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Attitude… August 19, 2006

Posted by humairah in Expression, General.

It is the “advance man” of our true selves.
Its roots are inward but its fruit is outward.
It is our best friend or our worst enemy.
It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
It is an outward look based on past experiences.
It is a thing which draws people to us or repels them.
It is never content until it is expressed.
It is the librarian of our past.
It is the speaker of our present.
It is the prophet of our future.

-John Maxwell, author of Attitude 101- What every leader needs to know


Khurram Murad- A Visionary Leader among Da’is August 17, 2006

Posted by humairah in General, Learning from personalities.

Khurram Murad was born in Bhopal, India in 1932, and migrated to Pakistan in 1948. He studied civil engineering at the University of Karachi (BEng. 1952), securing 1st place in the University, and went on to study in the University of Minnesota (USA) (MSc. 1958), he worked as a leading consulting engineer in Karachi, Dhaka, Tehran and Riyadh. Associated Consulting Engineers Ltd., with which he worked as a chief engineer and resident director, was responsible for the initial design and electrification of the extension of the Masjid al-Haram, Makkah and Khurram Murad played an important role in the formulation and implementation of the plans for extension of the Haram.

Murad’s thinking on what Muslims and Muslim leaders must do in the West was the contextualisation of the Islamic Movement. It is┬ásummarised below:

  • Ultimate mission of the Islamic movement: The Islamic Movement is an organised struggle to change the existing society into an Islamic society based on the Qur’an and SUnnah and to make Islam, which is a code for entire life, supreme and dominant, especially in the sociopolitical spheres.

  • Leaders of the Islamic Movement must not be constrained by ‘historical’ Islam. As Allah says in the Qur’an: O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (than ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do. [4:135]

  • Local Muslims must be involved: For it is only the locals who have the power to change the society into an Islamic society

  • Communicate using the same frame of reference as the target audience, such as emulating the examples of previous prophets, but conveying the message in the language understood by the followers.

  • Focus on contemporary issues. Different Prophet’s had different focusses, suc as Prophet Nuh on the issue of caste and class differences, Prophet Hud on imperialism and Prophet Lut confronted permissiveness; may the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be on them. Make the message relevant to what’s degrading society today- pornography, nuclear proliferation, environmental degradation, etc.


-Taken from Leadership- An Islamic Perspective by Rafik Beekun and Jamal Badawi

The Current Problem of Leadership June 14, 2006

Posted by humairah in General.

I really liked this article by Abu Bakr Karolia, written about 4 years ago. This simple article explains the leadership problem in the Ummah today, and urges Muslims to rise up to the challenge. Hope you find it a good read too!

The Current Problematic of Leadership


AbuBakr Karolia

South Africa, March, 2002

In the modern era the institution of leadership is symbolized as the speculation of power and the capacity to manage and control the desires and emotions of mankind. Another explanation of leadership is to be a leader of a country or group that upholds the scope of power of an ideology or a way of life.

This ideology reflects a particular way of life in the current debate e.g. in the linear contemporary politics, the world is controlled by economic principles and wealth accumulation.

This particular ideology subtlety controls through economic power and political systems, which are designed to be seen as fair and just. Developed wealthy countries exert influence through the control of world markets and vast sums of financial capital movement. Minds are controlled through usurious economic systems, which perpetuate the concerns and oppression of ordinary people making a living.

The control of capital resources manipulates humanity through the modern free markets and purchase of cheap labor and ultimately political power. This cheap labor is the engine of the world, which is nourished by the vast sums of capital made available by the developed wealthier countries. This modern definition of leadership is broadly accepted as sophisticated tyranny but majority of mankind is unable to recognize this subtle oppression. Because it looks goods it is deceptive and you do not see the dragon that is about to pounce.

This process of material acquirement and consumerism becomes a way of life. This way of life is responsible for the protection of many ideas as nationalism, liberalism, democracy and free markets. This way of life due to its unjust individualism propounds characteristics of anxiety, depression, hatred, racism, and ethnic cleansing, class and gender inequality. This material way of life is to protect the accumulation of wealth, material goods and economic power.

In the context of a modern democratic dispensation the leadership maintains a stable government and must show open responsibility to a certain world opinion. Those that lead these forums e.g. the World Economic Forum (WEF) advocate the theory of stable and responsible government. These developing poorer countries are expected to be subservient to the economic world order, which then ensures possible access to resources and technology by developed wealthier countries.

