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Business Management by Quran

Business Management by Quran

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Published by: sfarooqj on Nov 10, 2010
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anagement today is defined as“getting things done throughothers.” Following this concept,a Manager is now understood asthe person who works throughothers. A good manager, therefore, is aperson who not only knows what is to bedone but exactly how to get it done. TheHoly Quran confirms:
“…We raise some ofthem above others in ranks,so that some may commandwork from others...”
This Ayat reveals in a nutshell as to why Godraised some people over others in ranks,that being, that they can get work done fromthem. This Ayat (43:32) encompasses theentire philosophy and wisdom of modernmanagement. It emphasizes, in essence, thecreation of appropriate hierarchies and thedivision of responsibilities subject toindividual capabilities. It basically implies
Toyota in particular owe their phenomenal success to adherence to certain golden principles of management, which includes: elimination of wastage/optimum capacity utilization, struggle for continuousimprovement (Jihad), JIT, Visual Control, and TQM, to name a few—all which is explicitly advertised bythe Holy Quran since 1400+ years. The Holy Quran even laid down the institutional framework forachieving these principles. What now remains desired is a sincere study of it and its practicalimplementation. This article discusses only a few of these golden principles.
Business Management
as taught bythe
“This Ayat (43:32) encompasses theentire philosophy and wisdom of modern management. It emphasizes,in essence, the creation of appropriate hierarchies and thedivision of responsibilities subject toindividual capabilities.”
CRITIC Magazine
| January ‘0847
the creation of organizational charts fromthe top management to the lowermanagement.It basically implies the creation of organizational charts from the topmanagement to the lower management.“…we raise some of them above others inranks, so that some may command workfrom others….”The Holy Quran has also laid down theinstitutional framework for putting thisgolden rule into practice:1.Obedience and Respect for Authority;2.Principles of Equal Opportunities; and3.Motivation and Commitment.
Obedience and respect for authority is thebasic fundamental requisite for taking workfrom others and getting it done. Workingthrough people actually presupposes thewillingness of people to obey. It is thereforenecessary for those people who are giventhe job to complete a task to obey all legaland reasonable orders and perform itresponsibly, as Holy Quran instructs:
“Obey Allah and HisMessenger and those in positionof authority among you.”
This Ayat is a commandment and not a plea.To be a good Muslim, it is incumbent uponthe believer to observe the ruling withwillingness and honesty. When this spirit of voluntary obedience is instilled in the mindof an employee, the scope of the hierarchyas envisaged by the Ayat is strengthened[43:32]. Needless to say, without the spiritof voluntary obedience among those whowork, the creation of hierarchy will not serveany purpose.
The modern world realized the importanceof joint consultation (Shura) and team-workwhen the Japanese based its managementstyle on it and proved to the world of itseffectiveness.The Holy Quran advocates for this concept:
“...and those who dotheir work through mutualconsultation.”
“…pass over (theirfaults), and ask for (God's)forgiveness for them; andconsult them in affairs (ofmoment). Then, when you havetaken a decision put your trustin God, for God loves thosewho put their trust (in Him).”
The principle of equal opportunitiespostulate that all members of an organizationshall have equal and fair chances to grow,contribute, and be rewarded accordingly.The Holy Quran emphasis this golden rule:
“O people We createdyou from a single male andfemale couple and then dividedyou in nations and tribes sothat you may recognize oneanother. “Verily the mosthonorable among you in thesight of Allah is he who ismost righteous of you.”
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (P)expounded the verse for us on the occasionof Hajat-ul-Widaa, in the following words:
“In the light of this Quranicverse no Arab has anysuperiority over a non-Arabnor does any non-Arab have anysuperiority over an Arab.Neither black is superior towhite nor white is superior toblack. Of course, if there isany criterion of superiorityand respectability in the sightof Allah, it is Taqwa(righteousness).”
These words suggest that despite the factthat we are all equal, human beings canexcel over one another in certain aspects of life. One such aspect could be in terms of righteousness.There can be no better pattern for equalopportunities than the one spelled out bythe above Quranic Ayat. In the realm of management, it would mean that the criteriafor entitlement to any benefit, reward,position, or status shall be such that any onehaving requisite qualifications andexperience should have equal opportunityto achieve it. This will obviously go a longway towards maintain the requisite degreeof harmony in the work environmentconducive to the smooth working of themanagement process.
Making people what they are supposed todo requires a certain degree of commitmentwhich can only be achieve throughmotivation. It is an established fact that theway a Manager behaves or deals with thesubordinates determines the level andvitality of their motivation and commitmentto a great extent.The Holy Quran too speaks about this goldenrule:
“(telling the Prophet)If you had been stern and fierceof heart they (the companionsand followers) would havedisappeared from around you.So pardon them and askforgiveness for them and consultthem in the conduct of affairs”
