Islamic Management: Meetings and Consultation (3)

Continuing from our previous discussion, we gave examples of consultations of leaders with experts and those who were seniors.

However, seniority and experts weren’t the only group that Saidina Umar r.a. sought advice. Saidina Umar r.a. started to add younger people to the gatherings too, because he knew that the elders were approaching the end of their lives and would soon go to their Lord and His mercy and forgiveness, and the state needed to renew its manpower. The brilliant `Umar realized this fact and started to choose from among the youth of the ummah those whom he sensed were knowledge and pious. `Abdullah ibn `Abbas was one of the first of them, and `Umar continued to choose some of the youth of the ummah as advisors based on how much they knew of the Qur`an. `Abdullah ibn `Abbas said:

“Those who were well-versed in Qur’an were the members of `Umar’s council and his advisors, whether they were old or young.”

If at all, leadership through syura helped to develop young leaders. Az-Zuhri said to some young people: “Do not think too little of yourself because you are young, for when `Umar ibn al-Khattab was faced a difficult problem, he would call the young people and seek their advice, relying on the sharpness of their minds.

Women were part of the consultation and meetings and therefore, part of governing the country. Muhammad ibn Sireen said: Saidina Umar used to consult people about matters and he would even consult the women ,and if he saw something in a woman’s opinion that he thought was good, he would follow it. It is narrated that on one occasion he consulted the Mother of the Believers Hafsa r.a. If at all, this should reinforce the opinion on the importance of women in governance or leadership.

The areas of syura at the time of Saidina Umar were many and varied, such as the administrative and political fields, such as the selection of agents and governors, military matters, purely shariah issues, such as determining shariah rulings on whether things were halal or haram, and matters pertaining to courts and the passing of judgements.

For example, with regard to calamities, Saidina Umar practiced a consultative approach towards crisis management. He would assemble the Sahabah and widen the circle of advisors as much as possible, as he did when the plague struck Syria when he was on his way there. News of that reached Saidina Umar when the governors came to meet him in Saragh, which is a place near Syria. The Muhajireen and Ansar were with `Umar, so he assembled them asked them whether he would carry on or go back. They differed concerning that. Some said, “You came out seeking the pleasure of Allah and this should not stop you from carrying on.” Other said: “It is trial and death, and we do not think that you should go and meet it.”

Then he summoned the Muhajireen of Quraysh, and they did not differ concerning the matter, rather they advised him to go back. So Saidina Umar called to the people; “In the morning we will head back.” Abu `Ubaydah said: “Are you running away from the decree of Allah?” He said: ‘Yes. We are running away from the decree of Allah to another decree. Do you think that if you have camels and you go to a valley in which there are two areas, one which is green and one which is arid, if you graze your camels in the green are that is by the decree of Allah, and if you graze them in arid area that is also by the dcree of Allah?” `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf heard them and came to them and said: “The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘if you hear that this epidemic is in some land, then do not go there, and if it strikes a land when you are there, do not leave and flee from it.’

What we would like to emphasize is that the caliphate of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs was based on the principle of syura which is derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The reign of Saidina Umar was not an isolated case which was something invented solely by him, rather it was one of the principles of the system of Islam.

Pembangunan Modal Insan Siri 5

Dalam memahami aspek pembangunan modal insan di dalam Islam, amat penting untuk kita memahami aqidah dan iman. Secara khusus dari segi terminologi, pengertian aqidah boleh dirumuskan dalam ungkapan definisi berikut:

“Himpunan pernyataan-pernyataan benar yang bersifat badihi (terbukti kebenarannya tanpa perlu dibuktikan), diterima kebenarannya menerusi penggunaan akal yang waras, didengar daripada sumber wahyu dan diterima secara semulajadi oleh manusia; manusia kemudiannya menyimpulkan secara kemas di dalam hatinya, disemat secara kemas dalam jiwa raganya dalam keadaan ia memutuskan secara jazam (pasti) kesahihannya, menerima secara putus kewujudan dan penyabitannya; dia tidak berpandangan bahawa yang sebaliknya adalah sahih ataupun wujud.” – petikan dari kitab Al-Aqidah wa al-Suluk wa al-Infisam Baynahuma (Aqidah Al-Mu’min).

