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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES01

9810-LEADERSHIP SKILLS MODULE GENERAL THEME: TIME (PART I)

Workshops at the 15th International Leadership Training programme Islamabad Pakistan 01-31st  October 1998 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, International Islamic University, Malaysia

GUIDELINES:

 

This module assumes the concept of performance gap which is the difference between the ideal and the actual in organizational performance. The performance gap is the difference between the potential and actual performance of organizations and individuals. Many individuals and communities all over the world are experiencing phenomena of revival and renewal. There is a new reawakening and a determination to make tomorrow better than yesterday. However the zeal, commitment and efforts of the revival have not been perfectly or completely translated into practical results that everyone can see in the society. The practical achievements fall far short of the potential. Success in building and managing institutions, the backbone of real and sustained change, has been limited in several communities and countries. The gap between aspirations and achievements is due to a relative deficiency of practical skills in leadership and management. These skills are not in-born. They can be taught or developed through experience on the job. Individuals and organizations pay a high price in terms of lost opportunities for the continued existence of the performance gap.

 

There is no one fixed system of Islamic leadership or management. As with many similar social phenomena, Islam defines the broad principles and leaves it to the people of each place and era to define the system most suited to their circumstances. The system must therefore change with changes of time and space. There is no utopia. Any human system will have strengths and weaknesses. The aim should be to decrease the weaknesses and increase the strengths. The best system are those based on empirical experience and that are open to changes if empirical evidence shows that they are not working well. The empirical experience must be within the moral context of Islam for it to bear fruits.

 

This module consists of 12 workshops each covering a leadership/management skill or issue. Each workshop requires 3-5 hours distributed as follows: pre-workshop preparation (30 minutes), facilitator presentation (30 minutes), group discussions (1-2 hours) and a plenary concluding session (1-2 hour). You have to prepare by reading the material before the day of the workshop. Start by studying the outline of the session. Then read the background and text. Scan through the discussion questions. On the appointed day, the workshop facilitator makes a presentation followed by a question and answer session. For discussion, groups made up of no more than 5 persons in each are formed. The discussion covers the background reading, analysis of the text, and the discussion questions at the end. Relate everything you read or discuss to your practical experience. In some cases the group has to undertake an exercise or a case-study analysis. Each discussion group presents a summary of its discussion to the plenary session. It is recommended that you supplement the material given by readings in books and other sources on the subject. Write down your all discussions, observations and conclusions

 

The following conceptual tools. Technical terms will be useful in your discussion: leadership (attributes, functions, skills, values, attitudes, authority, influence), model leaders, evaluation of leaders

 

WORKSHOP #1

CONCEPTS OF TIME

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

DIFFERENT CONCEPTS OF TIME IN DIFFERENT CULTURES AND SOCIETIES

 

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE DIMENSIONS OF TIME

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

Different concepts of time

Jahiliyyat Concepts of time

Islamic Concepts of time

European concepts of time

Time perspective of events

Time and culture

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

Jahiliyyat Concept of time: Dahr

Concept of time in Qur'an: time before man

Relativity of time (nisbiyat al waqt)

Concept of finite life-span for communities (ajal al umam)

Concept of finite time for transactions (ajal al mu’amalat)

Concept of the appointed last day (ajal yawm al qiyamat)

 

DISCUSSION

Concepts of time in the community

Differences in concepts of time among communities

Concept of time and culture

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

 

Different concepts of time: The concept of time varies from one society to another. The underlying concepts influence the efficiency of time use. There are 3 distinct ways of looking at time: pre-Islamic Arabia (jahiliyyah), Islam, and the modern industrialized society. Pre-Islamic Arabia was a traditional and simple society like many pre-industrial societies today. The Islamic society established in the Arabian peninsular was an ideological state that derived its guidance from the Qur’an.  Today’s industrial society represents varying degrees of de-humanisation, a machine-based society, and  an extreme form of materialism.

 

Jahiliyyat Concepts of time: In pre-Islamic Arabia time was looked at as a dangerous destructive phenomenon, Dahr. Humans were in awe of it and had no control over it. Society was simple; there was no need for accurate or serious measurement of time or concern with it. Tampering with the lunar calendar was common; a month would be intercalated if that served some selfish interest with little regard being given to accuracy. There was little concern with recording the past.

