Dr M Athar Khan
LEADERSHIP of Riyasat-e-Madina or the Islamic State is as unique and universal as the concept of State in Islam. Principles that govern and guide leadership of Islamic State and all the organizations within it are based upon the belief that the supreme power and authority belong to Allah alone. No man has any power and authority to rule over the others except as provided in the verse, “Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those from among you who are invested with authority “(Al-Nisa:59). However, obeying those (others) is not without condition as the verse (Ad-Dahr:24) reads, , “So persevere with the command of your Lord and do not pay any heed to wicked and the unbelieving.”
In Islam, leadership of state (or any social or institutional organization) is a trust. It means that any power and authority to rule over people and make decisions about them is specific to Allah alone, and that a man in any position (individual or group and leadership or subservient) has to exercise them within the limits of Awamir wa Nawahi (dos and don’ts) set and specified in the Qur’an. The Islamic model of leadership is unique in that it is based upon the divine principles stated and derived from the verses of the Qur’an; as opposed to experience based theories, individual leadership styles, trait leadership models, and situational leadership approaches of organizational leaderships of the modern world, which are variable, adaptable and conforming to situational conditions.
The principles that regulate leadership behavior in Islam are derived from the verses of the Qur’an, and are based upon the concept of the Supremacy of Allah (Al-Ma’idah: 120). More specifically they include the following: 1) To inculcating and demonstrate in their behavior and dealings with others goodness, righteousness, truthfulness and justice to all. 2) To follow Allah’s commands and fulfil one’s obligations as specified in the concept of Ibaadah—fulfilling one’s threefold responsibility to Allah’s to Ibaad (that includes humans, animals, plants and all things in nature that concern one in any way).
3) To enforce Allah’s laws on earth (within his jurisdiction), and fulfil the trust of Allah to institute peace and justice to all humans. 4) To exercise power and authority delegated by Allah (No transgression allowed) and develop and improve life and things on earth (Not allowing status quo, when and where it is essential for improvement). 5)To follow and seek guidance from the Qur’an in all matters of life 6) To fulfil promises and guard pledges. (Al-Israil:34) 7) To ascertain truth of reports before taking action (Al-Hujurat: 6). 8) To exercise patience, reconciliation(As-Shura: 40 &43) 9) To speak straight and to the point. (Al-Ahzab:70) The model of leadership of Muhammad is for all times and for all people of the world (Al-Ahzab: 21) regardless of their race and ethnicity. The model of leadership of Muhammad ? emphasizes characteristics that are realistically human and universal and which are valued in all societies and cultures.
They include: Obeying orders of Allah to the extent that all his conduct and behavior were according to the teachings of the Qur’an and demonstrative of human values of Justice, Tolerance, Affability, Patience, Stability and endurance, Morality and ethics, Generosity, Modesty and humbleness, Simplicity, Kindness, Benevolence, Honouring words and fulfilling promise, Fear of Allah, Selflessness, Conformity in words and deeds, Determination, perseverance, Tenderness of heart, Compassion, Truthfulness, Pure heartedness, Welfare of all people, and temperance in all matters and situations.
—The writer is Prof & Advisor to the VC, Sarhad University, Peshawar.