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[Productive Professionals] Qualities of a Productive Manager

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[Productive Professionals] Qualities of a Productive Manager | Productive MuslimThe Prophet Muhammad ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was reported to have said: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock …” [Abu Dawud]

As described in the hadith above, all of us are answerable to our subjects. As managers, we are shepherds too and are answerable in two ways:

  1. As a servant who is a guardian over the property of his master (the employer).
  2. As a caliph who is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (the subordinates).

This two-way balance is a tight rope to walk on, which often results in one of the two sides being offended. A manager who is productive leads his team to realize the vision of the organization that they all are a part of. He has to direct his sheep in the right direction, guarding them and not allowing them to go astray. On top of that, there may be ‘black sheep’ that he needs to identify and prevent from leading others astray.

Productive Team, Productive Manager

For a manager to be productive, he should have a productive team. However, that is not always possible since, in most cases, teams are composed of individuals with varied levels of qualifications and experience. It becomes imperative for a manager to groom his team members so they can fulfill their fullest potential. You are a manager because you are considered to be most qualified and experienced among your team members. Below are some of the qualities a manager should possess to make himself and his team more productive.

Lead by Example

Your team works under your guidance. At times when they are stuck, you need to roll up your sleeves and get involved to solve critical issues. While doing so, you should not be boasting your contribution or belittling theirs.

The companions of the Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were die-hard soldiers and never wanted any pain for him. Yet many a time, the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) joined them in digging trenches, toiling in the battle grounds and even in building Al-Masjid an-Nabawi brick by brick, ”… The Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself started carrying unburnt bricks for its building …” [Bukhari]

You need to build your team, task by task, project by project. If there is something on which your team is at odds with you, but you know your decision to be correct, you need to persuade others.One of the ways to do this is to start doing the action yourself. They will automatically follow suit, In sha Allah.

A similar thing happened when most of the companions did not agree with the concessions given to the opponents in the treaty of Hudaibiyya. They were reluctant to come out of the state of Ihram without performing the Umrah. The Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) continued with what he thought was right. He then “… slaughtered the sacrifice and called his barber who shaved his head. Seeing that, the companions of the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) got up, slaughtered their sacrifices, and started shaving the heads of one another …” [Bukhari]

Integrity is Better Than Intelligence

This is a management saying and generally applied by recruitment specialists who are faced with a trade-off between the intelligence and honesty of a candidate. Many of them prefer a honest candidate over an intelligent one.

Managers can apply this concept to themselves too. Being intelligent is a part of your job because your position demands so, but you need to be honest while executing your affairs dealing with your subjects.

The Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people, and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never feel even the smell of Paradise.” [Bukhari]

Be Just

As a manager, one of the biggest trials you may face is being just, especially in a multicultural, multilingual and multi-ethnic environment. Personal likes and dislikes based on these factors tend to creep in while making decisions affecting the team, preventing them to be well-knitted. If two or more members are at odds with one another and you are required to be a judge, you must be just. Favoring a member over the other based on your personal preference causes resentments within the team and you will also lose respect.

The Holy Qur’an asks us to be just: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is acquainted with what you do.” [Qur’an: Chapter 5, Verse 8]

There are numerous narrations of the Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) delivering just verdicts, no matter the person’s background or religion. In one such incident, the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) relied on the oath of a defendant Jew even though the claimant was a Muslim because the latter lacked evidence to prove his claim. The dispute between Ash’ath bin Qais ra?yAllahu 'anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) and a Jewish man is detailed in Sunan Ibn Majah.

Be Cheerful

If your absence makes people cheerful and your entrance brings silence in the office, you are an authoritarian manager and not a lenient one.

The Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told Aisha ra?yAllahu 'anha (may Allah be pleased with her)“… be lenient, for leniency makes a thing decorated and when it is removed from a thing it makes it defective.” [Abu Dawud]

Also Mu’adh ra?yAllahu 'anhu (may Allah be pleased with him) was advised by the Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) while being sent to Yemen on a mission: “Show leniency (to the people); don’t be hard upon them; give them glad tidings; and do not create aversion. Work in collaboration and don’t be divided.” [Muslim]

Being friendly and cheerful with your subordinates makes them feel comfortable. Creating a friendly atmosphere is a way to invite their ideas, whereas a restricted environment prevents them from sharing their ideas. The Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face.” [Muslim]

Avoid using harsh words since “Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He grants reward for it that He does not grant for harshness.” [Ibn Majah]

Be a Mentor

Your success as a manager depends on the strength of your team. To make your team strong, you have to be a mentor. Organize training and workshops for them depending on their job function, then meet them regularly to provide some insights on what you have gained through your overall experience. Let them have a feeling of ‘growing together’.

