Leaders and leadership is a daily issue in the life of society, organizing, trying, nation and state. The progress and decline of society, organization, business, nation and state are influenced, among others, by its leaders. Islam as a mercy for all human beings, has placed the issue of leader and leadership as one of the main issues in his teachings. In this article, we will show you how importance of leadership in Islam.
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1. Human is Born as a Leader
According to Islam, everyone is a leader. This is in line with the function and role of humankind on earth as khalifatullah (or caliphate), who is given the duty to always serve and worship Him. There are many verse about leadership, but we will mention it a few to help you understand.
‘O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to God and the Messenger, if you should believe in God and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.’
This verse come from An-Nisa verse 59. It has command to obey Allah swt, Rasullullah saw, and ulil amri (or your leader). If there are disagreement among all of us, bring it back or refer to Allah swt and Rasullullah; it means to Al-Qur’an and Sunnah.
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2. Leadership = Determinant of Nation’s Progress
Being a Leader is not an easy task. He/She must be capable to understand about the condition around them. If there is a good thing, keep it good or make it better. If there is something wrong/problem, it needs to fix that and/or find a solution to solve it. Moreover, the leader must have a competence to show that he/she is entitled to take a position as a leader.
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3. Leader = Allah’s Representative in the World
Allah creates human as a leader/caliphate in the world. Also, khalifah (leader) is the holder of the mandate of Allah SWT to carry out the trust and leadership of the heavens on earth. It is implied in Al-Baqarah verse 30 :
‘And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will you happen upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”‘
Although the angels are disagree with Allah’s decision about human in the world, Allah still make human as a leader. It is because human is not only the perfect creatures, but also human know how to do in earth.
4. Leadership = Responsibility
As a human, we are responsible for (obviously) ourselves, and the others. And as a leader, we are taking a massive responsible because it concerning the livelihood of the people. So be careful about the decision that we made, because it will determined the next step of the nation (good or bad). Furthermore, a leader will asked his accountability before Allah swt as long as he is a leader.
5. Leadership = Islamic Law Inforcement
When we are chosen to be a leader, that means we have to enforce the Islamic rule and law. It is solely for a mankind and ourselves. Insha Allah, with enforce Allah’s law, we will get a lot of good deeds for our account. An-Nisa verse 135 make it clear about this point :
‘O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed God is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.’
In Islam perpective, without a leader, then Muslims will not be able to realize the enforcement of Sharia values properly in the context of the state and can not bring goodness for Muslims in the life of society, nation and state. Without the leadership that enforces the Sharia, humans will live in unrest because the lust and diversity of human interests will clash with each other, thus threatening the existence of other human beings. (See also : How to Increase Iman in Islam)
6. Leader = Problem Solver
Being a leader means capable to solve a problem, whether it is small or huge problem. It does not mean that we have an answer of all of question. But as we refer to Al-Qur’an, Hadith, and Sunnah, it will help us to solve the problem we had. (See also :Signs of Strong Iman)
7. Leader = Regulator
A leader must know how to organize or arrange his people. Many people expected the rule or law are made is leading people to prosperity and peace. This is suitable with Islam taught that never teach a violence in any cricumstances and any form.
8. Leadership = Put Aside Personal Interests
A good leader must prioritizing public interests rather than personal interests. Leader is belong to the people, not particular group or class. When a leader chosen from particular group or class, he is no longer owned by his group; and he can not bring his or his group interest as a priority.
9. Leadership = Controlling Ego and Desire
A good leadership must controlling his ego and his desire or lust. Lust which overheats the mind and the heart will bring about extraordinary evil, for the man who is ruled by his lust will not be able to control the nature of his totality on something, so he will try to nullify others and other groups by using all means in order to satisfy the weather his lust. If people rule by ego, he will no longer to think clearly and logically. So it is important to lead with a good condition, clear mind, and a clean heart. (See also : Anger Management in Islam)
10. Leadership = Train Self-Sensitivity
If we have been ignorant or less sensitive, then as a leader we can not do that. A leader must know and care with the surroundings. We can not just sit right there when we see our brother struck by disaster. But we help them not becausr we are leader. We help because they are our relative, especially in faith.
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11. Leadership = Dedication
When we are chosen to lead a lot of people, it means that we will dedicate our life only for society. It is a necessity to make sure that people live in peaceful and calm. Also, the leader have to make sure that nobody lives in poverty. Because it will make a gap in society and we are deemed incapable of leading our own people.
12. Leader = Parent of His People
Being a leader is like becoming a parent. A leader must nurture and educate its people, in order to create not only protected, but also a smart society. That is why a good leadership is very needed to construct and develop a good people.
13. Leadership = Take and Give
A leader probably must give his everything what he have for his people, and sometimes, take less than he give or receive a bad things, no matter how hard he give Here is a lesson about sincerity that not only for leader, but also for every single person.
14. Leader = Substitute and Successor of the Prophet Muhammad’s Message
Leaders are basically substitutes and successors of the Prophet Muhammad’s message. Without a leader, the form of state and system of Islamic government that has been created and exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad will be stopped. For that, leaders are also required to know all that is related to the pattern of government run by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, and run it in accordance with the context of society at this time.
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15. Leader = Role Model
A leader will be a role model for his people. It is because they choose and rooting his leader to bring them for kindness, peace, and well-being. So for a leader in any circumstances, we have to aware and keep ourselves from negative things that affect not only ourselves, but also people around us. It does not mean that we drastically change only to keep our image; we still can be ourselves, with extra attention from people around us. It is normally happen because they are dreaming a perfect leader and do not want their leader go to the wrong way.
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Other Importance (16-25)
- Leadership = The implementation of being Trusted by other
- Leadership = Implementation of Islam Taught
- Leadership = Discipline Process
- Leadership = Process of Tawadhu
- Leadership = Evaluation Process
- Leadership = Integrity
- Leadership = Visionary
- Leadership = Low-Hearted/Humble Principle
- Leadership = Skill to Handle Criticizm
- Leadership = Self-Proving
That was the importance of leadership in Islam. This is only a small part of that contained in the Qur’an and Hadith. But we sincerely hope that this article will give you enlightment and, obviously, knowledge.