Channel: Saad Tasleem
American Muslim leaders are aging, and they are leaving behind a void that isnât being filled. Itâs time to lay down a foundation that can encourage and grow young American Muslims into the leaders that are needed.
This lecture was delivered at the 15th MAS-ICNA Annual Convention.
hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala MB mursaleen Nabina was say you know what have you been Mohammed? Ali? He was like a big marine. Allahu Allah Allah Allah Allah Allah, Allah. Allah Allah. Allah Allah Allah alumna In fact, Luna One Fine, I'll be my lamb Tana, was it an enema? Yara alameen Allah Marina katiba Marina de la botella de cinnabar Sierra Madre comme rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
I was asked to speak about
leadership as it relates to the youth.
And I'm about to say something that I'm pretty sure is going to rub some people the wrong way. And I'm pretty sure it may sound like the opposite of what you're used to hearing when it comes to leadership, and the youth. And that is this.
I don't think that young people should seek to be leaders. Now, let me explain that a little bit more before someone gets upset at me. I think the problem is, when our goal becomes leadership, rather than striving to become the type of person that the community needs as a leader. And there's a difference between the two. Because on the first hand, we have this idea that you know, what, I need to become a leader. And whatever that means, for me, whatever it will take, I just, I gotta become a leader somehow. Maybe if I just become popular enough, they'll make me a leader. Maybe if I have enough likes on my Facebook page, or enough followers on YouTube, that somehow that's good
enough for me to be a leader. And I also had a lot people often when I say this, people say how can you say that we shouldn't want to be leaders. And an AI that is often used and I feel like this AI is, is misused, and it's thrown around, to make us feel better about our personal inner the desire of our knifes to want to be a leader.
were lost to Allah talks about a certain group of people. And they say what your
mama, that they say, Oh Allah make us leaders, for those who have Taqwa.
But if you really take a look at this area, and you really understand what a law is talking about here, you get the full picture. And it's important to look at this area in context. One of the principles of our principles of Islam is that we don't take the Ayat of Allah subhanaw, taala, piecemeal, like we don't just take it out, and look at it on its own and say, here's my evidence for my opinion, or my stance. So let's look at the context of this ayah. Well, in the in this ayah, Allah Subhana, Allah Allah is speaking about a certain group of people, a lot called them or Eva de Rahman.
And then Allah subhanaw taala tells us those characteristics of those people, they are about the right man, the servants, the slaves, of the Merciful. This is a group of people. This is a rank that our last panel to Allah has assigned to these people to be considered amongst the bad man, and they have a list of characteristics. Amongst them Allah, Allah to Allah tells us alladhina, Yamuna, lllp hona, those who walk upon earth with humility.
So before we get to the point of being an Imam, being a leader, we ask ourselves, are we amongst the man? Are we trying to attain those characteristics, the characteristic of having humility, humbling ourselves
as we walk upon Earth, as people see us interacting with others, are we truly humble people? Almost paranoid to Allah tells us either ha, Baba homolka Hello Nicola Salama, that if they are addressed by the ignorant by the foolish, they reply with peace.
Do we have that characteristic? Before we want to put ourselves in a position of leadership? How many of our quote unquote
make irresponsible statements when something happens, how many of our quote unquote leaders
say things that they regret a day later? Or two days later? or three days later? How many times do we see people just being reactionary, and letting their emotions get the best of them? This is not the quality of a leader. This is not the quality of the eyeballs of man.
The quality of the eyeballs, man, or those who have the humility,
to be able to respond in a peaceful manner to take the higher road.
That when someone is insulting us, whether it be on a larger level, insulting our Deen or insulting Islam, on a personal level,
that we have the humility to reply with peace. How many times do we consider ourselves to be leaders, yet our leader is our ego and not Allah subhana wa Taala. We let our ego
dictate our actions. We let our ego dictate our behavior. What type of leadership is this?
Allah, Allah tells us about these same people, and levina up to be him. Sujata Wakayama, those who spend their nights in such them in prostration. And standing in prayer.
Can we say that about ourselves as leaders,
that we are not just leaders, we're not just in front of people, we are actually truly spiritual people.
Can we say that,
that we have that spiritual connection with our Lord?
Because the leaders that we look up to the best of leaders, the prophets of Allah, and the messengers of Allah alayhi wa Salatu was Salam. This describes them, they would spend their nights in the worship of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And their spirituality was strong.
And that's one of the main characteristics that had that they had that made them effective and strong leaders,
leaders who can be an example
for the rest of the people, leaders who can stand strong
in the face of difficulty and trials and challenges.
Look at the prophets look at the messengers. How did they behave when they were tested and tried and challenged? The first place that they turned to was their spirituality, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam we know. On the eve of the Battle of Buddle stood the night in prayer, begging and pleading with Allah, Allah to protect his people.
That is a leader my brothers and sisters. last petal it Allah tells us about these man what either Maru biLlahi Maru kerama that when they pass by ill speech.
They pass by with dignity.
