What generally comes to mind when leadership is mentioned are footballers who turn losing matches around with their personal skills by firing up their colleagues or managers who make large profits for their firms by establishing a good team spirit and increasing productivity.
Although leadership has been known since very early times, it has become the most discussed subject in the last ten years in particular, and is even taught at universities.
Leaders are distinguished from managers by several attributes. While managers apply the rules and principles put before them, leaders create a broader perspective for the rules to be applied. Leaders are open to communication, ideas and change; for them, what they do is not a hobby, but more akin to a cause. They have colleagues and teams in order to realize these causes. They lead their colleagues’ efforts toward their goals by constantly bringing up their spirits and enthusiasm. Leaders are pleasant to those around them; they are respectful, serious and dignified. A leader will often possess lofty moral values and virtues. He or she will be both just and compassionate. He will be able to influence those around with his charismatic personality but still have no hesitation in exchanging ideas with people. He will be of sound character and determined. He will be assertive, and obstacles will not wear him down. He will be a positive thinker. He will encourage constant change and development. He will not be caught up by obstacles, but will create solutions. He will have a broad vision, see things differently from those around him and make accurate analyses.
Nations need leaders in the same way as football teams or companies. Yet there has been no proper leader in the Arab and Islamic world for some 100 years. Most heads of state in the Islamic world are only prominent in a ceremonial capacity, rather than being possessed of true leadership abilities. Those who are slightly better make politics, run the civil service and try to deal with crises as best they can, yet it is next to impossible to say that any Arab ruler is truly successful in that.
The Islamic world is currently striving against civil wars, poverty and backwardness. Artists and scientists are not produced in Muslim countries and national economies are not well managed. Corruption, bribery and exploitation are everywhere. States have become vehicles of conflict and war, rather than peace and well-being. There are endless fights between brothers, and divisions and enmities are not only deep, but often multi-generational. Muslims are unable to unite together.
A similar situation prevailed on the entire Arabian Peninsula 1,400 years ago. A highly virtuous character combining all the attributes of leadership liberated people, not only on the Arabian Peninsula, but over a much broader swathe of land. That was, of course, our beloved Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). Just like the other prophets, he resolved all the social problems of his time from a Qur’anic perspective by exhibiting model leadership through the will and help of Allah.
Muslims today must learn the moral values of our Prophet (saas) and how he behaved under which circumstances. They must strive to be like him and take him as a role model in piety, sincerity, purity, humility, cleanliness and faith. Most people today adopt many figures as role models such as celebrities or professional athletes or entertainers, and try to behave and speak like them; and while some of the aforementioned may well possess good characteristics, it is the prophets that people should seek to imitate.
Allah notes in the verses of Qur'an the importance of faith in Him and His messenger, and of supporting and following His Prophet, and says that these people will attain salvation. So that you might all have faith in Allah and His Messenger and honor Him and respect Him and glorify Him in the morning and the evening. (Surat al-Fath, 9)
…Those who have faith in him and honor him and help him, and follow the Light that has been sent down with him, they are the ones who are successful. (Surat al-A’raf, 157)
Ever since the Age of Felicity, believers have prayed to Allah in all sincerity to end the troubles facing Muslims, in the hope that systems of thought based on denial, unfair and unjust practices and that the wars and conflicts in the world will come to an end. Allah certainly accepts the prayers of those who pray to Him: He will again accept Muslims’ prayers, rescue them from their difficulties and send the leader of the End Times foretold by our Prophet (saas), insha’Allah.
Adnan Oktar's piece on National Yemen & News Rescue: