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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0006-LEADERSHIP AND ITS ROLE IN AN ISLAMIC COMMUNITY

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

OUTLINES

1.0 ACTIVE LEADERSHIP

2.0 LEADERSHIP FUNCTIONS

3.0 PROBLEM-SOLVING

4.0 COMMUNICATION

5.0 MOTIVATION

6.0 LEARNING FROM THE ENVIRONMENT

7.0 DELEGATION

8.0 TEAMS

9.0 TIME MANAGEMENT

10.0 FOLLOWERS PART OF LEADERSHIP SITUATION

11.0 OBEDIENCE

12.0 ADVICE AND CORRECTION

13.0 FEED-BACK

14.0 RELIANCE ON FOLLOWERS

15.0 LOYALTY

16.0 PRAISE AND PERSONALITY CULT

17.0 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPHERES

 

1.0 ACTIVE LEADERSHIP

A leader must lead. The leadership function can not be 100% delegated. The leader should not turn into a follower of the followers that would be abdicating responsibility.

 

2.0 LEADERSHIP FUNCTIONS

Depending on the situation a leader may play one of the following roles/functions: (a) Clarification of vision, goals, objectives for the organization and the followers (b) Making decisions without which there is no movement (c) Strategic and tactical Planning (d) Training, coaching, and delegating (e) Solving problems so that they do not remain as a time-bomb (f) Coordinating and integration to ensure unity of command, of purpose, and of direction (g) Representation of the organization and followers outside and protecting their interests (h) Managing and resolving conflicts so that the group may hold together (i) Motivation of followers to be productive (j) Tasking by determining who will do what when and how (k) Maintaining positive and smooth working relationships with peers, superiors, and followers (l) Participation and not being aloof (m) Evaluation of self and of followers so that renewal and correction may be possible  (n) Forming groups, coaching and delegating (o) Communication, the most important function of leadership.

 

3.0 PROBLEM-SOLVING

You should be able to identify and resolve organizational problems. Look at each situation from different vantage points. A management solution may contradict an equally valid leadership solution. Reconciliation between the two requires much understanding and wisdom.

 

4.0 COMMUNICATION

Communication competence is an essential leadership skill because leadership is human interaction. Leaders must have the capacity to use symbols to create reality. These symbols are necessary to move followers to strive toward a vision, reach goals and purposes.

 

The leader must have an agenda to lead well. Parts of the agenda must be communicated whereas some should be kept confidential.

 

Since leaders are by definition able to see visions farther than followers, they must have the twin ability to communicate those visions effectively to motivate the followers. The vision communicated outside must be the same as that communicated internally.

 

A leader could communicate a baseline of low expectations at the start. This will enhance the impact of later achievements. care must be taken not to make the expectations so low that there is demotivation.

 

Leader communication must be sincere and high on the moral scale. Communicating false images and boosting the leader's ego are not acceptable.

 

It is better for the leader to produce quality work before trying to get media attention. Try to get into the right publications and to educate the reporters about your organization.

 

The leader should use the mass media to get goodwill for the organization. All credit should be for the organization and not the leader. The leader should be humble but should not confuse his personal humility with that of the organization. The organization should have a high profile.

 

In dealing with the media, a decision should be made whether a high or a low profile will be maintained. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

 

A leader can hold a group together as long as intra-group communication is efficient. There should ideally exist no communication gap between the top leadership and the rand-and file. Group failure starts with communication failure.

 

A leader should be a good and motivating public speaker. If too busy use a speech writer. Choose speaking opportunities actively and initiate the invitation process. Do not wait to be invited. Whenever you speak make sure there is solid content.

 

The leader must read widely to be able to know what is going on inside and outside the organization. He must be able to identify micro and mega trends. He must know what followers know and what they are thinking about.

 

Modern communication technology has placed new challenges on leaders. There is too much information and it is transmitted too rapidly. Information overload is a real problem.

 

An effective leader will rise above the information clutter. He knows how to reach the people he wants despite the clutter. Clutter can be made use of when the leader deliberately wants to be vague. It is however unethical for the leader to create such clutter. He can only benefit from it when it exists.

 

Communication technology has greatly increased the speed of events by compressing time. If you do not handle your communication well, efficiently and effectively, you will be overtaken by events. One way to manage is to be pro-active. Get your message out quickly. Control the information agenda. Have contingency plans.

