The Spirit of a True Leader

It burns me that despite all the education we are exposed to and progress we have made, today we sorely lack decent leaders. One cannot lead a people they have no connection with. Connection is not formed by name, blood, fame or wealth but by empathy, decency and a sense of justice. I have said this before and will repeat here..

“If only leaders governed through action…”

Imam Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad lived a simple and humble life even when he was the Caliph. His generosity knew no bounds and he treated people with dignity, honor, and kindness. His leadership values were to set an example rather than preach, he said:

“He who has appointed himself an Imam (ruler) of the people must begin by teaching himself before teaching others. His teaching of others must be first by setting an example rather than with his words, for he who begins by teaching and educating himself is more worthy of respect than he who teaches and educates others.”

As for his sense of justice, Imam Ali told his officials:

“Behave humbly with the people, keep yourself lenient, meet them with a big heart, and accord them equal treatment, so that the high should not expect injustices from you in their favor, and the low should not be despondent of your justice towards them.”

 Today I am re-posting these poems as a reminder of and a dedication to the spirit of a true leader.

in the hidden of the hiddens
there you will find him
in his full reality
denied by all
but a few
yet he helps all
if only they would ask

~ Ali, the helper of all ~

at the birth of religion
the foremost followers
were not preachers
but revolutionaries

~ Ali, the foremost ~

and the veil fiercely guards secrets
refusing even the light to reveal
unless it recognises
the name of her master

~ Ali, the knower of secrets ~

Read more about The Perfect Leader

More of Imam Ali’s sayings in my post No Ordinary Sermon

9 thoughts on “The Spirit of a True Leader

  1. Back then, people were humans with red blood in their veins…. That’s why they had great leaders. Now, blood has gone white and humanity has disappeared. That’s why we get leaders like we are.


  2. Dear Sonya,

    How may I fully convey my thanks for this wonderful post?

    You are aware that Imam Ali exists as a living, guiding Light House in this person’s life. Over time, your posts, on the light which he brings, are my favorites. This is a wonderful post about leadership, and character, and reality.

    As you noted elsewhere, you and I both published posts this week about Imam Ali. The first line in my post began with:

    “Your medicine is in you, and you do not observe it.”

    The medicine, the guidance, the light, is there; it is Imam Ali. And yet it is overlooked by most, but not by all.

    Thank you again.

    All good wishes,



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