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Characteristics of Leadership: Islamic perspective



As a social being each and every man has to lead his life through a mutual relationship. He is completely unable to do something alone. Thus, the necessity of co-operation brings out the idea of leadership in our society. In fact, Leadership is a great quality of human nature. Every organization or group of peoples needs a good leader in order to gain their desired success. Nowadays, the concept of leadership becomes very influential in financial, political and social arena. From the smaller institutions like family, every organizations and even the world body at large need good leader for the perfection of post-modern civilization.

Islam, the only authentic revealed religion of the world, does not leave this issue unturned. For the upliftment of human culture and society it clearly discusses about the idea, concept and nature of leadership and gives detailed principle, guideline and direction in this context. The pre­condition and required quality of leadership also described here with great sincerity. This essay is an attempt to make people aware about the concept of Islamic leadership and the pre-requisites of a good leader, so that with the knowledge of revealed direction we can implement the teachings of Islam and achieve the ultimate success of here and hereafter.


Literally, leadership is the state or position of being a leader that goes with or in front of a person or an animal to show the way or makes them to go in the right direction.1 As a term of sociological aspect it is a "process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid, co­operation and support of others in the accomplishment of a common matter. It refers to a process of influencing and supporting others to work enthusiastically toward achieving objectives.2

In another word, we may define leadership as a quality by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. It is a process by which the leader seeks the voluntary participation of followers in an effort to reach organizational objectives.3 As a term of management studies leadership may be defined as following:

“Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it toward goals. Management activities such as planning, organizing, decision making are dormant cocoons until the leader triggers the power of motivation in people and guides them toward their goals.”4

Describing leadership as a extra-ordinary features of man Dr. Ferid Murad, the Nobel laureate in medicine in 1994, says-

“Leadership is the ability to see beyond assumed boundaries, and to come up with solutions or paths that few can visualize. The leader must then project this vision for everyone to see and pursue.”5

Though we see different types of leadership in our society such as social, political, managerial, religious etc, yet all the types have its own importance. It thus a major concern for everyone of the society and key factor to achieve the ultimate goal of success in every sphere of life. It contributes most to make people unite and to work in a friendly environment under an authoritative supervision.

Leadership in Islam

Islam, the complete code of life, declares leadership as a trust (Amanah), and gives a detailed description about it. According to the Islamic view, leadership is a sacred position that can solve the problems of humanity and guide them to the eternal betterment of here and hereafter. It is a person or a group of people who guide and lead the followers, the humanity from the brink of destruction to the way of Allah. Giving preference on human welfare Islam exposes leadership as a psychological contract between a leader and his followers that he will try his best to guide them, to protect them and to treat them fairly and with justice. Hence, the focus of leadership in Islam is on doing good.6

Great Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun in his excellent book Al-Muqaddimah draws a new dimension of leadership. He says- “leadership is an outcome of interaction between different social groups.”7 Al Buraey says-“an Islamic leadership is the one that seeks happiness for the individual and society.”8

In Islamic Shariah, leadership is mentioned specially by the word Khilafa and Imama. Though there remain another words used as the meaning of a Leader in various Islamic verses and speeches such as Amir-ul-Muminin, Amir, Ja`eem, Sayyid, Qa`eed, Malik, Sheikh etc, but yet the words mentioned earlier are the most famous and most important in describing the state of leadership. With some differences in practice all of these words are used interchangeably to indicate a leader. Muslim thinkers of the modern era differentiate among these synonymous words. A brief discussion about these may clarify the area of their application.

