Servants: Why we need leaders who love to serve not to be served

Even the best among us. We have a problem today in that the people who are meant to serve, want to be served. The people who are given positions of power wish to abuse that power to grant themselves comfort. It’s a problem that trickles down to us all. We begin to think that that any bit of power requires us to be served. Spouses believe that their hard-earnings require servants in the home, C.E.O’s believe their grand masterpiece of a business is solely to make them millions and not for the greater good of humanity, or they neglect to contemplate that it could be a form of worshipping the Divine.

It’s all a form of selfishness, it’s all about me. And in the age of the selfie how could it be about anyone else? It pains me when you see elected officials carry on about the people they serve as though they are less than humans, but that is exactly what we see today.

But what I want you to know is about the tradition, about believers, about the greatest of Prophets, Sayyiduna Muhammad (s). This was a man who took advice from his wife Umm Salamah in one of the most tense and difficult times of early Islamic history, a man who would tell the people to advise him in aspects of war and political situations.

This is a tradition that turned even the harshest of men into men of the night, who would traverse the cities looking for charitable causes, never once telling people it was they, the leader of the Muslim world that was the cause of their overnight fortune. This is the tradition that caused women like Fatima Al-Fihri to build the Qariwiyin. . .This is a tradition about serving those around you, no matter how famous or rich you become.

Why? Because this is a tradition where the best of us always understood his place. It wasn’t as a leader, it wasn’t as a businessman, or even a spouse,

I asked `Aisha what did the Prophet (ﷺ) use to do at home. She replied. “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.”

May we all become servants to the people, and never forget our service to the Creator.


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