CONCEPTION OF HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT IN ISLAM
Human Capital Development treats human beings as the most important and valued assets. Whatever business and organizations achieve, it is only because of their competent and committed human resources. The expenditure made in developing human capital is treated as investment because it adds value to the organization.
Islam is the universal religion and has given due emphasis on the development of human capital. Islamic understanding of human capital development endeavors to elevate human capital from the state of ignorance to knowledge, from laziness to hard work, from carelessness to responsibility and from coercion to freedom. It teaches its followers for the development of wholesome personality which is achievable through learning and education which means continuous improvement of productive talents, creativity and managerial skills.
The Islamic perspective of human capital development in the Tawhidic conception, which connects every aspect of human psyche including the human capital to Almighty Allah.Tawhidic conception combines all different aspects of human nature, into a homogenous whole including human capital, economic, political, religious and social facets and the idea of steadiness and order (Istiqamah). While literally the termistiqamah means moral integrity and straightness, its conceptual denotations include intellectual uprightness which consists consistence and continuous upgrading of the individuals knowledge, moral behavior, and productive skills. Once a person asked the Holy Prophet (SAW) to say a word about the ultimate wisdom of human life on which He (SAW) replied, “to believe in Almighty Allah and to maintain uprightness”. Hazrat Imam-Al-Nawawi while commenting on this Hadith says that, “istiqamah is a comprehensive word and it comprises the entire human efforts and struggle for development and uprightness”.
Islam considers human capital both as noble and prolific. It is noble because of intellectual and moral attributes upon which man becomes vicegerent. The Holy Quran and the sayings of Holy Prophet (SAW) teach us that every aspect of human character is imperative, caliphological duties of man are only actualized through resourceful and proficient human capital. Why so? Because the job of planning, organizing, controlling and producing which is vital for the economic and social development is achievable only through multi-faceted and resourceful professionals.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) said that, “the strong and the competent believer is better and closer to Allah (SWT) than the weak believer”. Despite the fact that each and every believer is individually good, but the comparison and superlative words used by the Prophet (SAW) in the above lines signify the importance of “human capital” in relation to economic and social growth of the society in Islamic perspective.
It is prolific because the material utilities of economic production diminish through consumption but the knowledge and productive skills grow through utilization. Many of the contemporary economists agree on this point that it is human resources of a nation that determine the pace and character of economic and social development. Pdacharopulous and Woodhall in their research study found that it is the human capital that constitutes the ultimate basis of wealth of nations. Further they say that both the capital and natural resources are passive factors of production , while human resources are active force which accumulate capital, exploit natural resources, build social, economic and political organizations and carry forward national development.
Al-Faruqi one of the contemporary Muslim scholar in his study found that human capital development is important not because it is noble and prolific, but because it has a purpose. He further says that the life of man in this universe is not accidental and nor through random occurrence but this life has a purpose and responsibility. To sharpen that purpose and responsibility human capital development is must both for the good of business organizations as well as for society at large.
In the Holy Quran Almighty Allah has commanded every human to work and produce. Islam discouraged begging and laziness rather it encouraged hard work and being productive.
Isalm puts great importance to human intellect. Islam demands man to use its intellect as much as he can so that he will contribute positively towards the betterment of social life and to achieve what he has been authorized to. Islam provides motivational incentives and protective measures for the promotion of effective and competent human intellect. In order to protect its followers from the intellectual defects it prohibits all those things which disrupt mental thinking.
For the promotion and development of effective human capital Islam prohibits all those things which endanger human intelligence, creative thinking, innovation, problem solving and decision making. It put emphasis on the continuous development of human capital so that they contribute positively towards organizations where they work and the society where they lives.
The writer is a PhD Research Scholar ([email protected])