Sixty Sultaniyya

The Weighty Burden of Responsibility

Hadith 13, You are eager for leadership and it is truly a regret and a sorrow on the Day of Judgement, what a good wet nurse and what an evil weaner (Ibn Hibban)
Hadith 14, O Abu Dharr, you are weak, and it is an 'Amanah (trust), and on the Day of Judgement it will be a disgrace and a regret except (for those) who take it by its right and perform its duties correctly (Muslim)


A: Imam Nawawi mentioned in relation to these and similar narrations - "This is a great reason to avoid positions of authority especially those who are weak - and this refers to those who are not suitable and those who do not act justly in the position - then he will regret his negligence when he is humiliated on the Day of Resurrection. However one who is suitable for the position and behaves justly in it - then there is a great reward as shown in a number of reports. However entering into it carries a great danger therefore the great scholars avoided it. His saying, "What a good wet-nurse" (that is - the one who feeds the baby at breast) meaning in this world, and "What an evil weaner" meaning after death - since he will be taken to account for it. So he is like one who is weaned away from breast milk before he can manage without it - so this causes his destruction. And it is said, "What a good wet nurse" due to the status, wealth, authority, attainment of physical and imagined enjoyment which it produces whilst one has it, but "What an evil weaner", meaning when one is removed from it by death or other causes - due to the even consequences one faces in the Hereafter."

B: Leadership is a position of trust and great responsibility, and should only be given to those who are capable of carrying that responsibility and fulfilling that trust, and not to those who even if they are sincere may not have the strong personality traits necessary for a person to be a successful and just leader.

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