This article was originally written in Malay (see http://haniff.sg/dakwahalquran/petunjuk-12-nilai-kepimpinan-dalam-al-fatihah/). This English version was translated by sis. Azira. May God reward her for the effort.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lords of the Worlds.
The Beneficent, the Merciful.
Owner of the Day of Judgement.
Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help.
Show us the straight path.
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured.
Not (the path) of those who earns Thine anger nor those who go astray.
(The Quran, 1:1-7)
Points of Reflection
1. God Almighty introduces Himself and wants to be known as the most Beneficent and Merciful first, before as the most Powerful (Master of the Universe). Similarly, leaders must make it their highest priority to be beneficent and merciful before asserting their power/authority.
2. God Almighty do not only command submission and obedience from His servants, He is ever-willing to listen to their grievances. It has been reported in various hadiths that He is always pleased whenever His servants plea to Him. Such is also the characteristic of good leaders. They should not only demand or expect the followers/subordinates to listen to their instructions or to carry out their orders/instructions; they also must be prepared to listen to the grievances and the problems of the followers/subordinates.
3. All leaders are responsible in leading their followers to the right path. The rights of leaders to be obeyed and respected are balanced by his duty to be compassionate, service-oriented towards the followers and be able to guide them to the right path.
4. God Almighty command us to follow the right path and avoid the opposite. Thus, the leaders’ duty is not only to guide the people to righteousness but also to prevent them from evil deeds and corruption.