“For man to be prepared for [global excellence] he has to be universal in his heart, in his thinking, and in his aspirations…He has to include everybody in his dreams—not only in his works, but also in his dreams. Allah (SWT) included everybody in the dream (future) for Muslims. He said, You are one community brought out for the good of all people.”
—Imam Dr. W. Deen Mohammed (ra)
As-Salaamu-Alaikum (Peace be with you). Thank you for sharing in this Blog.
In the following paragraphs, I’ll share the specific purpose and goals of this weblog. Let me begin first by saying the concluding statement from my work, Genesis of New American Leadership…A Muslim Commentary is a quote from the Noble Qur’an; namely: “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: they are the ones to attain felicity.” (“Sura Al-i’-Imran, Ayat 104). Just before that verse appear the words “Left open for further thought and research…” from the esteemed Dr. William Worral Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic. I found the Dr.’s words aptly captured how I felt when I placed the final period on the manuscript. I felt more like I had opened a door, rather than closed the final chapter.
Dr. Mayo’s words have long pressed upon my conscience; his words were forcing me to think about how to engage the group intellect, to open the door wider and embark upon this journey along the path of leadership. Perhaps the first question that arises is, “is leadership a journey or destination?” We don’t have to answer the question now.
Fortunately, new tools of communication have emerged since publishing the manuscript…most notably for our purposes, the blog, which greatly aids in continuing where Genesis of New American Leadership left off. For this blog, Genesis is a point of departure and the blog will be for us a vehicle to continue on that journey that began when the ink dried and the pages were lifted on A Muslim Commentary. Like my original work, the blog will depend on the group intellect to help inform, debate, reason and arrive at conclusions on a topic that has become for the whole world now, either an issue of contention or one of collaboration. From the recent protests against Russia’s Vladamir Putin, to the so-called Arab Uprising, to the homegrown 99% Occupy Movement, leadership is on the front burner.
While leadership is the centerpiece of this Blog, I hope to offer a forum for discussion and shared advice on issues of stewardship & governance, shuraa, operations management, strategic planning, and many other related topics that institutions have grappled with over the years. I am personally aware of a yearning around the country for more discourse on the operational side of non-profit management. Due to my current schedule, I have not had the time to travel to institutions as I have in the past. I pray that by this Blog I can help more institutions who have asked for my assistance.
Through this miracle of technology that G-d has blessed us with, we can now leverage our effort by collapsing the time and distance barriers and G-d Willing, we can facilitate something I mentioned in the very beginning of Genesis: Find case studies on how masajid conceived and implemented innovative solutions to internal governmental problems or solutions for improving their local community and share such knowledge and experience for the mutual benefit of the whole community …to share experiences for the purpose of helping other masajid tackle management issues in their area.
As it was applicable for Genesis, the following is true for this Blog: “as we strive to become the most beneficial contributors to American society and the world, let us search within the model of the Prophet’s (S) character and wisdom and the example of those who supported him…let us use comparative study and the current management technology as our Islamic predecessors have done to seek the best solutions for our circumstances today.” I invite you to come with me and others on this journey to continue discovering the best principles and how to apply those principles to the task of achieving the mission and realizing the vision through effective systems management.
This journey will be for both Muslims and non-Muslims and for anyone concerned with how to get something done to the best level of excellence, particularly when it involves more than a single person. Yes, I just implied that leadership is needed even when I am doing a task alone. My better self shall have to lead me and keep me focused, and far away as possible from distraction and procrastination. Indeed the only difference between the self and the group is the size and composition of the intellect. The dynamics and complexity of the intellect changes with the size and composition of the group. But the complexity is there even with the individual’s id and ego, as students of western psychology might phrase it. We’ll talk about that later too. Like the individual, the group can be focused, efficient and goal oriented, or it can be terribly misguided.
The most important purpose of this blog shall be to enhance our thinking and ability in order that we may do something. Leadership for me is not theory, it is a practical matter of application. Furthermore, the “something” that personally drives me to learn more and more about leadership is a mission that I and many others were tasked with decades ago…it is to Remake the World–a proclamation and charge given to the American Muslim Community by the late Imam W. Deen Mohammed (may G-d grant him the highest station in Paradise). So we have our points of departure. We have a road map. We have a grand vision. Now all we need is you and me. Come along on this journey of the group intellect to continue this Genesis of New American Leadership.
Peace until next time.
Sincerely & respectfully,