Presentation on theme: "CONQUERING INNER SPACE A Case for Quality Management of the Self."— Presentation transcript:
CONQUERING INNER SPACE A Case for Quality Management of the Self
Introduction What Happens Today Muslims tend to blame others for all their troubles. We waste valuable time and energy fighting external battles with non-muslims and among ourselves without achieving much. What Needs To Happen Concentrate on first conquering the inner space (jihad e akbar), becoming true muslims of the highest quality, reaping immense benefits for this world and the next. Quality improvement techniques are available from Islam as well as corporate management gurus. To succeed, we must start this journey with sincerity, humility and determination, acquire proper education and then proceed with robust implementation, such that quality becomes part of our nature. Example from our own times: Quality management processes created a quantum change for Japanese goods - from unreliable and shoddy to the most admired and trustworthy within a few decades!
How: the process... First, set clear definition i.e. quality means conformance to requirements, Complying with Allah’s requirements in all aspects of our life Misinterpretation or lack of knowledge of requirements can be disastrous. DEI Sequence: Determination Education Implementation. If I precedes E, DEI becomes DIE ! (suicide bomber in a shia mosque practices DIE). Performance standard: zero defects. Striving for zero sins, zero backbiting, full payment of zakat, khums and other debts, keeping all our promises and so on. The way to attain full potential is by aiming for the highest standard. System: prevention Do it right the first time. Much less costly to avoid mistakes in the first place than to try and compensate later e.g. consider the kaffara for one fast missed without reason !
How: the process... Measurement: price of non-conformance. If one really understood the price for backbiting one would avoid it at all times. An unrepentant committer of major sins could end up paying the ultimate price - loss of heaven and a life in hell. Imam Ali a.s. has cautioned that no price is good enough for one’s lifespan on earth except everlasting prosperity and paradise, so we should not exchange it for any other price. Implementation process involves several steps such as quality policy and goal-setting, measuring, root-cause analysis, corrective actions, zero-defect day, follow-up Continuous Improvement Do not give up, do not despair, aim for improvement each day 1400 years back Imam Ali a.s. said that if two days of a person’s life are the same, he has incurred a loss !
An illustration: Quality in Salaat Convential way is to ask : “Did I do all my 17 rakaats on time today? Quantity and schedule are emphasized but not quality. The quality way is to ask many additional questions E.g. did I concentrate fully? Was the heart present and did my soul enjoy the salaat? Was I aware I was in Allah’s presence, conversing with Him? “As you utter the takbir (ALLAHU AKBAR), regard small all creatures in relation to the greatness of Allah (SWT). Examine your heart during the Prayer. If you tasted the sweetness of the Prayer, and if in your soul you felt pleased by it, and your heart enjoyed the supplication to Allah (SWT) and conversing with Him, know that Allah (SWT) has approved your takbirs. Without feeling pleasure in supplication, and being deprived of tasting the sweetness of worship,you should know that Allah (SWT) has denied you and dismissed you from His Threshold.” ( from al-Khumeini’s Mustadrak al-Wasa’il, The Book of Prayer, Chapter on The Acts of Prayer,Chapter 2, Tradition 9)
An illustration: Quality in Salaat Take corrective and preventive steps for each non-conformance starting with the most costly ones. Lets say we want to first tackle the lapse of concentration: Keep a record of the number of such lapses each day Take prompt corrective action to minimise the damage (on completing each salat, repent to Allah, implore for its acceptance despite the lapses and promise to strive to prevent recurrence and seek His assistance in the quality enhancement project) Analyse the root cause of these extraneous thoughts interfering with concentration and find and practice ways to prevent this in future to achieve zero defects. Free downloadable book: www.concentrationinprayer.com which provides 25 strategies and a 30-day workbook to achieve quality in salaatwww.concentrationinprayer.com
May Allah show us the Right Way … Insha Allah, a determined, sincere striving to be a quality muslim will lead to taqwa and success in this life, with a tranquil heart, high morals and integrity, admired and trusted by even the enemies. And more importantly, success in eternal life of hereafter, returning to Allah with a suitcase full of good deeds and prayers, and a pure heart filled with gratitude and love for Him. And being received by Him with love and a message of : Salaam.. Peace! My God, grant me the utmost absorption in You and illuminate the vision of our hearts with the light of Your Vision, until the sight of the hearts can penetrate the curtains of light and reach the source of Greatness and until our spirits get anchored to the threshold of Your Sanctity ( from : Munajat-e Sha’baniyyah – Mafatih al-Jinaan)