Shura – What it is and how to do it

Mirza Yawar Baig

Channel: Mirza Yawar Baig

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La Raza Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala Assura philam bia even more saline.

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Muhammad Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam to Sleeman, Kathira and cathedra.

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Some other brothers and sisters, today I want to talk to you about one of the most effective and powerful ways of decision making, which we call consultative decision making. And in Arabic, we call it Shura in order to recall it much more.

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This is a method which I have introduced in

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many, many of my corporate consulting clients over the last now, I think 40 something years of my consulting practice,

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at the corporate board level,

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and at lower levels of team leadership

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across the world.

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I'm not talking about introducing this into companies, which are Muslim owned and managed, I'm talking about introducing this into all kinds of companies

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with uniformly brilliant results, absolutely 100% successful results and this is not my doing,

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because this method is not my invention. So, I don't have any copyright on this, please feel free to use it, please feel a please feel free to share it as widely as possible.

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This method very interestingly, is something which can and should be used

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most fundamentally and basically, at the level of the family.

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Quite literally, it is a method that you can use, for example, to decide whether to order to order pizza for dinner today or whether to go out to a restaurant

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to eat, you can use it for decisions of where to spend money and the prioritization of things at the level of five of your family, business and I mean family finances, you can use it of course, as I mentioned in the corporate world, in businesses and so on and so forth, in boards and so forth, it is very, very useful. I think one of the most highly effective places to use it is in voluntary organizations, it is in organizations which are,

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you know, all kinds of charitable organizations,

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Masjid boards, you name it, I mean, there is there is quite literally

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no place where decisions need to be made, where the consultative decision making methodology doesn't work, there is no such place. Now,

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therefore, as I said, I'm

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sharing this with you, please feel free. There are many, many of you who will watch this video and you will remember the

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seminars that I have done in the organizations that you work in or you used to work in, where I have taught this method and all parts of you.

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I'm sure, I'm sure all of you, if we can find you will vouch for the effectiveness of this method. And as I said, this is not my method, I take no credit for it except for teaching it.

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The method is called consultative decision making or Shura.

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Now, what is Shura? Let me first tell you what it is not. Shura is not deciding by taking a vote. So please understand this very clearly. Shura, even though it resembles that in some ways, but it is not a headcount. It is not simply to say here is an idea how many are for it, how many are against it, there are nine for it, there is one against it. So we go with the night. There are

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eight for it, and there are seven against it. So we go with the eight right so whether you have a one is to nine majority or you have a one majority or seven to eight, meaning a majority of one, you go with the majority decision.

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It is not this. Now, what actually happens, the quality of decision making by voting. I don't think anybody

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You know, anybody with half a brain can understand that that is about the worst thing that they that that human beings invented, which is to decide by taking a vote is absolutely the most

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idiotic way of taking decisions just by doing a headcount are saying how many people are for a decision for the very simple reason that we see in our, in our societies, whether and especially in politics,

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which is influencing what is qualities but influencing that voting is something which is

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it is highly,

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it's hard, it is highly manipulatable. It is highly, you know, it's very ineffective in multiple ways. It's something that

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that does not take into account, the the knowledge base of the person who's deciding it takes into account nothing is just a headcount and Shura is not voting. So please understand this right from the beginning. So what issue runner let's look at that.

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Shura is, first of all, recognizing

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the fact that the people who are participating in that decision making process are interested in that decision making process. So this recognizes that what does it mean therefore, that if somebody calls you to participate in a decision making process, a decision about something which you are not really interested in? What must you do? You must stay away.

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You must stay away, you must decide this has no value for me. I'm not interested in this decision. So I stay with.

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So Shura recognizes the fact that everyone who's involved in the decision making process is interested in that decision making process. Number two, Shura recognizes human dignity, it does not ignore somebody, because this person may be poor or this person may be you know, this or this or that

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race or level in the organization or whatever. So it recognizes human dignity and equalities.

