Leadership Lessons from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Channel: Mufti Menk
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Salam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Smilla Rahmanir Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi wa sallahu wa sallahu wa salam ala Baraka Allah Milena BIA badda Hua ala alihi wa sahbihi Jemaine
one of the most important aspects of our existence is to ensure that we are sincere to our maker. In Islam, we refer to it as if last, if last is sincerity, it is the cornerstone of your existence and mine. The reason is when we are sincere sincerity commences with the relationship between you and your maker. You and I need to think and ponder over on a regular basis, who we actually are. In Islam, we are taught to ponder, Allah Almighty mentions it regarding creation regarding the day and the night regarding you yourself or human beings themselves, look into yourself Wafi fusi income AlFalah Tuberosa your own within yourselves would you not look into or ponder or think similarly, in
FE Hall que sama our team, a long beautiful verse that Allah subhanho wa Taala makes mention of in surah Allah Imran where he says in the creation of the, the skies and the earth and the rotation of the day and the night and everything that Allah has created. In another verse in Surah, Al Baqarah, Allah speaks about the ship that moves and the way the water is carrying that particular ship and so on. The thinking of all of that is definitely the sign of an intellectual. And they will be signs in all of that pointing towards your maker for those with sound intellect. Now, I start this way, because my beloved brothers and sisters, every one of us knows that before we were actually born,
before the time when we were in the wombs of our mothers, we were actually non existent. It required the fusion of gametes it required the embryo, the fetus, etc, which was a fusion of two items. Thereafter, a soul to be blown, then we came into existence, I need to think no matter who I am, where am I going? I am too sophisticated in my mind in my existence, to just disappear into thin air. So this pondering would make us genuine, it would make us sincere, it would make us have deeper feeling, it would make us feel a sense of accountability. The other day, I was speaking to a group of students.
And the point I raised which I'd like to share with you today, is absolutely mind boggling.
The fact that you have a unique identity, different from every other human being ever to be created, that alone is evidence that you are going to be held accountable.
If we there was no accountability, there would be no need to have absolute difference of identity. This accountability is two phase number one in this world, they will pick you up look at how people committed crimes. I read of a man who was said to have murdered someone 38 years back DNA evidence has now shown that it was someone else you might know the story in the States. They released him 38 years later, the old man says I'm not bitter only Allah knows what must have gone through his mind.
What came to his rescue Wallah he the Mercy of Allah having created you and I totally unique, amazing. The fact that you're unique, you need to know there's someone someone somewhere I've got to go back to give an account to that itself is evidence.
Some might argue but I'm talking from a religious perspective so it's fine.
Then this sincerity continues to the rest of us. When I talk to you, I need to be genuine. I need to feel that this person is my brother or sister in humanity to begin with and probably and possibly even in more ways such as in faith.
So when I am genuine towards those I interact with those Allah has placed me in a position of leadership towards I will be able to be much more effective
than a person who is not genuine, we can use the term fake.
We are there we are in it for what we are in it for the holistic picture, not for me or for you, primarily for Allah and then to serve.
Humankind is such, that part of the plan of Allah is that we serve one another. Allah says in the Quran, why Allah
azza wa jal fog led by in a comb, do not forget to be virtuous amongst yourselves to one another. Don't forget to be kind and good to whoever you come across whoever you meet, no matter who they are, be kind, be sincere, put yourself in their shoes. Don't forget that virtue today. You might think I am independent, I don't need anyone. circumstances can change that very quickly. When you will be dependent on someone may Allah not do that to us.
But if people are dependent on you and your leadership and your position and your office, for example, make sure you deliver, deliver for whom, firstly, for the sake of Allah, the pleasure of Allah. So the day I go back to him and I'm answerable to him, at least I can say, Oh Allah, you put me in a position of authority of a certain degree. I did the best to my ability, I was genuine and honest, I may have made mistakes. Remember to make a mistake is not as bad as to be insincere. We all make mistakes, I could have miscalculated something completely, I may pay the price of it in this world. Sometimes if you're in an office, and you've made such a big blunder, you might be
fired. It's okay. It's not the first time someone's going to be released from a job, nor will it be the last. But if you were genuine, your heart will be at ease. You will be comfortable you will be content we delivered as best as we could, oh Allah. That's one thing. Secondly, to leave a legacy is part of your religious duty, in whatever position you have, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him always reminded us to say Be genuine towards every one. Edina see how he got up and he told his companions and we're talking of leadership and by him and examples of that leadership, he says, Be genuine do not see her the literal translation of it is this religion is based on sincerity and no
means advice. But at the same time, the deeper meaning of it in the Arabic language is to be genuine towards one another. So they asked him will gnarly man ya rasool Allah the companion say, we said to him, who should we be genuine towards? Oh Allah, sorry, oh messenger of ALLAH. So he said Lillahi wa ala Rasulillah. He he says, You start off with Allah be genuine in your relationship with Allah. Be genuine in your relationship with the messenger. pause for a moment. I'm not perfect. No are you? Our life is a struggle. I'm not the best Muslim. I have so many flaws. I have many things to improve myself. And so do we all I will not judge you based on your weakness. And please, I expect you not
to judge me based on my weakness. The Almighty is amazing. He judges us based on our repentance, not on our sin. Remember this? It's amazing. I may have committed sin for the Almighty did you repent? Yes, well forget about the sin now Allah Hua amazing, almighty judges us based.