Firstly, Khalifa (Caliph), derived from the word Khilafa (Caliphate-system of governance established in Islam), means, literally, the successor, the vicegerent or the representative while as the term of Islamic literature it means the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah.9 Al Qura?an, the supreme authoritative source of Islamic Shariah, uses this term with two different meanings. In the following verse Khalifa refers to Hazrat Adam (s) including whole mankind and the prophets-Allah says- “And when (after creating heaven and earth) Allah told the angel that he was about to create a vicegerent (khalifah) and to assign him to the earth.”10 In another verse Allah addressed Hazrat Dawood (s) as both, role of the leader of his state and the Prophet. Allah says-

“(And it was said unto him): O David! Lo! We have set thee as a viceroy (Leader) in the

earth; therefore judge aright between mankind, and follow not desire that it beguile thee

from the way of Allah. Lo! those who wander from the way of Allah have an awful

doom, forasmuch as they forgot the Day of Reckoning.”11

However, Khalifa is now a day used to indicate the position of the head and supreme political leader of the state by the Muslim thinkers. It is asserted by Muslim historians that the term Khalifa was first used as the title of “the successor of Muhammad” by Abu Bakr. From the reign of Umar b. al Khattab, however, Khalifat rasul Allah, successor of the messenger of God, became the common designation of the leader of the community.12

Secondly, Imamah, the office of Imam, is another common term used in the holy Qura?an to describe the leadership as Allah says- “And (remember) when his lord tried Abraham with (His) commands and he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have appointed thee a leader (Imam) for mankind.”13 At the early stage of Islam Imamah or Imam was used in the meaning of the supreme authority of the Muslim community. But in course of time these terms, Khalifa and Imam, have had its own distinguish features. Currently, Khalifa refers to the broader sense of authority which includes all types of power and leadership, specially the political supremacy over the Muslim Ummah and Imam represents as the leader of prayers, religious rituals and spiritual matters. Besides this, the term Imam also gets preference in Islamic Shariah and Fiqh literature to Khalifa. In a nutshell, it may clarify the idea of Khalifa and Imam that the former is primarily applied to the supreme leader of the Muslim community as the ruler of the community exercising the temporal functions of Muhammad, while the later is applied to him as the religious leader of the community and derives from his function of leading the prayers of the community which, in the view of the Sunnis, was his most important function.14

There also exist some terms that are used to indicate the role and function of a leader in Islam. Among these Amir is the most important one. It means the commander, governor, general, prince, leader etc. Al Qura?an declares a verse in this regard- “O! You believers! Obey God and obey the messenger and those of you who are in charge of affairs (ulil-`amr).”15This term is usually considered as a high title of nobility or office. It does not hold the complete power and authority of a state, but deserves autonomous leadership over a smaller unit of statecraft. During the caliphate of Medina, the commanders of armies, and occasionally of divisions of an army were called Amir (or amir al djaysh or amir al djund) and so were the governors who were initially the conquering generals.16 In the later period of Islamic reign this term was used as the financial authority of the state.

Another important term that may be used for leadership is Ra`i, which literary means a guardian and employed to mean the person in charge, leader or administer?

as the Prophet (s) said- “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."17

Similarly, the terms Sheikh, Sayyid, Qa`eed, Malik, Ja`eem are also used in the meaning of a leader in various occasions. Among these, Sheikh literally means "elder" and commonly used to designate an elder of a tribe, a revered wise man, or an Islamic scholar. The term Sayyid is also an honorific title that referred to a person to whom belongs the leading power of his tribe for his experiences, wisdom and piousness. Moreover, the remained terms are also designed to mean leadership and action of a leader in their practices, directly or indirectly, either over a smaller group or a large group. The idea and concept of Islamic leadership is not similar to that of conventional leadership. There are some basic differences between these two dogmas. As a revealed direction for mankind Islam emphasizes on the success in both lives, here and hereafter. Besides, human welfare is also notably got importance in developing the idea of leadership in Islam. In this regard, like the western or man made leadership Islam does not grant an unlimited sovereignty and power to a leader. But a certain limitations are given to the leader to perform his duty for the betterment of humanity. On the ideological basis of the two types of leadership we find some core differences which are stated below.

The goal of a conventional leader is just to solve the problem. In this regard, if the strategy taken for solution becomes fruitful, then it does not bother whether the policy is harmful for the others or not. On the other hand, Islam does not permit such kind of selfish deeds to a leader. Seeking the interest of own group is not merely the goal of Islamic leadership, but leader has to think about the humanity and the satisfaction of Allah the Almighty.

