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A Leader

Essay by   •  February 3, 2012  •  Essay  •  2,113 Words (9 Pages)  •  816 Views

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" Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and one spiritual empire, that is Mohammad. As regards all the standers by which Human Greatness may be measures, we may well ask is there any man greater than he?" (Lamartine, 1854)

Although that Prophet Mohammad is considered a prophet to Muslims, he is also ,according to many scholars, a great leader. Hart (1978) listed Mohammad as the most influential individual in the history of humankind because he "was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels" (p.3) and "in fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time" (p.9).

Hollander's definition of leadership is " leader denotes an individual with a status that permits him to exercise influence over certain other individuals." This definition may be applied to the character of prophet Mohammad as a leader. Hollander also said that "in order for a status to be achieved, there must be a set of socially accepted criteria and there must be information provided on the person in question." Prophet Mohammad was pure-hearted and beloved in his circle even before he started spreading his message. He grew up an orphan and this made him sensitive to human suffering in every form. He was always ready to help others, especially the weak and the poor which was a great example to his followers during his life and until now. Prophet Mohammad was very successful on both the religious and secular level. He was a husband, father, friend, and a businessman. On the other hand, he was a public figure. He was a leader, legislator, judge, statesman and general. As a messenger of God, he was a law-giver, preacher, theologian, saint, and mystic. Such a combination is unique in history.

Prophet Mohammad through his clear vision, inspirational communication, supportive leadership, intellectual stimulation, and personal recognition was a great example of a transformational leader. The primary values of a transformational leader as described by Burns (1978) such as liberty, justice, equality, and collective well-being can be possessed by any given leader but the extraordinary values, such as forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, politeness and truthfulness may not be seen in all leaders. Prophet Mohammad possessed both the primary as well as the extraordinary values that made him a unique leader in the history of humanity.

Prophet Mohammad's vision was to develop a sense of higher character among the people and to help them forget their minor and narrow differences, such as color, race, and nationality, so they could rise above these limitations and reap the fruits of human brotherhood by helping each other in all that is for the common good of humanity. One of his mission, if not the most important one, is to spread the idea of the oneness of one God and to stop worshipping idols. Prophet Mohammad had stated many times that there is no God but one God and that he is a prophet from God and all people are equal in front of God regardless of race, color, wealth, or gender. Prophet Muhammad acknowledged the equality and brotherhood of man. He was not content with just preaching it; he practiced it. One of his closest companions was a former slave, Bilaal; one of his trusted lieutenants was an Iranian called Salmaan; a third, Suhayb of Rome. These followers came from different places,spoke different languages, and were of different heritage.However, in their teacher's company, they were all the same, equal to each other without distinction.This was a very important message since prophet Mohammad's time was sinking in many acts of racism and injustice. People were worshipping idols, killing infants females, gambling, killing other people from other tribes, and having endless wars for trivial reasons. Thus, becoming a transformational leader under those circumstances was a very hard task. One of prophet Mohammad's saying was: "Allah does not judge according to your bodies and appearances, but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds. " Thus, we can see that the prophet's speech was directed to all humankind at all times and for all generations.

Nevertheless, Prophet Mohammad through his combined political, economic, and moral skills stood like a change agent for all humankind because he blended spirituality with politics and economic and governed from his heart, soul, and head. Prophet Mohammad differs from other political leaders in that he neither inherited a throne nor seized power. Rather, he established a state from nothing. He brought economic liberation to the society by transforming all honest work into worship. He said that any man who seeks livelihood for his family is also worshiping God. Also under the taught circumstances that the prophet and his followers lived, many new rules were applied to Muslims such as the prohibition of alcohol، gambling, and usury. When Muslims knew about these rules, they obeyed them immediately and without any questions. The prophet prohibited usury because by using this system, the rich will become richer and the poor will become poorer. By doing so, the Muslim society was saved from a great economic problem which they suffered from in the past. It also saves the Muslims nowadays, who follow the rules of the religion, from sinking in sever debts. it is also seen in many Islamic banks who escaped the consequences of the last economical crises which was caused by usury. (Smith, 1994)

According to F.O. Walumbwa, P.W. and J.J. Lawler, and K. Shi, a transformational leader motivates to surpass their own self-interests for the sake of the group, to seek new ways to approach challenges, and to bring high degree of trust and loyalty among followers, in which they are willing to stay with the organization, even under difficult circumstances. In the early days of Islam, believers used to gather together outside Makkah to pray without being seen. However, they were discovered by the people of Makkah and were tutored. An important message were delivered from Prophet Mohammad to the believers " Bear with patience what they say, and part from them with a courteous farewell" also "Deal gently with the disbelievers, give them

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