But people judge us based on our sin, no matter how much we repent, look at the difference. So we are genuine towards Allah genuine towards the messenger knowing that we are weak. So what is the genuineness all about?
It is all about the promise that I'm going to improve on a daily basis as best as I can. With how's your condition with your five daily prayers, needs improvement inshallah the promises I'm going to improve. That's what the promises if there is an improvement, even if it is an inch at a time.
Your holistic success stands a greater chance, because you realize I'm answerable.
Not because I'm an authority here. If it was only this authority, I would become arrogant and haughty. I am the boss who is going to tell me anything. I can do what I want. But the Muslim doesn't say that. No matter who you are, I can't do what I want. I've got to do what is correct. What is upright? I've got to do what pleases the maker. So it's a struggle, my struggle and yours. How's your relationship with the Quran? realities? We don't know that much of it. Or maybe we don't know the meanings or we haven't really did it. Come on, do better. You can do better you will. Because ultimately, success is not only how good you were in office, but beyond that, how good you
were holistically as a believer. A little bit of time won't do you any harm. Study
We study so many things, study the book of Allah, you will have questions that will be questions that arise, they will be confusions created by people who are perhaps insincere or sometimes genuinely just asking no harm, ask, we will try to respond, we will try our best to respond. May Allah Subhana Allah Allah grant has a deep understanding. And then we try to work on it. We try to learn about the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him certain aspects, etc. Try to answer questions or try to see, I normally tell the young people who are shy to ask some crucial, pertinent hot questions. I tell them just remember one thing you're not asking because you don't believe you're
asking because you're confused. You want to know that's what it is. I genuinely would like to I'm a Muslim, I surrendered to Allah. I'm a Muslim. I've said the Shahada. I tried to pray. But a few questions I have that are so crucial. I'm so scared to ask them a young man who would say that I feel I might be judged simply because I've asked this question. But I need to know, I genuinely would like clarification. And I'd love there to be something clear that can convince me so that I can actually promote it further.
Something serious that for a very long time, we were ignorant about things because we were frightened to ask and talk about myself, I'm sure, even with a lot of us, it shouldn't be the case. Your performance will be maximized. When you yourself know exactly who you are, where you're heading, what you're doing, you can maximize your performance. But if you are dilly dallying on your own, and you're not so sure about what you're doing and what you're believing, how do you expect that performance to be maximized.
So let's be genuine, genuine towards Allah genuine towards the messenger Allah, He will era surely he will he or emetine Muslimeen, and to the leaders, be genuine to the leaders, those who are in authority above you. And obviously, I'm speaking to a diverse cross section of the leadership of this nation. And I'd like to let you know that no matter what position you are the one above you in positions of authority, in the meantime, you are also answerable to them. And you also have no matter how old you are, how sharp you are, they might be younger than you, they might not have been as intelligent as you at school and so on Allah put them in a position of authority, you have to be
genuine towards them. Today, one of the biggest myths that I feel we are facing as a globe is that
we have irresponsible comments that are being that are floating around on social media regarding one another, that reduce the level of respect of the coming generation for all of us. Because we have no respect of one another in this journey of mine to your beautiful country. I've been reiterating, please differ but with respect. I can disagree with you. You can disagree with what I'm saying right now, perhaps pockets of what I've said you might not agree totally, no problem, you are still my brother, you are still my sister, I will offer you utmost respect. And we will say and we will part with the words, you know what I disagree with you. That's all it's fine. But do I need to call you a
dog and a cat and a baboon, and a monkey and whatever else and so many other little animals, some of them you have on your island, and some of them I heard you don't even have
you don't need all of that. It says more about you than it does about the other. Now the difficulty is this is happening not just not just in the political arena. But even amongst religious men who are supposed to be carrying the sacred word of the Almighty. Even among them there is cheap.