We hold on to our dignity no matter what is happening around us.
People are insulting others
they're insulting our faith.
They're being rude and ill mannered we carry ourselves with dignity.
Are we developing these characteristics before our desire to be a leader unless penalty Allah then tells us when Medina Jaco Nora Bana have Elena min as wodgina was the Ria Tina kurata.
They say Oh Allah grant us from amongst our spouses and our children, the comfort of our eyes.
That means a leader pays importance to their family.
That means that family structure is important to them. That means their spouses are important to them. That means their children are important to them. And it is only when a leader is a good leader with their families, that they can be a good leader outside. And that is why the prophets that Allahu Allah, he was setting them we find him being the best of fathers, the best of spouses,
the best to his family.
the best of you are those who are best to their families.
And I'm the best to my family.
So Pamela, we have this idea.
That somehow, we can separate the two. We can put our spirituality on hold, we can put our character on hold, we can put our families on hold, just put everything aside because you know what I got to be a leader.
You know what I got to be in front of everyone. I've got to do this and I've got to do that. Look at the needs of the oma, we need leaders. We don't need leaders that will not be effective. We don't need leaders that don't have a connection with their Lord.
Those leaders are a dime a dozen, my brothers and sisters. But when we seek to be leaders, we seek to be these type of leaders, the eyeballed the right man. And after all of these characteristics, it is at the end, that they make them and they say what, jamnalal mattina Mama, after all of that.
After adopting all of those characteristics,
then they say, Oh Allah, make us leaders for them.
For those who have Taqwa.
And the second point here, my brothers and sisters, is that we seek leadership in taqwa. First and foremost.
If we are not leaders in our taqwa, then how can be elite? How can we be leaders for the community? How can we be leaders for the Muslim community, in our tuck, while we are not leaders, and like I said, it is a big misconception that we can separate the two.
Just say that we can just be a leader in one aspect, and that's it.
Our spirituality is important. When we become leaders in our tech law, then a lost paddle into Allah gives us proper leadership.
And we find this in the way of the prophets, we find it in the way of the companions. The first honeypot in Islam, Abu Bakar, of the Allahu taala.
He never sought out leadership.
Rather, he was the type of person he became the type of person that the community needed. And that is why the community sought him out.
And that is why if you look at these characteristics that I've just mentioned, you find the love that I'm embodied all of those characteristics. You talk about humility, we find that in the character of the left eye,
you talk about a spiritual connection with Allah subhanaw taala. We find that in Abu Bakar, with the left eye, you talk about his connection with his family, and how important he held his family to be, we find that in the life of the left and I
and then we see a lot out of placing him
as a leader.
And you know, a lot of times the message that we give to our young people is don't worry about anything else. Just your goal is to become a leader. And I fear, I fear a generation that is going to come and all they see is leadership, and they don't see what it takes to be a leader. From a spiritual standpoint, from an Islamic standpoint. What is going to raise our oma, what is going to make a difference in our own mind. If our spirituality is missing, in the difficult times, we cannot turn to a last panelist to Allah, as the Prophet Yaqoob would say in Moscow, but the wires need Allah.
I only complained to Allah when my grief and my sorrow when a leader can take solace in their relationship with Allah subhanaw taala. That is when that is when they can be a strength for our oma
and talking about young people.
From the time of the Prophet say sending them every young person at first it wasn't a leader.
But there were those special companions who were young and had certain characteristics. And then they were made leaders because of those characteristics.
I'll speak to you about one or earth you must have a man on the left that is a prime example. You know the story of mostly abroad the left that is one of the most amazing and strange stories because of
where he came from, and where he ended up.
Living in America the love that they would describe him before he accepted Islam. As a young person, they would say he was one of the most charming mannequins. They would say he would walk into a room and everybody would be in awe. This is before Islam
because of the way he was because of the way he was dressed, and they would say we know Messiah has walked into the room we would know before he has walked into the room because we could smell his perfume. A nice smell is coming in and say that
he had the nicest clothes
He was very good looking. He was charming.
He was liked by everyone. You know, and these are characteristics of had a lot that we like, especially young people. This is what a lot of us we, we we yearn for, right, we want to have nice clothes, we want to look good. We want to be liked by others. Right? That's what we want. That's what we yearn for, must have even or may have had all of those characteristics.
He had he heard about Islam, he heard about the Prophet, I miss I send them. And when he heard about that, even though people were stopping him, they were telling him don't go to meet them.
He's going to take you away from the religion of your forefathers, and the religion of your parents, but him with everything he had, with his good looks, and his money and his popularity and all that kind of stuff. There was one thing that was missing. And that was his spirituality, his spiritual connection with the last panel with Allah,
with his Lord and his creator. And so for him, there was no stopping him. When people said to him, don't go to Mohammed, I send them in, and don't go meet him and don't go listen to him. He didn't care. He went, and he sat with the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. And as he sat with the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi, wa sallam, he immediately recognized the prophethood of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. And it was just moments into his meeting with the Prophet symbolized send them that he accepted Islam. And you know what happened to him after that, his family turned against him.
