Winter is coming and we’ve already had a few snowfalls in Eastern Canada so far!
As many in the western world have been indulging in ‘Black Friday’, and ‘Cyber Monday’ seasonal marketing events, it was 1 year ago that the entire world witnessed one of the most incredible and historical political wins in US History.
When that occurred, we were told to ‘Expect a Dark Winter’, by the incoming and current US President Joe Biden. His rival in the political arena, Donald Trump began a series of claims that created unrest and instability claiming that the election was rigged and he was ousted unfairly. The entire world has become dependent on the valuation of the US dollar for a number of reasons and while it was a tough year for so many of us, this winter has brought on concerns of a new world health organization discovery and classification of the ‘Omicron’ variant and this has shaken the world up once again as we near year-end.
A leader is a person that is forged during times of uncertainty and we hope that all of the world’s leaders presently and in the future help to make the best choices to keep our planet sustainable for all life and all civilization.
We asked Madani Chronicles creator Kelvin Ali, about his thoughts on leadership,
“A leader can be anyone who is accountable or responsible for the well-being of another. I’ve been fortunate to have been guided to study in my humble opinion, the very best of human beings in Prophet Muhammad (saw). Islamic ideology teaches us that all Prophet’s of Allah (swt) were granted a du’a for their respective ‘ummah’s’ and all Abrahamic Prophets (AS) chose their supplications for their people for matters of this world in this world.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) reserved his du’a until the afterlife and He (saw) chose to ask Allah (swt) to intercede for those who accepted Him (saw) as a Prophet and also accepted Allah (swt) as One without prescribing any partners to him, or what is known as, ‘Shirk’, the one and only ‘unforgivable’ sin in Islam.
Now, by studying the manners, etiquette, and wisdom of Prophet Muhammad (saw), or the Seerah or history/biography from authentic hadith, it became quite clear to me that this man is a true leader. I was so compelled by the explanations of hadith from scholars about Prophet Muhammad (saw) that I often cried when I reflected on His (saw) struggles as a human being and eventually my heart would begin to yearn to go to and see Mekkah and Medina.
Allah (swt) accepted my du’a to attend Hajj and Umrah and my love for Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the righteous companions (RA) only grew over time as I studied their lives and their sacrifices for Islam and their Nabi (saw). These were real people who faced insane conditions to just be able to say, “there is only one God”. For those who reverted to Islam, like myself, the pain, struggle, mockery, alienation, and hardships that you will endure from both Muslims and Non-Muslims is very difficult. To make that kind of personal life decision that will affect your entire world is a burden many find hard to bear. At times, despite my knowledge, experience, and wisdom, even I have struggled with wanting to remain Muslim because of the pain caused by others who you thought loved you or respected your choices. Many new Muslims will be put through difficult personal trials on both sides of the fence and that will develop leadership skills you probably didn’t know you had in you. Confidence, courage, empathy, are skills that naturally are needed when dealing with difficult situations and people.
If you ask any educated person today if they would follow an illiterate man’s advice, what do you think you would be labeled as, especially if those individuals have no idea about who this illiterate man is and was? The decision to follow Islam for a revert could possibly contradict generations of family tradition and history, so that in and of itself not only takes guts, it takes personal leadership and a lot of patience.
I have been labeled and profiled for nothing more than the 3 letters in my last name and choosing to have facial hair at times all over the world. This is how insane the world has gotten today and I consider myself to be somewhat ‘educated’ after 49 years of life so far.
For myself, reflecting upon the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (saw) to intercede for Muslims in the afterlife is a gesture that only a visionary and leader could truly make. Why is that?
Well, there are 1.9 billion Muslims estimated on the planet today. We all have our reasons for believing in the religion and I can assure you that there are plenty of educated Muslims around the world who are also banking on a Prophetic (saw) intercession on the day of judgment. Despite every good deed I could do in this life, I know that I certainly need and could use a Prophetic (saw) intercession to assist in helping me obtain the best of the afterlife that is promised by Allah (swt) in the Quran.
The reason I created the Madani Chronicles is to help anyone who is unclear about the questions we will all ask ourselves at some point in time as a human being, “Why was I created?”, “What is my purpose?”
A lot of people will let culture or nationalism or their own intellect and ego try to somehow figure it out. That’s why you need to read. That’s why you need to study and it’s why you need to care about not only what happens in this world, but the next, if you believe that you have a ‘Ruh’/(soul). If you think that you are here by coincidence or some random mishap of the cosmos and that there aren’t going to be consequences of your actions, then this mentality will certainly lead you to acts of hedonism and poor decision making.
You asked me about leadership. I think that whoever you believe is an ideal role model and whoever has reached a level of success that you wish to accomplish also is someone who you should try to emulate and study if you want to become that type of leader or attain that same level of success. We have been given ‘free will’ to do whatever we want in life and most likely someone has found a way to do it, be it, become it, and if you admire them or their success, your situation is not as difficult as you might think. What often holds people back is a lack of planning and true consistent small actions that are achievable.
Certainly, we all have people we admire in this world and we all wish to attain a level of material success like those who have put in the time and effort to become role models or influencers, but it’s often the time and effort that no one realizes was put in. Prophet Muhammad (saw) took 23 years, beginning at the age of 40 to achieve a foundation for success and to ‘complete’ the religion and receive Quranic revelation.
