Spiritual Intelligence and Religion; Integration of Mind, Body and Soul


2.6 Spiritual Intelligence

2.6.6 Spiritual Intelligence and Religion; Integration of Mind, Body and Soul

As discussed earlier, there is a strong relationship between mind, body and soul and this integration is proven to be closely related to the major concern in this study, which is spiritual intelligence. The connotation mentioned above, relating the mind, body and soul with a man driving a car is as well related to religiosity which shows an initial connection between spiritual intelligence and religion: imagine oneself in a car driving on the road.

The person driving the car is the soul, the engine is the mind and the car is the body.

Without any one of these, the car would not be able to move on the road and reach the intended destination. The road is the pathway in this world to reach the final destination of the hereafter. In order for mankind to reach this destination, and of course, through Islamic perspective the final destination is akhirah, mankind need to purify the soul (the person driving the car should be good natured), with well-kept engine/ mind/ intellect especially with the knowledge of God and His attributes. Mankind also need a healthy body; feeding the body with good food internally and externally. In total, mankind should have a high spiritual intelligence (matured intellect with a purified soul). With a high spiritual


intelligence, the pathway to akhirah will be smoother; even though the road might be bumpy, mankind will be able to get through the obstacles wisely.

Looking into the above relationship, there is a high correlation between spiritual intelligence and religion (e.g., Islamic perspective) in which both spiritual intelligence and religion involved matters related to soul, mind and body. Few intellectuals have proclaimed that spirituality is often restricted to one’s religion, although the two terms are not synonymous (Thompson, 2002) and several scholars have found that religious belief and intelligence are negatively associated. For instance, Bertsch and Pesta (2009) investigated the relationships between individual IQ scores, elementary cognitive task (ECT) performance, and religious beliefs based on the work of Lynn, Harvey, and Nyborg (2009) which resulted in negative relationships. Kanazawa (2010) and Cribari-Neto, and Souza (2013) also obtained a similar result. The findings clearly indicate the limitation of these studies since intelligence was narrowed down solely to intellectual intelligence (IQ) and the sample used was an atheist group and fundamental religious group including non-Muslims.

Spirituality is considered as an ultimate concern; passion for infinite (Tillich, 1957 in Emmons, 2000a). It also refers to the psychological involvements of religiosity/spirituality that communicate to an individual’s sense of connection with something transcendent be it a distinct deity, exquisiteness, or anything else considered to be greater than self and manifested by the emotions of wonderment, appreciation, love, empathy and compassion (Vaillant, 2013). As a whole, spirituality is to live a life with ultimate concern and achieved self-transcendence. And relatively, religion is based on personal beliefs and one way or another is a non-informative and non-discursive symbols of inner feelings, attitudes, or existential orientations (Harrison, 2006). Religion also refers


to aspects that are consequential with the engagement of oneself in a formal religious group’s doctrines, values, traditions, and co-members (Vaillant, 2013). An individual who is aiming to achieve the truth ultimate concern with the ultimate vision, is able to gain this vision through the engagement of self in a systematic religious belief system (Pargament &

Park, 1995).

The above brief discussion clearly shows some overlapping elements between spirituality and religiosity. Both religion and spirituality involve ultimate concern, ultimate vision, and sense of connection to something great beyond oneself that is the Creator of all the creations in this world and beyond the world, which is the Almighty God. In the context of this study, elements of spiritual intelligence are closely related to religion. In Islam, spiritual intelligence is parallel with the religion. First and foremost, Islam is being defined as the religion of the Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad (PBUH) as the Prophet of Allah (Oxford English Dictionary, n.d) The meaning of Islam itself is derived from the Arabic word which means peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of Allah (SWT) and His law. Islam did not gain the name after a person or a group of people, nor was it decided upon by the earlier generations of humans (Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi, 1960). Undeniably, the name Islam was given by Allah (SWT) Himself as it is clearly stated in al-Qur’an in many verses, for instance one of them is:

Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them -- out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account.

