Relation Between Islam and Total Quality Management

Relation Between Islam and Total Quality Management

Quality management in the Islamic system is not merely to produce any outcome with excellence but to produce a desirable and beneficial outcome for the welfare of mankind. As Allah says, “[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deeds.”

Excellence is a requirement not only in big matters but also in a chili matter like slaughtering animals. As the Prophet (SAW) said, “When you slaughter any animal, sharpen your knife and let the animal die comfortably.”

Quality is more relevant in the responsibility of higher authority, whereby management ranks among the highest ones. Total quality is highly deserved in management and in the organization as a whole.

This is because low-quality management is subjected to sub-standard quality in the performance of the organization. On the other hand, high-quality management is expected to be reflected in the bloodstream of the whole body, and a high-quality performance is expected to be achieved. This is why Islam emphasizes high-quality management.

We can say that TQM, from an Islamic perspective, is the management philosophy to achieve the organizational goals by meeting and exceeding customer expectations by providing continuously improved quality products or services at lower prices over the competitors, and all of these will be done by keeping in mind the command of Allah so that our lord Allah is satisfied.

No wastage of resources is allowed in Shariah (Islamic Laws). As Allah says, “O you who believe! Eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan [wastage of resources]. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” 

Islamic Principles of TQM

Many principles regarding TQM are present in Islam; among them, some are similar to the principles of conventional TQM. The Islamic principles are drawn from the verses of Al Qur’an and the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

By practicing these principles, many Muslim leaders perceived a lot of success in their working lives and served the people with the best services. The Islamic principles of TQM are discussed below:

Intention or Objective (Niyah)

No act could be accomplished without a clear intention or objective. Allah (SWT) says, “Say, everyone does according to his/her intention.” The Sunnah says, “The result of every action depends on the intention of the doer.”

The Muslims have to have a mission statement or set objectives of the organization in order to set direction, targets, or measures of performance. This has become the fundamental principle of Islam, whereby the intention inherent in any action determines whether it is good or blameworthy. Islam always encourages people to do any act on the basis of good intentions.

Strategic Planning

Achieving quality and market leadership requires a long-range strategy. Improvements do not happen overnight. The success of Japanese manufacturers evolved over several decades. Planning and organizing improvement activities take time and require major commitments on the part of all organization members.

Strategies, plans, and budget allocations need to reflect long-term commitments to customers, employees, stockholders, and suppliers. Any organization’s strategic plan helps it achieve its goals and objectives effectively and efficiently. A perfect example in this universe is that Allah (SWT) has created this universe by planning strategically to accomplish His objectives. As He says,

“Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds.”

Again, in Surah Al-Baqarah (Ayah 30-39), Allah (SWT) describes the facts and events of creating men (Adam and his wife) and sending them into this world. This description indeed teaches us how strategic Allah (SWT) is and how successfully He can accomplish His Plan.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is a part of the management of all systems and processes. In Islam, there is no upper limit of quality. Continuously, one has to try to improve the quality of his/her performance. As Hazrat Ali (R) said. “If your today’s activities are not superior to that of yesterday, then you are not a good Muslim.”

In the Qur’an, Allah says, “O you who believe, why do you say what do you do not act upon? To Allah, it is a great sin that you say something that you do not practice.”

If, for any moment, one realizes that he has done more bad than good, he is expected to take immediate corrective and remedial action. He has to correct the wrongs and improve on the good actions. This practice is in line with the principle of continuous efforts for improvement, which is the same as the Japanese principle of kaizen.

Competitive Benchmarking

This involves identifying other organizations that are the best at something and studying how they do it to learn how to improve your operation. A company need not be in the same line of business. As Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed, in the life of the prophets, there are the followable standards for you.”

Employee Empowerment

Giving worker the responsibility for improvements and the authority to make changes to accomplish them provides strong motivation for employees. This puts decision-making into the hands of those who are closest to the job and have considerable insight into problems and solutions.

At the time of the creation of human beings, Allah has given some power to them so that they can do activities according to their own choice but within the boundaries of Islam. As he says in the Qur’an, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority (vigerance).”

