Date :Friday, January 5th, 2018 | Time : 19:25 |ID: 57886 | Print

The Ideal Leadership (Part 6)

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SHAFAQNA-In his treatise of rights, Imam Ali bin Al-Hussayn (as) is mentioned to have said that:

“As to the rights of a Sultan (Chief-leader), you should be aware that he is already burdened with deep problems and subjected to hard test for your sake”. (Therefore do not cause to overload him with extra problems).

Normally a leader is mentally burdened and heavily occupied in the discharge of his numerous duties for his people. He very much needs peace of mind and co-operation from the people. Therefore it is only prudent and reasonable not to add to his burdens. It is only fair to expect people to be considerate and assist him in his duties.

Unfortunately in some societies today, the role of a leader is reduced to that of a supervisor, to oversee traditional rites and settle some disputes here and there. In a society which aims high, a leader with a desire to do real good for his people needs to have a wide scope. Indeed such a person may have high ambition to uplift the standard of his people in several spheres.

In the circumstances, whereas he is performing more important duties, it is but fair that he is absolved of worrying about, say spoons and plates at a feast or chairs at a meeting. Alas! He gets frustrated and exhausted at times with limited and narrow scope allowed for his role. Moreover, cheap criticism, distracting and divisive arguments by those with superiority complex deprives him of peace of mind he always needs.

Therefore it is only fair that people should know that they have a duty to be considerate and co-operate with their leader in the discharge of his duties.

Obviously no leader shoulder his responsibilities smoothly without the help of advisers. As such it becomes imperative for him to choose and seek advice from the right people to ensure that he is not misled on any issue. To Malike Ashtar, the governor-designate of Egypt, Ali bin Abi Talib (as) gave the following advice:

“Do not include among those you consult a miser who would keep you back from being generous and caution you against destitution.

Nor a coward who would make you feel too weak for your affairs.

Nor a greedy person who would make beautiful to you the collection of wealth by evil ways.

This is because although miserliness, cowardice and greed are different qualities, yet they are common in having an incorrect idea about Allah”.


A true and intelligent leader does not display his superiority over his people nor does he impose himself or stage his personal show-off. Instead,he inspires and encourages teamwork spirit. Consultation and exchange of views become the rule rather than exception in order to get the best out of his colleagues. This involvement in decision making wins their confidence, strengthens their will and resolution and boosts determination to shoulder responsibilities. Thereby they get satisfaction of accomplishment through teamwork for common good.

By accustoming his mind and remembering to say Thank You in sincere appreciation of every small or big service rendered, he is likely to attract more co-operation and assistance from his colleagues and from public in his work programs.

The Prophet of Islam was once on a journey in the desert of Arabia accompanied by his companions. They broke the journey at a place for prayers, and distributed among themselves the jobs to be done for cooking food. One started clearing the ground, another sent to fetch water and another prepared to slaughter a lamb for meat. They saw the prophet move out to gather firewood. His companions protested saying they did not expect their leader to take part and soil his hands in such activity. The Prophet smiled and replied he would not sit idle and would participate in the work like everyone else. Allah did not like him to exalt his position over his companions. So saying the Prophet went and brought in firewood from the bush.

In such an august personality as the Holy Prophet displayed such humility and spirit of working in union with his followers, should not leaders emulate this noble example?

Released by:

Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff

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