Maulana Shaykh Nazim’s Short Snippets of Advice
Why Sayyidina Yusuf stepped forward
10th November 2010
A’uzubillah himinash shaitan nirrajeem
Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Raheem
Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt
- What is the cause of the increasing chaos that we are seeing today around the world? Maulana explained it with a Hadees which carries the following meaning, “Every task must be entrusted to one who is cut out for the task. When a post / position / portfolio / job is entrusted to one who is not an expert (not qualified) at executing the task, it is a sign that Qiyamat is near.”
- Would you allow an unqualified doctor to perform surgery on you? His intervention will not solve your problem, instead, such an incompetent surgeon will add to your illness, and may even cause your death. It is strange that we take medicine only from trusted and reliable sources, we seek out the best and most qualified experts for our medical needs, but we do not do so in most other matters.
- In today’s world, people of ability and merit do not often get the post they are meant for. Instead, unqualified and unscrupulous ones are vying for coveted posts in government and management, they bribe, campaign, promise and lobby their way to the top. Oblivious to the job scope, the main draw for these people are the monetary perks and power that they can wield once they have come into power. We see movie stars and actors seeking election into parliament in many countries – they are seeking to sit in seats of power and authority, just because they have a pretty face. Having legions of loyal fans, they are often catapulted into power easily. How can someone who has no ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the office, hold such an office? How can a group of people, gathered from the streets, run a country, using the voting box as a measure of their ability to do so? Without knowing a person’s personality, ability, qualifications and achievements, how would anyone know if he is up to the task?
- Ironically, each one who stands for elections, stands for reform. But as long as these reforms are secular in nature, the hearts of people will be dissatisfied and unhappy. This leads to a revolution – opposition parties will form, and each new party promises more reforms. And as long as the reforms are secular, human hearts will again never unite, and this vicious cycle of fighting-for-power-to-implement-reforms followed by the formation-of-new-parties-to-implement-more-reforms, goes on endlessly. Maulana says, this is like medication that does not heal the patient, each new medicine requiring a newer medicine to overcome its side-effects. And who would be dispensing such useless medication? Quack doctors – in other words, we are seeing unqualified people at the helm, who are unable to steer the ship, and each new captain runs the ship into more difficulties. If only they took a real ship captain, all these problems would fade away. Instead of doing so, citizens are trying out fake medication after fake medication, hoping that something works in the end. It won’t, as nothing that opposes Quranic and Prophetic teachings, can bring even an iota of benefit to its followers. If they keep experimenting with fake medication from quack practitioners, eventually, the patient will die. That is why when this dunia is placed in the hands of the unqualified, the world dies – it reaches Qiyamat.
- Nepotism and cronyism is rife, people are promoted because of loyalty to their superiors, despite having no knowledge of how to execute their duties. We are seeing this rampantly today, a sign that we are very close to Judgement Day. This disease is a rapidly-spreading cancer – as they say, nowadays, it is not what you know, but who you know. Most have no idea how to do their jobs! In every organisation, even within religious organisations, people seek promotion by boot-licking and flattery; not for one moment do they ask themselves, “Am I really able to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to me? Can I face Allah with a clear conscience when I return to Him?”
- The Ottomans ruled for 700 years, by a system of merit – the ability to perform service befitting the post. Only one who has proven his worth, is promoted and given rank. One could not buy a position, by virtue of having been loyal or by fawning or by deception. There was a famous Admiral of Belgrade who had conquered many opponents, he had been victorious in many battles. Having acquired so many castles, he wrote to Sultan Kanuni, also known as Sulaiman the Magnificent, as follows, “Oh our honourable Sultan, will you grant this weak servant, a higher Rank?” History books record the Sultan’s famous answer, “Oh my son, rank is not cheap, it is not granted so easily to anyone who desires it. Just conquering castles alone is not a sufficient reason to be promoted. One has to understand what responsibilities each rank entails. The Sultan will know when to grant his subjects rank. In reality, we all have been bestowed ranks, but we have miserably failed to understand what duties each rank brings.” See how difficult it is to get promoted in the old days? One had to prove one’s grit and competence, ability and merit, before one was bestowed with a higher rank, as a higher rank meant great responsibilities. Rank was acquired only by being qualified, virtuous and meritorious.
- When the British Government took over Cyprus from the Ottomans after the War, Queen Victoria continued to maintain and implement the laws and governing practices of the Ottoman rulers who had ruled prior to her. The Colonial Government ruled for a good 80 years. Look at how nobly the British ruled (as they followed Ottoman ways)! They are known as the Empire where the Sun never sets! They ruled with justice. Where did they get that from? From the laws of Ottomans. And where did the Ottomans get their laws? They got it from the Divine Law of Islam, from the Shariat that Allah Almighty sent us! How ironic that, when the Turks took over Cyprus, they removed those laws. Once a ruler throws out Divine Laws of justice, there is no way back, the whole system will collapse. History shows that the Muslims fared better under the British, than under the modern day Turks! Though the British sent only forty men to govern Cyprus, these were qualified men of merit, and they upheld the Divine laws of Shariat. Today, the Turks have sent 40 000 men to govern Cyprus, yet the state of affairs is in disarray and mayhem. There are ten political parties that are constantly bickering, arguing and fighting in parliament, even though they are ruling just half of Cyprus (the other half is under Greek rule).