What can I say statements that are uttered that are not befitting your position, my brother, I remember, one religious man swore someone in front of me and I looked at him and I said my brother, it doesn't suit your face to have said that F word doesn't suit your face. You look at the guy's face, and suddenly you hear words, oh, my god happened here. May Allah Almighty forgive us. So we are genuine to our leaders by being the most responsible and when we have
a divergent or differing opinion, we may communicate it but bearing in mind the dignity, why the dignity Why does respect because we need to preserve the coming generations. They must not stoop to a new low of swearing each other. Unfortunately, social media is already doing this. It's so hard to say what I've said because look at the free world. People are free to swear that's basically what they're saying but as a Muslim, in the same free world I have chosen to be disciplined. How's that? I've chosen no matter how low they stoop I will not stoop as low as that it's okay. I will respond with dignity Allah who, when they call the
Prophet peace be upon him names he didn't call them names back when they attacked him and harmed him. He didn't use the same. He actually said in part if Allah Houma had he told me for in the Himalaya, Allah moon, oh Allah guide my people they don't know he prayed for them. And that brings me to the next level of genuineness in metal Muslimeen we're omitting him to be genuine towards the people you serve.
Be genuine Be kind, they might be some who will speak to you a little bit rough, no problem, you're in a position of authority. You can excuse their roughness, but what are they saying? The other day I mentioned how I was trained.
To correct yourself when someone corrects you. And they are right about what you what they have said. Even if the manner of their correction was unacceptable. Someone swears you and screams at you and called you all those names we were talking about. And when they said this is what's wrong in you. Excuse all of that. But look what they said. Is it correct what they have actually uttered. If yes, just change yourself. Don't worry, you won't regret that much. Excuse their rant. That was them that spoke more about them. But in the interim, they highlighted something beautiful for you to look into. Look into it, don't discount it simply because of the way it was taught at you know,
my beloved brothers, my sisters, being genuine towards those whom you are serving is to put yourself into their shoes.
And to think about their issues and their problems in whatever department of government you may be in. They will be people who might pester you, they will be people who might be a nag. And on the other hand, they might be people who are your friends. Remember the favoritism and all the isms that come in, be mindful of it be mindful, it is correct that when you know someone closer, you tend to trust them a little bit more what they may have said to you might hold greater value because you know them that's human and that is acceptable to a degree.
Sometimes you say can you write me a reference, and the person writes you a reference from home, someone I know someone responsible, that doesn't mean you did something wrong, you were only trying to confirm it because you needed someone you already trusted. But that doesn't mean those who don't come with it are not really trustworthy or that they are lying. You probably have to go one more level to verify that, that having been said, don't just rebuke people.
A beautiful verse of the Quran in spirit of Doha. I'm sure most of us know it off by heart. It says what I'm
ILA Illa. Fella, then how to ask for the beggar
as for the beggar when someone comes to beg from you,
Allah says Latin Hara Latin Hermes, do not rebuke.
Do not belittle. If you think of that verse,
it is just divine, because the almighty could have told you the beggar give or don't give. Right? If someone says, What should I do? And a beggar asks, what do you expect as a response? Give him if you have something literal, just give him you know, put something in his hand, or they might say, Don't give you're encouraging, begging etcetera, etcetera. This the answers, the Almighty came up with none of those two. Because that decision, he left it to you and I, but he said, no matter what you do, be careful. Don't belittle this man.
Guidance of the Almighty tell you, they came to you to beg. He didn't talk or circumstances he didn't talk about may or may not be the reality, the type of person whether he has limbs or not, whether they could have worked or not. But the only thing he said is do not rebuke Allahu Akbar, for me, that goes as a point of guidance, no matter who comes to you, when they look up to you or you are in a position whether they admit it or not. Sometimes people don't admit that you are actually in that position, sometimes out of for whatever reasons it may be, but at the end of the day, when they've come to you for anything, no matter what the circumstances, you carry yourself with that
respect because you are in a position of authority. That's why
and you are answerable, like we said to Allah to His Messenger, you are you have to be genuine towards the Sunnah towards the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to your leaders to those above you in authority and ultimately the leader at the top and at the same time, the leader at the top is always still answerable to Allah. So tomorrow if you are in a position of such leadership, where you feel that I am the top person here, be it whatever it may be ministerial position, President position, whatever it may be, we know as Muslim
You know what, I am actually a servant. That's what it is. I am in this position for as long as Allah wants me to be in it, I will serve and leave a legacy so that when I am gone, at least people will say this was the golden era Subhanallah
The mere fact that we've served is already preparation for the hereafter because I want to tell you something else. Allah says
Weber Terry FEMA attack Allah Who Darrell akhira, that's a piece of advice to Arun karoun was not such a grand men, although he was very rich, he was one of those at the time of Moses Musa alayhis. Salam was extremely wealthy. And naturally he had power due to his wealth. And Allah tells him, whatever we've given you use it, to build your hereafter. Wow.