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Third benefit of Shura is that it involves the concerned people in the decision making process. And I'm saying concern people really, if you're not concerned, you're not involved doesn't matter. But if concern people are not involved in a decision making process, then they will not be committed to the outcome of the decision. And obviously, if

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you have people who are concerned who are affected by a decision, and they are not involved in the in the making of that decision, and you do not have their commitment to implementing that decision, then this is the road to disaster. So, you want to make sure that anyone who has any stake in a decision is involved in the process of evolution of that decision. So, the shura ensures that So, there are these three very important factors, that the methodology of consultative decision making Assura takes into account. So how is it that

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the weight is done is that the group which

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is going to take the decision, and the number of that group is is not any? There's no magic number to that, right. It's not to say that there should be 10 people or seven people are,

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you know, what, it can be any number of people

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except only one

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criteria and that is the people in the shura are and should be people who are interested genuinely interested in that decision. So, you get them together

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and then you elect a leader for that meeting. Now, this leader need not necessarily be the designated head of the organization or the head of for example, in a corporate organization, it may not always be the chairman of the board, even though the chairman of the board is the head of the board, it may not be the chairman of the board in a team, it may not be the team leader in a family, it may not be one of either of the parents may not be the mother or the father.

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In any group, it need not be the for example, in in student groups, right, because I work with various students, MSA and so on.

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In the student groups, it may not be the the head of the the president of the MSA or whoever it need not be doesn't mean that it should not be it can very well be that person but it need not be that person

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who should it be?

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It should be a person who is

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do one or two things?

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Or either or of two things. One, a person who is the Chief beneficiary?

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Or the chief implementer, who's going to be implementing that decision? Number two, it will be a person who has who who is going to be the final? Yes or no? The person who's going to have the final yes or no, in that decision. Now, how would you have that, for example, to give you some very simple things,

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for example, you might have in a corporate board setting, you might have the chairman of the board there. But it might be in the decision being taken might be a decision in about production in our of whatever product that company produces. So you might well have the emir, we call it in Arabic, we call it I mean, otherwise, it's you know, the lead team leader, for that particular meeting, the meeting leader, this leader, could be the plant manager. So now the plant manager in terms of his or her seniority, or power in the in the organization is obviously not at the same level as the chairman of the war, the plant manager may not even be a board member. But when you are taking that

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decision, it's a decision which is going to be implemented in the manufacturing plant. So therefore, you the plant manager will be the Emile use different words, in Arabic, we say Emile, we say Faisal.

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In English, we say, you know, team leader, you call it what you want, right? Mickey Mouse, Donald Trump, you call it anything. But the point is that it is that is the person who is the final say, and I'll come to what I mean by that, that is the the leader of that

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modulus assurance, that consultative Council or the consultative meeting, that is happening, you click the head now, then what happens that whatever and the reason I said you do that is because you want the part that is a person whose commitment is absolutely critical. The example that I gave you, if the plant manager is not committed to implementing that decision, that decision, you can take the best decision in the world, it is not going to happen, because that plant manager will, will will.

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Directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, not implement that decision. I don't want to use the word sabotage it but you know, that's what will happen, it will not the decision will not be implemented. Because that key person is not committed to that. So you it is essential for you. So instead of taking the decision, I mean, what is the alternative alternative is the board takes a decision. And then they call the plant manager and say, well, here's your job, go do it. So either you are hammering it on his head, or somebody is reputed to say go persuade the guys who is going to go and I will talk talk talk that instead of that,

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we know very well, I mean, I have done enough

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work in the corporate world, both at the implementation level as well as I started at the implementation level, 16 years. And after that, at the consulting level, now totally worth 40 years. So I know perfectly well how useless and ineffective that is far more effective is to have that person involved in the decision making process itself. So that that person is one of those who take that decision, then the person's commitment is absolutely assured.

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And also his accountability is assured because you can say when you are part of the decision making process, now you can't go back there and say, Well, you know, this just didn't happen that in the in the process, you had every opportunity to influence the process, you accept the decision, you're part of it. And so now go into it. Now, how does it work? It's very, very simple. It's such a such a beautifully simple process, that you are going to understand that into in five minutes.

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We have the leader. Now, what does the leader do? The leader states the matter about which the decision has to be taken. So the leader will say this is what we are talking about. This is the decision we need to take

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to the stage that having stated that the leader then

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asks for the opinions of the people in the group. Now, here is the way Shura differs from voting. The leader is not saying how many for this, how many against it? No.

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This is a much more valuable, deeper

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question, and the question is, what do you think about this?

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What is your opinion about this? How do you think this should be solved?

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Right

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The leader will take the opinions of the people.

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Now,

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does the leader ask everyone in the room?

