Paper Presented at the Leadership Training programme, Islamic College of South Africa
19-22 June 2000 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.
WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?
TYPES OF LEADERSHIP
EVALUATION OF LEADERS
TERM OF LEADERSHIP
PROBLEMS OF LEADERS
ABUBAKR AL SIDDIQ
OMAR AL FAROOQ
1.0 WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?
Leadership is the single most important determinant in organisational success. Good leadership leads
to success; bad leadership leads to frustration and failure. One of the harbingers of doom is to place leadership authority
in the wrong hands.
All members, supporters, and sympathisers of the organisation are stakeholders who are concerned about
success and failure of leadership.
Leadership is a pre-condition for civilised existence. Any group of 3 ormore must have a leader. Absence of recognised leadership means chaos to the detriment of all.
Leadership is the process of influencing people and making them do certain things. It is both an art
and a science. It has rational, emotional, intuitive and instinctive dimensions. A few leadership skills are innate but most
are acquired by experience and education.
Leadership involves moving followers in a certain direction mostly by non-coercive methods. Successful
leaders get voluntary co-operation from followers. Good leaders persuade and do not command; they pull and do not push. Fear
and authority are not leadership. Leaders who depend only on authority and coercion do not go very far. Poor leaders by contrast
manipulate their followers. Manipulation is getting a person to do what they are not aware of or do not want to do.
True leadership is more service than domination. The leader is the servant (sayyid al qawm khadimuhum).
There is a dynamic interaction between the leader, the followers, and the situation. A leader of one
group of followers may not be able to lead a different group. A leader in one situation may fail in another one.Roles of leaders and followers can be interchanged. A leader may be a follower of a more powerful leader.
A good leader must therefore also be a good follower.
Leadership involves the following specific functions: setting and communicating visions, goals, and
objectives; representing followers; directing, co-ordinating, and integrating; influencing, mobilising, motivating, creating
enthusiasm and optimism; providing services and making a difference.
2.0 LEADERSHIP POWER
Power is capability or potential to get something done. Influence is exercise of power to get something
done. Authority is formal power that a leader has as a virtue of the position. Power and leadership are interdependent but
are not interchangeable.
A leader needs power to succeed and influence others but power alone does not make an effective leader.
There are 2 types of leadership power: personal and positional. Both are used in varying proportions depending on the leadership
situation. Personal power is based on character, expertise, charisma, and personal relations. Positional power is based on
formal authority that includes decision-making, reward, punishment, and control of information and organisational resources.
The leader has to make a correct judgement of which source of power to use in a particular leadership situation
Influence is exercise of leadership power. Powerful leaders have more influence. They have credibility
and can get more compliance from their followers. Leaders can get follower compliance by rational persuasion, appeal, pressure,
promise of rewards, negotiations (win-win, compromise). Leader get followers to do things either by making small demands followed
by big ones, or by starting with big demands followed by small ones of the big ones are not possible
A leader gains more power and influence by building credibility. Credibility is based on competence
(experience, knowledge, skills), character (honesty, kindness, sympathy), self-confidence, activity and drive, boldness and
assertiveness. The followers must trust the leader if he is to lead them well. Good leaders deal honestly with their followers
and are up front. Building credibility starts with self-assessment to know your strengths and use them, to identify your weaknesses
and compensate for them. You have to listen to and learn from the followers. Keeping promises and being predictable are very
important for credibility.
Good leaders lead by teaching leadership. Good leadership involves empowering followers by coaching
them and then sharing leadership power with them through delegation. Followers must be given real authority, information and
resources but must be held accountable for what they are doing. Empowered followers have heightened self-efficacy and self-confidence.
They will have higher performance, exhibit more co-operation, achieve higher personal growth, and in the end all ensure the
survival of the organisation.
3.0 TYPES OF LEADERSHIP
Leadership is a function exercised by almost everybody each in his or her own sphere; we are at least
leaders of ourselves or leaders of our families. Leadership can be in the community, the work-place, and in public organisations.
Since everybody has some leadership roles, each one can become a more effective leader by formal training or gaining experience
on the job. Not everyone wants to be a public leader. There are many people who are just not prepared to invest energy and
shoulder the responsibilities of public leadership.
Leadership is highly individualised and is very specific for the situation and the type of followers.
Each circumstance calls for different skills and style of leadership. The only constant un-varying dimension is that whatever
style or skills are employed, they must conform to the leader's basic personality, values, and attitudes otherwise there will
be inconsistencies that will eventually lead to leadership failure.
