Divine and Pharaonic Leaders

It is reported that on the 1st of Safar 61 AH, the head of Imam Husayn (a) was brought into Syria.
Imam Husayn (a) was someone who represented divine values and we ought to be mindful of the relationship a leader who represents divine values has with their followers, in contrast to the relationship Pharaonic leaders have with their subordinates – lest we play into the hands of the latter.
An example of Imam Husayn (a) representing divine values as a leader is when – on two different occasions – he tells his followers, ‘Whoever desires to leave, can leave. There will be no liability upon you.’ Why would someone heading towards a place where they will most definitely require manpower allow their followers to leave if they want? One of the qualities of divine leaders is that they prioritize the perfection of their followers by providing them transparency & clarity so that they themselves can choose to make the right decision. This is unlike Pharaonic leaders whose very power and authority is rooted in ensuring that the two fundamental rights of every human are negated, namely:
a) right to knowledge and awareness, and 2) freedom to choose based on that knowledge.
We find that Imam Husayn (a) utters these statements on two occasions, both times it was after he had informed his followers and companions of a certain news. The first time he had informed them about the martyrdom of Muslim and that they are free to leave, in case they were under the impression that we would enter Kufa, have loyal support, and eventually take control. Many men left when they heard this as they were exactly under this impression. The second time he says this statement was on the night of Ashura after he informed his companions about their sure martyrdoms the following day, and also that the enemies have nothing to do with them. On this night, most of the companions stayed except a handful. There was no deception by the Imam, he offered them complete transparency and clarity as to what will occur, and then allowed them to make the better decision on their accord. This is for their own progress towards perfection and gaining further proximity to Allah (swt).
On the contrary, Pharaonic leaders look at their followers and those under their authority as pawns for their own agendas and goals. They destroy people’s identities by either keeping them ignorant so that they make choices in favour of their authority, or despite the awareness people may have, these leaders will not allow them to make the right choices. The Quran says about Pharaoh: (43:54) So he bluffed his people, and they obeyed him.
Pharoah was the polar opposite of a divine leader. He belittled and fooled his people to such an extent that they had no identity left except in their obedience to him.
Featured Picture: 2017 Masjid Jami’ Yazd, preparations for the day of Arba’een

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