Islamic Date

09 Shawwal

English Date

31 May

Should You Ask for Leadership

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "He who has been used as an ameer (leader) over a group while there is among them a person with whom Allah is pleased more (than him), he has indeed betrayed Allah, His Messenger and the group of Muslims. [Al-Hakim]

This hadith was graded Sahih by Imam Suyuti. It highlights the grave responsibility on the shoulders of the one who is in a position of power and authority. Leadership belongs to the person who is better in Islam.

Another hadith tells us that we should not ask for leadership. Should it be thrust upon us, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will help us to discharge its responsibilities. But should we ask for it, we are asking for trouble.

The person in a position of leadership is responsible not only for those people who are under his care, but also for the land they live on, the air they breathe, and even for the fish in the water that flows through the land. Should the factories in that land be allowed to pollute rivers with toxic waste, will he not be held accountable before Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) for the lives that were harmed under his care?

The litmus test regarding worthiness of leadership is to see whether the person in question is asking for it or not. If a person asks for leadership, they probably are not aware of the responsibilities that come with the position and, therefore, probably won't do a good job.

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said to Abu Dharr Ghifari (radi Allahu anhu), to save him from a position: "Verily, you are weak and it (leadership) is a responsibility." [Sahih Muslim] When the pious and ascetic Abu Dharr was considered weak by Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) where would we stand?