The Desire of Leadership

The lust of leadership and power is a common thing in people today. Just look at the politics of any country, you would find many people who want to be leaders of their nation and help them out in times of difficulty. The Islamic take on willingly accepting and asking for leadership is very different. In fact, there is no encouragement in Islam for such a desire and attitude.

Abdurahman ibn samaarah RA said that prophet Muhammad pbuh said, “"Do not seek to be a ruler, for, if you are given it by your asking, then you will be held responsible for it [i.e. Allah will not help you], but if you are given the authority of ruling without your asking for it, then Allah will help you." Al-Bukhaari: (7147) and Muslim: (1652)
Leadership is the greatest responsibility. If one seeks it, then he is indirectly saying that he has all the abilities to govern over people and he does not need help. But when one is chosen by Allah swt, then that person is the one who will get all the help from Allah swt regarding the matters of deen. In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad pbuh said;
"You people will be keen to have the authority of ruling which will be a thing of regret for you on the Day of Resurrection. What an excellent wet nurse it is, yet what a bad weaning one it is!" Al-Bukhaari: (7148).
What excellent and true words these are. They depict the situation of the greedy politicians of today. They all, when in power, enjoy their position, power and wealth. But when the time of death will come, they will be held responsible for all they did in their lives, ad especially for all they did when they were ruling over people. The politicians of today are the worst example of leaders. They first beg door to door by telling lies  for the votes and when people eventually believe them, their lust of power and wealth overcomes all their senses.

In their defense, some people may quote the following verse which says;
{[Joseph] said: "Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed I will be a knowing guardian."} [QUR’AAN: 12:55].
Now, the case here is different according to scholars. Prophet Yusuf AS never wanted or desired power or wealth, rather he was a chosen one, a prophet of Allah swt who preached and called people towards Allah swt. His purpose was to be obedient to Allah swt and correct the wrongs. So, the lust of leadership for worldly interests and the desire of leadership solely for the sake of Allah swt are too extremely different matters.

A leaderless community is not an idea in islam. Islam supports leaders. It is because, without a leader, a community would become directionless. This Is why prophet Muhammad pbuh said;
“If three people go out on a journey, then they should make one of them a leader.” Abu Daawood: (2608). Al-Albaani: Hasan.
Islam supports team, there is no concept of alone in Islam. It is because, satan always looks for easy targets, and a team less community or alone person is an easy target because directionless people cannot reach a decision easily and an alone person will not have anyone to talk to.

Becoming a leader is a huge responsibility. All the four khulafae rashideen did not sit easily when they were bestowed with leadership. They all feared, this is why they were khulafae rashideen, the right rulers.
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