|Teaching Islamic Ethics and Ethical Training: Benefiting From Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence|
|Published by Abdul Ghani|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2012 10:24|
Department of IRKHS International Islamic University Malaysia Malaysia
The development of good character in Islam is mostly a process of dealing with one’s emotions. It helps to build and support good emotions like mercy, love, generosity and courage and to fight and suppress negative emotions such as jealousy, anger, selfishness and cowardice. Character building would therefore, have much to do with patience and perseverance in controlling emotions leading to negative aspects and reinforcement of emotions leading to positive ethics. Manipulation of emotions leading to good ethics would also lead one to have a spiritually and psychologically healthy life. Modern research tells us that in management and industry, those who reinforce themselves with spiritual motivation and who are emotionally intelligent tend to attain a greater competitive edge over others who are not so inclined. The main aim of this research is to investigate the new area in modern psychology namely, emotional and spiritual intelligence to try to discover whether the new psychological approach and findings of positively studying human emotions can be of help in Islamic ethical training; this is of value because the development of good character in Islam is mostly a process of dealing with one’s emotions and with the emotions of others.
The teachings of Islamic ethics as a discipline in Islamic studies should not be restricted only to a theoretical or philosophical stance: Muslims must endure the actual practical application of the moral commandments if they hope to build their character and to achieve psycho-rational/spiritual well-being which is crucial in the structured scheme of sustainable development. Thus, teaching ethics and ethical training‟s prime objective is to concentrate on the actual practical applications of modern ethical problems, ethics that are more consonance with our contemporary time, such as balanced personality or character building which is related to the management of emotions and psycho-spiritual well-being and social skills. To do this the teachings of Islamic ethics and ethical training from a modern perspective would require the combination of Islamic ethics from its classical and ØËfÊ sources with the accepted contributions of modern Psychology. In fact scholars such as al-MuÍÉsibī, al-Miskaywh, GhazzÉlī, and al-Balkhī were Islamic psychologists who did their best to spiritually invigorate their disciples and present the proper methods of refining character. When we combine their principles and spiritual elevation with modern social disciplines, taking the Holy Qur'an and the character of the Prophet as a role model, we can help people solve their modern personal and social problems. Virtue Ethics, Character Building and Self Purification ÑIlm al-akhlāq (ethics or moral philosophy) is the science that deals with the state of the soul, i.e., character (khuluq) becomes the object of its enquiry (Mohd. Nasir Omar, 2003). In dealing with human character there are two approaches to ethics namely, virtue ethics and action ethics. In virtue ethics, consideration is given to the moral agent, one‟s character and dispositions instead of one‟s actions. Virtue ethics include ethics as a way of life dealing with purifying the soul to develop and improve man‟s character. This self-introspection approach is the very nature of virtue ethics. Therefore, virtue or spiritual ethics, known as the science of the soul deals with self-knowledge, the inner dimension of the human being for the purpose of moulding human personality or character (Zarrouq, 1998) Virtue Ethics is a well detailed and holistic process that enables the person to better understand the structure of its self and its soul and the connection of its soul to God. It embraces psychology, spirituality, metaphysics and ontology and it is grounded in the teachings of the Qur'an and Hadith.
