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Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Sunnah of leadership

Leadership in Islam is not a matter to be sought. In fact, it is actually something to be avoided and shunned. Most people want leadership in order to sit in front of everyone and order people. Thinking they have reached the place where they are meant to be. Or the place where their nafs/ego tells them where they should be. Therefore, either seeking leadership in any position, whether it be spiritual or otherwise, should not be striven for.

Early on

This is exemplified with none more so that the first four caliphs. After the passing of the blessed Messenger (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) the Muslims were in a predicament. They needed a leader and who was going to be a leader? Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) came to a gathering of the Al-Ansar/the Helpers, about who was going to be the next leader. He reminded them of the statement that the leaders are Qurayshi. 

الأئمة من قريش  رواه أحمد

The Messenger (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Leaders are from Quraysh." (Imam Ahmed)

Then Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the only Qurayshi present was Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and they should take the oath of allegiance with him. Then the companions decided and confirmed on Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them). 

Before this event, Al-Abbas had seen many of the sons of Abd Al-Muttalib pass on and reminded Ali (may Allah be pleased with them) that he should ask for leadership. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) refused to ask. 

فَقَالَ لَهُ أَنْتَ وَاللَّهِ بَعْدَ ثَلَاثٍ عَبْدُ الْعَصَا وَإِنِّي وَاللَّهِ لَأَرَى رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سَوْفَ يُتَوَفَّى مِنْ وَجَعِهِ هَذَا إِنِّي لَأَعْرِفُ وُجُوهَ بَنِي عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ عِنْدَ الْمَوْتِ اذْهَبْ بِنَا إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَلْنَسْأَلْهُ فِيمَنْ هَذَا الْأَمْرُ إِنْ كَانَ فِينَا عَلِمْنَا ذَلِكَ وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي غَيْرِنَا عَلِمْنَاهُ فَأَوْصَى بِنَا فَقَالَ عَلِيٌّ إِنَّا وَاللَّهِ لَئِنْ سَأَلْنَاهَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَمَنَعَنَاهَا لَا يُعْطِينَاهَا النَّاسُ بَعْدَهُ وَإِنِّي وَاللَّهِ لَا أَسْأَلُهَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ . صحيح البخاري:ج4/ص1615 ح4182 و ج5/ص2311 ح5911

He (Abbas) said, "You, I take oath by Allah, will be a servant of a staff (under someone else's rule). I swear by Allah that I have seen that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him, will pass away from the illness. I truly know the faces of the offspring of Abd Al-Muttablib during death. Go to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him, and ask him for this matter. If it would be with us then we would know and it was outside us then we will bequeath it." He replied, "I swear by Allah, if I ask the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bestow peace and blessings be upon him, and he prevents us from it then the people will not give it afterwards. I swear by Allah that I will not ask the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him." Bukhari 4/1615.

This hadith is like a slap in the face of the Shia and proves that seeking leadership was not sought by the elite companions.  Ali (may Allah ennoble his face) knew the following.

قال: دخلت على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، أنا ورجلان من قومي، فقال أحد الرجلين: أمِّرْنا يا رسول الله، وقال الآخر مثله. فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: (إنا لا نولي هذا الأمر من سأله، ولا من حرص عليه).[ البخاري (8/107) ومسلم (3/1456

Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "A man came to the Prophet may Allah bestow peace and blessing upon him and said, "I and my two men are from my people." One of the two men said, "Make us leaders, O Messenger of Allah." The other said the same. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "We do not give leadership to he who asks, nor he who is keen for it." Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Seeking leadership is a sin. Yet how many people desire leadership as their 'birthright'!

وعن أبي هريرة رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنهُ أن رَسُول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: (إنكم ستحرصون على الإمارة، وستكون ندامة يوم القيامة) رَوَاهُ البُخَارِيُّ

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "You who sought leadership will be remorseful on the day of judgment." Al-Bukhari.

Why would they be so remorseful?