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Yes or No. If the number of people in the group is small, the leader will usually ask everyone, if the number of group of people in the group is large, the leader may ask everyone or may not ask everyone. And both are both are equally valid. Both are okay. For the leader to ask everyone is okay. And for the leader not to ask everyone is okay. Now, you might say, I just talked about consultative decision making it I'm saying that not asking people is okay, how is that? How does that work? And I'll come to that in a minute. So right now, the method which is the leader will ask for opinions, he will seek obedience, he might ask a general question to say, here's what we need to

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do. Please, what do you think? So this is now open to everybody in the group, people are welcome to express their opinion, this is what I think this is what I think and you might have an opinion in favor of it, or you might have an opinion against it. Most welcome. Please say what you'd like to.

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Alternatively, the group, the leader might specifically ask individuals, so and so and so and so what do you think what do you think this, this might be a round robin event go around the table, or you might simply ask people who he knows or who she knows, and the leader can be a moment for that matter, there's no nothing to say the leader cannot be over.

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So, the reader can ask individual specific key individuals, this is possible.

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Once that happens, then the decision is taken by the leader.

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And once again, as I said, No headcount business, he specifically takes the opinions and the leader then considers those opinions, the leader has of course, obviously, their own opinion, and the decision is taken by the leader, that decision may depending on the nature of it, depending on the nature of the decision, depending on how long it takes to arrive at the decision, the decision may be taken right there in the meeting and communicated or the leader also has the option to say, well, I thank you very much for your opinions and for your inputs. And I will get back to you, you know in a few hours or the next day or whatever,

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with my decision and this and then the leader will get back with with his or her decision.

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Now, as a member of such a council, what is your job?

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Your job is very simple. Your job is number one.

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If you are asked specifically, then you give an opinion, you don't say well, you know, whatever you like to do? No, you say specifically what is your opinion? Number two, if you are not asked specifically if the leader generally says

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you know, do you have an opinion?

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Then you have a choice, whether to speak or not to speak? When must you speak? Absolutely. Without I would say what is the situation in which you have really no choice you must speak, even if the leader has not asked you specifically it is your job to raise your hand be recognized and speak in which situation, a situation in which you have some special information.

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And just about remember, just because you have the just because it's your opinion doesn't make it special, right? Special information means something technical, something that relates especially to danger, something that refer that that relates to legal matters, and so on so forth. If you have any special information, then it is your job.

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To state that clearly and say I have this special information. I have this special idea. I want to I want to say now in the life of Rasulullah sallallahu. He says this is this has been one of the most common things that Osama did. They used to ask him this to say arsenal, allah sallallahu alayhi salam.

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When he had expressed a certain opinion, he said we should do this or that. They would ask him, they will say to him, Yasser Allah salAllahu Salam, what you have set down is this revelation? Is this what Allah ordered you? Or is this your opinion? And if it was revelation, they would say this is evolution, they will they will remain silent? Because if Allah subhanaw taala said, told us to do something, then we do it. I mean, there is no there's no second opinion on it. But if he said this is my opinion, then the Saba would say, if somebody had a different opinion, they would say ours Hola. I have another opinion and my opinion is this. And this is the reason for it is not simply a

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matter of like and dislike, this is the reason I'm saying it.

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Now, one of the most famous of these incidents, which I'm sure all of us know is the incident in the mat in the Battle of Bunker where

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So as I sell him when he had arranged his troops,

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one of those I was said, you also love this arrangement of yours? Is it your opinion? Or is it where he is it revelation abishola Salam said, this is my opinion, Let's disarm, he said, Yes, there is a sister, there's a natural depression of the ground is a system, which

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has water and will fill up with water. If it rains. And I, my suggestion is to arrange the troops in front of the system, so that the system is in our control. If we have the troops as they had been arranged well behind the system, which means the sister was in front, it could be taken over by the enemy's army. And then we would be without water instead of that, if you are in the drugs in front of the sister, with the system behind us, then the sister and the water is in our control. This is our PA. Now, there was a band with a with a with special with special strategic outlook. And he took the initiative of expressing his opinion and the province of Christendom accepted it. And he moved

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the truth. So when the Emir the Faisal, the leader asks for opinions, if you have anything special any special information, any special knowledge,

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relating to context relating to legal

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issues, anything like that, anything of that nature, there is anything which is not likes and dislikes, but something which has relevance for the whole of the community involved, then you absolutely must speak. If you do not have that kind of information, should you insist on speaking, of course not remain silent, because you're just taking up time and space, don't do that just be silent. What must you do in the meanwhile, is to make bigger is to make have Rojo in Allah to turn towards Allah subhanaw taala in your heart and ask Allah subhanaw taala to guide all concern the leader and the participants in the meeting to take the best decisions.

