Islam Is Project Management
Master’s in Project Management
According to reports, reliable ones, a colleague just passed Master's Degree in Project Management.
And, listen to this, got Distinction in Thesis.
News filled with great joy.
Congratulations poured in. I sent in mine too.
Islam Is All about Education, Right?
Several thoughts crowd the mind.
First and foremost, as they say, isn't Islam all about education, I ask myself?
But then, I say to myself, the way we practice Islam today, and the way we think about Islam, is that where it is all at?
Is that what we have made of Islam? Is that what Islam is all about these days?
And is that what Islam means to us?
Is that how we see Islam and treat Islam, in our own lives, and in our cultures and societies: Islam as Education?
Muslims the Education People of the World?
Is that what the storyline is? Is that what the headlines are?
In other words, are we Muslims the ultimate Education People of the World?
That means is that where the world runs when it wants education: To Islam, to Muslims and to Muslim societies? What people collectively call the Muslim World – a term that I myself tried to popularize during the late 1980s.
Muslim Reality and Muslim Thinking
Is that what Muslim reality is today? And, much more importantly, is that what Muslim thinking is?
That we are an education people and Islam is all about education?
And is the best and the highest level of education the lodestar, the Summum Bonum, the highest point and the most prized objective of a Muslim’s life today?
Allah Creates a Project Manager
And then I thought a bit further – and I said to myself isn’t Islam really all about management – Project Management?
Isn’t that how Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, framed and announced our birth to the angels when he made us? The Qur’an says Allah said: Innee jaa’ilun fil ardwi khaleefah.
“I am going to make a manager on earth!” is how I would paraphrase that Aayat.
Khaleefah – Manager?
I don’t know who translates the divine expression “Khaleefah” as what, but it seems to me “Manager” – as in Project Manager – fits the bill perfectly.
And then Adam, our ancestor, is put through this super-fast, super-specialized, super-accelerated training of Kun-Fa-Yakoon in all things possible and needed – I take it to be an effective and successful Manager of Project Earth – God Almighty’s earthly Project Manager.
A Syllabus Called Al-Asmaa-a Kullahaa
The Qur’an gives the syllabus as Wa 'Allama Adamal Asmaa-a Kullahaa.
To a crude mind like mine, it strikes as saying: “A syllabus consisting of all conceivable topics.”
And remember, management, even in the most decentralized systems, is somehow pyramidal in nature.
And it is a whole set of things together. It is a fine combination of all kinds of things such as knowledge and expertise; things such as skills and abilities; and things such as the higher qualities of leadership and character.
And above all Management is Responsibility.
In other words, it is the place where the “buck,” as they say, comes to a stop and has no other place to go to.
Muslims – Allah’s Special Management Cadre
So, Allah now puts a special, higher-level, Management Cadre in place. And the recruitment is open to all.
That select Management Group is that of the Believers: the Muslims. How can it be otherwise?
And the briefing to them is clear and comprehensive: Ta’muroona Bil Ma’roofi Wa Tanhowna 'Anil Munkari.
Amr Bil Ma’roof, Nahy 'Anil Munkar – That Is the Job
And that means two things:
a) Make every Good Thing happen – Amr Bil Ma’roof.
b) Stop every Bad Thing from happening – Nahy 'Anil Munkar.
The Third and Final Thing
And the third thing, of course, is don’t waver in your loyalty and devotion to the “company” – the “company” of one: Allah, Wahdahoo Laa Shareeka Lahoo.
Wa Tu’minoona Billah!
Responsibility Is both Collective and Individual
Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, made it clear that this job is both a collective as well as an individual responsibility.
That means we are all supposed to do it together – as a Qawum: as a team.
Yadullahi Ma’al Jama’ah, he said.
Man Shadhdha Shudhdha Finnaar, he said.
Innamma Ya’kuludhdi’bul Ghanamal Qwaaswi-ah, he said.
Awu kamaa qwaala sayyidinaa Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, meaning, I think and I hope I got these words right, and, at the same time, everyone please check to make sure I did and there are no errors in the A-haadeeth I cited above.
The word Hadith is singular.
The word A-haadeeth is plural.
Collective Responsibility at Two Levels
So, the responsibility of Project Managing the Earth is a collective one. And it is so at two levels:
a) Universally, at the level of all human beings.
b) Specifically, at the level of the Muslim Ummah – the Muslim People, Nation, Society or Community.
All this is at the collective level.
Everyone In-Charge of a Flock
But then Islam also makes it clear that the ultimate responsibility is that of the individual – individual Muslim and, beyond that, individual human being.
That means everyone everywhere.
“Kullukum Raa-'in,” says Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, “Wa Kullukum Mas-oolun 'An Ra-'iyyatihi.”
“Every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you will be held accountable for the flock you managed.”
Who Can Say It Better?
I don’t see how our collective and individual role as human beings, and as Muslims, in the Project Management of this world could have been stated more clearly, forcefully or definitively!
Swadaqwallahul 'Azweem Wa Swadaqwa Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!
© 2012 Syed Husain Pasha
Dr. Syed Husain Pasha is an educator and scholar of exceptional
talent, training and experience. He can be reached at DrSyedPasha [at]
AOL [dot] com or www.IslamicSolutions.com.