 

Islamic Concepts of time: In Islam time is considered finite and fleeting it must be used optimally to achieve the pleasure of Allah. Time was created before humans. Time is not a destructive enemy of man but is a resource or an opportunity that can be used well or badly. Some time periods and days are of higher quality than others. Humans can not perceive very quick or very slow events. The time-scale of the universe is infinite. Humans do not know or can not even conceptualize the beginning and the end because they do not exist. Humans however can grasp the concept of finite time periods in their life-time. They also can understand the finite life-span of the earth that will come to end on the day of judgment. All events that occur in time are already pre-destined and are known by Allah. All what happens in time in the past and the future is recorded. Nothing happens by chance.

 

European concepts of time: The modern European or American concept of time is that of a valuable commodity used for material gain whether at work or at play. This understanding of time has been responsible for a lot of efficiency and productivity. However the extreme materialistic view of time has caused imbalance in life. People work hard and for long hours in pursuit of material gain at the expense of their health and happiness of their families. 

 

Time perspective of events: With time events that are seen as great may diminish in significance. Problems could disappear and appear to he solved. Insignificant happenings today could with time prove to have had a major impact. Thus any event must be looked from the perspective of the past (zaman madhi), present (zaman hadhir), and the future (zaman mustaqbali). Past Time: You could know about the past from human reports (written or oral) or revelation. In most cases events of the past are part of the unseen (ilm al ghaib). Study of the past is important to learn lessons of history (al ibrat bi al tarikh) MM p. 217-221 3:137 … 69:4-12. The future is entirely within the realm of the unknown. WE can learn about it from revelation. All else is either conjecture or extrapolation and could be wrong. The present is the field of human action. The human must plan to use the present time in the most efficient or effective way.

 

Time and culture:  Good time management and use reflect background cultural values and early upbringing. Waste of time is not culture; it is failure. Waste of time or poor time management are a prevalent problem in most pre-industrialized societies. Sometimes the problem is not acknowledged and the poor time management is justified as part of 'culture' and 'tradition'. The problem is so severe that people even have a special ‘local’ time which usually means being late beyond the given or appointed time.

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.

 

Jahiliyyat Concept of time: Dahr: And they say: " What is there but our life in this world? We shall die and we live, and nothing but Time can destroy us." But of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture Qur'an 45:24 ….. "Narrated Abu Huraira : Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) said, " Allah said, The son of Adam hurts me for he abuses Time though I am Time: in My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night". Bukhari 6:337, hadith # 351…. "Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: The son of Adam causes Me pain as he says: Woe be the time. None of you should say this: Woe be upon the time, as I am the Time ( because ) I alternate the day and the night, and when I wish I can finish them up. Muslim 3:1217, Chapter 940, Hadith #5582…              "Abu Huraira reported the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: Allah Most High says: " The son of Adam injures me by abusing time, whereas I am time. Authority is in My hand. I alternate the night and the day". Abu Daud 3: 1452, Chapter 1890, Hadith # 5254

 

Concept of time in Qur'an: time before man: Has there not been over man a long period of time, when he was nothing ( not even ) mentioned ? Qur'an 76:1

 

Relativity of time (nisbiyat al waqt): MM p. 541 7:54 … 70:4

 

Concept of finite life-span (ajal) MM p. 73 7:34, 7:135, 10:49 …. MM p. 73 2:231-227 … 65:4 … MM p. 74 13:2 … 63:10-11

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Think of a particular community that you know well or have lived in and describe the general concepts about time that are held

 

What differences in concepts about time do you identify between your community and other communities you have known about

 

Explain how concepts about time are influenced by the underlying cultural values and norms

 

YOUR NOTES: WORKSHOP #2

IMPORTANCE OF TIME

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

TIME AS A RESOURCE

TIME AS A POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITY

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

Importance of time

Sense of urgency

Constant work

Investment in time

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

Health and free time are most important resources

Self-perpetuating Activities

Importance of time: Swearing by time

Accountability over use of time

Time passes, use it now

Constant strife

 