Welfare of Mankind/Customer

Quality management in the Islamic system is not merely to produce any outcome with excellence, but to produce a desirable and beneficial outcome for the welfare of mankind/customer. As Allah says, “Creation of human life to test who is the best in

the performance implies rewarding or otherwise for performance.”

Trustworthiness (Amanah)

Anyone holding a post of an executive administrator, leader, or worker holds the public trust, such as people believing that they will provide the products/services with the right quality as they say. Therefore, he is accountable for this duty.

The Qur’an says “Allah doth command you render back your trusts to those to whom they are due; and when ye judge between man and man that ye judge with justice; verily how excellent is the teaching which he gives you; for Allah is who hearth and sees all things.”

Trustworthiness is an Islamic value that should be realized in an Islamic administration. Implementing this Islamic value in administration is indicative of making every staff a trustworthy person. The Quran has commanded that a Muslim should be a trustworthy person :

“If any of you deposits a thing on trust with another, the trustee should (faithfully) discharge his trust and let him fear his lord.” The prophet says that there is no faith (iman) for an untrustworthy person. So, every organization should try to keep the customers’ beliefs.

Sincerity (Ikh’las)

Any executive or administrator of any organization should execute his responsibility sincerely whenever it is entrusted to him. It may be the responsibility to produce quality products or provide quality services. The Qur’an teaches us that a person must do his work sincerely as when he worships his god.

“Say; verily I am commanded to serve Allah with sincere devotion.” Say; “It is Allah I serve, With my sincere (and exclusive) devotion.”

Accountability (Hisbah)

As an executive or administrator or leader or worker, one is responsible for any action, who has been taken under one’s supervision. Like where, an organization is also responsible to provide better quality products to the customers. As the Qur’an says:

“Then, anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, shall see it. And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.”

“Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another’s burden”.

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for. That (the first of) his striving will soon come in sight. There will be reward complete.”

Dedication (Sidk)

To be successful, an organization must be dedicated to its activities and operations. The tradition of the Prophet has stated that, “Allah loves any person who has devoted towards one particular job until he is able to muster the works”.

Gratefulness (Shukr)

A good product cannot result from a half-hearted worker. A worker would not work wholeheartedly unless he is satisfied with his job. But satisfaction is something subjective and relative.

Thus Islam teaches the principle of gratefulness, the sprit of which can be drown from the Qur ‘an.: “O ye who believe, eat the good things that we have provided for you and be grateful to Allah, it is Him ye Worship.”

“He said: This is by the grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful and if any is grateful, truly his gratefulness is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is free of all needs, supreme in honor.”

“And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicity): ‘If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you: But if ye show ingratitude, truly my punishment is terrible indeed.”

Thus in a TQ organization, the employees should be grateful to the organization and the organization should be grateful to the employees and customers at first and then to Allah (SWT) for His kind support.

Moderation (Tawassut)

Islam is against extremism. All decisions and actions should be taken on the basis of moderation. As the Qur’an says :

“Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes)”.

“Thus have we made of you an ummah justly balanced, that ye might be a witness over the nations and messenger a witness over yourselves.”

The essence of Islam is to avoid all extravagance on both sides. In this way, the organizations will be able to provide better quality products at lower prices.

Consistency (Mudawamah)

The tradition of the Prophet (SAW) has taught a Muslim to be consistent in his works. Allah loves one who is delighted in his work. It is through His way that a person can become a skilled worker. In the Quran, Allah says, “O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.”

In the hadith it is said “You do all of your works in such a way that you will leave in this world for ever.”

Cleanliness (Taharah)

Cleanliness is a part of faith. Every Muslim should be outwardly and inwardly clean. As the Qur’an says :

“Say : ‘Not equal are things that are bad things and that are good, even though the abundance of the bad may dazzle thee. So, fear Allah, O ye who understand, that (so) ye may prosper.”

Every organization will have to maintain cleanliness in both the operating system and in the working environment as well, if they have belief in Islamic indication. Maintaining cleanliness everywhere within the organization will help it produce/provide quality products/services that can help it satisfy its customers easily.

