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Background material by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. at a postgraduate leadership workshop held at the Institute of Medicine Universiti Brunei Darussalam on 25th November 2008


1.       This module assumes the concept of performance gap which is the difference between the ideal and the actual in organizational performance. The performance gap is the difference between the potential and actual performance of organizations and individuals. Many individuals and communities all over the world are experiencing phenomena of revival and renewal. There is a new reawakening and a determination to make tomorrow better than yesterday. However the zeal, commitment and efforts of the revival have not been perfectly or completely translated into practical results that everyone can see in the society. The practical achievements fall far short of the potential. Success in building and managing institutions, the backbone of real and sustained change, has been limited in several communities and countries. The gap between aspirations and achievements is due to a relative deficiency of practical skills in leadership and management. These skills are not in-born. They can be taught or developed through experience on the job. Individuals and organizations pay a high price in terms of lost opportunities for the continued existence of the performance gap.

2.       There is no one fixed system of Islamic leadership or management. As with many similar social phenomena, Islam defines the broad principles and leaves it to the people of each place and era to define the system most suited to their circumstances. The system must therefore change with changes of time and space. There is no utopia. Any human system will have strengths and weaknesses. The aim should be to decrease the weaknesses and increase the strengths. The best system are those based on empirical experience and that are open to changes if empirical evidence shows that they are not working well. The empirical experience must be within the moral context of Islam for it to bear fruits.

3.       This module consists of 8 workshops each covering a leadership/management skill or issue. Each workshop normally requires 3 hours distributed as follows: pre-workshop preparation (30 minutes), facilitator presentation (30 minutes), group discussions (1 hour) and a plenary concluding session (1 hour). We however have only 2 hours allocated to the leadership module. We should therefore select the 4 most important workshops. Each workshop will ne assigned to one class participant who will read it in advance and make a brief presentation of the learning objectives. Then using power point he/she will work through the exercises and discussions. If the time is not enough we will look for other time later in the semester.

4.       The following conceptual tools. Technical terms will be useful in your discussion: leadership (attributes, functions, skills, values, attitudes, authority, influence), model leaders, evaluation of leaders



Importance of leadership: Leadership is a pre-condition for civilized existence. Absence of recognized leadership means chaos to the detriment of all. Any group of 3 or more must have a leader. Leadership is the single most important determinant of organizational success. Good leadership leads to success; bad leadership leads to frustration and failure. All members, supporters, and sympathizers of the organization are stakeholders who are concerned about success and failure of leadership.  One of the harbingers of doom is to place leadership authority in the wrong hands.

Understanding leadership: Leadership is the process of influencing people and making them do certain things. It is both an art and a science. It may be formal and legalistic or informal. It has rational, emotional, intuitive and instinctive dimensions. Leadership involves moving followers in a certain direction mostly by non-coercive methods. Successful leaders get voluntary cooperation from followers. Good leaders persuade and do not command. 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. A few leadership skills are innate but most are acquired by experience and education. 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. True leadership is more service than domination. The leader is the servant (sayyid al qawm khadimuhum). Good and effective leadership is a source of greatness (ab'qariyyah). 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 phoney 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.

Everybody undertakes some leadership functions: Leadership is a function exercised by almost everybody each in his or her own sphere; you are at least leaders of yourself or leader of your family. Leadership can be in the community, the work place, and in public organizations. 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 the energy necessaru to shoulder the responsibilities of public leadership. Leadership involves the following specific functions: setting and communicating visions, goals, and objectives; representing followers; directing, coordinating, and integrating; influencing, mobilizing, motivating, creating enthusiasm and optimism; providing services and making a difference.

Empowering followers: There is no leadership without followership. The quality of the followers determines the quality of the leaders. 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. Successful leadership requires that followers obey the leader. There are, however, limitations and conditions for that obedience as will be discussed later. Good leaders teach leadership, they pull and do not push. 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 do. Empowered followers have heightened self-efficacy and self-confidence. They will have higher performance, exhibit more cooperation, achieve higher personal growth, and in the end all ensure the survival of the organization.

Leaders vs Managers: Leadership calls for different skills from management. Managers are not necessarily leaders. The reverse is also true. An organization may be well led but poorly managed and vice versa. In practice, management and leadership functions overlap. An individual can exercises both leadership and management functions in varying proportions. You have to know when to lead and when to manage. Leaders are concerned with effectiveness; they are intuitive and visionary; they like change, innovation, challenging the status quo, and development; they are original; they focus on vision and its importance; they have a long-term view and inspire others to achieve and excel. Managers are rational problem-solvers whose concern is efficiency, process, and mechanics of achieving objectives. They administer for maintenance of stability, harmony, and the status quo. They follow and do not innovate. Their view is generally short-term.

