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Stands >2006 Stands >The The Stand of Moharam 22 1426H /February 21, 2005 A.D.
 

Masses and Leadership in Islam.

Sayyed Fadlullah We believe that all Lebanese of all sects are endowed with wisdom and rationality, but we fear that this inciting rhetoric of some politicians will prevent them from seeing the future clearly. This, in turn, will make the possibility of regaining the unified and independent Lebanon rather difficult, especially with the absence of responsible leaders and the continuous foreign interference with every detail.

Asked in his weekly seminar the following question: What is the responsibility of the leadership towards the masses and vice-versa according to Islam?

The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said: Islam has emphasized the role of the nation and the masses in change and in building the future, since the nation is the creator of change, and the factor which success or the future depend on.

That is why we found that God, as is evident in the Holy Quran, has consistently asked the Prophets to be with the people and inspire their hopes and feel their pains. They should not live in ivory towers and act as an insolated and distant elite.

In this respect, God told His Messenger(p.) : And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the masses are always right since being right stems from humanistic and religious values and other facts the masses could sometimes be against.

Therefore, it is the duty of the nation, as well as the leader, to determine what is right and what it wrong. On the one hand, the nation has to stop following the leader blindly. On the contrary it has to hold him accountable, supervise his work to see if it conforms with the dictates of the Sharia and follows the strategic plans that realizes the nation goals, so as to get him back on the right course in case he deviates.

This could well be what Islam emphasized through the constant calls of the Prophet(p.), his household members and his companions to follow up the Leaders’ stances and to criticize him whenever there is a need to do so.

On the other hand, Islam has obliged the leader to be honest and righteous and not to take the nation to where his desires and interests lead him.

He has to be trustworthy in leading the nation and running its affairs. He should also be quite aware of its interests and its deep feelings. In addition, he should try to guide the nation and always be transparent in the way he runs its affairs.

The leader who exploits the masses’ potentials for the benefit of his personal interests, deploys their feelings to consolidate his authoritarian power, or the Leader who hides his plans of secret alliances or constantly changing policies, such a leader is not worthy of leading the masses and could not be entrusted with their causes or future.

There are, in our view, several leaders in our Arab and Muslim world who are not worthy of leading and who do not inspire the nation's ambitions. Those leaders have abused power and tried to promote their personal interests. To do this, they addressed the nation's instincts and sectarian affiliations to ensure that it would unconsciously follow them and support them without thinking. By playing on their emotions and reaction those leaders have taken the masses into places that they have never thought of.

The real leader is the one who controls the emotions of the masses and leads them within the general framework of their causes.

The leader’s basic role is to protect the nation from his whims and from all that is plotted against it. He has a mandate to rule given to him by the masses, and he is in no way the master or the owner.

One of the fundamental duties a leader is supposed to perform is to explain the reasons that drove him to adopt his policies. Words of reform and change should not be in vacuum; it should rather promote and strive to achieve the nation’s strategic causes.

Therefore, we call on the nation to be cautious towards the leader whose emotions might take the nation into the unknown, which might endanger the nation's interests. The time has come for our people who are aimed with sufficient awareness, to oust these leaders and produce new youthful leaders who are well qualified to lead the nation and preserve its interests.

But this does not mean we are the only ones who are living the crisis of leaders’ cheating and betrayal to their people. Other self-proclaimed advanced nations have fallen victim to their leaders ' hypocrisy. The American President, for example, deceived the Americans when he talked about weapons of mass destruction to invade Iraq… A war that turned into a war on Islam that took various forms including the drawings that insult the Prophet (p.).

We want our peoples to be aware of what is plotted against them in the name of democracy, freedom and the like… And we want the Lebanese not to be influenced by the tense rhetoric of some; a rhetoric that does not have any strategic dimension or any value in its content. It only incites Lebanese against one another, taking them back to the caves of sectarianism and creating a constant state of tension between them and their Arabic and Islamic environment.

We believe that all Lebanese of all sects are endowed with wisdom and rationality, but we fear that this inciting rhetoric of some politicians will prevent them from seeing the future clearly. This, in turn, will make the possibility of regaining the unified and independent Lebanon rather difficult, especially with the absence of responsible leaders and the continuous foreign interference with every detail.