Discipline (Nizam) and United Effort

Discipline is very important in Islam. There is no example in nature where there is no discipline. The success of any system is very much dependent on the ability of every person who is involved in implementing a system to sustain discipline and order. As the Qur’an says :

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alteration of the night and the day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah (SWT) has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven earth are signs for a people who use reason.”

Every creation in this universe is obeying discipline willingly or unwillingly. And this system helps to continue this universe righteously. As the Qur’an says,

“Then He [Allah] directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, ‘come [into being] willingly or by compulsion.’ They said, ‘we have come willingly’.”

“Do you not see [i.e., know] that Allah causes the night to enter the day and causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term, and that Allah, with whatever you do, is Acquainted?” The like verses are mentioned in surah Al-Fatir (35 :13), Ya-Seen (36:40), Az-Zumar (39 : 5) and so on.

Not only to be disciplined is enough to be successful but work unitedly. As Allah says, “Truly Allah loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.”

Like this, if the people, working in an organization, are disciplined and work unitedly to achieve the goal to produce quality product, Allah will help them to achieve those.

Cooperation (Muawanah)

Islam encourages people to work together and to be ready to help one another as the Qur ‘an says: “Help ye one another in righteousness and piety. But help ye not one another in sin and rancor. Fear Allah, for Allah is strict in punishment.” Without proper cooperation of the related people/departments, it is not possible for the organization to maintain its committed quality.

Conscientiousness and Knowledgeablity in all Endeavors (Itquari)

The Islamic term itqan. which means conscientiousness and knowledge in all endeavors, is almost an obligatory feature of Islamic work ethics. Indeed, Islam unambiguously encourages all its adherents to acquire the necessary knowledge of things he or she wants to do before he attempts to do it.
The Holy Qur’an declares that Hazrat Yousuf (AS) said, “Set me over the store houses of the land: 1 am a good keeper, knowledgeable.”

Knowledge here implies not only the what, but also the skill required to perform the task. After acquiring the knowledge, he or she must be conscientious in his or her undertakings. Conscientiousness also implies the presence of perseverance, passion and commitment to perform. It is only through this means, that one can almost surely achieve success.

Proficiency and Efficiency (Ihsan)

Ihsan is commonly understood as doing marginally more than the minimal requirement. For example, Islam teaches us to pay slightly more than the loan we have obtained as a gift and sign of gratitude to the person whose loan has benefited us. In this case, it is not interest because one is not obliged to pay that extra.

However, it is only an act of benevolence. But Ihsan also means proficiency and efficiency. This particular meaning will obviously enhance productivity. It is in the hadith, “Allah loves dexterous and efficient worker.”

Passion for Excellence (Fakhmah)

The most important ingredient for excellent performance is the existence of inherent passion within the individuals. Excellence is not achievable through an impressive organizational chart, lofty positions, or even handsome perks alone. They may be necessary prerequisites for excellent performance but are not sufficient.

It is the individuals with inherent passion for excellence that constitute the most important. Islam does not only admit excellence as a virtue but also encourages its adherents to excel in everything that they do. In order to direct a better way of action, the prophet (SAW) said, “Allah has ordered to complete every action in a better way.

When you slaughter (animal), do it in a better way. Slaughter properly is the animal meant for sacrifice. So everyone should sharpen the knife and let the animal meant for sacrifice die comfortably.”

Islamic Views and TQM Philosophies

A common phenomenon in all the approaches is that they do not differentiate the factors that relate to the qualities of managers themselves from those that relate to the affairs to be managed by them. All the approaches to quality management fail to link it to the philosophy of life.

The approach seems to be quality management in a business without linking it with one’s mission of life. At this point, we can distinguish between two components of the human mission:

  1. job-oriented mission,
  2. mission of life.

There is a purpose or mission of one’s life in this world, although its perception may vary from one belief system to another.

On the other hand, there is a mission of one’s job (employment). A person needs to strive for a high quality of performance to achieve these missions in life. The job-oriented mission is a subset of the mission of life (population).

Quality performance of this subset in an ethical manner helps to achieve the overall mission in life. This linkage between the set and the subset is missing in the conventional approaches.