Selection, change or renewal of leaders: 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. 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 organization. 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 organization together. In such a case you should not insist on change for the sake of change.

Problems faced by leaders: Leaders experience problems. Being at the top can be lonely. They take responsibility for failures. Followers may be disloyal to the leaders or the organization. Subordinates may have poor values that the leaders can not stand. There may be dissent. The leaders 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 leaders' private life to be assured that they are not involved in any activity that is incompatible with their 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


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

Necessity/obligation of having leaders: “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 …. "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

Personal ambition for leadership discouraged: "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

Everybody exercises leadership responsibility: “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

Leadership authority in incompetent hands is a 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

Incompetent leaders condemned: "It is narrated on the authority of Abu Malih that Ubaidullah b. Ziyad visited Maqil b. Yasar in his illness. Maqil said to him: I am narrating to you hadith which I would have never narrated to you had I not been in death bed. I heard Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) say: A ruler who has been entrusted with the affairs of the Muslims, but he makes no endeavors ( for the material and moral uplift ) and does not sincerely mean ( their welfare ) would not enter Paradise along with them"      
Muslim 1: 82, Chapter 44, Hadith # 264

Leader serves community: I heard Abu Hurayrah say, “God have mercy on Ibn Hantamah.  I saw him in the Year of the Destruction carrying on his back two provision bags with a skin of olive oil in his hand.  He and Aslam were taking it in turns.  When he saw me, he said, ‘Where are you coming from, Abu Hurayrah?’ I told him from near at hand, and I began to take my turn to carry.  So we all eventually came to Sirar where there were abut twenty isolated tents of Muharib.  ‘Umar said, ‘What has brought you here?”  They replied it was exhaustion.  They brought out for us some broiled carrion skin that they were eating and some powdered old bones that they were scooping into their mouths with their hands.  I saw ‘Umar throw his upper garment [over his shoulder], then adjust his waist wrapper.  He continued cooking for them until they were satisfied.  Then he sent aslam to Medina and he brought some stallion camels on which he counted them and set them down in al-Jabbanah.  HE then gave them clothes, visiting them and others [in similar circumstances] frequently until God relieved the people of this drought”. Tabari 14 : 119


Describe the following leadership situations. Make sure to identify the leader(s), the followers, the leadership activities, and the relation between the leader(s) and the followers

Musa and bani Israel

Talut and bani Israel

David and bani Israel

Sulaiman and animals





Leaders defined by actions: Leaders and followers are better defined by what they do than what they are or what they say. Actions can not deceive over time; reputation and nice words often do. Every leader has to expose himself through his actions since there is no leadership without activity.

Definition of 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.

Types of power: 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 organizational resources.

Use of leadership power: 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, pressue, promise of rewards, negotiations (win-win, compromise). Leader get followers to do things either by making small demands followed by big ines, or by starting with big demands followed by small ones of the big ones are not possible

Credibility: 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. 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.


Being 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:

Omar was feared : “Narrated Saad bin abi Waqqas Umar bin Al Khattab asked permission of Allah’s Apostle to see him while some Quraishi women were sitting with him, talking to him and asking him for more expenses, raising their voices over the voice of Allah’s Apostle,  when Umar asked for the permission to enter, the women quickly put on their veils.  Allah’s Apostle allowed him to enter and Umar came in while Allah’s Apostle was smiling, Umar said, O Allah’s Apostle !  may Allah always keep you smiling.   The Prophet said, These women who have been here, roused my wonder, for as soon as the heard your voice, they quickly put on their veils.  Umar said, O Allah’s Apostle !  You have more right to be feared by them than I”.  Then Umar addressed the women saying.  O enemies of yourselves !  You fear me more than you do Allah’s Apostle?  They said, Yes, for you are harsher and sterner than Allah’s messenger you go on a way, but he takes another way”. Bukhari 5:23 - 24, Hadith # 32

