Tag Archives: Leaders

The Islāmic-Justification to rebel against Toxic-Leadership

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Author’s-Note:

Historically (even prior to the Revelation of The Qur’ān), and especially contemporaneously (via the Collapse of the Ottoman-Empire), there’s frequently been this Kalām/Rhetoric amongst Elitists to retain/preserve their Powers of Populaces. With this being said, Muslim-Elites are clearly no different from our Non-Muslim Counterparts. However, unlike Non-Muslins: Muslims Past&Present, Pre-Qur’ān & Post-Qur’ān, etc. have continuously attempted to misuse at-Tanzīl/Revelation, Muslim Religio-Scholars, Islāmic-Concepts (like Waliyy-ul-Amr/Loyalty of Authority pertaining to Muslim-Leaders/Rulers) & so on to attempt to justify their Oppression against Others. And, it’s done in such Ways exclusively to preserve their Self-Serving Authoritarian-Control. Fortunately, for us though, in spite of their Oppressive-Tactics to attempt to convince Populaces that regardless of their Oporession that they’re entitled to receiving Respect, Loyalty, Obedience, etc. there exists Revelation to debunk any, every, all Things which Oppressive-Leaders/Rulers stand for. The following applies to any/all Manifestations, Forms, Degrees of al-Imārah (Leadership/Rulership) by the way.

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یَـٰۤأَیُّهَا ٱلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوۤا۟ أَطِیعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِیعُوا۟ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُو۟لِی  ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنكُمۡۖ فَإِن تَنَـٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِی شَیۡءࣲ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱلرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡیَوۡمِ ٱلۡـَٔاخِرِۚ ذَ ٰ⁠لِكَ خَیۡرࣱ وَأَحۡسَنُ تَأۡوِیلًا

“Those whom believe pay attention: obey Allah & the Messenger, as well as the Possessors of Authority amongst you. If you differ, concerning anything, then refer to Allah & the Messenger, providing you believe in Allah & the Last-Day. That’s best & a most excellent Conclusion.”(Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.4, V.59)

وَٱقۡتُلُوهُمۡ حَیۡثُ ثَقِفۡتُمُوهُمۡ وَأَخۡرِجُوهُم مِّنۡ حَیۡثُ أَخۡرَجُوكُمۡۚ وَٱلۡفِتۡنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ ٱلۡقَتۡلِۚ وَلَا تُقَـٰتِلُوهُمۡ عِندَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِ حَتَّىٰ یُقَـٰتِلُوكُمۡ فِیهِۖ فَإِن قَـٰتَلُوكُمۡ فَٱقۡتُلُوهُمۡۗ كَذَ ٰ⁠لِكَ جَزَاۤءُ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِینَ

“And combat them wherever you find them & expel them wherever they expelled you. And, Drama/Oppression is worse than Killing/Slaughter. But, don’t combat them within the Sacred-Mosque, unless you’re combated within it. So, combat them, if they combat you. Such is the Retribution of the Disbelievers.”(Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.2, V.191)

`Abdullah ibn-`Uthmān ibn-`Āmir/Abū-Bakr as-Siddīq (May Allah be pleased with him), after the Death of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), assumed al-Imārah over the Muslims. Upon that, he publicly stated, “I have been granted Authority over you, in spite of not being the Best from amongst you. If I do well, then help me. But, if I error, then correct me. Empathy for Truth is Loyalty, whereas Apathy for Truth is Treachery. The Weak amongst you shall be Strong to/with me, unless/until I have secured/restored his Rights, if Allah wills. And the Strong amongst you shall be Weak to/with me, unless/until I’ve seized from him the Rights of Others, if Allah wills. So, obey me, so long as I obey Allah & His Messenger. But, if I disobey Allah & His Messenger, then you owe me no Obedience. Arise for your prayer: may Allah mercify you.”.(az-Zuhrī, ibn-Ishāq, ibn-Hishām, at-Tabarī, at-Tabarānī, as-Suyūtī, ibn-Sa`d, al-Wāqidī, ibn-Kathīr, Martin Lings)

Now, please, keep in Mind that Abū-Bakr is Unanimously-Recognized amongst the Scholars of the Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition as being the Best/Number-1 Companion of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) & the Most-Senior amongst all of his Companion-Peers (May Allah be pleased with them altogether)…this is what he stated concerning about his own Self, his own Imārah over the Muslims. So, upon that, whom’re we to posture as though we’re somehow Entitled to Imārah and/or Entitled to oppress via our Imārah without Consequence?!!! So, just know: it honestly really doesn’t matter which Muslim-Leader/Ruler, Muslim Religio-Scholar, egc. attempts to make you think/feel that you must obey them regardless of how they are. This “Be Patient with/Obedient to the Muslim-Leader/Ruler” Rhetoric only emboldens Oppressors to remain Oppressors. Basically, this Rhetoric spewed by Oppressors is like imposing Stockholm-Syndrome upon People: when the Oppressed begin to not only tolerate/accept Oppression, but also defend the Oppressor. And, that’s exactly what’s been happening within the Muslim-World for a Long-Time. Ironically, these Same-Oppressors command their Muslim Religio-Scholars to spew this Stockholm-Syndrome to their Populaces/Citizenry, merely because they don’t want what their Geo-Political Ancestors did to occur to them: pertaining to al-Kharajiyyah/Rebellion against the Ottoman-Empire for example, when the Muslim-Arabs assisted Non-Muslim Powers to fight against Fellow-Muslims, in the Name of al-`Asabiyyah/Xenophobia.(See: https://garethbryant.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/hujjahagainstsaudiarabia)

As per my Conclusion: don’t ever let anyone tell you to not, that you shouldn’t/can’t, that it’s Sinful to rebel against Oppression.

