Leadership Succession Planning
Surah Ibrahim, 4
وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوۡمِهِۦ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمۡۖ فَيُضِلُّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allâh misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
- Every single Messenger sent was sent speaking the language of the people he was sending the message to – why? To make it clear to them.
- Allah swt guides whom He wills and misguides whome He wills.
- Ayah has many discussions – why Qur’an was in Arabic, why the Message of Prophet (S) is still a universal message.
- Every Prophet came speaking in the right language – to clarify things for them.
- Important for us – Muslims are a minority, and majority of Muslims in North America are immigrants. Now, we’re seeing the second and third generation of those immigrants. The indigenous Muslims – converts – are also having their own kids and their communities are growing.
- We need to cultivate leadership – specifically spiritual – from within our own communities. They need to speak the language and understand one another – culturally – so they can clarify for each other and make the deen understandable.
- Specific issue – speak the language itself and knowing the language. Know what goes on with the people. For a very long time, the religious leadership was arranged by bringing in someone from overseas. It may work for the first generation – but they cannot properly relate to the children and speak to the youth. We need to develop and implement youth from our communities – the experience will drastically change.
- This is no way a slight to the great Scholars who do come here to fill in the void that no one else was filling. There are, however, certain realities at play here.
- This is a growing concern within many communities. We need newer, younger, Imams, younger teachers, etc.
- So this is the Sunnah of Allah that He always sent Messengers which spoke the language of the people and understood their culture – could relate.
- Also, when Allah sent others – they were also from the people. The person had to be from amongst their community.
- One of the greatest blessings upon our Ummah is that the Messenger was from amongst US – he was one of us.
- Next step is that we need to make the present leaders from withing OUR community – they need to be from us. They need to speak the language, understand the youth, etc.
- At the same time, we’re reluctant to make our own children into a leader – we’ll hire someone else – but it’s the most fruitful when it’s from your own community. It needs to happen.
- It’s okay if it isn’t the greatest khutbah you ever heard – it needs to happen. It’s in their for the long run.
- You won’t be there for your kids because the generation gap will be there – so you need to make sure a leader is coming out from each generation.
- The leader of the army being sent to Room – at the end of the life of Prophet (S) – was Usama ibn Zayd – a 17 or 19 yeard old boy. People had the ego issue then too – he called them and addressed it – P (S) said I put them as a leader because I saw he has potential.
- When ‘Umar ibn al Khattab (ra) would make shura – he would call ‘Abdullah ibn Abbas – who was like 20 years old at the time, and he would ask him along with other senior Sahabah. ‘Abdullah would try to hide when this would happen but ‘Umar would call for him. Asked about Surah Nasr – everyone gave opinion – ‘Abdullah said that this is giving news that life of Prophet (S) is coming to an end (it was revealed at that time). ‘Umar said this is why I ask him – that was what he knew.
- Part of the responsibility of leadership is bringing in the new leaders. You’re not going to be there forever.
- For the sake of our children, we need to be very keen to their needs of having a speaker who understands their problems and circumstances. We need to be more open-minded in developing a leader from our community.