Channel: Mirza Yawar Baig
Series: Mirza Yawar Baig - Living Islam
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tilera even $100 Bill alameen wa salatu salam ala l mursaleen Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam send and receive sera
myrobalan sisters, we I want to close the loop on the living Islam topic that we talked about last week which was the issue of the Shura, the concentrated decision making. And to do a very quick recap on that this is something which our last handle data ordered also relies on insulin to do this is what a sumo wrestler did all his life with his companions. And as I mentioned to you, the reason for doing that is this is the best way to ensure the commitment
and the commitment of your followers and to promote the cohesiveness of teams.
Without the sre without concentrated decision making the chances are that the leader no matter how competent and capable, he or she might be is likely to be left alone and the followers are would not follow the leader they will disperse.
What is of course, very much very important in this also is the temperament of the leader which needs to be soft, which needs to be accommodative, which needs to be open minded, broad minded,
which needs to be allowing off dissent. And
the leader needs to have enough maturity, to understand that silence does not mean agreement. And dissent does not mean rebellion or disagreement.
Sign silence very often is a sign of lack of commitment, and actually disinterest.
Sometimes it could be the sign it could be the result
or sign of disagreement, but which is also based out of fear of the leader. When the leader is very powerful, charismatic,
very dominating, domineering, people generally tend to keep quiet, because they don't want to engage with a leader and open themselves to,
to, you know, psychological attacks.
And, and, you know, you have issue of cases where leaders have a very sharp tongue, and they can be quite nasty, they can be quite sarcastic. People don't want to engage with all of that. So the safest option is just keep quiet, remain silent. Now, in some cases, what happens is that people will remain silent, even when they know that the leader is going down a dangerous path, because people say, All right, let him go and discover and find out for himself or herself, where this leads, and if it leads in harm to the leader, well, so be it. They asked for it. That would, that's normally the attitude. So silence can mean many of these things. For almost all of these things. We
sometimes especially leaders who are in a hurry, tend to take silence as as a grievance. So they will say, Okay, this is what we're going to do. Any objections, there is silence are great, lovely. We are all on board. Nobody's on board. Actually, nobody's on board. The silence is only a sign that people either have not understood what you want it or they're not interested in doing what you want them to do, on the other hand, descend when somebody engages when somebody says to me, I've got a issue with this, I've got a different opinion. I don't agree with this entirely. I don't agree with this partially, they are not being difficult, they are not being contrary, they're not being
they are not opposing you. They are dissenting, and this dissent is a sign that they are actually interested in what you have to say, because if they were not interested in the simpler option would have been just to remain silent. They did not remain silent. They spoke out it's a sign of interest. So this is what we spoke about last week, and then we talked about the mighty sir shoe right itself, there is an Amir there is a leader there is a head of that particular meeting. This might be a permanent head or the natural head of the family or the group or the business organization or the government or whatever it is that is doing the Shura, or it might be somebody who's appointed for
that particular meeting. The reason why you would appoint someone for the particular meeting, is because this might be someone with special interests might be somebody who is especially interested in the outcome of the decision from that meeting, or some other reason like that. Now
So this person would be the head of the Pfizer, the Amir the leader,
what are we going to call it so for that particular meeting,
then this leader would seek the opinions of the followers, he or she may ask all of them, he or she may ask some of them.
Very important when asking their opinion is to have a genuinely open mind, not to do a sham of consulting consulting, which sometimes people do, very foolishly, they destroy their own credibility in the process. Because people can make out that you are pretending that your mind is already made up that you have no intention of changing your mind, you're just asking people to go through the motions, people will either not respond even if the response, there is no seriousness to that they will.
And you're ended up losing credibility for yourself. And that will be a very foolish thing to do. So have a have a genuinely open mind. Now, for the followers, if you are asked if your opinion is asked, then give the right opinion.
