After the demise of Nabi ﷺ, the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم unanimously appointed Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه as the khalifah/leader. During his acceptance speech, he said, “Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. And if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, then I have no right to your obedience.” In our small circles, we are all in different positions of leadership. For example, a husband is a leader over his family, a mother is a leader over her children and a teacher is a leader over her students. Nabi ﷺ has stated, “Every one of you is a shepherd, and will questioned about his flock.”
Bearing his leadership in mind, Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه was first and foremost cautious of his relationship with Allah. He placed this at the forefront of his service. Likewise, we must also put this principle at the forefront of our lives. Unfortunately, abuse of power is common within our communities. It is easy for a husband, Imam or principle of a Madrassa, to assume that they can get away with wrongdoing due to their status in the community. This incorrect and almost arrogant mindset, stems from lack of personal accountability, and forgetting that we will be held accountable before Allah.
A good leader is humble. When those under their leadership hold them to account, they accept and change for the better. Sometimes in a family business, a son may correct his father’s shortcomings. A son may be the one to tell his father that interest is haram. If the father rejects his advice and continues to trample on the laws of Allah, his own son will lose respect for him. The next time he advises his son on any matter of deen, he will take his words lightly, remembering how his father rejected his correct advice on deen. Therefore, lead, by example. Remember Allah and obey Him, for if you can’t obey Him, how can you expect others to obey you?
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 28/12/17 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.