Home

ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0304-PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNICATION

Elementary Clinic Lecture for 3rd year medical students at the faculty of Medicine National University of Malaysia Friday 11th April 2003 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. MB ChB (MUK), MPH & DrPH (Harvard) Deputy Dean Kulliyah of Medicine, International Islamic University, Kuantan. E-MAIL omarkasule@yahoo.com . WEBSITE: http://doctor-omar.net/

1.0 NATURE OF COMMUNICATION

Communication is transfer of information by symbols. The meaning behind the symbols is interpreted subjectively by the recipient. Communication may be consciously or unconsciously. It may be verbal (oral or written) or non-verbal (body language & appearance). Its elements are: the sender, the message, the medium, the receiver, and feedback. Its functions are: informing, controlling, expressing emotions, and motivating. Communication is an essential leadership function. Physicians must communicate competently with patients, relatives, medical colleagues, and stake-holders outside the medical profession. Communication channels may be personal static such as a letter, impersonal static such as flyers, direct interaction such as face-to-face discussions, and indirect interaction such as a telephone conversation. Perception is organizing and interpreting incoming information. It is selective being influenced by environment, background knowledge, and background attitudes. The same information may elicit different perceptions in different people.

 

2.0 LANGUAGE

Human language is exceedingly complex. Its roles are explanation[i], telling the truth[ii], obscenities[iii], lying[iv], and hypocrisy[v], bearing witness[vi]. Different languages are a sign of God’s power and majesty[vii]. Learning other languages is encouraged for purposes of communication[viii]. Communication must be based on objective facts and not speculation.

 

3.0 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Cross-checking communication ensures accuracy[ix]. The ultimate purpose of communication is understanding. The following ensure proper communication: precision[x], repetition[xi], sincerity[xii], good argument[xiii], good voice[xiv], choosing the right word[xv], using only nice words[xvi], discussion[xvii], and use of examples for better understanding[xviii] and remembrance[xix], use of parables for illustration[xx], and truthfulness[xxi]. The receiver of information may understand and benefit more than the transmitter[xxii]. Selective communication helps avoid misunderstanding[xxiii]. Misunderstandings and false assumptions should be anticipated and dealt with[xxiv]. Asking questions aids understanding[xxv].

 

Communication can be a good word or a bad word[xxvi]. The good word[xxvii] is about consciousness of God[xxviii] and telling the truth[xxix]. The soft word is charity[xxx]. The bad word[xxxi] is distortion[xxxii]. Obscenities are hated[xxxiii]. Some words and expressions must be avoided in communication[xxxiv]. Communication should be confined to what is good and moral. One should say good or keep quiet[xxxv]. Being humble and speaking little is a sign of iman[xxxvi].

 

4.0 COMMUNICATION IN SMALL GROUPS

Conversation should be clear[xxxvii], slow[xxxviii], and precise[xxxix]. Repetition is necessary to ensure understanding[xl]. Silence and listening to others is preferred to talking all the time. Conversations must be on good things[xli]. The speaker can ask fore feed-back[xlii]. No person should be ignored in a conversation[xliii]. Colleagues must be met with a cheerful countenance[xliv]. Smiling is better than laughing[xlv]. Smiling is encouraged even with bad people[xlvi]. Emotions can be expressed in a moderate way[xlvii]. Exaggeration in praise is discouraged[xlviii]. Careless talk must be avoided[xlix]. A personal touch has great impact[l]. Expressions of love to a brother are encouraged[li]. Secret conversations should be avoided because they hurt others psychologically[lii]. People hate being ignored in a conversation[liii].           

 

5.0 PUBLIC COMMUNICATION & WRITING

Public speeches must be short[liv]. The speaker must have and maintain credibility[lv]. Speech and eloquence have an impact likened to magic[lvi]. There are some etiquettes of a public assembly that must be respected. Late-comers should not inconvenience people who came earlier and sat down[lvii]. Emotional speech is appropriate for some situations. Body language and gestures help in emphasis[lviii]. The speaker must be careful not to bore the audience by speaking too much or for too long[lix]. The audience should listen attentively. Talking during the Friday sermon is an offense[lx]. The greatest reward is for those who pay attention during the khutbah[lxi]. Changing a seat may help stop dozing during a speech[lxii]. The speaker should answer questions. He may answer more than what was asked[lxiii].

