Chapter I

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The Heart Operation


Before going into the revelation of the heart operation of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallem) and the details thereof in the traditions, let us have some scientific look of the subject.

The human heart is a propulsive muscular organ of four chambers, double pump that receives blood into two of its upper chambers or atria and pumps the blood out from two of its lower chambers ventricles. From the right ventricle, the blood is pumped through the pulmonary artery toward the lungs where the carbon dioxide is released and the oxygen is picked up. From the lungs, the oxygen-enriched blood is carried by the pulmonary veins to the left atrium. From the left atrium, the blood passes into the left ventricle and is pumped out through the aorta to carry oxygen and nutrients to the tissues through out the body.

The heart is situated between the two lungs and slightly to the left of centre, behind the breastbone. It rests on the diaphragm, the muscular partition between chest and abdominal cavity, which we call ‘JAUF’ of the heart in Arabic.

In a man, the heart weighs 250 to 340 grams and in a woman, it weighs 230 to 280 grams. The normal heart rate is considered to be 72 beats per minutes. At this average rate, the heart contracts 4,320 times in an hour, 103,680 times in a day, 37, 843,000 times in an year, and 2,649, million and 24 thousand times in a life span of 70 years. The heart rate among the athletes may be as low as 45 times per minute.

The heart of a newly born baby may beat up to 150 times a minute but it settles down during the first year to about 100 times a minute.

The circulation of the blood through the lungs was first worked out by an Egyptian Ibn al Nafis (1210 CE.) (Encyclopedia Americana). The findings were recorded after carrying out various postmortem examinations. The Muslim physicians had worked out a new knowledge of determining quite few diseases and heart diseases by the nature of the pulse beat. This knowledge was known as ‘FAN AL NABDH’ and was taught to all physicians. This knowledge was transferred from Arabs to Indo-Pak. subcontinents where it is still retained. The physicians who are registered under Indian Medicine Board practicing Arab medicine (now known as Tib-e-Yunani) and also in Pakistan treat the patients by herbs. A medicine known as ‘Dawa al misk mautadil’ is successfully used in preliminary heart diseases.

However, the Europe was quite late in picking up the heart diseases. Though the postmortem examinations had begun in the 18th century and the structural defects of the heart were found but it was the German pathologist Rudolf Virchow, who in the middle of the 19th century solved most of the problems concerning thrombi and emboli (clots) that travel through the circulatory system and block veins or arteries in the lungs, brains, or other organs.

The era of heart surgery had begun after the World War II and the cardiovascular surgery emerged as a valuable method of treating heart disease. Dwight Harkin and Charles Bailey conducted one of the first heart operations in the late 1940’s. The first human heart transplant was performed by Christian Barnard in South Africa in 1967. (Encyclopedia Americana) The aforesaid Encyclopedia observed: “Prior to that time the heart was considered so delicate and sensitive that death was believed to be inevitable if the heart was injured.” It was that belief that made the non- Muslims and the orientalists deny the heart operation of the Prophet referred to in the Quranic revelation and elaborated in the various traditions. The Quran states:

....Did We not lay open thy chest? (94/1)

The Arabic inscription ‘A Lam’ means did We not. The word ‘lam’ is to negate the speech and changes present tense into the past tense. The word ‘Nashrah’, (Na) is pronoun meaning we, here this pronoun refers to Allah it is Why it is written in capital letter. ‘Sharah’ means laid open, it also means to expound, to describe, ‘Sharah’ is the root word from it is ‘Tashreeh’ meaning dissecting or anatomizing a body. (Lane’s Lexicon) The entire verse means: “O Muhammad! Did We not lay open thy chest.” How his chest was laid open, the details of this revelation are found in various famous and authentic books of traditions.

Allama Seouti in his Dur al Manthur and Khazin in his commentary expounding the aforesaid revelation said that his chest was ripped open (once) in his childhood (when he was of about 4 year’s of age) and referred to the tradition narrated by Anas bin Malik:

Gabriel came to the Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) while he was playing with playmates. He took hold of him and made him to lay (on his back) and ripped open his chest and took out the heart from it and then (he opened the heart) and extracted something that clung in it and said that was the part of Satan in thee. Then was washed it in a-gold basin with the water of zamzam (31), and closed it up, and restored it to its place. The boys came running to his foster mother i.e. nurse, and said verily Muhammad has been murdered. They all rushed towards him and found him changed in complexion. Anas said I myself saw the mark of stitching on his chest. (Muslim, Al Baihaqui).

