Our talk was about the Islamic theory of leadership and administration. We stated that the covenant of the Commander of the Faithful (Ú) to Malik al-Ashtar, when he appointed him as provincial governor of Egypt, represents a summary of this theory. In this important historic document, the Commander of the Faithful (Ú) was able to create and summarize everything an official should be familiar with, that a leader must adhere to it and the nation and subjects must cope with it in order to win success for the leadership network. The Commander of the Faithful (Ú) was able in this covenant to sum up this integrated vision: what the duties are, the official’s rights on one hand and those of the nation and people on the other, etc. we also stated that, according to the Islamic vision, the leadership network does not mean only the leaderships of the nation and people: who the king, president, minister and the like is, etc. Rather, it extends to cover all leadership levels. A leader may be the dean of a college, a tribal leader or engaged in any business, or he may be in charge of a family. Everyone must follow these guidelines so he may be successful in his administration and responsibility. We talked and arrived at the end of the sixth portion at the talk about favoritism and injustice. We said that if an official prefers his interests or those of his relatives, kinsfolk, party or group affiliates or tribe, over the public interests when it comes to concessions, opportunities, resources and distinctions which he vests on himself, relatives or close friends rather than vesting them equally on people in general, he will have fallen into injustice. We then talked about administration and leadership from Ali’s viewpoint, peace with him. We stated in the talk the seriousness of injustice in the Islamic concept, especially when an official is unjust or one who is on the frontline of responsibility. We also talked about the absence of possibility of a justification no matter what the pretext may be, and we talked about the reality of injustice and the needed treatment for injustice in the leadership network.
Ali (Ú) says, “Nothing calls for changing a blessing of Allah and the speeding up of His wrath than tolerating injustice. Nothing distances one from the blessing and brings him closer to wrath like the implications of injustice. Injustice is the shortest ways to Allah’s wrath and torment and the furthermost way from Allah’s blessing and munificence, for Allah hears the call of those who are persecuted, and He lies in ambush for the unjust ones.” “Allah Almighty hears the voice of the wronged.” There are worldly impacts and repercussions for injustice even before the time of the Hereafter. Since this is one of the rights of people, repentance by itself does not suffice.
Enlightenment inspired by this sacred tradition:
Injustice is a cause for speeding up wrath and affliction.
According to Ali’s logic, which is that of Islam, when an official oppresses, he strips off his humanity and turns into a monster, a beast that assaults others, abuses and encroaches on them; therefore, he gives up his humanity. At the moment when an official oppresses, he will be on the track of decline, disappearance and fall; it is a matter of time. Such is the way of Allah Almighty. Such is the logic of Islam. As long as you oppress and insist on oppression, this is a cause for speeding up the wrath, and the affliction becomes near. According to the Holy Qur’an’s viewpoint, injustice leads to fall. Injustice leads to the collapse of regimes. The oppressor will be subject to the divine penalty in the life of this world before the Hereafter. Months ago, we needed to explain this subject, but nowadays, following the transformations and the “Arab Spring”, as they call it, the matter becomes quite clear. The ruler who used to control others, while everyone was trying to materialize and to carry out his orders, the one who had armies, awe and means, in weeks the people wanted to topple his regime even without mobilizing armies. All the matters which he regarded as arms in defense of himself, the ruler, crumbled. So, in all reality, injustice has to come to an end, and Allah gives people a respite, but He does not neglect anything, and the final end is imminent.
Anything that is out of place is injustice.
According to the logic of Imam Ali (Ú), anything which is out of place is injustice, and it falls in the repercussions about which we have talked.
An unwise stance, one free of wisdom, rash or sentimental is out of place, it is injustice. The sentimental stances testify to injustice. An official must be stable, calm, discerning, taking his time to consult then to adopt the sound decision.
Narcissism and moods in managing the affairs connote oppression. You must not impose your stance, opinion, mood on others.
Running away from paying the dues is injustice. Lagging behind fulfilling commitments, promises and pledges exposes one to these repercussions and consequences.
Placing an incompetent individual in areas of responsibility is injustice because it is unfair to people, it is injustice to the position, the country will fall back, the riches will be wasted and so will the resources. This is serious injustice. Handing responsibility to an individual who is incompetent is injustice; it exposes one to these repercussions.