Be Flexible

If your organization allows, you may also try flexible working hours for your workers. Flexibility in working hours sometime enables them to fulfill their household duties too, like dropping or picking kids to or from school, or attending to an ailing loved one. If required to work at odd hours, taking advantage of information technology, you may also consider allowing a member to work from home. This is definitely a possible option since we live in an age where a person can connect to his office network from his home computer.

Focus on Issues at Hand

Keeping yourself focused on the task at hand leads to better management and quicker delivery. Make your meetings conclusive by discussing and deliberating only the purpose of the meeting. Do not let your attention divert from the topic and remind others to stick to the agenda. If any other topic comes up, politely ask them to keep it aside for a separate discussion. This will not only keep you focused on one task at a time, but your colleagues’ time will be better utilized too. Once you have finished the meeting, write the minutes and circulate among the stakeholders what you have discussed and decided. Even if the meeting was inconclusive, it is better to write and circulate the minutes so the attendees can recall what you already discussed and what needs to be discussed during the next meeting.

Consultation and Participation

When the Makkan army marched towards Madinah, the Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wanted to defend Madinah from within. But it was the suggestion of some companions, most of them in their youth, to go out and fight. He agreed to their advice and thus the historic battle at Uhud took place.

As a manager, you must consult your team and invite the participation of the younger members as well. This serves as a big motivation and generates a sense of involvement of even the less experienced ones. Decisions based on consultations often yield productive results. The Quran also emphasizes on consultation: “… and consult them in the matter…” [Qur’an: Chapter 3, Verse 159]

Convince, not Confuse

You do not have to adopt the “If not convinced, confuse” theory. If you do, you are bound to lose trust among your team and co-workers. If someone comes to you with his problem, he comes with a hope of getting a solution from you. You need to address his concerns rather than using jugglery of words and making the situation confusing and worse for him.

Moreover, confusing someone deliberately is akin to misguiding him. Keep things simple and explanation clear. If they are not convinced, try different means of communication to explain, such as explaining through writing, or a graphical display, or any other form of presentation.

Trust Your Team

Adopt a non-interference doctrine once you have assigned a task to your team. Frequent follow-up bugs them. The individuals in the team will then try to finish off the tasks ‘quickly anyhow’, rather than completing correctly and efficiently. Give them some breathing space and let them be on their own to perform, unless you see something going wrong or your interference is extremely necessary. Instead, design a follow-up meeting schedule to review their progress on the tasks.

Rotate Tasks

Adopt a policy of ‘cyclic rotation’ of tasks if there are more members in the team and adopt the ‘hand-shake’ method when exchanging tasks between two members. Performing the same task daily makes it monotonous for them. Newer assignments provides them with an opportunity to learn something new, making them more interested in their jobs. Different ideas from different individual adds value to the way certain tasks are being done. One of the benefits of exchanging and rotating tasks is that you are not left limping with an unexpected resignation or temporary unavailability of a member who was handling critical tasks of which nobody else is aware.

Maintaining your team as a unit ensures greater productivity. Building a team is a managerial skill, but it can be considered an act of virtue too in light of how the Holy Prophet ?allallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) joined the emigrants and the ansar together as brothers for a mission. When an employee leaves, the manager also needs to self-reflect. As many management experts say, “The employee does not leave an organization, he leaves the manager.”

I hope these tips will inspire you in your professional and personal lives. If you have any other tips or comments, feel free to share them in the Comments section below.


About the Author:

The writer is a Middle East-based IT systems analyst originally from Aurangabad, India. He writes on various issues pertaining to the Muslim world. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

ACJU - Special Media Release

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All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama conveys its sincere thanks to the Sri Lankan Muslim community for abiding by the guidance provided by our organizing in the past period when various adversities were lobbed at them. We also congratulate the Lankan Muslims for acting in the most pleasant and judicious manner with forbearance thus contributing to preserve peace and harmony in our Motherland.

