Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Prophet S.A.W: An Exceptional Leader (Battle of Uhud Case)

This entry is based on a session given by Sheikh Abu Bakar Zoud at Twins Of Faith Conference held in Sydney on April this year. Alhamdulillah, Allah had granted me the rizq (blessing) of being one of the conference participants.  Adhering to its theme, The Sunnah The Better, I have gained so many eye-opening, Iman-boosting knowledge conveyed by established and renowned speakers. While I am quite familiar with most of the speakers, I never heard about Sheikh Abu Bakar Zoud at the time of conference. Still in his twenties, and yet his speech was so profound and touches different perspectives, masya Allah. His specialty and focus is Quran studies, which is the aspect that I have been delving myself into these recent years and so dear to my heart. ­I have noticed for quite some time that I am actually older or around the same age of many contemporary wonderful Muslim scholars. Sheikh Nouman Ali Khan is only a year older than me and Sheikh Abdul Nasir Jangda is of my age. I am also pretty sure that the likes of Sheikh Omar Suleiman and Sheikh Daood Butt are more or less around my age too. Such a wake-up call for me to hasten towards improving myself and to stop giving excuses. 

There are many instances and subjects which highlight the exemplary leadership of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. One of them is the Battle of Uhud. Battle of Uhud is known as one of the most trying times in the seerah and it really signifies the characteristic of our beloved Prophet S.A.W as the true leader.

The best way of teaching is to find the right way to teach

Prophet S.A.W assigns commander for every group prior to the battle.Jabal Uhud is a strategic location, its function is analogous to a security camera for the battle. 50 archers were appointed there. The battle was being won until the archers were losing discipline which led to casualties of 70 martyrs.

With the sad outcome of the battle, Prophet S.A.W had every right to be upset with the companions who left the mountain.  The companions felt guilty over what happened. Allah guides Prophet S.A.W in dealing with them as revealed in Surah Aal-Imran Ayat 159:

So by mercy from Allah , [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].

Leniency in leadership

Due to the remarkable Mercy of Allah Azza Wa Jalla, Allah has ordered Prophet Muhammad S.A.W to be lenient towards his subordinates.
How can we practice the lesson? When dealing with people under your supervision who do mistakes, hide your anger while speaking to them. If you are tough in speech or being hard they will run from you.

”lanfaddhu” means: run away or broken away like the way glass is shattered. If glass breaks, it can’t be grouped back together.
Handling tough situation

Being a leader is a tough responsibility by itself and it’s much tougher for Rasulullah S.A.W after the calamity of Battle of Uhud because he was going to meet the 35 companions who left their positions during the battle. Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla has outlined three-step process in Surah Aal-Imran ayat 159:
  • Forgive them lovingly, Allah uses the term ‘fa’fu an hum’ not ‘faghfir lahum1. However, after forgiving them, there might be some bitterness left in the heart. Thus the next step.
  • Ask Allah to forgive them, it is a proof that nothing else remains in your heart. Nevertheless, you may feel that things will not be the same as before. Proceed to next step.
  • Consult them in your affairs: “wa shaawir hum fil amri”. Psychologically they will be convinced that Rasulullah S.A.W will have nothing more against them.
May Allah grant us strength to exemplify Rasulullah S.A.W in every aspect of our life, Allahumma Aameen.

Afw means to pardon, to excuse for a fault or an offense or a discourtesy, waiver of punishment and amnesty. Examples of usage in the Qur'an are verses 42:40, 2:187 and 5:95.
 or maghfira means to cover, to forgive and to remit. Examples of usage in the Qur'an are verses 2:263, 42:37 and 43:43.

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