 

There are famous speeches recorded in seerat that can be models of eloquence. The last sermon of the prophet is an example of good delivery. The prophet asked for feedback and engaged the audience all the time.

 

Writing is another effective form of communication. The Qur’an tells us about Sulaiman’s letter to Balqis. A signature is needed on letters[lxiv]. Written documents should be authenticated[lxv]


[i] (p1040 14:4, 16:103, 20:27, 26:13, 26:195, 28:34)

[ii] (p1040 19:50, 26:84, 28:34, 46:12)

[iii] (p1040 33:19, 60:2)

[iv]  (p1040-1041 3:78, 4:46, 16:62, 16:116, 24:15)

[v]  (p1040 48:11)

[vi] (p1040 24:24)

[vii] (Qur'an 30:22, Qur'an 14:4)

[viii] (Bukhari 9:233)

[ix] (Muslim 1:23-24, Chapter 11, Hadith # 50)

[x]  (Qur'an 33:70)

[xi] (Qur'an 39:23)

[xii] (Qur'an 2:204-206)

[xiii] ( Naml:125. Ankabut:46. Isra:53)

[xiv] (31:19)

[xv] (Bukhari 8:130-131, hadith # 201, Bukhari 8:130-131, hadith # 201, Bukhari 8:129, hadith # 198)

[xvi] (Ahzab:70-71. Taha: 44)

[xvii] (Mujadalah:1. Kahf:34. Kahf:36-37. Shura:22-29)

[xviii] (Qur'an 39:27)

[xix] (Qur'an 14:25)

[xx] (Qur'an 14:24-26)

[xxi]  (Muwatta 56:491, hadith #15, Muwatta 56:491, hadith #16, Muwatta 56:491, hadith # 17)

[xxii] (Bukhari 1:58, Hadith # 67)

[xxiii]  (Bukhari 1:95, hadith #1)

[xxiv]  (Muslim 3: 1188, Chapter 910, Hadith #5405)

[xxv] (Bukhari 1:81, hadith # 163)

[xxvi] (KS461 Bukhari K81 B23, Muslim K53 H49, Muslim K53 H50, Tirmidhi K34 B10, Tirmidhi K34 B11, Tirmidhi K34 B12, Tirmidhi K34 B61, Darimi K20 B4, Tirmidhi K34 B38, Muwatta K56 H5, Muwatta K56 H6, Muwatta K56 H8, Muwatta K56 H9, Ahmad 1:201, Ahmad 2:236, Ahmad 2:297, Ahmad 2:334, Ahmad 2:355, Ahmad 2:378, Ahmad 2:388, Ahmad 2:402, Ahmad 2:464, Ahmad 2:476, Ahmad 2:509, Ahmad 2:533, Ahmad 3:38, Ahmad 3:469, Ahmad 4:64, Ahmad 4:378, Ahmad 4:379, Ahmad 5:231, Ahmad 5:237, Ahmad 5:259, Ahmad 5:377, Ahmad 5:412, Tayalisi H560, Tayalisi H377, Tayalisi H412)

[xxvii] (p1034 14:24, 35:10)

[xxviii]  (p1024 48:2)

[xxix] (p1034 4:28) (p1034 4:28)

[xxx]  (KS462 Ahmad 2:312)

[xxxi] (p1034 114:26)

[xxxii]  (p1032 4:46, 5:13, 5:41)

[xxxiii]  (KS462 Bukhari K78 B39, Bukhari K78 B48, Bukhari K78 B82, Abudaud K40 B5, Tirmidhi K25 B47, Muwatta K47 H4, Ahmad 2:159, Ahmad 2:161, Ahmad 2:162, Ahmad 2:191, Ahmad 2:195, Ahmad 2:199, Ahmad 2:431, Ahmad 4:76, Ahmad 5:89, Ahmad 5:99, Ahmad 5:202, Ahmad 6:38, Ahmad 6:134, Ahmad 6:158, Ahmad 6:229, Tayalisi H1455, Tayalisi H1495, Tayalisi H2246, Tayalisi H2272, Tayalisi H2313)

