Personal development entails physical and spiritual developments which generally complement each other. Current scenario, however, has seen more and more people who are inclined towards establishing world matters rather than spending time to worship Allah SWT. This contradicts significantly with the words of Allah SWT in the Quran (2:143) that describe an excellence ummah (
Keywords: Wasatiyyahpersonal developmentphysical developmentspiritual developmenthuman responsibilities
This paper deliberates on the principle of
To elucidate the above matters, the paper begins by describing the concepts that frame this study which is the principle of
The Principle of Wasatiyyah
Islam is a true religion which consistently corresponds with the principle of
When Quran was initially revealed to Prophet pbuh long time ago, there was an argument that claimed the Quran as relevant only for that particular period of time, however the reality has proven the contrary. This is because faith is not the only issue deliberated in the Quran. Other notions in the Quran include the history related to human characteristics and community attitudes as evidenced in the case of the people of Ad and Thamud. On this particular note, the Quran clearly explains the essential philosophy and approach to be acquired in order to achieve happiness here and hereafter (Omer, 2015).
Indeed, there has never been any conflict that exists between Islam and the modern years due to the fact that the words of Quran originate from Allah SWT and that they are eternally relevant. Therefore, the principle of
A clear example of
It is apparent that the principle of
Human beings are created by Allah SWT for two main reasons. First, the ultimate goal of the creation is to worship Allah SWT (Quran, 51:56). Worship is commonly defined as a servant or slave of Allah. However, the essential definition of worship as narrated by Imam Hussain a.s. is that “Allah has created Man in order to know him. When he knows God, he will worship him. When he worships God (properly and with knowledge), he will not worship anyone else other than God”. In other words, Allah has created humans to make them search and understand Allah SWT and that the closer they get to Allah SWT, the more positive personal development will be inevitably developed. The second reason for creating human beings is because Allah wants to place us as caliphs on earth (Quran, 2:30). The term caliph here is interpreted as the position of a man in the universe as a person who exercises the responsibility delegated to him to carry out the will of his master and limited by his principles (Muhammad, 2008).
The principles held by an individual are reflected in his personal development which progresses from early childhood until adulthood. Personal development as defined by Maslow (1970) is similar to self-actualisation that refers to self-fulfilment and the needs to reach full potential as a unique human being involving life experiences, either formally or informally, as well as feelings. It includes the activities in developing talents and potential, human capital and enhancing the quality of life to achieve the aims and goals in life.
Considering these elements, it can be concluded that our tasks in this world are; first to be servants of God and second to be humans. Being a servant of God relates to spirituality and the day of judgement. In contrast, being a human relates to physicality and the world. Therefore, the main tasks of humans are to fulfil the requirements of both. Neither spirituality nor physicality would be neglected. Allah SWT has mentioned: “But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters" (Quran, 28:77). Obviously, this verse underlines that human beings need to fulfil their responsibilities not only for the hereafter but also for their lives here in the world. It is also explicit in the verse that the focus of human beings should be substantially inclined towards the preparation for the hereafter. Indeed, Islam strongly emphasizes on the practice of the principle of
In reality, current scenario has shown that most people are prone towards establishing world matters and substantial time are spent merely to focus on their job, wealth and personal interest rather than spending time to worship Allah SWT. The time they spent to worship Allah SWT is sometimes minimal and momentary only for the sake of fulfilling obligatory requirements such as the five compulsory daily prayers and fasting during the month of Ramadhan. These also include some occasional requirements which are not obligatory yet strongly advocated by Allah SWT such as tarawikh prayers that are performed every night throughout Ramadhan. It has become a common scenario specifically during the month of Ramadhan whereby most mosques are filled up by Muslims to perform their tarawikh prayers at the beginning of the month and their population reduces slowly towards the end of Ramadhan. This occurs probably because tarawikh prayers are not obligatory and that worldly matters are deemed more important. In this case, the awareness of becoming servants of God is seen as negligible.