Don't say whatever you want know, you say what you want to say. But keep in mind,
the benefit of the whole group, even if that particular opinion on that particular benefit for the whole group may not suit you, ideally. So keep that in mind and still give the opinion which is best for the whole group. And then make is the fart on us to handle data, seek the forgiveness of Allah subhanaw taala and ask and beg Allah Subhana Allah to save you from the evil, the hidden evil of what you have said, because you don't know and Allah Subhana Allah knows, if your opinion is not short, if you are not asked for an opinion, don't sit there and resent it. Don't sit there and grumble about it, don't sit there and feel insulted. And whatever, thank Allah, Al Hamdulillah, I
was not asked, because maybe what I would have said was not beneficial. And Allah subhanaw taala saved me from the danger of that. So thank Allah Subhana Allah. And what I'm seeing is very different from what how we normally behave, we will get very offended, how come you never asked me, I am the only expert on this, in this group know whether you were asked or not in a lie that if Allah subhanaw taala did not want you to give your opinions Tagalog or hamdulillah.
I'm not going to say anything, keep quiet.
The only exception is where you have critical information. And as I mentioned last week, I'm not talking about your opinion, I'm talking about data, specific data. If you have what you believe is essential for the group to make an informed, good and beneficial decision, then it is your duty to raise your hand to seek to be recognized. And to offer that opinion. You can't say, Well, you know what I mean, nobody asked me is I didn't I didn't say and the whole thing went down the drain? No, no, it is your responsibility. If you if you allow that to happen, you will be responsible morally and personally, before I was gonna tell you that you are married or that you had the information
which was critical to the decision making. But you didn't ask because nobody asked you. And you were too busy feeling offended. So this is the these are the general rules of the shoura.
To add the way to behave in the Euro, and final and very, very important is after having given your opinion or not given your opinion, as the case might have been when the decision is taken. Everybody without exception supports that decision completely and totally and fully. without reservation that is very important. Because many times we see this people go into a meeting in the meeting, they remain silent. When they come out of the meeting. Now they are complaining and saying, you know, our Dino asked me that's a bad decision. And that should never have been done this the person should have thought of this or that. The point is Why did you keep your mouth shut inside the meeting if
you had information to share, you should share it. If you if you are not asked and you remain silent and a hamdulillah thank Allah for it. Don't come out of the meeting and start sabotaging the decision. That is the horrible thing to do, which I've seen far too often. So please don't do that. today. I'm going to talk about two tools issues, which
help us to come to good decisions which help us to manage these meetings very well. And which help us to ensure that we get the right information and get the right mindset to to get people to successfully engage in consultative decision making or Shura. The first and foremost of that is to is a single
minded pursuit of the goal to keep your mind on the goal without any deviation. Now, this is easier said than done. Because especially when you are committed to the goal
anything anyone somebody says something and whatnot any contrary, within course noise in the system has the power to distract us and to shift our focus away from the goal. Right. So people get offended with the way somebody speaks, people may get offended with some behavioral issues that other people may have. People may get distracted
by some environmental factors of stress, and so on and so forth. That is very harmful detrimental can completely sabotage the entire matter. So it's very important to be single minded focus on the goal from the history of Islam.
I'm probably not exaggerating if I tell you that the finest example that I have of this is Russell Lysa, sallAllahu salams.
attitude and his behavior in at the time of the Treaty of the year.
If there is one thing if there is one incident which I can point to and say, here is an example of a single minded focus on the goal, it was the Treaty of Arabia, because it was something which was so fraught with all kinds of distractions, some of them extremely serious distractions that literally focused on the credibility of Russell Russell himself, on whether he is accepted as a prophet or not, whether he is believed whether he is whether he's obeyed, you know, all of these different kinds of tensions, including for himself, I'm sure you would have had this tension in his heart and mind that he was there he had taken undertaken this journey as a result of the honor of Allah
subhanaw taala because he saw himself making Amara with his companions and He therefore announced this and he said whoever wants to come with me to make Amara can come with me and 1400 plus people were with him. And and there it was that his whole
plan to make Amara look like it wasn't going to happen. And it did happen. Not as soon as I didn't say to them, come with me. Today we are and we are going to return. We are actually not going to make OMara but we are going to go through the motions is like a it's like a demo or it's like a you know something we are just doing. So we are going to make the Nia of Amara we are going to put on a ROM and we will take our sacrificial animals and everything. And then we are going to go but we won't do it, we are going to come back. He didn't say that. That's not what he was expecting. But that's what that is what ended up happening. So imagine if you are in his place, allottee is you are
the enemy of Allah, you have toward people and people believe that you are receiving revelation, that that you speak. And when you speak it is with the permission of Allah, that you do not speak of your own volition. You say only what Allah subhanaw taala has inspired you to say, You are the the person who's to whom, what he comes. And then you say something, which is why there's no doubt about that. It is why it is revelation. And what happens is the opposite of that. So what does that do to your own credibility? Think about it. So that's that's, that's him personally, himself. And then you have the Sahaba here is this person here is his man. We believed in him our world, he man is light,
yourself, someone does not believe that. Mohammed Salah is the Rasul of Allah, that person cannot be a Muslim. It's as simple as that. Yet here is this rosu we believe that he is getting Ye, we believe that he invited us to come for Amara as a result of the way and now it's not happening. So what does that do to your faith? And that's why I always say that this will ever Libya is the final or was the final examination of the Sahaba is La la la midvein with the past with the LA dolla with the help of Allah Alhamdulillah with flying colors, where Allah tested them and tested them so severely
in their faith and in their obedience as well.