Toughness and softness : According to ‘Ubaydallah b. Sa’d al-Zuhri-his paternal uncle-his father-al-Walid b.  Kathir-Muhammad b. ‘Ijlan-Zayd b. Aslam-his father: Some Muslims had a word with ‘Abd. al-Rahman b. ‘Awf and said, “Speak to ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, for he has inspired so much fear in us that indeed we cannot look him in the face”.  ‘Abd. al-Rahman b. ‘Awf mentioned this to ‘Umar and he said, “Did they really say this? !  I was indeed lenient with them to such as extent that I was afraid of God.  I became severe with them to such an extent that I was afraid of God.  I swear an oath in God’s name that I am more afraid of them than they are of me!”. Tabari 14: 111 - 112

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







Model leaders: The Prophet Muhammad and the 5 rightly-guided khulafaha after him as well as 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 perseverence, wisdom and foresight, kindness and empathy, concern and care for others, honesty and truthfulness, justice and fairness, courage and firmness, love and mercy, forgiveness, simplicity and humility, and good humor. Abubakr is remembered for his piety, wisdom, gentle character, honesty, principled behavior, 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. Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah led a great reform movement. Salahuddin al Ayyubi liberated al Quds. Muhammad al Fatih liberated Constantinolople and renamed it Istanbul

Types and styles of Leaders: Leadership is highly individualized 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.

Classification based on decision-making style. Leaders can be autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire: Autocratic leaders are dictatorial. They set goals, make all the decisions and just give followers orders to carry out. They 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 from both the leaders and the followers. Laisser-faire leaders neglect their role. They have little interaction with the followers. They do not care about what the followers do. The followers ae free to do what they want, how and when they want. Laisser-faire leaders exercise hands-off management.

Classification based on orientation: people vs task: 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 and transactional leaders: 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-centered. Transactional leaders fulfil the followers' current material and psychological needs in return for performance. Their outlook is managerial. Transformational leadership is a type of transaction leadership that focuses on higher goals instead of immediate material rewards for followers.

Charismatic leaders: Charismatic leaders arise in certain circumstances and are not selected. They are characterized by their commitment to values, enthusiasm and energy. They have person-centered 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, and 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.

Assessment 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. 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.



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




Empowering followers




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.

(Not involved)

Goal setting






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

Personalized 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


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                           example

  irrational behavior
  emotional manipulation
  havoc or destruction


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       NON-CHARISMATIC

Accept status quo        
Personal popularity
Sensitivity to environment
Articulation of goal/vision
Use of personal power
Use of positional power                                   
Change people                        


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

                                    Directive           Participative      Laissez-faire
Group cohesion
Conflict in group


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

                                                            Directive           Participative      Laissez-faire
Leader has superior knowledge
Followers mature and knowledgeable
Time is of essence
Tasks requiring creativity



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

                                                Task-oriented               People-oriented
Sharing information
Accepting follower ideas
Open informal communication
Listening to others
Facts and data
Feelings, emotions, and attitudes




Leadership attributes: Very few attributes necessary for successful leadership are in-born. Most are acquired early in life in the home and community environment or are learned in adult life. Those who are associated with good leaders for a long-time (friends, offspring, friends, and followers) are likely to be good leaders by learning and imitation. Children of good leaders, if well brought up, can be good leaders not because of genetic endowment but because of early environmental influence. Effective leaders have personal attributes, conceptual, practical and human skills that enable them to succeed. Attributes are what leaders are. Skills are what leaders do. Personal attributes are basic character and personality: drive, values, attitude,.bravery, strength of personality, humility, simple life, honesty, integrity, commitment. Practical skills are needed for performance of technical activities: communication, decision making, problem solving, execution. Human skills are needed to understand and motivate followers: understanding followers. Conceptual skills are intellectual functions involving planning, coordination and integration of activities. They include analytic, rational, and intuitive abilities. Examples are: setting goals, knowledge, ummatic view, learning from mistakes. In any given situation there may be several highly qualified people available for leadership. Allah gives authority to whomever He wants. Not everybody can become a leader. Everybody must be prepared to be a good follower. The best leaders are those who have no ambition to lead. They lead when called upon but will equally be happy as followers.

Leadership values and attitudes: Effective leaders have positive moral values and attitudes. Values: A leader must have positive and moral values such as honesty, ethics, social responsibility. These values are taught by religion, the family, peers, and life experience. Values can be inculcated by habit. A leader with no values is very dangerous. Islamic leadership values are derived from three main concepts: tauhid, khilafat, and adl. These values are universal and do not change by time and place. Attitudes: Attitudes are enduring or permanent feelings, opinions, or beliefs about self and others. They may be positive or negative. Attitudes start with ideas, wrong ideas are associated with negative attitudes whereas good ideas are associated with good and positive attitudes. Ideas determine behavior and feelings. A good leader has positive attitudes toward others. He will keep away from negative attitudes such as racism or prejudice in any of its forms. An optimistic attitude to life is needed. Pessimistic leaders discourage their followers.

