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How to raise a religious leader - Dar al-Tarjama WebSite

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MAGAZINE ARTICLES
= WRITTEN BY AMR KHALED =
How to raise a religious leader?
Our current crisis and the apparent lack of leadership throughout this nation's history
always forces us to ask why we can't have great leaders. Why can't we have another
Omar bin Abdul-Aziz, Nourul-Deen Mahmoud, Othman the first or Saladin? Then the
question comes to benefit this study: how can we get such a leader?
We should look at the moral structure of one of those great religious leaders. We will
bypass the three centuries between now and then so that nobody says that 'the time was
good, preparation was easier then' and that 'this is inapplicable in our bitter reality'.
The subject of our study is the sultan Muhammad Al-Fatih (Mehmet II). He is
Muhammad Khan II son of the Ottoman Mourad II, the seventh sultan in the family of
Al-Othman, called Al-Fatih (the conqueror) and Abil-Kheyrat (wealth bringer); he was
born in 833 hijri. He was the second of his brothers; he had an elder brother called
Alaa'din who was martyred in preaching.
Muhammad II was raised since his early childhood on the importance of heroicness,
leadership, preaching and right house. The father of the sultan Mourad II used to raise
his children to carry on his job after him. His father left him to a number of teachers
and scientists to raise him on the Islamic manners and principles. His father noticed his
desire to play and have fun and his inattention to his teachers, so he asked Mourad II
for a teacher that could control this boy Muhammad. He was told that the scientist
Ahmad 'ibn Ismail Al-kori was the best to do the job. Mourad II summoned him and
gave him a rod to beat Muhammad with if he didn't learn from him. So Al-kori went to
Muhammad -with the rod in his hand- and told him your father has sent me to teach
you and beat you if you disobey me. Muhammad laughed, so he beat him severely
until he was afraid of him and recited the whole Qur'an in a short period of time. He
then taught him Islamic sciences and read to him books of history. Muhammad
excelled beyond all of the other princes and managed to learn to speak three languages:
Turkish, Persian and Arabic.
Sultan Mourad II was keen to push his young child to leading positions, even though
he was only twelve years old. When he saw his competence he promoted him to higher
positions and gave him the Sultanate when he was fourteen years old. Mourad isolated
himself to worship but he didn't leave his project, hopefully a great leader that can face
the external enemies and internal protesters. He kept watching his project so that he
could interfere if he had to. He interfered twice - once when Christian Europe declared
war on the Ottomans because of their sultan's young age, causing Mourad to come out
of solitude and lead the Muslims to a glorious victory in the battle of Varna on 28th
Ragab 853 hijri. The other occasion came when internal disturbances arose provoked
by the soldiers of Al-Ankeshariea thinking their sultan wasn't strong enough, so
Mourad II defeated them.
Preparing leaders is no easy matter. It cannot be left to circumstances without planning
and consideration, nor is it a matter of individual geniality of one person who crosses
the rows to attain leadership. It is a tiring and long procedure that starts from early
childhood to enrich the talents, explore the skills and increase the powers in sequential
procedures to raise the leader.
This preparation should not stop on the religious part. It is a matter of the complete
construction of a leader that will lead a nation. He will lead the nation through its life,
full of unknowns and new matters that join ancient and modern.
The practice of the leader's job reveals the suitability and seriousness of the leadership
project, and the correctness of the proposed model. Some leaders do not show defects
outside the government but when they are cast into the field their defects appear. That
is why the father was keen to test his son Muhammad. He made him leader of a small
estate first as practice, then leader of the whole country without leaving him. He stayed
with him until he was strong enough, despite the many bitter experiences.
The scientist, Ahmad 'ibn Ismail Al-Kori:
He used to teach Muhammad to recite the Qur'an, he used to read to him the religious
books, he raised him to respect Allah's orders and to comply with the Shari'a laws and
he taught him to fear Allah. This honourable teacher used to ignore the Governors'
orders if they contradicted Allah's laws. He never knelt before a sultan, and he used to
address them by name directly, and he used to greet them without kissing their hands.
That is why we can see the great effect the man had on Muhammad, where we find
him, as a governor, respecting the Shari'a, religious scientists, who killed one of his
followers because he beat a judge and refused to execute his judgement. We find
Muhammad Al-Fateh choosing his followers and friends from the scientists and good
people. He never heard of a poor scientist without helping him. He would conduct a
meeting in Ramadan after Zuhr (noon) prayer, assisted by the prominent scientists in
tafseer (deciphering the meaning of Qur'anic verses), where each of them would speak
about one verse and discusses it with the other scientists, and the Fatih shared this with
them. When he defeated the chief Al-Turkuman Hassan Al-Taweel, a man who used to
attack, betray them and ally with any group other than the Ottomans, Al-Fateh ordered
to kill the captives except the scientists like the judge Muhammad Al-Shurehy, who
fought unwillingly with Al-Taweel, and was one of the best scientists of his time. AlFateh was generous to him because of his knowledge despite his attack.
The second teacher was Al-Sheikh Muhammad bin Hamza al-Rrouhy, known as Ba'q
Shams Al-din. This scientist had a great effect on the life of the leader Muhammad AlFateh as he instilled him on two great matters:
1- Increasing the Ottoman preaching movement
2- Convincing Muhammad that he can be the prince mentioned in the Hadith, "He
who conquers Constantinople will be the best of princes and his army will be
the best of armies." To make Muhammad sure he was meant by this Hadith the
first thing he made him do in his government was to prepare to bring Islamic
rule to Constantinople and he did it.
In fact, because of his influence, the historians call Shams Ad-din the spiritual
conqueror of Constantinople. This Sheikh taught Muhammad the sciences, such as
mathematics, astronomy, history, and methods of war, and he gave Al-Fatih a lesson in
his childhood that he never forgot; a lesson that revealed how well this Sheikh
understood the raising and upbringing of a religious leader. One day he called Al-Fateh
and beat him so severely that Al-Fateh cried a lot and remembered that day when he
was sultan in his father days. He called his Sheikh and asked him angrily, “Why did
you beat me that day without me doing something that deserves beating?” His Sheikh
told him, “I wanted to show how unfairness tastes, to prevent you from being unfair to
anyone when you take leadership”, so Al-Fateh apologized to his Sheikh.
After conquering Constantinople, Al-Fateh wanted to retire and devote himself to
worship of Allah. When asked his Sheikh this, he replied, “if you went into solitude
you will find a joy that exceeds the government in your eyes, and things will be
confused. What you are doing is better than solitude.” This statement shows great
understanding from the teacher.
Just like this religious scientist raised his student to take leadership, on great manners
and held him to a noble aim, where he sought it and directed all his powers towards it,
certainly this was for the welfare of the whole Ummah (nation).
AmrKhaled.net © ‫ﺟﻤﻴﻊ ﺣ�ﻮق اﻟﻨﺸﺮ ﻣﺤﻔﻮﻇﺔ‬
This Article may be published and duplicated freely for private purposes, as long
as the original source is mentioned. For all other purposes you need to obtain the
prior written approval of the website administration. For info:
dar_altarjama@amrkhaled.net
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