In western conception, leadership is rule-bound and situational. It is a formal duty to perform. But Islam considered leadership as a divine responsibility and trust which is to be rendered back to the participants. Leadership procedures are maintained in the modern formation by the leaders, formal or informal, and rarely the ordinary members on the direction of regulated rules. In Islamic perspective this procedure runs with the co-operation of both leader and followers. The divine laws and direction of Allah and His Rasul are also a distinguish features of this procedure. The decision making process of conventional form is mainly depends upon the leader or upon the group of authority. Usually they decide according to the reference of organizational rules. Islamic concept of leadership usually does not permit a leader to make decision without any kind of consultation. In public affairs a leader must have a general consultation with all of his followers. And after the consent of the group he has to justify that decision with the divine law of Islamic Shariah.

Appointment process of a leader is not similar in every organization in modern formation. Most of the organizations, formal or informal, have their own criteria to select a leader. Unfortunately, absence of ethical and moral values is a common feature of conventional leadership. Here, a person must submitt his candidature for the leadership. In contrast, Islam has its own preconditions to appoint a leader. Seeking of leadership is considered as a disqualification of the person. According to the Islamic law, leaders must not seek leadership; it must come to them. Moral and ethical perfection is badly needed to the selection process of leaders. Along with personal qualities, the knowledge of Islamic principles and Shariah is a must for the leadership.

Finally, the concept of leadership in conventional and Islamic formation is totally different by nature, though there are some similarities seen in the performances of leaders in various occasions.18 Islam does a great job in this respective field and shows how followers perform their responsibilities with the proper direction of revealed law under the supervision of a competent leader ensuring the humanism and ultimate satisfaction of almighty Allah.

Characteristics of leadership

Leadership is an important element to achieve success and to establish peace and happiness in society. Islam always tries to make sure the rule of the best on every sphere of life, individual or social. For this, it elaborately declares the qualities and pre-conditions needed for an ideal leader. Islamic Shariah composed of the authoritative source of Al Qura?an and the Sunnah, along with the Islamic Fiqh has given the direction. The attributes of the righteous caliphs also helps us to determine the required qualities to select a leader for the Muslim Ummah. Under a scientific examination through out these sources Muslim scholars have find out some essential qualities for an Islamic leader. A great thinker al Farabi indicates the following characteristics of leadership- be intelligence, full of wisdom, possess complementary characters in terms of their physical and abilities, ideal long-sighted policy makers etc.19

Hadrat Ali, the fourth khalifah, in discussing the qualities of a leader said:

"O People! You know that it is not fitting that one who is greedy and parsimonious should attain rule and authority over the honour, lives and incomes of the Muslims, and the laws and ordinances enforced among them, and also leadership of them. Furthermore, he should not be ignorant and unaware of the law, lest in his ignorance he misleads the people. He must not be unjust and harsh, causing people to cease all traffic and dealingswith him because of his oppressiveness. Nor must he fear states, so that he seeks the friendship of some and treats others with enmity. He must refrain from accepting bribes when he sits in judgement, so that the rights of men are trampled underfoot and the claimant does not receive his due. He must not leave the Sunnah of the Prophet and the law in abeyance, so that the community falls into misguidance and peril."20

Allama Burhanuddin Murgenani describes some attributes of a leader.21 That are-

·           A profound knowledge of Sunnah (i.e Islamic Shariah)

·           Proficiency at reciting the holy Qura?an

·           Great consciousness of Allah (Taqwa)

·           An elderly person

These features must be examined to select a leader respectively. If there is a equality among more than one person in a quality then the attributes mentioned second should be applied. The remaining qualities are also applied in this rule.