Drive, energy, and self-motivation: The most important trait of successful leaders is drive which includes a strong desire for achievement, high ambition, high energy levels, tenacity and initiative. Drive combined with high motivation, honesty, integrity, self-confidence, emotional stability, and intelligence distinguish leaders from non-leaders. Both genetics and environmental influence contribute to drive; the relative contribution of each is not known. Successful leaders have a high level of motivation to lead. They want to make a change, to improve, to influence, to exercise power for achieving definite goals. They take charge. Effective leaders have the mental and physical stamina as well as aptitude to take responsibility and to be accountable.

Personality: A leader must have a strong personality. Strength of personality does not mean violence, roughness or stubbornness. It is strength of character, sticking to moral values and attitudes at all times, and avoiding whatever is immoral even if it is expedient and is attractive. A leader must be brave. In times of danger followers will be firm if their leader is firm. There is a mutual psychological dependency. A brave leader will have reassured followers around him. When the followers are reassures and are firm, the leader is also encouraged even more to be firm and face crises. The leader must be objective and not confuse personal and organizational interests. The credit for whatever he does should go to the organization. He must not overestimate his importance as an individual. He must have a healthy mixture of confidence (for organization) and humility (for himself). He must focus on the organization and not his person. A leader must have a dignified physical appearance but must not be extravagant. The leader is a spokesman and representative of the followers. His appearance is a reflection on all. Successful leaders have the ability to learn from previous mistakes. They readily accept mistakes once they are apparent. Poor leaders do not even acknowledge their mistakes and will hate anyone who points them out.

Simple life, honesty and financial integrity: A good leader leads a simple life. Extravagance and materialism weaken and destroy the spirit eventually leading to corruption and evil. Too much materialism destroys the spirit of the leader and eventually that of the followers. A leader must not distinguish himself from the followers. He must actively discourage the development of a personality cult around himself. He should never think he is special. It was only Allah's wish that he was selected among many capable people to be a leader. Simple living and avoiding luxuries are necessary for integrity. The leader must be a model of honesty. Honesty in public and private affairs in a crucial test for a leader. Honesty is required in seemingly small or trivial things. Dishonesty is a habit, once acquired is difficult to shake off. Small dishonesties will one day become big ones. Good leaders deal with their followers honestly and are up front. Financial integrity: A successful leader has financial integrity in dealing with public property. It is not enough to be honest; you must be seen to be so and you must avoid any suspicious behavior. The only way to ensure this is complete transparency in financial matters. Followers must know what is going on so that they are assured that had there been any discrepancies they could have seen them. A leader and his immediate or extended family should never gain materially from his position. Taking public property is clearly theft. There are other situations that are not so clear to which moral and not legal tests have to be applied. A leader or his family can, like all citizens, sell or buy legally. However those dealing with them may give him preferential treatment because of the position. Such treatment would not have been possible before assumption of leadership. In such a case there is unacceptable gain from the leadership position.

Attributes of followers: Attributes of followers closely parallel those of their leaders if the leadership situation lasts a fairly long time. Followers may be lazy or hardworking. Some followers accept and take responsibility; others shun it. Some followers are sheep and are 'yes people' they will follow whatever is moving. Some are survivors who will do whatever is necessary to stay out of trouble. Other followers are alienated and do not care about what is going on around them. Some followers are obedient others are not. Many will not obey until they are promised a reward or are threatened with punishment. Followers differ in intelligence, education, experience, honesty, respect for leaders, and gratitude


Justice, objectivity, and honesty in Leadership:  David! We did indeed Make you a vicegerent on earth: so judge you between men in truth (and justice): Nor follow you the lusts (of you heart) for they will mislead you from the Path of Allah: for those who wander astray from the Path of Allah, is a Penalty Grievous, for that they forget The Day of Account. Qur'an 38:26 … "Al Hasan said, Allah has enjoined an obligation on all the rulers that they should not follow the lust of their hearts and should not be afraid of the people and should not sell Allah's Verses for a low price". Bukhari 9:206

Qualities of followers and advisors: "Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said. " Allah never sends a prophet or gives the Caliphate the a Caliph but that he ( the prophet or the Caliph) has two groups of advisors: A group advising him to do good and exhorts him to do it, and the other group advising him to do evil and exhorts him to do it. But the protected person (against such evil advisors) is the one protected by Allah". Bukhari 9:235, hadith # 306.

