Friday, April 30, 2021

A Leader In Islam Is Accountable To God And The People


By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

30 April 2021

In Islamic Parlance a Leader Must Possess the Qualities of Accountability, Consultation, and Consideration

Main Points:

1.    Today's leaders are the by-product of greed, dishonesty and incompetence.

2.    A leader in Islam means a responsible guardian of the society.

3.    Islamic tenets of a leader start with the quality of accountability.

4.    Being untrustworthy and unaccountable to a creation of Allah is like being unworthy of His vicegerent


World media has become dedicated to stories of Covid-19 alone, as nothing else is happening anywhere either in the field of economy, trade or technology. All the scientific researchers and their leaders are engaged in a fight against the time. Lots of good news have come forward from the field of medical science and the researchers certainly deserve a big applause in uncertain terms. But has politics taken a backseat during these troubled times? Not at all. Neither it should. Rather it is the troubled and trying times that the best leaders and the qualities of good leadership come forward.

 In the words of Warren Bennis, "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”. Most of contemporary leaders do not have seem to have any vision. These leaders are the by-product of greed, dishonesty and incompetence.

The world, therefore, needs to look for such leaders who are competent, have the knack of consulting experts around them and carry high-level wisdom of accountability and consideration. A leader in Islam means a guardian of the family, the community or the country and that guardian has to guard all the necessities of his area of influence. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says:

‘Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects’ (Saheeh al Bukhari: 212).

If we develop the qualities of a good guardian, ours will be a society where we all will be accountable for our responsibilities. Being accountable creates the trust of the society in its leaders. There can not be a people’s leader if there is no trust in him. Islamic tenets of a leader start with the quality of accountability. Islam emphasises accountability to God and the people for the person chosen to lead. The human being is bestowed with the power of learning so he should learn about the religious leaders who led their people being within the command of Allah, the Almighty, who has sent humankind as His vicegerent on earth. Allah, the Most Merciful says in the Holy Quran:

‘Note that occasion, when your Lord said the angels: I am going to place a vicegerent on earth’ (Qur’an -Surat al Baqarah Ayat 30)

What more did we expect from Allah the Almighty who called us His vicegerent. Being a vicegerent of Allah, any kind of unholy act does not suit us. The human being must therefore respect this kindness of Allah and create qualities of a good leader that is accountable to God and His people of their respective societies. Following Hadees explains the value and importance of being accountable to God and trustworthy  to His people otherwise he will not be one among those who will be rewarded heaven for their good deeds:

‘If a person dies having cheated the people s/he was entrusted with, he will not enter paradise’ (Muslim, 2000).

Any person (leader) who cheats the people under his influence will be deprived of a place in heaven no matter what good he has been doing all through his life. Being untrustworthy and unaccountable to a creation of Allah is like being unworthy of His vicegerent. Following our great religious leaders through their words and deeds will transform our thoughts and make us able to stand straight in front of Allah’s creation. Be like Caliph Abu Bakr (RA) acting on his words he spoke after taking over the Caliphate after our Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW):

‘I have been made your leader, and I am not better than any of you. Support me if I do well and correct me if I do wrong’ (Al-Salabi, 2001)

Consultation and consideration create a sense and a quality of accountability. We find the leaders among us shying away from all these qualities because they think consulting somebody over something makes them look ignorant and unaware of the happenings around them.

A human being has to be accountable to Allah, the Most Merciful on the Day of Judgement and no one will be able to flee from it as the following Ayat describes:

And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck,1 and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open.

[It will be said], "Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant." (Surah 17 Al-Isra, Ayat 13-14) — Saheeh International

The word ‘Imam’ which means leader or guide is used by Allah, the Almighty in the Holy Quran. And this title was bestowed upon Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) after he was tried and tested by God through His commands. See the following Ayat:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with words [i.e., commands] and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." [Abraham] said, "And of my descendants?" [Allah] said, "My covenant does not include the wrongdoers." (Surah Al-Baqarah - 2:124) — Saheeh International

On the Day of Judgement, every human being will be made accountable to himself and there will be no denying the facts as, Allah, the Most Merciful says in the Holy Quran:

(Think of) the Day when We will call every people with their books of deeds. Then the ones who will be given their book in their right hands will read their book (happily) and will not be wronged even to the measure of a fine thread. (Surah Al-Isra - 71) — Mufti Taqi Usmani

With all the true qualities of a leader mentioned in the Holy Quran, our Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) lived his pious life as a man of people around him. These were his leadership qualities that brought people under the umbrella of Islam. His leadership qualities interwoven with the commands of Allah the Most Merciful were noticed by his friends and foes alike and this appealed to people to accept him as their leader.

