Presentation at the Islamic Enhancement Program (IEP 2004) of the Kulliyah of Economics and Management Sciences held at the Swiss Garden Hotel in Kuantan on 3rd December 2004 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.





Leadership and management are growing disciplines; there is a lot of practical and technical experience. The theoretical background is however not yet fully developed. This program does not tackle the theories of leadership and management. The main thrust of the program is practical skills. Field experience has already shown this to be very effective and to respond to an actual felt need. Islamic management sciences are still in their infancy; they did not develop much after the basic fundamentals and rudimentary structures were set up in the first century of the Hijri calendar. There is a new movement to Islamize various disciplines of knowledge. This is an attempt to recast them in such a way that they reflect the Islamic world-view and the Muslim cultural and intellectual heritage. Some tentative work has been done; a lot remains to be completed. Many aspect of management are universal and reflect what is common in human experience across cultures, geographical areas, and historical eras. Some concepts of leadership and the paradigms of management science as well as the research tools reflect the European or American world-view that is different in many aspects from the Islamic ones. European of American concepts that are based on objective research that is not culturally-biased are accepted by Muslims and have been used in this manual. Some Euro-American concepts are not acceptable altogether because they contradict Islamic teachings and world-view. Many concepts and methods can become acceptable when modified and framed in a proper and moral context. A lot of the available leadership and management literature is not a series of theoretical formulations but an empirical description of actual practical experience. Muslims can benefit a lot from such descriptions provided they are careful to adapt them to their particular temporo-spatial circumstances. There are many aspects of leadership and management that non-Muslim scholarship has not delved in adequately and Muslims can make original contributions in them that all humanity will be eager to listen to. These fields include: understanding human motivation, building endurance in the worker etc. The need to develop Islamic management sciences is still a challenge that Muslim scholars must face.



The tauhidi paradigm in Islam can help address the issue of integration in organizations. Modern organizations are experiencing problems due to lack of a holistic context in which they operate. The solution to one problem may create other problems elsewhere. Too much specialization in functional areas has reduced the ability of leaders to see the whole picture. Islam and its paradigm of tauhid has much to contribute to solving the dilemmas of today's management. Tauhid provides a center of gravity, a source, and a unity that can help rebuild the holistic picture. This is because tauhid provides an intellectual framework for understanding the unity of creation and existence. It teaches that everything has the same source and therefore in a natural state, harmony must reign.



The Qur’an reported that Ibrahim was given leadership after undergoing trial[i]. A good leader wants good followers[ii]. Leaders must be accessible but must be given some privacy[iii]. The Qur’an reported about cruel leaders such as Pharaoh[iv], Nimrod[v], and Dhu Nuwas[vi]. Pharaoh was arrogant[vii]. It is necessary and obligatory to have leaders[viii]. Knowledge is the basis for selection of leaders[ix]. Personal ambition for leadership is discouraged[x]. A leader has responsibility[xi]. Everybody exercises leadership responsibility[xii]. Incompetent leaders are condemned[xiii]. Leadership authority in incompetent hands is a sign of doom[xiv]. One of the signs of the approach of the Last Day will be the disappearance of honesty and when authority is given to those who do not deserve it[xv]. Leadership power is necessary for success for example Sulaiman was a powerful leader[xvi]. The leader must be gradual in obtaining compliance[xvii]. Allah's gives guidance to good leaders[xviii].


Justice, objectivity, and honesty are needed in Leadership[xix]. The personality of the leader must have strength and patience[xx]. Musa was very patient with the children of Israil[xxi]. The leader must avoid any appearance of impropriety[xxii]. The leader must have empathy and respect for followers[xxiii]. He must have leniency, good treatment, and forgiveness[xxiv]. The leader must have consideration for the followers[xxv]. The leader is a protector[xxvi]. The leader comforts followers in times of despair[xxvii]. The leader must maintain public moral standards[xxviii]. The leader should not be cruel[xxix]. Leaders learn from mistakes and do not repeat them[xxx]. Good leaders admit ignorance and accept



The leader must be liked by followers[xxxii]. Love by people is indication leader is good[xxxiii]. The leader must be accessible[xxxiv]. However the leader must be given some privacy[xxxv].