Gareth Bryant

1441, A.H./2019, C.E.

Dominance vs. Subjugation: Which to choose?

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ibn Saud and FDR

Since the dawn of the Human race, we have always viewed other species as inferior to us. We’ve constantly, throughout our tenure on Earth, tried to out survive, outwit, overpower, all other creatures of our planet. As well, we’ve also attempted & have used these same methods against members of our own fellow man. As far as dominating other Non-Human creatures, this makes sense. However, to dominate one’s own fellow man has always been something very controversial & uncomfortable to discuss: from wars & conquests, to slavery & colonization, from time memorial to the present-day, Human beings have always been in the business of conquering one another. And, for some reason or another, we as Humans have also made ourselves willing to be conquered by our fellow man.

China

This subject isn’t about the morality vs. immorality of Humans conquering, enslaving, colonizing other Human beings, rather, it’s necessary to explore the reasons how and why this phenomenon still takes place among Humans in our modern-world. Now, in order to get a clearer glimpse of how we’ve inherited the desire to control our fellow man, we must look to the universally most recognized architects of Human civilization: the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese. Within these respective civilizations, they’ve all had something very much in common: they’ve all viewed themselves as ethnocentrically superior to other civilization, as a result of the extents of the accomplishments of their respective neighbors, competitive civilizations within their spheres, etc. So, because, these respective civilizations stood out the most, out of the other civilizations, they developed very common world-views: they’ve all deemed their civilizations as superior to anyone else. For example: in Mandarin, the actual, original, name for China is actually “Zhong Yuen” meaning “Central-Kingdom” or “Central-Civilization”. The ancient Chinese literally saw themselves as the center of the Earth, in terms of Culture, sophistication, Diplomacy, Governance, Arts, Warfare, Math, Medicine, etc.

Ramesses II

In the Mediterranean-World: the Egyptians, Greeks & Romans all had their turn to be a dominant civilization, with one leeching off of the other & eventually one engulfing the other. The Egyptians, being the eldest of these three respective civilizations were the first to decline & fall. Then, the Greeks engulfed Egypt & made it  part of the Hellenistic-World. Eventually, Greece also declined & succumbed to the might that was Rome, and both the remnants of Egypt, as well as Greece became a part of the even larger Roman-World, which dominated the Mediterranean & basically all of known Europe for nearly 15-centuries.

Machiavelli

The Dark-Ages & Middle-Ages gave rise to the Holy-Roman Empire, the independent kingdoms of Europe, etc. These realms had their own dominance over distinct populaces, with barely any resistance to their respective authority. And, then, there’s the rise of the Shogun-Era in Imperial Japanese History, which was almost completely parallel to European-Feudalism, with the exception of the fact that the chief Monarchs of Japan, at this time, were completely powerless. So, then, we look to the Papal-States & wealthy Maritime families of Italy, predating the modern Italian-Mafia, which produced great political minds the likes of Niccolo Machiavelli, etc.

All of these very vivid examples of how Humans have dominated other Humans, across spans of over 5,000 years & better prove that domination among Humans, against other Humans isn’t something recent, and it isn’t likely to go away. One particularly thing that I’ve been able to draw from these historical examples is that Humans, even without the existence of other creatures upon the Earth would still conquer one another. I state this because, it’s simply, based upon the aforementioned examples that I’ve presented, that Humans, by nature, are control-freaks. Also, Humans, by nature desire order, to be told what to do, how to dress, how to think, how to feel, what to believe in. It’s something that we aren’t able to escape from. The need to be led and/or to lead are essential qualities of being Human. Even if one looks back to school: there were class presidents, why? so that from young ages, people would know and/or discover where they fit into society. Every society, regardless of whether they are Animal or Human societies, must have a chain of command, must have leadership, must have order. There must be a system in place that all peoples respect, recognize, accept as the order for their societies. The issues are whether who more of a justification to be at the helms of societies, and that’s what fuels conflicts, and as well, that’s how wars & conquests are ensued.

The main issue, of course, is why do Human desire the insatiable thirst for control. The answer is simply that certain people, as a result of environment, personal ambition, etc., are able to manifest leadership qualities which attract others & inspire others to follow them. While there are other people who aren’t able or are just not willing to assert dominant qualities necessary for taking reins of leadership.

