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Hearts came to throats ahzaab meaning

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalamu alikum ramzan greeting what this lines refers to pl explain me this , it means physical heart else or mind (kalbh) 33 sura ahzab 10 Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you and behold the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah!


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Hearts came to throats ahzaab meaning

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab Verses 9-13:

9 O ye who believe! Remember the Grace of Allah (bestowed) on you when there came down on you hosts (to overwhelm you): but We sent against them a hurricane and force that ye saw not. But Allah sees (clearly) all that ye do.

10 Behold! They (the enemy) came on you from above you and from below you and behold the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah!

11 In that situation were the believers tried: they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking.

12 And behold! the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!"

13 Behold! A party among them said: "Ye men of Yathrib! Ye cannot stand (the attack)! Therefore go back!" and a band of them ask for leave of the Prophet saying "Truly our houses are bare and exposed" though they were not exposed: they intended nothing but to run away.


The above quoted phrase of Surah Ahzaab ‘and the hearts gaped up to the throats’ is what is known as a ‘kinaya’ of the Arabic language. It does not at all mean that the actual physical organ of the heart came up to the throats; but rather it is a phrase used to picturise in words the extreme state of fear the believers found themselves when faced by the enemies from all sides!


Such terms or phrases to describe an intense situation or conditions are used in almost every language, and the people who understand the language easily understand the idiom and the context in which it is used and what it means to declare.


For example:

  • when one sees something extremely beautiful, one may say ‘it took my breath away’!
  • when one hears an extremely evil or bad news, one may say ‘my heart sunk’!
  • when one is extremely tired or confused at something, one may say ‘my brain crashed’!
  • when one sees something extremely shocking, one may say ‘my heart missed a beat’!


These phrases do not mean that the thing one claims actually physically happened, but the phrase merely tries to picturise the extremity of the situation.


Similarly, during the Battle of Ahzaab, when all the enemies from all over the Arabian Peninsula combined their means and their resources and laid siege upon the city of Madinah and the believers, such was the extremity of the terror, dread, horror, fright, panic, and trepidation felt by the believers that Allah Subhanah picturises that state of extreme fear with the usage of the ‘kinaya’ ‘the hearts gaped up to the throats’.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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