The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication

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Journal of Islamic Studies and Culture December 2016, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 22-37 ISSN: 2333-5904 (Print), 2333-5912 (Online) Copyright © The Author(s). All Rights Reserved. Published by American Research Institute for Policy Development DOI: 10.15640/jisc.v4n2a3 URL: The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication Dr. Amal Ibrahim Abd El-Fattah Khalil1 Abstract Communication is the core element to humanity which cannot survive without a healthy communication channels. Islam is a communication based religion, then like any religion, is facing many challenges to evolve and adjust to modernity and in particular to the economic and cultural power of a dominant West. On the other hand, there is a growing interest in Islam and the followers’ numbers have been increased everywhere. The objective of this chapter is to disseminate the idea that Islam is a communicative religion, and Allah is communicative God who takes keen interest in the affairs of His creatures. In addition, to inform and develop awareness of Western scholars and even public about the principles, rules and regulations of communication among human being as it was mentioned in Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of prophet Mohammed (PBUO. Therefore, this chapter presents first, the origin of language in Islam and the theoretical perspective of communication model and theory in early and current Islamic arena. Second, the Holy Qur’an as a communication miracle and Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) styles and principles that guide Muslims’ moral and ethical communication behaviors with all humans regardless their race, color and religion. Third, the levels of Islamic communication and social relationship moreover, the relationship between culture and Islamic communication pattern, and how the Muslim family communicates with their children. Finally, in a modern globalized world, what issues are confronting Muslims in the current era? In addition, what is the impact of the communication technologies in the Islamic renaissance? It is concluded that, the ability to communicate effectively is necessary to carry out thoughts and visions to people. Moreover, the Islamic culture is further affected by globalization and communication technology despite the both negative and positive effect, Islam is not against the globalization or the anti-globalization phenomenon of interpersonal communication. 1. Introduction The existence of human being in this world could be based on the opinions of religion agreements that Adam was the first man created by God. It is said that this is Allah’s creation besides all other creatures created by his Majesty. The question that arises then is whether the attributes that makes human beings different from and better than any other creature. Obviously, it is not the physical strength because many very powerful being are in the face of their wild habitats, and there are lots of more other creatures in the world who have the sensory and physical abilities far more perfect and much more sensitive than human beings. Many theorists [1] believe that the difference between humans and other creatures is the ability to communicate with language, which is a form of superiority and is God-given. This means that in the real world there are no non- humanoid languages. In this context, language is an attribute that is distinguishing behavior for men in this world. Many experts have defined language, for example, Sapir [2] stated that a human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires always done by means of voluntarily produced symbols. Therefore, language is the only used tool by humans to express opinions, feelings and desires, and to communicate culture to the next generations. 2. The Origin of Language in the prospect of Islam Islam is a religion which has its beliefs in worship, and by way of life behavior. The language is the instrument to articulate these three issues. On this basis, every prophet was sent to his people by speaking their mother tongue and was revealed as follows in holy Qur’an: “We never sent a prophet, but with the language of his people, so that he can explain clearly to them. So, God astray whom He pleases, and gives guidance to which He will, and He is God Almighty, the Wise.” (QS. Ibrahim, 4) 1 Assistant professor Psychiatry and Mental Health Nursing, College of Nursing – Jeddah, King Saud bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences, National Guard Health Affairs, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication 23 As the Qur’an was revealed in the Arabic language, the Qur’an was that one proof of his power is the existence of different languages and skin colors. But Islam provides the Arabic language as an international medium. “And among the signs of His power is the creation of the heavens and the earth and diverse language and skin color. Surely, with that situation actually there are signs for people who know” (Surat al-Rum, 22). Furthermore, Imam Shafi’i, Said,” Allah,(God) requires all humankind to learn Arabic, because the dialogue between God and humanity is through the Holy Qur’an (Arabic-speaking) and God set that reciting Qur’an is a form of worship [3]. Arabic is the official language of Muslims due to the performance of rituals and prayers .The Qur’an and Sunnah as are the source of Islamic law, which is written in Arabic, and contains the knowledge of Arabic structure [4]. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “O mankind, truly God Almighty Keeper is one. Our ancestors’ also one (Adam), and true religion we are also one. The Arab of yours not on the basis of his father and mother, but the Arabian is because of the language spoken by the tongue. He who spoke Arabic, so he is an Arab. From the realm of religion then we revert to their respective adherents’ extent believe to their believers, as well as the origins of human language. To what extent we should believe what we believe. The Qur’an is an authentic sculpture which has not been matched, replicated or even approximated. Even when it is recited by Muslims who are reciting the Qur’an in a language while they not able to speak a simple word in Arabic. Dr. Pasha, (2008) [5] stated that, we have conducted some interesting informal experiments at editing and improving selected passages from the Qur’an and failed and the results turned out to be disastrous. It is clear that this is as much proof as human beings are ever likely to have in this world of the completely divine nature of the Qur’an. That means the only reason no one is able to meet the challenge of the Qur’an throughout history is that the Qur’an is God Almighty’s direct and pristine word in our feeble mortal hands [6]. 3. Concept of communication and its importance in Islam Interpersonal communication is defined as an attribute of the social system in which two or more persons interact with one another based on the pursuit of common goals [7]. Interpersonal communication in Islam is universal and free from any prejudices based on race, color, language, religion, culture, or nationality. Islam is a communicative religion. The Islamic God is a communicative God Who takes keen interest in the affairs of His creatures. As such Allah, has communicated to humanity through a progression of prophets from Adam to the last Prophet— Muhammad (PBUH). The Islamic perspective of interpersonal communication, human interaction and societal relationship is because the individual human being cannot secure all the things necessary for his livelihood without the cooperation of someone else. Therefore, we can say that Islam is a communication-based religion. Allah created man with a basic function to communicate. Allah says in the Qur’ān, “He has taught him to talk (and understand)” (Qur’ān 55:4). Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be up on him) used both written and oral communication as per the need and requirement. He used written communication where information had to be recorded for future use and reference and uses oral communication where information has to be communicated to people immediately.[8] Communication is significant to convey the messages and spread ideas. Indeed, the communication is crucial for any success to be able to to reach out to people in order to fulfil our goals. It is an inherent nature of every individual to communicate, whether deaf or dumb to communicate through action. [8 & 9]. Communication today is increasingly seen as a process through which the exchange and sharing of meaning is made possible. In the same vein, different intellectuals have defined ‘communication' in different ways. Some have defined it as creating mutual understanding while others have declared communication as a way to understand feelings while others defined communication as a medium to transfer information or message from one person to another [10]. In Islamic society, the word ‘Communication' is linked with faithfulness, cleanliness of heart and mind, honor and prestige. Welfare for all and preaching for the faith in Allah are built in the Islamic concept of communication. In the light of Quran and Hadith, the responsibility of preaching and communication has been assigned to prophets. However, after the end of prophet-hood, this mission has been allocated to every individual of the Umma and now it is the responsibility of the Muslims to fight against evil and preach for virtues through effective communication [11]. 4. Historical overview of early Islamic communication 4. a. Oral communication in early Islamic Era: Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was born in Mecca (c.570-632). He transformed religious, political, and social organization of the people. 24 Journal of Islamic Studies and Culture, December 2016, Vol. 4, No. 2 He came from a family of the Koresh tribe. Muhammad (PBUH) was a very introspective man. He would often escape from society, which he considered materialistic and irreligious and spent long hours alone in a cave near Mount Hiraa. In these hours of meditation, Muhammad searched for answers to the metaphysical questions that many thoughtful Arabs were beginning to explore. During one such solitary meditation, Muhammad (PBUH) heard a call that was to alter the history of the world. Muhammad's first communication from heaven came in the form of a command: “Recite! In the name of your Lord, who created all things, who created man from a clot (of blood) and your Lord is Most Bounteous Who teaches by the Pen, teaches man that which he would not have otherwise known” (Qur’an 96:1-5) In fact, the earliest Muslim community experienced several social developments as it evolved from a group of believers to a thriving political community and, later, to a state. When Islam dawned on Arabia, oral and face-to-face communication with direct and simultaneous feedback was considered the basic mode of social interaction. In an oral community in which few could write or read, innovative modes of teaching and learning were needed. The face-to- face relationship between the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions and followers developed an effective and unique mode of communicating Islamic teachings and behavior through “vicarious learning” [12]. In the early Islamic community, Muslims carefully noticed the Prophet‘s (PBUH) deeds and behavior, and imitated him. In other words, people learned from the deeds and behaviors of the Prophet (PBUH); what communication scholars of today call “observational learning.” [13]. The Prophet (PBUH) himself encouraged this style as he urged his companions and followers to “pray as he prays.” This style was essential because of the novelty of the religion and its rituals, and because most of the companions and followers were illiterate. The tradition of imitative learning continued even after the death of the Prophet (PBUH) as the companions and followers kept consulting close. Allah also tells people what they need to communicate so that their speech becomes the best. Allah says in the Qur’ān, “And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, ‘Indeed, I am of the Muslims’.” (Qur’ān 41:33). Allah says in this verse, that the better in speech are those who invite people to