The nature of man and the psychology of his soul: the true structures of man's personality/ego, exposing a profound reality that extends beyond our mere perception of it. Identical with ØËfi psychology it addresses the psychological as well as spiritual issues and facilitates the ultimate goal in which the individual can proceed down a path of self realization and spiritual elevation. ØËfÊ psychology provides the means to discover who we are, where we are going and what the purpose of our life's journey is. ØËfi psychology is concerned not only with this life and the function of the self within it, but also in the Hereafter. They are concerned with both the descending and ascending journey of the soul, and evoke continuing knowledge of before and after the ego development, and methods of achieving the ultimate state of higher consciousness that the human being is capable of achieving. This is after all, what real self-transformation is all about - the journey from the self to the Ultimate Self which is the doorway to God-Consciousness (ØËfÊ Psychology Journal 1998). Teaching ethics and ethical training primarily aims for self transformation which requires self purification. Islam stresses on the importance of self-purification by making it as an obligation upon each individual Muslim to seek knowledge and at the same time having good character. It is an ongoing process through purifying the inner-selves with God's guidance and wisdom. This is the most important task of the Prophet (pbuh) as divine revelation, to equipped with noble character the Muslim Ummah become strong and able to encounter challenges (al-AnbiyÉÒ 21:107, al-Kahf 18:110, al-FatÍ 49:2, ÙÉ hÉ 20:1-2, al-NisÉ 4:64). Islamic morality is based on faith in AllÉh, derived from Revelation and exemplified throughout the life span of the last Prophet. (ÙÉ hÉ 20:1-2; al-Balad 90:1-2; al-AnbiyÉÒ 21:107; al-NaÍl (16):44). His teachings emphasized that the noble character requires self purification. This activity of the soul determines the quality of Islamic morality which requires both internal and external religious virtues. It is the man‟s inner relationship with God that not only serves as foundation of morality but also it gives meaning and value to man's outward expression of faith and the performance of his religious obligation. Man‟s relationship with God is the basis of this faith, the spirit that gives it life. Purification of the soul is a prerequisite for closeness to God. Indeed, the whole point of morality and spirituality is to purify one's soul. It is only then that the soul starts shining, receiving and reflecting utmost radiation and light from God. If we want to meet God, Who is the Most Pure, then we need to achieve purity. One of the main tasks of all the Prophets (a.s.) and a major aim behind all their endeavours in teaching the divine message was to help people to purify their souls.
Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence is one of the emerging socio-psychological sciences that are gaining popularity and importance in almost all the fields. It is also the study of the emotions from their arousal to the decision taken during that particular state. Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in us and in our relationships with others. There are dimensions of emotional and social intelligence, such as, intra-personal, interpersonal, adaptability, stress management, and general mood. These dimensions are under four general abilities: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, and relationship management. Embodied with universal values, emotional intelligence is an umbrella concept of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that help an individual to become more efficient in coping with environmental demands and pressure (Goleman, 1997). These factors directly affect the level of success satisfaction, ability to cope with stress, level of self esteem, perception of control and overall level of mental and emotional well being (Rajni et al., 2005). It is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and insight of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection and influence. An individual with high emotional intelligence has the ability to get along with people and situation with a positive attitude towards all aspects of life and the ability to command respect by building relationships. Emotional intelligence refers to a set of acquired skills and competencies that predict positive outcomes at home with family, at work and in the society (Akinboye, 2003). Emotionally intelligent individuals are often described as well adjusted, warm, genuine, persistent, and optimistic. It is also reported that emotional intelligence is the strongest indicators of human success. The inability to manage emotions has been identified as one of the cause of stress and consequently conflict especially when it involves interpersonal or group interaction and inter-relationship.
