Ethical Community Service

Upholding Ethical Community Service

by Mohamedarif Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Mohamedarif-Suleman Mohamedarif Mohamed Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a digital marketing specialist and an Educator-cum-Trainer. He has involved himself in community organisations and matters from a young age, and through his writings, continues to speak of social and cultural reform to this day. He is also the founding moderator of this forum.

Ethical community service:

In every society, the role of community servants and leaders is crucial, as they hold the reins of guidance, support, and governance. Yet, their influence extends far beyond mere administrative duties – it delves into the ethical and moral fabric of a community. To be truly effective, these individuals must embody unwavering moral integrity and an innate commitment to justice and equity.

Central to their responsibility is the preservation of trust. They must not only possess a moral compass that guides their actions but also safeguard the confidence entrusted to them. Using their position for personal gain or divulging secrets for self-interest corrodes the very essence of service and erodes public faith.

The principle of respect lies at the heart of their conduct. Respect for the privacy and dignity of those they serve, for the sanctity of life, and the inherent rights of every individual must be unwavering. Such leaders must not exploit their authority to benefit themselves but instead wield it to elevate those seeking their assistance.

A saying that encapsulates the lofty standards expected from such individuals is,

“To whom much is given, much is required.”

This proverb underscores the weight of responsibility commensurate with the authority and trust vested in community servants and leaders. It emphasizes the necessity for them to uphold a higher standard of ethics, as their actions have a ripple effect on the lives of many.

Moreover, the motivation propelling these individuals into service should transcend personal ambitions. Service driven by the pure intent of seeking the pleasure of a higher calling, be it a divine purpose or the greater good, fortifies their commitment to serving with sincerity and selflessness.

Ultimately, the bedrock of effective leadership lies not merely in wielding authority but in carrying the mantle of moral uprightness, fairness, and an unswerving dedication to serving the community’s best interests. Leaders who embody these virtues pave the path towards a more just, equitable, and harmonious society.

Finally, when we speak of service and leadership, we would be remiss if we did not mention the advice of the master of the faithful, Imam Áli (AS):

He who is in charge of honour, life, booty, (enforcement of) legal commandments and the leadership of the Muslims should not be a miser as his greed would aim at their wealth, nor be ignorant as he would then mislead them with his ignorance, nor be of rude behaviour who would estrange them with his rudeness, nor should he deal unjustly with wealth thus preferring one group over another, nor should he accept a bribe while taking decisions, as he would forfeit (others) rights and hold them up without finality, nor should he ignore sunnah as he would ruin the people.

Imam Áli ibn Abu Talib (AS)

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