Right. This is the I mean some of them some of the most
Severe tests are this test psychological spiritual mental test. It's not a question of physical desktop strength of strength of arms or anything like that. It's a psychological mental, they hear their entire
system their entire faith, their their entire belief was challenged. Yet Alhamdulillah they stood firm, and they came out of there with flying colors. Alhamdulillah and that's where Las Vegas, Nevada Nevada Marina, this is the greatest victory for you. Verily, We have given you this great victory. And then Allah subhanho data, even though they were they BIA was for a much longer period Allah, Allah gave them actual maca. They entered, they were stopped from entering Makkah as as as
pilgrims for Amara. But they entered Makkah as the conquerors of Makkah as the Father, and it was also entered as the father of Makkah. And this is what Allah subhanaw taala gave as a reward for this
Give, give a reward to Sahaba for their faith. Now, the reason I mentioned all of this in such detail,
is because the saliva is a classic example of being surrounded by all kinds of severe distractions, but refusing to be distracted. And 100
exemplified that to a level of excellence. So it's the so therefore, the first thing I want to say to you out of the two tools, the first one is never ever lose focus, if you lose focus of the goal, you will go wrong, there is no way you can take a good decision, if you have lost focus on the goal. And as I told you, they can be any number of reasons why you will lose focus for us normally, in decision making, because we are we are not we are not called upon to make such momentous decisions as a resource are surrounded Alhamdulillah massively. But the decisions we take are still momentous for our for us. They may not be momentous on a global scale, but there's definitely important for us
those decisions what usually sabotages is our own ego. It is how somebody talks to you, it's how somebody addresses you, or this person called me by name, it didn't say,
this person just called me more than I should have said, mostly because I'm a movie.
And these are examples I'm giving you. I'm neither a chef and a movie, please understand this. But examples I'm giving you and these are something Incidentally, there's some comments that I've heard from other people. So May Allah protect us from ourselves. That is the biggest,
the biggest trap is our own ego. So the person didn't address me properly, the person did not say Salaam to me first, he should have greeted me first. He did not get me first. Whereas nationalism taught us that if you are older, if you are willing, called socialist superior, you greet people first. Because if you are an older person who's the greeting, Islamic greeting is dry. So who gives you the older positive, the younger person or the older person? Think about that, right? So anyway, we have our ego. So we have these are some of the most common reasons and of course, any any number of other reasons why, why we allow our ego to come into into the picture. And therefore we lose
track of the actual goal. So always, always, always keep on reminding yourself and saying what is the goal.
This is our goal.
connected with that and not number two, but connected with that. So 1.1 is the importance of understanding and believing and promoting and propagating that. That we meaning the number of people in that room, the number of people in that meeting,
are all here for the same purpose, even though we may have differences of opinion and the purpose is to solve that problem. We are here to solve a problem. We are here to find a solution. We are here to do something specific and that's something specific is common to all of us and it is important to all of us. We may have different opinions, we have different levels of competence, we have different kinds of knowledge. We come from different life, experience and experience your background and all of this alajuela is good
because it helps us to look at the issue from all sides.