For success of leadership, the followers must have certain qualities. Bad followers lead to bad leadership. Good followers lead to good leadership. "kama takuunu yuwalla alaikum". The duties of followers include obedience of the leaders[xxxvi]. Followers must give sincere advice to the leaders[xxxvii] Good advisors help a leader succeed[xxxviii]. A good leader encourages followers to correct him[xxxix]. Followers may be disobedient as were the children of Israil with Musa[xl]. Respect for authority is necessary for success of society[xli]. Leaders must be obeyed[xlii]. There are however limits to this obedience. Leaders can not be obeyed if they violate the Law[xliii].


Leaders may suffer from certain diseases and weaknesses. Ignorant leaders misguide[xliv]. Oppression and petty-mindedness are condemned[xlv]. Oppressors will be finally punished[xlvi]. Bad leaders deceive their followers[xlvii]. They may spend time searching for follower faults[xlviii]. They torment followers for no genuine reason[xlix]. The Qur’an described some cruel leaders such as Pharaoh[l] and Dhu Nuwas[li]. Pharaoh was arrogant[lii]. Taking bribes[liii].



True leadership is more service than domination. The leader is the servant (sayyid al qawm khadimuhum). Good and effective leadership is a source of greatness (ab'qariyyah). Great movements and changes in history are always associated with great leaders. Intended here is real, genuine, moral, and competent leadership based on character and integrity and not the phoney leadership that thrives on propaganda, deceit, and manipulation. Bad leaders are motivated by power alone. They just like the exercise of power. Good leaders have higher motivation. They want to use leadership power to improve and make a change.


Good leadership is empowering followers. There is no leadership without followership. The quality of the followers determines the quality of the leaders. A good leader may fail with bad followers. An average leader may succeed if he has good followers. In the long run it is follower quality that determines the nature of a particular leadership situation. "The way you are is the way of your leaders". Followers get the leaders they deserve. Incongruence between followers and leaders is usually temporary and hardly exceeds a generation. Successful leadership requires that followers obey the leader. There are, however, limitations and conditions for that obedience as will be discussed later. Good leaders teach leadership, they pull and do not push. Good leadership involves empowering followers by coaching them and then sharing leadership power with them through delegation. Followers must be given real authority, information and resources but must be held accountable for what they do. Empowered followers have heightened self-efficacy and self-confidence. They will have higher performance, exhibit more cooperation, achieve higher personal growth, and in the end all ensure the survival of the organization.



The Qur’an used the term imaam to refer to leaders. Ibrahim prayed that leaders be appointed from his progeny[liv]. Even the suppressed can become leaders, al mustadhi’afiin aimmat[lv]. Each group of people will be identified by their leader, kullu unaas bi imaamihim[lvi]. Good leaders prefer leading righteous people, imaam al muttaqiin[lvii]. The Qur’an described good leaders as the guided ones, aimmat mahdiyiin[lviii]. Bad leaders call people towards evil and hell, aimmat yadi’uuna ila al naar[lix]. Effective leadership is achieved after trials[lx].



Leadership is a function exercised by almost everybody each in his or her own sphere; you are at least leaders of yourself or leader of your family. The prophet taught that everybody is responsible and that everybody is accountable, kullukum raai wa kullu raa’I mas’uulu ‘an ra’iyatihi[lxi]. Leadership can be in the community, the work place, and in public organizations. Since everybody has some leadership roles, each one can become a more effective leader by formal training or gaining experience on the job. Not everyone wants to be a public leader. There are many people who are just not prepared to invest the energy necessary to shoulder the responsibilities of public leadership. Leadership involves the following specific functions: setting and communicating visions, goals, and objectives; representing followers; directing, coordinating, and integrating; influencing, mobilizing, motivating, creating enthusiasm and optimism; providing services and making a difference.

Good leaders want good followers[lxii]. The leader is a public figure but must be given some privacy[lxiii]. Abubakar was a special person called al siddiq by the Qur’an[lxiv]. The Qur’an described cruel leaders such as Pharaoh[lxv], Nimrod[lxvi] and Dhu Nuwas[lxvii].




Leaders must be obeyed otherwise there is no point in leadership. It is better to replace a leader than to disobey his commands. Obedicnce of leaders and those in authroty is enjoined by the Law, wujuub taa;at al imaam[lxviii], taa’at uulu al amr[lxix]. Obedience extends to officials who work under the leader[lxx]. Each leader is obeyed in his or her own way: obedience of the prophet, taa’art al rasuul[lxxi], obedience by the wife, taa’at al zawjat[lxxii], and obedience of the parents, taa’at al waalidayn[lxxiii].