Ibn Kathir in his book Al Bidaya wa al Nihaya (Vol.II) under the caption fostering of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) reported few traditions in which the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) narrated his own story.

In a narration from Abu Huraira. The Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) said: “...when his chest was torn open he did not feel any pain nor saw any blood.” (Imam Ahmad)

In a report from Al Baihaqui Anas bin Malik said: “The chest of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) was laid open below the throat to the cavity (close hollow to the last rib). His heart was taken out, it was washed in a gold basin and then filled with wisdom and faith and was restored to its place.

It is reported that his chest was laid open about four times but the reports on the opening of his chest during his childhood and before his bodily ascent to seven heavens are in successive chain.

Iman Bukhari (Kitab al Tauheed) in a narration about bodily ascent related from Anas bin Malik: “... so those angels did not talk to him till they carried him and placed him beside the well of zamzam. From among them Gabriel under took to cut open from his ‘Nahrehi’ (the upper most part of the chest which is the place of collar i.e. super-sternal notch) to labbetehi (the place where the memento of the locket is placed by the Arab woman i.e. xiphisternum) and took out his heart and then washed it with zamzam water and cleaned his hollow (containing heart) and then a gold basin containing a gold bowl full of belief and wisdom was brought and then closed it. He then ascended with him to the heaven of the world...”

lmam Muslim in a narration from Malik bin Sasa related from the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) “... Then he came to me and took me with him. Then a gold basin containing Zamzam water was brought to me ‘Fa shureha sadri’ and my chest was cut open to such (part). Qatada reported:

“and my chest was cut open to such and such (part)”.

Qatada said: I asked him (the narrator) who was with me that what he meant (by such and such part) he replied: It was opened up to the cavity of the upper abdomen, (then the Hadith continues) ‘Fastukhrija qalabi’ My heart was extracted and it was washed with Zamzam water and it was restored in its place filling it with faith and wisdom...”


The creation of the human is from the semen, which comes out of sexual inclination that changes into a blood clot and then into a lump etc. etc. This sexual inclination is the weak point in human being and the Satan insinuates evil into the heart of man. Or there is some DNA material in the heart which is the source of the sexual penchant and there on that point the devil prompts man to evil. The angel Gabriel extracted it and throwing it away said that it was the part of Satan in thee.

There can be no denial of DNA’S presence in the heart as it is peppered in 60 thousand billion specks in the human body, and God, the Creator and the Maker of the genetic code knows (see The Quran And The Genetics) which part of the body contains those genes which inspire sex, disobedience, love and hatred etc. we know that all these feelings aspire from the heart, that the heart is seat of knowledge as God revealed the Quran on the Prophet’s heart. (See Seat of Intelligence Heart or Mind or Both).

Those who have loved know how the waves of love rage in their hearts. There was a time in my life of about more than a year when I was utterly absorbed in the remembrance of Allah and my heart agitated with ardent divine love. The remembrance of Allah was dear to me from the loveliest thing in the world. It was then I realized that when an ordinary worshipper like me can have that ecstasy, certainly the Prophet’s heart was purified and blessed with overwhelming love of God. His relation with his wives was a matter of obligation. His wives i.e. the mothers of the believers were only the institution of learning of his private life for his people.

However, the angel Gabriel took out that clot of blood from the Prophet’s heart through which the Satan taints to sex.

Imam Razi in his ‘Al Tafsir Al Kabir’ explaining “Did we not lay open your chest’ said: “It is the same as narrated that Gabriel, (peace on him) came to him and ripping open his chest, extracted his heart and washed and purified it from incompliance (of the Lord). Then he filled in it the knowledge and faith and placed it back in his chest...It is not very far that clot of black blood which was washed away from the heart of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) attracts towards disobedience and refrains from dutifulness when it was removed from him he naturally became obedient and remote of all evils and this was a symbol of his being innocent...Allah doth what He will and ordereth what he want.”

Why the revelation under citation stated the chest and why it didn’t mention the heart? The place of inspiring the evil is bosom as God said: “Who whispereth in the bosoms of mankind.” The laying open of the chest also means the elimination of prompting of evil. How it was attained, the details thereof we have already seen in the previous traditions.

The Arabic word Sadar also means heart. Please see translation of M.Pickthall chapter CXIV. Also, see Elias ‘Modern Dictionary Arabic English. “Sadar: - Fuad, bosom, heart.”

“The heart is the place of wisdom and knowledge. The Satan intends it. The Satan comes to the chest, which is the fort for the heart, if he finds a way through it, he attacks and lands his forces in it and straitens the heart by sending forth in it suspicion, worries, sorrows, and avarice then the man neither gets any taste in his prayers nor any sweetness in Islam. If the enemy is routed by reciting “La haul wala quwata illa billah” the narrowing of the heart melts and the peace is attained.”

