Social Responsibility can be summarized simply as (Giving Back To Society). Giving or making a good for society (individuals and groups) is the most effective way to achieve cohesion and coherence between the components of society, and the best approach of communication between members of the society in order to achieve cohesion required for the advancement of society and achieve development. Achieving responsible behavior depends on complying with the laws, and adhere to ethical standards within a hierarchical system, responsible behavior comes as a great value assume that individuals and commitment groups will look towards others when doing of activities and move within the community.
The focus of Ethics is (The Right Things To Do), not only compliance with laws and regulations in order to reach a healthy status for society, laws (also known Justice) are to ensure the basic pillars to build a society on the correct way. But the focus of the ethical principles is important for the development of society; and often ethical principles are provided in the laws. Lack of commitment of ethical principles lead to negative results. To build a society, ethics are required from all spectrums of society, and to ensure positive results for each who adhere to ethical behavior because it’s main focus is doing things right way, in line with the principle of efficiency (Doing Things Right) that leads to the achievement of the goals.
Islamic perspective of social responsibility could be viewed in the pyramid also, the main principle is justice, and the second component of this pyramid is “ihsan” (has no equivalent in English), but indicate to be good, generous, sympathetic, tolerant, forgiving, polite, cooperative, selfless, etc. The third principle is good treatment towards one’s relatives which in fact is a specific of ihsan. These principles are stated in the Quranic verse:
“۞ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ” (90)/سورة النحل.
Which can be expressed in English: Allah enjoins justice, generosity and kind treatment with kindred, and forbids indecency, wickedness and oppression. He admonishes you so that you may learn a lesson. This verse considered as conciseness message for humanity as it specialized in building society on the strong pillars, also called for all good things, discourage and stay away of all evil and bad things. This verse also tell us that Islam came to be justness between all religions that preceded it.
Following this verse of its orders and prohibitions are what lead communities to the right, peace and get rid of all the social problems and reach to goodness. Justice was imposed to guarantee individuals, communities and nations a stable and strong base for the deal, not affected by the friendliness and hatred, and does not changed due to bias for any reason; it goes on its way for all people. Loss of equity in the communities causes loss of growth factors because of the absence of social sponsorship, social problems such ingratitude and rebellion may appear. Because justice is the basic building block of the universe, societies are required to abide by the rules of justice, so that every individual has the freedom that leads to creativity, and gets through his work and interest of his effort, also, justice ensure things are going in the right way.
Justice is a great managerial concept, it ensures the existence of rules to organize doing tasks, and evaluation methods are indicated on the basis of fair standards to ensure that everyone takes all of his rights. The absence of justice in the lives of individuals and communities leads to weakness of values, deterioration of morals, the emergence of the controversy and corruption, hardening of the hearts and injustice in all its forms. Force and violence do not help reform and repairing Society problems, but justice is doing so. Absolute justice is brought by Islam, which is unsurpassed in the justice laws developed by humans.
Of the most important pillars of Justice, is a social justice, justice cannot be achieved without it. That society which enjoying justice and social justice in particular enjoying freedom of expression and choice, equality in rights and duties, and the distribution of wealth. Governments must to turn its attention to reducing the gap between social classes and fight against poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, and thus will decrease the need to combat terrorism and organized crime, corruption and other things that appeared because of the absence of justice.
Social justice has been achieved in the first era of Islam for several key matters, including: the achievement of financial justice among members of the community for each according to his position and expertise, of non-exclusion and not favouritism. The second reason is the attention to disadvantaged groups and this is the essence of charity ” Ihsan”: to support and empathy with these groups and to achieve balancing in society. The third reason is a respect for human rights, and the right to life, the right to responsible liberty, and the right to property … etc. If we wanted to highlight an example of the Positive Results of justice, we find that the era of Omar bin al-Khattab and Omar bin Abdul Aziz, Where the application of the best of Justice, had established a society enjoying justice marked by two important things: equitable distribution of wealth to all members of the community, and economic interdependence, adding to and economic solidarity policy which represented by giving.
The second principle in the pyramid of social responsibility is a “Ihsan” , it refers to override required from the individual to what is more than compliance with laws or objective criteria, this principle call for achieving efficiency and effectiveness by optimizing use of Nations capabilities. Ihsan considered of high morality, and also linked to diligent work, and includes the provision of good to others, doing and saying good and correct things, dedication to work no matter how simple. Management science always focuses on terms such as effectiveness and efficiency, where the concept of effectiveness refers to doing right things, efficiency indicating doing the right things in the right way, within this concept of ihsan, we find that it has a strong relationship to the economy and its origins, and to the tools of production and distribution. Also giving the others is the spirit of effective distribution of wealth to protect the society from the need in the future. As well doing and saying the right things considered as the overall moral values for all the great anecdotal and actual ethics.
diligent work is the other side of ” Ihsan”, concerned directly with element of production and it’s tools, work, administration, consumption, trade, distribution and redistribution. Social challenges could not be faced without diligence and creativity. One of the important values in the field of production is not work as it is, but to do the work well, in other words: to improve the working and play tightly and proficiency. The relationship between Ihasn and consumption represented in giving for the needy and the poor which leads to the circulation of capital, for instance, if the money remained hoarded and not being consumed, economy will not spin. Consumption is an activity in economy, and contributes to economic development which begins with production, and increased by distribution and consumption. diligence is considered as internal skill earn human equilibrium and uniqueness, and representing integrity of the individual and gain a recipe for real change, associated with self-control that it leads to work perfectly in all cases without regard to the existence of a monitoring. It is not only behaviorally target, it is a cultural phenomenon was promoted to lead the human race.
