Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Risk-based Submission Management Approach
Reactive ad hoc solutions just do not provide a strong enough systemic approach in mitigating risks. Risks can only be minimized if we have total understanding of our goals, our responsibilities and our duties to perform the task at hand. Only a well founded and properly implemented management approach can provide a measure of confidence that good performance is not an accident and that poor performance can be identified and rectified.

The degree of confidence in our ability to understand our goals and to monitor our performance is the key to forecasting success or failure. This is what Management by Islam (MBI) is all about -- a God-centric operational framework for adaptive risk mitigation. It is a frame of reference that is based on a balanced approach; combining corporate organizational management and development philosophies with a God-centric spiritual dimension. The better we manage our risk the better off we are in predicting the end result.

In absence of a framework for submission, conformance is arbitrary, accountability is non-enforceable and success or failure has no meaning. The Quran is, therefore, the policy document establishing the framework of submission. Just as the Quran is a document perfect in its compilation and delivery, so is the character of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessing of God be upon him) who was charged with disseminating this information to mankind. The Prophet’s life is the physical manifestation of the word of God. There is no doubt that everyone is created with the spirit and the understanding of following the divine set of guidelines prescribed by God and following the example set forth by His messenger Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessing of God be upon him).

And remember the favor of God upon you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said, "We hear and we obey"; and fear God… (Chapter Al Maidah, Verse 7)

It is not God who needs to have one unified approach in judging His creations’ submission to His divine will; rather it is the creation that might argue otherwise given its tendency to err. Hence one approach for judging with justice and fairness is to stipulate a general framework for submission and standardize roles and responsibilities so that the rules of submission can be applied evenly. The adherence to those rules thus is based off of a single set of directives –a divine manual called the Quran, the word of God Himself.

Since this life is a test for mankind to see how closely we follow the convenient we made with God, to submit ourselves to His divine will, we are given the ability to choice without any compulsion. What defines our success in the end is our attempt to stay, to the best of your abilities, within that prescribed framework in spite all our short comings, faults and mistakes.

If we stay within the prescribed framework, we are labeled as people who submit to the will of God with consciousness – a Mutaqi. If we venture outside the prescribed framework we lose that designation. The figure below is the graphical representation of this submission management framework; a risk based submission management matrix.

The matrix is a combination of two key elements of submission; 1) Strength of Character and 2) Variability of Belief. Everyone starts this journey, life, in a specific cell on this matrix. The struggle to get to the green zone is defined as jihad-al-nafs (our inner struggle). The distance between our cell and the green zone is directly proportional to our God given capability to withstand the tests that are assigned to us.

…No burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear. (Chapter Al Anam Verse 152)

The closer we are to the green zone the better we have become in submitting ourselves to the divine framework and hence the better we have become at minimizing the inherent risk we face. This Risk-based Submission Management Approach (RSMA) is a four step process:

1) Acquiring proper knowledge about the word of God and the way of the Prophet.
2) Striving to achieve connectivity with God
3) Working on our intentions (how we internalize His message), and
4) Taking action (how we apply God’s word)

The right knowledge will create the right connectivity and the right connectivity will instill the right intentions and the right intentions will compel one to take the right actions. And only by the will of God and His grace will those right actions take us closer to the green zone.

So the purpose of this life, as I see it, is two folds:
1) To try our utmost to stay within the framework as close as possible to the green zone, and
2) By our actions and deeds try to influence others both inside the framework and outside of it to come closer to the green zone.

These are my assumption based on my limited knowledge, God knows best

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