Workshops at the 15th International Leadership Training programme Islamabad Pakistan 01-31st  October 1998 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, International Islamic University, Malaysia





Attitudes and values





Leadership attributes

Leadership values and attitudes

Drive, energy, and self-motivation


Simple life, honesty and financial integrity

Attributes of followers



Justice, objectivity, and honesty in Leadership

Allah's guidance for leaders

Prophet lived in poverty

Qualities of followers and advisors

Personality: strength and patience

Avoiding appearance of impropriety

Omar’s courage : about the black stoneomar at home : simple eating

Omar refuses personal gift

Omar careful with public funds

Omar careful about public property

Forgiving the foolish



Personal attributes of leaders

Relation between attributes and skills of leader with the level of leadership

Positive leadership values

Negative leadership values





Leadership attributes: Very few attributes necessary for successful leadership are in-born. Most are acquired early in life in the home and community environment or are learned in adult life. Those who are associated with good leaders for a long-time (friends, offspring, friends, and followers) are likely to be good leaders by learning and imitation. Children of good leaders, if well brought up, can be good leaders not because of genetic endowment but because of early environmental influence. Effective leaders have personal attributes, conceptual, practical and human skills that enable them to succeed. Attributes are what leaders are. Skills are what leaders do. Personal attributes are basic character and personality: drive, values, attitude,.bravery, strength of personality, humility, simple life, honesty, integrity, commitment. Practical skills are needed for performance of technical activities: communication, decision making, problem solving, execution. Human skills are needed to understand and motivate followers: understanding followers. Conceptual skills are intellectual functions involving planning, coordination and integration of activities. They include analytic, rational, and intuitive abilities. Examples are: setting goals, knowledge, ummatic view, learning from mistakes. In any given situation there may be several highly qualified people available for leadership. Allah gives authority to whomever He wants. Not everybody can become a leader. Everybody must be prepared to be a good follower. The best leaders are those who have no ambition to lead. They lead when called upon but will equally be happy as followers.


Leadership values and attitudes: Effective leaders have positive moral values and attitudes. Values: A leader must have positive and moral values such as honesty, ethics, social responsibility. These values are taught by religion, the family, peers, and life experience. Values can be inculcated by habit. A leader with no values is very dangerous. Islamic leadership values are derived from three main concepts: tauhid, khilafat, and adl. These values are universal and do not change by time and place. Attitudes: Attitudes are enduring or permanent feelings, opinions, or beliefs about self and others. They may be positive or negative. Attitudes start with ideas, wrong ideas are associated with negative attitudes whereas good ideas are associated with good and positive attitudes. Ideas determine behavior and feelings. A good leader has positive attitudes toward others. He will keep away from negative attitudes such as racism or prejudice in any of its forms. An optimistic attitude to life is needed. Pessimistic leaders discourage their followers.


Drive, energy, and self-motivation: The most important trait of successful leaders is drive which includes a strong desire for achievement, high ambition, high energy levels, tenacity and initiative. Drive combined with high motivation, honesty, integrity, self-confidence, emotional stability, and intelligence distinguish leaders from non-leaders. Both genetics and environmental influence contribute to drive; the relative contribution of each is not known. Successful leaders have a high level of motivation to lead. They want to make a change, to improve, to influence, to exercise power for achieving definite goals. They take charge. Effective leaders have the mental and physical stamina as well as aptitude to take responsibility and to be accountable.


Personality: A leader must have a strong personality. Strength of personality does not mean violence, roughness or stubbornness. It is strength of character, sticking to moral values and attitudes at all times, and avoiding whatever is immoral even if it is expedient and is attractive. A leader must be brave. In times of danger followers will be firm if their leader is firm. There is a mutual psychological dependency. A brave leader will have reassured followers around him. When the followers are reassures and are firm, the leader is also encouraged even more to be firm and face crises. The leader must be objective and not confuse personal and organizational interests. The credit for whatever he does should go to the organization. He must not overestimate his importance as an individual. He must have a healthy mixture of confidence (for organization) and humility (for himself). He must focus on the organization and not his person. A leader must have a dignified physical appearance but must not be extravagant. The leader is a spokesman and representative of the followers. His appearance is a reflection on all. Successful leaders have the ability to learn from previous mistakes. They readily accept mistakes once they are apparent. Poor leaders do not even acknowledge their mistakes and will hate anyone who points them out.


Simple life, honesty and financial integrity: A good leader leads a simple life. Extravagance and materialism weaken and destroy the spirit eventually leading to corruption and evil. Too much materialism destroys the spirit of the leader and eventually that of the followers. A leader must not distinguish himself from the followers. He must actively discourage the development of a personality cult around himself. He should never think he is special. It was only Allah's wish that he was selected among many capable people to be a leader. Simple living and avoiding luxuries are necessary for integrity. The leader must be a model of honesty. Honesty in public and private affairs in a crucial test for a leader. Honesty is required in seemingly small or trivial things. Dishonesty is a habit, once acquired is difficult to shake off. Small dishonesties will one day become big ones. Good leaders deal with their followers honestly and are up front. Financial integrity: A successful leader has financial integrity in dealing with public property. It is not enough to be honest; you must be seen to be so and you must avoid any suspicious behavior. The only way to ensure this is complete transparency in financial matters. Followers must know what is going on so that they are assured that had there been any discrepancies they could have seen them. A leader and his immediate or extended family should never gain materially from his position. Taking public property is clearly theft. There are other situations that are not so clear to which moral and not legal tests have to be applied. A leader or his family can, like all citizens, sell or buy legally. However those dealing with them may give him preferential treatment because of the position. Such treatment would not have been possible before assumption of leadership. In such a case there is unacceptable gain from the leadership position.