Emotional Intelligence with the new psychological approach and findings of positively studying human emotions can be of help in Islamic ethical training; this is of value because the development of good character in Islam is mostly a process of dealing with one‟s emotions and with the emotions of others. Certain aspects of Modern Psychology, such as, Emotional Intelligence to some extent can serve as effective methods of management of emotions that steer to self-development and interpersonal relationship skills in the scheme of personality or character building. Emotional intelligence is considered to be relatively new discovery of western psychology, however, this so-called discovery has been, and from a different world-view, one of the major pillars of Islam and is referred to as akhlÉq - one of the important aspects to developing a healthy normal personality. A very famous ÍadÊth of the Prophet (pbuh) states that: The Prophet has only been sent as a messenger to perfect and complete the multifaceted aspects of good character (narrated by Imam MÉlik, MuwaÏÏÉ‟). Thus, when we talk about Islamic ethics we are talking about a vast area of behaviour that cannot be constricted into a concept such as, Emotional Intelligence. AbË ÑAlÉ MaudËdÊ brilliantly differentiated between human moral and ethical values that are universally accepted and those morals and values that have been initiated by Islam by harnessing them to service of right cause and higher purpose, i.e., for the sake of AllÉh. Patience, generosity, honesty, sincerity, diligent and alike are moral principles that are valued in every culture. But when these values are fortified by spiritual dimension of Islam, they not only become stronger and broader in its scope but they also become ritually directed (MaudËdÊ, 1984). One of the main reasons for the greatness of Islamic morals is that it instils in the Muslim‟s heart that whatever deprivation he incurs while pursuing Islamic good character is for the sake of his Creator, and the firm belief that there is another life after this life in which he will certainly be rewarded for his good character. Thus, a Muslim, is the one who practises, understands the reality of trouble in this world and uses it to purify the self to be closer to AllÉh and draws strength and support from AllÉh alone. Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence in Islam Emotional Intelligence due to its secular approach has been criticized for being inadequate in dealing with questions related to meaning and values in life such as happiness and satisfaction.i Zohar and Ian Marshall are prominent figures who invented new intelligent phase call Emotional and Spiritual Quotient (ESQ) in early 20th Century. Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall as quoted in Augustian (2005) defined spiritual quotient as the intelligence to define essence or values, the intelligence to put our actions and our lives into a wider and richer meaning. It is the intelligence to judge whether one‟s action or way of life is more meaningful than other‟s is. ESQ is the foundation required to make IQ and EQ function effectively and it is the highest form of intelligence. In ESQ, the spiritual intelligence is the ability to lend a spiritual meaning to one‟s way of thinking and behaving, as a way of performing God‟s characteristics and our service to God (Augustian, 2005). ESQ acts as a synergy of emotional worldly interests and spiritual interests that brings happiness and peace in a man‟s soul and his daily endeavours. Islam as a way of life and a worldview with the frame-work islām, īmān and iÍsān builds one‟s ESQ. It provides a systematic mechanism character building and managing emotions and spirituality based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah as life principle of the relationship between humans and God. The character of God as manifested in His names and attributes is the ultimate key of the five pillars of Islam, the six pillars of ÊmÉn and iÍsÉn (Agustian, 2010). Augustian (2010) leads the reader in their journey towards spiritual enlightenment by first showing us ways to get rid ourselves of the shackles that seal the heart and repress our inner voices allowing the fiÏrah to shine through and hence enabling us to act with iÍsÉn. When the mind is purified then it will be free from all the worldly shackles. We are then ready for our mental building with the Six principles based on the Six Pillars of ÊmÉn. Equipped with the principles, we will start to form emotional intelligence based on spirituality, and in harmony with our inner conscience. Our emotional competence will be heightened as we reach for the fiÏrah in the spiritual dimension. The third part of the journey consists or three physical steps towards personal strength, which are; (1) Mission Statement, followed by (2) Character building and finally (3) Self Control. These steps help us to internalize the spiritual significance of the ShahÉdah, the Five Daily Prayers sand Fasting. The final part of the journey is meant to shape and train us socially through ZakÉt and ×ajj. ZakÉt symbolizes collaboration while Hajj represents total action (Augustian, 2010). Perhaps, the closest term to the concept of Spiritual intelligence is the spiritual heart i.e., the qalb -a spiritual entity which is the corner stone of human personality. Al-GhazÉlÊ prefers to use the term qalb for the self (nafs) in all his religious/moral writings.