23 years and 1400+ years later, I received the gift of some of His (saw) wisdom as taught to me by Islamic scholars and also from the books of hadith. It took me 10 years to research and write the Madani Chronicles, which is only 8 years of key events and teaching during a very limited period of history. For 25+ years of life, I really had no sound Islamic knowledge, that didn’t mean I didn’t study other things and ideologies along the way. By doing so, it has certainly helped me to understand why some people behave the way they do towards Muslims.
Why did I do this? So that I can have perpetual good deeds when my time is up and so that western and English audiences could have a simple historical and factual based material that is also made in a very easy to understand and read format that resonates with what the world is familiar with. I’ve read comics my whole life and I learned a lot of wisdom and good life lessons from fictional heroes, but there is no Superman from planet Krypton who coming to save the world from danger today.
Studying the lives of any leader who has done great things will give you some insight on what traits and skills are needed to excel towards your dream or aspiration. I believe there is an afterlife, because of what I’ve learned. I also worked in a field where knowledge of actuarial sciences was required to predict retirement incomes. Our time on this world on average is about 60-80 years of life generally speaking and only Allah (swt) knows when your day will be the last here, so why wouldn’t you want to prepare for something?
Death is inevitable, so you have two choices. Believe that you have no creator to answer to for whatever you did in this world or you can believe that you are accountable for your actions in this world and the next. All leaders have a high degree of accountability as they are directly responsible for the growth and development of themselves and others.
The entire world desperately needs leadership right now. We are in a state of extreme distress on so many levels. The current pandemic, uncertainty, scarcity, and the political mudslinging that we’ve become desensitized to has degraded our electoral process to choose good leadership and we have become so divided in all of our respective countries. Our ability to elect qualified and true leadership has basically come down to a popularity vote based on very expensive and very strategic political campaigns in all western lands.
As global humanity, we live in very dangerous times considering the weapons humans now wield which can and most likely will be exploited by emerging AI, if we do not have global oversight in these matters. That is an issue that requires real leadership and real communication.
True leadership around the world takes guts and we wouldn’t need next-generation weapons to protect ourselves from one another had civilization raced to do good deeds in past, choices have been made for us that was supposed to be in our ‘best interest’ and history has revealed the worst of our actions as human beings more often than not.
I remember the days when political leaders in Canada decided that hospitals were too costly to maintain and that we didn’t need so many for our society, so they closed hospitals. The one where I was born in Toronto no longer exists and we look at our health system today, it has been stressed to limit. That to me, those decisions were based on very poor leadership. Do you think closing a hospital today would be welcomed in any country?
Our system of money creation is archaic due to extreme corruption and exploitation for centuries and there are no real leadership values instilled into the current economic framework we are all stuck in. Studying finance, there is also a reason people are not formally educated in how our economy works. That is poor leadership in my opinion. Anyone with some true insight who has studied how our economy actually works will know that the entire world is ‘broke’ right now. Why? Greed, envy, jealously, false news, and lies are matters that affect our hearts in negative ways are rampant. This is poor leadership.
Most people who are deemed the greatest leaders of the world are not actually branded as such until their time on this world has expired and I encourage you to study for yourself and find the answers you need to live a good life because it is a very short one for many of us. When I decided to become Muslim, I questioned everything and the answers to my questions were often explained competently, clearly, and with authenticity through true linguistic explanations from Quran and Hadith. That took almost 20 years of adult study and practice and that is what has helped me to become a competent leader coupled with my own beliefs and values as a human being.
For an illiterate man to influence the lives of almost 2 billion current inhabitants on our planet 1400+ years after His (saw) death. Ask yourself, is this not someone who is probably very special? I suspect that no one living today will be remembered 1400 years from now, let alone 1-200 years from now if humanity is inhabiting our cosmos, so yeah, in my opinion, Prophet Muhammad (saw) is definitely a leader of the highest order based on the miracle from Allah (swt) called the Quran which has been preserved to this day without change. It is incredible if you ponder upon this.
So, if He (saw) is interceding for Muslims in the hereafter, I certainly want that intercession and promise as per the authentic hadith. I’ve made du’a for intercession from Prophet Muhamad (saw) in the afterlife several times since becoming Muslim. That doesn’t mean I will ever stop trying to be the best human I can become, but it takes work and effort each day to become a better human being.
We all stumble, we all fall, we all struggle, we will all feel terrible pain and hurt, especially if you have been gifted with true love, but it’s how you deal with the struggle, the pain, the frustration, the hurt, the anxiety of your personal afflictions, bad things will happen to us in life at times that will determine your path of being a leader or someone who just wants to be led. Everyone has to be a role model for someone else at some point in life so take on the hard stuff, do the best you can always, it builds character and it builds grit when you put in the hard work, which are both very valuable leadership traits to have in this day and age!”
Do you have an influential leader who has inspired you? Is there an intellect, philosopher, a great historical figure, coach, or a modern-day Icon whose wisdom has inspired you? We’d love to hear your thoughts so why not ‘join the clan’ and share some of your awesome leadership advice with other awesome people around the world!
The Beyond Badr Dev Team!