Sayyid Sabiq, di dalam kitabnya bertajuk “Al-Aqa’id Al-Islamiyyah”, menghuraikan pengertian aqidah atau keimanan ini berdasarkan kepercayaan terhadap enam perkara berikut:

  1. Makrifat kepada Allah swt: iaitu mengetahui Allah swt dengan mengenal nama-namaNya yang mulia, sifat-sifatNya yang tinggi. Mengenal juga bukti-bukti kewujudanNya dan kenyataan sifat keagunganNya di alam semesta dan di dunia ini.
  2. Makrifat kepada alam yang ada disebalik alam yang nyata ini iaitu alam yang tidak dapat dilihat, serta kekuatan kebaikan yang terdapat di dalamnya iaitu malaikat. Selain mengenal kekuatan kejahatan iaitu Iblis dan para tenteranya yang terdiri daripada syaitan. Di samping itu, mengenal makhluk lain seperti jin dan roh yang wujud di alam ini.
  3. Makrifat dengan kitab-kitab Allah swt yang diturunkan sebagai batas untuk mengetahui yang haq dan batil, kebaikan dan kejahatan. halal dan haram serta baik dan buruk.
  4. Makrifat dengan para Nabi Allah swt dan rasul-rasulNya yang dipilih sebagai pembimbing hidayah, juga sebagai pemimpin seluruh makhluk ke arah haq.
  5. Makrifat kepada hari akhirat dan peristiwa-peristiwa seperti kebangkitan dari kubur, balasan pahala dan seksaan serta syurga dan neraka.
  6. Makrifat kepada takdir atas segala peraturan di alam ini sama ada dalam penciptaan atau aturan Allah swt

Berdasarkan keterangan diatas, dapat dirumuskan bahawa pengertian aqidah menunjukkan kepada keyakinan yang mantap dan kukuh terhadap rukun iman yang enam, sebagaimana yang dinyatakan oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. dalam hadis berikut yang bermaksud:

Jibril bertanya: Khabarkan kepadaku tentang Iman. Baginda bersabda: Beriman kepada Allah swt dan para malaikatNya, kitab-kitabNya, para rasulNya, hari akhirat dan beriman kepada qadarNya yang baik dan yang buruk. Jibril berkata: Kamu benar.

Pengertian akidah ini akan membantu kita dalam memahami konsep pembangunan modal insan yang akan dibincangkan di dalam siri-siri seterusnya.

Biryani for the Soul (6): Too Much of Anything is Good For Nothing

I had the opportunity to spend about 12 days in Bangkok, Thailand last year. I was attending a course and so I booked a room in the same hotel as the course. Incidentally, the hotel was in Soi Sukhumvit 13, which was the centre of all things Biryani. Indian Restaurants serving biryani was everywhere and all of them were within walking distance.

As expected, being the avid biryani fan, I started the first day with Mutton Biryani from a restaurant. The second day was Chicken Biryani and on the third day, I had Prawn Biryani. That was the routine every day, till day five. I couldn’t.

I just couldn’t take another plate of Biryani. I couldn’t even think about Biryani. I was in Biryani Heaven, but had over dosed on Biryani!

The same applies in our life.

We strive for excellence every day and we move towards success. But in most cases, we tend to define “having more” as success. We become entrapped in this cycle, so much so that we believe that the more we have, the more successful we are. That could not be farther from the truth.

Now, do not misunderstand. I am not implying that you should have mediocre standards or stop pursuing excellence and success. Instead, I am suggesting that we should not associate “things” and material possessions as a measure of our success.

Our success should be measured based on our efforts and hard work. It should be measured based on how we have grown.

If we were to attach success to the quantity of material possessions, we will never to be able to reap the true benefits of success – our personal growth and peace.

I can have all the biryani I want in Bangkok, but too much of it is meaningless. Biryani is special because we appreciate the occasional indulgence.

Too Much of Anything is Good For Nothing – Anonymous

Similarly, appreciate and enjoy the fruits of success. Remember, success is the strategy, happiness is the goal.

Biryani for the Soul (2): Be Better Than Yesterday

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We’re all different. Each of us are a statistic probability. Every event happened exactly at the right moment, the right place, the right sequence which brings us to the unique point of existence. There is no one on earth that has the exact same experience, worldview, resources or capabilities. We are different. We need to accept this.

When we accept that each of us are different, then we realize that each of us write our own version of the story. It becomes clear that some people progress faster than others and some people slower. It is not because some are slower or some are faster, it is because each are charting their own journey.

So, we need to stop comparing ourselves to other. Instead, we need to compare ourself to who we were yesterday. We need to be better than yesterday. Only then, will be progress.

Biryani for the Soul (1): They see Failures, I see Lessons

Failures and Mistakes are our teachers and masters.

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When you fail, sit down and observe.

  1. What mistakes did you make?
  2. What mistakes did others do that caused the problem?
  3. How did you respond?
  4. How did others in the problem respond?
  5. How can the outcome be different?
  6. What can you change immediately?
  7. What can you change in the midterm?
  8. What can you change in the long term?

When others fail, go and talk to them.

  1. What mistakes did they make?
  2. How did they respond?
  3. How can their outcome be different?
  4. How can you improve to avoid making the same mistake?
  5. Could they have avoided the mistake or failure?

Always, take the time to observe the failures. Because failures offer us an opportunity to rise and be better. It gives us an opportunity to introspect, improvise and adapt. If we allow that moment to pass without contemplation, the idiot will always repeat his mistakes.