Allah. How magnificent is this book, which also tells its readers as to what they need to speak so that it might become better? There are many examples in which an oral communication was used as an effective tool for mass communication such as: Khutba (sermon) of Friday and “khutabat al-wadà” (sermon of farewell) perhaps the most famous because the Prophet (PBUH) outlined in it major social and religious matters, and underlined basic themes that became central in Islamic social behavior. This is another good example of the Prophet (PBUH)’s distinct style of oratory, with its extensive resort to prosing, and the consistent usage of the different techniques of rhetoric, especially metaphor, simile, allegory and parallelism [14]. Another example was using oral communication to call people to Salah (prayer) many ideas and suggestions were given but at the end it was Azaan (call of prayer) that was finalized which is a tool of oral communication. It is also considered the official call for Salah. “When the number of Muslims increased they discussed the question as to how to know the time for the prayer by some familiar means. Some suggested that a fire be lit (at the time of the prayer) and others put forward the proposal to ring the bell. Bilal was ordered to pronounce the wording of Azaan...” (Bukhari). Azaan(call of prayer) has become such an effective and powerful tool that it reminds people about Salah when they are busy in their worldly and personal affairs. Nowadays, this communication has become one of the living miracles of Islam [8]. 4. b. Written Communication: An extensive numbers of communication researchers strongly emphasize the place of writing and documenting in human development. Writing provides power over nature as well as over people, and recording information enables comparison and analysis, as well as makes easier the prediction and control of natural phenomena [15]. In the Arabian Peninsula, those who write and read are always seen as socially privileged and more powerful than those who are illiterate. Being a communication-based religion, Islam all along, emphasized and upheld written communication. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) has given high importance to written communication because it could be preserved and be used for future reference. The best example of the use of written communication is the Qur’ān that was recorded and preserved as and when it was revealed. It was recorded on tablets, bones, animal skins and date palms. Shortly after the passing of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be up on him), the Qur’ān was compiled into a single book by order of the first Calipha Abu Bakr and at the suggestion of his future successor Umar. Nowadays, the Qur’ān has gone on to become the biggest living miracle in the world. The Qur’ān demands that a debt transaction must be written down. Allah says in the Qur’ān, “O you, who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. In addition, let a scribe write (it) between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So, let him write and let the one who has the obligation (i.e., the debtor) dictate. The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication 25 Moreover, let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. (Qur’an 2:282). The first revealed verses comprise a divine command to the Prophet (PBUH) to read, whereas the totality of the Qur’an is concretized in a book, the Qur’an” [16]. Another important example of using written communication is when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) invited many kings to Islam, as he could not meet everyone in person so, he used the mode of written communication and sent the letters through one of his companions [8]. As Islam grew and the community of Muslims gradually transformed into a state, communication modes experienced several developments that led, in the end, to the adoption of written communication and various tools to communicate the message of Islam; they use booklets, pamphlets, folders, etc. which resulted in the development of the community into a flourishing civilization [17]. 5. Theoretical perspectives of Islamic communication For many decades, communication as a theoretical field of study has been dominated by Western-oriented perspectives that arose in the context of media perceptions in Western Europe and North America [18]. Western communication theories have been promoted around the world as possessing a strong element of universalism. In recent years, this approach has been challenged based on confusing the cultural peculiarities of non-Western societies as significant components of communication theorization. In this feature, this chapter will represent the main sources of communication in the following: 5. A. The Arab-Islamic Worldview The Arab-Islamic worldview derives from two central sources: 5. A.1. Secular socio- cultural Components: Secular traditions and values that either predated Islam and/or were acquired because of interactions with foreign cultures by Arab Muslims. In the secular Arab worldview, the boundaries of morality are portrayed by blood relationships. Arabs had developed primitive social systems, deriving their worldview from an unwritten code of tribal law and morality that cantered on the concept of dignity (karama). The dignity-based code lent itself much to values, such as honor (sharaf), genealogy (nasab), paternalism (abawiyya), and eloquence (fasaha). Moreover, normative secular ethics ranging from Greek tradition of popular Platonism, to the Persian tradition of giving advice to sultans and wazirs about government and politics, to the more contemporary ethical frameworks introduced by the West through “modernization,” “development,” “industrialization, and secular humanism” [19, 20& 21]. 