Augustus

Let’s look at important figures in History, like Gaius Octavianus (the real-name of August, the 1st-Emperor of the Roman-Empire), for example: his entire political career was based upon the platform of him being an heir of Gaius Iulius (the real-name of Julius Caesar, the leader of the 1st-Triumvirate & last Leader of the Roman-Republic). Unlike his political genius of an uncle, Octavianus, after the assassination of Iulius, was able to hold on to the remnants of his political legacy. However, at first, a Caesar he was not: Octavianus wasn’t the most adept politician, nor was he an admired military master, like many of his political rivals, namely Marcus Antonius (the real-name of Marc Antony, a member of the 2nd-Triumvirate along with Octavianus), especially for the tumultuous & dangerously deadly political atmosphere of Ancient-Rome. However, what he lacked in both political & military prowess, he compensated by being able to use his powers of rhetoric, his relation to Iulius, and the political vulnerability of his opponents to be the last man standing. However, his story isn’t at all very common. Most people in his shoes would’ve fell to the waste side. However, because of his great abilities to manipulate other people, he survived perhaps the most dangerous time in the history of Ancient-Rome’s political history. Octavianius had thus proved that one doens’t have to have all the tools of leadership in order to be dominant, one just needs the right amount of circumstances in one’s favor & capitalize on those opportunities. That’s what I’d really like to talk about: risk-taking: many, most Humans are very comfortable being dictated to, as opposed to dictating, because, that involves great risks. Most Humans are very satisfied being safe, ordinary people. But, it takes a lot of daring, cunning, ambition, and a slight bit of carelessness, to be a risk-taker.

Hannibal

If one notices, no political personality was ever successful, unless they were drastic risk-takers. Look at the great military leader, Hannibal, the one-time ruler of, the North-African City-State, Carthage (modern-day Tunisia). He made a daring invasion of the capital of the Roman-Republic, Rome itself, during the Punic-Wars. Now, ironically, even though he lost the Punic-Wars, and his kingdom, he’s actually even more famous than the Roman general who defeated him, and whom the entire continent of Africa bears his name: Scipio Africanus (Africa, of course, meaning “the Land Africanus conquered” in the language of Latin).

The reasons as to why Humans have such an easy time to dominate one another is because we often view those who are perceived to be less advanced than we are as sub Human, and/or animal like. This thinking is one of the main contributing factors which people use to justify racial-superiority. It’s the need/want to always have an advantage or the illusion of an advantage over someone else which gives Human the drive to pursue dominance over their fellow man.

One may ask why does any of this even matter. Well, the reasons why it matters, as to what drives Humans to dominate one another is the fact that self domination of one’s fellow man occurs in every sphere of Human existence, whether on the school playground, or at home, or at work: anywhere & everywhere that Humans live, thrive, there will always be someone in charge, and those who are told what to do. It eventually comes to the point of which side of the line drawn in the sand do you, as an individual want to be on. Each one of us, as Humans, really have to self evaluate our own outlook & perception of our fellow man, to decipher whether we are leaders or followers, and if we are either one, whether or not we enjoy being either one, and if not, then, are we willing to switch.

Honestly, this isn’t really an easy question to answer for anyone. There are, believe it or not, benefits to being either one. When the dominant, one has the privilege to exercise power & control, to their own agendas, while being dominated alleviates one of the responsibility of providing certain necessary essentials to entire populaces, and/or maintain certain normalcies of societies. However, the downside to either one is being overthrown from one’s power & authority, and at best forced to leave one’s domain, or at worst risk being killed or enslaved by one’s respective conquerors. Also, those dominated may very well have basic Human rights taken from them unjustifiably, without any say about it, and virtually no way to retain those basic rights.

It’s basically a choice of preference at a certain point. There are some of us who think that we would make great leaders, but, when given the opportunity to be leaders, either shirk in our responsibilities, or get overthrown. Likewise, those of us who so choose to be controlled have the illusion that it’s less work to be a subject, whereas, in fact, being a subject of someone else forces you to work even harder for the respective power-structure that one is under. This dichotomy, dominant vs. dominated, is definitely not easy, or simple options to choose between.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Theological-Graffiti:

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Let’s have a conversation, about flaggin’ & taggin’.

Let’s talk about reppin’ sects, religious G-Mackin’.

We all wanna belong & be strong, wit a whole team behind us.

We choose between being Muslims, Jews and even Buddhists.

We also pick to conform as Christians, Mormons, Zoroastrians, Hindhus, and the like.

We all want someone to have our backs, to hold us down, to make sure we’re alright.

We use the minds & hearts of people, to write our ideas on.

We do it just make our marks on the World, right or wrong.

But, for every Theological-Tag is a consequence.

We may be guilty, in front of Allah, for nonsense.

We can’t always foresee the damage our taggin’ can actually cause.

If what we tag can’t be removed, it may well cause many to be lost.

So, the next time that you see a wall that you wanna tag, don’t rush to ruin.

There may not be any kind of paint that will erase what you’ve been doin’.

Gareth Bryant/2013