On commanding those in authority to be kind to their subjects, to give them good counsel and to be compassionate to them, and forbidding those in authority from cheating them

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

78. Chapter: On commanding those in authority to be kind to their subjects, to give them good counsel and to be compassionate to them, and forbidding those in authority from cheating them, being harsh to them, overlooking their best interests and being unmindful of them and their needs

Allah says, "Take the believers who follow you under your wing," (W26:214; H26:215)

and the Almighty says, "Allah commands to justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny. He warns you so that perhaps you may pay heed." (16:90)

653. Ibn 'Umar said, "I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'All of you are shepherds. Each of you is responsible for his flock. An imam is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is a shepherd in respect of his family and is responsible for his flock. The woman is a shepherd in respect of her husband's house and is responsible for her flock. The servant is a shepherd in respect of his master's property and is responsible for his flock. All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock.'" [Agreed upon]

654. Abu Ya'la Ma'qil ibn Yasar said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'No slave is made shepherd over a flock by Allah and dies and is cheating his flock on the day he dies without Allah denying him the garden." [Agreed upon]

In one variant, "The fragrance of the Garden will not reach him if he does not give it good counsel."

In the variant of Muslim, "Any amir who is appointed over the affairs of the Muslim and then does not strive for them and advise them well will not enter the Garden with them."

655. 'A'isha said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say in this house of his, 'O Allah, anyone who is appointed over any of the affairs of my community and is hard on them, I will be hard on him. Anyone who is appointed over any of the affairs of my community and is kind to them, I will be kind to him." [Muslim]

656. Abu Hurayra said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The tribe of Israel used to be ruled by the Prophets. Whenever a Prophet died, another Prophet would succeed him. There is no Prophet after me, but after me there will be khalifs, and there will be many of them." They said, "O Messenger of Allah, what do you command us?" He said, "Give full allegiance to the first and then the next and then give them their rights and ask Allah for that which is due to you. Allah will question them about that which they were put in charge of." [Agreed upon]

657. 'A'idh ibn 'Amr reported that he visited 'Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad and said to him, "My boy, I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'The worst of shepherds is the harsh one.' Beware lest you be one of them.'" [Agreed upon]

658. Abu Maryam al-Azdi told Mu'awiya, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "If Allah puts someone in charge of any of the affairs of the Muslims and he is then blind to their needs, friendship and poverty, Allah will be blind to his needs, friendship and poverty on the Day of Rising.'" Mu'awiya, therefore, put a man in charge of seeing to the needs of the people. [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]