The Responsibilities of civil servants in Islam
The Responsibilities of civil servants in Islam

The Responsibilities of civil servants in Islam

 The Responsibilities of civil servants in Islam

The core responsibilities in the light of Quran and Sunnah in the Islamic culture of administration can be divided into many points. The following instructions in the form of a letter were written by HAZRAT ALI (A.S), the Caliph, to Malik e Ashtar, whom he had appointed as a Governor of Egypt in the year 657 A.D approximately. There is a main central idea running through these instruction, like one single thread out of which a cloth is woven, and that is of Allah. The government and sovereignty is of Allah. The governors and governed are both creatures of Allah. It serves as a thesis on the higher values of morality and roles and responsibilities of civil servants and public administrations.

Maintaining justice in administration:

In the Islamic view of the world, justice means placing things in their rightful place. It also means giving others equal treatment. It is seen both as a moral virtue and an attribute of human personality. Justice is close to equality is the sense that is creates a state of equilibrium in distribution of rights and responsibilities, but they are not identical. Sometimes justice is achieved through inequality like unequal distribution of wealth. The Quran considers justice to be a supreme virtue to the degree that it stands next in order of priority to the belief of TOWHEED. Allah declares in QURAN;

‘God commands justice and fair dealing’…..

We have forbidden injustice, O my slaves, for myself and also for you, so avoid being unjust to one another (AL-QURAN).

The letter of HAZRAT Ali A.S spoke of the same in the words;

Maintain justice in administration and impose it on your own self and seek the consent of the people, for the discontent of the masses sterilizes the contentment of the privileged few and discontent of the few loses itself in the contentment of many. Remember the privileged few will not rally round you in moments of difficulty.

Hence for the civil servants and public administrators, the maintenance of justice in their conduct becomes a responsibility.

To seek counsel on important decisions;

Consultation is an integral concept in both the Islamic leadership and public administration. This counsel is known as SHURA. SHURA is a crucial part of Islamic way of administration as it allows common people to participate in the decision making process. It helps creates a society that engages activity with the leaders and administrators. Consultation  is important in building a solid relationship between the leader and the people ensuring that the leader does not go astray or regress into an authoritative government Allah encouraged the Holy prophet P.B.U.H to use SHURA;

Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular prayer and; who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation; who spend out of what we bestow upon them for sustenance. (QURAN 42, 38)

There are several examples of the prophet(P.B.U.H) taking counsel from his companions and following their opinions as well as preaching the UMMAH  and the for coming decision makers and officials to seek counsel in their matters of decision.

Sincerity towards work – as a form of worship;

            Islam puts a lot of emphasis on hard work and significance and importance of sincerity toward one’s work. In the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty has drawn attention to all the potentials that a human possess and can achieve with the proper amount of commitment towards one’s work. The importance of work has been enriched by Islam to the extent that is considered as the act of worship, and emphasizes on both worshipping the Allah (SWT) while working for the survival and glory in the material world staying inside the code of ethics. The Holy Quran tells the importance of work by the words;

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for; that his striving will soon come in sight: then will he be rewarded with a reward complete.”

 Maintaining honesty and truthfulness;

            Honesty and truthfulness are two practices that are most abundantly advocated in Islamic responsibilities of administration. This is because it is a pre-requisite for building trust in relationship, integrity of personality, a cooperative orientation with others, and mutual trust and respect. Allah (S.W.T) ordered the believers to tell the truth and urged them to be among the truthful:

“Oh you who believe, be afraid of Allah and be with those who are true (in words and deeds). (Al- Toubah)

To speak always truth means to be faithful, honest and trustworthy person. As a result everyone in the society will trust such person and get inspiration from him. Hence upholding honesty and truthfulness as a civil servant is a big responsibility that must be observed in the light of Quran and Sunnah.

Patience, Neutrality in conduct;

          The society consists of and is composed of different classes. The progress of one depend on the progress of every other, and none can be afford to be independent of one another. The general public may contain both Muslims and non- Muslims and among them people belonging to different parts of life. Some craftsmen, some uneducated.

The letter of HAZRAT Ali (A.S) points out towards this by the words:

GOD has given appropriate opportunity of service to one and all, then these are the rights of all these classes over the administration which the administrator has to meet with an eye to the good of the entire population a duty which he cannot fulfill unless he takes personal interest in its execution and seek help from GOD.”


        Public service is an extension of one’s obligations towards the community of the faithful and a form of worship. In contrast with current western public administration values, which is secular, legal grounded in technical, rational principles and Anglo- Saxon norms, whose core values are effectiveness and efficiency and material concerns solely Islamic administration provides a more stable wider view of this aspect of life with its principles grounded in the value of justice equality, consultation, neutrality, human rights, and freedom and devotion to Allah. The rules of rulers, one can positively say that Islamic form of public administration provides a sound framework and well defined set of oral values, and responsibilities along with relative freedom to sustain a better society.


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