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Criteria of Rightful and Unlawful Leadership (Part 4)

 imam ali (a.s)

True Leader and His Followers

Regarding the relationship between the leader and his followers, Imam Ali (A.S) addressing some of his executives saying: “I have heard something about you. If it is correct and you have done something wrong as I have heard, you have indeed brought the wrath of your Lord, acted against the will of your leader and committed treason against our trust.”‌[i]

According to Imam Ali (A.S) a merited leader and a righteous Imam lives his life in accordance with the standards of the lower strata and with the minimum livelihood. He shall never misuse his power to accumulate wealth for personal use and live a luxury life. This is one of the criteria for the rule of the just; otherwise it will turn to be a despotic rule. “The Almighty God has obligated the Imams and the leaders to be just. He has asked them to bring their life into conformity with the poorest to avoid poverty bothering the poor.”‌[ii]

Elsewhere he says a true and righteous leader is a model to follow: “Shall I suffice to this that they call me the Commander of the Believers, while I do not share their hardships or do not serve as a model in their sorrows and hardships of life?”‌[iii]

In view of Imam Ali (A.S) extravagant ceremonies and formality programs that probably mar the general reverence of human beings and do not prove to be of considerable benefit to the rulers, are signs of despotic rules and corrupt leaders. “I swear by God, your bosses and emirs never gain a benefit from this. You raise problems for yourself in this world and you will be among the miserable in the Hereafter.”‌[iv]

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi


[i] Ibid, Sermon 205

[ii] Ibid, Sermon 33

[iii] Ibid, Letter 40

[iv] Ibid, Sermon 209

Otehr links:

The Caliphate of Imam Ali (A.S) and His Method of Rule (Part 2)

Imam Ali’s Internal Policy (Part 2)

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