There are limits and conditions to the obedience. Obedience is enjoined as long as there is no disobedience of Allah, al samau wa al taa’at fi ghayr ma’asiyat[lxxiv]. The leader can not compel followers to do evil. The followers can not withhold obedience to a just order just because they have a different opinion.



The leader must be shown respect because his person represents the group. If the leader is not respected, the whole group loses respect and dignity. Respect for leaders on earth is a reason for getting respect in the hereafter[lxxv].



Followers must advise and correct the leader, munasahat al imaam[lxxvi]. It is incumbent on the leader to listen and accept advice. Advice from followers is facilitated by creating an atmosphere devoid of fear. The leader must give the followers license to question. This enhances their creativity.


Saying the word of truth infront of a unjust ruler, kalimat haqq inda sultaan jaair, is considered one of the greatest religious duties[lxxvii].



Good, genuine and continuous feed-back is required of both leaders and followers. The following are characteristics of good effective feed-back: direct, specific, descriptive,  timely,  and flexible. Feed-back should include both the negative and the positive. Neither the leader or the follower should use feed-back for blaming or embarassing others.



Follower loyalty is very important for success of leadership. This is loyalty to the position and not the person of the leader. The leader must reciprocate this loyalty by being committed to the followers and not abandoning them or exposing them to danger.



Leader must rely on and use staff work. The staff must know they are trusted and that their work is valued.



Followers may make false praise. A good leader sees through this and avoids it. He discourages praise and development of a personality cult.



A leader fails due to several often inter-related causes: refusal to admit mistakes; feeling indispensable; dictatorship; fear for position and not developing replacements; disloyalty to superiors, peers, followers and the organization; lack of creativity; lack of common sense; lack of human skills; failure to produce results; following the crowd and not leading; condoning or tolerating incompetence; failure to recognize and reward good work, and hatred by the followers. A leader is hated for impersonal behavior, not listening to followers, self importance, wrong decisions, claiming credit for followers' work, blaming followers for his mistakes, secretiveness, withholding information, not protecting followers from external attacks and criticizing them in public, not consulting followers, and over-working followers, being arrogant and feeling indispensable, putting people down, mistrust and disloyalty, inaccessibility, poor human relations, and following the crowd. A leader hated by followers should resign in the interests of the organization.




Good leaders show concern, respect, and consideration for followers. Followers reciprocate by showing loyalty. Good and mutually-beneficial leader-follower relationships can not be sustained without loyalty. Good leaders have well developed human skills. They understands those below him as unique individuals and not in a generic sense. They will deal with each person in an individualized and unique way. The great secret of leadership is to be able to tap into the potential of each individual and make him a peak performer, each in his individual and unique way. They realize that individuals are unique and have God-given talents and potentials to make them productive and useful contributors to the organization. They respect followers each in his uniqueness. Good and effective leaders have a firm belief in people.



Good leaders have compassion and empathy. They have high consideration for others. They have no pride and are like their followers not seeking to be different from or superior to them. They are lenient and forgiving. They treat their followers well. They protect the followers from both physical and emotional hurt



Representing followers and their interests infront of others takes a lot of the leader’s time. It is however a mistake for the leader to consider himself a mouthpiece for the followers just transmitting their messages without checking and making sure that the message is appropriate. The leader must lead and help the followers articulate their interests and then represent them. In a symbolic way a leader represents followers and has to be careful about his image and behavior because all these reflect on the followers.



A leader will succeed if loved by the followers. Love by followers is like an emotional savings account. The better the leader treats followers, the more the deposit into the account. Sometimes the leader may make mistakes or things may not work out well. That is when the savings account comes into use. Withdrawals can be made from it to cover the defect. If the account is big, a big withdrawal will not lead to immediate bankruptcy. A small account will be overdrawn quickly exposing both the leader and followers to an ugly confrontation. In most cases love by followers indicates good leadership. In exceptional cases bad leaders who do not set standards may be loved by lazy followers who just want to be left alone.

