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Lessons in Leadership from Prophet Muhammad - II

Sunday 25/12/2011

Some more of the admirable qualities of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) as a leader:

·        Recognition of talent in some of his followers and encouraging them in fields where they excelled or showed interest:

For example, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), appointed Bilaal ibn Rabaah, may Allah be pleased with him, the Mu'athhin (caller to prayer), because of his powerful, melodious voice.

·        The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), always kept the safety of his Companions in mind:

In the early days of his mission, to spare his followers persecution, he arranged for them to migrate to Abyssinia, which was ruled by a Christian king known for his just rule, for their own safety. He bore the safety and wellbeing of his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, uppermost in his mind, which is the hallmark of a true leader.

In a pivotal battle at Taa'if when he had the enemy under siege, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), could have easily annihilated them especially considering that they had been brutal to him years earlier. Instead, witnessing the heavy toll of the battle on the lives of his Companions and after listening to the counsel of a tribesman who likened them to a "fox cornered in a hole", he left them alone. The people of Taa'if later embraced Islam on their own volition.

·        The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), believed in the truth of his Message:

The whole life of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was spent in establishing and strengthening Islam and delivering the Message that Allah The Almighty had entrusted him with. He,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), never faltered or weakened, not even when faced with countless difficulties, because of his complete faith in Allah The Almighty. The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, also believed in Islam with all their hearts. Moreover, one of the reasons Islam continued to spread after the demise of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was because they continued to believe in, fight for and uphold Islam.

·         The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), was courageous and encouraging:

In the cave of Thawr, hiding from the polytheists who were pursuing them on their flight to Madeenah, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, voiced his apprehension to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), reassured him and told him that Allah The Almighty was with them. Certainly, He would never forsake His Messenger,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and this was just what happened. The polytheists did not find the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. Thus, we get a valuable lesson here, that the leader should not show despair or hopelessness in front of his followers, but should fill them with confidence and be as encouraging and comforting as possible.

·        The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), never gave up, nor did he surrender even in the most hopeless situations:

A leader is someone who shows determination in the face of adversity. In the Battle of Badr, when the huge army of polytheists confronted the greatly outnumbered Muslim army, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), prayed to Allah The Almighty and asked Him for aid and assistance.

·        The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did not undervalue women, nor did he underestimate their potential and ability. His own wife was his first supporter and follower:

After receiving the revelation of Chapter Iqra’ in the cave of Hiraa', the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), terrified and shaken, rushed home to his wife Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, may Allah be pleased with her. Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, soothed the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), and used words of encouragement and support to bolster his spirits. In an era where women were mere chattels of men, he took her in confidence  which reflected his inner strength and confidence in his judgment, regardless of the prevailing norms.

On another occasion, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), took the advice of his wife, Umm Salamah,may Allah be pleased with her, when he saw the Muslims hesitating to offer the sacrifice, following the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, who was with the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), on this journey, suggested  that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), offer the sacrifice, shave his head and take off the Ihraam. The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), did so acting on her advice and the Companions followed suit soon after.

Lessons in Leadership from Prophet Muhammad - I

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