Influencing and bringing the Arabian people of the time of Jahiliyya was a difficult job but his sublime conduct, his simplicity, his honesty and his softness of speech melt the ice and brought people to listen to him with patience. He met people at their houses and at their business places to tell them about his mission.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s leadership qualities brought the people of the dark ages of Arabia who because of their ignorance were busy fighting with each other on petty land disputes  and issues of ethnicity, His leadership qualities united them with the message of love and brotherhood, as is reported on the authority of Abu Hamzah Anas bin Malik (AS) —  Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself. [Al-Bukhari] [Muslim]

Michael Hart in his book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History said:

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was “the only man [we can say leader] in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level”

The qualities of a good leader are:

He Should Be Merciful

Allah, the Most Merciful says in the Holy Quran:

And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds” (21:107).

He Should be Caring for the Poor

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) never had anything worth mentioning all through his life. He distributed everything he ever had among the poor and destitute of the society and he died instructing his companions (Sahaba) to distribute all that he had among the poor:

"Not even a single Dinar of my property should be distributed (after my death to my inheritors, but whatever I leave excluding the provision for my wives and my servants, should be spent in charity." [Bukhari, “Laws of Inheritance” 33].

He Should Be Just

On being just Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense? For that is the one who drives away the orphan. And does not encourage the feeding of the poor. So woe to those who pray. [But] who are heedless of their prayer - Those who make show [of their deeds]. And withhold [simple] assistance (Quran Surah Al-Ma’un:1-7)

According to the above mentioned Ayat, a leader should try his best to make the lives of the people easier by offering all kinds of assistance needed to them. A leader should never discriminate against his people based on religion, caste or gender etc.

Being a true leader is an honour for it provides opportunities to bring peace and amity, happiness and satisfaction among the people. Service to the people is a service to Allah. Leaders should not indulge in their selfish acts to bring laurel to them. They will get lots more than the worldly laurel, the heaven as promised by Allah, by being just, merciful and caring for the poor.

The horrible time created by the pandemic Covid-19 asks for all the leaders to unite and help each other as in the word of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), ‘Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects’ (Saheeh al Bukhari: 212). This is a time to act as a guardian and a responsible person of society. Forget your religion, your caste and your region. Let the whole world be a village and all residing in it tied in kinship.

And Allah knows the best.


Arman Neyazi is a columnist with


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Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Background Of Taraweeh In Ramadan


By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

29 April 2021

Taraweeh Is A Special Prayer Offered In Ramadan

Main Points:

1. The holy Prophet pbuh offered Taraweeh in Ramadan collectively for only three days

2. After the Prophet's demise, Nuslims offered Taraweeh individually

3. Hadhrat Umar r.a. made it a collective prayer


The special prayer of Taraweeh is offered in the month of Ramadan. It is offered after the prayer of Isha. Generally 20 Rikats are observed though different sects follow different beliefs about the number of Rikats. In Indian sub-continent, Muslims offer 20 Rikats of Taraweeh.

The hadiths give an account of how Taraweeh was introduced by the holy Prophet pbuh and how it became a part of the rituals of the month of Ramadan.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah r.a. narrated that he heard the holy Prophet pbuh saying, "Whoever offers Taraweeh in Ramadan in good faith his previous sins will be forgiven."(Kitabus Salat: Chapter 8; No. 1213 Sahih Bukhari)

Tarawih prayer at Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia.


