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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0006-CONCEPT OF LEADERSHIP IN ISLAM

Paper Presented at the Leadership Training programme, Islamic College of South Africa 19-22 June 2000 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.

OUTLINES

WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

LEADERSHIP POWER

TYPES OF LEADERSHIP

EVALUATION OF LEADERS

FOLLOWERS

TERM OF LEADERSHIP

PROBLEMS OF LEADERS

MODEL 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 or  more 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.

 

5.0 FOLLOWERS

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 than  an 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.

 

9.0 ABUBAKR

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 never  angry 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)

Accountability (j) Gentle nature (k) Avoiding fitna

 

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

 

10.0 OMAR

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 of  personality. 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 after him.

 

Omar lived a very simple life and was approachable by all.


DISCUSSION       

 

COMPARING TYPES OF LEADERS

 

Fill the following table defining different types of leaders. Score each criterion as high, medium, or low.

 

                                                                TRANSACTIONAL                            TRANSFORMATIONAL  

                                                                -------------------------                               -------------------------------

Creativity

 

Communication

 

Vision

 

Empowering followers

 

Passion

 

Task-achievement

 

 

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.

 

                                                AUTOCRATIC     DEMOCRATIC                    LAISSER-FAIRE

                                                (DIRECTIVE)        (PARTICIPATIVE)                              (NOT INVOLVED)

 

Goal setting

 

Debates

 

Decision               

 

Feed-back

 

Implementation

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF CHARISMATIC LEADERS

 

Think of a charismatic leader that you have known and score the following characteristics as high, medium, and low.

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS                                                                                                          SCORE

---------------------------                                                                                                            ---------

Personalised leadership

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

 

                                                                                SCORE                   XAMPLE

                                                                               

Advantages

   transform

   empower

 

Disadvantages

  irrational behaviour

  emotional manipulation

  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.

 

CRITERION                                                          CHARISMATIC                   ON-CHARISMATIC

               

Accept status quo              

Personal popularity

Sensitivity to environment

Articulation of goal/vision

Use of personal power

Use of positional power                                     

Change people                                    

 

LEADERSHIP POWER

 

Fill the following table comparing types of leadership power. Write down 1-3 advantages/disadvantages for each type of power

 

               

                TYPE OF POWER                                ADVANTAGES   DISADVANTAGES                            

 

 

                Reward

 

                punishment

 

                expert

 

                personal relations

 

 

LEADERSHIP STYLES

 

Fill in the following table comparing directive, participative, and laissez-faire leadership on various performance criteria (indicate high, average, low)

 

                                                                DIRECTIVE           PARTICIPATIVE LAISSEZ-FAIRE

 

Quantity

 

Quality

 

Innovation

 

Group cohesion

 

Conflict in group

 

Satisfaction

 

 

CHOICE OF LEADERSHIP STYLE FOR DIFFERENT SITUATIONS

 

Fill in the following table about choice of leadership styles in given situations

 

                                                                DIRECTIVE           PARTICIPATIVE LAISSEZ-FAIRE

 

Crisis/emergency

 

Leader has superior

Knowledge

 

Followers mature and

Knowledgeable

 

Time is of essence

 

Tasks requiring

Creativity

 

COMPARING TASK VS PEOPLE-ORIENTED LEADERS

 

Fill the following table comparing task-oriented to people-oriented leaders

 

                                                                TASK-ORIENTED                               PEOPLE-ORIENTED

 

Productivity

 

Sharing information

 

Accepting follower

Ideas

 

Open informal

Communication

 

Listening to others

 

Facts, data

 

Feelings, emotions

And attitudes

 

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES

 

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

 

Settle conflicts

 

Make decision: what and how

 

Push for increased achievements

 

Willing to make changes

 

Do not explain actions

 

LEADERSHIP FUNCTIONS

 

Using yourself as an example or a particular leader you know very well and complete the following table (O=Occasionally, F=Frequently, S=Seldom)

 

Decision

 

Problem-solving

 

Implementation

 

Planning

 

Punishment

 

Reward

 

Represent/spokesman

 

Conflict

 resolution

 

Role model

 

Group symbol

 

Parental figure

 

Ideologist

 

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?

 

YOUR NOTES:

 

 


TEXT ANALYSIS

 

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.

Qur'an 2:124

               

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.

Qur'an 25:74

 

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.

Qur'an 33:53

 

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 and Allah.

                Bukhari:

 

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”

Tabari 10:11

 

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”.

Hayat 2:24

 

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”.

Hayat 2:802

 

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”.

Hayat.

 

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!”.

 

LEADER ACCESSIBLE

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.

 

NO NEPOTISM

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 bring  him 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 4 : 20. 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

 

PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP”

“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

Omar Hasan Kasule June 2000