In Sufi literature, the qalb is often defined as a divine subtlety attached to physical organ of the heart, and it is that subtlety which holds the truth within man. This spiritual endowment is the seat of knowledge in human and is the substance of their real essence. Without it, humans would not be different from other animals. Though it is a single spiritual substance, it is given different names, operating somewhat like attributes of that spiritual substance, and acting according to the function it performs and the resulting state of its activity. Thus, the terms ‘aql, nafs, qalb and rËh as mentioned directly and indirectly in the Holy Qur'an, meaning respectively intellect, soul, heart and spirit, all refer to this single spiritual substance in man (al-GhazÉlÊ, 1972) The heart (qalb) has been described as the battle ground of the intellect (aql) and the self (naf). The heart (qalb) also is the originator of all our feelings, emotions appetites and desire. On the other hand, the heart that has been purified is able to understand and grasp the doctrinal matters (al-IÑtiqÉdiyah), to gain hidÉyah, taqwÉ, raÍmah and be able to be contemplative in nature. (MaÑan Zidayat, 1986). Man with intelligence of the heart potential to receive and accept revelation, inspiration from Allah. Besides, the main criterion of heart intelligence is the response that is intuitive ilÉhiyyah (al-ÙabaÏabai, 1991). The heart is perceived as the centre of cognizance as illustrated in the Quran which says: Have they not travelled in the land so that they should have heart with which to understand, or eras with which to hear? For surely, it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts which are in the breast. (22:46) The salient qualities of ESQ are characterised by the personality of ulu-al-bab (those who possess sound intellect and correct understandings) –are those who understand, reason and reflect over the meanings of things in their true nature. The quality of taqwÉ renders people of ulu-al-bab to have pure and uncontaminated intellect-the deep consciousness of the present and sovereignty of Allah makes the believers in constant control of his/her thought, and action or behaviour that would incur the displeasure or wrath (3:190-194). Rumi perceived the heart, as a special inner insight, bringing us into contact with aspects of reality other than those open to sense-perception and intellect. Intellect, according to him, only restrains the living heart of man and robs it of the invisible wealth that lies within. While admitting the superiority of intuitive intellect over rational, Iqbal said that “where thought grasps Reality piecemeal, intuition grasps it in its wholeness. One fixes its gaze on the temporal aspect of Reality; the other on the eternal. One slowly traverses, specifies and closes up the various regions of the whole for exclusive observation; the other is present enjoyment of the whole of Reality”. (Iqbal, 1982) Abdul Mujib (2002) has summarised that there are five types of the ESQ. First is intellectual intelligence, this type related to the acceptance of knowledge of God (intuitive-ilÉhiyyah) such as revelation (for Prophets) and inspiration (for pious man). Characteristic of intuitive-ilÉhiyyah made the intellectual intelligence different from the rational thinking. Second is emotional intelligence, this is related to the ability in handling the nafs which are impulsive and aggressive. This will lead someone to act carefully, cautiously, calm, and patience when facing problems and be grateful when getting delights. Third is moral intelligence- this intelligence related to the relationship between man and universe that lead someone to act in a good manner until people around feel happy without having any bad feeling to him. Fourth is spiritual intelligence, this is a heart intelligence that related to inner qualities which beyond human thinking. The last one is religious intelligence; this is related to the relationship of God and religion. This intelligence guides someone to the right way to behave and act that lead to taqwÉ and ÊmÉn. ESQ and Psycho-spiritual health processes happen when the heart is gradually awakened and illumined by the awareness of knowledge of Allah. Only when the self recognizes the Ultimate Transcendent Reality as Divine Unity encompassing and sustaining the whole universe within absolute sovereignty and omnipotence- namely, tawhid- can human personality overcome and free itself from all kind of influences aliens to the real human self, namely it return to its original nature (fiÏrah). Belief in Allah generates deep emotions of love and fear or God‟s conscious (taqwÉ) in Him. This increasingly captures the domain of emotions that facilitate the process of growth of inner personality endowments and protects them from being corrupted by lower drives and passion. Love of Allah attributes positive value to all those virtues and deeds which are approved and appreciated by Allah, and the fear of Allah attributes negative values to all traits and behaviour that are disliked and condemned by Allah. Combination of these two emotions (love and fear of Allah) leads to psycho-spiritual growth to its higher level (Amber Haq and Mohamed Yasien, 2009).