With a few exceptions, most of the principles given by Deming are supported in Islam. The exceptions are Principle 3 and Principle 11.

Deming says in his Principle 3 that the organization should eliminate the inspection system in the middle of the production of products or the provision of services. But Islam does not support this, instead, encourages people to monitor the activities regularly and take corrective measures when necessary after critical evaluation.

The Prophet (SAAS) said, “The believers are like mirror for one another and the Muslims are like brothers.”

So when any one of you sees something wrong with your brother, it is his/her responsibility to rectify them”. It is very clear here that in human life and in the corporate world, we also have to inspect regularly to eliminate defective production.

Yes, we will also have to try to build quality into the product in the first place. In Principle 11, Deming suggested eliminating the practice of management by objective (MBO).

But Islam strongly suggests following MBO. As Allah says in the Qur’an, “Say, each works according to his manner (intention/objective), but your Lord most knows of who is best guided in the way.”

“Whoever should desire the immediate – We hasten for him from it what we will to whom We intend. Then we have made for him Hell, which he will (enter to) bum, censured and banished.

But, whoever desyncs the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer- it is those whose effort is ever appreciated (by Allah).”29

From the above verses, it is very clear that Muslims must have to set a noble objective to satisfy Allah, the Almighty by doing all the activities in this world in the best possible way guided by Allah and His Prophet (SAAS).

If one can set this type of objective in one’s life, no fraud or weakness may come in his works and he will try to achieve the best performance here and in the life Hereafter.

Other than these two, all other principles are supported in Islam with a few differentiations. Juran’s quality trilogy and Crosby’s 14 paintings are also strongly supported and even recommended in Islam.

Philosophical Underpinnings of Islamic TQM

The linkage between a job-oriented mission and the mission of life will positively affect quality management. In the Islamic system, management and any other mundane affairs of life are linked with man’s mission in life. This leads us to the philosophical underpinnings of quality management in the Islamic framework.

Broadly speaking, the philosophical underpinnings of human life and the management of its affairs in the context of the Islamic worldview are classified into four;

  1. Tawhid,
  2. Risalah,
  3. Khilafah,
  4. Akhirah.

1. Tawhid

Tawhid signifies the unity of Allah, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Wise, and the Seer of everything, Who maintains the universe through His unified law of nature (fitnah).

All mundane and other affairs of life and beyond will have to be consistent with this unified system. This unified system is known as Islam, the complete code of life. As Allah says, “Indeed, the only religion (complete code of life) in the sight of Allah is Islam.”

“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion (code of life) – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.”32

The man who follows the rules of Islam is known as a Muslim. Man has two dimensions in this matter;

  • to submit to Allah’s laws by force (Muslim by force),
  • to submit by choice (Muslim by choice).

The biological system of the human body follows Allah’s laws (nature) without choice (he is a Muslim by force). But a man may opt for a particular way of life by choice; s/he may be a Muslim by choice or a non-Muslim by choice.

Since Islam is the law of Allah, it has its own approach to the management of the mundane and other affairs of human life, including business.

One of the purposes of the creation of man in this world is that they will make the world a garden (following the rules of Allah) rather than a jungle. Tawhid demands to be a Muslim by force and by choice as well. Here, people always have to worship only Allah, not others.

But in the case of jobs, men/women are also accountable to the employers.

2. Risalah

Risalah is the institution that communicates the unified system of Allah to mankind. Allah sent the messengers to convey His message (the unified system and the code of life) to mankind.

It has two sources:;

  1. the Devine Books (books of Allah), which contain the unified system and the code of life, and
  2. The Sunnah, that is, the interpretation of the Book by the messengers through practice (fi’l), instruction (qawl), and approvals (taqrir).

The last divine book is Al-Qur’an, the last unified system and code of life is Islam, the last messenger is Prophet Muhammad (SAAS), and the sunnah has been narrated in several books of Hadith.

Thus, managing mundane and other affairs of life in an Islamic approach implies managing them according to the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Kilafah

3. Kilafah means vicegerency, which is the implementation of all the lord’s instructions according to his (lord’s) desire. The person who implements these is known as vicegerent or representative or khalifa. Man has been created in this world with a vision to carry out a mission.

