Following is the text of Keynote address presented by, Mr. Syed Tanveer Ahmed, Editor, www.karnatakamuslims.com, Bangalore-560006, India.
Today we are living in a situation which is termed in global intellectuals’ parlance as the “New World Disorder.” This is where the laws, agreements, and treaties are upheld and violated for the sake of interests revolving around Geo-politics and Economics.
Hegemonistic attitude by a militarily powerful country has made this world uni-polar. Sovereignty of independent countries has no meaning for this powerful nation.
In the level of Economics, every person in this world is either a buyer or a seller. The definition of a person is either a producer or a consumer. If anybody does not fit into this definition, he or she has no reason to live in this world—may have a reason according to those capitalists—to commit suicide!!
Being part of the global village, our county is also confronted with these global issues apart from many domestic problems that are created or inherited. WikiLeaks are evident that we have mortgaged our country and the huge natural resources at the hands of global powers. Corruption is rampant; according to “Transparency International” report our position is 87th among the corrupted nations of the world.
Our three pillars of democracy namely; Parliament, Judiciary, and Executive have got rotten. The fourth estate, our media, which has to be an ombudsman, is no more a watchdog. That is why it is said; do not form opinion by reading a newspaper but by seeing your neighbors.
However, our beloved country has great potential and huge resources. The greatest among these resources is manpower. It is this power which will make India a super power in the near future. Currently India is having largest number of youth population in the world. Indian Muslim can play a vibrant role in making India a prosperous world leader. Indian Muslims are more than Japan’s population. Japanese built the country after their defeat in Second World War. We are also more than Jews in America! Jews are far less in numbers than Indian Muslims but they are virtually controlling the USA.
In this scenario, we have to do introspection and prepare long-term and short-term plans for the community development. Indian Muslims are so vibrant that they can replace this “disorderliness” in the country and the world positively.
A great scholar and scientist has identified following factors for the community development in India.
Humans alone are the spiritual being amongst millions of creatures on the earth. This creation has the “spirit of God.” The Divine spark propels human beings to attain excellence and not to get down to the level of beasts. Spirituality does not mean meditation or performing of certain rituals. But spirituality is deep rooted in Quran and Sunnah. Spiritually attaining excellence is known as “Ehsaan” in Islamic philosophy. Spirituality compels for inclusive growth of the society. A person should think in terms of “We” not “I.” The faith tells us to adopt the colour of the Almighty.
The spirituality makes the entire community “Khair-e-Ummath” (The Best Nation).
Spirituality is not devoid of worldly affairs. It is the way to successfully live the individual and collective life with happiness, satisfaction, and gratitude to God.
It is second dimension of community revival. Ethics is more than morality. You can win the hearts and minds with ethics rather with money power. The manifestation of spirituality is ethics. It should be a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for Muslims. A Muslim employer or an employee has to have exemplary ethics.
Our community in the entire world and particularly in India is lacking in education. The “knowledge deficit” is our biggest problem. This is the era of knowledge. Knowledge is power. We have lost the leadership in the field of knowledge which we had possessed during the period from seventh to thirteenth centuries. The reason for this backwardness is division of knowledge between “Deen” and “Duniya.” Knowledge is monolith in Islam.
Economics has been the power centre that shapes the society. Our share in the Economics is very poor. There is a strong need of establishment of institutions of trade and commerce. Big joint stock companies and multinationals have nowadays donned the role of policy makers. It is the corporate giants which are powerful than parliamentarians. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said, “A sound (in all sense, i.e., Faith, strength, Economics etc) believer is better than a poor believer.” Another Hadith says that poverty may lead to Kufr. Poverty will create a ‘ghettos’ culture, wherein all social evils dwell. Islamic Economic System which is free from usury (interest) is the only alternative for the present day Global Capitalistic Economy.
5. POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT
The political empowerment does not only mean sending more elected representatives to Legislatures and the Parliament. But in the democracy, empowerment can be achieved through people’s participation in good governance. This should happen at all levels. And at the same time we should try to develop new political leadership that is effective and answerable.
There is a difference between unity and cooperation. The road to unity is tough whereas cooperation can be fostered easily. As a part of the Ummah, if we mutually cooperate for the betterment of society and community a lot can be done and a lot can be achieved! Cooperation should be intra-community and inter-community. We should seek cooperation from non-Muslims and also offer cooperation to them on all the virtuous deeds.
The empowerment of community demands committed and visionary leadership in all the domains of life. According to Hadith, even a head of a family is a leader and he is answerable for his subjects i.e. his family.
Friends, we have gathered here to discuss this core issue of Indian Muslims i.e., upbringing leaders at all levels and you are those selected and emerging leaders.
Essential Qualities of Leader
The essential qualities that a leader should possess are briefly mentioned as follows:
- Spirituality: Deep faith, selflessness, working to please Allah, getting inspiration from the Holy Quran and the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The manifestation of spirituality is excellence in interpersonal and intrapersonal skills—this is termed as “Ehsaan” in Islam.
- Ethics: Ethics are something more than morality. Passion without ethics is not permissible; passion should be controlled, as Allah says Muslims are the nation of middle path.
- Commitment: Commitment can be fostered by conceiving the objective of life. If the objective of life synchronizes with the professional passion, that person can be said as fortunate and blessed one.
- Personality Reformation: To adopt the colour of the Almighty and reach the stage of “Ehsaan” that is excellence, continuous personality reformation is essential.
There are two dimensions of personality skills interpersonal skills and intrapersonal skills.
A). Intrapersonal Skills: Reformation of intrapersonal skill depends on once level of relationship with the Divinity. This dimension of personality can be excelled by regular introspection; managing ego, emotions and anger. If this skill is properly reformed, will lead to creativity which is the hallmark of human excellence.
B). Interpersonal Skills: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says, “The better among you are those who are beneficial to others.” These skills are the manifestation of the level of perfection of intrapersonal skills.
A few important ingredients of interpersonal skills are as follows:
- Arriving at a win-win situation
- Acting as a protectors
- Listening to the people
- Appreciation of the best
- Having a spirit of working collectively
According to Quran, a successful person is one who possesses the following qualities.
- Respect for others.
- Love for others.
- Cooperation with each other.
- Best advice and best wishes for others.
According to Quran, the following are the negative characteristics which a person should avoid.
- Calling bad names to others.
- Suspicion and bad presumptions.
And a few skills required for leaders are as follows:
- Forming vision
- Setting goals
- Preparing the road map
- Delegating powers
- Evaluating the progress
- Problem solving