Take Responsibility

Heartfelt Plea

Take Responsibility

Muhammad Imran Attari, Head of the Central Executive Committee of Dawat-e-Islami

The first Reviver of Islam, Umar b. Abd al-Azīz رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه was a rightly guided caliph who reigned for two years and five months. He fulfilled his duties as caliph by establishing justice and eradicating oppression across the land. He was given this responsibility without asking for it.[1] A difference exists between asking to rule and being given the responsibility of governance, as explained by the final Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم when he declared, “O ʿAbd al-Raman, son of Samurah! Do not seek to be a ruler, for if you are given authority of ruling without you asking for it, you shall then be helped. If you are given it by your asking, you shall be held responsible (i.e. you will not be helped).”[2]

Sense of responsibility

Umar b. Abd al-Azīz رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْه began to cry after being made leader. ammād رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه asked why, and he replied with, “I fear this duty.” “Do you have any love for the dirham (wealth)?”, ammād further asked. After the caliph responded in the negative, the latter reassured, “Then you have nothing to fear, as Allah Almighty will help you.”[3]

Maktabat-ul-Madinah has a book regarding the life of the caliph, entitled, ꜤUmar bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Kī 425 ikāyāt. The following is an extract from this:

Observe how Umar b. Abd al-Azīz رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه reacted when he received duty of becoming caliph without seeking it. His reaction was not one of elation. He was instead worried by the responsibility on his shoulders. Contrary to this, we strive for positions of power and do not halt until our desires are fulfilled. If our efforts fail to yield a favourable outcome, it ruins our mood and causes us to engage in sins like jealousy, backbiting, slander, finding faults in others, and cultivating rancour in our hearts towards them.

ammād رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه reassuring the caliph serves as a testament to his religious mindset. If the heart is not corrupted by the greed of wealth, then one will be granted well-being and goodness, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه. The final Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم describes how greed for wealth leads to ruin; “Two hungry wolves released among a flock of sheep do not cause as much destruction as a man’s greed for wealth and fame does to his faith.”[4] [5]

Virtues of a just ruler who fulfils his responsibilities

Umar b. Abd al-Azīz رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْه was a just ruler who fulfilled his duties to the ummah. According to hadith, a just ruler will be shaded by Allah’s mercy or His throne on the Day of Judgement.[6] One day of a just ruler is better than sixty years of worship.[7] Pious and just rulers will be stationed on pulpits of light on the Day of Judgement.[8]

A ruler who betrays those under his supervision and does not fulfil his responsibilities, should pay heed to these warnings issued by the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Here are six narrations regarding this:

Those who fail to carry out their duties

1.   If a person is entrusted by Allah to deal with the matters of people but acts dishonestly towards them and dies in this state; Allah forbids Paradise for him.[9]

2.   A ruler who obtained control over the affairs of Muslims but does not strive for their betterment nor serves them sincerely, shall not enter Paradise with them.[10]

3.   If a ruler does not strive for the betterment of his people as he does for himself, Allah will cast him into Hell on his face on the Day of Judgement.[11]

4.   Whoever is responsible for any matter of the Muslims will be brought forth on the Day of Judgement and made to stand on the Bridge of Hell. He will cross the Bridge if he performed good deeds, but if he did wrong, he will fall into Hell at a distance of 70 years’ journey.[12]

5.   Whoever becomes responsible for Muslim’s affairs but neglects the poor, oppressed and those in need, Allah will withhold His mercy from that individual when he needs it most on the Day of Judgement.[13]

6.   “Whoever governs over matters of my ummah but leads them to difficulty, the بَھْلَہ of Allah is upon him.” The Companions عَلَیْہِمُ الرِّضْوَان asked, “O Messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! What is the بَھْلَہ of Allah?” The Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم explained, “It is the curse of Allah.”[14]

O those who love Allah’s Messenger! I entered the Islamic environment of Dawat-e-Islami in 1991, and I read the biography of Umar b. Abd al-Azīz رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه in 1994 or 1995.

اَلْـحَمْـدُ لـِلّٰـه I developed love for him ever since because of his remarkable character. If someone wishes to see the blessings of the life of the Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and other great Companions عَلَیْہِمُ الرِّضْوَان in one person, look no further than him.

He was enriched with the light of knowledge, ascetism, and piety. He loved the people of knowledge and consulted them regularly. The society of his time centred around fearing Allah, having piety, and acting upon Islamic law. This strengthened security and the economy in a short period, which are both invaluable components of any country or state.

I encourage everyone, especially responsible Islamic brothers and those in positions of authority, to fear Allah Almighty and remember both the grave and the Hereafter. One should fulfil their duties to people. Make intention to read the biography of Umar b. Abd al-Azīz رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه and follow in his footsteps. If Allah Almighty wills, it will inspire you to fulfil your responsibilities with care and passion.

May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to fulfil our responsibilities properly.

اٰمِیْنْ بِجَاہِ خاتَمِ النَّبِیّٖن صلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہ ِوَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ

[1] Tārīkh al-Khulafāˈ, pp. 184-185

[2] aī al-Bukhārī, vol. 4, p. 311, Hadith 6722

[3] Tārīkh al-Khulafāˈ, p. 185

[4] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, vol, 4, p. 166, Hadith 2383

[5] Hazrat Sayyiduna Umar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Kē 425 Hikāyāt, pp. 119-120

[6] Sahīh al-Bukhārī, vol. 1, p. 480, Hadith 1423

[7] Al-Mujam al-Awsa, vol. 3, p. 334, Hadith 4765

[8] Sahīh Muslim, p. 783, Hadith 4721

[9] Sahīh Muslim, p. 78, Hadith 363

[10] Sahīh Muslim, p. 78, Hadith 366

[11] Al-Mujam al-Saghīr, vol. 1, p. 167

[12] Al-Mujam al-Kabīr, vol. 2, p. 39, Hadith 1219

[13] Musnad Ahmad, vol. 5, p. 315, Hadith 15651

[14] Musnad Abī Awānah, vol. 4, p. 380, Hadith 7023




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