Quotes

And who is better in speech than he who says : 'My Lord is Allah and then stands firm and invites (men) to Allah and does righteous deeds and says : "I am one of the Muslims". (Qur'an 41: 33)

PostHeaderIcon Never Again: Ending Tyranny in Egypt-And Around the World

Dr. Syed Husain Pasha’s Message on the Revolution in Egypt
The unfolding Egyptian Revolution – as of February 6, 2011 – is a new dawn of hope for humanity.
This revolution has given birth to a new free nation under God and to a brave new people in God’s calculus of Freedom and Dignity.
And it has given the world a new Egypt – free, fearless and forward-looking.
The prayers and best wishes of civilized, decent and right-thinking people everywhere – men, women and children; Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians and others – are with the brave and indomitable Egyptian People in their struggle for liberty, dignity and justice for themselves and for their country and society.
The Egyptian Revolution is not a demand for bread or jobs. It is not a fight for passing political and economic gains for specific groups or individuals.
This is a most blessed fight to the finish, at its most fundamental and comprehensive levels, for freedom and for the inalienable right of people everywhere to their Most Basic Human and Civil Freedoms and Dignities.
A right granted to all by their Creator and guaranteed to all by the Constitutions and Governments of Civilized Societies of the world everywhere.
The Egyptian Revolution is an elemental and existential fight for the Basic Humanity of the Egyptian People.
And of the world.
The present struggle of the Egyptian People for freedom is in the same class as the earlier struggle of Mighty Moses, may God bless him, and his people against Tyranny and Oppression by the Pharaoh and his hordes of their time.
It is clear as day that the pain, suffering and blood of the Egyptian people will not be in vain.
Nor in vain will be the cherubic smiles and heart-rending tears on the faces of all those mighty little Egyptian heroes in the Demonstrations, some of them no older than five or six years.
And the heroism, discipline, peacefulness and personal dignity of the Egyptian People throughout this struggle will be a model for all people waging similar battles for freedom and human dignity everywhere.
It strains credulity how free from hate, anger and hostility this epochal surge for a breath of fresh air of the long-oppressed Egyptian people has been to date.
No matter how much the mendacious, the mercenary and the agenda-driven in the media, or in some political circles without morality or conscience, try to dub and portray as “Clashes” the heroic and selfless self-defense of the valiant Egyptian People against attacks by the thugs and goons of the Egyptian Regime
There is not a doubt that the world will never be the same again. For, the Egyptian Revolution has liberated the oppressed people of the world everywhere from their worst enemy: Fear and Hopelessness.
For, to paraphrase the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt: The only thing humanity, and in particular an oppressed people or society, has to fear is fear itself!
There is not a doubt that the Egyptian People’s most sublime fight for freedom will be a beacon of light and inspiration for the world for centuries to come, just as the American and French revolutions of 1776 and 1789, respectively, were and in some ways continue to be.
Thirty years of Emergency Rule? Just to name one small detail in the shaping of the Egyptian Revolution.
An entire nation of 80 million people ground under the heels of Tyranny and Oppression for generation after generation after generation for 30 years by one individual and his family and cronies?
And so say all of us – regardless of our religion, race, class, gender or nationality!
ENOUGH for a brave and beautiful Egypt!
And ENOUGH for a brave and beautiful rest of God’s world.
No people, no nation or society, and no individual or group, should ever again be forced to live under the heel of Tyranny and Oppression anywhere for any length of time for any reason.
To borrow a simple and yet most powerful and evocative expression from our past and in particular from the determined struggle of the Jewish People against Tyranny and Oppression in Europe: NEVER AGAIN!
NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN!
The Egyptian Revolution has taught the world that, when it comes to Tyranny and Oppression, from now on the common cry of humanity and civilized world everywhere should be: “NEVER AGAIN!”
NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN! NEVER AGAIN!
That should be our motto, and that should be humanity’s new resolve, from now on.
What no one should think, however, is that the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 is somehow directed against America the way the Iranian Revolution of 1979 was. For, it is not.
The Egyptian Revolution, AKA 2011, is, pure and simple, a revolution of the Egyptian People by the Egyptian People and for the Egyptian People.
And it is a message of Hope and Faith and a clarion call for Freedom everywhere on earth.
And it is a death-knell to Tyranny and Oppression everywhere.

Dr. Syed Husain Pasha’s Message on the Revolution in EgyptThe unfolding Egyptian Revolution – as of February 6, 2011 – is a new dawn of hope for humanity.