Several types of leaders and styles of leadership can be described: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.
Leaders can be transactional, transformational, or charismatic. Some leaders are task oriented whilst others are people-oriented.
Choice of type or style must be flexible. The choice is determined by: the situation, leader personality, follower personality,
type of organization, and type of work carried out. Some situations call for use of a combination of leadership styles.
Autocratic leaders are dictatorial. They set goals, make all the decisions and just give followers
orders to carry out. They set goals and personally direct tasks. There is very little follower feed-back. Democratic leaders
on the other hand involve followers in decision-making, listen to them, and give them a chance to participate. There is feed-back
fro both the leaders and the followers. Laissez-faire. leaders neglect their role. They have little interaction with the followers.
They do not care about what the followers do. The followers are free to do what they want, how and when they want. Laisser-faire
leaders exercise hands-off management
Leadership may be task-oriented or people-oriented. A good leader has the right mixture of the two
for the particular leadership situation he may find himself in. The correct synthesis is to concentrate first on the people,
make them believe in themselves, trust them, train and nurture them and then let them produce superior results. Task-oriented
leaders are mainly interested in production and results. They often have poor interpersonal skills. Some leaders perform well
with structured tasks whereas others are best with unstructured tasks. People-oriented leaders are interested in the welfare
of the followers and try to make them happy and contented. It this is take to the extreme productivity, quality, and results
may be forgotten
Transformational leadership is a type of transaction leadership that focuses on higher goals instead
of immediate material rewards for followers. Transformational leaders empower, inspire, innovate, and raise passions. They
have a vision and communicate it effectively. They raise followers to higher levels of motivation and morality. They give
their followers a feeling of well-being and imbue new confidence and blow a new spirit in them. There is an emotional bond
between the leaders and the followers. Their power is person-centred.
Transactional leaders fulfil the followers' current material and psychological needs in return for
performance. Their outlook is managerial. They do well in the short run when the situation is stable. They fail in the long
run when they are faced with new unfamiliar challenges.
Charismatic leaders arise almost spontaneously in certain circumstances. They are characterised by
their commitment to values, enthusiasm and energy. They have person-centred authority which ends with their exit from the
stage. They are revered and followers are devoted to them. They are invariably dynamic public speakers. They evoke strong
emotions, display self-confidence and competence, serve as role models, communicate high expectations with transcendental
goals, embody in their person the hopes, aspirations, and frustrations of the followers. Positive charismatic leaders use
their authority to improve society. Wise leaders are never fooled by the charisma. Negative charismatic leaders use that authority
for their own self-aggrandizement. Charismatic leaders have a tendency to think of themselves as indispensable and to know
all. They may develop egoistic and dictatorial tendencies. They can easily misuse their great authority and power. They usually
do not prepare others to take their place. When they disappear from the stage they leave behind a void and instability.
4.0 EVALUATION OF LEADERS
Leaders, being human, are not always perfect. They have strengths and weaknesses. A correct assessment
of a particular leadership situation requires looking at both strengths and weaknesses as well as the environment. Expectations
generate a power and a momentum of their own and are a very powerful motivator. A leader who effectively communicates expectations
gets what he expects. Only self-confident leaders can communicate expectations effectively. Practical life tests leaders in
various ways; the strongest emerge successful from the tests. A leader must be able to stand up to emotional and psychological
pressures, must maintain his calm and objectivity in face of personal insults and abuse directed at him or what he stands
for and loves. He must be able to deal fairly with people he is not emotionally comfortable with: opposers, those who abuse,
and disparage him.
There is no leadership without followership. The quality of the followers determines the quality of
the leadership. A good leader may fail with bad followers. An average leader may succeed if he has good followers. In the
long run it is follower quality that determines the nature of a particular leadership situation. "The way you are is the way
of your leaders". Followers get the leaders they deserve. Incongruence between followers and leaders is usually temporary
and hardly exceeds a generation. In a certain situation, a successful fit between leaders and followers leads to success.
Successful leadership requires that followers obey the leader. There are however limitations and conditions for that obedience
as will be discussed later.
Successful public leadership is always directly or indirectly dependent on the consent of the followers.
Good selection of public leaders requires participation of the followers. Leaders can not be imposed. Imposition of leaders
can work for only a short time or is associated with unsuccessful leader-follower situations. The exact method of expressing
the follower's view varies according to the circumstances of each group. Follower input whatever its nature can not be ignored.