According to Islamic tradition, the heart occupies the supreme autonomous status in the scheme of human personality: it controls and rules over all the regions of the brain and the whole nervous system. The heart is deemed to be master and the key entity that regulates all sorts of behavioral functions and drives the entire course of personality development both in its positive and negative directions (Amber Haq and Mohamed Yasien, 2009). In this regards, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “within man there is a fleshly fragment and when it is corrupted the body is corrupt, and when it is sound the body is sound (narrated by Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 47). On the basis of this ×adÊth the Muslim scholars observe that if the heart becomes sick and corrupt, the growth of all human potentials is lumped and the personality turns towards a regressive course of ruination and self-destruction. Dimensions of ESQ Spiritual intelligence integrates all the dimensions of human life and guides them to live in a meaningful life. Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence is about character building, self-purification, self-control, consciousness of God (taqwÉ), discipline (tazkiyah and riyÉÌah), spiritual maturity, spiritual commitment and close relationship with God which generate personal and social strength guided by the Qur'an and exemplified by the Prophet (pbuh). This article shall limit its scope of discussion on few aspects highlighted as follows:
a. Self Control or emotions
Teaching ethics and ethical training basically focuses on character building. Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive in an individual and if a person behaves appropriately, it shows that he possesses good character and vice-versa. Spiritual Intelligence is about refinement of character which relies on the ability to control self. Achieving self-control requires spiritual maturity and discipline (tazkiyat and riyÉÌah) which teaches the faithful to delay gratification. A spiritually and psychologically mature person can control himself in order to delay immediate gratification. This is done as a postponement, so that the person may ascend to a higher level of spiritual, intellectual or even physical gratification (al-InshiraÍ, 94:5-6). Attaining this level requires knowledge of the self, this knowledge is bestowed by God and realization of the self ultimately directs one to the realization of God. Miskawayh, al-GhazzÉlÊ and many others perceived the necessary relationship between knowledge of the self and formation of noble character (Mohd. Nasir Omar, 2003). The Prophet said: “whoever knows his own self, knows God”. To put our emotion under control requires a kind of knowledge of how to control the rival power of the inner-self (Miskawayh, 1968).
b. Self control and Personal Strength
The control of the rival power of the inner-self generates personal strength. It is a set of noble character traits that is a crucial aspect of emotional and spiritual intelligence. Personal strength generates solid and clear principles of life toward facing our very challenging environment. A person with personal strength is able to choose the responses or the reactions that best suit the principles of their life (Agustian, 2005). Self-control is the basic essential for human existence. It is just one aspect of the concept of patience. Patience is the key to emotional intelligence; the concept of self-control or patience is very broad and comprehensive. Patience develops people in many ways, such as allowing them to acquire superior morality, and offers them a beautiful and peaceful life that cannot be compared with the life of people who are far from the faith in Allah. In addition believers have been promised greatly increased blessings in the afterlife in return for their patience. Some of these fine and beautiful impacts of the concept of patience are experienced in this world and will be realized in the next life. (3: 146, 200, 2:155-157, 37:98-110) One of the major factors preventing people from acting intelligently is their impulsive thinking and behaviour brought about by impatience. Sudden anger or desire shuts down the mind and pushes people to act without thinking. In the same manner, such feelings as fear and irritation may prevent people from thinking logically and intelligently. People who do not have self-control or do not refine their character will fall victim to such emotion and thus, devoid or rather lack of intelligence (al-MaydÉnÊ, 1999). However, the believers who always remain patience, as Allah counsels them acquire great blessings one of which is intelligence. As a result, they do not suffer from sudden fear, nervousness, or emotional excess. This enables them to evaluate all events in a calm and self-possessed manner and thereby reach at the most intelligent conclusions and the most beneficial decisions (al-MaydÉnÊ, 1999). The human soul could be healthy or unhealthy in the same way that ones‟ body can be healthy or unhealthy. © Centre for Promoting Ideas, USA
When the soul is healthy, all its faculties will be tranquil without any psychological symptoms such as anger, panic, depression and other similar forms of sickness. Without emotional and spiritual intelligence there is no control of the rival power of the inner self which in turn develop into negative thought or faulty thinking leads to emotional pathological habits of anxiety, anger and sadness and the main reason behind the psychic disorders of the soul. (al-BalkhÊ, 1978).
