Imamah – A Reflection on Leadership

It’s funny the way leadership and power is viewed, in the Muslim community and elsewhere. Everyone wants to be in control. That is, until they have to be responsible. Which is probably why so many who wind up in “control”, or positions of leadership or authority, do just that: act irresponsibly, because to do the opposite would require not only self-sacrifice, but a willingness to constantly deal with things that you “didn’t do”, “didn’t start”, or “didn’t ask for”. In my short career as an imam, I have had a real glimpse into the life of the Prophet ﷺ: not in a scholastic way, not in a textual way, but in a real, tangible “human” way. It requires dealing with ups and a lot of downs. It requires fighting fires you not only didn’t start, but fighting fires you don’t always feel equipped to fight. And here comes the true glimpse into the Prophetic life: it is God Who is in charge, Who Decrees, Who Compels us humans to situations not of our making, but of His Design, always to a greater good, even if that greater good lays outside of our (spiritual) peripheral vision.