وعن عبد الرحمن بن سمرة - رضي الله تعالى عنه - قال: قال لي رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: يا عبد الرحمن بن سمرة، لا تسأل الإمارة فإنك إن أوتيتها عن مسألة وكلت إليها وإن أوتيتها من غير مسألة أعنت عليها، متفق عليه.

Abdurrahman ibn Samarah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessing upon him), "Do not seek leadership because if you are given it by request then you are left with it (not helped). If you are given it without asking, then you will be assisted." Agreed upon (Bukhari and Muslim).

This one should be more than enough to make people think twice. When you are a leader, you are responsible for those below you. If they commit sins then you are in their sins because you lied to them when you spoke.

There is an important note that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) did affirm some leaders like Sa'ad and Tufail. However, they were already leaders of their own people and there were not seeking leadership.

قال ابن حجر: "قال المهلب: الحرص على الولاية هو السبب في اقتتال الناس عليها، حتى سفكت دماء واستبيحت الأموال والفروج، وعظم الفساد في الأرض

Ibn Hajar (may Allah be pleased with him) said in Al-Muhlib, "keenness for leadership is the cause of people fighting each other for it, until blood is shed, wealth is squandered, armies and great corruption is upon the earth."

Just before Abu Bakr was about to pass away, he placed Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) in charge. This was also met with unanimous acceptance of the companions.

When Umar was about to pass away there was a meeting and the companions had difficultly deciding between Uthman and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them). Uthman was eventually chosen and then Ali, after Uthman's (may Allah be pleased with them) martyrdom. Ali, who even at this late stage, refused to accept it until he was compelled. After Ali was martyred Al-Hassan, his son, took charge (may Allah be pleased with them). Hassan would see two opposing parties of Muslims about to go to war. So he gave up his right to leadership to Mu'awiyah. This pacified both parties and made sure that war did not consume the early community. Sheikh Yusuf Al-Nabahani (may Allah show him mercy) said that Allah subsisted political leadership for spiritual leadership. As many of the spiritual masters are from the lineage of Al-Hassan (may Allah be pleased with him). In the Shadhali path most of the masters are from Al-Hassan and a few from Al-Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him). There  are some exceptions too like Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi who was from Al-Ansar. 

This period of thirty years was the rightly guided caliphate which was started with Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and Al-Hassan (may Allah be pleased with them all).

When Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) replaced Khalid Ibn al-Walid (may Allah be pleased with him) as leader of the army during Umar's caliphate. That did not change Khalid's striving. He continued as before and even took an oath to strive harder. Khalid also submitted to the new leader. So bear that mind because there is a spiritual message in there. 

To sum up there are three ways the companions became leaders:
1. By consensus of the righteous of them
2. The outgoing caliph appointed his successor
3. Compulsion, for the best man.

Later on with dynastic rule, the next caliph was the son of the outgoing caliph or the leader in the family. This became kingship. 

Leadership is not valid if a desert bedioun declares himself a ruler! This is not valid at all. Leaders must be nominated as we have explained.

Conditions for a caliph

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khadrami gave the following conditions (summerised) for a caliph in Itmam Al-Wafa/Complete loyalty:

1. Knowledge (rulings of Allah)

2. Justice (to all people)

3. Suitable (for leadership)

4. To be free of leprosy and illnesses. (p.10)

Its not necessary that the leader be from the Ahl Al-Bayt or be sinless. These are conditions for the Shia but many Sunnis were always more comfortable with a sharif. Though it should be for the best man or most suitable. 

Is it ever permissible to ask for leadership?

قال اجْعَلْنِي عَلَى خَزَائِنِ الْأَرْضِ إِنِّي حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ
He said, "Place me over the treasures of the earth because I am a knowledgeable overseer."
Quran: Yusuf 12:55.