Modern Islamic thinker S.B Choudhury says- “A person to be qualified as Amir (chief executive of the Islamic state) shall be:

a.      Not less than 40 years of age and not more than 63 years of age.

b.      Shall not be qualified for the election as a member of Islamic State Assembly or Parliament Majlis-e-Shura

c.      Shall not have been removed from the office of the Amir under the constitution

d.   Shall not have been convicted for any criminal offences or an invalid or bankrupt person, declared by a competent court.22

Al Talib Hisham, another modern islamist identified some core characteristics for the Islamic managerial leadership, such as- Allegiance, Global Islamic Goals, Adherence to Shariah and Islamic Manners, Delegated Trust etc.23 Maulana Abdur Rahim emphasize on three qualities that are compulsory for the leader of an Islamic State. Those are: Taqwa; Patience and tolerance; Kindness leadership.24

Regarding the function of leadership Zafar Bangash, a modern Islamic scholar, mentions some operational tasks. According to him a leader must have the technical quality to do those tasks accurately. These are-

1.      Articulate the goal or vision clearly and demonstrate his personal conviction for it;

2.      Inspire a group of people to follow it;

3.      Evaluate the prevailing situation accurately and devise appropriate strategies for dealing with it, including surmounting problems, difficulties, etc.

4.      Initiate, guide, direct and control change towards the desired goal;

5.      Ensure continuous cooperation of the movement;

6.      Continually expand the movement to strengthen it;

7.      Inspire members of the movement to such a degree that they are prepared to fight and even die for the cause;

8.      Provide satisfaction so that the members feel their mission has a noble purpose.25

All of the above mentioned qualities are directly involved with the basic principles of Islamic ideology. Without these qualifications no one can be eligible to lead the Nation. Even, for the leader of a small group or organization these are much more essential. After a thoughtful study on the discussion of the sources of Shariah regarding Islamic leadership and the thoughts of Muslim scholars we can mention the core pre-requisites of a good leader as given below.

a. Iman: The leader must believe in the core Islamic beliefs, and should be considered as a true Muslim by his words and deeds. According to Islam, Iman is the very fact on which whole universe and creations are still alive and every Muslim has the responsibility to establish Iman and its regulations in all aspects of life. So, if anyone does not believe in Islamic beliefs and ideology, he must not be considered as a leader of muslim as Allah directly declares- “Allah will judge between you at the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will not give the disbelievers any way (of success or leadership) against the believers.”26 Allah again says-

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority (leaders); and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end.”27

b. Maturity: The leader must have the maturity of age and soundness in mental and physical condition. Maturity gives him the experiences and patience to face the contemporary challenges. On the other hand, Mental and physical strength is needed in every action to do that properly. Al Qura?an declares in this regard-“Give not unto the foolish (what is in) your (keeping of their) wealth, which Allah hath given you to maintain; but feed and clothe them from it, and speak kindly unto them.”28 In another verse Allah says-

“Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. They said: How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, since he hath not been given wealth enough? He said: Lo! Allah hath chosen him above you, and hath increased him abundantly in wisdom and stature. Allah bestoweth His Sovereignty on whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.”29

c.    Permanent resident: The leader should have been an inhabitant of Darul Islam, i.e thatterritory where muslims are the majority of total population or where the other muslims are living peacefully with full religious freedom. This condition is also important for selecting the head of the State, not for the leader of smaller group. Allah indicates His beloved mankind-

“Lo! those who believed and left their homes and strove with their wealth and their lives
for the cause of Allah, and those who took them in and helped them: these are protecting
friends one of another. And those who believed but did not leave their homes, ye have no
duty to protect them till they leave their homes; but if they seek help from you in the
matter of religion then it is your duty to help (them) except against a folk between whom
and you there is a treaty. Allah is Seer of what ye do.”30

d.    Amal-e Saleh: A leader should sincere to perform Amal-e Saleh (good deeds) in his daily works. Salah with humility (Khushoo), night prayers, remembrance of Allah in every moment (Zikr), Du`a (supplication), Infaaq (spending wealth in the way of Allah and human welfare), Voluntary fasting etc must be performed. He has to be a pious and perfect man with his conducts and behaviors to the others; Ethics and moral lessons of Islam should be applied in all of his works. In fact, Amal-e saleh is that virtue on which the leadership of Islam is promised. Allah declares-“And verily we have written in the Scripture, after the Reminder: My righteous slaves will inherit (lead) the earth.”31 Al Qura?an repeats the same quality-

“Allah hath promised such of you as believe and do good work that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who were before them to succeed (others); and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after their fear. They serve Me. They ascribe no thing as partner unto Me. Those who disbelieve henceforth, they are the miscreants.”32

e.    Taqwa: It means humility; being conscious of Allah's presence and fearing Him at all times.

