Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Chapter 10 : The Good Administration

According to Islamic politics or administration, to carry out the responsibility of solving the problems of the people is never far from the question of formulating policies. This includes the issuance of directives, execution, the drawing up of programmes and time tables, selection of projects, the recording of results and assessments as to whether such projects are successful or otherwise and its reasons. As such, in an administration, the leader cannot avoid making policies. Such policies may originate from the leader himself or from members of the syura (Ahlul Halli Wal ‘Aqdi) or the Consultative Council.

Therefore there must be staff to maintain statistics and to keep records of on-going programmes or that due to be launched including those which has and is being developed. This effort requires office staff such as clerks, messengers, file keepers, file searchers and so on.

In these modern times, because the population has increased, so their needs are increased manifold compared to the times of the Prophet and the four Caliphs (Khulafa ur Rashidin). To meet their needs require more staff. The administration too requires manpower and department heads. They are the people who will execute all policies of the leader or the government.

Leaders in general who comprise the top leader, directors, managers, heads of departments and staff must work as a team and must all be responsible in the task of governing and administering the population. Otherwise, things will not work properly because there will be those who will laze around, linger, back bite, discriminate and who will distrust each other.

In order to prevent such negative things, the following must be done. Only then will all members of the team feel as though they are family.

1. Leaders, managers and heads of departments must show love and care towards their staff and subordinates.

2. All members of the team must always meet. If possible twice a week or at least once a week. Such meetings can be held in buses or at picnics away from the office. Motivation and education must be the main activity in the meetings so that their souls can be strengthened by faith and their minds filled with knowledge and understanding.

3. Motivation and education in such meetings should not be too serious and formal. It should be casual and relaxed. There should not be any form of pressure or intimidation. What matters is to instil love, care, brotherhood and fraternity amongst the staff.

4. Leaders, directors or managers must obtain the opinion of the staff as regards to their work and tasks in formulating directives and policies. The staff may want to contribute their ideas and experiences for implementation for the good of all.

5. Allow them ample chance to ask questions so that their queries can be answered. This will give them a deeper understanding of their work and why they do it so that they can be responsible towards the people in the name of Allah.

6. If there are among them those who make mistakes, think kindly of them first. Maybe they forget or they do it without intention or they misunderstand the situation. Give them advice generally as a group. If they need to be called up as individuals, make sure it is done with love and understanding.

7. If there are those who purposely commit wrongdoings or those who do it intentionally or due to sheer carelessness, they must be advised accordingly a few times. If they persist, then they can be punished congruent to their mistakes so they can learn.

8. If there are among them those who are consciencious and who do good work, they must be appreciated and given appropriate rewards and presents. Pray (doa) for them by saying: Jazakallahhu khaira (May God reward you for your good deeds).

9. Always ask them how they are and how they are doing. If they face problems, they must be given help and assistance. And if they are blessed with joy, we can all share them like family. Leaders are like fathers and mothers to their staff and subordinates.

10. Once in a while, leaders should visit their staff so that the feeling of love and brotherhood is enhanced. It is with such spirit of love and brotherhood that the staff will gain happiness, satisfaction and the sense of fulfilment in their work.

11. Although each staff in the team is given maash (subsistence allowance), it is only to provide for their basic needs as ordinary individuals. What is more important, everyone should work for Allah to gain His rewards and acceptance and not merely for the monetary emolument.

This is the teaching of Islam in running the affairs of politics (administration). Leaders, directors, managers are like fathers and mothers and all their staff work like brothers and sisters. All work and responsibilities are carried out with a sense of togetherness. Cooperation will prevail and all will enjoy satisfaction and fulfilment in their work.

This is the form of human relationship in Islamic administration and politics. It is far different from secular politics and administration as practised throughout the whole world today.

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