The mission is to lead his life and the society as a whole, according to what Allah dictates, that is, to implement Allah’s rules in the world as His Vicegerent for the overall welfare of mankind in this world and in the life Hereafter.

In the Qura’n Allah says, “And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angles, Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority (vicegerent).”

“And it is He, Who has made you successors upon the earth.”

“Then We made you successors in the land after them so that We may observe how you will do.”

The vicegerency role, thus, amounts to managing all the affairs in line with Islamic norms and values. In business, the vicegerency’s role is to manage the use of resources in terms of exploration, allocation, production, distribution, and consumption according to Islamic norms and values.

4. Akhirah

The concept of Akhirah brings about the idea of accountability. Vicegerency is obviously subjected to accountability.

When a representative is commissioned to accomplish something on behalf of the authority, the former is obliged to give the accounts of responsibility to the authority. The people having a fear of accountability in Akhirah should be a good doer in this world.

As Allah says, “Creation of human life is to try who is the best in the performance, implies rewarding or otherwise for human performance.”36

“That Day, the people depart separated [into categories] to be shown [the result of] their deeds. So whoever does an atom’s weight of good shall see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil shall.” See it.” “And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason?”

Quality management in the Islamic system is not merely to produce any outcome with excellence but to produce a desirable and beneficial outcome for the welfare of mankind. A dual accountability system is present in the Islamic framework.

Dual accountability refers to;

  1. accountability towards the employer if it is an appointed position, to manage the entity as best as possible, and
  2. accountability towards Allah for the discharge of responsibilities according to the Islamic normative system, which requires high-quality performance even in slaughtering an animal for food.

An Islamic Approach to Quality and Productivity

In the Islamic code, which unifies all mundane and other aspects of life in the normative bondage of Islamic worldview, quality matters so much that one’s performance is judged by the quality, rather than the mere quantity”.

Quality deserves the highest attention in management. This is because low-quality management will naturally be transmitted to the whole system of a business or organization, and thus, the entire performance is subjected to sub-standard quality.

High-quality management, on the other hand, is expected to be reflected in the bloodstream of the whole body, and this is how a high-quality overall performance is expected to be. This is why Islam emphasizes high-quality management.

Islamic views of quality are comprehensive. According to Islam, quality brings positive changes for excellent performance in all spectra of human endeavors. It is a long-term process, and its improvement can continuously be refined as we go along.

Every individual and organization must work on quality performance by following proper approach and planning. Quality performance cannot be narrowly understood and means only to produce quality products and services that can satisfy customer demands.

Islam encourages productivity and discourages non-utilization of resources. Hoarding of money or other assets is discouraged. The religion imposes a 2.5% annual zakat on these assets.

It is stated that productive activities have to be in harmony with the Islamic ethical values. In producing and providing goods and services, striving for quality is the only factor that can determine success. An organization without quality will perish.

This is particularly true in the commercial sector. The competition is very tough, and those who fail to meet the customer’s requirements will have to leave the industry.

From an Islamic perspective, an organization must focus on the following four elements to pursue quality and productivity:

  • Quality workers
  • Effective leadership
  • Good management
  • Appropriate structural setup.

Qualify Workers

Islam insists on having quality workers in the organization who possess proper world views that can relate their positions and responsibilities with their loyalties to the Creator.

In addition, they must be able to lead their lives in harmony within the organizations, society, and the universe, along with the spirit of truth, justice, and cooperation. Quality workers possess the right attitudes, good character, and effective skills.

They must aspire to be productive and contribute to the organization. They should be assets rather than liabilities. Their presence should be beneficial and useful to the organization. They should be able to bring improvements and positive changes for quality living and performance in the organization.

Islam strongly rejects ineffective workers. Laziness and negligence in performing their responsibilities are considered ‘oppression’ and ‘cruelty’ that workers impose on themselves. The positive pronouncement by Allah (SWT) provides a clear perspective for workers to continuously explore all possibilities to improve their quality of living through quality performance. Islam, through divine revelation, provides an important law for man- “Allah will not change the fate of people until they try to change what is in themselves.”