ACJU once again reminds our people that we should always turn towards the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and exemplary ways of our beloved Prophet (Sal) and his Companions for solutions for any and every crisis that come our way.

Sri Lanka Muslims have a historic reputation as an uncomplicated ethnic group that exists congenially with all the communities that live in this country and as an affable religious minority that always gives prominence for national welfare, unity and harmony. ACJU asserts the importance of steadfastly maintaining that good repute, especially in these turbulence times when we have become a chosen target for provocation.

Muslims are pointedly proscribed from insulting other faiths and the Holy Qur’an enjoins as follows in this regard:

‘And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge’
-Sura Al An Aam 108

However, Muslims have become more hurt by the latest stunt of the Bodu Bala Sena organization, in which it has started to make horrendous remarks against the Holy Qur’an by misinterpreting its commands and spitefully commenting on its verses out of context.

Along with other false allegations that could be disproved in no time, the BBS propagates that there is a concept in Islam called ‘Thaqiya’ as facilitated by the Holy Qur’an which allows Muslims to defraud people of other faiths and that makes lawful for Muslims to acquire properties and wealth of non Muslims by cheating them. This incredulous allegation have deeply disturbed the local Muslims and it might agitate global Muslims as well which is not going to profit our country in anyway. Especially in these times when the entire world is scrutinizing us.

We are hoping to soon secure an audience with His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as one with Ven. Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter to make an appeal in this regard with the ultimate hope that necessary steps would be taken to put an end to these atrocities that clearly have surpassed all the limits.

In the meantime, we call our community to continue to be patient and prudent in these chaotic times as certain evil elements eagerly watch for a single slip from our side to ignite nationwide mayhem. We also request Muslims to make additional supplication to Almighty Allah, soon after the forthcoming Jumu’a Prayer to bring about lasting peace and unity to our country.

 

Ash Sheikh M. M. A. Mubarak
General Secretary,
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama

http://www.acju.lk/press-release/co-existence/

 

My Journey to Freedom - By Sumayyah Joan

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My Journey to Freedom

By Sumayyah Joan

It will be three years since I stood before two Muslim sisters and declared openly my belief in God (Allah) and His Messenger, Peace be upon him, and thus freeing and liberating myself from my former self-imposed bondage. Stepping out of the darkness of disbelief into the light of Islam, it’s funny that I found such freedom in the very thing that was keeping me from Islam in the first place - the hijab.

Even though I get the wide gamut of strange stares, points and comments, this covering makes me feel honored, safe and cherished. 

The word hijab comes from the Arabic word “hajaba” meaning to hide from view or to conceal. Women who don’t reveal their beauty in this society and give in to this oppressive system, are looked upon as invisible, without sexuality and backward. 

Because I’m often mistaken for a nun, or terrorist, I feel the reactions to the hijab for many women, is the truest test of being a Muslim. 

But in reality, the hijab is easy!

In instructing us to wear the hijab, Allah has given Muslim women what they can bear of injunctions and obligations. For Allah says:

“And we do not lay on any soul a burden except to the extent of its ability, and with Us (God) is a Book which speaks the truth…”Qur’an 23:62


Unfortunately, Satan and his cohorts are calling the Muslim woman to enslave her to the creation, and to forget about her servitude to her Creator. Chastity, modesty and piety are deceptively marked as shackles on personal freedom. 

Allah Ta'ala warns the believers that they should not let Satan deceive them, as he deceived their parents, Adam and Eve. Under the guises of fashion, culture, and modernism, Satan has succeeded and is succeeding to lead the Muslim woman –and all women- into immodesty. 

Since the heyday of the feminist movement, there has been an increasing amount of scrutiny placed on the dress and status of Muslim women.

According to these “liberated” women, the hijab not only covers the head, but also covers the mind, will and intellect. They say that our dress code is outdated and oppressive, and it stops us from being productive human beings. They speak out of ignorance when they say that our hijab does not belong in these modern times, when due to the constant decrease in moral values in the world today, circumstances make the hijab even more necessary. 