5. A.2 Religious Islamic values components: The current ethical thinking and practices in Islamic societies, related to community, communication, and social interactions, are usually based on two important sources the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad's sayings and practices, and works of jurisprudence, philosophy, and literature [22]. The secular-religious components of the Arab-Islamic worldview seem to maintain symbiotic relationships—in many ways operating as an interactive whole. Jameelah [23] noted that, the Arab- Islamic worldview was a product of a melting-pot experience in which Arabism and Islamism became two interchangeable concepts. Actually, the significant components of the pre-Islamic Arab worldview have survived in the Islamic era of Arab history, but with an important difference: they came to be governed by a comprehensive Islamic sharia, or law, rather than by the unwritten code of tribal law and morality. Dignity-based code, concepts of honor, genealogy, paternalism, and eloquence were incorporated under more important Islamic values, like tawhid (Allah is the only God), Iman (belief), Umma (community), Ibadah (worship), and Elm (knowledge). Pre-Islamic polytheistic paganism that centered on tribal gods was totally abolished in Islam as it contradicts the very conception of the oneness of God [24]. 5. b. A Normative Arabo-Islamique Communication Perspective In this normative perspective, Ayish, 2003[20] in his article titled ‘Beyond western- Oriented Communication Theories: A normative Arab- Islamic perspective’ argues that an Arab-Islamic conception of communication could perhaps be better grasped in the context of four dichotomous themes: individualism - conformity, transcendentalism- existentialism, rationality-intuition, and egalitarian hierarchy. Tensions within the contemporary Arab communication system at interpersonal and institutional levels lend themselves more to build in compatibilities between those patterns and the normative perspective advanced the modern media norms and practices. 5. B.1. Individualism conformity Individualism is a central value in the Arab-Islamic worldview. The individualist-conformist orientations in Arab- Islamic culture produce two distinctive patterns of communication processes. 26 Journal of Islamic Studies and Culture, December 2016, Vol. 4, No. 2 In the first pattern, generally as associated with secular Arab traditions, communication is a process of liberating the individual from the shackles of conformity to a collective lineage-based system and of assisting in the assertion of a code of dignity [19, & 24]. On the other hand, communication in Islam, spiritual and social, denotes a process of facilitating the individual's integration into the larger Umma. It is a process of harmonizing the believing inner self with the collective believer's self of the community. Falling within the concept of Ibadah, all communication acts are used not only as tools for harmonizing the individual self with a collective ethos, but they are elevated to the status of acts of worship, thus deserving God's rewards [19]. 5. B.2. Transcendentalism-Existentialism Reality in the Arab-Islamic culture is conceived of as comprising two domains, one belonging to the world of idealist imagination and divine sacredness of a Power Transcendental, the other to mundane matters and the profanity of sensible existence. [19]. the first world is perfect and absolute, the second imperfect and relative. We become conscious of the first domain through heart and intellect, while our knowledge of the second domain is based on first- hand encounters. Both domains are reconciled in the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet's Sunna. Both are the key sources of Islamic Sharia that guide Muslim's worldly practices within the context of a grand divine scheme of creation. Because the transcendent world is associated with divine absolutism and sacredness, it was natural to view it as far more superior to the low world of relativism and swear word [25]. As Mahmoud (1971) [26] noted that the transcendental reality world has become a guiding light for dealing with the mundane world in different life situations. 5. B.3. Intuitive-Rational Processes Revelation is the most primary source of knowledge for Muslims, because an individual attains a belief in God through the intuition of the heart. The heart is the chief "processing" apparatus. The individual submissions to the revealed message of God as an absolute truth and does not question its validity. Heart-rooted communicative processes are likely to produce impulsive and risk in communication that thrives more on information sharing than on a rational change of messages. Understanding in a communication experience is not a pre- meditated act, but rather it is a ritual, or a habit, that confers legitimacy on the ring experience [20]. Although intuitive communication is an important component of interpersonal social communication in the Arab-Islamic culture, its intra-personal manifestations are overwhelming. One of the outstanding features of Arab-Islamic communication is that it is inwardly oriented before it takes on more pervasive outward con- figurations. On the other hand, Arab communication has a significant rational component, which has been responsible for various Arab intellectual and scientific contributions to civilization. Reason, mind was viewed as a blessing from God through which an individual has been elevated to a higher status in the hierarchy of creation. As such, a reason-based thought process often produces rational, calculated, and influence-oriented communication. This communication pattern cannot be fully associated with secular Arab culture, however, simply because the concept of dignity, on which secular components of the Arab-Islamic worldview are based, lends itself more to a worldview of self-conceived idealism that may not be adequately rationalized. [19, 27, & 28] 5. B.4. Egalitarian-Hierarchical The egalitarian message of Islam is noted in that we are equal for God, and the most favorite to God is the most pious. Sovereignty belongs exclusively to God, while social power is bestowed on institutions through a process of popular delegation. [18] On the other hand, the concept of paternalistic authority has spawned perceptions of Arab- Islamic communication as power. The Islamic caretaker, who is the ruler in a generic sense, owes the community of justice in exchange for obedience by community members. Indeed, clan dignitaries used to act as negotiators in conflicts in the community by virtue of their communication capabilities. On the other hand, tribal poets were viewed as part of political propaganda machines operating in times of crisis, and as symbols of socio-political status in times of peace. [29 & 30]. At the family level, males are given Quwama or responsibility for females. Parents are also provided with a high status within the family. 