This quality is the only criterion by which people are judged in Islam as Allah says-

“O mankind! Lo! We have created you from male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.”33

Taqwa makes a leader humble and more sincere at his work. The prophet of Islam (s) set the perfect example of Taqwa by his deeds. After that four noble righteous caliphs also practice modesty, humility and taqwa in their conducts. Being the caliph and supreme authority of the contemporary super power, Abu Bakr delivered his first speech full of modesty and humbleness. He said without any arrogance of mind-

"I have been appointed as ruler over you although I am not the best among you. I have never sought this position nor has there ever been a desire in my heart to have this in preference to anyone else... If I do right, you must help and obey me; if I go astray, set me aright... Obey me so long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. If I disobey them, then you have no obligation to follow me."34

f.   Justice (`Adl): It is, therefore, a fundamental percept of Islam and an essential characteristic a leader must possess. Islam always urges for doing justice to all. Allah Ordered-

“O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do.”35

Even in the circumstances where verdict goes against own interest Islam commands Muslim to be fair and just. Allah says-

“O! you, who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witness to Allah, even as against yourselves or your parents or your kin and whether it be against rich or poor, for Allah protects both.”36

A leader must keep this quality at any means in order to govern the society peacefully. Prophet (s) put a lot of example of justice in his administration. In Madinah, the Prophet (s) ordered the hand of a thief to be cut. Some of his Sahaba thought the punishment would not be carried out because the person came from a noble family. When he heard this, the Prophet (s) assured them that if his daughter Fatimah had been guilty, even she would not have been spared. He then reminded them that earlier communities had been destroyed because they had one law for the poor and another for the rich.37

g. Patience and tolerance (Sabr): This is also an essential quality for a leader. It helps a person to do something with great care. Criticism of opposition, failure in desired success, debate on decision making etc may be properly overcome with the quality of Sabr. Allah likes the virtue and admires-“And when they became steadfast and believed firmly in Our revelations, We appointed from among them leaders who guided by Our command.”38 We see a great number of instances of Sabr in the life of Prophets like Yakub, Aiyub, Yusuf (s). Our Prophet Muhammad (s) also showed mentionable patience and tolerance in the event of His Taif tour and triumph of Makka.

h.   Trust or trusteeship (Amanah): An important concept of Islamic leadership. It is a psychological contract between the leader and his followers in which the former will try his best to guide, protect and to treat the later with justice. A leader must enjoy this trust with highest degree of responsibility. Allah says- “Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye restore deposits (amanah) to their owners, and, if ye judge between mankind, that ye judge justly. Lo! Comely is this which Allah admonisheth you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer.”39

i.   Dependence on Allah (Tawakkul): This virtue means complete surrender to Allah. A leader must got his plan, policy and strategy in order to achieve any lawful objectives, And then it is his sacred duty to depend on Allah for the successful result of his works. If he does so, then any kind of failure does not make him frustrated. Besides this, Tawakkul gives him courage and helps him to take proper decision in facing any problem. Allah says- “..... when you have made a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainle, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).”40

j.   Consultation (MuShawara): It means the quality to share the views and exchange of opinions in any vital matter. A complete leader possesses this quality of discussion. Islam gives more concentration in this regard. For mutual consultation of statecraft Islam regulates a formal body of authority. That is called Majlish-as Shura. As we see in the history of early Islamic leadership that not a single decision was made without consulting the followers. Even prophet (s) was also ordered to consult with his companions- “And those who have answered the call of their lord and establish prayer and who conduct their affairs by consultation and spend out what we bestow on them for sustenance.”41 In another verse Allah says- “and ask for His forgiveness for them; and consult with them in affairs. Then when you made a decision, put trust in Allah.”42