6.0 TERM OF LEADERSHIP
There is no correct answer to the question how long should one individual stay in leadership? It is
better to leave this matter open and decide according to circumstances. Staying too long discourages the emergence of younger
leaders and infusing new blood and new ideas into the organisation. It may also result into inefficiency as the leader loses
effectiveness with time. Frequent changes of leaders may on the other hand result in lack of continuity and instability. There
are situations in which one long-serving leader is the only one with the skills and charisma to hold the organisation together.
In such a case you should not insist on change for the sake of change.
7.0 PROBLEMS OF LEADERS
Leaders experience problems. Being at the top can be lonely. They take responsibility for failures.
Followers may be disloyal to the leader or the organisation. Subordinates may have poor values that the leader can not stand.
There may be dissent. The leader may be ahead of the followers in vision and thinking. External threats are always looming
on the horizon.
A leader is a public figure and has to accept more invasion of his privacy thanan ordinary person. It is important that people know enough about his private life to be assured that he
is not involved in any activity that is incompatible with leadership position. The leader must be accessible at all times
and can not claim privacy as a reason for not carrying out leadership functions. The followers must however have some consideration
for the leader and his family. They must give him some privacy so that he can lead an ordinary life
The two leaders discussed in this section combine between them all the good qualities needed in leadership
8.0 MODEL LEADERS
Good and effective leadership is a source of greatness (’abqariyyah).
Great movements and changes in history are always associated with great leaders. Intended here is real, genuine, moral, and
competent leadership based on character and integrity and not the phony leadership that thrives on propaganda, deceit, and
manipulation. Bad leaders are motivated by power alone. They just like the exercise of power. Good leaders have higher motivation.
They want to use leadership power to improve and make a change.
The Prophet Muhammad and the 5 rightly-guided khulafaha after him are, and other illustrious leaders
in history are a model of ideal leadership. They led according to the dictates of the noble teachings, maintained justice,
avoided oppression and promoted the welfare of their immediate followers and generations to come. The Prophet's character
was patience and perseverance, wisdom and foresight, kindness, concern for others, honesty and truthfulness, justice, courage
and firmness, love and mercy, forgiveness, simplicity and humility, and good humour. Abubakr is remembered for his piety,
wisdom, gentle character, honesty, principled behaviour, and justice. Abubakr was gentle and kind in most cases but when the
need arose he would be very firm and decisive. Omar Ibn al Khattab is remembered for his courage, justice, hard-work, seriousness,
and generosity. Uthman b Affan is remembered for his piety, gentle character, modesty and benevolence. Ali b Abi Talib is
remembered for his bravery, scholarship, learning and justice. Khalid Ibn al Walid is remembered for his bravery and his military
strategy. Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz is remembered for his righteousness and piety.
Abubakr is remembered for the following: strong iman, constant company of the prophet, good character
and wisdom, firmness, and strategy.
He had firm iman that knew no doubts . He was the first believer in Makka outside the prophet’s
immediate family. He called others in Islam. He used his wealth to help poor Muslims.
He was a constant companion of the Prophet and learned a lot from him.He planned the logistics of the
hijra and was the prophet’s companion on the journey..He was the companion of the prophet in the cave on migration from
Makka to Madina. In Madina, Abubakr started as a farmer. He was always with the prophet. Abubakr and Omar were the closest
advisers of the Prophet. Abubakr exercised leadership even in the lifetime of the prophet. He led the pilgrimage after hudaybiyyat.
He was asked by the prophet to lead prayers when the prophet was in his last illness
He had wisdom and vision. He was neverangry except for
Allah. Abubakr had good manners and was a loved personality. He was a leader in his tribe in charge of settling blood feuds.
He was a successful cloth merchant due to his good personality. Even before Islam, he had good morals; he did not drink alcohol.
Did not participate in jahiliyyah worship. When the prophet called him, he did not hesitate to accept Islam. Abubakr was kind
to badr prisoners of war. He understood and supported the prophet’s strategy at hudaybiyyat. On ascension to the khulafat,
Abubakr did not oppress opposers to his leadership.
He took a firm stand at death of prophet. He put his focus of unity of state after death of prophet.
His firm and wise stand at saqifa averted civil war. He took a firm stand in riddat wars preserved religion and unity. During
the riddat wars, the usually soft Abubakr was tough and stood firm for the truth. He stabilized the state in his reign by
such courageous stands. He was firm with pretenders to prophethood. He dispatched Usamah’s army to fulfil the prophet’s
command although there were many dangers in Madina at that time.
