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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Planning

By Omar Tarhuni

A-úthú billáhi minash shaytánir rajím. Bismilláhir Rahmánir Rahím!

[Arabic du'á]


We often notice a regrettable phenomenon among Moslem individuals, groups, communities, and countries. This phenomenon is bad planning or a total lack of planning.

Some Moslems fail to plan their actions, therefore the outcomes of such actions are different from what they had in mind when they started. These Moslems work on the basis of the "Baraka syndrome," or "Inshallah, everything will be fine," or "Allah will be with us." This new phenomenon, although it is true, is exploited by the defeated Moslems, who always look west, and the seculars who reject Islam as a way of life. They attack Islam and accuse it of being the source of backwardness in the Moslem world.

Needless to say that this new phenomenon does not represent Islam, because if we carefully read the Quran and the Sunna, we clearly see that there are Islamic foundations for planning.

THE ISLAMIC FOUNDATION OF PLANNING


1. Orientation to the future

The Islamic way of life revolves around our preparation for the future life in the hereafter. The Quran tells us that there are people who ask for what is good in this world as well as in the hereafter will receive what is due the them in both the worlds. It affirms that what is due to them is based on what they earn by their actions.

some say .Our Lord, give us all the good things here in this world, such people shall have no share in the hereafter. Then, there are others who say, Our Lord, give us what is good in this world and also what is good in

the Hereafter and save us from the torment of Fire, Such people shall have their due share (in both the worlds) according to what they earn. And ALLAH is swift at settling accounts.

Thus, the Quranic view is two-fold ; We should plan our actions with specific goals in mind. our reward is dependent on our implementation of that plan.Making a plane and implementing it are thus two sides of the same coin.

The Prophet urges us to be always oriented to the future , IF the last hour strikes and you are carrying a nursling tree to the grove for planting, go ahead and plant it.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO PLAN.? In other words what are the requirements or the mechanics of planning?

Planning requires four basic elements. a) Learning from the past, b) use of resources, c) consulting before deciding and, d) being fair to others

A- Learning from the past.

In planning for the future, we must build on what has been done before , without being limited by the shortcomings of the past. The Quran urges us to learn from the experience of others Did they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them ?

B- Using Resources

The art of good planning is the art of identifying potential resources and

optimizing their use to produce the desired results.The Muslim recognizes

that ALLAH has provided all that he needs, if he would only srtive to

deserve it and to aquire it. " Do you not see that ALLAH has subjected

to your use all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure both seen and unseen.

C- Consulting before deciding

The Islamic view of planning is based on, study, advice and consultation. It is not an authoritarian, totally centralized process of giving orders. In fact the Muslim planner seeks knowledge to replace his ignorance on the subject at hand, solicits advise to test his assumptions and engages in consultation to overcome his own limitations Then ask the learned if you do not know,

Consult them in affairs of the moment. The Quran furthers describes the believers as.... and who conduct their affairs by consultation.

The prophets tells us that ......Religion is sincere advise.

D- BEING FAIR TO OTHERS

Good planning demands a balances approach in assigning responsibilities to carry out tasks, in giving authority to discharge responsibilities, in allocating resources to accomplish objectives and in putting goals in priority to achieve the best interests of all involved. The Quran calls for justice and fairness in all dealings.......Give just measure and weight, and do not withhold from people the things that are their due...

Planning is not putting words and drawings on paper, it is not a theoretical concept only. Planning is based on actions , commitments, implementing decisions and delegating when necessary.

A. Commitments

Planning is not an academic exercise but a commitment to take a series of actions to get from where one is to where one wants to be. Without action actions one can not move and thus can not achieve anything. The Quran clarifies that results can come only from our actions...The man can have nothing but what he strives for.

B. Implementing decisions

Good planning is realistic. It consists of actions that are compatible with the resources, ability and willingness, not unrealistic promises that can not be kept. .....O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do.

A plan is only as good as the decisions that it calls for. The decisions are only as good as their implementation. The Muslim should directs the need human and financial resources to implementation and seeks ALLAH'S help in bringing his efforts to success...Then, when you have taken a decision, put you trust in ALLAH

C. DELEGATING TO OTHERS.

Some times , making a plane or implementing one may require the

collective efforts of a number of people. In this case, it is important

to recognize the need to involve others and delegate work to them in

order to translate the plan into accomplishments. The Quran clarifies the

need for delegation. .....And We raise some of them above others in

ranks so that some may command work from others.

QUALITY OF PLANNING

Allah loves your actions to be done thoroughly and perfectly. Striving for perfection should be reflected in all our actions, including planning. Therefore a muslim should build exellence into his\her planning.

A. Build Excellence into planning

The Muslim planner builds excellence into his plans by seeking to find

ways in which his resources can generate most desirable results. The

Prophet has referred to this by saying.....Allah decreed that for every

thing there is a better way.....

When working with others, a muslim planner should build a team and acknowledge their contributions.

B. Build a Team

Planning is a collective activity in the sense that it touches on the lives and

achievements of all affected, be they the family, community or nation.

Success in good planning call for benefiting from the effort of all, exercised

not through disoriented individual action but through concerted effort. The

Prophet, advises us that " The hand of ALLAH is with the Jama ah..Then

whoever singles himself out ( form the Jamm ah ) will be singled out for

the hell-fire"

C. Acknowledge other's contribution

Good planning recognizes the value of people and encourages their

continued commitment by acknowledging their contribution. The Prophet

stated:

" He who does not thank people, does not thank ALLAH.

D. Integrate Accountability into Planning

Responsibility must be accompanied by accountability. Those who assume leadership roles in carrying a plan must be more accountable than others because their success or failure affects everyone involved. The Quran stressed accountability in this way.

" O women of the Prophet, if any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the punishment would be

doubled to her, and that is easy for ALLAH.

REMEMBER : IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN , YOU PLAN TO FAIL.

[du'á in Arabic]
Ameen! Aqeemus Salaah!

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