Mas’uliyyah and Ihsan as High-Performance Work Values in Islam
Keywords:Mas’uliyyah, Ihsan, Responsibility, Benevolence, Excellence
The paper aims at explaining conceptually the work values of responsibility (mas’uliyyah) and benevolence (ihsan) in Islām based on the analysis of the principal texts in Islām, that is, the Qurʾān and the Hadith. It also elucidates the distinctive characteristics of responsibility and benevolence as Islāmic values in comparison with their non-Islāmic counterparts. More importantly, the paper argues that mas’uliyyah and ihsan are the work values of high performance in Islām. This is a conceptual paper. It is based mainly on the analysis of the Qurʾān and the Hadith, as well as the reviews of the works of Muslim scholars. The three resources of reference -- the Qurʾān, the Hadith and the works of Muslim schoars -- show consistent evidence of inclusiveness of mas’uliyyah and ihsan across environments. The findings demonstrate that both mas’uliyyah and ihsan are the key work values enabling high work performance. The findings also show that mas’uliyyah is the precondition and ihsan is the condition needed in order to achieve performance excellence. The lack of Islāmic writings on mas’uliyyah and ihsan in English restricts investigation. Despite this, the literature consulted in the study is considered sufficient to help achieve the research objectives. This paper can be considered as a pioneering work in English that discusses the Islāmic work values of mas’uliyyah and ihsan based on Islāmic sources with regard to employment relations and performance. This paper is useful to readers and researchers who are interested in gaining more knowledge about mas’uliyyah and ihsan and those who desire to empirically study and statistically test their importance on Muslim employees’ work performance.
Ab Aziz, W.W., S.B. Mohamed, Z. Ibrahim, M.S. Muda, and A.H. Abdullah. “Strengthening of Islāmic Quality Management Practices Through Culture of Perfection (itqan) and the Value of Courtesy (Ihsan) Toward the Business Performance of Muslim Entrepreneur.” Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences 8, no. 4 (2014): 237-44.
Abu Ghuddah, A.A. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, al-Manar al-Munif fi al-Sahih wa al-Da’if, Maktab al-Maṭbu’āh al-Islāmiyyah, Beirut, 1994.
Abdel Rahman, A.A.R. “An Islāmic Perspective on Organizational Motivation.” The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 12, no. 2 (1995): 185-203.
Abu Iyaad. A Brief Biography of Ibn Al-Qayyim. http://scholars-biographies.com/2013/09/19/a-brief-biography-of-ibn-al-qayyim-rahimahullaah.
Aḥmad, A. The Reality of Tasawwuf in the Light of the Prophetic Model, Markazi Anjuman Khuddam ul Qurʻan, Lahore, 2007.
Ahmad, Z. “A Fourteen-Century Historical Narrative of Sufism: The Case of Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddima li Kitab al-‘Ibar.” Jebat 28. no. 1 (2001): 123-33.
Ajzen, I. “The Theory of Planned Behaviour.” Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes 50, no. 2 (1991): 179-211.
Alam, S.S., R. Mohd, B.H. Kamaruddin, and N.G.M. Nor. “Personal Values and Entrepreneurial Orientations in Malay Entrepreneurs in Malaysia: Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy.” International Journal of Commerce and Management 25, no.4 (2015): 385-401.
Alam, I. “Faith Practice Piety: An Excerpt from the Maktubat-i Imam-i Rabbani.” Original: The Great Mujaddid Ahmad Sirhindi, Translation and Annotation by Irshad Alam, Sufi Peace Mission, Bangladesh, 2010.
Al-Bouti, M.S. Kubra Al-Yaqeenyaat Al-Kawnia. Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus, n.d..
Al-Ghazali, M.A. Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an, The International Institute of Islāmic Thought, USA, 2000.
Al-Ghazali, A. Revival of Religious Learnings, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din (Translated by Fazl-Ul-Karim), Darul-Ishaat, Karachi, 1993.
Al-Habshi, S.O. Islāmic Values and Management, Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM), Malaysia, 1994.
Al-Hassani, S.T. (Ed.). 1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization, National Geographic Books, Washington DC, 2012.
