Make Justice the central pillar of your organisation

March 15th, 2012 @   -  No Comments


How would you like to be in the shade of Allah on the day when there is no shade except His?


Be a just leader!

The Prophet (PBUH) told us “There are seven (categories of) people whom Allah will shelter under His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His.  [One is] the just leader.”(Saheeh Muslim)

Justice is the foundation of any society or organisation. Justice and organisational success come hand in hand. As soon as justice is compromised, decline begins. Indeed, injustice is so destructive Allah has forbidden it for Himself. In a hadith Qudsi Allah tells us: “O My slaves, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you.  So avoid being unjust to one another.” (Saheeh Muslim)

In Islam, justice stands next to the belief in Allah (See Quran 5:8). The main mission of all the prophets of Allah was to establish justice. Allah says: “We sent Our Messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Measure in order to establish justice among the people…” (Quran 57:25)


How do you ensure that you are establishing full justice in your organisation?


Here are few guidelines:


1. Set a clear mission and values for your organisation so people know what to do and what to expect. How is this related to justice? If people do not know what is expected of them, on what basis would you hold them accountable? Describe clearly what the mission of the organisation is, what their long and short term goals are, what is expected from each member and how the targets will be measured.


2. Put the right people in the right roles. Does your organisation assign roles based on merit? If not, what kind of impact is this having on the organisation and its stakeholders? People who do not have the right competencies for the job may end up doing more harm than good. It is a very big injustice to the organisation and its stakeholders to assign people who are less capable than others in delivering the best results.


3. Consult and deal gently with your team. Allah instructs His Prophet (PBUH) “It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them. Were you severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you: so pass over (Their faults), and ask for (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment)…”  (Quran 3:159)


4. Empower your team to do their work. In many organizations, a person’s authority does not match the level of his/her responsibility.  When there is such a mismatch, the person would most likely fail to deliver the expected results and would then be blamed for the failure. This would be unjust to the individual and the other stakeholders.


5. Provide the resources they need to do their work. Without the appropriate tools, time and human resources, it would be difficult for the individual to deliver the desired results.


6. Compensate them fairly according to their contribution even if you happen to disagree with them. Allah instructs us “Let not the hatred of a people swerve you away from justice.  Be just, for this is closest to righteousness…” (Quran 5:8)


7. Promote people as soon as they can handle bigger challenges. If you can’t promote them, then at least rotate them in different positions every few years. Good learners master the job they are doing quickly. When they no longer feel challenged, they get bored and lose interest. As a leader, you need to decide when to step out of the way and let people run the show. Most Muslim leaders maintain their grip on power as if the world would end if they stepped aside.


8. Deal with conflicts justly. Conflict is an inevitable part of life. Human beings have different values, motivations and views about how things should be. When individuals come together to achieve an objective, their differences come into play and sometimes conflicts occur. As a leader, you must expect conflict to occur if you are leading a dynamic organisation. As Stephen Robbins put it, “The absence of conflict may indicate autocracy, uniformity, stagnation, and mental fixity; the presence of conflict may be indicative of democracy, diversity, growth, and self-actualization.”  What you need to do as a leader is deal with conflict in a just way (See Quran 5:42). For example, as Allah instructs us in the Quran, when someone comes to complain about another person in his/her absence, make sure you hear the other person (See Quran 49:6).


As leaders you must heed the call of Allah “O you who believe!  Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor…” (Quran 4:135)

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