This law of Islam requires every worker to take stock of one’s situation, learn from the past, and plan to direct changes to the desired ends both for the individuals and the organization.

Effective Leadership

A successful organization starts with a quality leader who has a vision and a mission to lead the organization to realize its goals and objectives. The task of leading an organization is a rare opportunity with a big responsibility. In Islam, it is a trust (Amanah).

Whoever is in the position of leadership has to work extremely hard and, at the same time, very effectively. In the present competitive environment, working hard alone is not sufficient.

The leader has to be smart so that the organization can be at the forefront. In Islam, the Muslim is required to excel in whatever task he is entrusted with.

Thus, to strive for supervisory control of an organization by a leader is virtuous. This eventually is considered an act of worship. This is a religious responsibility to help the organization to achieve its goal or objectives.

Thus, a leader cannot be indifferent and cool in efforts to improve the organization. The historical success of the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz to turn around the country from backward due to the weakness of the earlier leadership to prosperity was a very glaring example.

This shows that any unhealthy circumstance can be put back into a proper and dynamic order. The room for improvement is ample, and for Muslims, the sky is the limit.

Good Management

The path to quality performance in an organization requires a management approach based on humanity. Human resources can be trusted to carry out the job with full responsibility.

A successful management system normally allows subordinates to make full use of their abilities. It provides a platform where their potential can be developed without any constraint.

The top management is respecting them.

Participatory management style provides an avenue to extract the best of every worker. Islam insists that management should be conducted through the democratic process of consultation (Shura); Allah says, “And consult them in affairs.”32 “And they conduct their affairs by mutual consultation.”33

The universe is excellent because its management system, which is conducted by Allah (SWT), is very excellent. As Allah says in the Qur’an, “His Kursi (seat/position) extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not.”34

Appropriate Structural Set-up

Besides developing quality workers, quality leadership, and good management, a successful organization must also have a good and effective structural setup in line with the nature of its function. The purpose is to enhance the organization’s performance and success.

In the very early period of Islam, there was an Islamic State in Madina, and there was a structure of organizational roles headed by Prophet Muhammad (SAAS).

Hence, some principles should be followed to build a good organizational structure. These principles are:

  1. The organizational structure will give great emphasis on decentralization of authority and responsibility.
  2. The divisional setup in an organization must be based on the requirement to serve the mission statements of the respective organization effectively.
  3. Duplication of roles and responsibilities among different divisions should be minimized.
  4. Clear hierarchical roles and responsibilities of the positions and divisions must be spelled out without any confusion.

An Islamic approach for an organization to pursue quality and productivity, as has been deliberated above, was and is part of an approach to human societal setup as a whole.

Islamic Principles of TQM

Besides these, there are some Islamic Principles of TQM which may also be the criteria as a standard of quality. These are:

Intention or Objective (Niyah)

There is no act that could be accomplished without a clear intention or objective. Allah says, “Say, everyone does according to his/her intention.” In the Sunnah, it is told, “the result of every action depends on the intention of the doer.”

The Muslims have to have the mission statement or set objectives of the organization to set direction, the targets or measure of performance.

This has become the fundamental principle of Islam, whereby the intention inherent in any action determines whether it is good or blameworthy. Islam always encourages people to do any act on the basis of good intention.

Strategic Planning

Achieving quality and market leadership requires a long-range strategy. Improvements do not happen overnight. The success of Japanese manufacturers evolved over several decades. \

Planning and organizing improvement activities take time and require major commitments on the part of all members of the organization. Strategies, plans, and budget allocations need to reflect long-term commitments to customers, employees, stockholders, and suppliers.

“Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds.”

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is a part of the management of all systems and processes. In Islam, there is no upper limit of quality. Continuously one has to try to improve the quality of his/her performance. As Hazrat Ali (R) said, “If your today’s activities are not superior to that of yesterday, then you are not a good Muslim.”

In the Qur’an, Allah says, “O those who believe, why do you say what you do not act upon? To Allah, it is a great sin that you say something that you do not practice.”

If for any moment, one realizes that he has done more bad than good, he is expected to take immediate corrective and remedial action.

