The existence of a leader is very important in Islam. Leader or Imaam in Islam takes the lead in almost every aspects in a Muslim’s life. A leader is also someone people would look up to, especially in a difficult situation. However, there are certain methods as to how to choose a leader in Islam. The process how a leader chosen is important, because every element of the society should all be accepting of the leader. Here are some of the ways on how to choose a leader in Islam:
1. Through a Consensus
The first method on how to choose a leader in Islam is by consensus. It had done back when the Prophet (peace be upon him) has just passed away, where his companions gathered to decide on who would be the next leader of the da’wah. A caliph then selected, being Abu Bakr As Shiddiq. Nobody objected the decision.
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2. Through a Consultation
Consultation involving the process of exchanging the views between the members of the Muslim society who considered to be prominent. This was done when the second caliph, Umar ibn Al Khattab was about to die. The matters was discussed among the prominent member of Muslims society for less than 6 days. The process resulted on the selection of Uthman ibn Al Affan as the next caliph, succeeded Umar.
3. Nominated by the Predecessor
A current leader have the right to choose for who will be next in power. Abu Bakr had done this in the past, where he nominated his own successor. He appointed Umar ibn Al Khattab, and no objection between Muslims was raised at the time. The current leader surely has his own eyes in selecting the next leader to replace him.
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4. Selected by a Certain Group
The knowledgeable members of the society has the right to select a leader. The group was called Majlis As Shura, consisted of experts who have learned Islam deeper than anyone. This group has the authority to select a leader in Islam.
5. By Force
If a leader has appointed his successor, then the latter has no chance to object it. Back to the days of the caliphs, Umar ibn Al Khattab couldnot object the decision of the Abu Bakr who has chosen him as the next caliph.
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The Prerequisite of a Leader in Islam
There are certain criteria of a leader in Islam that should be fulfilled, as listed below:
1. A Leader Must be a Man
In no disregard to woman, a leader in Muslim should be a man. It refers to a hadith by the Prophet (peace be upon him) who stated that a nation would not profit under a woman as its leader.
“Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.” – Bukhari
2. A Leader Must be Physically Reliable
A leader bear the fate of the society, so that he must be physically reliable and strong. A strong leader giving the feel of safety and security among the people. All his body parts especially eyes, tongue, ears, and body should be working in a perfect condition to support him doing goods for the ummah.
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3. A Leader Must be Knowledgeable
A knowledgeable leader will be able to make a good change to the society. One of the crucial role of a leader is to make important decisions almost all the times, and sometimes he can’t rely on others but himself. His knowledge can be used to help him making an independent decision when its needed.
4. A Leader Must be a Muslim
A Muslim leader should be a Muslim indeed. There are no reasons for it, because a good Muslim will lead another Muslims for good too. A leader should fight in the path of Allah, and only Muslim can bear such responsibility.
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5. Have a Good Moral
A leader is the example that the society always look up to. Imagine when a leader is immoral, he will lead his people to destruction. Whereas a leader with good moral can build a better society and bring them to goodness together.
Qualities of a Good Leader in Islam
Choosing a leader in Islam should be done carefully, and here are some of the qualities that a good leader in Islam must possessed:
- Having a clear vision in the future, even in some yet to be seen things. A visionary leader is able to look beyond the present and predict what might happen in the future.
- A leader must be influential because his words are what others will follow. If a leader is not respected and influential, his people will disobey him and the society will turn into a mess.
- It’s important to have a leader with soft heart and big consideration to others. He must care with the people he lead.
- A courageous leader is what all people need, because he gives people sense of safety and entrust their lives to their leader.
- A leader who lost the trust from his people is actually screwed. Soon the people will come into destruction.
So those are all the ways on how to choose a leader in Islam. Since a leader plays an important role in the life of many Muslims, he must be chosen carefully. When choosing a leader, make sure that we know the man through and through. A good leader will be able to bring his people to lead a better life with a better imaan in Islam.