He collected Qur’an
He laid foundation for empire in byzantine and Persian lands. He initiated the Syrian and Iraq campaigns that resulted into the expansion of the Islamic state.
Abubakr was a full-time leader devoted only to his work. He was aware of his limitations and brought
about him men who could complement him. He asked for obedience from the people only if He obeyed Allah and did not assume
that he had a right to rule. He governed by shura.
Abubakr was pre-occupied with ummatic welfare in the last 2 weeks of his life when he was sick. He
consulted the companions before appointing Omar as the next khalifa. He undertook self criticism on his activities. He returned
all the salary he had earned as khalifa to the public treasury.
Abubakr died with no wealth. he was buried in his old clothes; he said that the living needed new ones.
He ordered that his funeral should not distract from state affairs
The main lessons we learn from Abubakr are : (a) Simple life (b) Honesty (c) Politeness (d) Firmness
(e) Caution (f) Against self-admiration (g) Self criticism (h) Accepting criticism (I)
Abubakr’s main achievements: (a) Abubakr was able to maintain the unity of the ummah after the
passing away of the prophet (b) He stood firm and defeated the apostates (c) He stood form against the refusers of zakat (d)
the started the era of conquests (d) He collected the Qur’an
Omar was a great leader, the mujaddid of the first century, who embodied in his character the best
of the pre-Islamic noble ideals with the best in Islam. The prophet recognised and respected his strength ofpersonality. The prophet prayed for his conversion because of what he knew of his strength. Omar is clear
proof of the saying of the prophet ‘the best of you in jahiliyyat are the best of you in Islam if they learn’.
Omar was a man of strong opinions and convictions. He was a ferocious enemy of Islam in jahiliyyat
and its most ferocious defender after his conversion.
Omar was known for being tough.He however had a soft
spot in him.This was demonstrated on many occasions.Before accepting Islam, he confronted his Muslim sister in Makka and beat her.When he saw blood he was very sorry and was profoundly affected.Her bravery and steadfastness softened him.
Omar was a practical man of action. Omar was brave and very daring.When he became a Muslim he declared his conversion in public in Makka.He
and Hamza led the first public demonstration in Islam when they led Muslims from their hiding places to pray in from of the
Kaaba.Omar unlike all other companions migrated in public from Makka and dared
any who wanted to challenge him.
Omar was physically and mentally very strong.This enabled
him to exercise a very dynamic leadership.He was able to work hard.He could personally attend to many details and follow up projects.He exercised tight control over state affairs. He was a very directive leader who at the same time exercised consultation.
Omar slept very little. He was always working. Omar was able to follow-up affairs of far- away provinces
by use of the postal system, hajj, spies, and tours of inspection.
Omar gave trouble to those who came after him because he set very high unattainable standards for those
Omar lived a very simple life and was approachable by all.
COMPARING TYPES OF LEADERS
Fill the following table defining different types of leaders. Score each criterion as high, medium,
COMPARING LEADER AND FOLLOWER ROLES IN VARIOUS LEADERSHIP STYLES
Complete the following table showing the roles of leaders and followers under 3 styles of leadership
(autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire) and by function (goal setting, debates, decision-making, feed-back, implementation).
For each function write ‘L’ if if it is done mostly by the leader, ‘F’ if it is done by the follower
and “L&F’ if it is done by both.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CHARISMATIC LEADERS
Think of a charismatic leader that you have known and score the following characteristics as high,
medium, and low.
Followers identify with leader
Followers willing subordinates
Followers feel empowered
Leader articulates future vision
Leader has rhetorical skills
Leader projects positive image of success
Emotional bond between leader and followers
Crises help emergence of charisma
COMPARING ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP
Think of a particular charismatic leader you know or have read about. For a specific context of time,
place, and circumstances score the advantages and disadvantages as high, medium, or low
havoc or destruction
COMPARING CHARISMATIC AND NON-CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP
Complete the following table comparing a charismatic and non-charismatic leader. Think of two leaders
you have read about or have known, one charismatic and the other non-charismatic. Score each criterion as high or low.
