Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Islamic Organizations" One of the biggest deceptions

Any organization that calls its self an "Islamic" organization is nothing short of a deception. They might look good on paper but in reality, they aren't really up to their standards. These organizations are run in a few ways. One, they have people leading who are not properly qualified or not properly trained or both. Second, all efforts and advice to better the organization are completely ignored because they are given by those who are "outside" the organization. Third, members of these organizations tend to stay disappointed, bring up their disappointments here and their, rather than in their meetings (assuming they have meetings). These are just some of the many faults with those organizations that call themselves Islamic.

So to address point one, many of these organizations, from what I have come to know, have people how are only "leaders" because they completed some sort of course or something within the organization and something that is "Islamic" related. They hear and read from books about how Islamic work should be done (some of which is not followed at all) and talk or discuss those topics. All literature pertains to Islam and the Islamic movement or something Islamic related. They never go outside their bubble and explore secular books on leadership which could offer some great advice. Nor do they look at books pertaining strictly to leadership from an Islamic perspective. Everything seems to be improvised on how to run things. There is no consistent model followed [within an organization]and there is no way to "overthrow" a leader [for poor workmanship or leadership]. To overthrow a leader is considered "haram" in some people's minds. Not training individuals on how to become leaders or how to properly run an organization leads to many organization's demise. Having a leader who is untrained or under qualified might work in some instances but it is usually because of a strong support system and great brothers/sisters who surround these leaders. These are very minor cases and are very rare to find these days. Masajids and Islamic organizations are starting to die or slowly fade because of bad leadership. 

Moving on to point two. Some people in these organizations have a problem when someone who is probably a volunteer and not on the "inside" of the organization brings up a problem within the organization. Yes, that sounds confusing. But I'll try to explain. I see a problem in organization X, I try to bring it up to the "leader" of organization X but I can't. And if I do, it is coming from someone who is a mere volunteer or someone with only a slight attachment to the organization. I might be right 110%, but since I'm not a "member", the advice or issue is only someone moving their mouth. Now, this could be a sincere advice to move the organization in the right direction, or a fault that needs correcting, but I am not a member so my word is meaningless. But to avoid this "volunteer" trying to talk and better the organization, some organizations are starting to hire people for work that can be done for free (so be careful who you donate to. And trust me, even if an organization looks amazing or has had a good "record", always do your research time and again before you open you wallets and checkbooks now-a-days). More and more organizations, to avoid and sort of conflict, are hiring individuals for work that can be done by volunteers [sometimes just as good or even better]. Im not saying don't hire people, but if there is something you can get for free, people should go for it. But even after hiring an individual, these organizations really dont have a proper way of firing an individual or dont fire at all. 

As for those wondering what is a difference between a member and a volunteer, well it could mean 2 things. One is members pay to be part of the organization and have more rights and decision making calls because they pay into the organization. The other thing in some organizations is that a person has to take some sort of "oath of loyalty" for the organization. That he/she will work to the best of their abilities and follow all the written rules and blah blah blah... Then those who are already members somehow magically believe that this person is part of them. I personally like the pay to play version bc if you dont pay, you are automatically kicked out. in the other way, its REALLY hard to kick someone out (but easy to get in if you have the right connections). 

Because of this dilemma of volunteer vs member, it brings me to my third point. I have seen many different "members" (remember, these are the individuals who have paid to play or taken some sort of oak), who are distraught with their organization or the way things are being done talk here and there but never seem to bring it up in their meetings. They never talk about it in the channel that it is supposed to be talked at (AKA their member's meeting). You will hear disappoints of things here and there, and even the leader (which they probably elected or not) and it just seems sad. But at the same time, it might make one angry why they are not just bringing it up in their meeting. Maybe others feel the same way and they will back them up. But then again, some organizations just don't have meetings for all their members. They just get rid of it all together because the leaders know they are doing a poor job and don't want anyone to bring it up. So what do these leaders do, they hold small meetings with a select few of these members and talk about small points and get it over as quickly as possible. 

I can write MANY more things about organizations and their destructing structures, but keeping it at these 3 should just make you think, are these "Islamic Organizations" really Islamic? Ask questions, demand answers or people will continue to spend the money you as individuals give them any way they like. And they will continue to do things how its seems fit to them because there is essentially no challenge for them. The earlier Muslims in general start to realize that it is OK to ask questions, raise their voices, and not shy away from organizational politics that are meant to shut them down, then only will we start moving back on the right track. Problems exist everywhere, but to address them and solve them are the only way to fix them. To hide them under a rug or a curtain or anywhere else, only makes things worse. 

May Allah guide us on the straight path and help us get rid of tyrant and/or unqualified leaders so we can become a strong Muslim Ummah once again. Ameen


  1. Hmmm...I think that you are right in some areas. But otherwise this article is an over generalization. You are casting all Islamic Organizations in the same light.

    1. Well, unfortunately, this is where many of the organizations are headed. If this is not changed, we are going backwards instead of forwards. Only a handful of Masajids and Organizations have proper training. Instead of giving preference to hire our scholars (who have training in Islamic work and how to lead), money is being thrown away in other aspects, some might be important, others not so much.