DISCUSSION

Time as a resource

Attitude to time in different societies

Attitude to time and achievements

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

 

Allah swears by time: Time is so important that Allah swears by it. Time existed before human beings. There is a religious dimension to work and time use. Any human endeavor is considered Ibadat, an act of worship. When two parties are equal in other resources, they compete over how efficient they use time

 

Sense of urgency: Time is not elastic. The time you have is the only one you can exploit to accomplish a task. You can not extend the time. Time can not be created or increased. You can get more use of a unit of time by efficient utilization. Time can and is usually wasted by poor management. Waste of time is an immoral act. Time is fleeting and should be used and not wasted or allowed to lapse without any useful work. This sense of urgency was always clear from the character of the Prophet. He used to walk quickly as if he is running after something (KS p. 483). Even in sleep he was concerned about the affairs of the ummat; his eyes slept but not his heart (KS p. 489, Bukhari Kitab 4 Bab 5, Abu Daud Kitab 5 Bab 26).

 

Constant work: You have to work constantly and never let any time pass without a productive endeavor. It is better to undertake small but regular work than have bursts of activity followed by long periods of dormancy. There is no time for rest. The rest that you take is considered just a preparation for more work and is not an end in itself. Rest allows the body to recover. A normal person who is balanced can never be in a situation in which there is excess time with no work and it becomes necessary to ‘kill time’.

 

Investment in time: Work performed in the present could be looked at as investment that will bear fruits in the future. The future may be on earth or in the hereafter. Different investments bear different dividends. A human should therefore seek to use time in the way that bears maximum returns. The returns however should not be measured only in material terms. The most important return from time investment is success (falah) in the hereafter.

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.

 

Health and free time are most important resources: "Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, " There are two blessings which many people lose: " They are ) health and free time for doing good". Bukhari 8:282, hadith # 421

 

Self-perpetuating Activities: There are only three human endeavours that will continue bearing fruit even after death: a righteous offspring who prays for the parent, knowledge that benefits others, or charity that is used by others (sadaqat jariyat) (KS p. 523).

 

Importance of time: Swearing by time: By ( the token of ) time ( through the Ages ). Verily man is in loss, Except such as have faith and do righteous deed, and ( join together ) in the mutual teaching of truth, and of patience and constancy. Qur'an 103:1-3

 

Accountability over use of time: hadith: La yazaal qadam ‘abd yawm al qiyamah hatta yus’al ‘an khams. Tarmidhi Kitaab al Qiyamah

 

Time passes, use it: "Ightanim khamsa qabla khamsi..... "Narrated Mujahid : Abdullah bin Umar ( may peace be upon him ) said, " Allah's  Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) took hold of my shoulder and said,  " Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller." The subnarrator added: Ibn Omar used to say, " If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from you health for you sickness, and ( take ) from your life for your death". Bukhari 8:284-285, hadith # 425

 

Constant strife: imal liduniyaak kannaka taishu abadan; wa amal li akhiratika kannaka tamutu ghadan

 

DISCUSSION:

Explain in your own words what you understand  by the statement that time is a resource

 

Think of your community or any other society that you know and describe the attitude to time and its importance. What are the practical consequences of such attitudes?

 

Explain how the attitude to importance of time determines differences in achievement among individuals, communities and even nations?

 

YOUR NOTES:

 

WORKSHOP #3

QUALITY OF TIME

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS HAVE DIFFERENT INHERENT VALUES

 

THE PERSON AND THE PLACE AFFECT THE VALUE OF A TIME PERIOD

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

Varying values of time periods

Variation of time value because of the user

Variation of time value because of the place

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

Variation in time dimension on earth and the hereafter

Excellence of the month of Ramadhan

Excellence of Friday

Excellence of some days and nights

Excellence of the night of power

Excellence of the first 10 days in dhi al hijjat

Excellence of time towards the end of a task

Time periods disliked for salat

 

DISCUSSION

Excellence of the month of Ramadhan

Excellence of Friday

Value of time and decisions

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

 

Varying values of time periods: Different periods of time are not of equal quality or importance. Some hours of the day are prime time and are qualitatively more important than the rest of the day. Some days, for example Friday, are more important. Some months, for example Ramadhan, are more important than others.  Acertain time period may have a higher value because of the person exploiting it. The place also may give a time period more value.