This revolution has given birth to a new free nation under God and to a brave new people in God’s

Last Updated (Wednesday, 20 July 2011 07:15)

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PostHeaderIcon Leadership Lessons from The Qur’an: The Story of Dhul-Qarnayn

by Dr. Iqbal Unus, IIIT and Dr. Rafik Beekun The Qur’an is a continuing source of
Guidance, and the Guidance it offers
is in the context of what the reader
is seeking. Learning from the Qur’an is a
dynamic process and that is why we keep
reading it in all sorts of circumstances and
need.
The Qur’an teaches us in many different
ways, and one of those ways is through the
stories of prophets and kings and just plain
ordinary people. Again different people at
different times in different frames of mind
can derive different lesson from these
stories. We want to share with you the
lessons we have derived about leadership
from one such story – the story of Dhul
Qarnayn.
Why look for lessons in leadership?
Because all of us, as Muslims and
Muslimahs, play a leadership role in one
setting or another. One of the well-known
ahadith of the Prophet is:
“Kullu kum ra’in was kullu ra’in mas’ool
an rai’yatay-hi…” meaning “Every one
of you is a caretaker, and every caretaker
is responsible for what he is caretaker
of.” The hadith continues further to
give example of caretakers. The story of
Dhul Qarnayn is related in Surah Kahf
[Surah 18] in the Qur’an. It is said that
unbelievers were trying to test the Prophet
Muhammad (s) by asking Muslims to
ask him certain questions to which, they
thought, he would have no answer, unless
he was truly the Prophet. So they asked
him about some young people who lived
in a cave, and about a man who traveled
far and wide, and about soul. This was the
occasion of the Revelation of Surah Kahf in
which Allah informs the Prophet (s) about
the answers to these questions.
The Qura’n says:
“They ask you concerning Zul-qarnain.
Say “I will rehearse to you something of
his story.” [18:83]. Then, it says.,”Verily
We established his power on earth and
We gave him the ways and the means to
all ends. ” [ 18:84] Leadership is about
delegating authority, and a central principle
of delegation is that authority must be
delegated with appropriate resources, i.e.
the means to accomplish the task one has
been delegated with. In the story of Dhul
Leadership in Islam
Leadership Lessons from The Qur’an:
The Story of Dhul-Qarnayn
Qarnayn, we are reminded that Allah SWT
is the Sovereign. He delegates authority
to us in different degrees. He delegates
tasks to us, and accomplishes what He
Wills through us. But He will not demand
the accomplishment of a delegated task
without giving us the proper resources to
accomplish it. Allah (the Almighty or SWT)
says that he established Dhul Qarnayn
in the earth and gave him the means of
everything, the resources and abilities
that may be needed. The other side of this
coin is that Allah SWT does not demand
from us what we do not have the ability
to accomplish, when he says in Surah al
Baqarah: “Laa yo kallifall-lahu nafsan
illa wus-aa-ha (On no soul does Allah
place a burden greater than he can bear.)
So, in human terms, this is a lesson for us
when we find ourselves in any position
of leadership, that we expect the best
from those we delegate tasks to, with two
conditions: We do not expect more than we
know they are capable of delivering, and
we give them the material resources and
the training needed to get the job done.
The Qur’an continues,
” One (such) way he followed until when
he reached the setting of the sun He found
it set in a spring of murky water: near it he
found a People: We said: “O Zul-qarnain!
(you have authority) either to punish them
or to treat them with kindness.” He said:
“Whoever does wrong him shall we punish;
then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and
He will punish him with a punishment
unheard-of (before). But whoever believes
and works righteousness he shall have a
goodly reward and easy will be his task as
we order it by our command.” [18:85-88]
Leadership is constantly tested. Here
Dhul Qarnayn is put to the test. He is
established in authority and he has been
given the capacity to do anything, and he
is asked now to decide what he will do
with a people whom he has apparently
overpowered. He shows the discernment
of a good leader – distinguishing between
those who are righteous and those who
are not. He shows the leadership qualities
of fairness and justice. The wrong-doers
must be punished, but good people must
be rewarded and honoured. Notice the
two stages in each case. In the wrongdoers’
case, first punishment comes from him,
and a greater punishment comes later from
Allah SWT. In the case of good people, first
they will get the best of rewards from him,
and on top of that he will speak to them
kindly. So the difference between treatment
of the good and the bad is significant as it
should be.
The Qur’an then says,
“ Then followed he (another) way until
when he reached (a tract) between two
mountains he found beneath them a
people who scarcely understood a word.
They said: “O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and
Magog (people) do great mischief on earth:
shall we then render you tribute in order
that you may erect a barrier between us
and them?” [18:92-94]
Leadership is not exploitative. When
Dhul Qarnayn meets a people who speak
a different language and are obviously
strangers to him, he treats them with a
sense of service, not greed. Even though
they themselves offer to pay for him to
erect a protective barrier against foreign
attackers, Dhul Qarnayn does not demand
more, he does not even accept what he
is willingly offered because he does not
want to exploit their weakness. Maybe if
they fought him and lost, he may expect
something from them, but not when they
basically surrendered and exposed to
him their weakness. So like a good leader,
he is generous. In his generosity also, he
remains humble, because he remembers
