Thank you for visiting this blog. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you find error/s. We would appreciate your comment to improve your experience in this blog.


Presented at the Ministry of Water and Electricity Riyadh on 24th February 2010 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule MB ChB (MUK), MPH (Harvard), DrPH (Harvard)

·         Understand how  to make effective strategic moves

·         Basic terminology
·         Incorporation of strategic moves in the strategic plan
·         Speed of strategic moves
·         Types of strategies vis-s-vis an opponent
·         Assessment of key players before making a strategic move 
·         Sequence of strategic moves
·         Conditioning of strategic moves
·         Zero sum vs variable sum moves
·         Factors to consider in planning strategic moves
·         Assessment of benefits/losses  of cooperation vis a vis confrontation
·         Strategic moves in cases of extreme uncertainty
·         Brinkmanship
·         Pre-emption


·         Umrat al qada: fulfillment of the treaty
·         Treatment of believing women who came to the Muslim camp


·         Post-Hudaybiyyah: Management Of Strategy 6-8 H
·         The Makkah Campaign: Case Study Of A Grand Strategy


Content: This chapter discusses the practical moves that are needed to implement a strategic plan and how to deal with obstacles and counter-moves from opponents of the plan

Basic terminology: strategic thrusts, strategic moves, programs,  action plans: Strategic thrusts are statements of strategic intents. Programs are translations of strategy into projects. Action plans are specific practical steps towards implementing a strategy, including tasks and timing. Strategic moves are actual measures taken to implement the strategy.

Incorporation of strategic moves in the strategic plan: Strategic moves must be incorporated in the strtegic plan. A strategy is useless unless it incorporates the necessary strategic moves that must be made, their timing and sequence. Flexibility is needed in planning strategic moves. The environment may change considerably during plan implementation which necessitates revision of the planned moves.

Speed of strategic moves: There are 3 types of strategic moves: (a) Sudden and major to throw competition off balance (b) Paced and incremental with continuous evaluation (c) Slow today, major impact in long-term perspective.

Types of strategies vis-s-vis an opponent: There are three types of strategies: dominant, dominated, and equilibrium. You must use dominant strategies and eliminate dominated ones. Equilibrium strategies are sometimes the best because each player's response is the best response and there is mutual benefit.

Assessment of key players before making a strategic move: Before making any strategic moves, key players (for and against the plan) must be identified and must be assessed. Key player assessment involves: their motivation, relative power, strengths, weaknesses, and probable behavior.
Sequence of strategic moves: Strategic moves may be sequential or simultaneous.

Conditioning of strategic moves: Strategic moves may be conditional or unconditional. Conditional moves are taken in relation to threats and promises. Promises and threats could be used as either deterrents or compellents. Unconditional moves  do not have to wait for some other event to occur. They are taken independently

Zero sum vs variable sum moves: In a zero sum situation, in which one person's gain is always another person's loss, pre-emptive action may be the best course of action. There are non-zero sum situations in which through collaboration and coordination, 2 players can assure a win/win outcome. In the extreme situation,  non-zero sum situation may end as lose-lose

Factors to consider in planning strategic moves: Relative power, resources, time, and the environment are to considered in assessing benefits/losses of particular strategic moves. Your Power, resources, timing . The opponent's power, resources, timing. Environmental changes affecting you and the opponent

Assessment of benefits/losses  of cooperation vis a vis confrontation: When deciding on which strategic moves to make, you have to consider your power vis-a-vis that of the opponent in the light of the benefits of cooperation with them. When your power is high it is better for you either to set your terms (if your benefit is low) or collaborate (if your benefit is high). If your power is low consider accepting the best offer (if yur benefit is low) or accommodation (if your benefit is high).

Strategic moves in cases of extreme uncertainty: Some strategic moves can be taken whatever the level of uncertainty. If you have nothing to lose and there is a slim chance of gaining, make the move even if the odds are overwhelmingly against you. If the immediate gains are more than the losses, the decision to make a move should be based on the long-term impact of a possible failure. A failure that could threaten the continued existence and efficient functioning of the organization should not be taken lightly.

Brinkmanship: Brinkmanship in strategic thinking is risky but may also be associated with a lot of rewards. It should be avoided where control or understanding of the risk are limited. Conservative players never approach the brink in any situation. The risk rises with the increase of the level of uncertainty. More daring players get near the brink and even stand on it. If they are wise they better know how to extricate themselves. If they do not know how to get out of such a situation, they have only themselves to blame for whatever catastrophes may follow.

Pre-emption: Pre-emptive moves involve taking reactive moves even before the events reacted to have not yet fully unfolded. Pre-emptive moves result in gain of lead-time. Reaction  to events before they occur gives you an advantage and an upper hand.