c. Taqwa and Self awareness
Spiritual intelligence enables us to control the inner thought that generates human action and observable behaviour. The role of the inner faculty is not to agree with the destructive thoughts of the negative emotion but always to work for the transformation of it into a positive state (Badri, 2000). TaqwÉ develops self-awareness which is the cornerstone of Emotional and spiritual Intelligence. It involves observing oneself and recognizing feelings as they arise; seeing the links between thought, feelings and reactions; seeing the consequences of alternative choices; recognizing one‟s strength and weaknesses; and seeing oneself in a positive but realistic light (Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, 1972). In addition they also gain the ability to remain cognizant of feelings as they occur. Those who with greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives and can cope with others (Goleman, 1997). The power of self control that produces ability to manage emotions can handle feelings in a proper way. It also refers to mood management, which comprised of methods in managing feelings so that they are relevant to the current situation. In this manner, a person‟s anger is under control, adapting oneself to change, and taking responsibility for personal actions (Agustian, 2005). Those who have emotional and spiritual intelligence experience continuous positive moods and feelings that generate higher levels of satisfaction and well being in comparison to individuals who experience moods and such feelings as disappointment, depression and anger (al-Balkhī, 1984). Thus, people with emotional stability and clarified personality have the ability to adapt with the situation and develop a more enduring coping style. They use their emotions intelligently to guide their thinking and behaviour. With this ability people are more likely to deal with shortcomings (muÎÊbah) in the best possible way. Therefore, it actually brings calm, courage, confidence and optimism in ones‟ self (al-Baqarah, 2; 153). Similarly, those with emotional and spiritual intelligence are sure that they are not being burdened with more than they can bear ( (al-InshiraÍ, 94:1-2). This helps them develop a sense of optimism and hope and not to lose balance and give into despair. The elements of ESQ is characterized by the attitude of zuhd as described by Ahmad bin Hanbal when he was asked one day if someone owns one thousand dinar, can he still be a zahid? He replied yes, he can be still a zÉhid if he does not feel rejoice if the money increases and he does not become sad if it decreases. We must not become slaves to money or our worldly possessions. We can be wealthy and zÉhid if we are still thankful to Allah and use wealth in the right way. This meaning has been emphasized by Sufian Ibn 'Uyainah, one of the great scholars, when he was asked who is to be considered as zÉhid. He said whoever Allah bestowed a bounty on him then he is thankful and then when he is under trial, he is patient (ibn Hanbal, 1983) With ESQ one will trusts his Creator: he is sure that whatever He decrees must eventually be good for him whether he experiences pain or pleasure, whether health or illness wealth or poverty. There must be some kind of wisdom behind all happenings (al-Ghazzali, 1978). Since the faithful has no shred of doubt about AllÉh‟s Mercy, he will not allow any problem in his life to deprive him from the pleasure of his relationship with AllÉh (al-Ra‘d (13): 28). A true Muslim has the greatest trust and reliance, namely tawakkul, on AllÉh, though he solicits every means and takes all the necessary actions to solve his problems. While his heart fully submits to AllÉh, the Creator of causes and their effects, his mind is busy doing the best to solve his problems with whatever AllÉh has given him in terms of material and mental capabilities. He deeply believes in manipulating the laws of cause and effect that AllÉh has created for administering His universe. He understands that AllÉh sanctions these laws just as He has sanctioned prayers and fasting. The intimate relationship between tawakkul and happiness is clear: it is possible to be poor, but on the basis of tawakkul one is happy; it is possible to suffer from even an incurable disease, but all that comes from AllÉh is good for oneself, and thus, on the basis of tawakkul again one is happy; anything that may happen to us is good, and thus there is no misery in the true sense. While there may be suffering, there will never be misery, which is none other than tragedy to true believers (al-Attas, 1995). This highest degree of submission reflected in the concept of tawakkul is portrayed in the Qur'an, (al-AnbiyÉ’(21): 83).
