Describe the two primary role of a leaderin Islam1. Servent:2. Guardian
Leadership in Islam is a trust (amanah).It is a psychological contract between aleader and his followers that he will try hisbest to guide them, to protect them and totreat them fairly and with justice.The focus of leadership in Islam is on doinggood.According to Islam, every person is the“shepherd” of a flock, and occupies aposition of leadership.
Muslims must: appoint a leader during a trip select a leader to lead the prayer choose a leader for other groupactivitiesWhat a Muslim is required to do?
Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of yourLord? It is We who portion out between them theirlivelihood in the life of this world: and We raise someof them above others in ranks so that some maycommand work from others. But the Mercy of yourLord is better than the (wealth) which they amass.(Qur’an, Zukhruuf, 43: 32).Reflect on this
“Behold! Each of you is a guardian, and each of you will beasked about his subjects.”“When three are on a journey, they should appoint one ofthem as their commander.”“Muslims must appoint a leader during a trip, select a leader(imam) to lead the prayer, and choose a leader for othergroup activities.”Reflect on these hadith
According to Islam, the two primary roles of a leaderare those of servant-leader and guardian-leader. A leader is the servant of his followers. He is to seektheir welfare and guide them towards good. As the guardian-leader the Muslim leader protectshis community against tyranny and oppression,encourages God-consciousness and taqwa, andpromotes justice.Leadership roles from an Islamic perspective“A commander (of the Muslims) is a shield for them.”
Leadership in Islam is rooted in belief andwilling submission to the Creator, God. Itcenters on serving Him.To serve God, a Muslim leader is to act inaccordance with the injunctions of God and HisProphet (saw), and must develop a strongIslamic moral character.Moral Bases of Islamic Leadership
This moral character will be reflected by hisincreasingly strong belief in God as he progressesthrough four stages of spiritual development:iman,islam,taqwaihsan.
Iman is faith in God. Iman implies belief in the Onenessof God and the prophethood of Muhammad (saw).A leader with a strong iman will consider himself and all hispossessions as belonging to God. He will bow his ego, hisideas, his passions and his thinking to God.Iman also implies belief in the life hereafter and in one’sultimate accountability for one’s deeds. A leader with a firmiman will not dodge responsibility for his actions,and will continuously emphasize good deeds.Moral Bases of Islamic Leadership:Iman
Islam means the achievement of peace with God, withinoneself and with the creation of God, through willingsubmission to Him.Because of his or her iman, a leader who practices Islamwill never see himself as supreme.Ali Ibn Abu Talib’s (ra) letter to Malik al-Ashtar an-Nukai,the new Governor of Egypt, stresses this point in thefollowing manner:Malik, you must never forget that if you are a ruler over them,then the Caliph is a ruler over you, and God is the supremeLord over the Caliph.Moral Bases of Islamic Leadership:Islam
Taqwa is the all-encompassing, inner consciousness ofduty towards God and awareness of one’s accountabilitytowards Him.When imbued with taqwa, a person’s frame of mind - histhoughts, emotions and inclinations - will reflect Islam.Taqwa will restrain a Muslim leader or follower frombehaving unjustly - whether to community members, tocustomers, to suppliers or to anybody else.Moral Bases of Islamic Leadership:Taqwa
Ihsan is the love of God. This love of God motivates theindividual Muslim to work towards attaining God’sPleasure.The Prophet Muhammad (saw) describes ihsan as follows:“To worship God as if you see Him, and if you cannotachieve this state of devotion then you must consider thatHe is looking at you.”The constant feeling that God is watching is likely to promptany leader or follower with Ihsan to behave at his best.Moral Bases of Islamic Leadership:Ihsan
Reflect on some general priciples thatguide your thoughts aboutorganizational leadership?
Organizational leadership is about management.Leadership by itself is transformative, it is aboutshifting priorities in workers and creating followersthrough the articulation of a vision. However,when leadership is embedded within anorganization, the definition changes to leadershipwithin, rather than above, the organization and,therefore, becomes management or even better,supervision.
1. Must Know Him and Continuously SeekSelf-improvement:To know self, one has to understand attributeslike, be, know and do. Seeking self-improvementmeans continually strengthening such attributes,which can be accomplished through reading, self-study, classes, etc.
2. Be Technically Proficient:As a leader, one must know his job and the job of hisfollowers.3. Must Seek Responsibility and TakeResponsibility for His Actions:Leader must guide his organization to new heights. Inthe process of guiding, things may at time go wrong.He must not blame others for the situation, rather,must take the responsibility himself. He must analysethe situation, take corrective action andmove on to the next action.
4. Must Make Sound and Timely Decisions:Using problem-solving, decision-making,planning and various controlling tools, aleader must make sound and timely decisions.5. Must Set the Example:A leader is a role model for his followers. Hemust not only hear what he is expected to do,but also see.
6. Must Know People and Think about TheirWeil-Being:Leader must know the nature of his followers andmust be nurturing and caring for them.7. Must Keep Followers Informed:Transparency in information enhances commitmentfrom the followers. Hence, a leader must know howto communicate and keep his followers informed.
8. Must Develop a Sense of Responsibility inFollowers:Development orientation requires inculcating goodcharacter traits within followers, which will helpthem to carry out their professional responsibilities.9. Must Ensure Tasks Are Understood, Supervisedand Accomplished:This also requires transparent communication withfollowers.
10. Must Train Followers as a Team:Inculcating team spirit and culture in the followersenable a leader to accomplish the organizationalgoals. Hence, this is also considered as one of theimportant principles of leadership.11. Must Develop Full Capabilities ofOrganization:A leader by developing a team spirit develops anorganization to its fullest capabilities.