Personality: strength and patience: "It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr who said: I said to the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him): Messenger of Allah, will you not appoint me to a public office? He stroked my shoulder with his hand and said: Abu Dharr, you are weak and authority is a trust, and on the Day of Judgment it is a cause of humiliation and repentance except for one who fulfills its obligations and (properly discharges the duties attendant thereon". Muslim 3: 1015-1016, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4491

Omar careful with public funds and property: According to al-Harith-Ibn Saud-Muslim b. According to Abu ‘Amir al-’Aqadi-’Aqadi-’Isa b. Hafs-a man of Banu Salimah-Ibn al-Bara’ b. Ma’rur : ‘Umar went out one day to go to the minbar.  He complained of being sick and some honey was prescribed for him, there being a skin receptacle [full of it] in the treasury.  He said, “If you give me permission [to take] it, I shall do so; otherwise it is forbidden to me”. Tabari 14: 118



Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following attributes of good leaders:

(a) Religious dimension:
Taqwa, deep spirituality, Islamic and refined personal manners, adherence to the sharia
(b) Intelligence and wisdom:
Intuition, intelligence, flexibility, clear mission and goals, master of detail

(c) Strong, genuine and likeable personality:
Will-power & decisiveness, stamina, deep belief in principles, acting on principle, not following the crowd, decision stickability, knows and uses strengths, accepting and compensating for weaknesses, courage, a sense of humor, ability to keep secrets, genuine personality, simplicity, good listener, honesty, credibility

(d) Commitment, motivation and responsibility:
Sacrifice, participation, commitment and dedication, a high sense of personal responsibility and accountability, assuming responsibility for mistakes, dependability, high and self- motivation, enthusiasm, positive attitude, optimism, risk taking, truthfulness

(e) Physical and emotional well-being:
Good health (physical and mental), emotional balance & security, energy, hard work, energy, positive attitude

(f) Self-control and balance:
Self-discipline, self-control, non impulsiveness, firmness in crises and under stress, perseverance & patience, self-leadership, self-sufficiency, action-oriented, being always prepared

(g) Knowledge:
Basic knowledge of Islam, history, current affairs, specialized knowledge as needed


                                                LOWER                      MIDDLE         UPPER


The following list contains items that may not fit the label of values. Some values are repeated. Please scrutinize the list and draw up one correct list by eliminating some items or combining others. Write 1-3 sentences about what you understand by each item. You may give examples or explain how they help make the leadership process more effective:

Social responsibility-
Ihsan (efficiency)
Ikhlas (sincerity)
Passion for excellence
Continous self-evaluation
Always mindful of the almighty
Keeping promises


Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following. You may give examples or explain how they help make the leadership process more effective:

Excessive love of the world
Excessive love of wealth
Excessive love of influence



Vision: A leader must have a vision. The vision is developed from wide consultation and is refined by practical application. The vision must be maintained in easy and difficult situations. The followers must be convinced about the vision. The vision must be focussed and in conformity with organizational culture. A good vision must be backed up by positive values. A distinguishing characteristic of great leaders is ability to see farther than the followers and to see the big picture. The bigger the vision, the greater the leader.

Setting goals: An effective leader sets goals and is an example to the followers on how to reach those goals. The best leaders lead by example.

Caution and prudence: A good leader will avoid too much speculation and will know the difference between taking a risk by an individual and by an organization. An individual may take more risks because if things go wrong the damage is limited. A leader in charge of a group will be more prudent because an error will have more consequences.

Knowledge: Knowledge both basic and specialized is necessary for leadership. No one should become a leader without the basic knowledge needed to carry out responsibilities in the particular leadership situation. A religious leader must know at least the basics of the religion. A business leader must know the fundamentals of business. A leader however need not be a specialist. He can always employ people with specialized knowledge for particular tasks. The leader must be honest with himself and know the limits of his knowledge. Some deficiencies can be corrected by more education. Others can only be compensated for by relying on people who have the necessary knowledge.

Commitment: A leader must be committed to the organization he is leading and the followers. He must be committed to certain values and to a vision. He must respect his promises and decisions and must be committed to carrying them out.

Ummatic view: An ummatic view is needed so that the leader is not parochial or provincial. Local issues should be been in a wholistic context of the whole ummah if they are to be understood well. However when it comes to solutions the leader should be more local in approach in order to succeed. The only precaution needed here is not to create problems on the macro level while solving problems on the micro level

Unity in diversity: A leader must accept diversity. Try to get consensus only on a few really strategic issues and then allow people to exercise their initiatives. You however must continuously monitor the trends in opinions to be able to detect serious deviations from the overall strategy. The vision and unity of purpose must be maintained at all costs despite the diversity.