Accept status quo
Sensitivity to environment
Articulation of goal/vision
Use of personal power
Use of positional power
Fill the following table comparing types of leadership power. Write down 1-3 advantages/disadvantages
for each type of power
TYPE OF POWERADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES
Fill in the following table comparing directive, participative, and laissez-faire leadership on various
performance criteria (indicate high, average, low)
Conflict in group
CHOICE OF LEADERSHIP STYLE FOR DIFFERENT SITUATIONS
Fill in the following table about choice of leadership styles in given situations
Leader has superior
Followers mature and
Time is of essence
COMPARING TASK VS PEOPLE-ORIENTED LEADERS
Fill the following table comparing task-oriented to people-oriented leaders
Listening to others
Using yourself as an example or a particular leader you know very well and complete the following table
(O=Occasionally, F=Frequently, S=Seldom)
Act as group spokesman
Allow followers complete freedom in work
Encourage uniform procedures
Permit followers to use their judgement in solving problems
Permit followers to perform as they think best
Make decision: what and how
Push for increased achievements
Willing to make changes
Do not explain actions
Using yourself as an example or a particular leader you know very well and complete the following table
(O=Occasionally, F=Frequently, S=Seldom)
Task achievement/push for increased achievement
1. List 5 traits of good leadership from your study of Abubakr and Omar
2. Asses a leader that you know using the traits above
3. What is different between leaders of today and those of the earlier times?
LEADERSHIP AFTER TRIAL
And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain Commands, which he fulfilled: He said: " I will make you
An Imam to the Nations. He pleaded: " And also ( Imams ) from my offspring!" He answered: " But My promise is not within the
reach of evildoers.
GOOD LEADER WANTS GOOD FOLLOWERS:
And those who pray, Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (
the grace ) To lead the righteous.
LEADER TO BE GIVEN SOME PRIVACY:
O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses until leave is given you for a meal, ( and then )
Not ( so early as ) to wait for its preparation: but when you are invited, enter; And when you have taken your meal, disperse,
without seeking familiar talk. Such ( behavior ) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed
( to tell you ) the truth.
A GROUP OF 3 OR MORE MUST SELECT A LEADER
"Abu Said al Khudri reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: When three are
on a journey, they should appoint one of them as their commander."
Abu Daud 2:721, Chapter 933, hadith # 2602
LACK OF LEADERSHIP IS AN OMINOUS SIGN
"Salamah daughter of al Hurr and sister of Kharshah b. al Hurr al Fazari said 'I heard the Apostle
of Allah (may peace be upon him ) say One of the signs of the Last Hour will be that people in mosques will refuse to act
as imam and will not find an imam to lead them in prayer."
Abu Daud 1:153, Chapter 153, Hadith # 581
AUTHORITY IN WRONG HANDS IS SIGN OF DOOM:
"Narrated Abu Huraira: While the Prophet was saying something in a gathering, a Bedouin came and asked him " When would
the Hour ( Doomsday ) take place?" Allah's Apostle continued his talk, so some people said that Allah's Apostle had heard
the question, but did not like what that Bedouin has asked. Some of them said that Allah's Apostle had not heard it. When
the Prophet finished his speech, he said, " Where is the questioner, who enquired about the Hour ( Doomsday)?" The Bedouin
said, " I am here, O Allah's Apostle " Then the Prophet said, " When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour ( Doomsday ).
The Bedouin said, " How will that be lost?" The Prophet said, " When the power or authority comes in the hands of unfit persons,
then wait for the Hour (doomsday)"
Bukhari 1;50-51, hadith # 56
AMBITION FOR LEADERSHIP PROHIBITED
"Abd al Rahman b Samurah said: The Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) said to me: Abd al-Rahman
b. Samurah, do not ask for the position of commander, for if you are given it after asking you will be left to discharge it
yourself, but if you are given it without asking you will be helped to discharge it."
Abu Daud 2:827, Chapter 1090, hadith # 2923
UNFIT INCOMPETENT LEADERS:
"Wait for doomsday when the deposit ( amanat ) is wasted. He inquired: " What's the wasting of the
deposit?" His holiness said: When rulership is entrusted to the incompetent, wait for the doomsday" Hayat 3:266-267
EVERYBODY IS A LEADER AND EVERYBODY IS RESPONSIBLE
“Abdullah b Umar reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him) as saying: Each of you is a shepherd
and each of you is responsible of his flock. The amir ( ruler ) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for
his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman
is a shepherdess in charge of her husband's house and children and she is responsible for them; and a man's slave is a shepherd
in charge of his master's property and he is responsible for it. So each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible
for his flock"
Abu Daud 2:827, Chapter 1089, hadith # 2922
"It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the Holy Prophet ( may peace be upon him )
said: Beware, every one of you is a shepherd and every one is answerable wit regard to his flock. The Caliph is a shepherd
over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects ( as to how he conducted their affairs ). A man is a guardian over
the members of his family and shall be questioned about them ( as how he looked after their physical and moral well-being
) A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned about them ( as to how
she managed the household and brought up the children ). A slave is a guardian over the property of his master and shall be
questioned about it ( as to how he safeguarded his trust ). Beware, every one of you is a guardian and every one of you shall
be questioned with regard to his trust."