Availability of technology and global resources are not for the benefit of the world but for an elite few. This is the modern leadership, the leadership of neo-colonialism, which ensures and upholds that the wealthy countries reap the benefit of their systems and schemes at work. Those countries that are independent or say things that do not suit the agenda of these schemes will be attacked through the propaganda of the media or brought to the knees through the currency markets. These people are generally not concerned about the alleviation of poverty, ignorance and disease. They are interested in protecting their way of life and if you are not with them then they are against you.

A further definition of world leadership is through globalization and capitalism the ‘mother’ of wealth creation, material accumulation and power.


Through the concept of globalization the power of control and leadership are nourished for the benefit of corporations and multinationals. Globalization is the birth child of colonialism and imperialism. Through this process the G8 countries with the help of the techno-usurious monetary system, banking institution such as the World Bank and the IMF has gripped the world economy and humanity, which has resulted in bewilderment, poverty and uncertainty.

Let us consider the Muslim world: Currently there are 56 countries, members of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). These countries are loosely linked and many of them do not officially accept Islam as their state religion. These countries do not cohesively pose a threat to other civilization or can be classified as developed. Almost all are lagging behind in knowledge, technological advancement and skills including effective and just governments.

Muslims make up over 1.2 billion of the world population who are divided by many of their own loyalties and difference of interpretation of Islam. The principle of Unity is in shock where Muslims are to busy fighting each other and therefore the commitment to their faith is apparently suffering. Poverty, ignorance and instability have become a common feature in the Muslim world that is dependent on the process of globalization, as instituted by the G8 countries. Affective visions and strategy for advancement is elusive and Muslim leadership grapple with critical thinking and in the lap of apathy and comfort. The issues of social justice and brotherhood are murdered in the echelons of corruption and dictatorships.

Many of these rulers have become lap dogs waiting to be thrown a few tits bits in this worldview of wealthy and militaristically powerful nations. Most of these leaders and rulers in the Muslim lands have not been democratically chosen at the ballot box. (more…)

Synergy- Why do geese fly in a V formation? June 10, 2006

Posted by humairah in General, Laws of nature, Management.

As the geese take flight from the Canadian shoreline, they lift off from the water in squawking discourse. Yet, in a matter of seconds, a line begins to emerge from the mass of brown feathers. This line straightens, arches slightly, and then, as on cue, bends sharply to form a perfect V shape. Canada geese fly in V formation for a very pragmatic reason: a flock of geese flying in formation can move faster and maintain flight longer than any one goose flying alone. Synergy is a law of nature.

What is synergy? How does it relate to leadership?

We have a lot to learn from these geese.

  • By flying in "V " formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
    =>People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
  • Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
    =>If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading in the same as we are.
  • When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
    => It pays to take turns doing hard jobs, with people or with flying geese.
  • These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. 
    => We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.
  • Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group. 
    => If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other, protect one another and sometimes make new friends who seem to be going in our direction.

Synergy is best explained as, 'One plus one equals more than two'. Today's world requires a critical mass of transformational leaders who will commit to creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence so new level of social, economic, organizational and spiritual success can be reached. Synergy helps you realise the value of others, and secondly, encourages you to find the right people. Synergy is a dynamic form of leverage. Avoid using it, and end up working four times as hard for half the results. Use it and watch the results expand exponentially!

In an upcoming article, I will talk about the 7 principles of transformational leadership.

The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith June 3, 2006

Posted by humairah in General.
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Dean Smith coached basketball @ the University of North Carolina for 36 years, willing a major-college record of 879 games as well as the admiration, friendship, and respect of his players, and peers.

David Chadwick, one of his students, wrote a book, 'The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith' selecting the core values of Dean Smith and answering the 'how' he did it in 'it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game".

David Chadwick is currently a pastor in a large church, and he draws examples from the experiences of many famous basketball players and coaches.

I will go over each of these principles in separate posts. Definitely the most important values in a leader are the most basic ones, such as honesty, integrity, responsibility and so on, and writing about them in the light of basketball should help exemplify their practical aspect.

Unfortunately though, I haven't learnt much about basketball through this book!

Introduction May 27, 2006

Posted by humairah in General.

As salamu alaikum

I've been thinking about this blog for a very long time. Yet it's almost funny that I would write articles on leadership, when I do not compare an inch amongst the many leaders in our community.

Alhamdulillahi rabbil 'Alameen- Allah subhana wa ta'ala has facilitated my initiative at the right time, and I'm quite overwhelmed to be able to start this!

 The first few articles are going to be quite random, until I think I've learnt enough to give this blog some structure. Please drop your comments, feedback and whatever you may please. I'm the one who has the most to learn, and any help in that regard is only appreciated!

salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

-Humairah Irfan