Knowledge is basis for selection of leaders: "Amir b. Wathila reported that Nafi b. Abd al-Harith met Umar at Usfan and Umar had employed him as collector in Mecca. He ( hadrat Umar) said to him ( Nafi ): Whom have you appointed as collector over the people of the valley? He said Ibn Abza. He said: Who is Ibn Abza? He said: He is one of our freed slaves. He ( Hadrat Umar ) said: So you have appointed a freed slave over them. He said: He is well versed in the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Great, and he is well versed in the commandments and injunctions ( of the Shariah). Umar said: So the Holy Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said: By this book, Allah exalts some peoples and degrades others."  Muslim 1: 389, Chapter 288, Hadith # 1780

Learning from mistakes and not repeating them: "Abu Huraira reported that Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) said: The believer does not allow to be stung twice from one ( and the same ) hole. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Abu Haraira through another chain of transmitters". Muslim 4: 1541, Chapter 1238, Hadith # 7137

Admitting ignorance and accepting correction: "Narrated Ubaid b Umair. Abu Musa asked Umar to admit him but he was not admitted as Umar was busy, so Abu Musa went back. When Umar finished his job he said, "Didn't I hear the voice of 'Abdullah bin Qais? Let him come in." Umar was told that he had left. So, he sent for him and on his arrival, he (Abu Musa) said, "We were ordered to do so (i.e. to leave if not admitted after asking permission thrice). Umar told him, "Bring witness in proof of your statement." Abu Musa went to the Ansar's meeting places and asked them. They said, "None amongst us will give this witness except the youngest of us, Abu Sa'id Al Khudri. Abu Musa then took Abu Sa'id Al Khudri (to Umar) and Umar said, surprisingly 'Has this order of Allah's apostle been hidden from me?' (Then he added), "I used to be busy trading in markets.". Bukhari 3:158-159, hadith #277…

Omar and fore-sight, wisdom, and judgment: “Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Amongst the people preceding you there used to be Muhaddithun (i.e. persons who can guess things that come true later on,  as if those persons have been inspired by a diving power) and if there are any such person amongst my followers, it is Umar bin Al-Khattab”. Bukhari 4:449, Hadith # 675 …. Narrated ‘Umar (bin Al-Khattab) My Lord agreed with me in three things: (1)

Omar khalifah and not king : According to Al Harith Ibn Sad Muhammad b. Umar Qays b. al-Rabi Ata b. al-Saib Zadhan Salman : Umar said to him, Am I a king or a caliph ?  Salman replied, If you collect from Muslim territory dirham or less or more then you put it to use other than for what it is by right intended, you are a king, not a caliph.  Omar wept”. Tabari 14 : 118

Omar doing manual labor : “According to khallad b. Aslan 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 pen; that is, 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”.


Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following conceptual attributes of leaders:

(a) Vision:
Ummatic outlook, ability to see the whole picture, positive vision, thinking big, broad perspective, long-term vision and ability to articulate it, understanding maqasid al sharia, belief in success, set high standards

(b) Goals and objectives:
ability to identify and focus on specific goals and objectives, not being distracted by daily problems, consistency, sense of direction, identification with organizational goals

(c) Objectivity and reality:
reality, realism, accept change, living in the present, correct sense of timing, learning from failures

(d) Creativity:
originality in thought and action, initiative, resourcefulness, Understanding and using synergistic relationships



Communication: Communication is an important skill for a leader to convey his vision and plans to the followers.

Decision-making: Decision making and problem solving are primary managerial functions that every leader must undertake. Failure to make correct decisions on time or solving problems timely will lead to leadership failure

Planning and execution: Leaders undertake managerial functions of planning, setting goals & objectives, clarification of the vision, and evaluation,

Leading teams: Leaders form and lead work groups. They cooridinate their work and make decisions on tasking.

People skills: Dealing with people involves:  conflict resolution, motivation, maintaining relations with superiors and subordinates.


