Friday, February 8, 2013

The 'unwise' leader...

******************** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ******************* Reflection ********************** The Declining Day (Al-'Asr) 1. By the declining day, 2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss, 3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. ************************** EVERYONE is a leader, says an ‘ustaz’ (religious teacher) during a ‘tazkirah’ (Islamic session) at a masjid near my house recently. In the office, there is a leader; at home the husband is the leader and when he is away, the position falls to the wife. ************************* Ibn ‘Umar reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Everyone of you is a ruler and everyone of you shall be questioned about those under his rule; the king is a ruler and he shall be questioned about his subjects; and the man is a ruler in his family and he shall be questioned about those under his care. *********************** ‘The woman is a ruler in the house of her husband, and she shall be questioned about those under her care; and the servant is a ruler so far as the property of his master is concerned, and he shall be questioned about that which is entrusted to him’.” ********************* “But how often have we had to face unwise leaders,” commented the ustaz. "For example in the office, there are bosses who call for a meeting a few minutes before the 'azan’ (the call of prayers), in the house the husband demands his wife to serve lunch at 1.00 pm when is about time to perform the ‘zuhur’ (mid-day prayers)." ********************** Then there are husbands who take their families to the ‘pasar malam’ (night market) or to have dinner at ‘gerai’ (stalls) and restaurants just before ‘maghrib’ (dusk) prayers. They would be there for an hour or two; by the time they go home, the time for ‘maghrib’ prayers would be over. ************************* There are also bosses in office that call for meetings on Friday starting at 11.00 am and sometimes their discussions drag on until 1.00-1.30 pm. This situation puts pressure upon some workers because they have to rush to the masjid for their Jumaah prayers. Sometime ago we heard of a female boss dragging on with her meeting without allowing her male colleagues to take time off for Friday prayers. *********************** Tales of these ‘unwise’ leaders do not stop at the home and office, but is also rampant among top brass of the country. For example it was well known that the Prime Minister would start delivering his annual budget speech at 4.00-4.30 pm when the call for Asar (late afternoon) prayers is about to be aired and he would continue on perhaps until 6.30 pm when the next ‘solat’ time (maghrib) would be called in a few minutes time. ************************ Then there some top guns especially in private sectors calling for press conferences or having functions beginning at 7.30 pm when a practising Muslim is about to perform his maghrib prayers. As for the ‘maghrib’ prayers period is short, this situation put a good Muslim in a very tight situation. ********************** The ustaz said, a wise Muslim leader would plan his schedules and that of his colleagues and inferiors in accordance with ‘solat’ times. If this is not the case, then why would the religious authorities and even media such as newspapers, even those in English; provided and print schedules of prayer times? ********************* “If we know the solat time for zuhur is at 1.15 pm, then why start a meeting at 1.00 pm? Isn't it proper to start the meeting at 2.00 pm after those involved have performed their prayers.Why must we start a budget speech at 4.30 pm; why not begin it at 5.00 pm?” asked the ustaz. ******************** The ustaz said leaders must be fair in their undertakings including the usage of time among their subjects. They just can’t ‘rob’ or take time as they wish from their workers. If it is ‘solat time’, they have to adhere to the needs of the workers; furthermore it is their rights to answer the call of Allah to perform their prayers. ******************** He said a fair leader or leaders who uphold justice are among seven groups of people that would be rewarded and sheltered in the Hereafter. The Prophet say: “There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: A JUST RULER; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: 'I fear Allah', a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.' (Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim) ************************ A just leader (including a father, a boss in the office and of course top guns of the country) should be fair to his/her inferiors in everything including the usage of time. Our time should be spent wisely; we should divide it into accordingly for example our time with The Creator (Allah SWT), our fellow office workers, our wives, childdren and. ********************** If a leader upholds justice, then he is on the right track to get recognition for the Prophet s.a.w. say: "He who obeys me obeys Allah, and he disobeys me disobeys Allah; and he who obeys the Amir (leader) obeys me, and he disobeys the Amir disobeys me; and the Imam is an armour for protection, the battle is fought for his defence and through him protection is sought. So if he commands the doing of duty to Allah and does justice, he has a reward for it; and if he does otherwise he shall suffer the consequences of it." ********************** 'Ubadah ibn Samit said, "The Prophet invited us, so we swore all allegiance to him; and among the conditions which he laid down on us to follow was this, that he had a promise from us to hear and obey, whether we like or disliked and order and whether we were in adversity or ease, even if our rights were not granted; and that we should not dispute the authority of those entrusted with it, adding unless you see an act of open disbelief in which you have a dear argument from Allah." ********************** When Caliph 'Umar appointed governors the condition laid down upon them were: "You shall not ride a horse that is not of Arabian breed; you shall not eat bread made from fine flour; you shall not wear fine clothes; and you shall not shut your doors against the needs of the people. If you do these things punishment shall descend on you." - Pearls of the Prophet (Islamic Outreach-ABIM) ******************* In Surah An-Nisa’ (Woman) 58, Allah SWT says. "Verily Allah commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and when you judge between people, you judge with justice; verily good is the admonition Allah gives you; verily Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing." ***************** Regarding judging between people, this verse points to a very important subject. It is the proposition of observing justice in government. The verse, conveying the command of Allah, says:"... and when you judge between people, you judge with justice; ..." ****************** The term' deposit' has a vast meaning. It includes any physical and spiritual capitals. In this article, we discussed among others the father's influenced on his children including injecting negative traits such as taking them to 'pasar malam' or going out to eat during maghrib time. Our children are also the deposits of Allah with us. We must not neglect training and educating them. ***************** Beyond than that, our existence and whatever power Allah SWT has given us are the deposits of Allah, and we should try to protect them carefully. So why take our children out for dinner during maghrib time and to the boss at the office why having a meeting at 1.00 pm?

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