Al-Razi, F.A. Tafsir al-Fakhr al-Din al-Mushtahir bi al-Tafsir al-Kabir wa Mafatih al-Ghayb, Juz. 26, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1981.
Al-Safi, O.A. Accountability: A Comparative Study of Human Responsibility between Islam and Man-made Doctrines, Darulfikir, Kuala Lumpur, 1992.
Al-Tabari, A.J.M.I.J. Tafsir al-Tabari Jami` al-Bayan `an Ta‟wil Ayi al-Qur’an, Tahqiq `Abdullah ibn `Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki, Juz. 14, Markaz Hijr li al-Buhuth wa al-Dirasat al-`Arabiyyah wa al-Islamiyyah, Kaherah, 2001.
Al-Qurtubi, A.A.A. Al-Jaami’ Le-Ahkaam al-Qur’an, Daar Ihyaa’ Al-Turaath Al-Arabi, Beirut, 1966.
Alruwaih, M. “The Agency of the Muslim IR Researcher in Developing a Theory of Islāmic Agency in International Relations.” Asian Politics and Policy 7, no. 1 (2015): 39-56.
Amer, S., and S.B. Yahya. “Development of Accounting Theory Based on Islāmic Teachings: A Glance over Principle of Al-adl and Al-ihsan.” Research Journal of Finance and Accounting 5, no. 4 (2014): 13-20.
Arab dictionary. “Ihsan”, https://www.arabdict.com/en/english-arabic/ihsan.
Bahā 'al-Dīn A.L., and M.Y.B.T.I. Shaddād, The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin or al-Nawadir al-Sultaniyya wa'l-Mahasin al-Yusufiyya by Baha'al-Din Ibn Shaddad, Ashgate, Aldershot, 2001.
Bardi, A., and S.H. Schwartz. “Values and Behavior: Strength and Structure of Relations.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29, no. 10 (2003): 1207-20.
Beekun, R.I., Leadership: An Islāmic Perspective, AmanaPublications, Beltsville, MD, 1999.
______, and J.A. Badawi. “Balancing Ethical Responsibility among Multiple Organizational Stakeholders: The Islāmic perspective.” Journal of Business Ethics 60, no.2 (2005): 131-45.
Blome, C., and A. Paulraj. “Ethical Climate and Purchasing Social Responsibility: A Benevolence Focus.” Journal of Business Ethics 116, no. 3 (2013): 567-85.
Buang, N.A. Asas Keusahawanan, Penerbit Fajar Bakti, Shah Alam, 2002.
Bukhari, M.I.I. Sahih al‐Bukhari, Sahih al‐Bukhari: Being the Tradition of Saying and Doings of the Prophet Muhammad as Narrated by his Companions 8, Islāmic Book Service, New Delhi, M.M. Khan (trans), 2008.
Carley, K., D. Park, and M. Prietula. “Agent Honesty, Cooperation and Benevolence in an Artificial Organization.” Institute for Software Research 30 (1993): 1-9.
Darmani, N.A. “Avicenna: The Prince of Physicians and a Giant in Pharmacology.” The Journal of Islāmic Medical Association of North America 26, (1995): 78-81.
Datta, D.K., J.P. Guthrie, and P.M. Wright. “Human Resource Management and Labor Productivity: Does Industry Matter?” Academy of Management Journal 48, no.1 (2005): 135-45.
Fishbein, M. and I. Ajzen. Belief, Attitude, Intention and Behaviour: An Introduction to Theory and Research, Addison Wesley, Reading, MA, 1975.
Fisscher, O. and A. Nijhof. “Implications of Business Ethics for Quality Management.” The TQM Magazine 17, no. 2 (2005): 150-60.
Furqani, H. “Individual and Society in an Islāmic Ethical Frameworks.” Humanomics 31, no. 1 (2015): 74 -87.
Ghazanfar, S.M. “The Economic Thought of Abu Hamid-Al-Ghazali and St. Thomas Aquinas: Some Comparative Parallels and Links.” History of Political Economy 32, no. 4 (2000): 857-88.
———. and A.A. Islahi. “Economic Thought of an Arab Scholastic: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (AH 450–505/AD 1058–1111).” History of Political Economy 22, no. 2 (1990): 381-403.
