Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Indians

Published on September 10th, 2012

Written by Hassan Akbar

       The above phrase is one of the widely known idioms, and there are estimated to be at least 25,000 idiomatic expressions in the English language. An idiom is an expression consisting of a combination of words that has a figurative meaning. The above phrase is used to claim that there are too many bosses, not enough workers, but also used to lament the over-education of the "masses", who should realize their place. In the 21st century we find ourselves suffering from an outbreak of False Leadership which to me is more of a serious matter than that of Corrupt Leadership.


       Throughout the ages and as far back as we have in our recorded and oral history humanity has always dealt with corrupt leaders; selfish individuals who took/stole/inherited or bought their positions. All of them upon the same religion, from those rulers who use the wealth attained from the land of the Muslims as their personal treasuries, up ‘til our modern day colonialist. You may wonder at my statement. Yes, these people are far from the leadership of the rightly guided Caliphs. They are corrupt but are they upon the same Deen (religion), worshiping the same ilah (God)? Yes, in fact they are. They are all upon the religion of “Deen ul Hawa”, the Religion of Desires.


 Allah (swt) says,



“Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (God)? And Allah knowing, left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a covering on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?”


{ Surah Al-Jathiyah, Verse 23 }

       It seems as if everyone wants to be a leader, an Imam, president or chairman. Is it innate in mankind to want to be at the head of everything? Does everyone feel as if they have something worth saying? I make my case that False Leadership is more of a threat to the proper development and health of our communities than Corrupt Leadership. You see, corrupt leaders will steal, and oppress the people openly and you find those who are oppressed helpless against their oppressors. They last for a few years and it is only a matter of time before those that they oppress rise up and remove them. But the leaders in our communities who are false last longer, many of the people they lead over believe in them. These leaders steal like corrupt leaders, but hide it knowingly or unknowingly behind Sadaqa (Charity). This theft is sinister in that the one who is being stolen from is willingly giving and believes that good will come out of this wealth to help or develop his/her communal life.


       Instead this “charity” is far too often spent on dead end projects which rarely get off the ground such as Youth Centers and Masjid Expansions. In the event that these projects are started the cost to complete them is innumerable. In the end you have brother Abdullah and sister Fatimah giving their hard earn money meanwhile they are unable to invest in that which is more important, their household more specifically their children.


On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RU) who said: The Messenger of Allah (s) said,


 "A dinar you spend in Allah's way, or to free a slave, or as a charity you give to a needy

 person, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you

 spend on your family".




       These parasites of the community pray on the giving nature of people indiscriminately. They pray on the elderly who are on fixed incomes, the sick and sinners who wish to attain purity. They pray on the youth who is the most egger to enjoin in the good and who really have no wealth of their own.


The Prophet(s) said,


“Those who do not respect our elders and show mercy to our young, is not from us.”




       These imposters most of whom barely have a high school education, none the less have they “properly” studied or attain degrees in the areas that they have crucial if not the final say. How can one be an Imam, dealing with the intricacy of the Shariah as it applies to prayer, marriage, council etc… and not be qualified instead these people are filled with passion, which is a praiseworthy quality but not a substitute. Fear Allah and bring in the people of knowledge to teach the commuinity. The sahaba would go to the Prophet(s) and ask him to appoint for them leaders to teach them. Stop appointing yourselves! These hooligans who have their henchmen positioned at strategic posts to maintain the charade of progress, while in reality the community is in a state of regress. The supporters of these false leaders many of whom know the true extent of the deceit which takes place is  not free from blame, though they would like to believe so. There is a Maxim (principle) in Islam which we are all aware of that states, “The one who helps in an action, is like the one who does the act.


       Why have I said all of this? Is it to justify the actions of those people who have abandoned the Masjid because of the hypocrisy they have seen? No. There is no justification to leaving a particular Masjid unless the leadership has left the belief of Ahlul Sunnah. Have I said this to please the pessimists of our community who habitually sees or anticipates the worst in all of our leaders? No. This is a message of awareness to those who make their livelihood on the backs of those who seek nearness to Allah (swt). The “jig is up”, the Ummah is no longer asleep and neither is the Lord of the world’s heedless of your deeds. It is the responsibility of every single one of us to speak up.


On the authority of Abu Saeed Al-Khurdari(RU), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah(s) say:


"Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is

 not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart;

and that is the weakest of faith."




       If we do not strive to fix the problems that we all see then we are all to blame. The solution is not to just open “Another” Masjid, successfully splitting up the wealth in the community again.


       - First we need to educate ourselves and our children; it is very easy for these false leaders to trick the ignorant.


       - Secondly we need to support those efforts that we see are struggling to make meaningful change, and there are many.


       - We should ask to see the balance sheets of these organizations, as weekly donors we have a right to know how our

          money is spent and have a say in it.


       - Finally if we should speak up, and speak with others in the community not with the goal of causing confusion but constructive dialogue. If 5 or 10

          members get together and make an appointment with the leadership in their communities change will occur. Instead of everyone speaking

           individually which makes it easy for them to ignore.


Allah (swt) says,



“And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do.

He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror].”


{ Surah Ibrahim, Verse 42 }