With The Heart In Mind - The Moral Intelligence Of The Prophet
With The Heart In Mind is an inquiry into the nature of the intellect and how classical Islamic theologians understood the nature and function of the intellect. With The Heart In Mind asks readers to consider an alternative understanding of intelligence in which the primary function of the intellect is to know God and lead others to Him as well.
The author suggests that by studying the Emotional Intelligence of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhe Wassalam), we improve the quality of our relationships with the people around us and we, like the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhe Wassalam), can become catalysts for change around us. Emotional Intelligence within the author's model of intelligence is a tool by which the message of God is transferred to humanity. With the Heart in Mind reminds us that "To be loved by people is half of intelligence."
Book Review by Dr. Yasir Qadhi (Dean of Al-Maghrib Institute) :
“In this book, Ustadh Mikaeel Ahmed Smith has benefitted us with a very unique and beneficial topic, highly relevant to our times: the reality of 'aql in the Quran and Sunnah, and its perfect manifestation in the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhe Wassalam). I truly benefitted from this work - it was at once spiritual and academic, emotional and intriguing, historical and philosophical. A well-researched and stimulating work for all contemporary Muslims.”
Book Review by Salma (Goodreads Reader) :
A book I will need to visit and revisit again. At the heart of it is a call to reassess how we give meaning to intelligence and the vital role and purpose of our intellect. Current markers of intelligence often revolve around pursuits of knowledge — PhDs, publications, the next discovery or invention— but rarely will we label a gracious person loved and respected by their community, or a person willing to fight for what is morally upright as someone ‘intelligent’. Isn’t that odd? In fact, these two other aspects of intelligence, emotional and moral, are the vehicles that will allow the knowledge we acquire to be succesfully implemented, inspiring deep change in our communities for a higher purpose or ‘the greater good’.
This book primarily explores the above by examining the traits of one of the greatest human beings ever to walk on the Earth - Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Whether or not you believe in him, no doubt there is something exemplary about an orphaned, unlettered man who was able to bring about deep, lasting change to one of the most barbarous societies of that time. The excerpts of his life pertinent to elucidating the concepts of moral and emotional intelligence are further complemented by examples from sociology, philosophy, history, as well as the Bible and the author’s own personal reflections. The book finishes off with an example of the proficient use of these intelligences in action and how we can apply that to our daily life.
It’s an made me reflect on my role as a doctor, the careful balance of applying knowledge to patients with complex emotional needs and wishes, all while trying to adhere to the four ethical principles as the moral compass of what is ‘right’. How else can we make the lives of our patients better? How else can we empower them? At the same time, how can we give medical students and doctors the tools to face the numerous emotional and moral challenges present in clinical practice so that they can be confident in the decisions they make? I am reminded some advice my consultant gave me: it’s better to be a doctor with some lapses in knowledge but is genuinely nice and caring, than a doctor with all the knowledge in the world but can’t be nice at all.
Book Review by Sarah (Goodreads Reader) :
“While the content and organization seems disorganized or following an unknown pattern at times, I still thoroughly enjoyed the new perspective on the analysis of the Prophet' (pbuh) character. Smith attempts and mostly succeeds in using modern-day psychology and theory to extract and interpret lessons of prophetic emotional intelligence. My favorite segments were those with stories from the seerah, even with other prophets (peace be upon them all), as well as anecdotal examples from realities of life today.
This book is important for all those about to start a family or are currently in the process of raising one. Even if read sporadically, it remains a powerful and Iin Sha Allah a motivation to see what you may not have sensed before.
May Allah bless the author and allow him to expand on this topic in a more detailed and structured form of expression.”
Title: With The Heart In Mind : The Moral Intelligence Of The Prophet
Author: Mikaeel Ahmed Smith
Publisher: Qalam Institute - USA
Size: 13.7 cm x 21.6 cm
Edition Number: 1st
Year Of Publication: 2019
Weight: 0.25 kg
Mikaeel Ahmed Smith (Michael V Smith) is an instructor at Qalam Institute USA. He is a teacher at the Qalam Seminary, and online at Qalam Connect. He travels around the country conducting classes and seminars like Prophetic Empathy. You can listen to him regularly on the Qalam Podcast, including the Purification of the Heart series.
Shaykh Mikaeel previously served as a resident scholar at the Islamic Society of Annapolis and the Islamic Society of Baltimore. He grew up in a Christian home in Buffalo, NY. At the age of 18, he embraced Islam after reading the Qur’an and the Autobiography of Malcolm X. He then enrolled at the Dar ul-Uloom al-Madania in Buffalo, NY, where he completed his memorization of the Qur’an. He continued his studies in Jami’a Abu Noor in Damascus, Syria.
In 2012, he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Islamic Studies at the Dar ul-Uloom Canada in Chatham, Ontario. He is the author of With the Heart in Mind, a book exploring the moral and emotional intelligence of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He currently resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and three children.
Just finished reading 'With the Heart in Mind' by @mikaeelahmeds today.
Absolutely loved it, never before have I seen someone analyze and examine the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the way Shaykh Mikael Ahmed has done in this book.
This book is a must-read for all Muslims who wish and desire to emulate and follow the Sunnah of our Prophet ﷺ. Change is not easy and requires a deep understanding of the things that prevent us from making positive changes that we would like to see in our lives and this book aims to do just that. Shaykh Mikael brilliantly lays out two key frameworks, namely the emotional intelligence and moral intelligence frameworks of the Prophet ﷺ that helped him ﷺ spread the message of Islam.
Here are two of my own reflections after reading the book:
1. This book is about how through the use of social, moral and emotional intelligence one can bring about a societal change, impact the lives of others and influence positive, moral and righteous deeds. So, a thought was troubling me, how can an evil person rally support from people when he's calling others toward evil? One answer I can think of is by pandering to and gratifying people's baser instincts, their lower self and evil desires just like how shaytan is capable of achieving this through exploiting people's desires and nafs.
2. When people (I'm concerned with Muslims here) say we are becoming increasingly sensitive, soft and are easily offended, they fail to understand that in order for you to joke with someone you need to work within the paradigm of our beloved Prophet's emotional, moral and social intelligence ﷺ. He had such a connection with those around him, that they felt comfortable in his presence even when the Prophet was joking with them. The joking never got to the point of bullying. The connection he had with others was built on empathy, sincere concern for the welfare of others and emotional investment.