Deviating from the criteria, scales, laws and commitments…, is there logic that determines your decisions? What are these criteria? In the same issue, there is a strict stance towards so-and-so while leniency is the lot of so-and-so; this is injustice.
Getting away from the paths of the creed and reason…, is this step or stance subject to rational and legitimate criteria? If it is, congratulations to you. But if it is not, this is injustice.
Everything that is out of place is oppression. If it is oppression, it falls within the repercussions about which we have already talked.
Oppression and the disappearance of a state are inseparable.
Imam Ali (Ú) is quoted on p. 267, Vol. 1 of Ghurar al-Hikam as saying, “Oppression destroys homes.” We have the minds and the resources, and there are no sanctions, yet there is no progress! This means that there is injustice. But when we lift injustice, matters will be on the right track. Ali (Ú) is quoted as having said, “Mismanagement causes destruction.” Mismanagement, the lack of wisdom, the absence of adhering to restrictions, the sentimentalities, the rash and hasty stances… all lead to such serious repercussions. “One whose authority oppresses will cause his rule to disappear.” If there is oppression, injustice, it leads to the disappearance of the State. Oppression and the disappearance of power are inseparable. “When the lowly one and the minors take charge of States, it is evidence that they will disintegrate and disappear.” When someone who is not to be trusted, who has no conscience or history, takes charge, he will not know anything other than his own interest and will do so in various inappropriate and unethical ways. The events, the coincident, brought these mean folks, placing them in the forefront. We read about the past tyrants and oppressors how a certain opportunity came to one to make him the only leader, the emperor, yet he is unable to administer the matters properly because he does not have the immunity and the full discretion. And he may lose his balance, and his stances are not studied and are immature. Imam Ali (Ú) says that when the responsibility falls in the hands of mean individuals and youngsters, it is evidence that States will disintegrate and disappear. This responsibility will be unable to achieve the results. The outcome will be the decline, collapse and disintegration of the government.
States disappear in four cases: when the basics are lost, when the branches are upheld, when the mean ones are advanced and when the best are pushed aside.
If there are no strategies, restrictions, criteria and principles to adhere to in these States, there is no vision or strategy; there are only rash decisions. The principles are lost, and this is the first indication for the disappearance of a State. So does sticking to secondary things, keeping busy with small ones while ignoring serious matters. It is the same when serious matters and principles are abandoned, when officials remain occupied with minor and small details.
Likewise, receiving mean ones while keeping men of virtue at bay, those who are competent, honest and able, having no place in the State responsibilities leads to both position and occupation being abandoned, while those who are certified, competent and honest are kept in a position of self-defense. If such a phenomenon exists in a country, it will signal the start of decline and fall of that country.
“Sighs of the oppressed are never lost, and they shall burn the oppressor…”
In this statement, too, we find how the Commander of the Faithful (Ú) points out to an important issue which is: Injustice has a position in the cosmic order in which the sighs of the oppressed are not lost, and they shall burn the oppressor no matter who he may be.
Ali (Ú) says, “People will hope that the one whose authority transgresses will perish.” When people wish an official will perish, it is the beginning of collapses because people started complaining about the oppressor. This complaining and supplicating is heard by Allah Almighty.
“Allah will remove the domain of one who treats his subjects unjustly; Allah will speed up his decline and death.” Oppression leads to the disappearance of the domain; it leads to annihilation. “Whenever a man of authority is granted by Allah power and bliss, and when he uses them to oppress His servants, it will be right for Allah to extract it out of him.” Responsibility is a trust. If the trust is not dealt with properly, Allah Almighty will take it [responsibility] away. “Have you not seen how Allah Almighty says that ‘Allah does not change the condition of people unless they change what is in their innermost’?”
If an official performs well, he will secure the position for himself and even takes increasing roles. But if the official falls short, he becomes the problem, and he must expect the disappearance of this responsibility.
In another narrative about Imam Ali (Ú), he is quoted as having said, “If Allah Almighty gives an oppressor respite, He will not neglect to take him away, and He lies in ambush for him wherever he goes, even at the passage where he swallows his saliva.” At the right time, Allah Almighty will seize the oppressor. Allah Almighty is closer to us than the jugular vein. Facts and realities cannot be hidden indefinitely. Rather, they will for sure be uncovered one day. Here, the Commander of the Faithful (Ú) explains how Allah Almighty lies in ambush for the unjust officials though after some time