Leadership plays a very important role in Islam and Islamic society from the leadership of the father over his family, the leadership of an Imam over his congregation and most importantly the leadership of a political ruler over the Khilafah state and the Ummah.
In Islam leadership is linked to responsibility as narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (saw) said:
«أَلَا كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ فَالْأَمِيرُ الَّذِي عَلَى النَّاسِ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ عَلَى أَهْلِ بَيْتِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ عَلَى بَيْتِ بَعْلِهَا وَوَلَدِهِ وَهِيَ مَسْئُولَةٌ عَنْهُمْ وَالْعَبْدُ رَاعٍ عَلَى مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْهُ أَلَا فَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ»
“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ameer (ruler) who governs the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the members of his household and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them. A slave is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 7138; Muslim, 1829)
This means leadership in Islam is not simply a matter of acquiring the position through elections as in Democracy, but rather leadership is judged upon the fulfilment of the responsibility.
A responsible political leader would be the one who puts the interests of the Ummah and Islam above all things – one for whom implementing the legislation of Allah (swt) is of the highest importance.
Those who currently reside in power in the Muslim world have made a habit of humiliating the Ummah of Muhammad (saw). They have no loyalty to Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw), but their loyalty lies with their colonial masters in the Western world.
It is for this reason why we see a global silence when Mohammad (saw) is insulted by the likes of Macron in France. It is also for this reason the Arab regimes are falling over each other to recognise the Zionist entity. Even those who do mention the few symbolic words to support the Ummah will ignore the atrocities against Muslims elsewhere such as China. Responsibility has become a pick and mix affair where rulers feel more accountable to the political circles which keep them in power than to the Ummah or Islam.
With the Muslim world struggling with poverty, Western companies exploit cheap labour in places like Bangladesh and Pakistan; those with the economic means to develop the Muslim world instead buy football clubs in Paris and Manchester. Even the very home of Muhammad (saw) is not safe; the land of Hijaz has been reduced to the plaything of Muhammed bin Salman. Anwar Gargash, UAE State Minister of Foreign Affairs, said about the UAE’s deal with the Zionist entity, “We think we have used our political chips right.” This clearly exposes the mindset of self-interest that exists in these despotic rulers.
The rulers of the past who ruled for the sake of Allah (swt) set the example by ensuring they put Islam and the Muslims before anything. That is why when asked to negotiate a price for Palestine with the Zionists, Sultan Abdul Hamid II said “While I am alive I would rather push a sword into my body than see the land of Palestine taken away from the Islamic State. This will never happen. I will not start cutting our bodies while we are alive”
This Ummah and the rest of humanity need rulers like Sultan Abdul Hamid II to save them from the failings of Capitalism and the selfish politics of Democracy. A hundred years after the destruction of the Khilafah (Caliphate), the world needs Islam once again.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by