He has to correct the wrongs and improve on the good actions. This practice is in line with the principle of continuous efforts for improvement, which is the same as the Japanese principle of kaizen.

Competitive Benchmarking

This involves identifying other organizations that are the best at something and studying how they do it to learn how to improve your operation.

The company need not be in the same line of business. As Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed, in the life of the prophets for you there are the followable standards.”

Employee Empowerment

Giving workers the responsibility for improvements and the authority to make changes to accomplish them provides strong motivation for employees. This puts decision-making into the hands of those who are closest to the job and have considerable insight into problems and solutions.

At the time of the creation of human beings, Allah has given some power to them so that they can do the activities according to their own choice but within the boundary of Islam. As he says in the Qur’an, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority (vicegerent).”

Welfare of Mankind/Customer

Quality management in the Islamic system is not merely to produce any outcome with excellence, but to produce a desirable and beneficial outcome for the welfare of mankind/customer. As Allah says, “Creation of human life to try who is the best in the performance implies rewarding or otherwise for performance.”

Trustworthiness (Amanah)

Anyone holding a post of executive administrator or leader or worker is holding a public trust, such as people believe that they will provide the products/services with the right quality as they say. Therefore, he is accountable for this duty.

The Qur’an says that, “Allah does command you render back your trusts to those to whom they are due; and when ye judge between man and man that ye judge with justice; verily how excellent is the teaching which he giveth you; for Allah is who hears and sees all things.”

Trustworthiness is an Islamic value that should be realized in an Islamic administration. To implement this Islamic value in administration indicates making every staff a trustworthy person. The Qur’an has commanded that a Muslim should be a trustworthy person:

“If any of you deposits a thing on trust with another, the trustee should (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him fear his lord.”

The prophet says that there is no faith (iman) for a person who is untrustworthy. So, every organization should try to keep the customers’ beliefs.

Sincerity (Ikh’las)

Any executive or administrator of any organization should execute his responsibility sincerely whenever it is entrusted upon him. It may be the responsibility to produce quality products or provide quality services. The Qur’an teaches us that a person must do his work sincerely as when he worships his God.

“Say; verily, I am commanded to serve Allah with sincere devotion.” Say; “It is Allah I serve, with my sincere (and exclusive) devotion.”

“Say; Will ye dispute with us about Allah, seeing that He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and ye for yours; and that we are sincere (in our faith) in Him.”

Accountability (Hisbah)

As an executive or administrator or leader or worker, one is responsible for any action, which has been taken under one’s supervision. Likewise, an organization is also responsible to provide better quality products to the customers. As the Qur’an says:

“Then shall anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, see it. And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.”

“Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another’s burden.”

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for. That (the first of) his striving will soon come in sight. There will be reward complete.”

Dedication (Sidk): To be successful, an organization must be dedicated

to its activities and operations. The tradition of the Prophet has stated that,

“Allah loves any person who has devoted towards one particular job until he is able to muster the works.”

Gratefulness (Shwkr)

A good product cannot result from a half-hearted worker. A worker would not work whole-heartedly unless he is satisfied with his job. But satisfaction is something subjective and relative. Thus Islam teaches the principle of gratefulness, the spirit of which can be derived from the Qur’an.

“O ye who believe, eat of the good things that we have provided for you and be grateful to Allah it is Him ye Worship.”

“He said: This is by the grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful and if any is grateful, truly his gratefulness is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is free of all needs, supreme in honor.”

“And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicity): ‘If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you: But if ye show ingratitude, truly my punishment is terrible indeed.” Thus the organization should be grateful to the customers at first, and then to Allah.

Moderation (Tawassut)

Islam is against extremism. All decisions and actions should be taken on the basis of moderation. As the Qur’an says:

“Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes).”

“Thus have we made of you an ummah justly balanced, that ye might be witness over the nations and messenger a witness over yourselves.”

The essence of Islam is to avoid all extravagance on both sides. And, in this way, the organizations will be able to provide a better quality product at a lower price.

Consistency (Mudawamah)

The tradition of the Prophet (SAAS) has taught a Muslim to be consistent in his works. Allah loves one who is delighted in his work. It is through His way that a person can become a skilled worker. In the Qur’an Allah says, “O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.’