(Al-Imran, 3: 19) With regard to the above verse, in Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim by Ibn Kathir, it is stated that, truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. Allah states that there is no religion


accepted with Him from any person, except Islam. Islam includes obeying all of the Messengers until Muhammad (PBUH) who finalised their commission, thus closing all paths to Allah except through Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, after Allah sent Muhammad (PBUH), whoever meets Allah following a path other than Muhammad's, it will not be accepted of him (Abdullah, 2012). In another verse Allah (SWT) says:

And whoever desires other than Islam as religion - never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.

(Al-Imran, 3: 85)

The fundamental principles of Islam are based on the Five Pillars of Islam and Six Pillars of Iman (Sheikh Muhammad, 2007):

Five Pillars of Islam:

1. The Declaration of faith:

“I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger of Allah”.

2. Prayers (5 times a day)

And when you have finished your prayer remember God -- standing and sitting and lying down and when you are once again secure, observe you prayers [fully].

Verily, for all believers prayer is indeed a sacred duty linked to particular times [of day].

(Al-Qur’an, an-Nisaa, 4: 103) 3. Zakah (Obligatory of Charity)

Do you fear that you will not give in sadaqah before your consultation? So when you do not do it and God has turned to you (mercifully), then keep up prayer and pay zakah and obey God and His Messenger; and God is aware of what you do.

(Al-Qur’an, al-Mujaadalah, 58: 13)


4. Fasting in the month of Ramadhan

Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness.

(Al-Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2: 183) 5. Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)

And perform properly (i.e., all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH.), the Hajj and Umrah (i.e., the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allah.

(Al-Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2: 196) Six Pillars of Iman (faith):

1. Belief in Allah the Almighty; Allah (SWT):

Worship Allah and do not associate partners with Him.

(Al-Qur‘an, an-Nisaa, 4: 36) 2. Belief in Angels

The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers. All believe in Allah, His Angels and His Messengers.

(Al-Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2: 285) 3. Belief in His scriptures (revealed in their original form by Allah to His messengers)

Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord, we make no difference between one and another of them, and we bow to Allah.

(Al-Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2: 136) 4. Belief in His messengers

Whoever does not believe in Allah and His Messenger, We have prepared a blaze for the unbelievers.

(Al-Qur’an, al-Fath, 48: 13)


5. Belief in the Hereafter

Every person is held responsible for his (or her) deeds. On the Day of Resurrection We shall bring out for him a scroll which will see spread open. (He will be ordered): Read your own record; it is sufficient that you judge yourself today.

(Al-Qur’an, al-‘Isra’, 17: 13-14) 6. Belief in Predestination (Qada’ and Qadar)

Indeed, all things We created with predestination.

(Al-Qur’an, al-Qamar, 54: 49) As a creation of the Almighty God, Muslims are obliged to practice these two main pillars in their life. To practice them and contemplate accordingly, Muslims need a high level of spiritual intelligence. As defined earlier in this research, a person with high spiritual intelligence is a person with high soul ability in which his or her soul is moving towards Allah (SWT) and in Islam, a person with high soul ability take these two main pillars as the guidance and pathway to reach to God and gain knowledge of Him and His attributes.

A person who is religious and having a high spiritual intelligence is aware that besides worshipping Allah, he or she has responsibilities towards other creations of Allah SWT as well. That is why Allah (SWT) has created man as the vicegerent (khalifah of Allah). Anas ibn Malik reported: The messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “None of you believes until he loves for his brothers or his neighbours what he loves for himself” (Hadith 13, al-Bukhari & Muslim in Jamal Ahmed Badi, 2002, p. 68).

In another Hadith, Sa’d bin Malik Al-Khudari reported: The messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, made a verdict: "There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm." (Hadith 32, Ibn Majah in Jamal Ahmed Badi, 2002, p. 157). These two Hadiths clearly explained that being religious is not just about the relationship with


Allah, but with other creations as well (Hablumminallah and hablumminannas). It is the same with having a high spiritual intelligence; one needs it for not only knowing the Creator and reaching the ultimate vision, but also to know and to love and not to harm other creations of the Creator. In conclusion, I strongly reject the views of some scholars as discussed earlier who were saying that spiritual intelligence and religion are not related, or have less relation. Spiritual intelligence and religion are interconnected and inseparable and will be the main concern of this study and discussed in detail in this chapter later.