This realization of zuhd renders to the higher level of experience of tawÍÊd, namely ikhlÉÎ .i.e., singleness of purpose in all his actions and deeds due to the quality of taqwÉ; awareness or conscious of God in one self. d. Mercy (raÍmah) and Interpersonal Power With ESQ one attains emotional balance as a source of developing intra-personal and interpersonal skills for building good character and for developing excellent human relations at the societal level. Human relation requires attributes of mercy, with its dimensions such as, Íilm, empathy, compassion, forgiveness which enable Muslims to strengthen the brotherhood and solidarity among them (al-GhazzÉlÊ, 1982). Modern studies show that when our hearts are filled with mercy we are able to manage with the emotions in others and thus improve our social competencies. This domain is very significant for the development of an effective leadership and interpersonal relationships (Goleman, 1997). Sustaining a relationship requires the awareness of our own emotions and emotions of others, for, with this kind of awareness- a crucial element of ESQ, people are able to be flexible and communicate effectively with each other (Óli ÑImrÉn; 133-134, 159). In modern psychology this is known as „empathy‟, which is essentially being sensitive to other‟s emotions and concerns besides, respecting the differences in how people feel about things. It also refers to and encompasses understanding others, and assisting others in their personal development. This domain is connected with altruistic behaviour, like trying to understand others and helping solve their problems (al-Baqarah: 177, al-NisÉ’:36, al- Óli ÑImrÉn : 134). It includes being a good listener, being assertive rather than angry or passive, managing conflict constructively, and learning the art of co-operation. These characteristics are the core of a relationship and help people communicate comprehensively. Studies show us that those who excel in these skills tend to perform well at anything that relies on interacting smoothly with others because they are the social star or role model (Goleman, 1997). Emotional skills are crucial in social relationship. The key to sense another‟s feeling is in the ability to read non-verbal channels like tone of voice, gesture and facial expression. Mercy produces the ability to identify another person‟s feeling which can help to us to show empathy as people rarely tell other people their feelings. Emotionally expressive people are easiest to read because their eyes and faces are constantly letting us know they are feeling (Goleman, 1997). As we get to know others on an emotional level, we are likely to see similarities between our feelings and theirs and between our basic emotional needs and theirs. When we realize that someone‟s basic emotions are similar to our own, we are able to identify with them, relate to them and empathize with them. All human beings have similar emotional needs. The wide variety among our needs is mostly a difference in degree, rather than in type as well as cultural manifestations of emotions (Covey, 1989) The Prophet‟s (peace be upon him) attitude pertaining to the expression of feelings of good will to others, reflected in his statement, he said: “If any of you loves someone, let him tell him that,” It is also right for us to defend the honour of another when someone tries to speak ill about him or her. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever defends the reputation of his Muslim brother will have a right from AllÉh to defend him from Hell on the Day of Judgment.” (http.//islamonline) People who are able to soothe their feelings have especially valued social commodities; they are the souls others turn to when in greatest emotional need. We are all part of each other‟s tool kit for emotional change, for better or worse. We unconsciously imitate the emotions we see displayed by someone though an out of awareness motor mimicry of their facial expression, gesture, tone of voice and other non verbal markets of emotions (Goleman, 1997). The degree of emotional rapport people feel in an encounter by how tightly coordinated their physical movements are as they talk- as guide of closeness that is typically out of awareness. If someone is skillful at adjusting at people‟s moods he can easily bring others under the sway of his own, then their interaction will go more smoothly at the emotional level. People who are poor at receiving and sending emotions are prone to problem in their relationships, since people often feel uncomfortable with them, even if they cannot articulate just why this is so (Goleman, 1997). ESQ builds the positive power interpersonal relationship such as, mercy, love, forbearance and forgiveness (Íilm) as one of the greatest blessings AllÉh has bestowed on humanity. AllÉh has created human nature in such a way that a person will take pleasure from loving and being loved, from friendship and from intimacy. (al-×ashr: 14). Mercy is tied to compassion and closely linked with the act of forgiveness and pardon. Islamic tradition perceives mercy as the intent to bring good to others and caused them benefit. In other words, mercy makes a break with the past and foster new beginning where goodness and benefits can be achieved.