 

Variation of time value because of the user: The benefit from the same activity may be higher for some people and not others. There is special blessing in the times of the righteous (barakat al waqt). For example it is very clear that the times of the early scholars of Islam had more value; their production has continued to have positive impacts centuries later. Sometimes similar work today can not have the same impact.

 

Variation of time value because of the place: Time may take on a new importance and value at some place or on some occasions. For example at a public gathering the time allocated to a speaker however short it may be has more value than a similar length of time in normal circumstances. Time spent in the mosque has more value than that spent elsewhere.

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.

 

Variation in time dimension on earth and the hereafter: Yet they ask you to hasten on the Punishment! but Allah will not fail in His promise. Verily A Day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning. Qur'an 22: 47 …. The angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day the measure whereof is ( as ) fifty thousand years: Qur'an 70:4

 

Excellence of the month of Ramadhan: "Abu Huraira: reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: When there comes the month of Ramadan, the gates of mercy are opened, and the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained". Muslim 2:524, Chapter 405, Hadith #2361 ... Umrat in Ramadhan is equivalent to hajj (umrat fi ramadhan ta’dil hajjat): KS p. 403, Abu daud Kitab 1 Bab 79 ... Excellence of the first 10 days in ramadhan ( al ‘ashar al awa’il fi ramadhan): KS p. 94 .... Excellence of the last 10 days in ramadhan ( al ‘ashar al awakhir fi ramadhan):

 

Excellence of Friday: Abu Huraira  reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it Adam was created, on it he was made to enter Paradise, on it he was expelled from it". Muslim 2:405, Chapter 302, Hadith #1856 …. KS p. 156, MU Kitab 17 Hadith 18, Abu daud K2 Bab 202.... Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: There is a time on Friday at which no Muslim servant would pray and would ask Allah for a thing ( that is good ) but He would give it to him. Qutaiba pointed with the help of his hand that it ( the time ) short" Muslim 2:404, Chapter 31, Hadith #1849 …. "Narrated Abu Huraira: Abu I Qasim ( the Prophet may peace be upon him ) said, " On Friday there is a particular time. If a Muslim happens to be praying and invoking Allah for something good during that time, Allah will surely fulfill his request." The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) pointed out with his hand. We thought that he wanted to illustrate how short that time was". Bukhari 8:273, hadith # 409 ….. "Ali said on the pulpit in the mosque of Kufah: When Friday comes, the devils go to the markets with their flags, and involve people in their needs and prevent them from the Friday prayer. The angels come early in the morning, sit at the door of the mosque, and record that so and so came at the first hour, and so and so came at the second hour until the imam comes out ( for preaching ). When a man sits in a place where he can listen ( the sermon ) and look ( at the imam ) keeps silence and does not interrupt, he will get a double reward. If he keeps himself away, and sits in a place where he cannot listen ( to the sermon ) and keeps silence, and does not interrupt, he will get the reward only once. If he sits in a place where he can listen ( to the sermon ) and look ( at the imam ) and he did not keep silence, he will have the burden of it. If anyone says to his companion sitting beside him to be silent ( while the imam is preaching ) he is guilty of idle talk. Anyone who interrupts ( during the sermon ) will get nothing ( no reward ) on the that Friday. Then he ( the narrator ) says in the end of this tradition: I heard the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) say so". Abu Daud 1:270-271, Chapter 360, Hadith # 1046 ….. KS p. 156, BU Kitab 11 Bab 37, MU Kitab 7 Hadith 13 & 16, Abu daud K 2, Bab 200 & 201

 

Excellence of some days: KS p. 94 MU Kitaab 45 hadith 37, Muwatta hadith 632 ... Excellence of the night of power (fadhl lailat al qadar): KS p. 472 ... Excellence of the first 10 days in dhi al hijjat ( al ‘ashar al awakhir fi dhi al hijjat): KS p. 94 Muwatta Hadith # 2283, 2631

 

Excellence of time towards the end of a task (khawatiim al a’amal): KS p. 93 BU Kitab 81 Bab 33, MU Kitab 46 hadith 11, Abu daud Kitaab 39 Bab 16

 

Time periods disliked for salat: KS p. 314, BU Kitaab 9 Bab 30, MU Kitaab 6 hadith 285, Abu Daud Kitaab 5 Baab 10.