5. c. Associative View of Communication in Islam: Association in communication is an underlying feature of Hall’s (1976) [31] concept of “high and low context” cultures. Hall distinguished between high and low-context cultures based on how much meaning is rooted in the context versus the code. Whereas low-context communicators tend to search for meaning in the code or message, high-context communicators search for meaning in the context, or setting. The connection between meaning and context is one aspect of association. The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication 27 Associative View of Communication reflects the significance, meaning and purpose of communication, which derived from relationships among the parties, and the social context within which it occurs. Classical Arabic as illustrated in the Quran is highly associative in nature. The Quran, considered the highest literary work in the Arabic language, is replete with associative-based stylistic, linguistic and rhetorical features. For example, the text in the Quran is not punctuated (the Quran was compiled in written form more than 1,400 years ago; punctuation is a relatively new phenomenon for Arabic text). [29, 32 &33] Adelman and Lustig [34] highlighted the “attention to polite interaction through elaborate and prolonged greeting rituals” (1981, p. 352) as one of the dominant features in the region. “Handshakes can go on for minutes, while in prolix Arabic an exchange of polite questions and blessings can extend indefinitely’’. It was observed by Iseman (1978) [35] & Cohen (1987) [36] who referred to the “veneer of elaborate courtesy,” as it is called a “social instrument in the Arabic language and considered as a device for promoting social ends as much as a means for transmitting information” [35]. The strong associative strand running through the Arabic language is also mirrored in the Islamic religion or “Deen al- Islam.” The Arabic word “deen” carries a different connotation than the English word religion. In the intercultural literature, religion or belief system is often distinguished from political system, economic system, or social system. In Arabic, the word “deen” is more holistic and encompassing than “faith” and refers to “a way of life.” In addition, writing from an Islamic perspective, Siddiqui (2000, p. 11) [25] describes the encompassing meanings of deen al-Islam for believers. It is comprehensive (deen al-kamilah); it elevates human nature to its highest potential (deen al-fitrah); it advocates moderation and balanced (deen al-wasata); it presents lasting upright value system (deen al-qayyimah); it is based on a system of governance called ‘shura and mutual advice’ (deen an-nasihah); and proscribes good manners and fair dealings (deen al-adaab). 6. Model of communication in Islam: 6. a. Models of communication in general: The word 'model' refers as representation of a process, and event or a situation. It is not a separate or independent method rather it is the representation of an existing object. The communication model is similarly a symbolic representation of the communication process. It does not show the details of a message rather it presents only those elements, which are related to the object of sending a message. Communication model can be verbal, arithmetical, graphical or pictorial [7]. Expanded the definition of communication process can be, "To complete communication a communicator, a message, some intermediary channels and a receiver are needed. All those are completed one after another. A message sending steps from communicator to receivers are called as communication process. “Figure (1) Communication Process According to Schramm [37], when we communicate, we are trying to share information, an idea, or an attitude. Communication always requires three elements: the source, the message, and the destination (the receiver). Communication is always a part of something. It represents a relationship not only between individuals, but also between relationships. It is the web that binds society together. [37&38] Moreover, Lass Swell (1948) [39] defines the process of communication as a convenient way to describe the act of communication or to answer the following question: Who says (sender) what is said, (the intended message, idea or information), in which channel, to whom, with what effect? (The response or feedback from the sender). 28 Journal of Islamic Studies and Culture, December 2016, Vol. 4, No. 2 Therefore, we can conclude that communication process is a process or a series of some step-by-step tasks or cyclical interaction of some tasks which started from a communicator and using a system reaches to a receiver and the receiver provides feedback to the sender. There might be a noise in the process. Therefore, there are three basic models in communication they are, linear, interactive and transactional. Figure (2) Interactive model of communication 6. b. Islamic communication model Hamid Mawllana (1996) [40] has offered a model that not only challenges Western models of communication, but also Western models of society. The Islamic community also differs from the Western notion of community. In Islamic society, the Umma (community of faithful) is formed based on shared belief in the unity of God, the universe and nature. In his works, Mowlana has outlined what he regards as an Islamic response to the Western model of communication (as if there is only one), one more in tune with the cultural values and history of the Islamic world. Central to his analysis is the notion of Tablig (propagation). He warns us that Tablig should not be confused with the Western concept of propaganda. Tablig throughout the history of Islam has ‘provided, for a vast number of people from diverse races, languages, and histories, a common forum for participation in a shared culture’ [40], which is Islam in nature. Moreover, Mawllana (2015) [41] noted that, Tabling has four main principles: monotheism (tawhid), doctrine of responsibility, guidance and action the idea of Islamic community (Umma) and, finally, the principle of piety (taqwa). 