Right. I am not here to show you how not
legible I am I'm not here to show you how experienced I am. I'm not here to show you what a sweet I have. I'm not here to show you how influential I am. This is very important to keep on reminding ourselves about and say this is not about you. It's not about me, it's not about anybody It is about that particular issue. We are here to solve a problem. And we need to be focused on the problem not get not put ourselves into it. Right? Yeah, I'm bringing my
toolbox, and somebody else is bringing his toolbox and that toolbox is a different one from mine, NBC Alhamdulillah. I'm not here to show that my toolbox is superior to your toolbox. And that is a very important thing to understand keep focused on the goal. And please understand that the diversity of the group is a strength. And this whole diversity as a strength is important for us to solve the problem at hand for us to deal with the issue that we have collected, collectively met to deal with. Second thing his second tool now is what is called active listening.
And we talked about communication many times are probably all the time we focus on speaking we focus on the language, we focus on the words we focus on the construction of the sentences, we focus on how to frame the topic we focus on.
Maybe it's written communication to focus now on how many words in how many words are you expressing what you have to say, all sorts of stuff. Very, very seldom, if at all. We focus on listening, even in communication workshops, even in schools, and so on and so forth. Where communication is taught most schools is not taught should be, but it's not the focus. Once again, there is always always on speaking always on speaking, tone of voice, body language, and so on. So, right presentation skills is all about presentation all about communicating, meaning equal to speaking,
I'm going to say something very different. To me, communication begins with the ability to listen.
A person who is a good listener is a person who will always have an advantage over everybody else because the person understands the issue. Now, this listening is not just sitting there, like a lump of meat, but it is actively engaging in listening. And that is exactly the word we caught. We used to describe that active listening as different from passive listening. So you're sitting there you are not just a receptacle for sound, you are actively engaged in listening. Now, how does that be done? And listen carefully. I'm going to teach you tools. First, it begins with the attitude. What is the attitude with which I am sitting here? am I sitting here with the attitude that I need to be
sitting here with this? I'm interested in what this person is saying? Seriously, say this to yourself, I'm interested in what this person is saying. Now, when you say that yourself, you might come up with three options. One is yes, indeed, I'm interested, which is fantastic. To know, I really wasn't interested, I was distracted somewhere. So now get interested, that consciously remind yourself, I'm interested, I want to listen, I want to listen to this person. Third one is am genuinely not interested in listening to this person. Now if that if it is the third option, if you are genuinely not interested in listening to that person, then do yourself and that person a favor,
leave, right? Walk out to the place, say excuse me, thank you very much. I think I have to go, I don't want to be part of this meeting, go away. Don't waste your time. Don't waste everybody else's time. And don't become a means of sabotaging that meeting. by remaining in the meeting, even when you are interested. That is the worst possible thing to do.
Do yourself a favor. Do everybody else a favor and leave? Right? That's very important. So first and foremost, as I said, begins with the attitude and the attitude is am I interested? And if I'm not interested in meaning, I am kind of distracted or something then I become interested and if that is not possible if I if I if I am thoughtful but yes, I don't want to listen to this person. So very important to consciously remind yourself to be interested in what is being said, interested in the issue at hand interested in the solutions and suggestions being presented towards it. Number two
is before you speak, before you speak is to paraphrase what you
Understood of what was being said. So, let me demonstrate that for you. You are here, the other person is here. So the other person now is saying something.
Before you speak, you start off by saying, I understand you to be saying and say what they what you understood. Now, notice, I did not say, say what they said, Because paraphrasing is not about repeating what the other person said.
Tell them what you understood. So for example, if I'm, if I have to go to Boston, right to the airport, to Logan International, and I have to get a flight from here to Dubai. So I'm saying here,
I need a solution, I need to go to Boston, and I do not have transport. I am looking for somebody who can take me to Boston. So is there. What is the means is a public transport? Is there some car I can hire and so on? So before you start speaking, you say, I understand you saying that you need public transport or some other means to get to Boston, is that right?
Right. I'm giving a very simplistic example. But whatever the thing is, start off by expressing your understanding of what the other person said.
The other person must then say, Yes, that's right. Or say no, that's not what I meant. I meant this and corrected. Now when the other person is correcting it, don't get offended, don't start arguing with them. Because they are the other speaker, you're trying to understand them. So whatever. They said their version is the correct version. So if the person says no, that's not how I understood it, that's not what I said, This is what I mean say thank you, and then go again and say, so, now I understand you saying this, is it right? Having said that, then you say, this is my opinion. Now your opinion can be a very in agreement, it can be disagreement, or you can ask for information.
