The Crystal Muslim Organisation (CMO) held its “13th Annual Youth Essay Competition” at the Abuja National Mosque Conference Hall, on Saturday, May 4th, 2019, with the: “Leadership and Democracy in Islam”.
As an Islamic NGO, the CMO aims at presenting the true teachings of Islam, especially to Muslim youths, devoid of misconceptions, misquotations of the Islamic texts, and projecting the image of the Muslims through propagation and publications to enhance understanding of Islam among Muslims and non-Muslims. Thus, CMO has, since its inception in 2006, and in line with this objective, organised an annual Essay Competition to encourage youths in research and discourse, from an Islamic perspective, of social issues affecting the society with participants from all over the country and beyond. The entries are collated and subjected to rigorous screening by a carefully selected team of experts to designate winners in various categories of the competition.
At the Essay Presentation and Seminar Day winners are announced and lectures on the theme and sub-topics of the competition presented by scholars. This years’ theme – “Leadership and Democracy in Islam” – has four categories and sub-topics classified in accordance with the age of theparticipants: A) (Primary School): Parents as Leaders in a Muslim Home. B) (JSS): Qualities and Responsibilities of a Muslim Leader. C) (SSS) The Role of Youths in Islamic Leadership Development. D) (18 years plus) Muslim Leaders and the Responsibilities of Government in a Democracy.
I discussed Qualities and Responsibilities of a Muslim Leader, as one of the Guest-Speakers at the event, the very topic for Category B which was won by an entry from Abdullahi Ibrahim Yakasai of Esteem International Boys’ College, Abuja. Yakasai’s essay drew attention to the pinnacle position upon which the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam stood as a model of leadership. It also cited the examples of Taaluut whom Allah appointed as a king to the Children of Israel, increased him in wisdom and stature; (al-Baqarah 2:247) and that of Dawud, alaihis salaam, on the need for the leader to listen to both sides in any litigation before passing judgement (Saad 38:21-25). Equality before the law was another point in Yakasai’s winning essay where he mentioned Makhzumiyyah’s case of theft, how the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam rejected the attempt by some people to intercede on behalf of the culprit and his determination to mete out the right punishment even if the thief were his daughter Fatimah, radiyallaahu anhaa.
In presenting my position on the Qualities and Responsibilities of a Muslim Leader I chose to be more practical, to have a clear depiction of who a leader is and what his duties are. I aimed at what Steven Covey called Principle Centred Leadership and the need to create a balance between work and family. The oft-quoted Hadeeth describes each one of us as a leader. “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”
From the understanding of the above Hadeeth, I viewed myself as a leader in my house. How do I create that balance between my home and work? I see myself as I leader, not a manager. Let my wife be the manager in the house, and let my managers in the office manage the work. I will deal with the leadership aspect. I provide leadership.
Someone once said managers ensure that things are done rightly; leaders do the right thing. I do the right thing in both house and office while the managers ensure that things are done in the proper way.
I don’t want a Hausa or a Fulani home or wife. I desire an Islamic home and a Muslim wife. I abhor a culture that demotes women to a sedentary lifestyle and without any business sense. How many widows have gone into destitution a few years after inheriting a treasure in the heritage of their late husbands? Since the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam has described the woman as a shepherd in her husband’s home, we have to encourage her discharge that responsibility by providing leadership and allowing her to excel in whatever she chooses of any business venture within the sanctuary of the Shari’ah.
I heard someone complain about his calling him while he was in Malaysia that she had a flat tyre. He was so bitter about the call wondering what did she expect him to do, to fix her flat tyre from Malaysia. I told him that it was his fault as he failed to prepare her for that eventuality beforehand. Let me disappoint you, I said. If my car develops any problem I will park and call my wife as she is the one that handles such issues in the house. The various companies where the cars are registered for servicing and maintenance do not know me. Yes, they may even send their regards to “Oga” through “Madam” but should I go to any of these companies, nobody will know me. I am not on any of their registers. I do not manage, I provide leadership in the house. What car is due for service? Who is engaged to wash the cars? What is the level of diesel for the generator? All this and many more questions are for the home manager to address, take charge and learn to live and ensure things are done rightly with little supervision in a way that even when I die she will be able to maintain order as well as oversee her business activities and save the family from importuning people.
As a leader, I allow the managers in the office to do their job. I am into leadership, not management. The day-to-day running of the office is not mine. I cannot do everything alone. I need to maintain the standard, provide leadership. Let the managers attend to the clients, address their concerns, ensure proper payment for services to be rendered both here and in Saudi Arabia. During the peak of operations the Holy Land I assume the same garb of leadership and not management. My task is to mentor, train so there will be many that can achieve more than what I am able to do now; allow people to do the work while I oversee, give direction and provide leadership.
Many people ask what time have I got to maintain a weekly column with “so busy a schedule”. Why wouldn’t I have the time since I have not distressed myself my doing everything at home and in the office but allow my managers to do their job?
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