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LEADERSHIP: What Is It and How to Deal with It? [Part One]

DR.PASHA | August 18, 2003 | Section: Articles | 2075 reads

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The result was that American, Western as well as the global Muslim communities – the Muslim Ummah as a whole – were taken by complete surprise and crushed by the consequences.

But then no one else – not all the successful and highly sophisticated Western sources and agencies – had any clear idea as to what was really going on or what was about to happen.

Some Muslim groups and organizations, however, have attempted to rise to the occasion and provide leadership to the Muslims at this rather difficult time. The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the United States and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) in the United Kingdom deserve recognition in this regard.

CAIR in particular is giving indications of having a good grasp of its environment in the United States and the role of Islam in that environment. It is doing some of the things the Muslims should have done – and some individual Muslims did – long time ago.

But much work remains to be done. A broader vision for Islam and Muslims in the West is yet to be articulated.

My twin concepts of the Western Wing of the Muslim Ummah, first advanced in early 1990s, and of The Golden Triangle of Islam in the West, presented to the Muslim community in the late 1990s, are still to take hold of the consciousness of the broader Muslim community in the West.

One of the major limiting factors with regard to these ideas is their lack of exposure to large Muslim populations nationally and internationally.

To me these are all problems associated with leadership at different levels.

Hopefully, this book will act as a wakeup call to both Muslims and non-Muslims, both at home and abroad, on the subject of leadership.

Hopefully, the book’s contents as well as its somewhat direct and unconventional writing style, would help a wide circle of readership, inclusive of both Muslims and non-Muslims, to better analyze, evaluate and understand the leadership in its midst and thus, maybe, work to raise its standard – both in terms of performance and accountability.


Qur’an and Hadith: Wisdom and Action

For Muslims, no matter which way they turn, there is no escaping the Qur’an and the Hadith.

Nor, for that matter, have the non-Muslims that option available to them without paying a dear price for its exercise.

For, Qur’an and Hadith, being directly from God, are guaranteed – and shown to be so in practice – to work to improve the lives of humans – all humans, everywhere and in every age.

Other models and methods, on the other hand, are products of trial and error. That means, by their very nature they carry on their back a significant error component.

They are also generally speaking creatures of their time and place – of their space-time coordinates.

Thus, while humanity may solve some of its problems some of the time using its own wits and brains – generally at enormous social, political, economic, cultural and moral cost – Qur’an and Hadith added to the working of the human thought, science and initiative are guaranteed to solve all human problems – for Muslims as well as for non-Muslims – all the time.

The cost of accepting and implementing Qur’an and Hadith is minimal compared to the cost of experimenting with alternative trial-and-error-based models and methods.

The trouble is, non-Muslims shun Qur’an and Hadith as something that belongs exclusively to the Muslims. Muslims in general have done nothing to dispel this notion.

Generally, Muslim efforts to point out the relevance and applicability of Qur’an and Hadith to specific Western or other non-Muslim contexts and environments today are conspicuous either by their absence and flimsiness or by the inadequacy of their approach and language.

Where is an English translation of the Qur’an that a high-school student can enjoy and thrill reading?

Or where is the book on the life and teachings of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, that a 10th grader in America can pick up and would not put down until finished?

Muslims themselves, on the other hand, often refuse to apply God-given faculties of analysis and understanding to their interpretation and practice – as the Qur’an so clearly and repeatedly requires them to do – and thus turn them into clichés and mysteries.

Whereas if the Muslims had truly and properly applied their faculties of reason and analysis – with the light of divine blessing and guidance pouring down on them from above – they would have readily seen that the Qur’an is where all the wisdom is.

And so would the non-Muslims.

They – both Muslim and non-Muslim – would also have seen that the Hadith is where all the action is. For, there was not a single teaching of the Qur’an that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, did not model in his own life.

And there was not a single human situation – with timeless and universal validity – that he did not illumine and resolve using the divine guidance contained in the Qur’an.

Consequently, there is not a leadership role or situation in the world – in any walk of life – in which the Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, is not a shining and attainable example and role model.

Ideas advanced in this book are gleaned from a wide range of sources, both modern and ancient, including the Qur’an and the Hadith – that offer the living miracle of being both modern and ancient at the same time.

Qur’an is the book Muslims believe to be a direct revelation from God to Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi was Sallam (May God Almighty shower his blessings upon him!).

Hadith is the record of Prophet Muhammad’s (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) words, deeds and times.

To Muslims – and in the eyes of many non-Muslims – Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam (God Almighty bless him!), was the greatest and most successful leader the world has ever seen. His whole life is a practical tutorial on innovative and successful leadership ideas, techniques, approaches and outcomes.

It is, therefore, only natural and proper that a book on leadership should draw heavily upon his teachings and personal example.




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