Hajli, N. “Social Commerce Constructs and Consumer's Intention to Buy.” International Journal of Information Management 35 no. 2 (2015): 183-91.
Hassan, K.H. “Contractualism in Employment Relationships: A Conceptual Discourse of Common Law and the Shariʿah.” Arab Law Quarterly 26, no. 2 (2012): 175-92.
Hegemann, R. “Explaining the Potential for Conflict: Malaysia between Tradition and Modernity.” ASIEN Research Notes 109 (2008): 65-77.
Hishamuddin, M., and A. Hamid. Pursuit of Excellence by Muslim Scientists with a Special Reference to Ibn Sina, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Malaya, Malaysia, 2011.
Hofstede, G.H., and G. Hofstede, “Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations across Nations.” US: Sage Publications, 2001.
Holtzman, L. “Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (1292-1350)”, in Essays in Arabic Literary Biography, Wìesbaden, Harrassowitz Verlag, Joseph E. Lowry and Devin Stewart (eds.), 202-23, 2009.
Ibn al-Imād, A.A.A., Shadharāt al-dhahab fi akhbār man dhahab, al-Maktab al-Tijārī lil-Ṭibāʿah wa al-Nashr wa al-Tawzī’, Beirut, 1966.
Ibn Kathīr, I.ʿU.,Al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah, Cairo: Dār ʿĀlam alKutub, 2003.
Ibn Kathir, `I.A.A.A.I. Tafsir al-Qur ‘an al-`Azim, Tahqiq Mustafa al-Sayyid Muhammad et al., Juz. 8, Al-Faruq al-Hadithiyyah li al-Tiba`ah wa al-Nashr, Kaherah, 2000.
Ibn Manzur, M.M. Lisan al-‘Arab, Dar Saadir, Beirut, 1956.
Ibn Rajab, A. R. A. Kitab al-Dhayl `ala Tabaqat al-Hanabilah, Matba'ah al-Sunan al-Muhammadiyah, Cairo, 1953.
Ibnomer, M.S. “Toward an Islāmic Administrative Theory.” The American Journal of Islāmic Social Sciences 4, no. 2 (1987): 229-44.
Imam An-Nawawi. An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith: An Anthology of the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, Translated by Ezzeddin Ibrahim and Denys Johnson-Davies (AbdulWadoud), Dar Al-Koran Al-Kareem, Beirut, Lebanon, 1976.
Irmadariyani, R., I. Fadah, D.S.K. Tobing, and S.M. Wardayati. “Initiating the Concept of Ihsan into Shari’ah’s Corporate Social Responsibility.” Journal GATR Accounting and Finance Review 1, no. 1 (2016): 19-26.
Islahi, A.A. Economic Thought of Ibn Al-Qayyim (1292–1350), Munich Personal RePEc Archive, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, 1982.
Ismail, A.G. and N.A. Zali. Ethics in Relation to Islāmic Finance Activities, IRTI Working Paper Series, (No. 1435-7), 2015.
Jabnoun, N. “Values Underlying Continuous Improvement.” The TQM Magazine 13, no. 6 (2001): 381-8.
Kehoe, R.R. and P.M. Wright. “The Impact of High-Performance Human Resource Practices on Employees’ Attitudes and Behaviors.” Journal of Management 39, no. 2 (2013): 366-91.
Krawietz, B. “Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzīyah: His Life and Works.” Mamlūk Studies Review 10, no. 2 (2006): 19-64.
Laroui, A. The Crisis of the Arab Intellectual: Traditionalism or Historicism, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1976.
Malik, M. “Iḥsānī Social Capital: An Exploration into Faith-Inspired Unique Model.” International Journal of Islāmic Thought 3, no. 2 (2014): 5-18.
Mohiuddin, M.G., G.O. Yusof, and A. Bulbul. “Organizing: An Islāmic Perspective.” Global Disclosure of Economics and Business 2, no. 2 (2013): 127-39.
Oxford Dictionary. Benevolence, Oxford University Press, UK, 2015.
Papagiannakis, G. and S. Lioukas. “Values, Attitudes and Perceptions of Managers as Predictors of Corporate Environmental Responsiveness.” Journal of Environmental Management 100, (2012): 41-51.
Peters, T. Thriving on Chaos, Harper and Row, New York, NY, 1987.