k. Accountability (Ihtisab): a vital component for the leadership process. According to Islam, every single person is responsible for all of his works and he has to be accountable for this. Allah says- “... Whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.”43 A leader is mostly responsible for his deeds and he is bound to be accountable to his followers and Allah the Almighty. Prophet (s) clearly said- “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.”44

i. Knowledge and wisdom (`Ilm wa Hikmah): To achieve proper knowledge and wisdom is an obligatory requirement for a good leader. In Islamic point of view, Hikmah does not mean the wisdom and special knowledge merely, it is such a divine gift that comes only through an inner enlightenment and by seeking sincere guidance from Allah; it is the ability to apply knowledge to a particular situation to bring about the most desirable outcome. Allah mentions this quality for leadership in the holy Qura?an-

“Their Prophet said unto them: Lo! Allah hath raised up Saul to be a king for you. They

said: How can he have kingdom over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom

than he is, since he hath not been given wealth enough? He said: Lo! Allah hath chosen

him above you, and hath increased him abundantly in wisdom and stature. Allah

bestoweth His Sovereignty on whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.”45

A leader has to embodied himself with this quality to get success for his direction. He has to know about the principles of Islamic Fiqh and Shariah, the current political situation, contemporary trends of international politics, proper utilization of limited resources, demands and psychological needs of his followers etc. Imam Ragib Ispahani said- “you will not be able to lead (the nation), until you attain a deeper knowledge on Islamic laws and the international politics.”46

m. Spirit of sacrifice: It is another noble virtue that makes a leader popular and flourishing. It is natural that if a leader become selfish and always decides for his own interest rather than his followers welfare, the organization must not developed and the followers will not obey his order. In stead of discipline there exists the chaos and disorder. Islam stress on this very point to set up

example by own works and sacrifice, so that the people can rely on him and make even greater sacrifice for their betterment. Allah says- "O you who are divinely committed! Why do you say that which you do not practice yourself? The worst of you in the sight of Allah is he who says that which he does not practice."47

These are the core attributes for a good leader. Islam shows a great importance to the personal qualities or characters. Specially, at the time of the appointment of someone to a responsible position it has been carefully observed. For a leader this is a must. He must have an excellent character and moral virtues such as honesty, kindness, forgiveness, modesty, courage and bravery, mercy, discipline and punctuality, humane, confidence etc, so that he may influence his followers. Imam Ragib Ispahani says- “He is not totally eligible for leadership who has not possessed a purified soul. Because, without embodying the good character, he can not purify his speech and deed.”48

Not only the above mentioned qualities are unavoidable to be a good leader, but an excellent leader has to achieve other virtues also. Irrespective religion, caste and colour he has to ensure the following mentality for the desired success-

·           Sincerity to works,

·           Respect to the suggestion of followers,

·           Love and respect to the humanity,

·           Peaceful Co-existence with the Minorities,

·           Friendly relation with the subordinates,

·           Universal brotherhood,

·           Giving dignity according to merit and works,

·           Neutrality in giving privileges,

·           Confidence to defend the criticism etc


Leadership is an important part of Islamic society. Islam emphasize on the unity of man in every sphere of life. Every aspects of human life, social, political, financial, national or international, should not be directed by itself without any supreme command. It should be leaded with a co­operative relationship of whole nation. In this regard, Islam originates the idea of leadership in every where, even in a journey of three persons, it has been ordered to put one of them as a leader. Islam uses various terms for a leader to indicate the area of his authority and eventually discusses the characteristics of leadership, which is mostly influenced by the core teachings of Islamic beliefs and humanism. We firmly believe, if we can implement the condition of Islamic leadership properly, humanity must get a new dimension of prosperity and success in everywhere.