 

DISCUSSION:

Explain in your own words why the month of Ramadhan is better than other months of the year?

 

Why is Friday better than other days of the week from a community or societal point of view

 

Explain how understanding of the differences between the different values of times can influence decisions about what tasks to undertake at particular times

 

YOUR NOTES:

 

WORKSHOP #4

MEASUREMENT OF TIME

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

QUR’ANIC TERMINOLOGY ON TIME

 

THE ISLAMIC CALENDAR

 

LIMITATIONS OF HUMAN PERCEPTION OF TIME

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

Human perception of time

Time in the Qur’an

The Islamic calendar

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

The Islamic calendar

Fixed time for salat:

Fixed time for Ramadhan:

Hajj season fixed

The month

 

DISCUSSION

Human perception of time

Islamic vs Gregorian calendars

Ramadhan crescent between sight and computation

Estimation of time

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

 

Human perception of time: Human measurement and perception of time are subject to distortions. Human understanding of time may be unrealistic. Humans will not absorb or understand events that happen very slowly or very rapidly. They may be pre-occupied with the past or predicting the future that the present passes by them. They may be pre-occupied with the pressures of the moment and forget to plan for the future

 

Time in the Qur’an: The culture of time and its measurement is emphasized by the Qur’an mentioning various time periods in different contexts. Time is referres to as waqt and zaman. The following terms have been used to refer to points in time: duluuk al shams, shuruq al shams. The following terms have been used to refer to time periods: sahr, morning (subh), mid-morning(dhuha), Forenoon (dhuhr), ‘isha, ‘ashiyat, ghadaat, ghasq, dawn (fajr), night (layl), evening (masa’a), sun-set (maghrib), day-time (nahar). Measures of time elapsed used are: hour (sa’a), year (sanat), month (shahar), century (qarn), day (yawm).  The word hawl is used in the special context of zakat to refer to a taxation year (KS p. 259) and to refer to breast-feeding.

 

The Islamic calendar: One of the manifestations of the cultural invasion of the ummat is that the Gregorian calendar is used more than the Islamic calendar. Return to the Islamic calendar is symbolically very important, every dominant civilization had its own calendar. We can not rebuild our civilization while reckoning by the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic year is ordained in the Qur'an in the Qur'an. The Hijri calendar was fixed by Omar B. Al Khattab. The migration (hirah) was the beginning of the history of the Islamic state (KS p. 199, BU Kitab 63 Bab 48). There are fixed events on the Islamic calendar: day of ‘arafat (yawm arafat), day of the feast (yawm al ‘eid), day of ashura (yawm ashura), days of drying meat (ayam al tashriq), the mid-shaban (yawm al nisf min sha’aban KS p. 292)

 

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT

 

The Islamic calendar: The number of months is the sight of Allah is twelve ( in a year ) so ordained by him the he created the heavens and the earth of them four are sacred that in the straight usage so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together but know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves. Qur'an 9:36 .... "Narrated Abu Bakra: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said."( The division of ) Time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession: Dhul Qada, Dhul Hijja and Muharram, and ( the fourth is ) Rajab of ( the tribe of ) Mudar which comes between Jumadiath Thaniyah and Shaban". Bukhari 4:281, hadith # 419

 

Fixed time for salat: Qur’an 4: 103

 

Fixed time for Ramadhan: 2: 185

 

Hajj season fixed: For Hajj are the months well-known. if any one undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj and whatever good you do ( be sure ) Allah knows it. and take a provision ( with you ) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct so fear me O you that are wise. Qur'an 2:197

 

Measurement of the month: sight (al shahar bi al ru’uyat): KS p. 198, BU Kitaab 30 Bab 13, MU Kitaab 13 hadith 15, Abu Daud Kitaab 14 Bab 4.... Month is 29 days: KS p. 198 BU Kitaab 30 Bab 11, MU Kitaab 13 Hadith 5, Abu Daud Kitaab 14 Bab 4 & 7

 

DISCUSSION:

Give an example of human failure to perceive correctly very rapid events

 

Give an example of human failure to perceive correctly very slow events

 

Explain what type of calendar (Islamic or Gregorian) is used in your community.