Ibn-Shahab narrated that after the demise of the holy Prophet pbuh, people would offer Taraweeh (in mosque) individually and in groups. This continued during the caliphate of Hadhrat Abu Bakr r.a. and in the initial years of the caliphate of Hadhrat Umar r.a. Abdar Rahman narrated that one night he went to the mosque along with Hadhrat Umar r.a. and saw people offering Taraweeh individually and in separate groups. Hadhrat Umar said that it would be wise if I gather all of them under one Qari. Therefore, he gathered them under Ubai bin Ka'ab. After that when I went to the mosque with Hadhrat Umar one night, I found them offering Taraweeh under their Qari. Hadhrat Umar said, "This Biddat is rather good, and that part of night in which you offer Namaz is better than that in which you keep sleeping and that people would offer Taraweeh in the first part of night."(Kitabus Salat: No 1885: Chalter 8 Sahih Bukhari)

Hadhrat Abu Salama bin Abdur Rahman narrated that he asked Hadhrat Ayesha r.a. "How many Rikat of Namaz would the holy Prophet pbuh offer in Ramadan?" She replied, "Whether it was Ramadan or non-Ramadan, he pbuh would not offer more than eleven Rikats: First, four Rikats, and what to say about the length and beauty of it, then four Rikats, and what to say of the length and beauty of it, and then he pbuh would offer three Rikats. Once I said to him, 'O Prophet of God! You sleep before offering Witr, he pbuh said, 'Ayesha! My eyes sleep, the heart does not."(1887)

Another hadith gives an account of how Taraweeh assumed the status of Sunnah. Hadhrat Ayesha narrated, “Once the holy Prophet pbuh went out of the house in the middle of night in Ramadan and offered Taraweeh in the mosque. Some people also offered Taraweeh behind him. In the morning people discussed it. Second night more people gathered and offered Taraweeh with him and discussed among more people. On the third night even more people gathered . The holy Prophet pbuh came out and offered Taraweeh. People offered Taraweeh with him. On the fourth night so many people gathered that there was shortage of space in the mosque. (The holy Prophet pbuh did not come out). He pbuh came out in the morning for prayers and addressed the people after the prayers. After reciting Tashahhud, he pbuh said, "I knew that you had gathered here but I feared that this Namaz ( Taraweeh) may become mandatory ( Fardh) for you and you may not be able to perform it. That's why I did not come out. After that he pbuh left for his heavenly abode and the situation remained the same."(Kitabus Salat: Chapter 8: No 1886)

From the hadiths and traditions quoted above, it becomes clear that the Muslims offered Taraweeh with the holy Prophet pbuh for three days and after the prophet's demise, Muslims offered Taraweeh in small groups or alone. During the caliphate of Hadhrat Umar r.a. Taraweeh was offered in Jamat under one Qari and has since become an integral part of Ramadan.


S. Arshad is a columnist.


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Three Bangladeshi Women Scientists Feature In Top 100 Asian Scientists List

 Women of Bangladesh have made big strides in the field of science and technology

1. Dr Salma Sultana was awarded for her field research on veterinary science and her help to small farmers.

2. Dr Ferdousi Qadri was awarded for her advocacy of global vaccination, prevention of diarrhoeal diseases and infectious diseases affecting children.

3. Prof. Samia Sabrina was awarded for her research on properties and use of nanomaterials.

4. Apart from themed Tabassum Naz, Dr Hasibun Nahar, Dr Tanzema Hashim and Dr Nasima Akhtar also made it to the list in previous years.


New Age Islam Staff Writer

29 April 2021


Dr Salma Sultana, Dr Ferdousi Qadri and Prof. Samia Sabrina/ Photo courtesy: Pratham Alo


Three Bangladeshi women scientists have featured in the list of top 100 scientists list 2021 for their outstanding work in the field of science and technology.

Asian Scientist, a Singapore-based English magazine for science and technology has published this year's list of top 100 Asian scientists. Dr Salma Sultana, Dr Ferdousi Qadri and Prof. Samia Sabrina from Bangladesh have been included in the list.

The list features only those who have won any national and international award in the previous year or have made any important discovery or invention while working for any educational or scientific institution.

Dr Salma Sultana is the founder of Model Livestock Advancement Foundation. In 2020, she won Norman E Borlaug Award from World Food Foundation for her field research and application. She has helped small farmers through her veterinary outreach and livestock supply.

Dr Ferdousi Qadri is associated with International Centre for Dirrhoeal Diseases Research and won L'Oreal UNESCO of Women in Science Award in 2020 for her advocacy of early diagnosis, global vaccination and prevention of infectious diseases among children.

