepted. ” (Bukhari, Muslim) Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “Of all the days, Friday is the most virtuous. It is on this day that the trumpet will be blown. Send abundant Durood upon me on Fridays because they are...
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    Not Everyone is What They Post to be   If you’re not careful, you’ll be fooled to think perfection exists. From perfect flawless selfies to wow holiday destinations….social media has people selectively glorifying their lives.. Posting their best food, clothes and moments to create the perception of an ideal life… Behind the scenes however, reality chronicles a very different picture. From holiday destinations to food, fun and laughter, don’t be bamboozled to believe everything you see and read.
    A depressed person will post the funniest jokes and quotes to block off their own woeful emotions. Spiritual posts don’t always come from the pious, perhaps they too are trying to find a connection with their Creator. A shy introvert can own the social media world from the privacy of their bedrooms. Cloaked by the safety of...
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  • Islaaminfo is Now on Whatsapp
    Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

    As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullaahi WaBarakaatuhu

    Hope you are keeping well. Islaaminfo is now on whatsapp. To recieve our messages via whatsapp, send a whatsapp to +2763 031 1472, save this number to your contacts, and we will add you onto the list, In sha Allah. This will be a broadcast list and not a group chat. We are also looking for brothers and sisters who can assist us to spread our messages on other groups and broadcast lists. If you are willing to assist us, please send us your name, country...
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  • Points to assist a declining marriage
      Points to assist a declining marriage   The Hadith questions the manhood of a person who beats his wife up during the day and derives pleasure from her during the night. Good marriages require patience, kindness, humility, sacrifice, empathy, love, understanding, forgiveness, and hard work. Following these basic principles should help any marriage to improve. The essence of them all can be summed up in one sentence: Always treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated.   Amidst busy schedules and tasks on the parts of both women and men, Muslim husbands and wives tend to forget the real reasons behind marriage and likewise the rights of each other. Subsequently, they deprive themselves, their mates and their children of the happiness and tranquility that is the bedrock of a successful family. This unbalanced vision towards...
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  • 11 Signs of Kibr (Pride/Arrogance)
    read time: 2 min The Prophet ﷺ said, “No one who has an atom’s-weight of Pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, what if a man likes his clothes and his shoes to look good?” He ﷺ said, “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty, Pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on people”(Sahih Muslim). Commentary: The word or the name for arrogance/pride in Arabic is ‘Kibr’. This is the inner quality of pride. The name of the outward quality is ‘Takabbur’ which means arrogance. Arrogance is a blameworthy characteristic which is the feature of Iblees and his followers in this world, those on whose hearts Allah Ta'ala has placed a seal.   11 Signs of a Person Having Pride/Arrogance:   ▪ He doesn’t like others to have what he has ▪ He cannot avoid anger ▪ He cannot avoid...
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Intelligence: Is it in the brain or the heart?

Featured Islamic Articles

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By Mohamed Ghilan

Contrary to what we know now, the “organ of intellect” was not always known to be the brain. In fact, before the matter was settled, there were two competing views regarding where the intellect is in the body: the brain or the heart. The most famous of those on one side was Aristotle who was pushing for a cardiocentric (heart-centered) model, which argued that the heart is in fact the organ of intelligence (Frampton, 1991). In his observations, Aristotle noticed that poking the brain of an injured person did not induce pain. He therefore reasoned that the brain is not engaged in perception of any kind. Had he known about pain receptors, I’m sure he would’ve done a few more tests.

In addition, Aristotle noticed that the body grows cold when the heart stops beating, which led him to assume that the heart produces the body’s heat. To protect the heart from overheating, Aristotle assigned the function of cooling the unremitting heart to the brain. Furthermore, by Aristotle’s time it was known that human voice is supplied by air exhaled from the lungs. Hence, he reasoned that the heart supplies words and they come out together with voice as they roll out of the chest cavity.

The cardiocentric model of Aristotle’s went against the encephalocentric (brain-centered) model of his teacher,Plato, who said that the “eyes, ears, tongue, hands, and feet act in accordance with the discernment of the brain”. Although Aristotle’s cardiocentric model survived well into the Middle Ages, it eventually gave way to the encephalocentric model when Galen (the father of experimental physiology) showed experimentally the vital role of the brain. For example, cutting through the medulla, which is right above the spinal cord in the brain, can stop respiration. Those words coming from the chest as proposed by Aristotle were shown by Galen to require an intact brain to be able to be produced (Wilson, 2003).

This cardiocentric vs. encephalocentric historical narrative is how it is typically presented in the first chapter of a typical college neuroscience textbook. The professor will discuss this matter in class in a way that usually elicits a few laughs and raised eyebrows from the students as they wonder how ridiculous Aristotle was to think that the heart was the organ of intelligence and how silly his reasons for pushing a cardiocentric model were. What’s more surprising is how powerful Aristotle’s influence was, given that medical students were taught until the 16th century that nerves, like all veins and arteries, originate from the heart.