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So, this is what must be done if you are not the leader and you are a decision maker.

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Now,

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if you are if you are asked for an opinion, what must you do?

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Number one, you as I said you must give an opinion, but how much to give the opinion you must give an opinion which you genuinely believe to be in the best interest of all concerned whether or not you yourself find that opinion to be convenient for yourself.

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Right, irrespective, you may find that opinion.

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If you are asked you might say well, you know really I this particular thing. Take for example, one of the classic things that happens in terms of determining the time for Jamal Salah in the masjid. And people say, Well, you know, let us have this time Salah time at the time because it's convenient for us convenient for me. On the other hand, you might say, well, you know, I think it's better to have the salah at this time, because there is greater virtue and value in praying at the early time rather than delaying the salata. So this is not a battle of personal convenience, because it's actually inconvenient to pray early, but we will take the inconvenience. Instead we want the greater

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reward from Allah subhanaw taala just giving a random example you know can be anything. So when you are giving your opinion number one, see and ensure that the opinion is what you consider to be best for everyone. Don't give an opinion, which suits you personally. That would be very, that will be against the integrity of the city against your integrity. number one number two.

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When you give the opinion

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make is the car

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sick Allah subhanaw taala has forgiveness because you don't know whether that opinion was the best opinion because it is possible that you might give an opinion which turns out to be wrong and turns out to be displeasing to Allah subhanaw taala once again we have the situation of butter, where there were 70 prisoners and soldiers are seldom asked the opinion of the Sahaba about what should be done with the prisoners. So I'm gonna have Tara Delano

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and one others Harvey I think it was admin mod Valhalla.

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They recommended that the prisoners who were the leadership

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Have the courage should be executed.

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And they said, Just get rid of them that says these are the other people who attacked us and let us execute them we would have, you know, deprived the courage of their leadership,

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other people in which included Abu Bakr probably Alonso,

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they said let us not

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execute the prisoners let us hold them and exchange them for ransom surrendered his ransom them, because we have come from from Makkah, the majority, the people who have come, they have no money, they lost everything. So, with their answers, they will get some, you know some of their wealth back because they are in need. And so, at the end, he said, you know, after all these people have an end end of the day, they are our people they are out, some of them are literally family members and so on. So, let us ransom them instead of executing them. Now wrestlers, himself was such a kind hearted person that executing anybody was not something that he was not an opinion he took, you know to

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easily do so he chose the opinion of not executing them and ransoming them.

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Next morning, when Omar Abdullah Delano came to meet Rasulullah, Salah he found the prophets of Salaam and Abubakar Cyril Delano weeping.

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So he was very perturbed. He was very upset, and disturbed and he said, Yeah, so ALLAH, why are you crying? And he asked overseer, why are you crying? But then

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he said, please tell me why you cry, if it is something that, you know, the let me cry with you, because this is what affects you affects me.

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As soon as I was upset Allah subhanho wa Taala liked your opinion, and he did not like the other opinion, which I took, which will also his opinions.

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And others around Allah revealed Quran about this, and others, right, and they will die it is and it's not for the Nabhi to choose ransom and so on. And then we should have executed the prisoners

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to to make it very clear, the difference between how can battle between the truth and falsehood, and so on. So that's the the I had which was revealed. And lightning struck a tree which was near where our solar system was sitting and they could see the tree, which had been split by writing and squashed. And the last one, and that is it, because you consulted and and took the decision that the punishment of Allah subhanaw taala did not come on you but Allah subhanaw taala showed his displeasure by diverting his punishment onto that tree. Now,

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this shows so clearly

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that

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when we give a decision, it should be something which is not just pleasing to your heart, but something which is beneficial for the whole community. And also it shows that when a decision is taken by a process of Shura, then there is higher than this, and there is baraka in this and Allah subhanaw taala protects that decisions.