7. Holy Qur’an: A Communication Miracle The miracle of Qur’an is communicational. Qur’an is a form of communication that is neither prose, nor saja (rhymed prose). The basic miracle of al- Qur’an lies in its extreme eloquence and literary sophistication that none of the acknowledged Arab poets and orators could match. Thus, the inability of Arabs to match the Qur’an is considered the miracle of the Qur’an. It is a communicational miracle because though it involves words and verses, no one could ever match its style. This uniqueness made the non-believers level the accusation of magic on al- Qur’an, and accuse the Prophet (PBUH) of being a diviner, or of being a magician whose magic was eloquence [42]. In Qur’an, all references are continuously reached to the importance of communication for the call to Islam. The Qur’an uses such concepts as balàgh, da’wah, basher, nadhár, tadhkirah, and Mawi’zah to communicate Allah’s message to people. The most central Qur’an concept of Wahy (revelation) is communication-related concept. It denotes a Divine communication of Allah’s teachings. The two basic guides of Islamic social and political behavior, al- Qur’an and Sunnah, are communication based. The first and foremost guide, al- Qur’an, communicates the fundamental principles of Islam and lays the foundation of Islamic behavior. The second, the Sunnah or the deeds, utterances, and trait approvals of the Prophet (PBUH) , elucidate and clarify these principles and relate the abstract to reality. [7, 29, & 43] After prophet death, Alkhophaa Alrashedin called Ijtihàd created a third reference; it is an Islamic method of independent reasoning and analogy, [43]. In fact, it was an important source of Islamic legislation. Accordingly, Ijtihàd is also communication-based because it involves continuous reference to basic texts, analysis, inference, and deduction. The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication 29 Later after, the fourth element of Islamic jurisprudence and political decision-making, Ijmà or consensus of the Al ummàh had been developed and is communication-based as it implies deliberation and consultation among the elite of the ummah. [29] Today the Holy Qur’ān has gone on to become the biggest living miracle in the world. It was shown more than 1430 years ago, and even today, it remains the same without a dot being added or a dot being removed. When we compare the first copy of the Qur’ān with the one that is printed today, it has no difference. Today there are crores and crores of copies of the Qur’ān across the world and they are all the same. Today what we recite as the verses of the Qur’ān is the same as was presented before the world by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) and this Qur’ān today is playing the role of giving ultimate guidance to entire humanity. [8] 8. Communication styles and principles of Prophet Mohammed (PBUP) on him: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was someone who understood the importance of communicating with people; he did not converse with or embrace only believers. Rather he saw all people, irrespective of religion, language, race, sex, social status or role as possessing value and thus he established good communication with all of them. Prophet Muhammad brought the divine message into a form that people could perceive, hear and feel, about which they could read, talk and write; he set examples that could be brought to life and practiced. As a Prophet, Muhammad's mission and goal was to establish a good dialogue with people and to communicate; to do this, he not only used the various means of communication that belonged to his era, he also took into account the psychological peculiarities of the individual and society in order to present the message in the best and most effective way. Therefore, during Da’awa, he was careful with his sympathetic behavior to feelings of equality among people. Prophet Muhammad was also careful about the characteristics of the society and people around him [44 &45]. Prophet Muhammad was able to understand the social psychology, as well as the individual characteristics of the people who made up the society, and thus used different methods of communication. For example, he acted according to the conditions of the region he was in when eating, drinking or dressing. From animals, the most common examples he would use would be camels, and plants he would use the date. Some of the people around him were of the city while others were Bedouins (living in the desert) [45]. For this reason, Prophet Muhammad, while forwarding a message that was to cover all ages and all people, acted wisely in the difficult task of establishing communication with the first addresses; he selected methods that were in accordance with their concepts and thoughts, their perceptions and abilities. [43 & 44] Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad actively communicated with the people around him; he treated those who came to visit him kindly and he visited those who could not come, trying to forward the message to them. He would wander around fairs and he went to Taif for purposes of communication. Another communication principles presented by him is brought love for humankind to the forefront. The Prophet commanded: "If you love a fellow Muslim, let him know." (Abu Dawud, 5124). One day he took hold of Muazh ibn Jabal's hand and said: "O Muazh, I swear to Allah that I truly love you." Then he said "O Muazh, do not neglect to say at the end of every prayer ‘My Lord! Help me to commemorate you, to thank you and to serve you well!" (Abu Dawud) Another saying of him was "I swear by Allah ...that you will not enter heaven as long as you do not believe. You cannot believe if you do not love one another. Shall I tell you what to do if you love one another? Greet one another. (I.e. with the salutation of peace, Assalamo Alaikom) (Muslim, 378) One of