By Hezne Abu Hasan
With great leadership, success is inevitable and it follows suit effortlessly. However, there is nothing effortless at all about leadership. It is something that needs to be grown every day, and it doesn’t happen in just one day.
Take a look at the leader of the Muslim world and to a certain extent, the leader of the world; our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He was an exemplary man, whose life we look up to and whose behaviour we aspire to model after.
As with everything that Allah decrees, nothing is ever without purpose. Especially, in the decree of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the last prophet. There are lessons to be derived and in particular, lessons of leadership. The orphaned man who left the world 1,400 years ago is still leading us today. Here are some of the lessons that today’s leaders can take in stride:
1) The lesson of influence
A leader is someone who is able to influence others at free will to achieve a common goal. By this definition, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was an influence like no other. He was only given 23 years of prophethood to spread the word of Islam and invite them on to the straight path. It is no time at all to be doing what he had done.
Since the first revelation delivered by Jibreel a.s, Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ influence has grown and his message of believing in one God and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah has reached 1.3 billion people. Today, Muhammad is the most famous name and every second, whether you’re in Kuala Lumpur or Karachi, there is someone sending peace upon him and praying in the way that he used to.
How have you influenced others to greatness? How have you widened your circle of influence to propel your message forward?
2) The lesson of reputation
Our leader Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was known, among other things, to be two things; As-Sadiq and Al-Aamin. He had built a good reputation for himself by being truthful and trustworthy even before he was appointed a prophet. This is of course in the wisdom of Allah, so as to ease Prophet Muhammad’s journey in spreading Islam.
In the Quran, Surah Al-Imran ayat 159:
It is by some mercy from Allah that you have been gentle with them. Had you been rough and hard of heart they would have dispersed from around you. So pardon them, ask for forgiveness for them, and consult them. Then when you have resolved, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who trust Him.
Had Prophet Muhammad ﷺ not been anything but exemplary in character, Islam would not have been so appealing and even his companions would have forsaken him. He was the epitome of walking the talk and the embodiment of Islam and it was the exact thing that people wanted to be associated with; believe in Allah, do good and paradise is the reward.
What is the reputation that you give others and especially those whom you lead? How would you like to be spoken about when you are not in the room?
3) The lesson of foresight
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ didn’t do anything in haste and never lost sight of the big picture. He was a selfless leader as well because he would remind the people of the greater life that was to come. Allah promised tests for the believers and no one was more tested than Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Regardless, he didn’t despair and just picked himself back up again; knowing that this world and everything in it was temporary.
During his prophethood, he made sure to pass down knowledge and train the sahaba’s so that Islam would continue to live even after he was gone. By Allah’s grace, it is because of that foresight and through the success of the four caliphs that this beautiful deen is still alive today.
When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was stoned in Taif until he was bleeding profusely, he did not take up Jibreel’s offer in asking the angels of the mountains to crumble up the people of Taif. Even in such state, he exercised foresightedness, thinking that perhaps the generations to come will be believers. Lo and behold, by the mercy of Allah, He granted many believers who were offsprings of many sworn enemies of Islam.
Do you get sidetracked by the immediate matters, losing sight of the big picture and costing your subordinates their future? What are some of the future goals that you aspire to and how do you achieve them?
A leader takes on many forms; be it CEOs, parents, teachers or imams. Indeed, the leadership lessons excavated from the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are timeless and universal. Ultimately, it is hoped that by learning and modeling our lives after him, we come closer to Allah.
What do we do to develop our leadership skills, day in and day out? How can we intentionally follow the Sunnah of growing as leaders, day in and day out? At a time when perceptions are everything, setting a good example is far more powerful than mere words. Indeed Prophet Muhammad ﷺ gave the best example for mankind in the human history.
Grab the opportunity to check out our online course offered, ‘The Muslim DNA’ and learn how to develop an ideal Muslim character as we delve into Tafseer and hadith to extract the life lessons we need to become better people. Visit online.alkauthar.org for more info and enroll now!