Death of omar and appointment of an electoral council: When Umar was attacked and he realized he was dying, he made arrangements for succession. He said.. “Give me some peace and quiet so that I can appoint those who still met with the Messenger of God’s approval when he died.  Call ‘Ali for me, ‘Uthman, al-Zubayr, and Sa’d”.  [When they had arrived, he said],  “Wait for your brother Talhah for three [nights].  If he does not come, do what you have to do.  If you should take authority over the people, ‘Ali, I implore you not to bring them under the power of banu Hashim.  If you should take authority over the people, ‘Uthman, I implore you not to bring them under the power of Banu Al-Mu’ayt.  If you should take authority over the people, Sa’d, I implore you not to bring them under the power of your relatives.  Off you go!  Consult together, then do what you have to do.  Let Suhayb lead the people in prayer”. He then made some recommendations for the next caliph as follows: I commend to the caliph after my death the covenant of the Messenger of God that (non-Muslims) be given a compact faithfully fulfilled.  O God, have I done what I ought to do?!  I leave the caliph after my death in a cleaner [condition] than the palm of the hand. Tabari 14 : 91 - 92

Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following practical attributes of leaders:

(a) Planning and goal-setting:
Goal-orientation, prgamatism, orientation to detail

(b) Communication:
Communicating goals effectively, good communication, active listening,
(c) Team-work, motivation, coaching:
Understanding and appreciating the different natures of human beings, effective meeting management, teaching and coaching others, management of conflict within the group and between groups, seeking and using advice

(d) Decision-making and problem-solving:
Soundness of judgement, rational thought, quick but not hasty decisions, consultation and involvement of others

(e) Organizing and managing:
Ability to prioritize, effective time management, ability to follow through,


Respecting and understanding followers: Good leaders show concern, respect, and consideration for followers. Followers reciprocate by showing loyalty. Good and mutually-beneficial leader-follower relationships can not be sustained without loyalty. Good leaders have well developed human skills. They understands those below him as unique individuals and not in a generic sense. They will deal with each person in an individualized and unique way. The great secret of leadership is to be able to tap into the potential of each individual and make him a peak performer, each in his individual and unique way. You must realize that individuals are unique and have God-given talents and potentials to make them productive and useful contributors to the organization. They respect followers each in his uniqueness. Good and effective leaders have a firm belief in people.

Humane behaviour. They have compassion and empathy. They have high consideration for others. They have no pride and are like their followers not seeking to be different or superior to them. They are lenient and forgiving. They treat their followers well. They protect the followers from both physical and emotional hurt

Representing followers: Representing followers and their interests infront of others takes a lot of the leader’s time. It is however a mistake for the leader to consider himself a mouthpiece for the followers just transmitting their messages without checking and making sure that the message is appropriate. The leader must lead and help the followers articulate their interests and then represent them. In a symbolic way a leader represents followers and has to be careful about his image and behavior because all these reflect on the followers.

Love by followers: A leader will succeed if loved by the followers. Love by followers is like an emotional savings account. The better the leader treats followers, the more the deposit into the account. Sometimes the leader may make mistakes or things may not work out well. That is when the savings account comes into use. Withdrawals can be made from it to cover the defect. If the account is big, a big withdrawal will not lead to immediate bankruptcy. A small account will be overdrawn quickly exposing both the leader and followers to an ugly confrontation. In most cases love by followers indicates good leadership. In exceptional cases bad leaders who do not set standards may be loved by lazy followers who just want to be left alone.


Empathy and respect for followers: Strain not thine eyes, ( Wistfully ) at what We have bestowed on certain classes. Of them, nor grieve over them: But lower your wings ( in gentleness ) to the believers. Qur'an 5:88 … And lower your wing to the believers who follow you. Qur'an 26:215 … Now has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that you should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.Qur'an 9:128 …  'Abd Allah b. 'Umar said that he was sent with a detachment of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him). The people wheeled round in flight. He said: I was one of those who wheeled round in flight. When we stopped, we said (i.e. thought): How should we do ? We have run away from the battlefield and deserve Allah's wrath. They we said (thought): Let us enter Medina, stay there, and go there while no one sees us. So we entered (Medina) and thought: If we present our ourselves before the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him), and if there is a chance of repentance for us, we shall stay; if there is something else, we shall go away. So we sat down (waiting) for the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) before the dawn prayer. When he came out, we stood up to him and said: We are the ones who have fled. He turned to us and said: No, you are the ones who return to fight after wheeling away. We then approached and kissed hiss hand, and he said: I am the main body of the Muslims. Abu Daud 2:731-732, Chapter 952, Hadith # 2641

Leniency, good treatment, and forgiveness: "The messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) has been reported by Anas b. Malik to have said: show leniency; do not be jealous; give solace and do not create aversion". Muslim 3: 944, Chapter 706, Hadith # 4300 ….  The prophet said "Aisha be lenient for leniency makes a thing decorated and when it is removed from a thing it makes it defective". Abu Daud 2:685, Chapter 848, Hadith # 2471 … “Narrated Anas : The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " Facilitate  things to people ( concerning religious matters ) and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away from Islam". Bukhari 1:60, hadith # 69 ….