Muslim 3: 1017, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4496
BE GRADUAL IN OBTAINING COMPLIANCE:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle said to Mu'adh bin Jabal when he sent him to Yemen. "You will come to the people of scripture, and
when you reach them, invite them to testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is His
Apostle. And if they obey you in that, then tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers to be performed every day
and night. And if they obey you in that, then tell them that Allah has enjoined on them Sadaqa (i.e. Zakat) to be taken from
the rich amongst them and given to the poor amongst them. And if they obey you in that, then be cautious! Don't take their
best properties (as Zakat) and be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person as there is no screen between his invocation
THE 5 RIGHTLY-GUIDED KHULAFA: A MODEL
"Sufyan al Thawri said: The Caliphs are four: Abu Bakr, Umar Uthman, Ali and Umar Ibn Abd al Aziz"
Abu Daud 3:1300, Chapter 1684, hadith # 4614
ABUBAKR TELLS MUSLIMS TO CORRECT HIM
“If I am upright then follow me; but if I deviate straighten me out”
CHARACTERISTICS OF A LEADER: ABU BUKAR’S SPEECH ON HIS ELECTION
“O Men! Here I have been assigned the job of being a ruler over you while I am not the best among
you.If I do well in my job, help me.If
I do wrong, redress me.Truthfulness is fidelity, and lying is treason.The weak shall be strong in my eyes until I restore to them their lost rights, and
the strong shall be weak in my eye until I have restored the rights of the weak from them.No people give up fighting for the cause of God but God inflicts upon them abject subjection; and no people give themselves
to lewdness but God envelops them with misery.Obey me as long as I obey god
and His Prophet.But if I disobey God’s command or His Prophet’s,
then no obedience is incumbent upon you.Rise to your prayer, that God may bless
you” (Muhammad pp 508-511)
LEADERSHIP FOR A HIGHER PURPOSE THAN SELF-INTEREST:
The Holy Prophet (p.b.h.) was called back (by Allah) and people were not far away from the age of Kufr
(infidelity) I became afraid that people might revert to their old religion and fall into differences.I therefore, accepted this responsibility, although I did not like it.
Hayat 2: 24 - 25
ACCOUNTABILITY TO PEOPLE:
“Keep a close watch on me.Help me, if I am keeping
right, if I go wrong, put me right.Follow me till I am obeying Allah and do
not pay any heed to me, if I defy Allah”.
RIGHTEOUS LEADER ARE FOLLOWED :
“Such conditions shall prevail as long as the leaders of the people stick to the path of righteousness.Don’t you see that every tribe has a leaders and the people follow him.These leaders ought to be righteous”.
ABU BAKR’S WILL TO UMAR:
“....I invite you to perform a task which is very
tiresome.Fear Allah O Umar! in obeying Allah and maintain piety in obeying Him.
Piety is a guard (against evils).This is Caliphate which is taken over by one
who may carry out its responsibilities.One who order rightful acts and himself
does wrong, asks others to do good and himself act badly would soon lose his earnings, and deeds.Thus if you are appointed as a Caliph to look after the affairs of people, you should try to desist from
shedding blood, keep your belly empty from their wealth and save your tongue form causing disgrace to them.You should do all this if possible and one has no capacity to perform anything except by the help of Allah”.
LEADER NOT ARROGANT
According to Khallad b. Aslam-al-Nadr b. Shumayl-Qatan-Abu Yazid al-Madini-a client of ‘Uthman
b. ‘Affan: I was riding behind ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan one hot day when there was an extremely hot wind blowing
and he came to the alms-animal pen.There was a man wearing a waist wrapper and
an upper garment with another wrapped around his head.He was driving camels
into the the alms’ camel pen. ‘Uthman said, “Who do you think this is?” We finally reached him and
he was ‘Umar b. al-Khattab. (‘Uthman) said, “He is indeed ‘the strong, the trustworthy one!”.