Umrat al qada: fulfilmnent of the treaty: Truly did Allah fulfil the vision for His Messenger. You shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, with minds secure, heads shaved, hair cut short, and without fear. For He knew what you knew not, and He granted, besides this, a speedy victory. Qur'an 48:27 … Narrated Al‑Bara': When the Prophet intended to perform 'Umra in the month of Dhul‑Qa'da, the people of Mecca did not let him enter Mecca till he settled the matter with them by promising to stay in it for three days only. When the document of treaty was written, the following was mentioned: 'These are the terms on which Muhammad, Allah's Apostle agreed (to make peace).' They said, "We will not agree to this, for if we believed that you are Allah's Apostle we would not prevent you but you are Muhammad bin 'Abdullah." The Prophet said, "I am Allah's Apostle and also Muhammad bin 'Abdullah." Then he said to 'Ali "Rub off (the words) 'Allah's Apostle' ", but 'Ali said, "No, by Allah, I will never rub off your name." So, Allah's Apostle took the document and wrote, 'This is what Muhammad bin 'Abdullah has agreed upon: No arms will be brought into Mecca except in their cases, and nobody from the people of Mecca will be allowed to go with him (i.e. the Prophet ) even if he wished to follow him and he (the Prophet) will not prevent any of his companions from staying in Mecca if the latter wants to stay.' When the Prophet entered Mecca and the time limit passed, the Meccans went to 'Ali and said, "Tell your Friend (i.e. the Prophet) to go out, as the period (agreed to) has passed." So, the Prophet went out of Mecca. The daughter of Hamza ran after them i e. the Prophet and his companions) calling, "O Uncle! O (Uncle!'' 'Ali received her and led her by the hand and said to Fatima, "Take your uncle's daughter. Zaid and Ja'far quarrelled about her. 'Ali said, "I have more right to her as she is my uncle's daughter. Ja'far said, "She is my uncle's daughter and her aunt is my wife.' Zaid said, "She is my brother's daughter." The prophet judged that she should be given to her aunt, and said that the aunt was like the mother. He then said to 'Ali, You are from me and I am from you", and said to Ja'far, "You resemble me both in character and appearance", and said to Zaid, "You are our brother (in faith) and our freed slave." Bukhari 3: 536-538, Hadith #863

Treatment of believing women who came to the Muslim camp: Narrated 'Urwa bin Az‑Zubair that he heard Marwan bin Al‑Hakam and Al‑Miswar bin Makhrama relating one of the events that happened to Allah's Apostle in the 'Umra of Al‑Hudai­biya. They said, "When Allah's Apostle concluded the truce with Suhail bin 'Amr on the day of Al‑Hudaibiya, one of the conditions which Suhail bin 'Amr stipulated, was his saying (to the Prophet), "If anyone from us (i.e. infidels) ever comes to you, though he has em­braced your religion, you should return him to us, and should not interfere be­tween us and him." Suhail ‑refused to conclude the truce with Allah's Apostle except on this condition. The Believers disliked this condition and got disgusted with it and argued about it But when Suhail refused to conclude the truce with Allah's Apostle except on that condition, Allah's Apostle concluded it Accordingly, Allah's Apostle then returned Abu Jandal bin Suhail to his father, Suhail bin 'Amr,and returned every man coming to him from them during that period even if he was a Muslim. The believing women Emigrants came to (Medina) including Umm Kulthum, the daughter of 'Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait was one of those who came to Allah's Apostle and she was an adult at that time. Her relatives came, asking Allah's Apostle to return her to them, and in this connection, Allah revealed the verses dealing with the believing women).'Aisha said, "Allah's Apostle used to test all the believing women who migrated to him, with the following verse. 'O Prophet! When the believing Women come to you, to give the pledge of allegiance to you(60: 12) when Allah ordered His Apostle to return to the pagans what they had given to their wives who lately migrated (to Medina) and we were informed that Abu Basir..." relating the whole narration. Bukhari 5:317-318, Hadith # 496

(a)        Draw a table showing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for Muslims in the years 6 AH and 8 AH

(b)        Draw a table showing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for Quraish in the years 6 AH and 8 AH

(C)       Identify strategic issues for Muslims in the post-Hudaybiyyah period. What strategic moves were made? What were the consequences? what were the original strategic moves? what were the counter-moves?


(a)        What was the ultimate vision of the Makkah campaign? Did it become a reality?

(b)        What was the mission of the Makkah campaign?
(c)        Can you identify any externally-imposed mandates?

(d)       What were the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and  threats for (i) the Muslims (ii) the Quraysh?

(e)        What were the strategic issues facing (i) the Muslims? (ii) the Quraysh?

(f)        Reconstruct from your reading what you think were the main elements of the Muslim strategic plan. How was each implemented?

(g)        What strategic considerations were behind the efforts to avoid humiliating the Quraish?

(h)               Who were the stakeholders among the Quraish? How were they won over? What were the strategic considerations behind treating them well?



Writings of Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr

This section provides thoughts in Islamic Epistemology and Curriculum Reform.
This section covers motivation of a medical student and development of personal skills: social, intellectual, professional behavior etc. It also equips the medical student with leadership skills that will be required of him as a future physician.

New Items

This section contains monthly e-newsletter presents the most recent developments in the fields of Islamic epistemology and educational curriculum reform summarized from books, journals, websites, interviews, and academic proceedings (conferences, seminars, and workshops). We also accept original contributions of less than 500 words...

Recent Uploads

This section provides inter-disciplinary books authored by renowned scholars.

This section contains different e-journals.