that even what he has is given to him by
Allah SWT, and says so. He also realizes
that the power that Allah SWT has blessed
him with is only a means to serve Allah.
He serves Allah through being a servantleader
to his people, i.e. taking care of their
needs.
He said:
“(The power) in which my Lord has
established me is better (than tribute): help
me therefore with strength (and labor): I
will erect a strong barrier between you and
them: [18:95] Leadership is about teamwork
because leaders cannot accomplish
anything without their followers (and of
course Allah’s help). After telling them
what he has from Allah SWT is better than
what they can offer, Dhul Qarnayn tells
them that he will help them if they will
help him in the task, and work together
6 Vol 1: Issue 3 August-NOV. 10
Leadership in Islam
as a group. This action does three things
that good leaders do in accomplishing
their mission: (1) Asking the people to
help him dignifies the people by making
them a partner in solving the problem,
(2) it give them a stake the success of the
solution, and (3) it also give them a sense of
responsibility for owning and maintaining
the solution they have arrived at. It is also
important to note that he asks them to help
him with what they do possess, which was
their strength.
“Bring me blocks of iron.” At
length when he had filled up the space
between the two steep mountain sides he
said “Blow (with your bellows).” Then
when he had made it (red) as fire he said:
“Bring me that I may pour over it molten
lead.” [18:96].
Dhul Qarnayn also displays another
characteristic of his leadership and ability
to accomplish things, by clearly laying
down the process and acting on it stage by
stage methodically. This is what he does:
(1) He informs them and prepares them
for the task, (2) he seeks their commitment
and tells them what he will accomplish
with their help, (3) he completes the first
stage by having them bring blocks of iron
to be placed between the mountains, (4)
he lights the fire and asks them to blow
on it,(5) he completes the next stage by
having them bring copper to pour over
red hot iron. The wall is then ready, with
his knowledge and wisdom working
hand in hand with the people’s strength
and commitment. Please notice that in the
above ayat, Dhul Qarnayn also displays
that a good leader is also a good follower:
He asks them to follow his directives, and
he also participates actively in the action.
Most importantly, he models the way: a
leader is in the vanguard when he needs to
model the most challenging and difficulty
behaviors. Indeed, he himself takes charge
of the most dangerous task by personally
pouring the molten lead over the blocks of
iron. We can practically outline a method
of performance and accomplishment for
our daily task based on Dhul Qarnayn’s
methodical conduct in this situation.
It is worth noting here that the people
referred to here did have the resources like
iron and copper but lacked the knowledge
to use them. This tells us that we have an
obligation to learn how to use whatever
resources we may be blesses with. Thus the
advancement of science and technology
and other forms of knowledge that can
help us benefit from our resources is an
Islamic obligation on Muslim societies.
We also note that barrier that Dhul
Qarnayn erected and how did it show his
mastery over the technology far ahead of
his time. So, Dhul Qarnayn’s scientific and
engineering knowledge and skills is part of
the mean that Allah SWT gave him when
he established him in the earth. It is then
natural for Muslims to regard technical
knowledge as a gift from Allah to be
accepted, cultivated, promoted, advanced
and used in their own lives and in service
to others. The clear and specific reference
in the Qur’an to this great engineering
project tells us in no certain terms that it is
the Islamic way – to solve human problems
with God-given technical knowledge and
wisdom.
Thus were they made
powerless to scale it or to dig
through it. He said:
“This is a mercy from my Lord: but when
the promise of my Lord comes to pass He
will make it into dust; and the promise of
My Lord is true.” [18:97-98]
Again like a good leader, having
accomplished his task – to build a barrier
that will prevent foreign invaders – he
remembers and reminds the people that
the true source of all accomplishment is
Allah SWT. He tells them: (1) what he
has accomplished is due to the Mercy of
Allah SWT, (2) just like everything else
this accomplishment will perish when the
Final Day comes, alerting them that the
Final Day is still the ultimate truth. In a
way, he is sharing his humility that even
his great accomplishment is no match for
the power of Allah SWT. It is important to
note that the above lessons in leadership
are congruent with some of the leading
recent advances in leadership theory, and
we will summarize them here:
When delegating a task, make it possible
for your follower to succeed by providing
him/her with the means to accomplish
his/her task (House, Path Goal Theory of
Leadership; Hershey and Blanchard).
Effective leaders are servant-leaders
(Greenleaf) Leaders do not accomplish
anything by themselves; they work
through a team of followers. (Dyadic
research; team-buliding) Good leaders are
good followers. (Kouzes and Posner)
Leaders model the way. (Kouzes and
Posner) Good leaders are humble and
realize that success only comes from Allah.
Vol 1: Issue 3 August-NOV. 10 7

By Dr. Iqbal Unus, IIIT and Dr. Rafik Beekun

Quran leadership in islamThe Qur’an is a continuing source of Guidance, and the Guidance it offers is in the context of what the readeris seeking. Learning from the Qur’an is adynamic process and that is why we keepreading it in all sorts of circumstances andneed.The Qur’an teaches us in many differentways, and one of those ways is through thestories of prophets and kings and just plainordinary people.

Last Updated (Saturday, 26 March 2011 12:42)

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