 

The leader's communication competence is put to a severe test in a crisis. A crisis presents both a danger and an opportunity as far as communication is concerned. The atmosphere of heightened tension increases receptivity of messages. Swift response and giving information builds credibility and demonstrates mastery over the situation.

 

Communication problems are complicated in a decentralized organization.

 

A leader may have to be silent sometimes in order to buy time and get the chance to reconsider issues. You may also want to let the heat of the moment pass before committing yourself

 

5.0 MOTIVATION

Effective leaders motivate followers to excel. Motivation reduces the need for close control and supervision.

 

Motivation in a decentralized organization requires special and advanced communication skills.

 

Positive motivation is more effective than negative one.

 

The leader will motivate his followers if he treats them equally. He should not show any favoritism.

 

6.0 LEARNING FROM THE ENVIRONMENT

Effective leaders monitor and learn from the environment. They benefit from opportunities that exist and try to avoid dangers.

 

A leader must have a good sense of timing so that actions and interventions have maximum impact and advantage.

 

7.0 DELEGATION

Effective leaders delegate work to others. They will motivate, coach and monitor because delegation is not abdication.

 

8.0 TEAMS

Effective leaders know how to form work-teams and coordinate their activities for maximum productivity. They will anticipate and resolve intra-group and inter-group conflicts.

 

9.0 TIME MANAGEMENT

The leader must manage time well. He should focus on issues. He must balance commitments taking into account the long-term and short term interests of the organization. Time management must be flexible and do not become a slave of your calendar. Always leave flex time as a blank in your calendar.

 

10.0 FOLLOWERS PART OF LEADERSHIP SITUATION

Followers play an important functions in a leadership situation. It is a mistake to consider them passive spectators. It is unfortunate that books of history record only what the leaders did and ignore the more important contributions of the followers.

 

11.0 OBEDIENCE

Leaders must be obeyed otherwise there is no point in leadership. It is better to replace a leader than to disobey his commands. There are limits and conditions to the obedience. The leader can not compel followers to do evil. The followers can not withhold obedience to a just order just because they have a different opinion.

 

12.0 ADVICE AND CORRECTION

Followers must advise and correct the leader. It is incumbent on the leader to listen and accept advice.

 

Advice from followers is facilitated by creating an atmosphere devoid of fear.

 

The leader must give the followers license to question. This enhances their creativity.

 

13.0 FEED-BACK

Good, genuine and continuous feed-back is required of both leaders and followers.

 

The following are characteristics of good effective feed-back: direct, specific, descriptive,  timely,  and flexible.

 

Feed-back should include both the negative and the positive.

 

Neither the leader or the follower should use feed-back for blaming or embarrassing others.

 

14.0 RELIANCE ON FOLLOWERS

Leader must rely on and use staff work

 

15.0 LOYALTY

Follower loyalty is very important for success of leadership. This is loyalty to the position and not the person of the leader. The leader must reciprocate this loyalty by being committed to the followers and not abandoning them or exposing them to danger.

 

16.0 PRAISE AND PERSONALITY CULT

Followers may make false praise. A good leader sees through this and avoids it. He discourages praise and development of a personality cult.

 

17.0 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPHERES

A leader in the exercise of his functions must distinguish between the personal and official roles. Acting in the official role may involve doing things contrary to what you would do in private and vice versa. However no immoral acts can be accepted on the excuse that they are required by the official position. It is better in such a case to resign than compromise your values.

 

DISCUSSIONS

 

FUNCTIONS OF LEADERS

 

Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following leadership functions:

 

            DECISION-MAKING

            PLANNING

            TRAINING

            PROBLEM-SOLVING

            GOAL, OBJECTIVES, VISION CLARIFICATION,

            COORDINATING

            REPRESENTATION

            CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

            MOTIVATION

            TASK

            MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS: SUPERIORS, PEERS, SUBORDINATES

            PARTICIPATION

            EVALUATION

            FORMING AND LEADING GROUPS

            COMMUNICATION

 

FUNCTIONS OF FOLLOWERS

 

Write 1-3 sentences about what you understand by each of the following follower functions:

 

            OBEDIENCE

            ADVICE

            LOYAL FOLLOWING

 

OBEDIENCE OF LEADERS:

 

(a)        Write down verses of the Qur'an on obedience of leaders and explain your understanding of them

 

(b)        Write down and explain 2 hadiths on obedience of leaders

 

(c)        List 5 advantages of follower obedience

 

(d)        List 5 situations when follower obedience is a disadvantage

 

(e)        What are the limitations that the Sharia puts on leader obedience

 

(f)         Do you think a leader should also obey the followers? If yes give examples and support your stand from Qur'an and sunnah. Do the same if your answer is no.

