God’s gift: the Tongue and sense of Taste
The tongue is one of the organs God blessed us with. We use it in tasting, swallowing, and speaking.
The taste buds are sensory taste receptors. They are located on the upper surface of the tongue, in the soft palate, the upper esophagus, the cheek and the throat. They detect chemicals dissolved in saliva from food, separating the five elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and spicy. Then they send their sensory information through neurons to the gustatory center of the brain. And through the combination of these elements, we detect “flavors.”
God has it set up for us to be able to know the difference in tastes. Even when you were a child, you knew what you wanted to eat and what you didn’t like. The average person has around 10,000 taste buds in their mouth and throat, though some taste buds disappear as you age, so your appreciation of different flavors may change.
In addition to the art of tasting and detecting delicious flavors, the tongue is also instrumental in speech. People with defects of their tongue or lips will have trouble speaking. Even Moses knew that his speech was limited and he asked God to untie the knot from his tongue (20:27, 26:13). In fact, “tongue” is synonymous with “language” (14:4, 16:103,19:97, 26:195).
God refers to the tongue many times in the Quran, and many times we see that humans use their tongues for evil, not good.
[3:78] Among them are those who twist their tongues to imitate the scripture, that you may think it is from the scripture, when it is not from the scripture, and they claim that it is from GOD, when it is not from GOD. Thus, they utter lies and attribute them to GOD, knowingly.
[16:62] They ascribe to GOD what they dislike for themselves, then utter the lie with their own tongues that they are righteous! Without any doubt, they have incurred Hell, for they have rebelled.
[16:116] You shall not utter lies with your own tongues stating: "This is lawful, and this is unlawful," to fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD. Surely, those who fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD will never succeed.
[24:15] You fabricated it with your own tongues, and the rest of you repeated it with your mouths without proof. You thought it was simple, when it was, according to GOD, gross.
[60:2] Whenever they encounter you, they treat you as enemies, and hurt you with their hands and tongues. They want you to disbelieve.
And all of that evil will come back to haunt them on the Day of Judgment.
[24:24] The day will come when their own tongues, hands, and feet will bear witness to everything they had done.
So, God gave us a tongue and two lips (90:9). Let’s use them to say the good words and to spread the word of God and commemorate His name frequently.
[15:98-9] You shall sing the praises of your Lord, and be with the prostrators. And worship your Lord, in order to attain certainty.
[33:70] O you who believe, reverence GOD and utter only the correct utterances.
* * * * *
Psalms and Quran
[Psalm 1:1-3] Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
[Quran 14:24] Do you not see that GOD has cited the example of the good word as a good tree whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches are high in the sky?