The eminent Muslim scholar and renowned Da`iyah, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, states:
“In Islam, the prime minister/president or the people in power are appointed to look after the interests of Muslims as he/they are supposed to serve the people. By analogy, this Islamic principle extends to all jobs and authorities in the Islamic State. Seeking power or authority with the intention of personal gain is strictly rejected in Islam.
In this context, we recall the narration of Abu Humayd As-Sa`idi who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) employed Ibn Al-Utbiyyah to collect Zakah from Bani Sulaym. When he returned (with the money) to Allah’s Messenger, the latter called him to account. Then Ibn Al-Utbiyyah said, “This (amount) is for you, and this was given to me as a present.” Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Why don’t you stay at your father’s house or your mother’s house to see whether you will be given gifts or not, if you are telling the truth?” Then Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) stood up and addressed the people. After glorifying and praising Allah, he said, “I employ some men from among you for some job which Allah has placed in my charge, and then one of you comes to me and says, ‘This (amount) is for you and this is a gift given to me.’ Why doesn’t he stay at the house of his father or the house of his mother and see whether he will be given gifts or not if he was telling the truth. By Allah, none of you should take anything of it (i.e., Zakah) for himself (Hisham added: unlawfully) (and if one does so) he will meet Allah on the Day of Judgment carrying it on his neck! I do not want to see any of you carrying a grunting camel, a mooing cow or a bleating sheep when meeting Allah.” Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) raised both his hands until I saw the whiteness of his armpits, and said, “(Without doubt!) Haven’t I conveyed Allah’s Message!” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Editor’s note:
In the Hereafter, one will be judged according to his intentions. `Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) says: I heard Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, “Deeds (their correctness and rewards) depend upon intentions, and every person gets according to what he has intended. So, whoever emigrated for worldly benefits, or to marry a woman, his emigration is for what he emigrated for.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,”Whoever rules ten (persons) or more, will meet Allah, Most High, on the Day of Judgment while his hands are chained to his neck. His righteousness will release him or his wrongdoing will cause him to perish. At the beginning of it (authority) is blame, in its mid is remorse, and at its end is shame on the Day of Judgment.” (Reported by Ahmad)
This hadith warns Muslims against seeking power or authority unless they do so with the intention of serving Islam and Muslims.