 

COMMUNICATION STYLES OF VARIOUS TYPES OF LEADERS

 

Explain in your own words how you think the following types of leaders communicate with their followers:

 

             AUTOCRATIC

             DEMOCRATIC

             LAISSEZ-FAIRE

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

OBEDIENCE OF AUTHORITIES

O ou who believe ! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to  Allah and his Messenger, If you do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is the best, and most suitable for final determination. Qur'an 4:59

 

OBEDIENCE OF THE PROPHET:

Say: Obey Allah and His Messenger": but if they turn back Allah loves not those who reject Faith. Qur'an 3:32

 

OBEY LEADERS TO BE BLESSED

And obey Allah and the Messenger; that you may obtain mercy. Qur'an 3:132

 

OBEDIENCE OF THE PROPHET:

O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you do believe in Allah  and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination. Qur'an 4:59

 

LEADER HAS RESPONSIBILITY

"Abu Huraira reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him) as saying: The imam is responsible and the muaddhin is trusted. O Allah, guide the imams and forgive the muaddhins" Abu Daud 1:136, Hadith # 517

 

LEADER MUST BE OBEYED

"Ismau wa atitu walaw tammara alaykum abdu"

 

OBEDIENCE OF LEADERS EVEN IF THEY ARE OF LOWLY BIRTH:

"Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, " Listen and obey ( your chief ) even if an Ethiopian whose head is like a raisin were made your chief" Bukhari 1:375, hadith #662

 

OBEDIENCE TO LEADER IS OBLIGATORY IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES:

"It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) said: It is obligatory for you to listen to the ruler and obey him adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure, and even when another person is given ( rather undue ) preference over you". Muslim 3:1021, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4524

 

OBEDIENCE OF LEADERS IF THERE IS NO DISOBEDIENCE TO ALLAH

"Narrated Ibn Umar : The Prophet said, " It is obligatory for one to listen to and obey ( the ruler's orders ) unless these orders involve one in Disobedience ( to Allah ): but if an act of Disobedience ( to Allah ) is imposed, one should not listen to or obey it". Bukhari 4:128, hadith # 203

 

LIMITS TO OBEDIENCE: WHAT IS GOOD AND IS UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED

"There is no obedience in matters involving disobedience to Allah; obedience is in matters which are good and are universally recognized". Abu Daud 2:726 Chapter 942, Hadith # 2619

 

OBEDIENCE OF LEADER NOT CONDITIONAL ON FAVORS

"Abu Hurairah reported.the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: a man who prevents a traveller from the excess water which he has with him; and a man who swears for the goods ( for sale ) after the afternoon prayer, that is, ( he swears ) falsely; and a man who takes the oath of allegiance to a ruler ( imam ); if he gives him ( something ), he fulfills ( the oath of allegiance ) to him; if he does not give him ( anything ) he does not fulfil it.". Abu Daud 2:989, Chapter 1307, Hadith # 3467

 

RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY

"Hazrat Abu Badr...dishonored by Allah(Tirmizi). Riyadh 1:371, hadith # 673

 

LEADER COMFORTS FOLLOWERS IN TIMES OF DESPAIR:

"Omar said to the defeated remnants from the Jisr debacle ( Do not grieve O Muslims I am your party and you have only retreated to me" . Tabari 11:194

 

LEADER MUST MAINTAIN PUBLIC MORAL STANDARDS:

Hadrat Abu Bakr ( Rad ) said, " When the people commit sinful acts openly and the people have means and power of checking them and still do not check them, then Allah sends calamities upon them and does not remove those calamities.". Hayat 2:721

 

OBEDIENCE:

"Narrated Ibn Abbas : The Verse:- Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those of you ( Muslims ) who are in authority;...(4:59) was revealed in connection with Abdullah bin Hudafa bin Qais bin Adi when the Prophet appointed him as the commander of a Sariyya ( army detachments)". Bukhari 6:89, hadith # 108

 

POTENTIALLY DISLOYAL PEOPLE NOT TO BE APPOINTED:

