By : Mohammed Jehan Khan
‘The leader leads, and the captain drives’ says a Wiseman. At times, I feel that, in today’s world, we need more ‘Leaders’ than ever before. Because we have many captains, but leaders? very few. look around the lands of Muslims and Arabs and you will find that ‘skepticism’, ‘despondency’, ‘anathema’ are working hard to take over our reins, created and maintained by the British few decades ago, for their own survival.
Since then the ‘Muslim Realm’ has produced many scapegoats, lobbies and -European-American-Zionist bootlickers. They are all interdependent for their security and survival on their foreign Master. You don’t have to be a Harvard graduate to list at least some of the most tyrannical and infamous leaders of the past century, Saddam, Ghaddafi, Ben Ali, al-Sauds, Maktoums, Qaboos, Ayatollahs, Hosni Mubarak, Hameed Karzai and al-Assads are no exception but the stooges of the same foreign politics. Many millions of innocent people lost their lives under the manipulation, control and resulting satanic carnage such tyrannical figures perpetrated against humanity. In a nutshell, they are ‘A Bad name to the Greatest Religion of Islam’.
Somehow it’s greatly manifested that we are seeing less and less of the ‘Leaders’ in every sphere of our lives. The death of late South African president Nelson Mandela was such an archetype that how a true leader should be. The world mourned for that great personality, regardless their ethnic, religious background almost everyone showed condolence over him and his family. Even when he was alive, People honoured him, which reminds me of a saying of Ali (RA) : ‘Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company’. How many of our Muslim leaders follow that allegory? One, two? Is that enough for them to rule more than 1/5th of land of the World, the Muslim realm streching from the rainy Sumatra Islands on the east to the sun steeping Agadir of Morroco on the West?
Innocent muslims are slaughtered, brutalised, raped and burnt alive around the world and how many of our so called leaders have taken any measures to put to barricade for this? Rather than doing so, they collaborate and assisted in the US-European and Israeli invasion and destruction of Muslim countries a killing millions of Muslims. Why such absurdity? Of course it’s the fault of the people who elect and choose such hypocrites to rule their lands.
Award winning historian Dr. James Burns, compiled a highly influencial book in 2010 named ‘Leadership’ in which he gives us a broad picture of true leaders, which is thorough, incisive and instructive on many levels of their lives. He precedes his prologue on ‘How people should get to know their Leaders’. Here’s a summary, I took from his book. These are few typical errant tactics of self absorbed bad leaders.
1. A bad leader is a schmoozer, who chats up people to persuade them or gain favor, business or connections. He gives false promises and decieve people just like a babysitter decieve the child with toys. He keeps all his people in enchantment of his word, but very few he does to the betterment of the horde.
2. A bad leader is sect and clan based, who discriminate and persecute the minority of the horde which does not belong to his tribe, race or religion. take Saudi rulers, only Saudis can live in the Kingdom and no other can recieve the citizenship. citizenship of caliphate is for all Mankind including Muslims not for “Saudis”. Saudi expels Muslims let alone giving them citizenship. When Saladin (Salah-Ud-Din Ayyub) drove the invading barbaric Crusaders from Jerusalem, the first thing he did was invite the Jews to return, the great Rabbi and philosopher Maimonides was the personal physician to Saladin, the most venerated Muslim warrior in history.
3. A bad leader is playing to his own favourites, just like Arab dictators please their foreign masters for their own survival. They spend few dollars on starving population while they spend billions of dollars to purchase arms from their American masters (US-Saudi arm sale – $45.5 billion annual), yet they have that ‘Audacity’ to call themselves humanitarians.
4. A bad leader is a Hypocrite. Hypocrisy is feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not. He leads others astray in order to gain advantage over them or to elevate himself.
How, then, is a true leader identified? Dr. James gives us a brief illustration.
1. True leaders begin with humility. Humility is the singular key to divine knowledge, spiritual understanding and godly wisdom. Without humility, one cannot be taught. Umar ibn al-Khatthab (RA) who ruled the Rashidun caliphate was used to aid his own people by his hand, nor he wore expensive, posh attires but his companions say he had ’12’ patches on his thobe (a drape like attire Arabs wear) which he wore when giving public sermons. He once said that if a dog dies on the tigris valley, it is Umar who should take the responsibility. His lifestyle was built up in ‘Humbleness’ and only a humble person can be taught God’s words of eternal life to then be able share them with others.
2. True leaders love people. People’s suffering is his suffering, he loves his people regardless their religious and ethnical backgrounds.
3. True leaders love others. When Ireland was starving the Ottoman caliphs sent four ships containing grains while the British monarchy ordered their peasant to destroy crops to keep the prices hike.
4. True leaders aren’t envious of minorities. envy can and will consume a person who aspires to lead others for the wrong reasons. Often people go through their entire lives not realising that they are envious of others’ successes, though others may see it. Envy is defined as resentment against another believed to enjoy an advantage with a desire to have that same advantage. During 50’s, Sri Lankan Extremist government brough a fanatical resolution which devastated the Island for more than 30 years. The government headed by the president Soloman Bandaranaike brought a bill named ‘Sinhala only act’, which replaced Sinhala as the Island’s official language, which made ‘Tamil and English’ speaking minorities to step down or retire from their jobs over night. The regime recently sponsored an ‘Industrial Espionage’ to ban ‘Halal’ foods, which they succeeded this year.
5. True leaders value and strive for good character. Good character is difficult to come by because it does not come naturally. It comes through self-denying sacrifice in serving God and others true leaders are not womanisers just like Gulf shiekhs.
6. True leaders are not extravagant. It was not until 2003 that a member of the Saudi royal family publicly acknowledged that the kingdom has poor people. And why would they dare notice? The Saudi royals are too busy leading supercilious lives of extreme decadence and indulgence with ill- gotten oil money. And where is that money going? Yachts on the French Rivera, homes in Cannes, endless nights in London clubs and brothels, and shopping trips to Paris. An utter waste. They spend so much money overseas that Spain and France compete as to where the members of the royal family will spend their summers (maintaining homes in both nations), because wherever they go they spend lavishly in the local economy and bring a massive entourage. Their excesses know no bounds.
7. True leaders emulate great leaders. True leaders are made, not born. Indeed, truly great leaders follow the greatest of all leaders ever born, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). According to Michael Hart, he was the greatest leaders and ranked 1st in the most influential people’s list.
During the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, a programme themed “Celebrate Humanity” designed to communicate the core values of the Olympic and leaderships. The narrator Robbin Williams gave us a short and a sweet introduction to ‘True Leaders’.
To be a giant – This has forever been our passion, this desire to be a giant. Not to stand on one’s shoulders or have one for a friend, Though these may be fortunate things, But to be one. Giants step over barriers that seem never- ending. They conquer mountains that appear insurmountable. Giants rise above fear, Triumph over pain, Push themselves and inspire others To be a Giant, To do Giant things, To take Giant steps, To move the world forward.
I think it is time that we start bringing change as a society – change is a slow process and will take time in institutionalising. However, we must resolve to build a culture which nurtures the passion to be a ‘Giant’; which salutes the ability to bring positive changes in the Muslim realm and inspire others to do so; which does not rest on past laurels but incentivise the process of creating a better tomorrow; which creates a Muslim community where we must never face scarcity of ‘Giants’; which creates an environment where ‘hope’ always has an upper hand on ‘cynicism’ and ‘despair’.
(Mohammed Jehan Khan is a Sri Lankan Independent Socio-Political writer, a Columnist at The Lahore Times, can read his column at http://www.lhrtimes.com/author/jehankhan/ and Follow him on Twitter @OfficialJehan)