QUALITIES OF A MUSLIM RULER
Islamic culture has created so many great rulers and the greatest ruler and guide among them is our dear Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) who is the perfect example in every field for Muslims. It is the saying of Allah that:
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌۭ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلْيَوْمَ ٱلْءَاخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًۭا(21) (الاحزاب: 21)
Translation of Meaning: “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.”(Al-Ahzab: 21)
And the world has seen consecutively many generations of Muslim rulers who followed the commands of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam) and flourished in the Sunnah of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam), which has no other such example in the world. How it is not happened when they followed fully the following saying of Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam).
« كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ، وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، الإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ فِي أَهْلِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، وَالمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ فِي بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا وَمَسْئُولَةٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهَا، وَالخَادِمُ رَاعٍ فِي مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ» قَالَ: – وَحَسِبْتُ أَنْ قَدْ قَالَ – «وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ فِي مَالِ أَبِيهِ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ، وَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ»
Translation: “Every one of you is a caretaker and everyone will be answerable about his subjects, the ruler is the administrator and he will be accountable about his subjects, man is accountable about his wife and he will be asked about his subjects, the woman is the caretaker in the house of her husband and she will be accountable about her subject, the servant is the caretaker of his master’s possession and he will be asked about his subject.”(Bukhari and Muslim)
It was clear to the Muslim rulers that the position of a ruler is very important and carries lots of prestige because it is related with the religious and worldly matters. Therefore, that person would be eligible for this responsibility, who has all those qualities which make him able to fulfill his duties well and some of these qualities are:
- 1. He believes this that ruling is a responsibility and it is not the matter of just a position. People have elected him and they have given him the responsibility of ruling because of his skills, have taken a pledge to listen to him and to obey him, they have made him their vicegerent for the protection of their religious matters and for the management of the matters of life. It is the right of people to monitor him, to correct him, and to suspend him if he goes astray. A Muslim ruler should know this leadership and ruling is a responsibility and there is embarrassment and shamefulness on the Day of Judgment if this responsibility is not fulfilled well. As it is mentioned in a Hadith:
« عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ، قَالَ: قُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، أَلَا تَسْتَعْمِلُنِي؟ قَالَ: فَضَرَبَ بِيَدِهِ عَلَى مَنْكِبِي، ثُمَّ قَالَ: «يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ، إِنَّكَ ضَعِيفٌ، وَإِنَّهَا أَمَانَةُ، وَإِنَّهَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ خِزْيٌ وَنَدَامَةٌ، إِلَّا مَنْ أَخَذَهَا بِحَقِّهَا، وَأَدَّى الَّذِي عَلَيْهِ فِيهَا »
Translation: “Hazrat Abu Zar (R.A) is reported to have said that: ‘I asked: O Prophet (PBUH)! Why don’t you let me serve? The Prophet (PBUH) strikes his hand on my shoulder and said: O Abu Zar! You are weak and it is a trust (it means a ruler has to fulfill all the rights of Allah and the rights of people) and there is nothing but embarrassment for person who fails to do so, except the one who fulfills all the rights and performs all his responsibilities well.’” (Muslim)
- He has to be clever, knowledgeable about the religion and its usual matters; he can differentiate between Halaal and Haraam. He has to be the guardian and controller of the reforms of the nation. He should have the knowledge of the global affairs like war, buying and selling and treaties etc.
- 3. He should have good ethics and values such as honesty and truthfulness. He should keep himself away from every big or small sin.
- 4. He should hold consultations in such maters which do not have any clear description in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, he should consult with people of wisdom and experience and he should take advantage of their knowledge, experiences and wise opinions.
- 5. The ruler should be physically fit and he should be free from such faults and weakness which obstruct him to perform his duties of government. He should not have diseases like madness, deafness or dumbness, should not be limbless because he cannot be able to perform his duties well because of these weaknesses and diseases.
Therefore, we came to know that Islam has given a very high status to politics and government because these are really important and beneficial to solve the matters of life.