Prohibition of Craving for Leadership Positions

Sunday 27-Jan-2019, 1:58AM / 418

Translation: Abul Aamal Misbaah Olagunju (@BN_Uthmaaan)

The prohibition of assigning leadership and judge positions or other positions of authority to anyone who asks for it or craves after it then shows interest in it. 

Abu Moosaa Al-Ash'ariyy Allah be pleased with him said: I entered upon the Prophet Allah raise his rank and grant him peace along with two men from the tribe of Ummiy, then one of them said: "O Messenger of Allah, grant me authority over a portion of what Allah the mighty and sublime has put in your dominion. " The other person also said something similar to that, then the Prophet - sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam - said: 

??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????
"Verily by Allah we do not appoint this authority to anyone who asks for it, or anyone who craves after it" 
- (Al-Bukhaari:13/7149, Muslim:1733)

Ash-Shaykh Al-Faqeeh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Uthaymeen said:

It has preceded in the hadith of AbdurRaman bin Samrah Allah be pleased with him: the Prophet Allah raise his rank and grant him peace said: 

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"Do not askedl for a position of authority for if it were given to you without requesting you will be assisted (by Allah) upon it and if it were given to you on request you will be abandoned to it."

Similarly it is not proper for the ruler when he is asked for the authority over a province or a portion with desert or something similar to that by anyone, that he grants it to him, even if the one who seeks it is suitable for that, because the prophet Allah raise his rank and grant him peace as was reported in the hadith of Aboo Moosaa that was mentioned by the author when two men asked him to grant them leadership over some portion of the dominion which Allah had put in his charge, he said: 

??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????
"Indeed by Allah we do not grant this authority to anyone who asks for it, or anyone who craves after it."

And this is so because the one who seeks after it or craves it, most times his objective for doing that is to acquire power for himself not to benefit the people, and when there may have been accusations of this suspicion the Prophet prohibited giving authority to the one who seeks after it and said:

"Indeed by Allah we do not appoint this authority to anyone who asks for it, or anyone who craves after it."

Once again, if someone were to ask to be made a judge; then he says to the ruler regards being made a judge, minister of justice for instance: "appoint me the judge of such-and-such land". He is not to be appointed, but as for someone who seeks reallocation from one town to the other or similar to that, then his case is not included in this hadith, because he has already been appointed prior to that, however he seeks to be in another location, except when it is known that his intention and aim is to gain power and authority over the people of that town, hence he should be prevented. For actions are judged by the intentions.

If a questioner were to ask: How will you respond to us on the statement of Yusuf Allah raise his rank and grant him peace to Al-Azeez: 

?????????? ?????? ????????? ????????? ? ?????? ??????? ??????? 
"Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge" - [Yusuf: 55]

We will respond with one of two replies:

Firstly: we either say: Whenever the legislation which preceded us contrast our own legislation, then we depend on our legislation, (this is) established upon a principle popular with the jurists: 

??? ?? ????? ??? ??? ?? ?? ??? ????? ??????
"The legislation of those before us is applicable to us as long as it doesn't repel our legislation by contradicting it". 

And we have seen that our legislation contradicts it: verily we do not authorize anyone who seeks after authority. 

Secondly: or we say: Yusuf Allah raise his rank and grant him peace observed that the king is neglectful, and misusing it and frivolous with it, then he wished to salvage the town from this frivolities, and similar to this is his objective to remove bad administration and bad service, and this has nothing wrong with it; for instance if we see a leader in a district but he has mislay the order and people have been corrupted, so to rectify this affair if someone did not find other than him he (can) seek from the ruler to grant him authority over this district, then he says to him: "grant me the authority over this town for the purpose of ejecting the evil in it" and this has nothing wrong with it, in accordance with the principles.

And it was brought forth in this hadith, Uthmaan bin Abee Al-Aas who said to the prophet Allah raise his rank and grant him peace: make me the Imaam of my people; that is, in salah, then the Prophet - sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam - said to him: 

??? ??????
"You are their Imaam". 

So the ruler should examine the intent behind why this man sought to be made a leader or why he asked to be made a judge, or why he sought to be made an Imaam, then do whatever is beneficial based on his findings.

Sharh Riyaadh As-saaliheen: vol:2/page:378-380.