“And We made them leaders, guiding by Our command; and We inspired them to do good works, and to observe the prayer, and to give out charity. They were devoted servants to Us. ” (21:73)
We can’t live our live without leaders. Our country has leaders, so has our region, city, and even we leader in our family. Leaders are meant to help the society become more organized. Thus, anyone cannot simply be a leader. He must possesses some quality that distinct them from others that he leads. He must have a good personality so that everyone would look at him as an example and he is capable of motivating others to move forwards.
The qualities of a leader in Islam has been defined both in Quran and Sunnah. In everyday life, we also could be a leader. Such as in a small discussion group or in a meeting. So here are the most useful tips about leadership according to Quran and Hadith.
- A Good Leader is Chosen by Allah SWT
“Whoever is kind, Allah will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on the earth. He Who is in heaven will show mercy on you.” (Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi)
The meaning of the hadith above is indicating that a true leader was chosen by Allah SWT. It means that he has a big responsibility to Allah SWT about his leadership. If a leader is chosen through a consensus, it’s just the way Allah SWT let it to be. Also read Rules Of Leadership In Islam
- A Good Leader Must be Knowledgeable
“Indeed, Allah has chosen him over you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And Allah gives His sovereignty to whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing [in favor] and Knowing.” (2:247)
A leader must be more knowledgeable than average people so that he can lead them well. It affects his wisdom while making decision and a knowledgeable people who can use his knowledge well would make a perfect and just leader.
- He Must be Able to Unite His People
“All of you are shepherds, and each of you will be asked concerning his flock.” (Bukhari)
A good leadership can only be accomplished together. A single person would never make it as a good leader unless his people are united and surely he gets the help from Allah SWT. Only a good leader is capable to do that. Also read How to Choose a Leader in Islam
- He Should Stay Humble
“If you give thanks [for my blessings] I will increase you in them…” (14:7)
Everything happen only by Allah’s permission. Someone who has been chosen as a leader must keep it in mind to make himself stay on the ground. If he has qualities to become a good leader, it’s slowly Allah’s blessings. Staying humble as a leader means he will never misuse his power over his people.
- He is Gentle to His People
“…you were gentle in dealing with them [your companions].” (3:159)
Leader sits in the highest position among groups of people, so they often misuse it to impose his authority. Through a gentle methods of leading, it encourages people to be willingly comply with their leader. But a good leader is always gentle to his people. Also read Basic Manners in Islam
- A Good Leader is a Patient One
“God love those who are patient.” (3:146)
Patient is part of faith. Patience is another tips about leadership according to Quran. Becoming a leader for many people is not easy, even if it’s only small numbers in family. It requires a lot of patience, and if someone could accomplish it, that’s what makes them a leader.
- He Has to be Just
“God loves those who are just.” (5:42)
Being just is hard, especially when you have power and authority with you. Try to be just in any condition, especially when things get hard and not going as we wish. Also read Basic Principles in Islam
- He Should Always Rely on Allah SWT
“Verily, God loves those who rely on him.” (3:159)
The authority of a leader comes from Allah SWT as one the greatest blessing yet trials. When he faces something difficult, he can go back to Allah SWT to ask for a help.
How to Choose a Good Leader in Islam
As Islam has defined the qualities of a good leader, here are the right ways to choose a good leader in Islam:
- By a Consensus
Choosing a leader through consensus had been done previously when the Prophet (peace be upon him) has just passed away. At the time, Islam had lost its chosen leader but the da’wa needs to be continued. Also read Importance of Husband in Islam
- By Consulting
This method was used when the second caliph, Umar ibn al Khattab was about to passed away. They were prepared to choose the next leader and the consultation was resulted the selection of Uthman ibn Al Affan as the successor.
- Nominated by the Predecessor
A current leader has right to choose who will be the next. This was the case with Abu Bakr Al Shiddiq who chose Umar ibn Al Khattab before he passed away. At the current leader made the decision himself, there was no objection between Muslims. Also read Leadership Style in Islamic Perspective
- Selected by Force
As for this method, we can use the example above when Umar ibn Al Khattab was “forced” by Abu Bakr to take over his position.
- Selected by Certain Group
There are also a method that a certain group has right to choose a leader and it’s called Majlis As Shura in Islam.
So those are all the most useful tips about leadership according to Quran and Hadith. Upon choosing a leader, we might end up disagreeing, but we have to remember one thing: we must never neglect Quran and Sunnah while looking for the best quality to be chosen as a leader.
Allah Knows best and He is never wrong.