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Consultation (Shura) prevent Chaos and Disunity.

By Hashim Msusa

Consultation other than acting despotically ensures safety both at public and leadership level. Those who consult people become a partner of their wisdom. What can Malawi learn from Islam in the area of consultation?

As a nation, we have witnessed collapse of some institutions, business empires, end of career in politics to some individuals and the list goes multiplied. One of the many reasons attributed to such failure, could be a consequence of undermining the value of consultation in matters arising.

We may rightly put that consultation is a cardinal principle of governance in every civilized societies. As such, no claim of commitment to authority and control can be taken seriously, where the spirit of consultation is denied, ignored or compromised.

While the concept of adhering to consultation in all levels of our living, such as the families, chieftaincy, corporations, religious institutions and many more, is been given little attention, the fact remains that consultation is useful for exploring sensitive and difficult issues.

As regards to consultation in spiritual and divinely commentary, God Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an, “And those who have responded to their Lord and established prayer and whose affairs is (determined by) consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend (42:38)

Consultation (Shura) is a Qur’anic command as the above verse emphasizes and listed with other key virtues such as worshipping God Almighty and spending for the sake of God Almighty. Whatever dimension of our thoughts may decide to incline, the reality remain that there is wisdom in consultation, as decision taken with mutual consultation is more valued than decision despotically taken.

Mutual consultation is a principle, which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ensured to adhere to it. The most outstanding example of the Prophet’s consultation occurred in the eve of the holy battle of Uhud (3AH). We found that, while he was of the opinion that they defended from within, the majority wanted to go out and fight. As such the Prophet accepted this; he did not impose his own opinion.

No doubt there is an important lesson here. The followers’ trust and confidence is gained, if their opinion is respected. Through mutual consultation, a capable leader, can prevent chaos and disunity and ensure a united force. This however, may be achieved by being willing and open to views and consultation themselves.

The modern world is even more suitable for people to adopt the concept of consultation. The world has grown so advanced in all areas of life, hence the presence of complicated mode of way of doing things. There are times where skilled, the elderly, and experienced individuals are more important to be consulted.

To understand this, one of the Rightly Guided Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised, “The best to consult are the ones who have several experiments, since they would be rich in experience, and thus be able to provide the advice that enriches the mind and prevent people from doing wrong.

Conclusively, consulting those with more experiments as the Companion of Prophet (peace be upon him) advised, determining our affairs through consultation as appear in the Qur’anic verse above are but some of progressive areas Malawi can learn from Islam.