A cleric on leadership and flawed officials


[A cleric’s views on how the leaders and flawed officials.]

Cleric brings about examples from the past: Basically, how much the leader should tolerate those officials who are flawed and make mistakes? Let me give you examples from those who were appointed by the holy Prophet for some positions, and they were unsuccessful. And some of them made blatant mistakes. Some of these historical figures cannot be mentioned. Why did the holy Prophet give them these positions? Why did he give them this much space [in the society]? Because they were natural elites of that society. Well, back then, democracy was not like today, when people can vote. But he saw that this or that person had a position among people, so he would appoint him to a position.

Host says: Even though it was costly.

Cleric emphasizes: Yes, even though it was costly.

Host asserts: Because it was worth it.

Cleric continues: This is when divine authority becomes very democratic, even more democratic than those places where people vote. Let me give you an example from the officials in Imam Ali’s government. He was Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad—Ubayd Allah son of Ziyad. Ziyad was one of the officials in Imam Ali’s government. He was very experienced in his job. He was very good at financial jobs. And he was flawed. As for his thoughts, he had basic problems. And he had found the management position beforehand. (Let me go back to my previous point.) Imam Ali managed the country with firmness. And he tried to help him [Ziyad] grow. And he didn’t have anyone to replace him. Or for example, Ash’ath was made by Imam Ali…. (I can’t give you example from the Prophet’s time. But I can more easily give examples from Imam Ali’s time.) One of the commanders of Imam Ali’s army—one of the officials in Imam Ali’s government—was Ash’ath. It was Ash’ath who with his own discretion imposed negotiation on Imam Ali, Ash’ath whose son killed Imam Hussein.