Abu Ja'far‑‑Ibn Humayd‑‑Salamah‑‑Ibn Ishaq‑‑'Abdallah b. Abu Bakr. The reason for Abu Bakr's removal of Khalid b. Sa'id was that Khalid b. Said, on coming from Yemen after the death of the Messenger of God, held back for two months from rendering the oath of allegiance to him. Khalid would say, "The Messenger of Gods gave me a command and did not remove me after that until God took him." Khalid had met 'Ali b. Al Talib and 'Uthman b. 'Affan and said, "O Banu 'Abd Manaf, you have willingly renounced your [right to] command; others have taken it up." As for Abu Bakr, he did not hold it against him, but, as for Umar, he harbored a secret grudge against him on account of it. Then Abu Bakr sent the troops forth to Syria. The first man he put in command of a division of them was Khalid b. Said. But Umar took to saying, "Are you in to put him in command even though he has done what he has done and has said what he has said? " He kept on about it with Abu Bakr until the latter dismissed him and appointed Yazid b. Abi Sufyan to command. Tabari 11:74-75

 

NO OBEDIENCE IN SINFUL ACTS

It has been narrated on the authority of 'Ali who said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent an expedition and appointed over the Mujahids a man from the Ansar. (While making the appointment), he ordered that his word should be listened to and obeyed. They made him angry in a matter. He said: Collect for me dry wood. They collected it for him. Then he said: Kindle a fire. They kindled (the fire). Then he said: Didn't the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) order you to listen to me and obey (my orders)? They said: Yes. He said: Enter the fire. The narrator says: (At this), they began to look at one another and said: We fled from The fire to (find refuge with) the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) (and now you order us to enter it). They stood quiet until his anger cooled down and the fire went out. When they returned, they Related the incident to the Messenger of Allah (may Pease be upon him). He said: If they had entered it, they would not have come out. Obedience (to the commander) is obligatory only in what it good". Muslim 3:1022, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4536

 

COMMANDER NOT OBEYED IN ILLEGAL ORDER:

Narrated 'Ali: The Prophet sent a Sariya under the command of a man from the Ansar and ordered the soldiers to obey him. He (i.e. the commander) became angry and said, "Didn't the Prophet order you to obey me" They replied, "Yes." He said, "Collect fire‑wood for me." So they collected it. He said, "Make a fire." When they made it, he said, "Enter it (i.e. the fire)." So they intended to do that and started holding each other and saying," We have run towards (i.e. taken refuge with) the Prophet from the fire." They kept on saying that till the fire was extinguished and the anger of the commander abated. When that news reached the Prophet he said, "If they had entered it (i.e the fire), they would not have come out of it till the Day of Resurrection. Obedience (to some­body) is required when he enjoins what is good.". Bukhari 5:441, hadith # 629

 

LEADER ENCOURAGES FOLLOWERS TO CORRECT HIM

"Ibn Umar said: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) prayed and recited the Qur'an in it. He was then confused in it ( in his recitation ). When he finished ( his prayer ) he said to Ubayy ( b. Kaab ): Did you pray along with us ? He said: Yes. He said: What prevented you ( from correcting me).". Abu Daud 1:231, Chapter 315, Hadith # 907

 

LEADER SHOULD NOT BE CRUEL:

"It has been narrated on the authority of Hasan that Aidh b. Amr who was one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) called on Ubaidullah b. Ziyad and said ( to him ): O my son, I have heard the Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) say; The worst of guardians is the cruel ruler. Beware of being one of them. Ubaidullah said ( to him out of arrogance ): Sit you down. You are from the chaff of the Companions of Muhammad ( may peace be upon him ). Aidh said: Was there worthless chaff among them? Such worthless chaff appeared after them and among other people". Muslim 3:1018, Chapter 759, Hadith # 4504

 

DUTIES OF FOLLOWERS: OBEDIENCE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, TELLING TRUTH:

"It has been narrated on the authority of Ubada who learnt the tradition from his father who in turn, learned it from his own father. Ubada's grandfather said The Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) took an oath of allegiance from us on our listening to and obeying the orders of our commander in adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure ( and even when somebody is given preference over us, on our avoiding to dispute the delegation of powers to a person deemed to be a fit recipient hereof ( in the eye of one who delegates it and on our telling the truth in whatever position we be without fearing in the matter of Allah the reproach of the reproacher."

Muslim 3:1023, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4538

 

FOLLOWERS OBLIGED ACCORDING TO CAPACITY:

"It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. Umar who said: We used to take oath to the Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) that we would listen to and obey his orders. He would tell us ( to say in the oath): As far as it lies in my power"

Muslim 3: 1040, Chapter 775, Hadith # 4604

Omar Hasan Kasule June 2000