From the dawn of civilization, flowing dresses and headscarves have always been associated with “Godliness” or “God consciousness”. Even the Christian pictorial representation of the earlier prophets and their womenfolk bear familiar likeness to the dress ordained for Muslim men and women (e.g. Mary). This tradition of modesty is reflected in the Qur’an (7:26), wherein Allah says:

“O Children of Adam! We (God) have bestowed clothing upon you to cover yourselves and as an adornment (for beauty); and the clothing of righteousness – that is best.”Qur’an 7:26

Allah enjoined hijab on the Muslim woman to protect her from harm.

He knows His creation, and knows that when women make a dazzling display of themselves, with immodest clothes, perfumed bodies and made-up faces, it serves to increase the sexual deviance of the overall society. Many of those who are misguided however, would have us think that the hijab is a portable prison that restricts our minds, lives and hearts. It is none of these things, and in order not to fall victim to their plots, we must begin to understand what the hijab truly is- a source of liberation, dignity and protection.

 

What the Hijab is...

  • An act of Obedience to The Creator.
  • An Act of Honour & Dignity.
  • An act of Belief & Faith.
  • An act of Modesty.
  • An act of Purity.
  • An act of Bashfulness.
  • An act of Righteousness.
  • Shield.

 

What the Hijab is NOT...

  • It is NOT something new. Muslim women follow the example of righteous women in the past such as Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  • It is NOT a symbol of oppression.
  • It is NOT required in non-public places where there are only muslim females and close male relatives.
  • It is NOT a means to restrict a woman’s freedom to express her views and opinion, or to have an education and a career.
  • It is NOT an act of defiance, confrontation or protest to non-Muslims.
  • It is NOT a portable prison.

 

“Indeed, the men who submit and the women who submit, the believing men and the believing women, the obedient men and the obedient women, the truthful men and the truthful women, the patient men and the patient women, the humble men and the humble women, the charitable men and the charitable women, the fasting men and the fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who remember - Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.”  [Qur’an 33:35]
   

UN raises alarm over Rohingya Muslim abuse

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UN raises alarm over Rohingya Muslim abuse

Human rights envoy says the long history of persecution in Myanmar could amount to "crimes against humanity".

Last updated: 08 Apr 2014 07:21
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A UN report has decried the "systematic discrimination and marginalisation" of Rohingya Muslims [Reuters]

A UN human rights envoy says severe shortages of food, water and medical care for Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar are part of a long history of persecution against the religious minority that could amount to "crimes against humanity".

Tomás Ojea Quintana's statement follows the evacuation of hundreds of international humanitarian workers from Rakhine state, home to almost all the country's 1.3m Rohingya Muslims, tens of thousands of whom are living in crowded displacement camps.

The aid workers left after Buddhist mobs attacked their offices and residences two weeks ago. Some have tried to return, but have been barred by the government.

Quintana, the UN special rapporteur on Human Rights, said the developments in Rakhine were the latest in a "long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya Muslim community which could amount to crimes against humanity".

More than 170 aid workers were pulled out of the state as a result of last month's unrest, the first time they have been forced to leave en masse, and there are fears that the entire relief infrastructure has been severely damaged.

The exodus has deepened an already dire health situation for hundreds of thousands reliant on international medical relief, with some 140,000 in the camps, as well as more than 700,000 vulnerable people in isolated villages severely affected.

'Systematic discrimination'

Tensions have been heightened by Myanmar's recent census, the first in three decades, which has stoked anger among Buddhists that it might lead to official recognition for the Rohingya Muslims, a religious minority viewed by the authorities as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Quintana said the government's decision not to allow Rohingya Muslims to register their ethnicity in the March census meant that the population tally was not in accordance with international standards.

The outspoken envoy, who is approaching the end of his six-year tenure, urged the government to address "systematic discrimination and marginalisation" of the Rohingya Muslims in his final report on the country.

British Foreign Minister Hugo Swire tweeted Monday that he had summoned the Myanmar ambassador "to register our deep concern about humanitarian access and conduct of census in Rakhine".

Source:
Agencies

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2014/04/un-raises-alarm-over-rohingya-muslim-abuse-20144863638917587.html

 

Backbiting and Slander

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Backbiting and Slander

'...Allah will defend him in this world and in the next....'

