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Opinions of Monday, 31 August 2020

Columnist: Abdul-Razak Lukman

Every Human is born humble but leadership unlocks their characters

Leadership can be a cumbersome task - File photo Leadership can be a cumbersome task - File photo

Well, everything I read, whether is on the internet, print media, social media or the likes, it makes me realise that I have so much to learn.

I experience an amazing rush of excitement. The kind of excitement that makes me want to live every second of my life for a purpose. This desire though is mostly focused on appreciating the creation of Allah and building humanity based on what our Creator has espoused us to do as poor slaves.

It is on the bases of our love for each other, our assistance to the needy, the downtrodden and our actions towards our fellow humans when in difficulty and happiness, depicts our stands/position before Allah on the day of judgement. We live in a world where some wealthy people act weird towards the poor without thinking for a second, what tomorrow might hold for him/her. As perishable beings as we are, we need to know very well that tomorrow is not guaranteed of a poor slave like us.

To those wealthy individuals with a passion for humanity and to alleviating the plight of the poor, they would receive a standing ovation authorised by our Creator to the angels. The principle is not about giving but is about doing so for Allah’s sake. The principle of giving in the books of Allah is not to achieve fame from congregants, not for religious fame or religious-politicking. But, solely for Allah’s sake. Allah, in His wisdom, knows us than we know ourselves. We are all the creation of One God, Allah, the Most Merciful. He created us for a purpose, and we undoubtedly will return to Him and be held to account for how we used the life He gave us.

I am someone who demonstrates an unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results, no matter how difficult it may be. We must be guided and act towards one another as special creatures amongst God's creation. We shouldn't laugh and smile in the Mosque and Churches with fellow believers and act very different outside of the same. We must not pray for guidance and protection from Allah if we cannot forgive others for wronging us. Must we continue to pray for forgiveness from Allah whiles we continue to plot against our colleague humans?

Fellow believers, don't hate him because he has been elevated to something you so wished to have as yours, don't plot against him because of his appointment or favours received from somewhere unknown to you; and never speak ill of him/her just to tarnish his name and never revolt against your colleague human being just because Mr. "A" says so. Your perspective on issues is different from your neighbour, and even your son, daughter or wife. And that doesn't mean that you are wrong or they are - all your perspectives might be right but whoever has the opportunity to act officially, is the God-appointed one.

Your appointment or elevation to Senior Manager, Accountant, Special Advisor, DCE, MP etc is not by your might but Allah wills the power to do whatever He likes at the time He deems it fit. However, speaking ill of or working against someone with an intent of causing disaffection is an indirect plot against Allah - the Provider of such a benefit.

Leadership is a cumbersome task especially when you are entrusted with the resources of a people. How you respond to the needs of the people, how you disburse finances with due process and transparency without having to look at your back to see if someone is watching you. He who does good things isn’t afraid of what happens at his back.

As a leader, you are a symbolic representation of Allah and the Creator wouldn’t appoint someone who isn’t passionate about helping humanity grow. So, you shall be asked how you led your people and how they fared well under your leadership. Every human is borne good but leadership/wealth unlocks the characters which were jailed by being a commoner.

My fellow brethren, what do you have inside you? Is it the ability to make money or steal money? Is it love or hate, violence or peace? Is it the mindset of inventing things to help humanity flourish? Or nursing a profession to putting tribes against each other and benefiting from same? Think about it.

It is reported by Bukhari & Muslim that: "There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah's sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position (for illegal intercourse) but says: 'I fear Allah', a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.’’ (Abu Hurairah & collected in Saheeh al-Bukhari (English trans.) vol.1, p.356, no.629 & Saheeh Muslim (English trans.) vol.2, p.493, no.2248).

For this reason, I feel pained reading and probably seeing how leaders of nations maltreat, abuse and harass their subjects just for the worldly course. To that, I always think of a day when almighty Allah will gather all humans at the same place and judge them according to their deeds individually. This is a day, we are religiously told, that there will be a ‘Scale’ which measures the people good and bad deeds. There will equally be a bridge over the fire of hell which leads to heaven and that bridge will take a different shape to every individual according to his/her deeds in life.

To a sinful and un-repented person, it would be narrow, scary and slippery till he/she falls to the rightful place. To a righteous person, it will be wide, pleasant and takes only a matter of seconds to cross to heaven. This is a day that Allah has no second chance to His poor slaves. This is a day that no parent could assist his children neither do the child. It is a day dubbed ‘everyone to himself and God for us all.’

Religiously, as espoused by both Islam and Christianity as to who gets favours to heaven on the day of judgement, I have a personal belief which I promise never to depart from. My cardinal principle is that it is not merely your religion which determines your position in the hereafter but your deeds when you were alive on this earth. Worship God as you can, be nice to people for His sake, help humanity as little as you can, abstain yourself where there is violence, preach peace and practise same, respect everyone regardless of their social standing, be just, transparent and humble whiles enjoying life.

In that, we can enjoy the infinite mercy of God. As fallible everyone is, that doesn’t stop us to continue doing good whiles being apologetic and repentant where necessary. Wouldn’t it be nice smiling with your neighbour, leader, friend, family in heaven! Tomorrow is not assured, let’s be nice to our fellow humans and even to animals and the good Lord would shower His infinite mercy on our poor souls.

We need to get up every time we fall, without losing hope, fighting till the end. We need to continue burning the flame of peace wherever we go. There are bound to be difficulties on the way but that should not deviate us from the path of God. We may cry during our struggles but we should not give up as there is success in our sweats. Continuous fighting is the result of success and quitting is a fiasco. Success isn’t complete if we fail to pass the test put before us on the day of judgement. Let’s ponder over it.