Right, this whole process is what we call active listening, you are active in the process of listening. Now, you might say, Well, you know, they seem very cumbersome. Well, I mean, if somebody says, Give me a cup of tea, you don't have to go through the whole process, they understand you to saying that you are a need for a nicotine fix. And therefore, you want me to make you some tea No,
definitely use it for things which are which are important in my life, not only do I teach this thing in my communication workshops, but I have used this in,
in my corporate experience and my consulting experience for over 35 years now. And I've used it in some of the most
contentious and some of the most difficult situations you can imagine, I've used it in management union negotiations, with communist unions that I had in Ghana as well as in India cpmc I do unions in India and the GM Wu, the Ghana Ghana, Mine Workers
Union, in, in Ghana,
in literally when either though the way I see it is that those kinds of negotiations, the only thing that is more aggressive and more contentious than that is an open outer not war. So short a war it is as nasty as difficult as problematic as it can get. Because on the one hand, you are the within course the evil capitalist representing management. And on the other hand, is the Union, the union leaders who are willing course the good guys representing the Wilson Corps, the poor people.
So now, whatever you say, is, tends to be taken as aggression, it's tend to be taken as something which is which they must fight tooth and nail against. And on the other hand, you are sitting there and saying, no, this is not this is not how it has to be, this is not how it needs to be. And this is what I am proposing. Now I have used active listening in that very, very effectively. Because All I said was, I said that before, we are going to agree to this. And we that's important, right from the beginning to make sure that people agree to the to the method. And to be able to do that you need to have personal credibility with both parties. That's not so easy to get but it is definitely
possible to handle I had that. So I would say what we are agreeing to do here I said what I'm proposing and I'm requesting all of you to agree to that which is that before you speak, whoever it is where you me Well, before we speak, we are going to paraphrase
Which is another word I'm introducing you to this means the same thing. I'm going to paraphrase, I'm going to say, what what I understood from the other person. Before I say what I have to say, I'm going to say I understand you to be saying this.
Do you agree to that? And we followed that. Now remember, it's something which is sometimes it is a bit cumbersome. So sometimes there is a resistance to that. Even if people agree when they are agreeing, they don't know what they're getting into, when they start speaking, they find itself, you know, a lot of a lot of words they have to say, but what it does is it forces the other person to understand what the opposite party is saying. And one of the most beautiful things that happens is that the number of points of disagreement narrows down very, very sharply
because in many cases I've seen when a person paraphrases, then the person says, Oh, is that right? Is this what you're saying?
And the other one says, yes. Oh, I never understood that. So then it's okay. It's I mean, I got no problem with that. So the matter gets resolved. In several cases, I've seen this happening, the matter that this got loud environment is because an only reason may be that the person paraphrased, they actively listened the paraphrase. They shared their understanding. Now, you might say, why is it so important to share you understand me? If I tell you something? And I say, I asked you, do you understand that? And I say, yes, that should be enough, right? It's not enough.
Not by a longshot. I give you an example. I think what happened with me, and this is a true story. A very good friend of mine, who has an office, quite close to where I live in Hyderabad. He phoned me one day and he said, Can you please come to my office? There is somebody here and I was important matter in which both of us need your advice. So can you do it for free? Can you please come immediately? I'm not sure. I mean, I was free at the time. So I said, I am free. But my car is not here. My wife's gone out. So can you send me your car? He said, Oh, absolutely. As No, my God, my driver will be there at your doorstep in in maybe five minutes. 10 minutes. And please go now. I'm
waiting. 10 minutes, half an hour passes.
No sign I was driving.
So I found the guy said, Look, I mean, you wanted me. I said I'm happy that you did. Nobody gave because apparently you're better. So I said no, give anyway, where are you? I said I don't.
He said why then why am I wait? I have no idea.
He said give me a minute. He he had he had up. And five minutes later he called me back. He was laughing. He said you know what happened? I said what he said I will call my driver. I said to him, go and pick up Jerry our is at home. And the driver went to my home, the Reverend Hazel.