He was made to undergo another operation before his bodily ascent to seven heavens so that:


His blessed heart could sustain that angelic power which was to take him in a journey of millions of light years in few seconds. In space flights of this age the spacemen are put to regress check up to find the forbearance of their hearts.


He might be able to withstand the heavenly beings.


His heart was sanctified to forbear the sight of God (See ‘The Bodily Ascent of the Prophet. Sallallaho alaihi wasallem’)


Imam Qastalani in his ‘Al Muwahib al Ladunniah’ said: When the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) observed himself how his chest was cut open, he became fearless of all actions leading to death and that gave him power of faith, it strengthened his vision and his belief in God...His sanctification of his heart and filling it with faith and wisdom points to the belief of ‘Ahle Sunnah’ (The persons following. The sunni doctrine) that the place of knowledge, thinking and vision is the heart...” (Vol. II p.11)

Moses (alaihi al salam) had requested to attain this dignified rank as he said: “My Lord! Lay open my chest.” (20/25) But Allah favoured Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) with this great miracle.

It may be recalled that Moses had wished to be the prophet of this ‘Ummah’ (people). As he said: “Make me the prophet of that ‘Ummah’. “He was told, “Their prophet would be from among them.” Then he desired: “Make me one among that people.” (Anas-Abu Noaim) But God had destined for Jesus (alaihi al salam) on his second coming to be one of this ‘Ummah’ of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallem).

For the prophet Moses to wish to be one this Muslim nation and for Jesus, on his second coming to be one of this Muslim nation is the proof of the greatness of Nabi al Anbia Muhammad al Rasul Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) and that God has elevated this Muslim nation among all other people of the previous prophets. This elevation is not with worldly pomp and show but is related with grand rewards in the Hereafter.


The details of the revelation found in the aforesaid traditions about laying open of the chest of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) can be summarized as under:


The coming of the angels.


Making him to lay on his back.


Happening of this incidence in the age of four years and then finally in about 52 years of age.


Cutting open his chest from super sternal notch to xiphisterum.


Extraction of his heart and then opening of the heart itself.


Extraction of some clot of blood from the heart itself.


Washing of the heart in a gold basin from Zamzam water. (Zamzam in Arabic means ‘abundant water’. It was opened by angel Gabriel to save Hajira wife of prophet Abraham and his son Ismail who were thirsty to death. Now it is in a shape of well by the side of Kaaba. It is a mineral water and tastes slightly saline).


Closing up of the heart and restoring it in its place.


Stitching the opening of the chest.


Anas observation of the needle marks on his chest and his evidence to that effect.


Prophet observation of his own operation and his not feeling of any pain or flow of blood.


Running away of the playmates after seeing this incidence and their informing to his foster mother (Halima Sadia radiallah anha) that he was murdered.


Coming of the people on the place of incidence and they found him changed in complexion.


His quick recovery after every such incidence.

The above facts wonderfully constitute the details of a modern heart operation and 7th century brain could have never conceived this sketch so precisely. It was only the 20th century surgical development that proved all the aforesaid facts of the 7th century revelation. The needle marks on the chest of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) were a natural out come of his heart operations. The evidence of Anas (radiallah anho) who had been for ten years in the service of the Prophet is an undeniable truth, because in that pre-scientific age the conception of operating the human body and then sewing it did never exist.

In our present day, surgery (1989) the age of four years is considered to be quite fit for most of congenital heart operations.

Most of the orientalists, the followers of the Quadiani Pretender and the followers of Gulam Ahmad Pervez had denied the cutting open of the Prophet’s chest. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, a Bohri (Bohris are an offshoot of Shia community) did not write a word about it in his commentary of ‘Alam Nashrah’ 94/1. Whereas all other Muslim commentators never missed to report this great incident.

However, the science disproved the denials of the orientalists and demonstrated the possibility of these operations. Those who deny the miracles believe God to be incompetent of doing all things but when science proves a fact all believe in it. To them man is more competent than God. To such men Hell is their permanent abode.

The painless heart operation of the Prophet (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) in those pre-scientific ages definitely pointed to the maximum progress, which our medical science would achieve in future.

The eminence of this miraculous heart operation of the Apostle of Allah (sallallaho alaihi wasallem) will ever gleam in respect to the time because it could never have been deemed of in those pre-scientific days, then it was conducted in a short span of time and his immediate recovery thereafter it.