Leadership from an Islamic Perspective

Topics: Muhammad, Islam, Qur'an Pages: 29 (7358 words) Published: February 11, 2013

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Allah (s.w.t.)1 has created mankind with noble objective that people would lead their live in peace and harmony following the system of belief of his revelations sent down through Prophets from time to time since very beginning of the society in this world. On top of that, Allah (s.w.t) said in Al Qu’ran the responsible of humankind is to worship to him. “I have only created jinns and men that they may serve me”2 Vicegerent (khalifah), the Islamic concept of leadership first emerged from the Qur’anic verse that express Allah’s wish to appoint his vicegerent [Prophet Adam (a.s)3] on earth soil as maintain justice among the creation both human beings and jinns that would worship him4. By hearing this, the angels politely inquired:

“…Do thou place therein one who will do harm and will shed blood while we, we hymn thy praise and sanctify thee….”5
This verse clearly showed that Prophet Adam (a.s) is the representative of Allah (s.w.t.) on the earth, who is to live, to worship and to maintain justice among other human being. Allah (s.w.t) trusts Prophet Adam (a.s) able to accomplish his mission as a khalifah in this world.


Abbreviated words of honor and salutations attached to the name of Allah (s.w.t.) Abdullah, Y.A., (1994) The Meaning of Holy Qur’an: New Edition with Revise Translation and Commentary. Amana Corporation. Brentwood, MD, USA. All references to this translation of the Al Qur’an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali will be referred to Al Qur’an.

Abbreviated words of honor and salutations attached to the name of prophet 4
Junaid, S.W., (2004), The Islamic concept of Leadership and Its Application in Sakkwato Caliphate, paper Presented at The Conference of Ulama, The Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa Institute of Qur’anic and General Studi es, Sokoto.

Al Qur’an: Al Baqarah (2):30

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However, do the Muslims all over the world aware their responsibility as a khalifah? If they understand, how far they execute this responsibility accordingly? To answer this question, the author would like to do a library-based research in order to answer for a few questions below:

i) What is the concept of leadership from an Islamic perspective? ii) What are the leadership roles from an Islamic perspective? iii) What are major factors that influencing the capability of leadership from an Islamic perspective?

iv) What are effective leadership characteristics from an Islamic perspective?

Objective of this study is to answer a few questions above and to have overall picture regarding the concept of leadership, from an Islamic perspective, based on Al Qur’an, As Sunnah6 and the practices during Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and his companions. Since leadership from an Islamic perspective is too broad, and the time frame to complete this research is very limited, hopefully the finding from available literatures regarding this topic are able to portray the overall understanding of the leadership concept from Islamic perspective.


The tradition of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). It includes what he say, acts or actions, descriptions and report, conveyed over decades to the societies who lived after him through authentic sources. As Sunnah als o synonymous with Al Hadith.

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ALLAH (s.w.t)




(Animals, plants, land, water)

(people, society, family, state)

Creator – Servant Relationship

Leader – Follower Relationship

Human-Creatures Relationship

Figure 1: Illustration on How the Concept of Leadership Is Deriving From an Islamic Perspective

The concept of leadership from an Islamic perspective is derive from verse Al Baqarah (29 -30) and Az Dzaariyat (56), whereby Allah (s.w.t) mention in Al Qur’an that he want to appoint a man as his khalifah to this world to lead a...
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