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LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT SERVANTSHIP




By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

Leadership is about the fear of Allah and adherence to the Sunnah. Leadership is about the plight of the people, the plight of the masses. Leadership is not about comfort, it is about humanity. Leadership is about justice, equity, fairness and probity. In Islam, a leader is expected to see himself as a servant of the common man, otherwise, the purpose of leadership will be defeated. If you can't serve the people you are governing effectively, position of leadership is not your portion. In the first place, a leader must be ready to follow the dictates of Allāh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in whatever he is doing. On the other hand, a leader must hold his followers to his heart and be just in his dealings with them.

It is not good to praise-sing politicians because they are easily carried away by peoples' praises for them. Most politicians get intoxicated by the actions of their sychophantic followership. As Justice Abdulraheem Ahmad of the Kwara State Shar'iah Court of Appeal, noted in his last khutbah at his Masjid, many leaders do end up in failure because their followers only tell them they are always right. They hardly tell them what they are doing wrong for them to make corrections. However, sometimes, when we see some fair ones among them and we don't encourage them by our words, many people would not know that they are not entirely the same and our conscience will be pricking us if we don't say what we know, even if they wouldn't like it.

There is someone I have so much respect for among the political class in my community. I am not sure if he had ever held a political office before his current appointment. Despite the fact that himself and those he works closely with have little or no influence on the present government at the center, he has been trying his best to assist his constituents without much of publicity despite being a journalist. I have silently influenced a number of community driven projects through him and he would personally tell me not to tell anyone. In fact, what I am doing now, he would not like it. But I don't care. I think it is wise for us to commend some of our silent achievers.

Although we met here on Facebook, but unknown to him, we are from the same area. I knew him since when I was very small. He and his friends used to visit my Dad on matters relating to Muslims and the media. Their generation of journalists are models for other Muslims journalists in our society. As hostile as the profession is to their likes due to their religious teachings and background, they still try to defend the image of Islam in the media in the best way they can. I will urge him and those who are like him to work more on this. 

One day, my Dad said he had an appointment with him. I requested him to greet him for me. He said: do you know him? I said: yes. I said he should describe me as "As-sudaisiy", his friend on Facebook. He was surprised to discover he knew my Dad. This was a secret I had kept from him for years. He follows my elementary admonitions on Facebook and asks questions through inbox on regular basis. His thirst for true Islamic knowledge (Sunnah) is evidential in the way he asks his questions on religious issues. Sometimes, when he asks big big questions, I tell him to wait so that I can consult my teachers who know better and get back to him.

As expressed by Robert Greene in his 48 Laws of Power (Law 11, page 82), it is a common trait of politicians to do good to people with the intention of making them to depend on them. Most politicians would only help you in order to enslave you. But with my level of interaction with this man, he understands the concept of doing good for the sake of Allāh. He knows the importance of sincerity (ikhlas) in the efforts of a Muslim. He always want to assist people. Even if you need his assistance and he doesn't have the capacity to assist at that moment, he raises your hope and responds to you calmly. 

I am not a fan of democracy, I believe in a shar'iah compliant society. I don't do politics and I try as much as possible to distance myself from politicians because of evils of democracy, especially how it is practised in Nigeria. I also have phobia for position of authority due to what Allāh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said about it. However, not out of place to express gratitude to anyone who does good, whether the person is a politician or not. The fact that a person is a politician does mean one cannot thank him or her for things he or she does right. More so, many of our politicians don't do the right thing. If we see anyone doing the right thing among them, it is not wrong to commend them. It is even from the Sunnah to pray Allāh to guide our leaders aright.

Although no one can be too clever for shaytān to deceive. May Allāh protect us against him. No one feels safe from the evil of riyaa' (show-off) except he is already into it. But with constant remembrance of the Hadith of Ameerul Mu'mineen, Umar ibn Al-Khattab رضي الله عنهم that "every action shall be determined by its intention", we must continue to admonish ourselves to do good for the sake of Allāh alone. This is one of the qualities that many of our elitists lack. They make sure that they do not help you except you have something to give to them in return. They will only help you if you will not blow their trumpet. They will only help you to use you and perhaps dump you. It is important for us to know that we can only be rewarded for our acts of goodness towards people if we do it for the sake of Allāh alone.

With the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19), this is a trying time for the whole world, especially the poor people. The case of many people in Nigeria is even worse. I use this opportunity to call for more humanitarian efforts by our leaders and the rich in our society. There is need for adequate distribution of relief materials to people. People need food to stay at home, they need free face masks to move around in case of emergencies, they need free sanitizers and so on. 

May Allāh guide us aright.

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