Imam Ali (peace be upon him)'s advice to Leaders & Administrators
- SCRUTINY - Beware, men will scrutinise your actions with a searching eye.
- GOOD ACTIONS - The fact is that the public speak well of only those (leaders) who do good.
- DESIRES - Keep your desires under control and deny yourself that which you have been prohibited for.
- LOVE - Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people.
- FORGIVENESS - Forgive them as you would like God to forgive you.
- ANGER - Do not rouse yourself to anger, for no good will come out of it.
- PRIDE - Should you be elated by power, or feel in your mind the slightest symptoms of pride and arrogance, then look at the power and majesty of the divine governance of the Universe over which you have absolutely no control.
- JUSTICE - Maintain justice in administration and impose it on your own self.
- CONSENT - Seek consent of the people, for the discontent of the masses sterilises the contentment of the privileged few; and the discontent of the few loses itself in the contentment of the many.
- THE PRIVILEGED - Remember, the privileged few will not rally around you in moments of difficulty - they will try to side-track justice, they will ask for more than what they deserve and will show no gratitude for favours done to them.
- COMMON MAN - It is the common man who is the strength of the community and of religion. ..... so live in close contact with the common man and be mindful of their welfare.
- BACKBITER - Keep at a distance he who exposes the weaknesses of others. After all, the masses are not free from weaknesses.
- DEFAMATION - Do not bring to light that which is hidden, but try to remove those weaknesses which have been brought to light.
- FAULT FINDING - Cover up the faults of the public to the best of your ability and God will not disclose your faults to the public gaze.
- TALE-TELLER - Do not make haste in seeking confirmation of tale-telling, for a tale-teller is a deceitful person appearing in the garb of a friend.
- MISER - Never take a counsel of a miser, for he will vitiate your magnanimity and frighten you of poverty.
- COWARD - Do not take counsel of a coward also, for he will weaken your resolutions.
- GREEDY - Do not take counsel of the greedy too, for he will instil greed in you and turn you into a tyrant.
- TAQWA - Keep close to you the upright and the Muttaqi (God-fearing) people.
- FLATTERY - Never allow anyone to flatter you and to give you credit for any good that you may not have done; for the tolerance of flattery and unhealthy praise stimulates pride in man and makes him arrogant.
- GOOD & BAD - Do not treat the good and the bad alike. That will deter the good from doing good, and encourage the bad in their bad pursuits.
- TRADITIONS - Do not regard the noble traditions set by our forefathers which have promoted harmony and progress among the people.
- EXPERIENCE - Try always to learn something from the experience of the learned and the wise, and frequently consult them.
- NEGLECT - Do not neglect anyone. The progress of one is dependent on the progress of every other, and none can afford to be independent of the other.
- POOR - Then there is the group of the poor and the needy, whose maintenance is an obligation to all.
- ENTIRE COMMUNITY - The administrator has to meet with an eye to the good of the entire community, a duty which he can not properly fulfil unless he takes personal interest in its execution and seeks help from God.
- CARE - Care for the people with the tenderness with which you care for your children.
- BOASTING - Do not talk before the people of any good that you might have done to them, nor disregard any expression of affection which they show in return.
- TIMELY HELP - Attend to every little want of the people not resting content with what general help that you might have given to them, for sometimes, timely attention to a little want of theirs brings them immense relief.
- FAVOURITISM - See to it you do not show favours to one who has achieved nothing but merely counts on his family position; and do not withhold proper reward from one who has done great deeds simply because he holds a low position in life.
- REFERENCE - "And refer to God and his prophet whenever there is difference of opinion among you". Holy Quran.
- BEST LEADER - The best leader among you is that:
- Who can not be intimidated.
- Who does not err too often.
- Who does not turn back from a right path once he finds it.
- Who is not self-centred or avaricious.
- Who will not decide before knowing the full facts.
- Who will weigh with care every attendant doubt.
- Who will not grow restive over the arguments of advocates.
- Who will examine with patience every new disclosure of fact.
- Who will remain strictly impartial in his decisions.
- One whom flattery can not mislead.
- Who does not exult over his position.
- REVENUE - Great care is to be exercised in revenue administration.
- RESPONSIBILITY - He who does not realise his own responsibilities can hardly appraise the responsibility of others.
- TRADE - Adopt useful schemes placed before those engaged in trade and industry, and help them with wise counsels.
- VISIT - Visit every part of the country and establish personal contact with people, and enquire into their condition.
- PROBLEMS OF THE POOR - Beware! Fear God when dealing with the problem of the poor who have none to patronise them, who are forlorn, indigent and helpless and are greatly torn in mind - victims to the vicissitudes of time. Among them there are some who do not question their lot in life and who not withstanding their misery, do not go about seeking alms. For God's sake, safeguard their rights, for on you rest the responsibility of protecting their interests.
- EQUALITY - The right of the two - rich and poor - should be equal in your eye. Do not let any preoccupation slip the poor from your mind; for no excuse whatsoever for the disregard of their rights will be acceptable to God.
- CONDITIONS OF THE POOR - Keep yourself informed of the condition of the poor.
- PROVISION FOR THE POOR - Make such provision for these poor people as shall not oblige you to offer an excuse before God on the day of Judgement, for it is this section of the people more than any other which deserves benevolent treatment.
- BIG TRIAL - It is the discharge of this duty of helping the poor that usually proves very trying to leaders, but is very welcome to societies which are gifted with foresight.
- OPEN CONFERENCE - Meet the oppressed and the lowly periodically in an open conference and have a heart-to-heart talk with them.
- DUTY TO THE WEAK - No nation or society in which the strong do not discharge their duty to the weak should occupy a high position.
- EVERY DAY'S TASK - Dispose the day's work that very day, for the coming day will bring with it its own task.
- PRAYERS - Do not forget to set apart the best of your time for communion with God, although every moment of yours is for Him only, provided it is spent sincerely in the service of your people.
- ALOOFNESS - Never for any length of time keep yourself aloof from the people, for to do so is to keep oneself ignorant of their affairs. The fact is that either you are just or unjust. If you are just, then you will not keep yourself away from the people. At all events, aloofness is not desirable especially when it is your duty to attend the needs of the people.
- RELATIVES - Deal justice squarely regardless of the fact whether one is a relation or not.
- PROMISE - Do not make any promise from which you may afterwards offer excuses to retract.
- CONSENSUS - When the people as a whole agree upon a thing, do not impose your own view on them, and do not neglect to discharge the responsibility that rests on you in consequence.
- MODEL - Give close thought to the example of our Prophet (s.a.w.w.), his traditions, and the commandments of the Book of God (Holy Quran) and whatever you might have assimilated from my (Imam Ali's) own way of dealing with things.
"I invite you to pray with me that Allah (swt) may enable us to acquit ourselves well before Him and His creation, so that mankind might cherish our memory and our work survive". Imam Ali (a.s.).