 

And why did you not, when you heard it, say?  "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander" (Quran 24:16)

A commentary on one of the most destructive of major sins

Islam is a religion of peace, love and compassion. Lies, suspicion, back biting, slander and gossip are totally alien to Islam. In fact they are considered amongst the most destructive of major sins. This is so because these sins sow enmity and discord among the Muslim Ummah and lead to its destruction. They cause hostilities between people of the same household, and between neighbors, friends and relatives.

Islam demands that our relationship with mankind should be one of sincerity and responsibility. It should be one where we have respect for the honor, reputation and privacy of others. Islam teaches us that we are not only held accountable for our own attitudes and actions but also for anything else over which we have control or influence over, in our society or the world around us.

Verses: Let's see what the Quran states about backbiting and slander - 'This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah'. (2:2)

Allah has forbidden the believers from backbiting

O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (49: 12)

When we reflect deeply over this assimilation it should be enough to keep us away from backbiting!

Do not treat the issue of Backbiting & Slander with indifference because it is a great sin

Behold, you received it on your tongues, and said out of your mouths things which you had no knowledge; and you thought it to be a light matter, while it was most serious in the sight of Allah (24: 15)

Many of us back bite and gossip without thinking. We think it is minor matter, however Allah reminds us to be careful and even though we think we are doing something little it is in fact very big in the sight of Allah!

Allah teaches us to speak out against Slander and try to put a stop to it

And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right of us to speak of this: Glory to Allah, this is a most serious slander" (24:16)

Many people are so busy spreading the slander they hear that they do not even stop to think if it is true or not.

Shaitan (Satan) wants us to use our tongue to create conflict and hatred

Say to My servants that they should only say those things that are best, for Satan does sow dissensions among them, for Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (17:53)

Are we falling into Shaitan's (Satan's) trap? We can all analyze ourselves.

Hadiths: Let's see what Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said about Backbiting in the hadiths. Allah states in the Quran - You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern of conduct. (33:21)

The definition of Backbiting & Slander

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said :"Do you know what backbiting is?" They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best." He then said, "It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike." Someone asked him, "But what if what I say is true?" The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) said, "If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him." (Muslim)

We should guard our tongue from sins and use our limbs in acts of obedience

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said : "Who protects his tongue from unlawful utterances and his private parts from illegal sexual intercourse, I shall guarantee him entrance into Paradise." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The definition of the best muslim

"I asked the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him): Who is the best Muslim? The Messenger of Allah(Peace Be Upon Him) replied, "He is the one from whom Muslims are safe from the evil of his tongue and hands." (Muslim)

Deriding people in their presence by making negative facial expressions or by hand gestures while they are unaware is also a form of backbiting.

We need to beware of the slipping of our tongues

"When man wakes up in the morning each day, all parts of the body warn the tongue saying, ‘Fear Allah as regards us for we are at your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we become crooked.’" (At-Tirmidhee)

Summary

Backbiting and slander is so widespread that it has become the topic of people’s meetings and an avenue for expressing their anger, misgivings and jealousy. Those who indulge in backbiting are oblivious of the fact that they are only harming themselves. This is because of the fact that on the Day of Resurrection both the wrongdoer and the wronged will stand before Allah, Who is the Just Judge, Allah will then give this wronged person from the good deeds of the person who wronged him in accordance with his wrong by backbiting.

Some situations allow us to inform others of what someone has done. It is allowed for us to inform the authorities when someone does injustice to us or others. It is allowed for us to inform someone who can help a perpetrator from committing further vice. It is also permissible for us to tell whoever seeks our advice on a person for business dealings or marriage. In this case it is not allowed for us to hide what we know about the person so that the enquirer will not be deceived. All these types of speaking about others are lawful.

Islam teaches us that if people are being ridiculed or backbited in our presence, we should defend their honor. If we neglect this, we shall deprive ourselves of ever needed help and mercy from Allah - If a man's Muslim brother is slandered in his presence, and he is capable of defending him and does so, Allah will defend him in this world and in the next. But if he fails to defend him, Allah will destroy him in this world and the next. (Baghawi). What will we do the next time we are tempted to backbite or hear slander in our presence? Right now the choice is ours!

We ask Allah the Most High, the All Powerful, to teach us that which will benefit us, and to benefit us by that which we learn. May Allah grant blessings and peace to our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his family and companions.

   

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