COMMERCIAL/FINANCIAL CONFLICTS

If someone asked you the causes of World War I and World War II, the best possible answers would be: misunderstandings, power struggle, conflicting ideas and opinions, and last but not least, disagreements between those who claimed to be the world’s strongest nations.

The creation of the League of Nations (of which our beloved 48th Imam, Mowlana Shah Sultan Muhammed Shah (A.S), represented India and served as President from 1937 – 1938), which later became the United Nations, was necessitated for the purpose of ending wars and promoting peace, unity and harmony in the world. The United Nations primarily uses dialogue and mediation to settle any differences that emerge between nations.

Mediation is a technique used widely to resolve various conflicts including but not limited to Commercial/Financial, Matrimonial, Family/Domestic and Jamati/Social conflicts. The key principles in mediation are voluntary consent; confidentiality; neutrality and impartiality; without prejudice, which are non-binding until there is a settlement agreement signed by all parties involved.

Imam Jaffer Saddiq (A.S) said, “The Charity which Allah loves the most is the peace re–established between quarrelling parties”. In our Jamat today, there seems to be a notion that the Conciliation and Arbitration Board (CAB) only helps to resolve Marital conflicts. This notion is not true as CAB deals with all types of cases as mentioned above.

In this article, we shall look at the root causes or the initiating causes of Commercial/Financial conflicts.

  1. Poor documentation – Most people rely on “word of honor” which later results in major misunderstandings, for failure of anything being put in writing or having witnesses for the transactions done. Other factors are: no audit trail or share agreements pertaining to the capital invested; no exit strategy in business partnerships & contracts; undocumented management decisions; no formal “Terms of Reference”; one-sided contracts/agreements; disagreement as to how one or more terms of the agreement should be interpreted.
  1. Unethical intention – these are conflicts that result from greed, jealousy, revenge and hatred.
  2. Financial Distress – the following can also lead to conflicts: lack of planning or due diligence prior to entering into a business venture; lack of industry knowledge and experience; poor business governance or leadership; lack of advisory/professional services; excessive debt; lack of financial planning; bad investment decisions; unethical practices such as lack of integrity, fraud, abandonment, or concealment; change in economic conditions; increased business competition; physical or mental health problems of a party or his/her family member; matrimonial or family non-health issues.
  3. Non-financial Distress – conflicts resulting from one or more of the following factors, but without financial challenges attributable to the conflict: insufficient due diligence regarding the venture; insufficient due diligence regarding other people involved in the venture; health conditions; matrimonial or Family issues.

CAB also mediates Employer–Employee related conflicts. It is common for business people within the community to employ Jamati members and this relationship at times can lead to differences. Nelson Mandela said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner”. Let not your heart be filled with hatred for one another as the great Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for eye makes the whole world blind”.

Our beloved Imam, Mowlana Shah Karim, had a vision in mind when he created CAB, to make sure that Ismaili brothers and sisters all over the world resolve their conflicts in an amicable and peaceful manner using services of CAB without resorting to litigation.

Let us uphold this vision and appreciate that there is no gain in another person’s loss. Together we can create a better community and lives for ourselves and our children.

References: –

Case trends data as consolidated by ICAB

Nelson Mandela, A Long Walk to Freedom

If you have any questions or wish to have more information on a particular subject, please feel free to contact any CAB member. Our contact information has been placed on all Jamatkhana notice boards.

 

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