[i] (Qur'an 2:124)

[ii] (Qur'an 25:74)

[iii]  (Qur'an 33:53)

[iv] (Qur:an 2:49)

[v] (Qur'an 21:66-70)

[vi] (Buruj: 1-8)

[vii] (Qur'an 28:38-39, Qur'an 79:21-24)

[viii] (Abu Daud 2:721, Chapter 933, hadith # 2602)

[ix] (Bukhari 1:82, hadith # 16,  Muslim 1: 389, Chapter 288, Hadith # 1780, Abu Daud 1:155, hadith # 587)

[x] (Abu Daud 2:827, Chapter 1090, hadith # 2923)

[xi] (Abu Daud 1:136, Hadith # 517)

[xii] (Abu Daud 2:827, Chapter 1089, hadith # 2922, Muslim 3: 1017, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4496)

[xiii] (Muslim 1: 82, Chapter 44, Hadith # 264)

[xiv] (Bukhari 1;50-51, hadith # 56)

[xv] (Bukhari 8:332, hadith # 503)

[xvi] (Qur'an 27:15-44)

[xvii] (Bukhari)

[xviii] (Qur'an 21:78-79, Bukhari 9:194-195, hadith # 260', Muslim 3: 1014, Chapter 756, Hadith # 4487)

[xix] (Qur'an 38:26, Bukhari 9:206, Bukhari 9:197 (hadith # 264-265), Abu Daud 2:831, Chapter 1098, Hadith # 2937)

[xx] (Muslim 3: 1015-1016, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4491)

[xxi]  (Bukhari 8:78, hadith #122)

[xxii] (Muslim 2: 517, Chapter 400, Hadith # 2339, Muslim 2:518-519, Chapter 401, Hadith # 2347,Muwatta 32:3111, hadith #1)

[xxiii] (Qur'an 5:88, Qur'an 26:215, Qur'an 9:128, Abu Daud 2:731-732, Chapter 952, Hadith # 2641)

[xxiv]  (Muslim 3: 944, Chapter 706, Hadith # 4300, Abu Daud 2:685, Chapter 848, Hadith # 2471, Bukhari 1:60, hadith # 69, Abu Daud 3:1426, Chapter 1842, Hadith # 5143, Bukhari 4:171, hadith # 275, Abu Daud 3:1338, Chapter 1709, hadith # 4756, Abu Daud 3:1427, Chapter 1847, Hadith #5145, Muslim 3: 1016, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4494, Bukhari 4:454, hadith # 683)

[xxv] (Bukhari 1:379, hadith # 670, Bukhari 5:443, hadith # 632, Bukhari 1:380, hadith # 673)

[xxvi] (Bukhari 4:128-129, hadith # 204)

[xxvii] (Tabari 11:194)

[xxviii] (Hayat al Sahabat 2:721)

[xxix] (Muslim 3:1018, Chapter 759, Hadith # 4504) (Muslim 3:1018, Chapter 759, Hadith # 4504)

[xxx] (Muslim 4: 1541, Chapter 1238, Hadith # 7137)

[xxxi] (Bukhari 3:158-159, hadith #277, Bukhari 1;238-239, hadith # 394)

[xxxii] (Abu Daud 1:156, Hadith #593)

[xxxiii]  (Muslim 4: 1386, Chapter 1097, Hadith # 6375)

[xxxiv] (Abu Daud 2:832-833, Chapter 1101, hadith # 2942)

[xxxv] (Qur'an 33:53)

[xxxvi] (Muslim 3:1023, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4538, Muslim 3: 1040, Chapter 775, Hadith # 4604)

[xxxvii] (Bukhari 1:48, chapter 43)

[xxxviii] (Bukhari 9:235, hadith # 306)

[xxxix] (Abu Daud 1:231, Chapter 315, Hadith # 907)

[xl] (Qur'an 2:51-61, 5:22-29, 7:148-156, 7:159-162)

[xli] (Riyadh 1:371, hadith # 673)

[xlii] (Qur'an 4:59, Qur'an 3:32, Qur'an 3:132, Qur'an 4:59, Bukhari 1:375, hadith #662, Muslim 3:1021, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4524, Abu Daud 2:989, Chapter 1307, Hadith # 3467, Bukhari 6:89, hadith # 108)

[xliii] (Bukhari 4:128, hadith # 203, Abu Daud 2:726 Chapter 942, Hadith # 2619, Muslim 3:1022, Chapter 761, Hadith # 4536, Bukhari 5:441, hadith # 629)

[xliv]  (Bukhari 1:80, hadith # 100)

[xlv] (Muslim 4: 1366, Chapter 1065, Hadith # 6248)

[xlvi]  (Bukhari 6:171, hadith # 208)

[xlvii] (Bukhari 9:197, hadith # 265)

[xlviii] (Abu Daud 3:1362, Chapter 1752, Hadith # 4870)

[xlix] (Muslim 3: 1378, Chapter 1083, Hadith # 6328)

[l] (Qur:an 2:49), Nimrod (Qur'an 21:66-70)

