Do Leaders Reflect Their People?


The information I have is:

Yahya bin Hisham from Yunus bin Abu Ishaq from his father reported that the Prophet (s) said: “Your leadership will be a reflection of you (the people).” [Mishkat]

Arabic text: “Kama takunoona kazalika yuwammaru alaikum.”

Mishkat is, of course, a secondary source. I need a reference from the original hadith compilation: the collection, the volume, the number, the book etc. Alternatively, the complete reference from Mishkat.

May Allah amply reward you for your assistance.


Wa alaykum as-salam:

The reference cited is al-Tabrizi’s Mishkat al-Masabih which I have inside its commentary by al-Qari entitled Mirqat al-Mafatih (Dar al-Fikr ed. 1994 7:291 #3717).

This hadith (in its two wordings) is a forgery from the viewpoint of its transmission chain and should not be positively attribute to the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him. However, al-Turtushi reportedly held its content true as confirmed by the Qur’anic verse {Thus We let some of the wrong-doers have power over others because of what they are wont to earn}(6:129).

1. Al-Munawi said in Fayd al-Qadir (#6406):

Kama takunu yuwalla `alaykum: “As you are you so will your leaders be.” Narrated by al-Daylami in al-Firdaws and al-Quda`i [in Musnad al-Shihab (1:336)], both from the narration of Yahya ibn Hisham, from Yunus ibn Ishaq, from his father, from his grandfather, from Abu Bakrah, raised [to
the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him]. Al-Sakhawi said: “Yahya’s narrations are counted among the forgeries.”

Also narrated by al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman [Branch 47] through Yahya ibn Hisham from Yunus ibn Ishaq from Abu Ishaq `Umar ibn `Abd Allah al-Sabi`i, mursal [without Companion-link], in the wording _Kama takununa kadhalika yu’ammaru `alaykum_: “As you are you so will your leaders be.”
Then he [al-Bayhaqi] said: “This [chain] is interrupted (munqati`), and Yahya ibn Hisham’s narration is weak.”

The hadith is traced with its chain through another path by Ibn Jami` in his Mu`jam and al-Quda`i through Ahmad ibn `Uthman al-Kirmani, from al-Mubarak ibn Fadala, from al-Hasan [al-Basri], from Abu Bakrah, raised [to the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him]. Ibn Tahir said: “Although
al-Mubarak has been cited as being somewhat weak, yet the focus is on those who narrated from him and they are unknown.”

[Also narrated from Abu Bakrah by al-Hakim in Tarikh Naysabur as stated by al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur, and from Abu Bakr by al-Saydawi in Mu`jam al-Shuyukh through al-Kirmani (p. 149)].

2. Al-Fattini said in Tadhkirat al-Mawdu`at (#182):

[After mentioning part of the above he states:] Al-Tabarani narrated something similar in meaning through `Umar, Ka`b, and al-Hasan: “People in their epoch will mostly resemble the epoch of their fathers.” Also, `Umar said: “People follow the religion of their kings.” I do not know it as a
Prophetic hadith, but it is close to the one that precedes it. It is also supported by what al-Tabarani narrates [and al-Bayhaqi from Ka`b, as stated in Kashf al-Khafa (2:166)] raised [to the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him]: “Every epoch has a king whom Allah sends in the semblance
(`ala nahw) of the hearts of its people. If He desires their reform He sends them a reformer, and if He desires their destruction He sends them one who shall cause their perdition.”

3. Al-`Ajluni said in Kashf al-Khafa’ (1:164, 2:166-167, 2:413):

Al-Tabarani narrated that al-Hasan [al-Basri] heard a man supplicating against al-Hajjaj whereupon he said to him: “Do not do that! Truly you are all the same and were treated accordingly. The only thing we fear, if al-Hajjaj were to be put away or die, is that apes and pigs shall be made rulers over you.* It has been narrated: “Your deeds are your workers (a`malukum `ummalukum) and as you are, so will your leaders be.” …

Ibn Hajar [al-Haytami] said [in al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyya]: “Al-Najm said that Ibn Abi Shayba narrated from Mansur ibn Abi al-Aswad that the latter asked al-A`mash about Allah Almighty’s saying: {Thus We let some of the wrong-doers have power over others because of what they are wont to earn} (6:129) to which he replied: ‘I heard them say about it [that it means] that the most evil of people are made to rule over them.'” …

Al-Bayhaqi also narrated from al-Hasan that the Israelites asked Musa – upon him peace – saying: “Ask your Lord to show us how we can tell He is pleased with us and how we can tell He is displeased.” He asked Him and He said: “Tell them: My good pleasure with them is [seen in] the fact that I make their best govern them, and that my displeasure with them is [seen in] the fact that I make their most evil ones govern them.” …

[Al-Sakhawi] said in al-Maqasid: “We have narrated from al-Fudayl [ibn `Iyad] that he said: ‘If I had one supplication that is answered, I would consider the Sultan more deserving of it. For in his uprightness lies the uprightness of those who are governed by him, and in his corruption lies their corruption.'” This is supported by what al-Tabarani narrated in al-Kabir and al-Awsat from Abu Umama, raised [to the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him]: “Do not curse the governors but supplicate that they be upright. For their uprightness is best for you.” …

Similarly al-Qasim ibn Mukhaynara’s saying: “The epoch in which you live is nothing other than your governor. If your governor is upright then your epoch is upright and if your governor is corrupt then your epoch is corrupt.”

4. See also:

al-Sakhawi, al-Maqasid al-Hasana (p. 326).
al-Zarkashi, al-Tadhkira fi al-Ahadith al-Mushtahara (p. 215-216).
al-Suyuti, al-Hawi li al-Fatawa (1:555, 2:470) and al-Durar al-Muntathira (p. 329=p. 225).
al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-`Ummal (#14972).
Ibn Tulun, al-Shadhara min al-Ahadith al-Mushtahara (2:714).
al-Samhudi, al-Ghammaz (p. 206).
al-Ghazzi, Itqan ma Yuhsinu min al-Akhbar (#1361).
al-Zabidi, Tabyin al-Tayyib min al-Khabith (p. 125).
al-Shawkani, al-Fawa’id al-Majmu`a (p. 210=p. 231-232).
al-Albani, al-Silsila al-Da`ifa (#320) and Da`if al-Jami` al-Saghir (#4280).
al-Sabbagh’s notes in al-Qari’s al-Asrar al-Marfu`a (p. 243 n. 2).
al-Hut, Asna al-Matalib (#1108).

* No doubt, “ape rule” is the lust and advent to power of those who scoff at du`a and believe only in human power, its means and its instruments.

Wallahu a`lam.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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