Oh leadership … Remember the advice of Al-Hassan Al-Basri to Omar bin Abdulaziz

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AT the beginning of his reign, the Umayyad Caliph Omar bin Abdulaziz wanted to learn more from the knowledge of Al-Hassan Al-Basri, and so he asked to meet him. Caliph Omar said to him, “Whom can I seek help in ruling, Hassan?” Al-Basri said, “O Commander of the Faithful, as for the people of the world, you have no need for them. As for the people of religion, they have no need for you.”

Ahmad-jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

The caliph was amazed at his response, and so he said to him, “Who can I seek help from?” Al-Basri said, “You should follow the people of honor, because their honor prevents them from betrayal.” This is how honest advisors should be, especially those following a culture based on true Islam, and do not seek personal interests from the ruler, but rather work for the nation and the ruler.

This is due to the fact that they are neither beneficiaries nor seekers of wealth. They do not work to enrich children and friends. They are not those who grow beards and shorten their dresses to delude people that they are pious and pure. They are not those who follow the culture of Taliban and ISIS, who are corrupt, allow all forbidden things, and are not advisors for self-interest.

What Al-Basri advised is that the administration should not be tailored to the measurements of loved ones, friends, and close associates, and that the state is not composed of committees for oversight and integrity, whose corruption soon stifles the noses of everyone.

Administration should not contain bureaus and agencies that waste money under the pretext of reform in what starts from within self, and does not need a censor, but rather honorable people whose honor prevents them from betraying the trust. There shall be no one among them who rants about preserving rights, while he looks down on others’ rights.

They do not hesitate to deceive social justice in order to achieve their despicable goals. Therefore, when Al-Hassan Al-Basri said these words to those who were historically described as the fifth Rightly Guided Caliph, he was seeking what the state of Omar bin Abdul-Aziz had achieved, and not with clerks and debt collectors who were excessive with their money, so that state institutions would turn to work for them. In that state, which is still an example today of justice and fairness, its leaders did not seek to form a deep state that would replace the institutions, and practice everything that could lead to creating discord between the ruler and the people.

That is why it flourished, and its money overflowed until there were no poor left in it. Therefore, when we talk about 120,000 needy Kuwaitis who are subjected daily to the worst types of humiliation under the pretext of the boasters that social justice requires giving the deserving and the undeserving, they seek to raise the level of popular anger, and work to limit everything to their own hands under the slogan of economic freedom and democracy, when the truth is actually otherwise.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state spent $17 billion confronting the pandemic. After the end of the crisis, personalities who got rich overnight began to emerge. Some of them started talking about billions, but no one asked them where they got the money from.

These same people are working to obscure the vision of the government in order to continue imposing their will and take over everything. When some ministers say that forfeiting loans violates the principle of justice and equality, and the Minister of Finance says that the cancellation of debts of the current borrowers will lead them to borrowing again, they are wrong.

The one who suffered from the disruption of his services, was prevented from traveling, suffered terribly in reconciling his daily requirements with the repayment of the loan, and ended up entering prison, will not return to this matter. Likewise, the creditor who tasted the bitterness of wasting his money will not repeat the same mistake, unless he is one of the usurers who seek to plunder people.

King Salman in Saudi Arabia and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in the UAE had ordered not to imprison debtors, as they believe debts are civil issues and the one who should bear the brunt of the debt is the creditor, not the one who borrowed and did not have the ability to repay. This is also what Bahrain, Qatar and Oman did but not Kuwait. Almighty Allah says in the Last Revelation, “And in their wealth is a right for the beggar and the deprived.” I am astonished by the situation in Kuwait, as some insist on going against the tide of time. At a time when all the countries of the world have amended their laws in this regard and others have developed themselves, we are still stagnant. We still have those who think with the mentality of the feudal lords during the French Revolution.

Their stubbornness led them to hang in the gallows, while what is simply required is to improve the performance of the state and work for the development of society. Kindness of soul is based on the principle of “from your hardship to your ease,” and not the envy towards an orphan for his food. Therefore, we ask – How much goodwill do we need in Kuwait in order for our affairs to be straightened?

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
[email protected]/[email protected]

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