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This is when we give the opinion so we make us the foreign say, but I'm giving a decision Europe, but I don't know whether this is good or not. Because if you see the the reason I work so these are the lawgiver, he also gave a decision which was for the benefit of the people. And he also gave a decision which he thought was the best thing, but obviously he did not know whether it is really the best thing or not. So you have Amara Delana giving a decision and say that burger giving a decision or giving their opinions two of them and neither of them knows which is good. Both of them give the opinion give opinions which will for the benefit of everyone, but Allah subhanaw taala knows what is

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best in this case, it turned out that one was better than the other analysis America displayed his own agreement and his own

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view on the matter. But because the decision had been taken by the consultative decision making process of Shura there was no evil had come or came on any of the people involved.

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Now, so I give a decision, I give my opinion, and I make us the fuck I ask Allah subhana wa Dalaras protection from any evil that my opinion may contain. Remember, this is so good also for our own ego. Otherwise you and I we are very prone to thinking that you know my word is the word of God.

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Right, we think that we are God's gift to mankind, which we are not. Maybe other than my mother, nobody will agree with that if I if I if there is what I thought about myself. So, in my case, even even my mother wouldn't have agreed that that was the kind of mother I have my feet are covered with her and bless her and give her Jonathan fill those without reserves. So, the point I'm making here is that when we give a decision, we make very sure that it makes the bar which is good for our ego keeps us humble.

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Now, what if I was not asked?

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What is the usual thing if you are in a in a meeting and the leader does not ask you what is the usual reaction of a person resembles? Like, you feel this leader is dictatorial, this leader never asked me and blah, blah, blah, in the madness Assura. What do you do? If you are not asked you? Thank Allah subhanaw taala is Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen Yara, you prevent you saved me from giving an opinion which was probably going to be useless, which was probably going to be harmful because you knew this. And therefore you did not want me to give that opinion, therefore you did not put it in the heart of the leader to ask me. So three situations, one, the leader does not ask me

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but I have critical information, what must I do? I must choose to speak I must volunteer I must speak. Number two, I do not have critical information. I'm just one of the members. The leader does not choose me, does not ask me what should I do? Keep silent, remain silent. And thank Allah subhanaw taala Alhamdulillah. Allah did not

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allow me to say something which potentially could have been harmful. Number three, the leader asked me, What must I do? I must speak and give an opinion for the benefit of everyone. Now,

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fourth point.

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After I've given my opinion,

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the leader chooses something which is different from my opinion, you choose your opinion or somebody else? Not my opinion? What must I do?

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Must I insist, must I keep on repeating my opinion? Must I keep on saying I'm this and this and this and therefore I'm more qualified than somebody else? No, never, never, never, never.

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If the leader does not choose my opinion, I must remain silent. I must again thank Allah subhanaw taala Alhamdulillah Allah, you knew that my opinion was not the best, and therefore you allowed the leader to choose something else. Alhamdulillah I do not resent the leader. I do not resent the person whose opinion was accepted.

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I remain silent. And I thank Allah Subhana.

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Allah subhanaw taala chose the opinion of Omar Abdullah Cadabra. Delano, he did not choose the opinion of workers to do for the law. No, using our sub thumb does not know that our workers they don't say see, I am wiser than you even Allah thinks. So, did he do that?

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Did he say oh this fantastic, very good. Abu Bakr put in his place.

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This is what I was saying all the time. Nobody listens to me, did he say all this? Did you think all this

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these are the people these are our leaders. What is the good old listen to their stories if you are not going to follow them.

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So if somebody does not take you're the leader does not take you opens Alhamdulillah even if later it comes out that your opinion was the best one you say I told you. So see I told you. So, you know what?

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I told you yesterday, he said no.

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He also wept with them.

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So my opinion is taken.

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I miss the FDA opinion is not taken. I see Alhumdulillah if I have information which is critical to the decision, then I volunteer and I give that decision that information. Final point.

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The leader takes a decision and that decision, whatever the decision might be.

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What do we do as members of the of the shura, we support the leader irrespective of whether the leaders decision was what I wanted or not. I support the leader because that is the other of the Shura.

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final closing point. No Shura before surah. No Surah after Surah.

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Lobbying, drumming up support in the corridors.

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Good getting lobbying groups together and saying getting your cronies together and saying tomorrow in the Shura. We are all going to push for this.