the important principles of communication presented and practiced by Prophet Muhammad was addressing the mind and the emotions of those around him when communicating with them. For example, some of the Companions told him: "O Allah's Prophet! The wealthy have taken the blessings and gone. They pray like us, they fast like us, but they give more to charity than we can." The Prophet replied: "Do you think that Allah has given you nothing to donate? Every time you praise Allah, every time you say Alhamdulillah (thank God), every time you say "La Ileah Ella Allah" (There is no god but Allah), whenever you command good or frustrate evil these are donations to be blessed." (Muslim, 25) In addition, among those actions that he practiced and recommended were hospitality to guests, visiting those who were not able to visit, the maintenance of relationships, visiting those who were not well and taking part in funerals. In fact, prophet Mohammed moral was the Holy Qur’an and he always when speaking or delivering a speech, he constantly observed the abilities of the addresses who listened to him, and he used the examples that address the existed world and which they been understood well. 30 Journal of Islamic Studies and Culture, December 2016, Vol. 4, No. 2 9. Levels of communication and Social relationship in Islam Communication, in general, may be examined at various levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, cross-cultural, religious organizational, business, health, agricultural, social, economic, political and mass [46]. Mass communication deals with the dissemination of information to impersonal heterogeneous audiences through radio, television, newspapers and a host of other media, while political communication is any communicatory activity considered political, by virtue of its consequences, actual and / or potential, to the functioning of the political system. It is the intimate relationship between the political process and the communication process [47, &48] Society is a form of communication and relationship, through which experience is described, shared, modified and preserved. It is difficult if not impossible for a human being to avoid interpersonal communication within society. Islam provides distinctive ways for humans to interact with one another. Interpersonal communication is a feature of the social system in which two or more persons interact with one another, in their actions, people take account of how the others are likely to act and sometimes the people in the system act together in pursuit of common goals [2]. Interpersonal communication in Islam is universal and free from any prejudice based on race, color, language, religion, culture, or nationality. Islam is a communicative religion. The Islamic perspective of interpersonal communication, human interaction and societal relationship is based on the fact that the individual human being cannot secure all the things necessary for his livelihood without cooperation with someone else. Allah says Co-operate with one another on the basis of righteousness and God consciousness, and do not cooperate with one another on the basis of sin and rancor: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment. Qur'an 5:2 YA Prophet Muhammad was quoted as having given a list of the rights of neighbors and other human beings in interpersonal communication, human interaction and societal relationships: Help him if he asks your help. Give him relief if he seeks your relief. Lend to him if he needs a loan. Show him concern if he is distressed. Nurse him when he is ill. Attend his funeral if he dies. Congratulate him if he meets any good. Sympathies with him if any calamity befalls him. Do not block his air by raising your building high without his permission. Harass him not. Give him a share when you buy fruits, and if you do not give him, bring what you buy quietly and let not your children take them out to excite the jealousy of his children. (Hadith: Bukhari and Muslim) The Quran as a manual for a way of life focuses extensively on social relations. The first pillar in Islam is ‘at-tawheed,’ which proclaims the oneness of God, is very much a relational statement: Nothing can be associated with God. Within the Quran, a person’s most important relationship is with God. Man’s relationship to God is presented as a higher or more intimate level of relations than his relationship to himself. Prominent verses within the Quran include God being closer to man than his own jugular vein, or knowing what is in one’s heart.3 Man’s relationship to himself, what might be called intra-personal communication, is a second level of relationships. A third level of relationships discussed in the Quran deals with intimate relations such as one’s parents, siblings, spouse, children and neighbors. Social manners and knowledge of appropriate behaviors is one of the three fundamental tenets of the Islamic conception of education [50]. The most expansive relationship is man’s relationship within “al- Ummah,” or the community of Islam. In his commentary on the Quran, Abdullah Yusuf Ali (2003) [51] points out that the overwhelming focus (first 14 of 15 parts) of the Quran focus on the Ummah. These levels of relationship or associations within Islam discussed in the Quran are echoed throughout Islamic practices. As a design, Ali’s (2003) [51], draws the attention to the graduations of social contacts from the individual to international level. The proscribed five daily prayers reflect man’s intimate relationship with God. The proscribed weekly prayer [Friday’s at mid-day] encompasses one’s intimate relations. The proscribed two Eid prayers expand to the larger community. The prayers offered during the Hajj, or pilgrimage, which gathers Muslims from around the world in Mecca, are relations at the level of al-Umma, or global community of Muslims. 