According to Muhammad b. ‘Awf-Abu al-Mughirah ‘Abd al-Quddus b. al-Hajjaj-Safwan b. ‘Amr-Abu
al-Mukhariq Zuhayr b. Salim-Ka’b al-Ahbar.I stayed with a man called Malik
who was under the protection of Umar b. al-Khattab.I asked him how one could
get access to the Commander of the Faithful.He replied that there was no door
barring the (way to Umar) or any obstacle, that he would say his prayers, would then sit down, and anyone who wished could
talk to him.
LEADER IS RESPONSIVE
According to Abu Kurayb-Ibn Idris-Mutarrif-al-Sha’bi : A Bedouin came to Umar and said, “My
stallion camel has both mange and saddle sores; give me a mount”. ‘Umar replied to him, ‘Your camel does
not have mange and saddle sores!” (The bedouin) turned away, reciting the following: Abu Hafs Umar has sworn by God’s
name That no mange or saddle sores have afflicted [my mount].Forgive him, God,
that he has given a false oath! (‘Umar exclaimed, “O God, forgive me!” He called the Bedouin back and gave
him a [fresh] mount.
According to Ya’qub b. Ibrahim-Isma’il-Ayyub-Muhammad: I was informed that a man who was
related to ‘Umar asked him [for money].But he chided him and sent him
away.People spoke to(‘Umar) about him, and he was asked why he chided
him and sent him away when he begged from him.He replied “He asked me
for some of God’s money.What will be my excuse if I meet Him when I am
a treacherous ruler?Why did he not ask for some of my money?” (The source)
added that (Umar) sent him 10,000 [dirhams].
CONTROL OF SUBORDINATES
According to Abu Kurayb-Abu Bakr b. Ayyash-Abu Hasin: Whenever Umar appointed his governors, he would
go out with them to bid them farewell, saying, “I have not appointed you governor over Muhammad’s community with
limitless authority.I have made you governor over them only to lead them in
prayer, to make decisions among them based on what is right, and to distribute [the spoils] among them justly.I have not given you limitless authority over them.Do not
flog Arab [troops] and humiliate them; do not keep them long from their families and bring temptation upon them; do not neglect
them and cause them deprivation.Confine yourselves to the factual text of The
Qur’an, and do not frequently cite prophetic traditions.I am your partner”.He would also allow vengeance to be taken on his governors.If there was a complaint against a governor, he would bring together the governor and the complainant.If there was a genuine case against (the governor) for which punishment was obligatory,
he would punish him.
According to Yaqub b. Ibrahim-Ismail b. Ibrahim-Said al-Jurayri-Abu Nadrah-Abu Firas: ‘Umar b.
al-Khattab made the Friday address and said, “O people, I do not send governors to you to flog you or to take your possessions.I send them to you to teach you your religion and the way you should follow.If anything other than these is done to anyone, he should refer I the matter) to me.By Him in whose hand is my soul, I shall certainly permit the law of retaliation to
be used against (any governor).“Up jumped Amr b. al-’As and said,
“Do you rally think you will allow the law of retaliation to be used against any commander appointed over your subjects
who disciplines one of them?” (Umar) replied, “Yes indeed, I shall certainly allow that.Why not, as I have seen the Messenger of God allow the law of retaliation against himself?Do not beat Muslims and humiliate them; do not keep them log from their families and bring temptation upon
them; do not deny them their rights and turn them into infidels; do not settle them among thickets so that you lose them”.
LEADER MUST EXERCISE LEADERSHIP: FROM OMAR’S FIRST SPEECH
“...The likeness of the Arabs is only to a camel led by the nose following its leader’
therefore, let its leader look where he leads.As for me, by the Lord of the
Kaaba, I will indeed bring them along on the road”.Tabari
11 : 158 - 159
LEADER MUST HAVE INITIATIVE :
“The most sagacious man is he who displays his own initiative, when he has no directives from
his superior to fall back on, or who, without holding back, gives expression to his own views”. Tabari 13 : 72 - 75
OMAR WORRIES ABOUT A CAMEL IN FAR-AWAY IRAQ:
“According to Yunus : Umar b. al-Khattab addressed the people and said, By Him who sent Muhammad
with the Truth, if one camel were to perish untended on the bank of the Euphrates, I would fear that God would hold the Khattab
family responsible for it”. Zayd said that al khattab family meant Omar and no one else. Tabari 14 : 105 - 106
OMAR, A GENTLE RULER :
“According to Abdul Hamid b. Baya : Umar b. al-Khattab said, “O subjects, you have an obligation
to us to give advice on what is unknown and cooperate in doing good.There is
no forbearance (him) dearer to God and more generally advantageous then that of a gentle leader.O subjects there is no ignorance more hateful to God and more generally evil than that of a harsh leader.O subject, he who enjoins well-being for someone in his midst, God will bringhim well-being from above”. Tabari 14 : 139
EVERYBODY COUNTS :
The weak are also Muslims” Tabari 13 : 183
OMAR’S DESIRE TO BE ON THE PEOPLE’S LEVEL :
“When I find myself in a position when I fell comfortable, but that means my people have no access
(to me) then this (can) not (continue)to be my position; I (must once again)
be on the same level as my people”. Tabari
OMAR’S DESIRE TO VISIT PROVINCES :
“If I live, I shall certainly travel for a whole year among my subjects, God willing.I know that people have needs that do not reach me.Their
governors will not refer them to me, nor will they themselves came to me.I shall
travel to Syria
and stay there two months.I shall travel to the Jazirah and stay there two months.Then I shall travel to Bahrain and stay there two month.Then I shall travel to al-Kufah and stay
there for two months.Then I shall travel to al-Basrah and stay there for two
month.Indeed, what a fine year this will be”. Tabari 14 : 104
LEADER RECOGNIZES STRONGER PERSONS :
“Had I come to know that some stronger person is there,I would have better put myself to be beheaded by him than to be his chief”. Hayat 2: 136
SOFTNESS AND HARDNESS :
“My heart turned as soft and mild as foams of water and my heart turned harder than stone in
matters of Allah” Hayat 2: 43
WISDOM OF LEADER:
“Allah the sublime likes no tolerance more than the tolerance and politeness of an Imam, and
not ignorance is more displeasing to Allah than the ignorance and haughtiness of an Imam.And one who has the practice of forgiving anything undersirable remains peaceful.One who takes to fairness in his relations with others, will achieve success in his mission.The humiliation of obedience brings a man closer to good end as against the dignity being earned through
disobedience” Hayat 2 : 82
LEADING IS BY INFLUENCE:
“I need such a person while functioning as Amir look as one of them, but when he is not acting
as an Amir, people consider him as their Amir”. Hayat 2 : 61
LEADER SHOULD NOT ADOPT A POSITION OF SUPERIORITY OVER PEOPLE :
OMAR’S LETTER TO AMRE BIN AL-AS :
“I have come to Know that you have built up a rostrum for rising above your audience.Is it not enough for you to deliver speeches in standing posture.Now the Muslims will feel as if they are much lower than you.Hence, I
ask you upon an oath to demolish it at once” Hayat 2 : 91
LEADER SHOULD LIVE AND EAT LIKE THE FOLLOWERS : OMAR’S LETTER TO ATTIBA BIN FARQAD
“This wealth has neither been earned by your hard labor, nor by your father’s and mother’s
hard labor.Hence you should provide same food to the Muslim in their homes as
you relish in your homes; and save yourself from luxurious living and copying the styles (of life) and etiquettes of the polytheists
and refrain from wearing silk”. Hayat 2 : 92
LEADER ADMITS MISTAKES :
“Hazrat Abdullah bin Musaab stated that Hazrat Umar bin Khattab said : Don’t increase the mihrs (dower-money)
of your women to more that forty oqiyags (one oqiyah is equal to 40 dirhems), though she may be the doughter of a high family,
i.e. may be Yazid bin al-Hasini Harithi’s daughter.Whoever settles a higher
mihr than this, the amount in excess of it will put in the public treasury.Hearing
this a woman from the women’s rows stood up.She was tall in stature and
had a flat nose.She said: Your shouldn’t have said this. hazrat Umar inquired:And why? That woman said: Because Allah Most Honoured and Glorious has said: And you
have given unto one of them a sum of money (whoever great), take nothing from it”.Qur’an . So Hazrat Umar remarked : The woman said the correct
thing and the man committed a mistake”. Hayat 3 : 241
LEADER ENCOURAGES FOLLOWERS TO TELL THE TRUTH IN FRONT OF HIM :
“The amir is always a loser before whom one cannot speak the truth and he himself does not speak
the truth”. Hayat 2 : 85
LEADERS ACCEPTS CORRECTION BY FOLLOWERS”
“All praise be to Allah who has appointed me (Caliph) on such a people who have the capacity
to get me straightened if I go wrong”. Hayat 2 : 86
“If a governor becomes unprincipled, his subjects adopt the same course, and the person is very
unfortunate who bring about misfortune to his subjects”. Hayat 2:141