In the hadith it is said “You do all of your works in such a way that you will leave in this world forever.”

(xiv) Cleanliness (Taharah): Cleanliness is a part of faith. Every Muslim should be outwardly and inwardly clean. As the Qur’an says:

“Say: ‘Not equal are things that are bad things and that are good, even though the abundance of the bad may dazzle thee. So fear Allah, O ye who understand, that (so) ye may prosper.”

Every organization will have to maintain cleanliness in both the operating system and in the working environment as well if they have belief in Islamic indication. Maintaining cleanliness everywhere within the organization will help it produce/provide quality products/services.

Discipline (Nizam) and United Effort

Discipline is very important in Islam. There is no example in nature where there is no discipline. The success of any system is very much dependent on the ability of every person who is involved in implementing a system to sustain the discipline and order. As the Qur’an says:

Indeed, in the citation of the heavens and the earth, and the alteration of the night and the day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah (SWT) has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven earth are signs for a people who use reason.”

Every creation in this universe is obeying discipline willingly or unwillingly. And this system helps to continue this universe righteously. As the Qur’an says,

“Then He [Allah] directed Himself to the heavens while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, ‘come [into being] willingly or by compulsion.’ They said, ‘we have come willingly’.”

“Do you not see [i.e., know] that Allah causes the night to enter the day and causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term, and that Allah, with whatever you do, is Acquainted?”

The like verses are mentioned in surah Al-Fatir (35:13), Ya-Seen (36:40), Az-Zumar (39: 5) and so on.

Not only to be disciplined is enough to be successful but to work unitedly. As Allah says,

“Truly Allah loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.” Like this, if the people, working in an organization, are disciplined and work unitedly to achieve the goal to produce quality product, Allah will help them to achieve those.

Cooperation (Muawanah)

Islam encourages people to work together and to be ready to help one another as the Qur’an says: “Help ye one another in righteousness and piety. But help ye not one another in sin and rancor. Fear Allah, for Allah is strict in punishment.”

Without proper cooperation of the related people/departments, it is not possible for the organization to maintain their committed quality.

Conscientiousness and knowledge in all Endeavors (Itqan)

The Islamic term itqan, which means conscientiousness and knowledge in all endeavors, is almost an obligatory feature of Islamic work ethics. Indeed, Islam unambiguously encourages all its adherents to acquire the necessary knowledge of things he or she wants to do before he attempts to do it.

The Holy Qur’an declares that Hazrat Yousuf (AS) says: “Set me over the storehouses of the land: I am a good keeper, knowledgeable.”

Knowledge here implies not only the what, but also the skill required to perform the task. After acquiring the knowledge, he or she must be conscientious in his or her undertakings.

Conscientiousness also implies the presence of perseverance, passion, and commitment to perform. It is only through this means that one can almost surely achieve success.

Proficiency and Efficiency (Ihsan)

Ihsan is commonly understood as doing marginally more than the minimal requirement.

For example, Islam teaches us to pay slightly more than the loan we have obtained as a gift and sign of gratitude to the person whose loan has benefited us. In this case, it is not interest because one is not obliged to pay that extra.

However, it is only an act of benevolence. But Ihsan also means proficiency and efficiency. This particular meaning obviously will enhance productivity. It is in the hadith, “Allah loves dexterous and efficient workers.”

Passion for Excellence (Fakhmah)

The most important ingredient for excellent performance is the existence of inherent passion within the individuals. Excellence is not achievable through an impressive organizational chart, lofty positions, or even handsome perks alone.

They may be necessary prerequisites for excellent performance but are not sufficient. It is the individuals with inherent passion for excellence that are most important.

Islam not only admits excellence as a virtue but also encourages its adherents to excel in everything that they do.

In order to direct a better way of action, the prophet (SAAS) said, “Allah has ordered to complete every action in a better way. When you slaughter (animal) do it in a better way. Slaughter properly the animal meant for sacrifice. So every one should sharpen the knife and let the animal meant for sacrifice die comfortably.”