On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (ra) who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then (let him change it) with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of eeman.” – Muslim
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
One of the common hadiths that teaches us to be proactive and take ownership of our lives is the one we related above. The hadith basically explains that if you see anything that is bad (i.e. injustice/corruption) and if you have the means to change it with your hands, then you have to do it. If you can’t change a situation with your hands, then you change it with your tongue – by speaking out and alerting the public and the leaders. If you still can’t do it by voicing out, then your heart must reject the wrong – and this is the least you can do.
In other words, a Muslim cannot just be an innocent bystander.
When we speak of responsibilities, the basic responsibility of every Muslim wherever they are is also to the self, the family, and the community. Beginning with one’s self, Allah in the Qur’an says, meaning: “Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself and indeed he fails who corrupts his own self.” – Surah As-Shams, 91: 9-10.
It is imperative for everyone to strive to keep himself clean and pure from any injustice and corruption by being with good company and in a good environment. He who fails is the person who corrupts himself or allows others to corrupt him.
Evil exists everywhere and in everyone. Allah in the Qur’an says, meaning: “O you who believe, save yourself and your family from the fire of Hell …” – Surah Tahrim, 66: 6.
This ayah is a guidance for every believer who wants to lead or be a leader. The minimum that they must do is to ensure that they have fulfilled their basic obligation towards Allah by performing the wajibat – to himself and to his immediate family, on which he has authority upon them. If they have failed to even perform this basic obligation within themselves and their families, then they have failed to be a leader. The best leader for us to follow is Prophet Muhammad (ق), as Allah has said in the Qur’an, meaning: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a fine example of conduct to follow.” – Surah Al-Ahzab, 33: 21.
Leading by example is the best form of leadership.
We also have a responsibility towards our community. Allah says in the Qur’an, meaning: “Disgrace has been destined for them – wherever they are, they shall not find peace, except by a rope from Allah and a rope from men …” – Surah Ali’ Imran 3:112. This ayah is to remind us that we will fail and we will cause disgrace to ourselves until we have a good connection with Allah and a good connection with our fellow mankind. This is to show us that Islam is not just talking about being good to one’s self, but we must also be good to others. The Prophet (ق) did say: “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” – Bukhari & Muslim
It is not right when you want the best for yourself, but you forget to give the best to the community. You want justice for yourself, but you show injustice towards others. You want to have a good life, but you make others miserable. You like the comfortable life, but you neglect the comfort and wellbeing of the community. You live securely, but you don’t care about the public’s security. You want ease for yourself, but you forget the burdens, sufferings and pains of others.
To move forward, for the betterment of all of us in this country and to compete globally, let us follow this Divine guidance. Allah The Creator, The All Knowing and All Seer of what will happen in the future, has informed us, meaning:
“ … Be ready to help each other to change to be better and do not help or support evil and aggression. And be mindful of Allah; indeed Allah is severe in penalty.” – Surah Al-Maidah, 5:2.
Therefore, the best lifestyle is simplicity, because simplicity is part of eeman (the meaning of the saying of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the greatest leader of all mankind.)
We hope that both scholars and leaders will work closely to ensure that we always do good, behave fairly to one another, and be mindful of the outcomes we want to achieve. We pray that Allah protect this country of ours – including our leaders, the community, our families and us from further disgrace and destruction.
By: Sheikh Hussain Yee, President of Pertubuhan Al-Khaadem