 

What is your suggested solution to the problem of disagreement between those who use sight and those who use computation to determine the start of  Ramadhan

 

How good are you in estimating time periods without using a watch? Can you suggest an experiment to compare estimation ability among various members of the workshop?

 

YOUR NOTES:

 

WORKSHOP #5

MULTIPLE PRIORITIES

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

CLASSIFICATION OF EVENTS/TASKS

 

CRITERIA FOR PRIORITISATION

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

Time management and success

Classification of events

Sense of urgency

Analysis of your time use

Prioritizing on the basis of urgency or importance

Prioritisation on the basis of needs, wants, and obligations

Prioritisation on the basis of hierarchy of obligations

Balance of gains and losses

Opportunity

Stake-holders

Taking control

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

Some tasks are more important

Ibadat has priority in time allocation

Consideration for priorities and needs of others

No time to waste

Time for leisure

Regularity of action

Doing what is manageable

Choosing the right priorities

Biological  needs have preference

 

DISCUSSION

Criteria of prioritisation

Conflict between wants and needs

Conflict between wants and musts

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

 

Time management and success: The level of sophistication and efficiency of individuals, societies, and civilizations is assessed by their efficient use of time. Winners control, schedule, and use their time optimally; losers waste it. Winners always know what to do at any one time, when to start and finish, what to start with and what to end with. They always have an objective and make sure that every activity they undertake is moving them toward the objective.

 

Classification of events: Events that make a demand on our time can be classified into 4 categories depending on their importance and urgency. Urgent and important, Urgent and not important, Not urgent but important, and Not urgent and not important. Different people under different circumstances may out emphasis on urgency or on importance. There is no fast and hard rule; the best choice is always dictated by the situation.

 

Sense of urgency: There is a sense of urgency underlying your time management by as a Muslim. The only time you have control on is now; you have to use it well since we do not know whether you will have more time in the future. Life is finite; you have to use our time on earth to prepare for the hereafter. No time should ever be wasted. You will be required to account for your time use on earth and in the hereafter.

 

Analysis of your time use: In order to improve your time management you have to start with analysis of your current time use. Start recording all activities undertaken in the day. Write down each task, the time it started, the time it ended, the total time expended, and the ranking of the task in importance compared to others. You will be able to discover patterns of time utilisation that you may not be consciously aware of.

 

Prioritizing on the basis of urgency or importance: Prioritizing using the rule of first come first served is not good because it treats all tasks and all time periods as if they were of equal importance. Starting with the easiest or the most difficult tasks again ignores relative importance. Important things even if not the most urgent should be given most priority. Sometimes unimportant matters claim a disproportionate amount of time because they seem so urgent!.

 

Prioritisation on the basis of needs, wants, and obligations: When prioritizing distinguish between what you must do and what you want to do; start with what you must do. Distinguish between what you want to do and what needs to be done and start with the needed.

 

Prioritisation on the basis of hierarchy of obligations: Ibadat has the first priority. Next to it are biological needs such as sleep and food. There must be time for the family and for earning your livelihood. Do not forget time for yourself to rest and also to pursue your own interests even if others do not give them high priority. Doing what you want to do is a source of great satisfaction.

 

Balance of gains and losses: Aim at maximizing gains and minimizing losses in your choices of priorities. Remember that there can be no pure gain without some loss. Some compromises must made here and there.

 

Opportunity: Always ask yourself what else you could do in a given time to derive maximum utility. If you can answer this question you will find that many tasks that other you can be left without much loss and can be replaced for by more rewarding activities. Always be prepared to accomplish your work when unexpected opportunities occur. Exploit any windows of opportunity to accomplish urgent work.

 

Stake-holders: Think of stake-holders as people who can reward or punish you therefore give them a higher priority in time allocation.

 

Taking control: Whatever you do must be by conscious choice, do not just follow passively. You have to take charge of yourself and your time. Lead and not follow.

 

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.

