From Issue: 479 [Read full issue]
Advise to Imams
The Imam’s mandate for leadership is based upon his practice. The role of the leader is to lead, but you can’t lead something that will not move. To develop movement, the leader must be active, and he must teach by example. His strength is his kindness. He understands that Ibaadah (worship) is just for Allah alone, not himself. So, he is patient and understanding with his brothers as he teaches. His teaching never strays from the basics, no matter how much he knows or thinks he knows, i.e., shahadah, prayers, fasting, zakat, hajj. Everyone will not and cannot learn or practice it to the same degree. All worship is for Allah…Qur’an and Hadith are the source of ilm (knowledge) for the Ummah. Fard Allah bi-li ibaadah (worshipping Allah alone), ijmaa and ijtihaad (consensus and informed reasoning) must be rooted in Shariah (Islamic law).
Based upon our collective niyaat, we are the Ummah (community) of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He never named the community, so we don’t name it. We are the Ummah, and this is sufficient. Imams and jamaats may name masajids and jamaats, but Allah and His Messenger has named the community, Ummah.
The Imam must be prepared to do most of the work without thanks from those who benefit, and without compensation. Your reward is with Allah. Stay away from making up and giving out offices of authority…amir of this and minister of that, etc. The Prophet only appointed authority, as he needed it. Men were tested in their practice before being given authority. Allah will raise from the ranks those who are fit to lead. If you doubt me, then name the positions of authority before the year of deputation.
"Advise to Imams" - Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin