Characteristics of Islamic Management: Principles and Implementations

Yasir Yasin Fadol (Faculty of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 29 March 2011




Yasin Fadol, Y. (2011), "Characteristics of Islamic Management: Principles and Implementations", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 97-99.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Islam, as a pool of worship and life practices, has attracted many researchers particularly in the humanities and social sciences to study its rules, laws, and guidance in relation to the modern theories of economics, law, management sciences, sociology, and allied health sciences. The author of this book, Prof. Othman attempted to derive Islamic‐modelled management implications for the managers, the administrators, and others in the business domain based on the Quran and Sunnah as the primary sources of Islamic laws (Shariah), which articulate a wide spectrum of jurisprudence (Fiqh) and guidance.

The book, which aims to create awareness and increase knowledge of the various aspects of values and principles in an Islamic administration system, consists of nine chapters covering different aspects of the Islamic values related to management and administration, with special emphasis on leadership, justice, and work ethics. Throughout, the author used quotations from Quran and Sunnah, as well as examples and case studies from the Islamic history to support his arguments. The book ends with a detailed ten‐page glossary of Islamic terms and terminologies.

Chapter one is an introduction aimed to give a brief account about Islam, and to define the terms that are often used in leadership status from Islamic viewpoint such as Imam, Khalifa, Amir, and Wali'u‐Al Amr (i.e. equivalent to head of state, governor or minister). The roles of the leaders in Islamic organizations may articulate guidance, coordination, advice, governance, and administrative responsibility. The concept of ethical leadership in Islam is discussed from diverse angles. The author defines Islamic leadership as one that adheres, supports, and strives to pursue promotion of the Islamic knowledge, while he defines an Islamic leader as a charismatic, expert, trustworthy, and a faithfull leader who supports and adheres to the Islamic values of administration. However, the author did not compare the Islamic ethics against other ethics pertaining to the leadership.

In chapter two, the author examines the values of Muslims' adherence to the Shariah system of governance in the ruling of a state. Having identified Quran and Sunnah as the two major sources and basis of the teaching, philosophy and laws of Islam, the author maintains that new problems and issues continue to arise, which require to be resolved and answered through personal judgement, yet based on Quran and Sunnah. The author also discussed other sources of ruling and governance such as Ijtihad and Ijma'a, which can be used when an issue cannot be resolved directly by Quran or Sunnah. In this junction, the author stressed the duty of the ruler to guard and defend the Shariah and the nation. Using some examples and evidences, the author explained the application of individual and group Ijtihad for brainstorming and decision making to settle certain issues in the administration of the country and the affairs of nation.

Chapter three is dedicated to discussing justice from Islamic perspective. The author emphasized the fact that justice in Islam is neither relative, nor is it based on the interpretation of an interest group; on the contrary, justice is absolute and something that has been underlined and made clear by the two legislative sources of Islam. The author insisted that justice and truth must be upheld even at the expense of sacrificing our own self‐interest and regardless of the state or status of the person involved. In order to uphold justice, a man must be acknowledgeable and must practice what he preaches. If he is a judge, he must behave justly whilst at the same time possess the knowledge of law and pass judgements that are both exact and fair.

Chapter four discusses excellent work of culture from an Islamic perspective, which means that work is performed in the best manner and in the most effective way, and in line with the views of and norms of Islam. This means that Islamic values become the yardstick for an excellent work culture. Therefore, although it may very well be considered excellent work from the point of view of the community in which a person lives, it cannot satisfy the Islamic definition of excellence and work ethics, which are discussed in chapter five. The author discusses nine features of excellent work ethics, which form the basis for work excellence from Islamic perspective.

Chapter six is a further extension to chapter four. It discusses the concept of success from the perspective of Quran. According to the author, the true success of an individual depends on the extent to which his actions, words, writings, and intentions are accepted as a worshiping. The author also discussed three elements, which form the basis of success in Islam. The chapter ends with quoting and discussing several verses from Quran that emphasize the importance of and the way to success.

Chapter seven sheds light on effective decisions from Islamic perspective. The chapter begins by defining effective decision as the one that receives the acceptance of Allah. The author introduces the reader to a four‐stage approach to decision making. These stages are defining the problem and gathering information, considering alternative courses of actions, anticipating the likely possibilities and planning for the unexpected, and making a decision. As the author rightly states, for a decision to be accepted by and satisfy people affected by it, it must be just and fair. However, this cannot be attained unless the decision is made impartially; laws and regulations applied in making the decision are just; the process of making the decision is fair and reasonable; and the decision makers themselves are just and fair.

Ash‐shura, mutual consent or consultation as defined by the author, is discussed in chapter eight. The author maintains that Mohamed, Muslims' prophet, sought advice of his people, exchanged opinions and views with his people, and met with them to discuss on major issues. From the perspective of administration, Shura is most important because a decision made through the process of Shura can be easily accepted, adhered to, and carried out with full commitment. Once the process of Shura has been carried out, the agreement arising from it will be a final decision. Therefore, Islam requests people to inquire, to obtain the opinions and views of the intellectuals and experts of their respective disciplines. Othman ends this chapter by addressing the need to carry out Shura in all discussions and meetings because the principle of Shura can be looked upon as an important starting point for gaining strength, progress, and unity of nation.

The last chapter looks at the concept of power as a trust from Allah. The author begins by defining the term power and emphasizing that everybody is a leader and possesses power and responsibility even if it is only over himself. Although power in accordance with his ability and his position, yet in reality power belongs to Allah. The author also highlights the fact that the individuals have been given power to think and to react, the power to choose and decide, the power to take actions and perform, the power to receive, expand and spread knowledge and are given the ability to think and to administer over the world and to make it prosper. However, individuals do not have the absolute right toward use of power but they are allowed by Allah to use that power and will always be tested by him.

Othman's book is an excellent attempt to inform readers about values and principles of management in Islam. It is highly interesting and contains an array of terms that are all very useful and interesting for comment and analysis by interested candidates. However, it lacks direct application to business administration. Its focus is mainly on state and nation issues rather than organizational issues. Therefore, characteristics of Islamic public administration are expected to be a more relevant title for the book. In academic terms, the book is good for teaching public administration's students within the Islamic contexts.

Although many key concepts are comprehensively addressed in the text, some are neglected. For example, although they are basic functions in management, planning, organizing, and controlling were not mentioned. Chapters four, five, and six could be combined into one chapter as long as the topics of these chapters are much related.

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