by Morshed Abul Ala

What is Islamic Leadership?

  • a person or a group that will lead humanity from the brink of destruction to the way of Allah the Almighty.

Importance of Islamic Leadership

  • Every movement has a need for leadership.
  • Importance of leadership is like the engine of a train. The train doesn't move anywhere without the engine moving.
  • Only Islamic leadership can solve the problems of humanity.

Difference between Islamic and secular leadership

  • Secular leadership's target is self-establishment. Islamic Leadership's target is Jannatul Firdaws (Highest position in Paradise)
  • Secular leaderships work for the respect of people. Islamic Leaderships work for the pleasure of Allah.

Why is there scarcity of Islamic Leadership?

  • The basic qualities of leadership are inherited by birth. Allah creates few people like the engine.
  • Most of those who are born leaders do not want to sacrifice for any ideology. They spend their intellect and ability for self-establishment.
  • Most of those among them who come to Islamic Movement also try to establish themselves.

How to overcome this problem?

  • Those born leaders are to be searched and organized while they are young and haven't acquired the addiction to self-establishment. They should be encouraged to follow Islam.


Primary assets of an Ideal worker

  1. I'lm (Knowledge): al-Qur'an, al-Hadith, Islamic Literature
  2. Iman (Faith): taqwa (consciousness of Allah)
  3. A'mal (Deeds): salah with khushoo (humility), night prayers, remembrance of Allah, du'a (supplication), infaaq (spending in the way of Allah), voluntary fasting, etc.

Basic qualities of an ideal worker

  1. Courageous
  2. Sincere (ikhlaas)
  3. Humane
  4. Organized
  5. Determined
  6. Hard-working
  7. Punctual
  8. Good conduct
  9. Good habit
  10. Good in lecture and writing

Assets to improve qualities of an ideal worker

  1. Sabr (Patience)
  2. Hikmah (Wisdom)
  3. Tawakkul (Reliance on Allah)
  4. Bai'yah (Allegiance)
  5. Ihtisab (Accountability)


Basic Qualities

  1. Ability to command with respect
  2. Trusted on sincerity of purpose
  3. Confidence on ability
  4. Approachable for suggestion
  5. Acceptability as a leader
  6. Ready to sacrifice
  7. Open-minded
  8. Understanding of responsibilities
  9. Optimism

Practical Qualities

  1. Ability to help understand efficiently
  2. Ability to answer questions adequately
  3. Ability to acquire love and affection of the members
  4. Habit of making decisions after consultation
  5. Courage to encourage criticism
  6. Dynamic
  7. Serious
  8. Keen perception

Technical Qualities

  1. Planning balance between idealism and realism, target and resource
  2. Organizing utilizing the resources to achieve target
  3. Implementing guidance, supervision, and control

Special Qualities of Islamic Leadership

  1. Example for Iman (faith), I'lm (knowledge), and A'mal (action)
  2. Awareness of the responsibilities of the Deen
  3. Give preference to the task of iqaamat-ad-Deen (establishment of Islam) over others.

Scale to measure the increase of the qualities

  1. Ability to increase the number of people with the qualities of Islamic Leadership in the Jama'ah (organization)
  2. Selection as a rightful person for higher responsibilities of the Jama'ah (WARNING: One should never aspire to it)


Search for Leaderships

  • Those who already have the responsibilities of leadership must look for people more suitable for their position.


  • Should try to increase / improve the qualities of leadership in himself.


  • Should try to organize the area he is responsible for.


  • Should try to develop more people for Islamic leadership.

Establish Bait-ul-Maal

  • Should strengthen finance of the organization.


  • Should help out in the community with proper planning.

Establish Unity

  • Should have good relation with all Islamic personalities of his locality.
  • Should try to unite Muslims.

Islamic Leadership should be aware of the diseases that affect Islamic Workers


  1. Pride and arrogance
  2. Boast
  3. Faulty Intention
  4. Self-worship
    1. Self-love
    2. Jealousies
    3. Suspicion
    4. Backbiting (Gheebah)
    5. Slander
  5. Imbalance of attitude
    1. stubborn
  6. Narrow-mindedness
  7. Weak determination


  1. Repentance
  2. Disclosure of truth

What about those who are not born leaders but have responsibilities?

  • They should try to acquire the required qualities of leadership.
  • We don't ask for position, yet it's not allowed to escape from the responsibility.
  • We know that the position is not attractive, but full of responsibilities.
  • We should have firm faith in Allah. He is the one who gave us this responsibility and he will help us to fulfill it.


"Movement, Organization, and Workers" (Bengali) by Sayyid Abul 'Ala Mawdudi
"Study Circle" (Bengali) by Ghulam Azam
"Islamic Organisation" (Bengali) by Sirajul Islam
"Self-development, Worker-development, and Leadership" (Bengali) by Nazeer Ahmed
"Problems faced by the Da'wah and the Da'yiah" by Fathi Yakun

(Copyright 2000 Young Muslims Canada)