‘Alee’s Advice To His Governors


‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said:

“The ruin of society results from the poverty of its people; and the poverty of the people results from the greed of governors and their focus on collecting taxes.” [Al-Wilaayah ‘Alaa Al-Buldaan, 2/153]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said to Qays Ibn Sa’d when he sent him to Egypt as the new governor:

“Take troops with you until you get there, because that will be more frightening to your enemies and more encouraging to your followers.” [Al-Kamil Fit-Taareekh, 2/354]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said to one of his governors:

“The closest of your troop commanders should be those who would offer the most help and support to the people under them. Be generous with them from your resources so that they will have enough for themselves and their families (i.e, pay the mujahideen), and so that they will all focus equally on jihaad against the enemy, for your compassion towards them will make their hearts inclined towards you.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 613]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said:

“Do not try to strengthen your authority by shedding blood that is protected by divine law, for that is going to shake and weaken it; (and) it will cause its decline and loss.” [Sharh Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 627]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said:

“Remember that there is nothing that the leader can do to make the people under him think more positively of him better than treating them kindly, reducing the burden on them. Doing this will create an atmosphere of mutual trust and positive thinking, because mutual trust will prevent a lot of trouble. The one who is more deserving of your trust is the one who tries his best to help you. This is disciplining with reward and punishment.”

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said to one of his governors:

“Check on those people who cannot meet you, people who are looked down on by others and to whom people show disrespect; allocate to these people a man whom you trust is pious and humble, and let him tell you about their needs.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 621]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said:

“The governors’ creating a barrier between themselves and the people represents a kind of hardship and lack of knowledge of what is happening. Keeping away from them creates a barrier that may make them (the governors)  have no idea of what they (the masses) are deprived of. A prominent man may become insignificant in their eyes, and an insignificant man may become prominent; what is bad may become good and vice versa; and the truth will be mixed with falsehood.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 624]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib wrote a letter to his cousin Qatham Ibn Al-‘Abbaas saying:

“There should not be any envoy between you and the people except your tongue, and no gatekeeper except your face.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 647]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib advised his governors to provide a secure environment that enables people under him to discuss their problems in a safe atmosphere and without any fear. He said concerning this:

“Allocate some of your time for those who need something from you, and sit with them in a public gathering. Show humility towards Allaah Who created you, and keep away from that gathering your soldiers, helpers, bodyguards and police, so that they may be able to speak to you without stumbling over their words.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 622]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said to one of his governors:

“Your position is not a reward, rather it is a trust placed on your shoulders, and you are responsible to those above you.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 525]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said:

“Discuss a great deal with the scholars, and talk with the wise people so as to establish that which serves  the interest of your province and that which serves the interest of the people.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 610]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib wrote to his governor Qaradhah Ibn Ka’b Al-Ansaare saying:

“Some of the dhimmis and manual workers mentioned a river in their land that disappeared and was buried. They have the right that the Muslims should develop it, so get together and see what you can do, then develop it and restore the river, for by Allaah, developing the lands around the river is dearer to me than if they were to leave and fall short in their duties that could serve the best interests of the land.” [Tareekh Al-Ya’qoobee, 2/203]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib said to one of his governors:

“Look at the affairs of your workers, and employ them on a probationary basis. Do not appoint them on the basis of favouritism and preferences, because that will lead to injustice Seek those who have experience and are modest, people from righteous families who have seniority in Islaam, as they are nobler in character and better in background, have less worldly ambitions and are more farsighted. Then be generous in giving them salaries, for that will help them to take care of themselves and make them have no need of what they are handling, and leave them with no excuse to disobey you or betray you. Check in their work, and send spies from among the trustworthy and loyal people to spy on them, for your checking on them secretly would motivate them to be sincere and kind to the people. If one of them makes a treacherous move, you will get news of him through your spies, and that will be proof enough for you; then you will be able to punish him physically and hold him responsible for his mistakes in his work, and to bring humiliation upon him, and label him as a betrayer, putting around his neck a necklace of shame.” [Sharh Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 616]

He also said regarding this:

“Look at the situation of your workers, and appoint them after you test them. Do not appoint them on the basis of favouritism or for personal reasons. It is essential to carry our preliminary tests on a person whom you plan to employ for some job. The leader has to keep away from personal reasons when employing or promoting people to high positions.” [Nahj Al-Balaaghah, p. 618]

‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib sent a letter to Al-Ashtar An-Nakha’i, his governor in Egypt, in which he said:

“Then select to judge between people one whom you think is the best of your people, one who is unflappable, who does not get offended by opponents, who does not get carried away if he makes  mistake, who will not refrain from turning towards the truth when he recognises it, who does not have greed and ambitions, who is not content with one explanation only before listening to all others, who takes his time and does not rush into passing judgement on ambiguous issues, who relies most on evidence, who does not get annoyed with people referring to him and coming back to him, who is most patient in studying and examining the case until it becomes clear, who is the most decisive once the verdict become clear in his mind, who does not become too proud if h is praised and is not tempted easily. Such men are few. Then check regularly on the way he handles cases, and be generous towards him so that he will not be in  state of poverty or need, and thus he will not need people. Show great respect to him, so that no one could hope to get his way with him of people who are close to you, and so that he can feel safe and secure with you from the aggression of people close to you.” [Nidhaam Al-Hukm by Al-Qaasimee, 2/103]

One Response to “‘Alee’s Advice To His Governors”

  1. Yameen Zahoor Sirwal Says:

    I have seen no of times after mentioning the name of The Prophet Muhammad (Sall-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) whether directly or indirectly or by using other name like Allah’s Apostle (Sall-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) etc ‘Sall-Allahu ‘Alayhi wa Salaam ‘ is not mentioned.Similarly appropriate terms should be used for Sahaba’s (Radi Allahu ‘Anhum) and the great scholars.Typo errors,errors in understanding or any type of error should be removed as these are religious matters.Also while mentioning The Name of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) ‘ Subhanahu was Ta’ala ‘ should be mentioned.For Angels and The Prophet’s (Alayhim al-Salam) ‘Alayhis-Salam’ should be mentioned. Again any type of errors whether it be typographical, errors in correctly interpreting or understanding should be removed.Also cite references May Allah grant you Jannat Ameen

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