Some tasks are more important (fadhl al a’amal): KS p. 93 MU Kitaab 33 Hadith 111

 

Ibadat has priority in time allocation: O ye who believe ! when the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday ( The day of Assembly ) hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business ( and traffic ) that is best for you if you but knew !.Qur'an: 62:9-10 … But when they see some bargain or some Amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing. Say: " The ( blessing ) from the Presence of Allah is better than any amusement or bargain! and Allah is the Best to provide ( for all needs ). Qur'an 62:11 ….. By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: their ( only ) fear is for the Day when Hearts and eyes will be transformed ( In a world wholly new).

 

Consideration for priorities and needs of others: KS p. 100 BU Kitaab 3 Bab 28, MU Kitaab 4 Hadith 179-190, Abu Daud Kitaab 2 Baab 122 & 123

 

No time to waste: "If the last hour strikes and finds you carrying a nursing to the grove for planting go ahead and plan" Musnad Ahmad

 

Time for leisure: Entertain the hearts in between hours for if the hearts get tired they become bored " Sunan Al Daylami

 

Regularity of action (khayr al a’amaal adwamuha): KS p. 94, BU Kitaab 2 Baab 32, MU Kitaab 77 Baab 43, Abu Daud Kitaab 5 Bab 27 … "Alqamah said: Aishah was asked about the actions of the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ). Did he perform some actions exclusively on some particular days? She said: No, he performed his actions regularly. Which of you has the strength as much as the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) had" Abu Daud 1: 358, Chapter 408, Hadith # 1365 …

 

Doing what is manageable (khayr al a’amaal ma tutiqunahu): BU Kitaab 19 Bab 18, MU Kitaab 6 Hadith 219-223, Abu daud Kitaab 5 Baab 29

 

Choosing the right priorities: "Jabir b Abdullah reported that the Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) was delivering the sermon on Friday in a standing posture when a caravan from Syria arrived. The people flocked towards it till no one was left ( with the Holy Prophet ) but twelve persons, and it was on this occasion that this verse in regard to Jumu'a was revealed: " And when they see merchandise or sport, they break away to it and leave you standing". Muslim 2:408-409, Chapter 37, Hadith #1877

 

Biological  needs have preference: KS p. 315, BU Kitaab 10 Bab 42, MU Kitaab 5 Hadith 64-67, Abu Daud Kitaab 1 Bab 43

 

DISCUSSION:

Give examples of the following criteria of prioritisation:

First come first served

Start with easy things

Start with the most difficult 

Start with the most urgent though not most important 

Start with the most important, though not most urgent

 

Give examples of conflict between wants and needs

 

Give examples of conflict between wants and musts

 

 

YOUR NOTES:


 

WORKSHOP #6

SCHEDULING TIME

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

USING THE CALENDAR/DIARY

 

THE DAY’S SCHEDULE

 

TRANSITIONS BETWEEN TASKS

 

DISCRETIONARY TIME

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

Flexibility

Reliance on Allah

Calendar/diary

Transitions

Time sensitivity of events

Scheduling your day

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

Plan and schedule time but say Inshah Allah

The Prophet's time daily time management

Prophet and dividing time among wives

Transition between prayer and work

Time to sleep and work

Retiring to bed early

Mind pre-occupation in salat

Shaitan distracts during prayer

Keeping appointments

Benefits of I'tiqaf

 

DISCUSSION

Things to do list

Keeping appointments

Schedule conflicts

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

 

Calendar/diary: You have to plan, and schedule but be flexible. The schedule is an aid and not an end in itself. You should never become a slave to the schedule. After writing your schedule say, INSHALLAH (by the grace of Allah). Remember that you can only accomplish what you schedule by the grace of Allah. Do not be caught in the trap of thinking that you are too busy to organize your time. A calendar is your best ally; procrastination is your worst enemy. Pace yourself and break up projects into small manageable steps. Know your prime time and plan to execute the most important projects during that time. Write down your plans exactly, the start and the end. Budget time correctly for each activity. Allow some contingency time.