[li] (Buruj: 1-8)

[lii] (Qur'an 28:38-39, Qur'an 79:21-24)

[liii] (Muwatta 33:321, hadith # 1)

[liv] (p148 2:124)

[lv] (p148 28:5)

[lvi] (p148 17:71)

[lvii] (p148 25:73)

[lviii] (p148 21:73; p148 32:24)

[lix] (p148 28:41)

[lx] (Qur'an 2:124)

[lxi] (KS45 Bukhari K93 B1, Bukhari K93 B8, Muslim K33 H20, Muslim K33 H44, Abudaud K19 B1, Tirmidhi K21 B27, Zaid H876, Ahmad 2:5, Ahmad 2:54, Ahmad 2:111, Ahmad 2:121, Ahmad 2:297, Ahmad 2:419, Ahmad 2:424, Ahmad 6:65)

[lxii] (Qur'an 25:74)

[lxiii] (Qur'an 33:53)

[lxiv] (33:39)

[lxv] (Qur:an 2:49, Qur'an 28:38-39, Qur'an 79:21-24)

[lxvi] (Qur'an 21:66-70)

[lxvii] (Buruj: 1-8)

[lxviii] (KS44 Muslim K15 B312, Muslim K33 H31, Muslim K33 H34, Muslim K33 H35, Muslim K33 H35, Muslim K33 H36, Muslim K33 H37, Muslim K33 H44, Muslim K33 H45, Abudaud K39 B5, Nisai K39 B37, Ibn Sa’ad J4 Q1 p166, Ahmad 1:384, Ahmad 1:386, Ahmad 2:93, Ahmad 2:244, Ahmad 2:252, Ahmad 2:270, Ahmad 2:297, Ahmad 2:306, Ahmad 2:313, Ahmad 2:342, Ahmad 2:360, Ahmad 2:381, Ahmad 2:386, Ahmad 2:416, Ahmad 2:467, Ahmad 2:471, Ahmad 2:488, Ahmad 2:511, Ahmad 3:114, Ahmad 3:171, Ahmad 4:69, Ahmad 4:70, Ahmad 4:126, Ahmad 4:202, Ahmad 5:144, Ahmad 5:156, Ahmad 5:161, Ahmad 5:171, Ahmad 5:178, Ahmad 5:381, Ahmad 5:403, Ahmad 6:19, Tayalisi H297, Tayalisi H452, Tayalisi H660, Tayalisi H1019, Tayalisi H2087, Tayalisi H2432, Tayalisi H2577)

[lxix] (p737 4:59)

[lxx] (KS45 Bukhari K93 B1, Muslim K33 H32,33, Nisai K309 B28)

[lxxi] (p737-738 3:32 … 71:3)

[lxxii] (p738 4:3)

[lxxiii] (p738 29:8, 31:15, 37:101-102)

[lxxiv] (KS45 Bukhari K56 B108, Bukhari K56 B109, Bukhari K56 B111, Bukhari K64 B59, Bukhari K93 B4, Bukhari K95 B1, Muslim K33 H38, Muslim K33 H39, Muslim K33 H30, Abudaud K15 B87, Abudaud K34 B1, Tirmidhi K21 B28, Tirmidhi K21 B29, Tirmidhi K31 B47, Nisai K39 B35, Ibn Majah K24 B39, Ibn Majah K24 B 40, Darimi K20 B78, Ahmad 1:82, Ahmad 1:94, Ahmad 1:124, Ahmad 1:129, Ahmad 1:310, Ahmad 1:399, Ahmad 1:409, Ahmad 2:17, Ahmad 2:142, Ahmad 2:191, Ahmad 3:67, Ahmad 3:213, Ahmad 4:69, Ahmad 4:70, Ahmad 4:426, Ahmad 4:427, Ahmad 4:432, Ahmad 4:436, Ahmad 5:66, Ahmad 5:67, Ahmad 5:70, Ahmad 5:325, Ahmad 5:329, Ahmad 5:381, Ahmad 6:24, Ahmad 6:28, Ahmad 6:402, Ahmad 6:403, Tayalisi H109, Tayalisi H850, Tayalisi H856, Tayalisi H1654)

[lxxv] (KS102 Ahmad 5:42, Ahmad 5:48)

[lxxvi] (KS45 Amad 3:225, Ahmad 5:83)

[lxxvii] (KS102 Ahmad 3:61, Ahmad 5:241, Ahmad 5:251, Ahmad 5:256)

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule December 2004