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You know those people

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for that individual, we have to beat them

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all of these are very common and accepted

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practices in politics and that is why we have the filthy situation we have in our societies

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no Surah before surah and no Surah after Surah before whatever the extent you can talk to each other about a decision and saying this is what we should do, but drumming up support to say we are going to push for this and we are going to within quotes defeat that group, this is haram, this is prohibited

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and no Surah after Surah This is so common, especially in Muslim organizations, especially among Muslims, especially in voluntary organizations. People will go they will sit in the meeting,

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they will participate in that meeting. They will say nothing and outside when the meeting is over. Then they will say you know what, that that leader, he's a dictator. He does this he does that you always does his own thing.

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And I was never for that decision. So you say excuse me, my friend, my brother, my sister. You are never for that. decision that how come you didn't say anything in the meeting? Law. What's the word of saying anything? Nobody listens.

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This is haram.

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This is Riba.

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This is backstabbing, not just by biting.

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So nose Euro after

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final, quick thumbnail sketch recap.

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The Shura is something which Allah subhanaw taala ordered in the Quran. The Shura is something which Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam did throughout his life. So this this also the surah is both Kitab and Sunnah. Alhamdulillah do make decisions using the Shura.

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As I mentioned, you can be done everywhere and in any situation in the world. I have myself introduce that into many, many corporate organizations at both levels and a different levels and it works 100% beautifully, fantastically.

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How is it done? There is an Amir, there is a Faisal, call it what name you want the leader, which is the elected, which is who is designated not elected designated for that meeting. This may be the head of the organization or the head of that team, or it may be somebody who has a particular interest in the decision that that is going to be taken in that meeting need not always be the head?

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What does the leader do? The the leader puts the item of the agenda before everybody and then the leader asks for inputs, ask for opinions.

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The leader may just ask a general question saying, please let me have your input, which means that everyone in the room is included. If you have an opinion, give it don't just talk because you got mouth. Like the guy you say don't just talk because you have a mouth. Talk only if you have a specific thing to say which you think is important.

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If you have something which is of a technical ledger, which is important and definitely speak.

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Number two option, the leader can ask specific people for their opinions. If your opinion is asked, then you give your opinion. Don't say whatever you like, give your opinion. And give your opinion, keeping in mind benefit of everyone, not your personal like and dislike or your personal convenience. Once you give your opinion. That's it. Don't keep insisting on it. Don't keep fighting for it. Don't keep trying to push it. Say it once more than enough. After that. Make it stiffer make Toba ask Allah to forgive you. Because you do not know whether what you said was good or not.

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Number two, you are asked for an opinion.

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Or you're not asked for an update. So you have the venue a second option you are in you are not asked for an opinion.

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Now what must you do? Should you feel free to resent it and feel bad? No, you thank Allah subhanaw taala and say Allah hamdulillah Allah subhanaw taala did not put it in the heart of the leader to ask me for an opinion, because maybe what I had to say would not have been beneficial.

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What does the leader do? At the end of the meeting? Either the same on the same day, same time, or maybe depending on the situation. Maybe later, the leader communicates his or her decision about the matter.

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Then what must we do? Everyone must thank Allah subhanho data, and everyone must support the leader wholeheartedly irrespective of whether their opinion was taken or not taken

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Finally, what three things which are completely taboo completely haram? Totally not to be done. What is that Shura before Surah Surah after Surah and woody just taking a headcount No, this is not from Surah

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drumming up support creating lobby groups to push a decision in the meeting, before the meeting haram not to be done after the meeting is over. Bad talking people bad talking the decision and saying oh, what do you see this was wrong that was wrong. Again, haram not to be

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my brother sisters, please understand this very clearly.

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If you follow this system with integrity,

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believe me, you will bring hearts closer, you will people will love each other people will work together with each other people will respect each other and you will take the best possible decisions because inshallah the help of Allah will be with you. If you violate this process, and if you turn it into a voting contest, if you turn it into a Shouting Contest, if you turn it into an ego contest, of trying to push through your opinion down somebody's throat, whether they like it or not, you are going to destroy communities, you're going to destroy

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organizations, and you will destroy yourself in the process. Please don't do this. Follow the method of Shura, because this is the method that is given to us by Allah subhanaw taala and this is the method that was practiced and shown and demonstrated by Rasul Allah he

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was suddenly getting while it was I remember having to go out on a limb it was salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.