The concept of
This study is guided by the following question:
1. How is the principle of
Purpose of the Study
This paper aims to explore the application of the principle of
In view of the concepts presented above, this section further discusses several empirical literature and government documents such as budget germane to these concepts and their implementation within the Malaysian context.
It is explicit that the personal development of an individual essentially encompasses the process of educating his physical and spiritual attributes. Given its holistic approach that integrates physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional aspects in the development of human beings (Suhid, 2007), Islamic education is considered as the best approach that balances the happiness of human beings here and hereafter. With strong
This gives the indication that it is important to look at the programs that are carried out by the Malaysian government in order to build personal development as a whole. To achieve this, several documents on government programs and policy that are related to human capital development were analysed to gain an insight on the government’s initiatives to help Malaysians in their personal development. Hamat & Nordin (2012) contend that most human capital development programs that are designed by the government, as one of the national missions, were only inclined towards the progress of skills and knowledge of human capital while the development of human spiritual such as enhancing positive moral values was seriously abandoned.
This argument was based on the allocation for human capital development as proposed in the 2009 and 2010 budgets. In 2009 budget, the allocation for human capital development specifically for training and education was approximately 23% of the total budget whilst the budget in 2010 for human capital development gave special attention to enhancing human capital skills in science and technology. On the whole, a total of RM30 billion was allocated by the government for the primary and secondary schools to achieve its aim to enhance human capital skills. However, it is undeniable that some allocations for human spiritual development in both years were also provided by the government, yet the portion was uneven as compared to the allocations for physical development.
Interestingly, the Malaysian government has started the effort to introduce a balanced education to its citizen since 1977. This is based on the suggestion made at the Islamic Education Conference in Mecca to combine the knowledge originated from Quran and As-Sunnah with the knowledge derived from human’s thinking in the education curriculum (Baba, 2016). Religious secondary schools were introduced since then and the applications to enrol in these schools outnumbered the already existed schools. This shows that Islamic education has become significant to many parents and that priority has been given to ensure balanced personal development amongst their children.
Even though it is evidenced that the government has carried out various initiatives incorporating physical and spiritual elements in the development of human capital, the application of the concept of
Therefore, to gain more insights on the role of the government in ensuring a balanced personal development amongst Malaysians and to find out whether the
In light of the 2017 budget, it is mainly anchored in five philosophies and principles. One of them is to uphold the universal Islamic philosophy and principle of
This paper has attempted to explore the way the wasatiyyah concept is integrated in the human personal development in Malaysia by reviewing relevant literature including government documents. A review of literature including the government’s documents for the purpose of this study has revealed that some initiatives were executed by the government to ensure the environment supports the development of human personal with the integration of
Despite considerable efforts by the government to create a balanced community throughout the country, it is important to highlight that human personal development rely entirely on individual’s effort and responsibility. The discussion on personal development as presented in this paper has indicated its strong link with the human capital programs that are conducted by the government. This has ideological implications as it affirms the influence of political factors in the design of programs for general human development. It is also important to note that a review of related literature has revealed that research specifically looks into these concepts in general is still scant. This points to the need to conduct more studies particularly those that explore the principle of wasatiyyah to generate better understanding of its significance in developing human capital. In conclusion, this paper suggests that it is essential to integrate the
This paper is a collaborative effort between Institut Wasatiyyah Malaysia and Human Capital and Knowledge Management Research Group under the Smart Digital Community Research Alliance, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. This paper is also partially supported by Research University Grant (RUG): 19H07.
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23 September 2019
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, literary theory, political science, political theory
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Baki*, M. F. O., Wahi, W., Ghazali, M. A., & Mohdali, R. (2019). Exploring The Concept Of Wasatiyyah And Personal Development. In N. S. Mat Akhir, J. Sulong, M. A. Wan Harun, S. Muhammad, A. L. Wei Lin, N. F. Low Abdullah, & M. Pourya Asl (Eds.), Role(s) and Relevance of Humanities for Sustainable Development, vol 68. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 216-223). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.22