This beautiful ayat emphasizes upon twoaspects: one, that compassionate andsympathetic behavior towards companionsand followers, and second, the adoption of participatory approach when dealing withthem i.e. consulting them, is the mosteffective way of management. If this goldenrule is not observed then “they will disappearfrom you” i.e. they won’t pay attention norany interest in you or what your work entails.Both these golden rules play vital role in themotivation of subordinates and inculcatingin them the spirit of commitment andpassion for work.
Wastage—either in terms of: material,human capital, energy, machine utilization,or processing time, creates inefficienciesresulting in the increase of costs andconsequent decrease in profits.The Holy Quran has spoken against wastage
Continuous and aggressive pursuit of wastage elimination led Toyota tobecome one of the most efficientmanufacturing organizations in theworld. The Holy Quran had alreadyspoken against wastage and lavishexpenditures, It says: (17:26-27, 7:31)“…waste not in the manner of aspendthrift.”
CRITIC Magazine
| January ‘0848
and lavish expenditures in sternest of words:
“And render to thekindred their due rights, as(also) to those in want, andto the wayfarer. But waste not(your wealth, time, health,talents, opportunities etc) inthe manner of a spendthrift.”
“For the wasteful arethe brothers of Satan; andSatan is ungrateful to hisLord.”
“O Children of Adam!wear your beautiful apparel atevery time and place of prayer:eat and drink: But waste notby excess, for Allah lovethnot the wasters.”
It was Toyota who first understood andimplemented this golden rule in business,not the Muslims. Their success is thus basedon two principles:1. Complete Elimination of Wastage; and2. Equal Level of Respect for AllContinuous and aggressive pursuit of wastage elimination led Toyota to becomeone of the most efficient manufacturingorganizations in the world. The company isnow able to produce the best quality of automotive products at the least possiblecost while maintaining the highest pay-scalefor its employees. Their success-story hasinspired many companies throughout theglobe, including those in Pakistan andadoption of these principles andmethodologies in these companiesconcerning continuous elimination of wasteis already underway. Jeffery K Liker in hisbook The Toyota Way has described thatToyota production system today comprisesof 14 principles that have evolved as a resultof continues pursuit of Toyota since the verybeginning. Some of these processes aretechnically known as Kaizen, JIT, and 5-S.
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaningcontinuous improvement. For Toyota, Kaizenis a means to strive and struggle to achievetheir golden rule of “elimination of waste.”To implement Kaizen, the managementcontinuously seeks to identify areas wherewastage is being done. Once identified, theythen set out to analyze the problem, suggesta solution, plan its implementation,implement it, and finally reviews the changefor success or failure (PDCA cycle). This isnot easy as implementation of Kaizensometimes lead to minor or major changesin the system which is not always welcomed,and are resisted by the stakeholders of thestatus quo environment. Therefore, themanagement then also has to struggleagainst the resistance and make the changeacceptable by different means.A Muslim must also strive to eliminate anywastage around him, at home, workplace,or in society even when faced withresistance. A very common example wouldbe to control the use of water, food, andelectricity according to the needs. Wastageof resources such as material in theworkplace, man-hours, machine-hours,human potential, and time should also beminimized. While 100% elimination is notpossible we should still try to get as close toit as possible, and this can only be achievedthrough continuous struggle (Jihad). Muslimswould find this easier to do than non-Muslims because they have been explicitlyinstructed by the Holy Quran. Continuousstriving is the only way available to achieveminimum possible wastage or maximumpossible efficiency, which is nothing but Jihadin Arabic.The Holy Quran confirms this fact:
“You who believe! Havefear of Allah and seek themeans of drawing near to Him,and strive in His Way, so thathopefully you will besuccessful.
The concept of Just-in-Time which has beeninvented by Toyota has revolutionized theInventory Management Systems in themanufacturing organizations throughout theworld. It is based on the golden principle of keeping only that much amount of inventorythat is needed and that too in continuousmovement in order to avoid in-process bufferinventory as much as possible until it iscompletely transformed into the finishedgood.A Muslim should be a born JIT expert. TheHoly Quran instructs him in 2:219 that heshould spend on himself only as much as heneeds and to give away the excess in theway of Allah.
“… They ask thee howmuch they are to spend in theway of Allah; Say: ‘What isbeyond your needs.’”
“The men on the heightswill call to certain men whom
A Muslim must also strive to eliminateany wastage around him, at home,workplace, or in society even whenfaced with resistance. A very commonexample would be to control the useof water, food, and electricityaccording to the needs. Wastage of resources such as material in theworkplace, man-hours, machine-hours, human potential, and timeshould also be minimized.The concept of Just-in-Time hasrevolutionized the InventoryManagement Systems in themanufacturing organizationsthroughout the world. It is based onthe golden principle of keeping onlythat much amount of inventory thatis needed and that too in continuousmovement in order to avoid in-process buffer inventory as much aspossible until it is completelytransformed into the finished good.The Holy Quran spoke about JIT in2:219, 9:34, 10:58 “…spend what isbeyond your needs (i.e. do not hoard)”In order to solve any problem, themanager or supervisor at Toyota isobligated to go and see for himself the issue, analyze it, and takecorrective actions. Second handinformation is simply not accepted.This fundamental principle of businessmanagement is also mentioned in theHoly Quran (17:36) “You shall notaccept any information unless youverify it for yourself…
CRITIC Magazine
| January ‘0849

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