- Today, the Muslims are like a ship with no motors – it floats aimlessly, at the mercy of the tides and waves. Like a plane without propellers, it is hurtling towards the ground, at the mercy of the drafts and thermals. Like a car with no brakes, it collides into friend and foe, it pays scant respect to the halals and the harams. If our current rulers (Turks) have gone the right way (like the Ottomans and the British), we would not be in this fix today.
- People must awaken and see the truth. If the old ways worked, and the new ones do not, why do they keep insisting on trying fake medication? Why are people insisting on taking that same, ineffective medication? If it doesn’t heal, change the medication! If the car cannot be started, either the petrol is finished, or there is a malfunction somewhere – we must fix it. Law after law is passed, legislation and legislation, yet nothing improves (in Cyprus) for the man-in-the-street.
- In every matter (both worldly matters and matters pertaining to the hereafter), Allah has commanded us to look and consult the experts – those who have authority and knowledge.
Before thee, also the messengers we sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye know this not, ask of those who possess the Message/Knowledge. (Surah Al-Anbiya 21:7)
- So in every field, there are those raised by Allah as People of Knowledge, they are the experts/specialists at what they do. But this century has seen a new phenomenon – people seeking to sit in the circle of experts, when they are not qualified to do so.
- Ego makes Man bite off more than he can chew. Driven by desire for fame, power and wealth, people strive for appointments far beyond their capabilities. Maulana has said before, the load carried by an elephant would crush an ant, so we must know what loads we are designed to carry. Allah teaches us to seek ‘lighter’ loads, not ‘heavier’ loads, on this journey. Allah doesn’t burden us beyond our ability, it is Man who does this to himself.
On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray): “Our Lord! condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; help us against those who stand against faith.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:286)
- Look at what Allah says about one who accepts responsibility, without preparation.
We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains: but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it – he was indeed unjust and foolish (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:72)
Allah describes such a person as unjust (to himself, for he has no means to execute his duties) and foolish (for he will acquire only difficulty by seeking the responsibility).
- Only one who is fit for the job at hand, should offer to shoulder the burden. As revealed by Allah in Surah Yusuf., when the Egyptian King lamented about the difficulties the coming drought and famine would bring, as there would need for food rationing for seven full years, Sayyidina Yusuf (as) said as follows:
(Yusuf) said: “Set me over the storehouses of the land: I will indeed guard them, as one who knows (their importance).” (Surah Yusuf 12:55)
- Sayyidina Yusuf (as) asked the King for the responsibility of rationing out food (grain/corn) to the citizens, as this was a terribly difficult and vital task. This task requiring one who was good at mathematics (to calculate the amount of food needed per household, per day, for the duration of the famine), he had to be knowledgeable about agriculture (to know how much and in what pattern the ground would produce food), and he needed to be sensitive to the cultural differences of the citizens (as he needed to know the specific nutritional and dietary needs of the different races and communities under Egyptian rule). He must have a good understanding of weather, he needed to know how to store the grain so that they did not germinate (in a dry, and cool area, away from pests and animals), he needed to arrange a way to keep track of the logistics (so that no one took more than his share), he needed to work out so many matters!
- This was a massive logistics exercise for one man to organize! Grain/corn had to be collected from the entire fields of harvests in Egypt over a period of seven years. This corn had to be transported and stored safely in warehouses – safe from pests, diseases, rodents, animals, thieves and the weather. Then that grain must be rationed for a period of seven more years, leaving an amount at the end of that period, that could be used to plant the next harvest. It is like running the logistics of the two million Haj pilgrims, not for 40 days, but for 14 years continuously, without lapses or errors! Remember, all this had to be done without calculators, computers, internet, email, Blackberries, container trucks and air-conditioners. If Sayyidina Yusuf (as) miscalculated, many would starve to death, and war or riots would break out. So this task required someone who was an expert, it required someone honest (otherwise most of the food would be set aside for his own family) and it required someone who was God-fearing and compassionate. No one, not even the King nor his advisors, could do it. Sayyidina Yusuf (as), endowed with Divine Wisdom and ability, stepped forward to serve the King and the community. That is what true leadership is all about, service to the King’s subjects. Unfortunately nowadays, leadership means being served by the King’s subjects.
- Despite having no worldly technology, Allah equipped Sayyidina Yusuf (as) with the heavenly technology and Divine Wisdom to complete this mammoth task successfully. The Prophet (saw) said, “For every disease, Allah has created a cure.” Allah will fulfill all our physical and spiritual needs throughÂ waseelah, the means of attaining the goal. Hence, for every need, Allah has created a means to fulfill that need. For every job, Allah has created one suitable for it. On the Day of Promises, every need/job/problem/situation had been assigned to one who would solve it, every one of us has our own unique tasks and duties, that we had been commanded to perform while in this dunia. We must know our strengths and weaknesses, we must know our abilities and limits and we must be humble enough to accept when a task is beyond us, and we must also be humble enough to serve sincerely, when the task is indeed our God-given duty.
- So never seek responsibility in what you have no knowledge or ability in, but on the other hand, never shirk responsibility if you are indeed qualified to serve!
This Suhbah can be watched only at www.Saltanat.org, choose from the menu on the right, “QualifiedOne 10. Nov 2010”. There is a CC button next to the Volume control at the bottom of the screen to choose choose subtitles in eight languages, choose from Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Turkish. During Live Suhbahs, the buttons at the top provide Live Audio Translations into other languages. Should the video no longer be there, please look for it under the video archives of the Saltanat TV site. Saltanat TV is the Official Site of Maulana Shaykh Nazim that is sanctioned and approved by him personally.