I’m going to be posting something interesting about the Qur’ān every day during Ramaḍān, the month the Qur’ān was revealed.
In Sūrat al-Baqarah, the second chapter of the Qur’ān, the following verses exist:
“Those who have disbelieved – it is equal to them whether you warn them or warn them not – they will not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their ears, and over their eyes is a covering.” (2:7-8)
The first verse quoted reveals that Islām supports freedom of conscious and not violent subjugation of your beliefs upon others, as some terrorist groups acting in the name of Islām in contemporary times are doing. It clearly explains that it’s equal to some non-believers whether you warn them or not, and by implication explains that your duty as a Muslim is only to spread the message and leave it at that.
This is in accordance with many centuries of Islāmic history in which Sūfī saints (Islāmic mystics) as well as merchants peacefully preached the message of Islām and how one may develop spirituality through it, and spread Islām this way in countries like India and Indonesia.
In the second verse quoted, the words ‘hearts’ (قلوب) and ‘eyes’ (ابصار) are said in the plural form, while the word ‘hearing’ (سمع) is in the singular and the actual word for ‘ears’ is not used. This indicates that everyone may have a different sort of disposition (which is one meaning for ‘qalb’ in Arabic) or understanding (a meaning for ‘basr’ in Arabic) but everyone hears the message the same.
In addition, the word hearts comes first, then hearing (ears), and then eyes. This is in accordance with fetal embryonic development, in which the heart develops first and then the ears become functional and finally the eyes last (http://www.cpmc.org/services/pregnancy/information/fetal_development.html).