Allah didn't say build it through worshiping Me in this way or that way. He says, Whatever we've given you ma attack Allah, whatever the Almighty is blessed you with, use it to build your hereafter. Why? Because Allah has blessed every one of us uniquely. Your gift from Allah is different from mine, I could be sitting here and quoting the Quran, and so on and so forth, I may have, for example, been given an opportunity to try and inspire people to head in the right direction, or to, to at least improve in one way or another. But your gift would be so unique, that if I were to know about it, I'd probably say wow, this person is more gifted than I am.
Every one of us has been gifted by Allah, sometimes we haven't yet recognized that gift. That's all. Don't think you're not whatever you have anything, use that thing. Use that thing to build your hereafter. If the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him encourages us to plant trees in order to provide shade and fruit to others be the human or birds or animals. And he says whenever any of those benefit from any of what you have planted, you need to know it will be a reward for you going beyond your date of death.
When you have drilled a well, for example, and the water gushes out in a place where people need it, and they're benefiting from it for as long as that water is gushing out, your reward continues even if you've died.
Who is the water for who is the tree for?
Now tell me if you have the ability to improve the infrastructure of your nation, or to improve in any of the Ministries of this beautiful nation, and you have the ability, the position to actually leave behind something far greater than what you had found?
Don't you think you're going to get the same reward? I'd like to say something that you probably never thought of?
I don't know the entire history of your nation.
But I do know, a little pockets of it.
This bridge that you see was not there a few years ago. Do you agree?
What if I were to tell you?
Whoever's masterplan, it was may be getting a reward for the 80,000, who crossed it every single day. And it's got nothing to do with religion per se directly. You follow what I'm saying?
need shade, which also has nothing to do with direct say, could offer you that reward for a long, long time. Until that bridge is standing. The father's the people who had the idea the people who made it happen, the people who actually did something about it, those who brought it to being where it is, oh, wow, what did they do? They used whatever the Almighty gave them in terms of
their position, as well as perhaps the authority, the wealth or whatever else, the intellect, the idea, the genuine feeling for the growth of the nation to actually put up something and that will be for their hereafter. There's only one little requirement, what was the requirement? Small requirement? You need to have had that intention to say you know what, I'm doing this for my people, may Allah reward me.
So whatever you do, don't think this is not direct religion? How will it make me go up to paradise? I remember reading
a book by one of our senior scholars where he states after mentioning about paradise and so on, he says, Do you know the Almighty is looking for any excuse to give you paradise? Any reason? And the evidence of it is a person who was not such a grand person who was kind to a dog. totally forgiven. The dog Subhan
Allah. The other day, I asked him the same example I gave, and I asked about the dogs. And I was later told that we don't really have many dogs here. SubhanAllah.
But a person was kind to a dog, what did they get? Is that not evidence that Allah was just looking giving one reason looked for it. And that reason came in, he never really saw much more. It's your genuineness. They probably were relatively genuine but struggling like you and I, in our own weaknesses. And I told you don't ever belittle a person from a religious angle. It's the biggest crime you could commit.
Because you don't know their closeness to the Almighty, their sins may be apparent. It's correct. We will know what is right and wrong. They probably know too. But your sins may be hidden the other day a friend of mine, posted a post that was it actually brought me to tears.
He says, Don't judge a person by their sins when and I'm talking about your personal sins.
Because you might have
been there to see the sin.
But you were not there to see the repentance. Wow. Wow, that's amazing. You were not there to see their repentance, but you were there to see the sin and you judge them and you don't know this person's gone beyond you, my brother they have already they are floating mashallah, some way up. May Allah take us all in to a good place.
So the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him,
has taught us this genuineness, and from it a lot comes out. Together with that. He has always asked us to listen.