10. Intercultural communication in Islam: 10. A. Communication and culture The relationship between communication and culture has been one of the most widely researched areas in contemporary media literature. It has been argued that as much as communication is a reflector of cultural values and norms, it is also an expression of culture. The universality of Prophet Mohammed’s mission (Peace is upon him) has been clearly confirmed by the Qur’an; it is a logical consequence of the finality of his Prophet Hood. A prophet after whom there was to be no other, had to be a guide and leader for all men and for all ages. The Islamic Perspective of Interpersonal Communication 31 God has provided through him the complete code that man needs to follow the right path, and this is in itself supports the concept of finality, since without completeness the need for other prophets would remain [52]. Islam comprehends and fulfils all the requirements of life, past and future until the end of human existence on the earth whether these requirements are spiritual, material, political, economic, social, moral, intellectual, or aesthetic, in other words Islam determines the rules, which should form the basis of social, cultural relationship, economic, judicial, and political dealings, maters of war and peace, and international affairs. The Prophet brings with him a whole system of thought and action which in Islamic terminology is called al –Din (a complete way of life) [53]. An important intercultural communication value is that Islam confers the concept of the equality and brotherhood of all mankind. It was from Muhammad that the world first heard the revolutionary message of human equality." O Mankind, your God is one and you have but one father" [54]. In Islam, there is no distinction between private and public conduct. The same moral code, which one observes at home, applies to one’s conduct in public. This is true of every institution of society and every department of government; all must conform the laws of Islam [55]. Islam also does not recognize any division between the temporal and the spiritual since man’s desire to propitiate God and follow His commands permeates every fiber of human activity. Every one of man’s actions, his behavior and morality, is guided by his motive, which, in the terminology of religion is known as niyat or intention. The intention or purpose with which any act is done is the criterion of its moral worth [53]. It seems important to quote the former U.S Attorney General Ramsey Clark (a man who has studied Islam closely and who has traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world) and who made the following observation in 1955 address before an audience of Muslims and non-Muslims: "Islam is the best chance the peoples of planet have for any hoop of decency of their lives, for any hope for dignity in their lives. It is the one revolutionary force that cares about humanity". According to Qur’an, Muslims are entitled to cooperate with all nations regardless of their faiths and to reject all kinds of extremism, oppression, and terrorism. The Islamic community is encouraged to work with others to advance the goals of peace, stability and social justice [54, & 55]. 11. Communication Ethics, principles and regulation of human interaction from Islamic prospective: 11. A. Concept of ethics from Islamic point of view: According to Harshman, and Harshman [56], communication is a regular entity and is congruent with actions and behavior, as well as a courageous effort of expressing to be understood. In the holy Quran Allah (S.W.T) mentioned the word of “Khuluq” in two verses which read: 1. ( َوﻢﯿِﻈَﻋ ٍﻖُﻠُﺧ ﻰَﻠَﻌَﻟ َﻚﱠﻧِإ) Q68:4 Allah (S.W.T) said to Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) that and verily, you are on an exalted character. 2. ( َﻦﯿِﻟﱠوﱞﻻا ُﻖُﻠُﺧ ﱠﻻِإ اَﺬَھ ْنِإ) Q26:137 Allah (S.W.T) said this is no other than “Khuluq” of the ancients. Al-Qurtubi interprets the phrase Kuluq al-awaliyyin to mean their ancient customs and to mean religion, character, ideology or doctrine. Al-Ghazali speculated that morality, unlike other parts of philosophy, is not the invention of Greek philosophers but rather, philosophers borrowed it from revealed religions [56] A similar emphasis on the communication ethics are found in the East, mainly of Japanese and Korean cultures. The principles of communication ethics from the Eastern perspectives are quite traditional in nature. Culture is deeply rooted in their life and it is highly reflective of their communicative behavior. Mente describes the Eastern communication ethics as follows: (1) respect for the elder, (2) withholding unpleasant news, (3) saving face, (4) friendliness not to be mistaken for acceptance, and (5) implicit meaning in nonverbal communication [57]. Islamic viewpoint on communication ethics differs greatly from the way it has been conceptualized in non-Muslim cultures. Islam is universal and its prescriptions are universally applicable. There are prescribed Islamic communication ethics outlined in the Qur’an and the Sunnah (sayings, deeds, and approvals) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) . The emphasis of Islam on such ethical communication principles is truth, justice, politeness, and practicing what one preaches [58]. 11. B. Islamic principles and regulation of human interaction As Islam is a complete way of life, catering for all the field of human existence and providing guidance for all walks of life-individual, social, material, moral, economic and political, legal and cultural national and international, it has laid down certain factors, rules and regulations to guide all types of interpersonal communication and relationships. 32 Journal of Islamic Studies and Culture, December 2016, Vol. 4, No. 2 Islam, through the Qur’an, hadith and Sunnah, has provided principles and methods of interpersonal communication, human interaction and relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, in order to achieve peace, equality, brother hood, and prosperity in this world and salvation and pleasure of God in the hereafter [43, 9, 10 & 38]. Allah says, "Those who believe that real brothers. Therefore, make peace (mend relations) between the two brothers and fear of God, that ye may obtain mercy. “(Al-Hujuraat 10). In line with this, the Messenger of Allah said: "The likeness of the believers in compassion, mutual love-menyinta and social call is like a body that when one individual has the disease, the whole body feels the suffering of p...