By Muhammad Sirajuddin
We have seen in the previous article in the series (on Debate on Islam) that Islam is the first to have raised the call for Liberty, Unity, and Fraternity of humans, the ranking among them being based merely on their piety (Taqwa).
The word ‘management’ (man-agement, planning, organising, etc. of all human activities) has its origin in the name of a messenger of Allah, i.e. Noah (referred to as Manu in Hindu mythology).
The global flood that took place during the time of Noah is referred to in the Hindu scriptures, Bible as well as the Qur’ān and the present generation is in confirmation all in all among the progeny of those carried in Noah’s ark at that time (hence the terms ‘Nuh-e-Insani’ or ‘ Manishi’/’Manav jathi’).
As explained by Fr. E.H. McGrath, S.J. (PREFACE- ‘Basic Managerial Skills for All’-published by PHI) management training is for everyone. Thus management in daily life is not thus concern of a select few calling themselves managers or management gurus but engulfs every moment of everyone in all walks of life. Among the basic managerial skills dealt with in the above referred to book are: reading (‘HOW TO READ’), -writing, -learning, - speaking, - listening, - teaching,- training,- motivating, etc. It is not a coincidence that we find guidelines on acquiring all of these skills in (Islamic) Shari’ah (Qur’ān and Hadith) (which literally means High-Way or Raj-Marg or Shah-Rah) which Muslims believe as having divine origin.
Stressing the importance of the basic skill of reading, for example, the author in the above book has to say that ‘the people who read or the people who lead’ (of course knowledge without action is fruitless just as action without knowledge is rootless). Perhaps it is neglect of this principle that has dethroned many a nation in history and it is perhaps for the same reason that Allah has prefixed revelation of his final scripture to replace the previous Jewish law with the verse ‘Read: In the name of thy Lord who createth’ (Qur’ān – Chapter 106 Verse No.1).
The Muslims in India are today facing the music for their negligence of benefitting from this basic managerial skill and first commandment of the Qur’ān to ‘read’.
Reading obviously has to be selective as one cannot acquire full knowledge of even any simple subject in this era of specialisation. No one can afford to be pennywise and pound foolish in the matter of study as well. In view of the limited time span of human life and unlimited areas of literature that we have for reading at our disposal, everyone has to be choosy.
All major religions enshrine the belief in the hereafter life of abiding nature or unlimited duration while all of us are aware that our existence in the present world is temporal and hence limited. Here we can conclude that one should strive for the material world as much as we desire it and for the spiritual world or life in the hereafter as much as we desire it. Today decide and act on acquiring appropriate knowledge by reading in due proportion from the wide range of literature available to you.