Prof Samia Sabrina is a professor in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology. She won the Early Career Women Award in 2020 from OWSD-Elsevier Foundation. She won the award for her research on properties and use of nanomaterials.

OWSD-Elsevier Foundation has been awarding women scientists from developing world since 2012. Notably, Bangladesh women scientists have won this award in previous years as well. In 2019, Tabassum Naz of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission won this award. In 2018, Hasibun Nahar of BRAC University was conferred this award. In 2017, Tanzema Hashim of Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology won this award and in 2013, Dr Nasima Akhtar of Centre for Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound was the recipient of this award.

The long list of young women scientists of Bangladesh being recognised internationally makes it evident that the women of Bangladesh are fighting against all odds to make a mark in the field of education and learning and that in Bangladesh women have found their space and opportunity to prove their abilities.


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Islamophobia Watch: How 'Jihad Watch' Twists Reports Of Palestinians Clash With Israeli Police As Israel Imposes Restrictions On Evening Gathering In Holy Ramadan

 Islamophobic Media Takes Advantage Of Palestinians Who Don't Have Their Own Media To Present Them In Bad Light

Main Points:

1. Palestinian youth opposed curbs imposed on evening gathering in mosques during Ramadan.

2. The Israeli police erected amphitheatre like barricade to prevent them from going to mosque.

3. The Jews chanted "Death to Arabs".

4. 8 Palestinians were injured and were taken to hospital.

5. European countries like France have eased restrictions on Nuslims for Ramadan but Israel did the opposite.


New Age Islam Correspondent

29 April 2021

Ramadan nights see Israeli police and Palestinians face off in Jerusalem


Last week Palestinian youth clashed with Israeli police in East Jerusalem as they were prevented from gathering in the evening for their special Ramadan prayers. The clashes have occurred nightly since the onset of Ramadan on April 13.

A report by Stephen Farrell of Reuters said,

"East Jerusalem was on edge just after midnight on Saturday as Palestinians faced off with Israeli police in nightly Ramadan clashes that sparked rocket fire by militants in the Gaza Strip and protests in Palestinian towns across the occupied West Bank."

The reason for the clashes were the curbs imposed by the Israeli police on gathering during Ramadan. During the clashes, the Jews also chanted "Death to Arabs", according to the report. Palestinians hurled rocks and stones towards water cannons fired by the Israeli police. Eight Palestinians were injured in the clashes and were taken to hospital for treatment.

Soon Hamas joined the Palestinians and fired three rockets, Reuters quoted Israeli military as saying. According to the report,

"Palestinians say police have tried to prevent them from holding their usual Ramadan evening gatherings outside Damascus Gate by erecting metal barriers in its amphitheatre-style plaza."

However, an Islamophobic website Jihad Watch published a report on the happening from a Islamophobic angle on 17th April. The report begins with the title:

"Ramadan in Jerusalem: Muslims scream Allahu Akbar and attack Israeli police"

The report begins as follows:

"Palestinian militants in Gaza fired around three dozen rockets into Israel overnight, while the Israeli military struck back at targets operated by the ruling Hamas group."

It is evident from the Reuters report that Palestine youth clashed with Israeli police because they had imposed curbs on evening gatherings when they tried to enter the mosque for their special Ramadan prayers but Jihad Watch does not mention the reason for the clash and creates the impression that Palestinian youth attacked the Israeli police without any provocation. It also misleads the readers by saying the Hamas fired 36 rockets out which 6 were intercepted while others fell in open areas, whereas the Reuters says that the Hamas fired only three rockets till that day.

Another flaw in Jihad Watch report is that it quotes Tor Wonnesland, UN envoy to the region as saying, “The indiscriminate launching of rockets towards Israeli population centres violates international law and must stop immediately." The fact is that the name of the UN Co-ordinator is Nicholay Mladenov and not Tor Wonnesland. Mr Mladenov also criticised thd Israeli government for restrictions and causing a health disaster in Gaza strip.

The fact is that the name of the UN Co-ordinator's name is Nicholay Mladenov. JW does not quote his statement criticising Israel's restrictions in Gaza Strip leading to a humanitarian crisis. According to the UN News, "He elaborated on security, humanitarian and political crisis in the enclave including restrictions that are contributing to an ongoing health disaster in Gaza strip."


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