Leader's consideration: shorten prayer for the weak: "Narrated Abu Masud: A man came and said, " O Allah's Apostle ! By Allah, I keep away from the morning prayer only because so and so prolongs the prayer when he leads us in." The narrator said, " I never saw Allah's Apostle more furious in giving advice than he was at that time. He then said, " some of you make people dislike good deeds ( the prayer ). So whoever among you leads the people in prayer should shorten it because among them are the weak, the old and the needy". Bukhari 1:379, hadith # 670 

Leader must be liked by followers: "Ibn Umar reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) as saying" There are three types of people whose prayer is not accepted by Allah: One who goes in front of people when they do not like him; a man who comes dibaran, which means that he comes to it too late; and a man who takes into slavery on emancipated male or female slave". Abu Daud 1:156, Hadith #593

Love by people is indication leader is good: Suhail b. Abi Salih reported: We were in Arafa that there happened to pass Umar b. Abd al Aziz and he was the Amir of Hajj. People stood up in order to catch a glimpse of him. I said to my father: Father, I think that Allah loves Umar b. Abd al-Aziz. He said: How is it? I said: It is because of the love in people's heart for him. Thereupon he said: By One who created your father, I heard Abu Huraira narrating from Allah's messenger ( may peace be upon him ) a hadith like one transmitted on the authority of Suhail". Muslim 4: 1386, Chapter 1097, Hadith # 6375

Leader must be accessible: “Abu Maryam al Azdi said: When I entered upon Muawiyah, he said: How good your visit is to us, O father of so and so. This is an idiom used by Arabs ( on such occasions ). I said: I tell you a tradition which I heard ( from the Prophet ). I heard the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) say: If Allah puts anyone in the position of authority over the affairs of the Muslims, and he secludes himself ( from them ) not fulfilling their needs, wants, and poverty, Allah will keep Himself away from him, not fulfilling his need, want and poverty. He said: He ( Muawiyah ) appointed a man to fulfil the needs of the people". Abu Daud 2:832-833, Chapter 1101, hadith # 2942



Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following human attributes of leaders:
Interest in people, tact, compassion, empathy, enthusiasm, showing concern, tolerance, being supportive, keeping good company, trusting others, loyalty, helpfulness, impartiality, inspiring others, charisma, accessibility, respect for others, gentility, ability to inspire other, ability to motivate, ability to encourage, ability to direct, equitable, praising success, confronting failure, thanking people for good work, politeness.


Quote from the Qur'an and sunnah illustrations of the following follower attributes:
Lazy/hard work
Take/avoid responsibility
Motivated by reward/punishment




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.

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.

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.

Communication of the leader with followers: 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.

Communication with the public: 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 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. 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.

Intra-organisational communication: 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 rank-and file. Group failure starts with communication failure. Communication problems are complicated in a decentralized organization. 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.

Communication technology: 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Feed-back: Good, genuine and continous 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 embarassing others.

Reliance on followers: Leader must rely on and use staff work

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.

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.

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.


Leader is protector: "Narrated Abu Huraira that he heard Allah's Apostle saying, We are the last but will be the foremost ( to enter Paradise ). The Prophet added, He who obeys me, obeys Allah, and he who disobeys me, disobeys Allah. He who obeys the chief, obeys me, and he who disobeys the chief, disobeys me. The Imam is like a shelter for whose safety the Muslims should fight and where they should seek protection. If the Imam orders people with righteousness and rules justly, them he will be rewarded for that, and if he does the opposite, he will be responsible for that". Bukhari 4:128-129, hadith # 204

Obedience of leaders: 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

Limits to obedience: "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 ….
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

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

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

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: "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 …

Omar accessible: “According to Muhammad : 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”. Tabari 14 : 104 - 105



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

Conflict resolution
Role model
Group symbol
Parental figure
Task achievement/push for increased achievement


Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following leadership functions:
Goal, objectives, vision clarification,
Conflict management
Maintaining relationships: superiors, peers, subordinates
Forming and leading groups



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

Loyal following


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

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
Wiling to make changes
Do not explain actions

(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.


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




Writings of Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr

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