Management Lessons from Quran

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Management Thoughts in Quran
Management today is defined as "getting things done through others." Following this concept, a Manager is now understood as the person who works through others. A good manager, therefore, is a person who not only knows what is to be done but exactly how to get it done.

The Holy Quran confirms:

"...We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others..." [43:32]

The above verse from Quran encompasses the entire philosophy and wisdom of modern management. It emphasizes, in essence, the creation of appropriate hierarchies and the division of responsibilities subject to individual capabilities.

1. Quran and Modern Management

The Holy Quran has also laid down the institutional framework for putting this golden rule into practice: 1.Obedience and Respect for Authority;
2.Principles of Equal Opportunities; and
3.Motivation and Commitment.
2. Obedience and respect for Authority:

Obedience and respect for authority is the basic fundamental requisite for taking work from others and getting it done. Working through people actually presupposes the willingness of people to obey. It is therefore necessary for those people who are given the job to complete the given task and to obey all legal and reasonable orders and perform their part of the job responsibly.

Joint Consultation and Team work:
The modern world realized the importance of joint consultation (Shura) and team-work when the Japanese based its management style on it and proved to the world of its effectiveness.

The Holy Quran advocates for this concept: "...and those who do their work through mutual Consultation"[42:83]

"...pass over (their faults), and ask for (God's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when you have taken a decision put your trust in God, for God loves those who put their trust (in Him)." [3:159]

Principle of equal opportunities:

The principle of equal opportunities postulate that all members of an organization shall have equal and fair chances to grow, contribute, and be rewarded accordingly.

The Holy Quran emphasis this golden rule:

"O people We created you from a single male and female couple and then divided you in nations and tribes so that you may recognize one another. Verily the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is most righteous of you." [49:13]

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) expounded the verse on the occasion of Hajat-ul-Widaa, in the following words:

"In the light of this Quranic verse no Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab nor does any non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Neither black is superior to white nor white is superior to black. Of course, if there is any criterion of superiority and respectability in the sight of Allah, it is Taqwa (righteousness)." These words of Prophet Mohammad suggest that despite the fact that we are all equal, human beings can excel over one another in certain aspects of life. One such aspect could be in terms of righteousness.

In the realm of management, it would mean that the criteria for entitlement to any benefit, reward, position, or status shall be such that any one having requisite qualifications and experience should have equal opportunity to achieve it. This will obviously go a long way towards maintain the requisite degree of harmony in the work environment conducive to the smooth working of the management process.

Motivation and Commitment:

Making people what they are supposed to do requires a certain degree of commitment which can only be achieved through motivation. It is an established fact that the way a Manager behaves or deals with the subordinates determines the level and vitality of their motivation and commitment to a great extent.

The Holy Quran too speaks about this golden rule:

"(telling the Prophet) If you had been stern and fierce of heart they (the companions and...
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