Academic journal article International Journal of Islamic Thought

Generic Skills from Qur'anic Perspective

Academic journal article International Journal of Islamic Thought

Generic Skills from Qur'anic Perspective

Article excerpt

Generic skills were initially introduced by the Canadian Employment and Immigration Commission to identify work behaviours that are fundamental to the performance of a wide range of occupations (Corsini 1999: 951). These skills are identified as an important issue globally, especially in the era where various new kinds of corporations and organizations need a dynamic and versatile team of human resources from universities who are capable of fitting in quickly to meet the challenges and demands of the workplace. In most developed countries, the mastery of generic skills is closely associated with learning as well as graduate's employability.

In relation to that, Allah (s.w.t) has provided guidance towards the development of humanities in the Qur'an and has decreed men as His vicegerents to explore and fully utilize the natural world. In the Qur'an, there are verses which mention the ways of communication, collective work, problem solving, lifelong learning and personality development. All these teachings can be applied not only in social activities or daily life, but also at the workplace and in any organizations. The Qur'an also indicates the significance of both skill and trust as essential elements that Muslims have to acquire in order to be good workers. While both skill and trust are essential at work, the skill should have always prevailed (Jabnoun 1985: 48).

Qur'anic Guidelines for Generic Skills

Islam is a perfect religion and it provides a complete code of guidance in all human activities. Not only does it prescribe beliefs and rules governing man's relationship with his Creator, the Almighty Allah (s.w.t), but it also lays down detailed guidelines regarding the conduct of man in his relationship with his fellow beings (Chaudry 2006: 5). It also has a worldview which projects its vision of reality and truth, and that shapes the spiritual, legal, ethical, and socio-political dimensions of Islam and its ideas and institutions (al-Attas 2007: 1). The same worldview has also been used to interpret and develop the specific generic

In this article, the researcher will discuss ways of communication, collective work, problem solving, lifelong learning and personality development which founded the key role in determining generic skills in Islam. All of these basic concepts would be discussed by using pieces of evidence that are mainly from the Qur'an, sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and other relevant sources in Islam.


The word 'communication' in academic usage is ittisal from the root word wsl which means 'to cause', 'to reach' or 'to bring' (Ghazali 2007: 4), the verbal noun of which is wasl. This word is found in the following Qur'anic ayah:

Now, indeed, We have caused this word [of Ours] to reach mankind step by step, so that they might [learn to] keep it in mind (28:51).

Beside wasl, the Qur'an uses numerous words which carry the meaning 'to communicate' (Mohd. Yusof Hussain 2008: 27). The words include qala (speak), nabbàa (to inform), kataba (to write), samìa (to listen), qara'a (to read), ballagha (to deliver), bashshara (to convey glad tidings), dàa (to call), awsa (to advise) and sa'ala (to ask). Surely the Qur'an explains ways of effective communication. This article will focus on the ways which are represented by terms of qawl sadid, qawl màruf, qawl baligh, qawl maysur, qawl karim and last but not least, qawl layyin.

Qawl Sadid, Qawl Ma'ruf, Qawl Baligh, Qawl Maysur, Qawl Karim and Qawl Layyin,

The word 'sadid' (33:70) refers to a person who is straightforward (mustaqim), the one who has the value of istiqamah which means of honesty. Therefore, the term qawl sadid means that all information must be delivered straightforwardly and honestly (Izutsu 1959: 89). It contains the element of truth speaking. Muslims are not allowed to exaggerate information available to them or to fabricate something in order to please someone. Instead, they have to be responsible, sincere, truthful, impartial and accurate in delivering all information, reports or news they receive. …

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