You're in a position of leadership. He used to listen. Wherever he didn't listen. The Almighty reminded him to listen.
reminded him to listen, listen, a lady came to him complaining he was told, instructed to listen. When he told her to go away aside, Allah said, No, bring her back and tell her this and this and this SubhanAllah. What does that mean? You're in a position of authority. Listen to what people are saying to you. Give them an opportunity to communicate with you. I will, if I am a civil servant. And if I am serving the nation, it would be wrong for me to close myself into a little office. And that's it. I do what I want. I don't even know what the people I'm serving are up to or what they are in or what they want nothing of that nature. Therefore, conduct your surveys on a regular basis.
Find out from people mixed with the people, ask them, talk to them. And don't just put aside what they give you in terms of suggestions, perhaps needs and so on. Look into them. It might not be so possible, look into them have a little department if you're so busy, where they look into it for you, and they might highlight for you certain things that are of greater importance.
Listening, very important. Thereafter, my beloved brothers and sisters, the development of any nation will only come about when we think about the future and we brainstorm. The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, gathered his companions. When he got to Madina Munawwara they had to establish the nation. He took from all the people around who were able to build this to do this to come up with this idea, that idea, you go beyond that to the time of Ahmad Al Khattab era, the Allahu Anhu he was the first person who did so many things. The topic is humongous. When you look at, I had the aroma, the time of Omar bin Hatha, but of the Allahu Anhu he was there for 10 years. He actually
started a means of conveying messages from one city to another through what we later became to know as postman that was a term of the Allahu Anhu he started it up why because of brainstorming because of thinking of the future because of developing because of coming about you know, when we sit and we we hear about technological advancement first coming from other countries, right? I'm sure there might be one or two things that came from us and inshallah there will be more
but before it gets to us, there is a period of time
look into it and try and minimize that period of time. Let us also be people our people benefit from this good goodness inshallah it will progress. What what happened, you thought about the future, how can we improve how can we develop because in our positions of leadership, it is similar similar
to an aircraft that is in flight.
It needs to continue flying in order to remain or to keep that altitude to remain upon that altitude. The minute the engines are off what
happens to the aircraft, no matter what it's going to come down. So you need to keep flying. You need to keep progressing, keep looking forward, keep focusing, keep checking, keep seeing how you can develop and I promise you, when you leave office one day, for whatever reason, it may be the natural DUA and supplication that will come out of the hearts of the people you served, will be sufficient by the will of Allah
to get you into paradise,
natural dua people are praying for you. This this man or this woman, when they came in, oh, wow, they made life easy for us and so on, brings me to another Hadith where the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said, Whoever makes life easy for someone, Allah will make their life and hereafter easy for them. The Day of Judgment you go, and you're a VIP.
probably say, well, in Mali, they will also VIPs here they also VIPs what's going on here.
But I promise you, the VIPs of the Day of Judgment, those who made life easy for others, Allah makes life easy for them in this world and the next. So as you're sailing through, it will be that quality of yours, that would have gotten you to this position. May Allah Almighty help us and guide us and may Allah open our doors, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, his life was amazing.
The leadership lessons are from the beginning to the end of his entire life.
So the snippets that I have mentioned today are only because we are human, our time is limited.
But I'd like to draw your attention to one
People have different ideas, ideologies. In your case, perhaps we are Muslims, by the will of Allah, but you will still have people of different sects, people perhaps slightly different here and there, not something major, I hope, but even if they were people of other faiths, or people of no faith whatsoever, the justice that should be afforded to them should be no different from the Justice afforded to anyone else. That is a cornerstone of Islam.
The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him stood for justice, even when it was against a Muslim in favor of a non Muslim. They are examples of that. I live in Abu Talib, Ravi Allahu Allah, they are examples. There was a great judge known as Shreya Akagi. Look at the examples in his life taking from Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam were people who were close to him, he judged against them based on the evidence in front of him. And he says no, and as a result, these people were impacted by the goodness of this faith that promoted justice.
So always be fair, be just even if the person in front of you you don't really like him for some reason. You're a human. So am I. I mean, there are people we really would like to stay away from. Sometimes you just look at someone and you think they have been or not go in this direction. There's trouble. It happens. Because you're a human. Let's admit it. I can't tell you you need to be an angel because you cannot and no Am I so if you don't want to go in that direction is fine. It's fair. But when there is a ruling or when there is something that you have to deal with, be fair, that might be the turning point in their lives and in yours. Be just
May Allah Almighty bless every one of us. I've spoken for more than half an hour. And I really appreciate the fact that you have come to this beautiful event. And I really would like to appreciate every single one of you. May Allah gather us in the same way that he has gathered us here with such goodness and such genuine love and feeling. May he gather us all in paradise ukwu loco Leha sallahu wa salam ala Baraka ala Nabina Muhammad