People who reach higher level of spirituality shall be able to attain quality of selflessness. Forgiveness if one sided is selflessness. If one desires to be forgiven for his offenses he must learn to forgive others. Especially, if one seeks forgiveness from AllÉh, he should learn to forgive others for their offenses. If one desires that God overlook his weaknesses, he should learn to overlook weaknesses of others (al-BalkhÊ, 1984). This dimension of ESQ should be the basic tenet in his social relations with those who are above him, equal to him or below him in status and he should, as much as he can tolerate, learn to ignore the annoying (anxiety-provoking) things that he experiences. With ESQ he is able to train himself not to overreact to the minor incidents or things that he hears or sees. When he trains himself to tolerate these little irritating experiences that occur in spite of him, this will (in time) become habitual and he will after that tolerate things that are more frustrating and experiences that are more annoying(al-Balkhī, 1984). This forgiveness and tolerance as dimension of ESQ is a powerful and dynamic interpersonal power that can enhance communication skill (Goleman, 1997). Spirituality is not only about an individual relationship with the Creator; it also includes a communal dimension. The relationship between man and his Creator is the root of the moral attitude of man towards his fellowmen. It is the realization that the whole of mankind, are creatures of the One Creator, the Lord of the Universe, and that, He wishes man to treat each other with mercy, kindness, and justice. Human relationships should reflect the sublime qualities of God. Love for God, manifests itself in the love of humanity. If one can attain a relationship with God of this quality, one can really win His pleasure, which will manifest the true basis of morality (Abdul Mujib, 2002). Spiritual intelligence is about the growth of a human being. It is about moving on in life. About having a direction in life and being able to heal ourselves of all the resentment we carry. It is thinking of ourselves as an expression of a higher reality. It is also about how we look at the resources available to us. Ultimately, we discover freedom from our sense of limitation as human beings and attain higher level of spirituality when we return to our original nature namely, fiÏrah (Abdul Mujib, 2002). Conclusion Aspects of emotional and spiritual intelligence are not new to Islam. The SÊrah of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions has documented the details of all walks of life of the Prophet (pbuh) which are full of aspects of emotional and spiritual/moral intelligence serves as the corner-stone of Islamic morality. Guided by the Qur'an and the Sunnah, virtue ethics as a discipline primarily discusses the development of good character which is mostly a process of dealing with one‟s emotions and emotions of others. This paves the way to psycho-spiritual management which concentrate on character building, self-purification, self-control, discipline (tazkiyat and riyÉÌah), spiritual maturity and spiritual commitment. These sources and mechanisms as how to build emotional and spiritual intelligence are the major constituents of virtue ethics as projected in the contributions of Muslim scholars in the past till our time. It is hoped that this aspect of critical thinking -new exposition of teaching Islamic ethics as a discipline can be a lively down-to-earth, and applicable in Islamic transformation from textual to contextual, from mere concept or theoretical abstract subject to operational methods. It should move towards inculcating balanced personality, good interpersonal relationship and emphasize on the important of developing the spiritual aspect of human work ethics to improve human resource capacity which in turn contribute to nation building. Teaching ethics in the compartmentalized theoretical fashion or over emphasized on its philosophical aspect has actually rendered it as a „dead‟ subject that has no real role in giving the Muslim a happier life in this world and Ékhirah or even making his life more fruitful and productive.
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