Justice guarantees the amount that must be of doing good, but Ihsan is the increase in doing good and avoid the bad things. In the side of morality, ihsan is morality and virtuous and wise. It leads to conservation of resources and optimal utilization (efficiency), achieving the goals and Empowerment (effectiveness), livelihood capacity and social welfare, community-building on a solid foundation, because the giving to the poor ensure their involvement in the community, achieving community objectives and goals, keep Disadvantaged away from corruption and crime that drain community resources. Islamic legislation contained the highest sense of responsibility towards society (as individuals), and called to treat them as individuals, and also called to treat them as social groups, stated in the Quranic verse:
﴿وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنْبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنْ كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً (36(﴾
Which can be expressed in English: Worship Allah and join none with Him Do good to your parents, to near of kin, to orphans, and to the needy, and to the neighbour who is of kin and to the neighbour who is a stranger, and to the companion by your side, and to the wayfarer, and to those whom your right hands possess. Allah does not love the arrogant and the boastful.
Al-Ihsan calls for the ideal personal. Civilizations are not only built by mastering the planning, but also by diligence and giving. At the individual level, it supports the individual to interact with the community, not only for the purpose of social phenotypic, but for taking into account the rights, and the right of the brothers based on honesty and sincerity, social responsibility which is deeply rooted in the conscience.
The third principle which has been enjoined is good treatment towards one’s relatives which in fact is a specific form of ihsan, giving of kin means kindness to and give them. People are distributed within the conjunctiva circles that coupled to each other, when individual gives vulnerable relatives, and the other gives relatives in other circle, there will be accretive and Coherent circles, and less chance of poverty, then cohesive society. The person who is Non-relative to you may be close to others, that is, he is present in the other circle, and may be close to several persons, or shall be in more than one circle. This dynamism shall leads to overlap and integration, living resources are available for all people. God has put this order to achieve social well-being, because the rich while giving his poor relatives, he can feel safe from the need in the future.
Giving relatives is a civilized approach that contribute to balanced social situation and create cohesion, strength and Highness groups life within the community. The reason behind this trend in Islam toward relatives or (the family) is that the family contributes to the achievement of a sense of belonging, and if that does not materialize, individual will look for unnatural belonging. Second, family can keep morality for their members, that the person cannot do the shameful deeds, because he will feel ashamed of the family. Corruption in society starts from the disintegration of the family. Thirdly The family provides incubation and embracement at times of bereavement. Finally, family provides strength and cohesion against challenges. Family is a small community which achieves all of the above for its members, do not be surprised of the orientation of Islam toward building it properly.
Principles of doing good that included are the foundation for the development of societies and rid it from problems. Justice ensures stability and security, ihsan achieve compassion among people and ensure the foundation of effectiveness and economic efficiency, and then, compassion with relatives achieve economic sufficiency.
After compliance with the laws (of Justice), which represents the fundamental base of the pyramid, adding to ethical behavior and compliance with ethical standards (Ihsan), then the emphasis is on social responsibility and responsible behavior toward others (top of the pyramid), which is reflected on giving the relatives that represents the social behavior, considered as The finest behaviors, and makes it imperative for individuals to give a part of what they got to the society (Giving Back to Society).
Adhering to the principles of social responsibility involves a proactive approach of the moral, which focus not only on maximizing the benefit, but to help and benefit the society. Social responsibility values avoid violation of others, support the involvement of individuals in society, and considering oppressed and disadvantaged groups and less fortunate in society. The important social responsibility impact is to increase the performance at all levels (society, institutions and individuals), because of the diligence to do good and helping others to contribute significantly to poverty alleviation in communities, reduce corruption, development, and enable persons who are not able.
As well as ethical behavior, social responsibility involves (The Right things to Do). The Justifications for individuals, groups, and institutions to adopt social responsibility are, first, doing good necessarily would be returned to those who give. At the institutional (enterprise) level, companies that give to the society will get the reputation enable them to achieve their goals, and give them an advantage from the others, everyone will be keen to deal with them as part of giving back. Companies that are looking up to the obligor behavior towards society should have to comply with the laws and rules to build itself on consistent basis, sounds these rules to ensure fair and proper treatment, and reflect that in all their dealings. After that, the adoption of ethical standards, and to stay away from cheating, fraud and corruption, carrying out their work diligently to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. Once the companies were able to meet all that, it can position itself to contribute to society, that may help the company to integrate and overlap in the society. When Individuals and institutions cooperate to achieve social welfare, companies can deliver their services and products to larger segments of society .
بقلم: د. محمد العضايلة.
مراجعة: أسماء اليحيى.