The Prophet Yusuf (upon him peace) said the above to the Pharaoh; so the question, was he asking for leadership? No, the Prophet Yusuf (upon him peace) said this because he knew that no one could look after the stores of food like him, according to Al-Zajaj in Ibn Al-Jawzi commentary, "Know, Yusuf (upon him peace) is a Prophet and thus never approached sin ever. Know, that Prophets (upon them peace) speak when they are commanded to speak by Allah (the Exalted)." So this is not like a person now who seeks leadership in this time. In addition, he was not asking for leadership but he was asking to be a guardian over the food. He was not asking for leadership like others do. So this is an exception and not the rule. Yusuf (upon him peace) was the most able person to deal with the stores and only later did he become a leader. Although, some commentators use this as an evidence to ask for a position from a non-Muslim king." (Tafsir Al-Samarqandi).

The reason why I say that it is an exception because Yusuf (upon him peace) is a prophet and unlike those who seek leadership. Those who seek leadership are doing so because they are asking on the pretext of power and their nafs. 

Yusuf (upon him peace) did not do this and he was the only one who could have saved their stores of food.

What should we do when we need a representative in non-Muslim lands?

Many of us live in Non-Muslim lands and if we do not have someone to represent our needs then we will not be heard. What we should is get the righteous of us, not the masjid clubs members, to vote for someone to be put forward. 

We should vote for someone who has knowledge of religious needs and to be aware of the public needs. He should be one of the best of us.

Manners of leadership

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظّاً غَلِيظَ ٱلْقَلْبِ لاَنْفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَٱعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَٱسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي ٱلأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

Ahl Al-Imran 4:158

"It is by the mercy of Allah that you are compassionate to them, if you had been harsh hearted then they would have fled from around you. So pardon them, seek forgiveness for them, consult with them over matters, and when you have decided on a matter then rely on Allah because Allah loves those who rely totally upon Him."

This passage explains what leadership truly is. It is not about being in front of everyone barking out orders, forcing your opinions on people, or attacking them. Read the passage!

1. Ease with people
By being sagacious and welcoming.

2. Not burdening people
How many leaders burden their followers with lots of work? Do not burden people and do not make things hard. Some leaders command their students in haram actions. Yet, when there is no obedience to creation when there is disobedience to Creator.

3. Requests not commands to charity
He would encourage his companions to give charity and not force them. Like many leaders do, who force people to give certain amounts.

4. Never oppress or impose matters on people
This one is done by most leaders even if it's adhering to desires.
5. Establish justice and law
This is the main purpose of a leader.

Its not permissible to rebel against those in authority. Please click here to see Sheikh Yusuf Al-Nabahani's (may Allah show him mercy) work of obeying the leader.

Final points

As we have seen from this rather interesting post, that leadership is not about seeking it and getting what was rightfully yours, no. It is given and not taken or sought. Even becoming a Wali is a gift and not your choice. 

Leadership is not yours to seek and if you do then more fool you. As for the self-appointed leaders then you are in a dire state. Do not expect to be forgiven easily because you made yourself a leader and now you will pay the price. Walis are chosen by the Sheikh and are not self appointed. Self appointed people rebels without any legitimacy at all because it is against all the teachings we know. Neither do those who have dreams of permission to teach the spiritual path without being given it from a teacher in the world.

Sidi Ahmed Zarruq (may Allah show him mercy) said in Kitab Al-Inayah, "Do not listen to he who is like thunder and lighting and not to he who jumps up and sits."

Nuff said!

Sheikh Yayha Rhodus

Friday, May 25, 2018

New Book The Major and Minor signs of day of Judgement by Sheikh Yusuf al Nabhani (1842-1932)

The Major and Minor signs of day of Judgement" by Sheikh Yusuf al Nabhani (1842-1932)

Three books in one
1. Major and minor signs of day of judgment
2. Forty hadith on end of time of judgement
3. Forty hadith on obeying the leader
206 pages.

£9.99 plus £2.00 postage - UK only. International orders please email for postage costs.

To order or for enquiries please email:
Or buy click here 
or here

limited copies - once they're gone, they're gone.