The Signature Biriyani

“Indecision is the enemy of progress. Not saying yes to one possibility is saying no to them all.” Michael Haggstrom

Imagine being in your favourite restaurant. People flood the place for their signature biriyani. You are the lucky ones to get a table with your family. Your family starts going through the menu, one meal at a time. They discuss the possibilities of how tasty each will be and the cost. At the counter, those who didn’t get a table are happily leaving with their biriyani packed to be eaten at home. By the time you are ready to order the biriyani, which is why you were there, the waiter announces that there is no more biriyani. He says, “We have got other options though.” What is your reaction to that? Disappointed? Upset at your family for taking too long to decide what they want to eat? Maybe even angry! The worst part is when we shift the blame to the Qadar of Allah by saying, “It wasn’t meant for us today.”

This is what happens in many schools. The lack of not deciding at the cost of growth. I know making decisions, especially those that will cost us money and time can be scary. The possibilities of it not working and meeting failure can paralyze us sometimes. But look at it from another angle, what will happen if you don’t decide? What will it cost you? I have seen school A shy away from deciding to develop their schools, they stayed indecisive for so long that a new school, B, opened. It opened its doors starting with kindergarten and primary and now running up to secondary school. Who is at a loss? Imagine if school A had developed and opened that new wing of primary and secondary? Chances are that parents would enroll in their school because they have been open longer than the new school. That’s an opportunity lost!

I remember my school, the one I owned. The days when I was facing financial constraints, the tears and worries I had every end of the month. When a new Islamic school opened, in the same neighbourhood, with better facilities. I made a decision that day and visited the school. My intention was to meet the owner and offer to join hands to make one better Islamic school. Although, my request didn’t work. Today I confidently share this story knowing that I did what I could but it didn’t materialize and Allah is the best of Planners. Imagine if I had stayed indecisive and not take that step. I would be regretful and wonder what would have happened if I did take that step before closing?

We all face issues in our schools that need us to decide, Sometimes the decisions are autopilot while others tests our ability to make decisions. The key is to do your homework, make a decision, tawakkal and move forward. There will always be uncertainty even when we are to decide either to have coffee or tea. You might decide to have coffee that day and it spills all over you or you might end up enjoying ever sip. Staying indecisive doesn’t help your school to progress, it is a hindrance and a loss.

If you are a school leader who is struggling with decision making, email me at for a 30 minutes breakthrough call to isolate what is causing you to be indecisive.

Rukiya Issa

Rukiya Issa is a Teacher coach who leads an Islamic school and the founder of Hopeful Muslim Teacher (HMT). She is pursuing her Bachelors of Education(Arts) and aims to empower Muslim teachers to show-up with confidence, clarity and purpose. She holds a Diploma in Educational Leadership, primary teacher certificate and is also a certified professional life Coach. Rukiya believes that academics, Teacher mindset, skills and teacher growth are not only a fundamental part of student success but are also the building blocks to attain a life long impact in building a holistic child. In addition to leading a school, she runs an online madrasa program with the aim of making Islamic education accessible to all. She has been recognised for her innovative teaching and learning approaches in all her teaching positions in different schools. Furthermore, her exceptional approach to leading change in Ar Risalah Academy, currently the Principal, was evidently recognised by the School board of Directors. Rukiya has been engaged in variety of voluntary projects in education like; - Islamic Curriculum Development at Maahad Teachers' Training College Nairobi, Kenya. - Lesson Plan Integration Project with Dr Bilal Philips - Islamic Studies Teacher at Maryam Center, Doha, Qatar.

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