The head-heart-hand tripartite is often used to depict holistic education, not focusing only on academic merits of the ‘head’ and technical skills of the ‘hand’, but also character building, spiritual enlightenment, and emotional resilience of the ‘heart’. Unfortunately, the development of the spiritual heart is often neglected, especially in higher education where most of the learning assessments pertain to the critical heads and skilful hands. This paper argues for that the balanced development of the head, heart, and hand. In particular, the purification of the spiritual heart is emphasised to heighten moral and God-consciousness for better decision-making. Additionally, such holistic development is needed to ensure the achievement of the Maqāṣid of the Sharī’ah collectively, i.e., the preservation and promotion of Faith, Life, Intellect, Progeny, and Wealth. By setting the head-heart-hand tripartite with the Maqāṣid, a frame of reference is constructed as an evaluative tool to examine individual holistic development. This framework is then used to examine the reported developmental experiences of undergraduate students in the Universiti Brunei Darussalam, giving particular attention to the issues and challenges faced in light of the five Maqāṣid. The preliminary findings signalled challenges faced in preserving and promoting Life, Intellect, and Progeny.
Keywords: spiritual heart, holistic development, Imam al-Ghazāli, Maqāṣid of the Sharī’ah, undergraduate
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