in English

‘Umar al-Tilmisani:

“I have never feared anyone besides the Al-Mighty God. Nothing has impeded me to affirm the truth in which I believe, despite inflicting discomfort to others and nuisance to me. I declare my belief, peacefully, firmly and respectfully, to avoid uneasiness to my audience. I try to circumvent sounding derogatory which will irritate my adversary. With that, I can be in tranquility. If with this method I fail to recruit acquaintance, staying quite can hinder me from the nefariousness of the masses.”   

Trustworthiness is a primary asset in the life of a Muslim. Since the establishment of the first human being, Adam was the first caliph on earth, that marks the series of entrustment of humans. Muslims are entrusted to carry on the baton as the ambassador carrying God’s decree on earth.

Two primary duties are to consecrate oneself to God and to develop the world. Messengers were delegated as guidance for mankind to remember and implement their responsibility.

The concept of trustworthiness includes every Muslim involved in politics, either as a leader, as an administrator, as an officer or an activist, to feel what they are doing is a responsibility and to carry it out through the concept of Tauhid.

They consciously act upon the understanding of Tauhid that Allah will deem them responsible for what they have done. They also are aware that the position they are entrusted upon are chosen by their people thus being accountable before their people. They, should knowingly fathom the reason for their position, as a leader or as people to protect the public interest.

ʿUmar and The Angered Woman

During the time of ʿUmar ibn Al-Khattāb, he once went to Madinah to carry out his duty as the caliph and on the way back home, he met with a poor woman living taking refuge under a tent outside the skirts of Madinah with her starving children.

The woman, without knowing the identity of the man she was talking too -ʿUmar ibn Al-Khattāb himself-,   complained to him about the caliph abandoning his people.   ʿUmar replied “How would ʿUmar be in the know of your state when you beyond his reach?” The woman, relentlessly replied back “If he is incapable of knowing his people, why did he accept the responsibility as a leader”.

After that incident, ʿUmar went back to Madinah and decreed Baitul Mal to take care of the welfare of the woman and her children.

Trustworthiness and Responsibility

The incident evidently shows that leadership is a responsibility on the shoulders of the leaders and not an “exclusivity” or “specialty” for him. Fuqahā’ have come out with a method of “tassarufat al-rā’iyy manūtun ‘alā maslahah al-ra’iyyah” (The leader’s decision rests on the public interest of his subordinates). In other concepts is known as “Al-Tasarruf ‘alā al-Ra’iyyah Manūtun bi al-Maslahah” (Decisions made by the leader for the people is based on their public interest).

On political issues and governmental administrations, these are closely related with trustworthiness. Either responsibility of the people to their leader or from Allah to the chosen leaders. Trustworthiness is the topical theme in governmental administrations. Starting from this point on, this concept of trustworthiness is to be implemented in the best way of execution.

The need to implement a successful managerial execution by doing it effectively and efficiently (itqan), requires a systematic and clear-cut work policy. Choosing the right human capital for the work and position is also part of process. Positioning a wrong individual at an unsuited position may deem the administration a failure and incomplete.

Ibn Taimiyah in his book al-Siyāsah al-Syar’iyyah has emphasized the need to position the right human capital in charge of a certain post.