By Dr. Shadee Elmasry
In the Sira, the Prophet ﷺ was trusted not just from his 40 years of honesty, but through a generation prior with Abd al-Muttalib, who found Zamzam and led them through the attach of Abraha. Yathrib was willing to follow the Prophet ﷺ because he also solved their biggest problem, their civil war.
We all know that in masajid, you can't just tell youth what to do and what not to do without having first built a relationship of trust and value. By value I mean that you offer something constructive. If this ground-work hasn't been laid, then there is no point to try to give nasiha, let along forbid wrong.
If you chased your career your whole life and ignored your kids, then suddenly woke up and started telling them what to do, it's not going to work. By not doing your job as a dad, you lost the moral authority to tell them to do their job as kids. At every single level of leadership, the ground-work is trust and value. You earn trust by living with the people and you provide value by doing constructive work for the community. Imagine if law enforcement bodies were radically changed in two simple ways: 1 - You and your family live in the town you protect. 2 - You are heavily invested in community building. Attitudes would be so much different. Alienation, suspicion, callousness... all that would naturally start fading away as the years pass and the keepers of the law also become the builders of the community, the neighbors, and people who have brought you benefit.