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"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."

DOA/PRAYERS






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The Webmaster (Pok Nik) would like to express his highest gratitude and thanks to (Almarhum) Ustaz Haji Ahmad Junaidin bin Che Din for his permission and greatest support in order to make this Global Abjad Blog as a reality.

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
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"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
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[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
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From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
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On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
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“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Monday, January 9, 2012

DELEGATION OF WORK - A MANAGEMENT STORY

Effective managers and leaders know that they can climb greater heights and achieve remarkable goals only if they delegate work to the good, able and talented people around them. The logic is simple – if they are able to rope in more brains and bodies to do the tasks, they are able to get more things done within the same time frame. Having these tasks out of the managers' hands will free up their time and allow them to concentrate on value-added jobs which befit their status and qualifications. The ability to delegate work is therefore a vital asset that all good leaders and managers should have. Other than time management, effective delegation of work may take the pressure off work stress and substantially improve the work life.

As we shall discuss, delegation is not about farming out work and forgetting about it altogether. For the delegation of work to be effective and to result in win-win situations, there are certain myths worth clarifying.

Story:

The Wolf and the Shepherd

Effective Delegation of Work

A Wolf had been prowling around a flock of Sheep for a long time, and the Shepherd watched very anxiously to prevent him from carrying off a Lamb. But the Wolf did not try to do any harm. Instead he seemed to be helping the Shepherd take care of the Sheep. At last the Shepherd got so used to seeing the Wolf about that he forgot how wicked he could be.

One day he even went so far as to leave his flock in the Wolf's care while he went on an errand. But when he came back and saw how many of the flock had been killed and carried off, he knew how foolish to trust a Wolf as he exclaimed. “I have been rightly served; why did I trust my sheep to a Wolf?”

Moral:

Delegate your task wisely, and only to people you trust.



Lessons in life:

Companies have risen and fallen because they have entrusted the wrong CEOs and successors with the management duties. Many great family businesses had been ruined at the hands of the children or grandchildren who took over the helm, based on who they were rather than what they could do. When businesses failed, CEOs rightfully took the brunt. The people responsible for delegating the management duties should not be spared either.

A proper delegation should be viewed as a sharing of responsibility, and not a passing of the baton. When a leader assigns tasks to the other team members, it remains his responsibility to monitor and ensure that the members complete the assigned tasks. Along the way, when the members face difficulties and hurdles, the leader should step in to assist and advise. Of course, for any delegation to be effective, the leader must empower the members and confer on them a certain amount of authority and resources necessary for the tasks at hand. What we are saying is that the leader cannot assign all his functions, powers and authority, and still expect to be called a leader. He would be a consultant and not the person-in-charge.

A skillful delegation should therefore lead to a happy solution for everyone. The CEO has time to look at the overall direction of growth, strategic plans and policies of the company, while retaining the top spot and top salary. The deputy CEOs and departmental chiefs have the necessary powers and authority to run the show, and make decisions within their portfolio. The middle managers, supervisors and heads take charge of the day- to-day operational activities, and are empowered to make decisions within their scope of work.

Since delegating work plays such an important role for successful CEOs, why are most of them not doing it, or not doing enough?

Why do we see CEOs attending to routine low-level tasks and even chairing meetings on totally operational matters? There are various reasons why we - CEOs, leaders and managers - avoid delegating our tasks and responsibility. Here are some reasons and the ways to get around them:-


1. Do not trust employees with the responsibility.

Even the most skillful manager will have this nagging feeling that the person tasked with the job cannot carry it out in the way he wants. Maybe the manager is a perfectionist. If so, the problem lies with the manager having expectations that are too high and onerous. It could also be that the manager does not have a habit of giving clear instructions on what the task entails. Although managers should not have to resort to holding the staff's hands in every matter, it is always advisable to clearly define the tasks and leave no room for doubt. Ultimately, the questions that we should ask ourselves are these – If we do not trust the staff, why do we employ them in the first place? If they don't have the skill, why don't we send them for further training?

2. Only we know best.

While it is true that experience is what earn the managers their position, nobody can claim to be a walking encyclopedia on all matters. The workers doing the factory-line, front desk jobs day in and day out, are the only people who know the work and the problems faced at the back of their hands.

3. Work faster on our own.

If we have done a piece of work before, we can do it again faster and better. We can continue taking on the same assignment and after the hundredth time, we may complete it twice as fast. Think then, if we train another person to do it, will that person not be able to arrive at the same achievement over time? We are freeing up more of our time to do other work and duties, and on the whole, complete all our work in a much shorter time.

4. We lose our control.

How much control do we want? Are we really concerned about the process or the outcome? We can work with the employee to come up with a mutually agreeable process, but it is the outcome that we are targeting. By assigning the job, we risk losing control over the little bits of how the job is done although we can continue to maintain control over the important aspects of the job by spelling out the expected output and performance targets as well as quality control checks and standards.

5. We lose our authority.

This again depends on how you view the word “authority”. We may not have direct supervision over groups of employees. They will report to their immediate supervisors. However, these supervisors are now under our charge, and our authority is in effect extended. It is akin to changing our authority from a parent to a grand-parent. In a typical family structure, the grand-parent status is the most revered and respected.

6. We lose credit and recognition.

This is a sore point which most managers have. Assigning jobs means letting other people take the credit for jobs well done. Can this be true? If we believe in the concept of teamwork, won't the achievement of a team accrue to every team member, including the leader of the team? If our employees steal the limelight for an accomplishment, will some light not be thrown onto us as well for our good leadership and management? Good managers should also be professional enough to acknowledge that the staff who do the work ought to get most of the praises.

Nowadays, performance incentives are tied to the team and not individual efforts, and the people leading successful teams are those who are most valued.

7. Employees are not committed.

This is where the delegation skills come in. In explaining the tasks, managers should let the employees see how the tasks fit into the overall scheme of things. Let them know the expectations and rewards. Let the employees be the ones raising their hands to volunteer for and commit themselves to the project.

8. We cannot keep track of developments.

We mentioned that after parceling out the tasks, our duties do not end there. We have to continue to monitor the progress of the tasks. Usually, this is done by having reporting officers submit detailed status updates on what they have completed and how much of the work is outstanding. This will give us a gauge on whether the work can be completed on time. We are after all responsible for the final outcome and while we should not micro manage the work process, we should not lose track of its developments.


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