First of all, his mother turned against him. His mother went to the extent that she said,
that if you don't leave the religion of what heaven meant, that I'm going to take away everything that I've given to you.
All your money, your wealth, everything that makes you liked by people.
I'm going to take that away. And she did.
And not only that, she locked him up in the, in the house for some time. And she said, I'm not gonna let you go until you leave that Dina will have missed them. But he stood strong, he stood firm, because to him, that spirituality that he had found was far more important than these material things.
Because now you know what?
his self worth. His self esteem was not in material things. It wasn't in his clothes. It wasn't in his looks. So whether he had it or he didn't have it, didn't have it. It didn't make a difference to him. His self esteem was in his spirituality. His self esteem was in his connection with Allah, Allah. Allah says in
the law, he is
the most noble amongst you are those who have the most taqwa the most consciousness of Allah Subhana Allah, the Most piety. And most women are male, the lot that he knew that.
So yes, it was difficult on him to lose those things. But it wasn't difficult enough to the point where he would leave the Deena
and his mom even guilted him to the point where one day she said to him, that unless you leave the Drina Mohammed then I will not consider you my son. I will not be your mother anymore.
And this is something that he couldn't change. And he accepted that even though he pleaded with her. He tried his best.
And the profit is subtle. I send them tells us a lot. That one day they were sitting in a gathering.
And Mr. Habib and a man walks in,
and the companion saw him this is after him accepting Islam. After going through those tests and trials with his family.
The Companions looked at him, and they dropped their eyes.
And some of them started weeping.
Because they saw who man was before, what he looked like before, and what he looked like now. And the prophets I send them himself he said, I saw most out here before.
He said there was no young person in Makkah who had been given what he had been given.
But he gave it all up for the sake of Allah, Allah and His Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam sending them and this hurt the companions. But this is a journey that must have went through.
This is how we grew as an individual.
And it is for this reason that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam picked Musab a man to be one of the leaders in Islam, when sending people to Medina to go deliver the message of Islam. The President picked Musab
even though he was 17
Because personname knew what he had been through, he knew what he had sacrificed for the sake of this theme. So it wasn't about age at that point. Allah subhanaw taala put him in a position of leadership because of his connection with Allah subhanaw taala.
That is what our leadership that is what our young leadership is supposed to look like. And you take a look at any of the companions who the President than them chose to be leaders, and you find this characteristic amongst all of them, must have even made up the law even at birth or the love of data.
We find that Abdullah had been a bus dedicated his life to learning Islam, learning the deen of Las panatela.
And then, in the time of the love that I
gathered the companions, who had fought in the Battle of budder, and amongst them he brings a bleiben irmo.
And he says to them, they they the companion said, and Why have you brought this child here? Why have you there the Senior Companions are sitting here, why have you brought this child here?
He said, because there is not a single person here. Who has the knowledge that he has.
We have more of them in Japan, or the love of
this young companion, who have lost pedal to Allah made a leader in our ummah.
Where are the bingeable you want to take a look at his spirituality and his connection with Allah, Allah.
One of the statements I'll just share one statement of his rod would say learn whatever you want to learn, meaning from the deen of Allah kind of data. But Allah will never bring you benefit to what you learn unless you act upon it.
Unless it's implemented into your life until you are practicing what you preach.
Until you're acting upon what you're learning, what benefit Are you going to get from this knowledge that you are learning? More are they been gentlemen, later on in his life, it's been narrated, that he was walking once with his companions. And while walking, he stops all of a sudden, and he says, I just been a note Musa
he says, sit, sit, let's sit for a minute. and renew our Eamon
as a leader, he understood the importance of his spirituality. Those are the leaders that we want my brothers and sisters, we don't need YouTube stars and Facebook stars and all of that. And it's by the way, it's fine to be a YouTube star. I'm not I'm not putting that down. But what I'm saying is that our leadership has to go beyond simply just popularity, beyond simply being liked by people. And when our hearts desire to be amongst the rebels of man. When we desire to be amongst them attacking those who are conscious of a loss penalty, then it is a law who will take these people and raise them up and make them our leaders.
And that is why the prophets I send them specifically mentioned this aspect of spirituality amongst the seven people who are given shade on the day of judgment on the day where there's no shade, except the shade given by last panel.
One of the characteristics is shotgun, Natasha, Fei bought that in LA, a young person who has been raised up in the worship of Allah subhanaw taala. So my brothers and sisters, we cannot. We cannot separate spirituality,
If we want to be effective leaders, our goal cannot be leadership. Our goal has to be as I said in the beginning of my talk to become those type of people. They become the person that the community needs to be leaders. And I asked Allah Subhana Allah to make us those people. I asked a lot of parents out to make us the people that the community needs, not the people that we want to be just to be seen as leaders Allahumma amin will LaHood to Allah Subhana Allah Hama behenic a shadow Allah Allah Allah and a selfie required to where like, where does that come along? Okay, it was set on ya come to LA he or barakato