After everyone has their laugh at poor old Aristotle, the lecture will proceed to build upon the encephalocentric model and address different models of brain function and how the brain is studied. The heart will be relegated to the human physiology class and discarded as just a muscle pump that gets the blood everywhere in the body, never to be considered again as having anything to do with the mind.

Surprisingly, Aristotle may not have been completely wrong in his belief that the heart is an organ of intelligence. While it most certainly is true that  the brain is the major relay center for cognitive function, it seems that the heart is not just a muscle pump, as many believe it to be.

Your heart has its own nervous system that is composed of approximately 40,000 neurons. These neurons are connected differently and more elaborately than elsewhere in the body and while they’re capable of detecting circulating chemicals sent from the brain and other organs, they operate independently in their own right. Having it’s own “mini-brain” is the reason why heart transplants work, given the fact that severed nerve connections do not reconnect in a different body. Furthermore, this elaborate nervous centre in the heart has more functions than simply regulating the electrical activities of the heart to keep it pumping.

Dr. J. Andrew Armour is a neurocardiologist that has shown some fascinating facts about the heart’s nervous system. You can review his book “Neurocardiology: Anatomical & Functional Principles” if you’re interested in the technical details. For example, while the heart can be influenced by messages sent from the brain, it doesn’t necessarily obey it all the time. Furthermore, the heart’s “mini-brain” can send its own signals to the brain and exercise its influence on it. To give one illustration: oxytocin, which is typically referred to as the “love hormone”, has been shown to be released not only from the brain, but also from the heart. Oxytocin is not only important for love and bonding, especially for pregnant and lactating mothers, but it also has roles in social behavior, wound healing, learning, memory, and empathy. In short, it’s one hormone that affects a very wide variety of important functions.

Now it’s time to hold on to your seat and try not to fall over, because if you thought these facts about the heart are surprising, the following will probably make your eyebrows fly off your face.

It’s generally assumed that learning and memory are a central nervous system function. Meaning, this is a function for that organ inside our heads. However, due to some bizarre, controversial and anomalous observations, there is a growing push towards a systemic memory mechanism. In other words, not to limit intelligence functions to the brain. This came from observations in organ transplant patients – more specifically, heart-transplant recipients.

In a study from 2002, researchers from the University of Arizona and University of Hawaii collaborated to publish a paper titled “Changes in Heart Transplant Recipients that Parallel the Personalities of their Donors”. Ten recipients who received heart or heart-lung transplants underwent evaluation through a series of open-ended interviews. These interviews involved the transplant recipients, recipient families or friends, and donor families or friends, in hospitals in various parts of the US. Several parallels were being investigated including, changes in food, music, art, sexual, recreational, and career preferences, as well as specific instances of perceptions of names and sensory experiences related to the donors.

The interview transcripts are beyond astounding to read. There was a case of a straight vegetarian health-consious donor that turned a militant gay McDonalds-loving recipient into a straight vegetarian health food seeking person after the transplant. Another case was of a young donor who was a violin musician that made the older classical-music-hating recipient all of a sudden want to listen to hours of it after surgery. A third case was of a young woman who was a “hell-raiser” all of a sudden picking up her donor’s love for music and poetry. She was even able to finish the words to his songs, which she never heard before. A funny one was the 47-year-old man receiving the heart of a 14-year-old girl injured in a gymnastics accident. His wife commented at how he changed after surgery, “Gus is a teenager. No doubt about that. He’s a kid – or at least he thinks he’s a kid. Even when we’re bowling, he yells and jumps around like a fool. He’s got this weird laugh now. It’s a girl’s laugh and we tell him that. He doesn’t care.”

This study is only an example of many others. Overall, the researchers here found that on average, the recipients picked up two to five parallels per case from the ones they investigated. This is a very high transfer of personality traits that immunosuppressant drugs, stress of surgery, and statistical coincidence cannot explain.

All of us at one point or another have experienced situations where we mentally worked it out, and despite the calculations that show it to be a good thing to be involved in, something was off and it just didn’t feel right. Most of the time we realize that our “strange feelings” feeling, or “gut-instinct” was confirmed.

The human body is much more mysterious than reductionist science would like us to believe. While Aristotle’s cardiocentric view lost the battle, it hasn’t necessarily lost the war. Despite the importance of the brain, the heart seems to be serving as an organ of intelligence in its own right. There is an interesting difference in definition that seems appropriate to point out here. Intelligence is defined as the capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and having the aptitude in grasping truths and meanings. It comes from the Latin meaning “faculty of understanding, comprehension, and discerning”. Cognition on the other hand is the act or process of knowing and perception, and it comes from the Latin meaning, “a getting to know; acquaintance; and knowledge”. The definition implies that intelligence is a higher faculty than cognition, and the question that poses itself in turn becomes:

Is the heart our organ of intelligence, while the brain is our organ of cognition?

Courtesy: Mohamed Ghilan

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