Now my friend of mine is a good friend of mine. And we are in each other's houses all the time. So for whatever reason, the driver when the man said, pick up Jeff out, he's at home, the driver understood Sherry, our is in his home, and he went to his home. Now you might say DME drivers to drive the point is not that the point is that we have no way of knowing exactly what somebody understood, because we don't come with a digital readout here. Right? So we don't know what goes on inside here. A person is hearing your the sound of your voice. Did they entirely understand you? Did they understand you the way you wish to be understood? This is something that needs to be verified,
it cannot be taken on face value, it is not something that will automatically happen. It's not something that you will assume, if you assume as they say, if you assume you make an ass out of you and me SSU me, right? If you assume you make an ass out of you and me. So don't assume, share your understanding. This is what I understand you to say if they had done that the driver would have said, Sir, you want me to go and pick up Chevy hour and Jerry our is in your house? No, my own man would say no, of course not. Syria is in his own house, go to share the hours house and pick him up. absolutely clear understanding Five minutes later, the driver would have been there and I would have
been right. As I told you a simple example. This is a real storm has happened to me. And you might say well, you're just simply It is simple. But obviously in this particular case, there was nobody was losing your life. But it could have been something serious. So the point i'm saying is that active listening, very simple. I've told you two tools now one is being goal focused, no matter what happens in the way to be goal focused is to say always, it is not me versus you. It is me plus you
versus the problem, it is not me versus you, it is me plus you versus the issue at stake. And the second tool is that of active listening and active listening consists of sharing your understanding of how you understood the other person, this is what I understand you to be saying is that correct? The person says yes, you say Alhamdulillah then you say what you have to say, the person says no, I understand this is actually what I said which is different. Thank you very much. Now, is this what I, this is how I understood it now, second time or is that correct? That is active listening, I will do these two things, inshallah, your consultative decision making your consultative meetings will be
very, very successful inshallah.
Sisters, I cannot possibly overemphasize, and I cannot possibly say to you in stronger terms, that the backbone of the oma, the backbone of the Brotherhood of faith of the Muslims, that created the backbone of any team
is this cohesiveness
is to understand that diversity of opinion, diversity of experience diversity of competence and capabilities is a strength, it is not a weakness, it is not, and should never become the reason for conflict. If, on the other hand, it should become the reason why conflict can be very powerfully and smoothly resolved.
And this can only happen if you practice what I have explained here, which is what Sam preaches, consultative decision making, which is sure.
I explained to you the word router, the methodology of it explained to you the philosophy of it, why it's important. I explained to you also the tools that are required to be able to do surah. correctly. One is, of course, focusing on the goal. And the second one is active listening, listening to each other with attention, with respect with appreciation. And with understanding this and bringing this and I'm repeating myself, and that's important, I think, to repeat, which is to keep on reminding ourselves that I need this other person and his or her opinion, in order to resolve the issue at stake. I need the other person. And as I told you, if you really don't believe
that, if you believe you do not need the other person, do yourself a favor, do them a favor,
leave that meeting, don't, don't waste your time there because you are not going to be positive, you're not going to be productive, to be able to be positive and productive, we have to genuinely believe that we need each other in order to succeed. That is where as soon as a son of said that he said this whole oma is like a body, when the head pains, the whole body feels the pain. How does that happen? Because the whole body understands the head understands that it can stand by itself, no matter how intelligent The head is, no matter how much a brain that person has, if the body doesn't function, the brain is only going to have thoughts, none of those thoughts will be possible to be
implemented. Because to implement the thoughts, you need the tongue, you need the hands you need the feet, you need the rest of the body. And similarly,
no matter how strong the hands of the feet and so on and so forth. If the mind has gone to the person is has got Alzheimer's or the person has gone crazy, have gone mad, then all their strength is null and void may even become a liability.
Right? How can that not happen is when the whole thing functions together as one whole, as one synchronized, machine, for wonderful better word.
to keep our hearts together always to help us understand and appreciate each other, to help us to leverage each other to help us to do to work together in a way which pleases Allah subhanho wa Taala And in a way, which guarantees success in this world and the hereafter was Salahuddin Abdul Karim Allah Allah He was
with me hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa salam aleikum wa rahmatullah