Stop Being a Manager and Help People

Interesting advice from Pope Francis to Catholic priests.

Beginning a busy program of Easter events, Pope Francis on Thursday urged Catholic priests to devote themselves to helping the poor and suffering instead of worrying about careers as Church “managers” (Reuters).

Do you think the Muslim community has a similar problem with people who have made a career out of being “board members” and being disconnected from the actual work going on in the masjid?

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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. He works full time in the corporate field, is a PMP, and certified Leadership Trainer through the John Maxwell Team. You can follow him on on Twitter @ibnabeeomar, and check out his latest project - The Fiqh of Social Media.

Omar UsmanStop Being a Manager and Help People

3 Comments on “Stop Being a Manager and Help People”

  1. Asif

    Yes, the mgmt doesnt really care. Or is it that they have no idea on how to do things differently then how they were done in Pakistan, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc? To first gen imams, masjid is a place to go for salat…it is Allah’s house, right? They hold halaqas, men’s halaqas, women’s halaqas, youth halaqas, quranic classes. Nothing has a bearing in the issues out there: outside the masjid gates.

    We follow a faith that has leaders who decidedly abrogate yhe responsibility. Sgame on us for accepting people like that in our masajids.

  2. Ahmed

    First, the author could’ve use quotes from our beloved Prophet, PBUH; to me this is consistent with what I see often, that is, using others (nothing is wrong with them) when we have many exemplary leaders in our Umma. Perhaps, the writer of this article, as well as many others who quote others, thinks that non-Muslim leaders have more influence over the attitudes of Muslims – Allaahu A’lam. It is also true that many of our Masaajids have problems, particularly the Shura/Board. A few examples in my community – one Masaajid had all of the Shura resigned for reasons I am not sure; another Masaajid a Shura member who created the website left and refuse to give access to the website forcing the Masjid to start another website, one Masjid called the police to remove a brother who was not harming others seconds before Asr Iqaama, the president of one Masaajid told me they don’t need Imaam and can be without it, another Masjid had their Imam take the Shura to court or vice versa. My only suggestions are: make people who run the Masaajids Du’a, remind them to put their congregants first and consult with them on major decisions, hold them accountable, demand transparency, demand diverse of speakers, and advocate to end membership requirement to elect Shura/Board. It is also true that many of us blame others and when we are asked to get involved in and fix it, we flee. So, before you blame others, know the facts, get involved to fix it, and don’t be on the sideline and just complain.

  3. Madiha

    I do agree with the claim that our leadership primarily
    consists of individuals who are not necessarily in the trenches. However this
    is not as apparent in smaller, tight-knit communities that I have seen. I think
    the challenge is that, in order to be a governing board or a leader, you must
    at least understand the operational aspects of the masjid or the community as a
    whole. Which leads to two different mindsets, 1. Of running the masjid like a
    business and 2. Addressing the needs of the constituents of the masjid (i.e.
    needy, youth, disenfranchised). Both of these issues need to be addressed in
    tandem by the shura. Now the challenge with many masjid boards is the homogeneity
    of thought due to the lack of diversity and representation (primarily lack of
    female leadership). I think as you start to dig deeper you realize there are
    many layers of issues that began to unravel, each having different nuances. It
    would be nice to see more town hall meetings, or community outreach to get
    conversations going on how to best address these challenges, since every
    community is different. wAllahu Alim

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