Mismanagement, nepotism and corruption
A critical examination of Muslim societies generally reveals conflicts between individuals or groups as a result of mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.
This state of affairs may not be specifically limited to Muslims only and may not be true for all Muslim societies.
However right from local Muslim organisations to Muslim states, though our ideals in theory may be very noble, in practice we fall victims to these evils resulting in conflicts.
While we have noble teachings from the Quran and its practice by Prophet Mohammad (s) in the form of Sunnah, these need to be hard wired into our modern institutions in the contemporary world taking into account the realities of time and place.
Our following Islam sometimes becomes limited to memorization or at the most understanding of the Guidance without its implementation in our organized and institutionalized living.
We may be very pious Muslims individually, but when collectively organized in various structures of organisations, institutions and states, this piety seems to evaporate and we become victims of the three evils named above.
We can learn a lot from Western societies, not by blindly following and copying the West, but modernizing our societies by building robust institutions based on the Guidance we believe in with the modern principles of management.
We should not only practice our religious beliefs, but also follow constitutions, laws, rules and regulations that we have agreed upon and pledged for ourselves in all matters of living.
If we are in authority, we must know the limitation of our authority and exercise this authority in a just and equitable manner.
In our community organisations and institutions, locally we find groups vying for power and influence, based on tribal loyalties rather than principles. This results in us assuming absolute authority and follow our wishes rather than rules and regulations we are bound with. Those who differ from us become our enemies and we feel free to indulge in beating them at any cost.
Once we are in authority, we construct a loyal group of supporters around us, rewarding them with positions, jobs and money irrespective of their qualifications and skills. This is nepotism.
As we gain more power and don’t feel accountable we indulge in corruption, working for more power and financial gain by illegal practices.
In order to eliminate these three evils, it is important for our institutions to have built in checks and balances in place so that we can live and work in a conflict-free environment.
Again Muslim societies and states can learn a lot from the West in this area who have certainly better political, business and organisational systems in place that work in a smooth way.
Globally we find Muslims in violent conflicts, where Muslims are being harmed by fellow Muslims. Once they declare an opposition group as enemies then their life and property is considered fair game to be destroyed at any cost and in any way. Hence the extreme atrocities being committed on Muslims by Muslims in the Middle East.
This is again because we have not hard wired our religious beliefs into institutionalized practice as to how should we deal with those we differ with, how should we deal with the opposition and how should we deal with our enemies with justice.
Z I Ahmad