[xxxiv] (KS462 Bukhari K78 B100, Tayalisi H101, Tayalisi H102, Muslim K40 H6, Muslim K40 H7, Muslim K40 H8, Muslim K40 H9, Muslim K40 H10, Muslim K40 H11, Muslim K40 H12, Muslim K40 H13, Muslim K40 H14, Muslim K40 H15, Muslim K40 H16, Muslim K40 H17, Abudaud K40 B74, Abudaud K40 B75, Abudaud K40 B76, Abudaud K40 B77, Abudaud K40 B78, Darimi K9 B16, Darimi K19 B66, Muwatta K56 H2, Muwatta K56 H3, Muwatta K56 H4, Ahmad 2:291, Ahmad 2:316)

[xxxv] (KS461 Bukhari K78 B85, Bukhari K81 B23, Abudaud K40 B122, Tirmidhi K35 B50, Darimi K8 B11, Muwatta K49 H22, Ahmad 2:174, Ahmad 2:267, Ahmad 2:433, 463, Ahmad 4:31, Ahmad 5:247, Ahmad 5:412, Ahmad 6:69, Tayalisi H739, Tayalisi H2347)

[xxxvi] (KS462 Tirmidhi K25 B80)

[xxxvii] (Bukhari 4:494, hadith # 768)

[xxxviii] (Abu Daud 3:1037, Chapter 1371, Hadith # 3646)

[xxxix] (Muslim 1:266, Chapter 145, Hadith # 1067, Bukhari 9:281, hadith # 378)

[xl] (Abu Daud 3:1037, Chapter 1374, Hadith # 3645)

[xli] (Qur'an Nisa: 114,  Muminun: 3)

[xlii] (Bukhari 1:83, hadith # 105)

[xliii] (Abu Daud 3:1354, Chapter 1737, Hadith # 4833)

[xliv] (Muslim 3:1383, Chapter 1093, Hadith #6359)

[xlv] (Bukhari 8:74, hadith # 114)

[xlvi]  (Bukhari 8:95)

[xlvii] (Bukhari 4:492, hadith # 763)

[xlviii] (Bakhari 3:513 ( hadith #17)

[xlix] (Bukhari 8:321-322, hadith # 484)

[l] (Abu Daud 1:391, Chapter 509, Hadith # 1493)

[li] (Abu Daud 1:396, Chapter 512, Hadith # 1517)

[lii] (Muslim 3:1191, Chapter 914, Hadit.h #5419, Bukhari 8:203, hadith # 303)

[liii] (Bukhari 5:478, hadith # 677)

[liv] (Muslim 2:410, Chapter 39, Hadith #1883, Abu Daud 1:285, Chapter 382, Hadith # 1101, Abu Daud 3: 1393, Chapter 1801, Hadith # 4990)

[lv] (Muslim 1;138, Chapter 88, Hadith #406)

[lvi] (Abu Daud 3: 1393, Chapter 1801, Hadith # 4989, Bukhari 7:57, hadith # 76)

[lvii] (Abu Daud 1:288, Chapter 387, Hadith # 1113, Muwatta 5:44, hadith # 20, Bukhari 8:191, hadith # 286)

[lviii] (Bukhari 7:163-164 chapter 24, Muslim 2:412 Chapter 309 Hadith #1895, Bukhari 7:167 hadith # 219, Bukhari 7:170 hadith # 221, Bukhari 7:170 hadith # 222, Bukhari 7:171 hadith # 224)

[lix] (Bukhari 1:60, hadith # 68). A speech can be interrupted for a good reason  (Abu Daud 1: 285-286, Chapter 384, Hadith # 1104)

[lx] (Abu Daud 1:286-287, Chapter 386, Hadith # 1107, Muwatta 5:42, hadith #6)

[lxi] (Abu Daud 1: 1108, Chapter 386, Hadith # 1108)

[lxii] (Abu Daud 1:288, Chapter 390, Hadith # 1114)

[lxiii] (Bukhari 1:99-100, hadith # 136)

[lxiv] Bukhari 4:116, hadith # 189, Bukhari 7:508, hadith # 766)

[lxv] (Bukhari 9:204, hadith $? Chapter 15)

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. April 2003