Tales : ‘You be the leader!’

In ‘On the Duties of Brotherhood,’ Imam al-Ghazzali provided the following account, as told by Abu Ali al-Ribati, of himself and another dervish who went seeking the solitude of the desert.

“I was companion to Abdullah al-Razi as he was going into the desert.

“He said, ‘Either you or I must be leader.’

“So, I said, ‘Rather you.’

‘Then you must obey,’ said he.

‘Very well,’ I agreed.

“Then he took a bag, filled it with provisions, and carried it on his back. When I said, ‘Hand it to me,’ he replied, ‘Did you not say, ‘You are the leader!’? Well, then, you must obey.’

“That night we were caught by the rain. He stood at my head until morning, shielding me from the rain with a cloak he wore, while I sat there, saying to myself, ‘If only I had died, sooner than having said, ‘You be leader’!”

2 Replies to “Tales : ‘You be the leader!’”

    • Nawab Pasnak Post author

      Yes, that is one insight from this tale. Another is that to be a follower is a greater challenge than we realise.


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