** Lecturer, Department of Islamic Studies, University of Dhaka, Dhaka.

1 Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 872

2 H. Koontz, Management : A global perspective, New York: Free Press, 1994, p.499

3 C.A Schriescheim, J. M Tolliver and O. C. Behling, Leadership Theory: Some implications for Managers, MSU Topics, Summer (26),1978, p. 35

4 K. Davis, Human Relations at Work: The Dynamics Of Organizational Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967, p. 96

5 Dr. Rafik Issa Beekun & Dr. Jamal Badawi, Leadership; An Islamic Perspective, London, 1998, p.10

6 ibid, p.4

7 Ismail Mat, Islamic Leadership: Concepts and perspective,, d.25.09.2010

8 ibid, p. 29

9 http//, d. 25.09.2010

10 Al Qur?an, 2: 30

11 Al Qur?an, 38:26

12 The Encyclopaedia of Islam, ed. by B. Lewis, VL Menage, C. Pellat & J Schacht, Leiden: EJ Brill, 1979, Vol II, p.947

13 Al Qur?an, 2:124

14 The Encyclopaedia of Islam, ibid, Vol. IV, p.948

15 Al-Qur?an, 4:58

16 The Encyclopaedia of Islam, ibid, Vol. I, p.438

17 Imam Abu Daud, As Sunan, Delhi (n.d), Chapter 1089, Hadith # 2539,

18 See- Mohammad Anisuzzaman & Md. Zainul Abedin Majumder, Leadership: Western and Islamic- A Conceptual and Explorative Study, Dhaka: Bangladesh Institute of Islamic thought, (BIIT), 1996, pp.49-50

19 Ismail mat, op.cit, p.20

20 Nahjul Balagha, p.50, quoted in Imam Khomeini: Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini; edited and annotated by Hamid Algar, Mizan Press, Berkeley, CA, US. 1981, pp.67

21 Burhanuddin Murgenani, Al-Hidayah, Karachi: Maqabil Moulvi Musafirkhana, (n.d,), vol. 1, pp. 121-122

22 S.B. Choudhury, The profile of an Islamic state, Dhaka: Islamic foundation Bangladesh, 1984, p.38

23 Al Talib Hisham, Training guide for Islamic Workers, International Institute of Islamic Thought, Virginia, USA, 1991, pp.50-52

24 Moulana Muhammad Abdur Rahim, The State and Government in the Holy Quran (Al Quran-e Rastra O Sorkar), Dhaka, Khairun prokashani, 2000, p.31

25 Zafar Bangash, The concepts of leader and leadership in Islam, ICIT papers on Muslim political thought, presented on the International conference on “The

Seerah: A power perspective”, Colombo, Srilanka, on June 16-18,2000, pp. 4-5

26 Al Qur?an, 4:141

27 Al Qur?an, 4:59

28 Al Qur?an, 4:5

29 Al Qur?an, 2:247

30 Al Qur?an, 8:72

31 Al Qur?an, 21:105

32 Al Qur?an, 24:55

33 Al Qur?an, 49: 13

34 Muhammad Ibn Jarir al Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wal Mulook, Vol. 2, Egypt: Matbat Mustafa al-Babi, 1936 CE, p. 45

35 Al Qur?an, 5:8; 7:29

36 Al Qur?an, 4:135

37 Hadith cited in Nasai: Mishkat al-Masabih, p.559 -

38 Al Qur?an, 32:24

39 Al Qur?an, 4:58

40 Al Qur?an, 3:159

41 Al Qur?an, 42:38

42 Al Qur?an, 3:159

43 Al Qur?an, Zilzal:7-8

44 Imam Abu Daud, As Sunan, Delhi (n.d), Chapter 1089, Hadith # 2539

45 Al Qur?an, 2: 247

46 A group of Scholars, Islam in Daily Life (Dainandin Jiboney Islam), Dhaka: Islamic Foundation Bangladesh, 2007, p. 549

47 Al Qur?an, 61:2-3

48 Islam in daily Life, op.cit, p. 549



Footnotes: Footnotes: First published