Poulin, M. and S.R. Cohen. “World Benevolence Beliefs and Well-being across the Life Span.” Psychology and Aging 23, no. 1 (2008): 13-23.
Rahman, N.M.N.A., M.A. Alias, S. Shahid, M.A. Hamid, and S.S. Alam. “Relationship between Islāmic Human Resources Management (IHRM) Practices and Trust: An Empirical Study.” Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 6, no. 4 (2013): 1105-23.
Raja Raziff, R.S., A.M. Abd Hamid, A.M. Lukman, and H. Haznizam. “The Concept of Rights and Protection to Employees: A Comparative Overview.” International Journal of Islāmic Thought 4 (2013): 58-64.
Rastgar, A.A., A. Zarei, S.M.M. Davoudi, and K.I.A.R.A.S.H. Fartash. “The Link between Workplace Spirituality, Organizational Citizenship Behaviour and Job Performance in Iran.” Arth Prabhand: A Journal of Economics and Management 1, no.6 (2012): 51-67.
Rokeach, M. The Nature of Human Values, New York, Free Press, 1973.
Roussin, C. J. “Age Differences in the Perception of New Co-worker Benevolence.” Journal of Managerial Psychology 30, no. 1 (2015): 71-86.
Sabuni, M. A. Mukhtasar Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 111, pp. 118, Darul Qur’an al-Karim, Beirut, 1981.
Sani, A., B.E. Soetjipto, and V. Maharani. “The Effect of Spiritual Leadership on Workplace Spirituality, Job Satisfaction and Ihsan Behaviour (A study on Nurses of Aisyiah Islāmic Hospital in Malang, Indonesia).” International Journal of Applied Business and Economic Research 14, no. 11 (2016): 7675-88.
Shuriye, A.O. “The Role of Tawheedic Stimulus in the Conscience of Muslim Individuals.” Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 5, no. 23 (2014): 1940-8.
Sidani, Y., and A. Al Ariss. “New Conceptual Foundations for Islāmic Business Ethics: The Contributions of Abu-Hamid Al-Ghazali.” Journal of Business Ethics 129, no. 4 (2015): 847-57.
Siddiqui, A. “Ethics in Islam: Key Concepts and Contemporary Challenges.” Journal of Moral Education 26, no. 4 (1997): 423-31.
Stein, T.V., D.H. Anderson, and T. Kelly. “Using Stakeholders’ Values to Apply Ecosystem Management in an Upper Midwest Landscape.” Environmental Management 24, no. 3 (1999): 399-413.
Sulaiman, M. Islāmic Corporate Reporting: Between the Desirable and the Desired, Research Centre, IIUM, Malaysia, 2005.
———., and Willett, R. J. “Using the Hofstede-Gray framework to argue normatively for an extension of Islāmic Corporate Reports.” Malaysian Accounting Review 2, no. 1 (2003): 81-105.
Triantafillou, P. “Machinating the Responsive Bureaucrat: Excellent Work Culture in the Malaysian Public Sector.” Asian Journal of Public Administration 24, (2002): 185-209.
‘Ulwan, A. N. Salah Ad-Din Al-Ayyubi - Hero of the Battle of Hattin and Liberator of Jerusalem from the Crusaders 532 -589A.H./1137 -1193 C.E, Dar Al-Salam, Egypt, 2002.
Wahab, M.A., The Impact of Islāmic Work Values on Employees’ Job Performance in Malaysia, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Canberra, Australia, 2012.
———, A. Quazi, and D. Blackman. “Measuring and Validating Islāmic Work Value Constructs: An Empirical Exploration using Malaysian Samples.” Journal of Business Research 69, no. 10 (2016): 4194-204.
Wan Hussin, W.S. “Ciri-ciri Usahawan Berjaya dari Perspektif Al-Quran.” Jurnal Usuluddin 18, (2003): 81-110.
Wang, S., X. Yi, J. Lawler, and M. Zhang, “Efficacy of High-Performance Work Practices in Chinese Companies.” The International Journal of Human Resource Management 22, no. 11 (2011): 2419-41.
Yasien, M. Human Nature in Islam. Kuala Lumpur: AS Noordeen, 1998.