 

Transitions: Transitions between activities are a frequent cause of poor time management. Allow time for the transition. Some activities are affected by those before them. It is for example difficult to concentrate in salat if you have just been involved in a physically and mentally exhausting activity. In such a case you should plan a longer transition time between the two activities. Plan to make use of the transition time. Time between 2 meetings can be used to read a book or a report. Drive-time, waiting for a meeting are examples of transitional times. Make sure that linkages between activities are correct. The successful completion of some tasks requires that some pre-requisites be fulfilled. Always make sure that the pre-requisites are scheduled and are carried out before the task you intend to undertake

 

Time sensitivity of events: Some activities like salat are time-sensitive and must be put on the schedule at the right time. Some are not. You may plan to read a story during the day but need not fix a time for it. You may do it during transition or discretion time. Plan always to get things done and finished. Balance your work, personal and family time carefully.

 

Scheduling your day: Make a daily check-list of things to do and also things not to do. Schedule your day as a Muslim. Start with salat al Fajr and go to work immediately after it. Plan to rest in the middle of the day when it is very hot. Go to bed immediately after Isha. Qiyam al layl should preferably be towards the end of the night so that there is no much time between it and Salat al Fajr. This gives you a fairly long uninterrupted period of sleep. Prayers and meals should be included in the daily schedule. When scheduling your day's activities, avoid too many activities, distractions, or too long projects. You can always find extra time in your schedule. Always review your schedule. You may revise it deleting some activities. You can always find quicker ways of doing things. Delegate work!. Exploit opportunities to do urgent work such as meal times, boring meetings, lengthy telephone conversations, waiting for someone etc. Discretionary time is that time you have free to use creatively. People with more discretionary time make more progress than those who have less. Do not crowd your schedule; the more discretionary time you can allow the better.

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.

 

Plan and schedule time but say Inshah Allah: Nor say of anything, "I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow. Without adding, " SO please Allah! and call your Lord to mind when you forgetest, and say " I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer ( even ) than this to the right road. Qur'an 18:23-24

 

The Prophet's time daily time management: It was reported from Hasan bin Ali...(hayat 1:43)

 

Prophet and dividing time among wives: KS p. 480, BU Kitaab 51 Baab 15, MU Kitaab 18 Hadith 46-48, Abu Daud Kitaab 12 Baab 37

 

Transition between prayer and work:  And when the Prayer is finished, then may you disperse through the land and seek of the Bounty of Allah and celebrate the praises of Allah often ( and without stint ) that you may prosper. Qur'an: 62:9-10

 

Time to sleep and work: And He is Who makes the Night as a Robe for you, and Sleep as Repose, and makes the Day ( as it were ) a Resurrection. Qur'an 25:47 nahar maash, layl libaas

 

Retiring to bed early: "Hazrat Abu Barza...after it". Riyadh 2:838, hadith # 1746

 

Mind pre-occupation in salat (ishtigal al fikr fi al salat): "Abu Darda said: " It is a sign of comprehension ( of a person ) to fulfill or turn to his needs first so as to pray attentively with a clear mind". Bukhari 1:362 …  "Narrated Aisha: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " If supper is served, and Iqama is pronounced one should start with the supper". Bukhari 1:362 …. "Umar said I organize my troops while in prayer". Bukhari 2:175

 

Shaitan distracts during prayer: "Narrated Abu Huraira: When the Adan for the prayer is pronounced, then Satan takes to his heels passing wind so that he may not hear the Adahn and when the Muadh dhin finishes, he comes back; and when the Iqama is pronounced he again takes to his heels and when it is finished, he again comes back and continues reminding the praying person of things that he used not to remember when not in prayer till he gorgets how much he has prayed". Bukhari 2:175, hadith # 313

 

Keeping appointments: KS p. 516 BU Kitaab 19 Baab 31

 

Benefits of I'tiqaf:  KS p. 92 … "Aisha said: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) used to observe retirement ( itikaf ) to the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan till Allah took him and then his wives observed retirement to the mosque after his death". Abu Daud 2: 679, Chapter 843, Hadith # 2456

 

DISCUSSION:

Describe the use of a calendar or of a ‘to-do’ list in your community

 

How well do people in your community keep appointments: turning up or turning up on time

 

What are the possible causes of schedule conflict?

 

YOUR NOTES:


Go to Part II

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Octobet 1998