Hadith on Leadership: Responsibility of Authority

📖Sahih Muslim 1825
It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr who said: I said to the Prophet (ï·º): Messenger of Allah, will you not appoint me to a public office? He stroked my shoulder with his hand and said: Abu Dharr, thou art weak and authority is a trust. and on the Day of judgment it is a cause of humiliation and repentance except for one who fulfils its obligations and (properly) discharges the duties attendant thereon.

From this hadith (narration), we can learn the following lessons:

  1. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of being responsible and trustworthy when holding a position of authority. He recognized that authority is a trust (amanah) bestowed upon individuals, and they should fulfill their obligations and discharge their duties properly.
  2. The Prophet’s response to Abu Dharr’s request for a public office indicates that not everyone is suitable or capable of handling positions of authority. The Prophet recognized Abu Dharr’s limitations and advised him about his weakness, implying that he may not be suitable for such a role.
  3. The narration highlights the potential consequences of misusing or neglecting authority. On the Day of Judgment, those who do not fulfill their obligations and misuse their positions of authority will face humiliation and regret. This serves as a reminder that positions of authority come with great responsibility and should be treated with sincerity and accountability.

Overall, this hadith teaches us the importance of responsibility, trustworthiness, and fulfilling our duties when given positions of authority, while also reminding us of the potential consequences of misusing or neglecting that authority.