Attributes of followers: Attributes of followers closely parallel those of their leaders if the leadership situation lasts a fairly long time. Followers may be lazy or hardworking. Some followers accept and take responsibility; others shun it. Some followers are sheep and are 'yes people' they will follow whatever is moving. Some are survivors who will do whatever is necessary to stay out of trouble. Other followers are alienated and do not care about what is going on around them. Some followers are obedient others are not. Many will not obey until they are promised a reward or are threatened with punishment. Followers differ in intelligence, education, experience, honesty, respect for leaders, and gratitude





Justice, objectivity, and honesty in Leadership:  David! We did indeed Make you a vicegerent on earth: so judge you between men in truth (and justice): Nor follow you the lusts (of you heart) for they will mislead you from the Path of Allah: for those who wander astray from the Path of Allah, is a Penalty Grievous, for that they forget The Day of Account. Qur'an 38:26 … "Al Hasan said, Allah has enjoined an obligation on all the rulers that they should not follow the lust of their hearts and should not be afraid of the people and should not sell Allah's Verses for a low price". Bukhari 9:206 … Narrated Maqil : I heard the Prophet saying, " Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never feel even the smell of Paradise." . Bukhari 9:197 (hadith # 264-265) … Buraidah reported the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: When we appoint someone to an...dealing". Abu Daud 2:831, Chapter 1098, Hadith # 2937


Allah's guidance for leaders: And remember David and Solomon, when they give judgement in the matter of the field into which The sheep of certain people had strayed by night: We did witness their judgement. To Solomon We inspired the (right) understanding of the matter: to each (of them) we gave Judgement and Knowledge; it was our power that made the hills and the birds celebrate our praises with David: it was We who did (all these things). Qur'an 21:78-79 … "Narrated Abdu Rahman! Do not seek to be a ruler, for if you are given authority on your demand them you will be held responsible for it, but if you are given it without asking ( for it) then you will be helped ( by Allah ) in it. If you ever take an oath to do something and later on you find that something else is better, then you should expiate your oath and do what is better.". Bukhari 9:194-195, hadith # 260 … "It has been reported on the authority of Abd al-Rahman b. Samura who said: The Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) said to me: Abd al-Rahman do not ask for a position of authority, for if you are granted this position as a result of your asking for it, you will be left alone (without Allah's help to discharge the responsibilities attendant thereon), and if you are granted it without making any request for it you will be helped (by Allah in the discharge of you duties". Muslim 3: 1014, Chapter 756, Hadith # 4487


Prophet lived in poverty: "Narrated Abu Huraira : The family of Muhammad did not eat their fill for three successive days till he died". Bukhari 7:220, hadith # 287


Qualities of followers and advisors: "kama takuunu yuwalla alaikum" … "The statement of Prophet ( may peace be upon him): Religion is to be sincere and true to Allah (i.e. obeying Him, attributing to him what He deserves and doing Jihad for His sake); to Allah's Apostle ( i.e. t respect him greatly and to fight on his behalf both in his lifetime and after his death and to follow his traditions); to the rulers of the Muslims ( i.e. to help them in their job of leading Muslims to the right path and alarm them if they are heedless ) and to the Muslim commons (i.e. to be merciful to them". Bukhari 1:48, chapter 43…"Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said. " Allah never sends a prophet or gives the Caliphate the a Caliph but that he ( the prophet or the Caliph) has two groups of advisors: A group advising him to do good and exhorts him to do it, and the other group advising him to do evil and exhorts him to do it. But the protected person (against such evil advisors) is the one protected by Allah". Bukhari 9:235, hadith # 306.


Personality: strength and patience: "It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr who said: I said to the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him): Messenger of Allah, will you not appoint me to a public office? He stroked my shoulder with his hand and said: Abu Dharr, you are weak and authority is a trust, and on the Day of Judgment it is a cause of humiliation and repentance except for one who fulfills its obligations and (properly discharges the duties attendant thereon". Muslim 3: 1015-1016, Chapter 758, Hadith # 4491… "Narrated Abdulla: The Prophet divided and distributed something as he used to do some of his distributions. A man from the Ansar said, " By Allah, in this division the pleasure of Allah has not been intended." I said, " I will definitely tell this to him while he was sitting with his companions and told him of it secretly. That was hard upon the Prophet and the color of his face changed, and he became so angry that I wished I had not told him. The Prophet then said, " Moses was harmed with more than this, yet he remained patient.". Bukhari 8:78, hadith #122


Avoiding appearance of impropriety: "Abu Huraira reported that Hasan b. Ali took one of the dates of the sadaqa and put it in his mouth, whereupon the Prophet ( may peace be upon him) said: Leave it, leave it , throw it; don't you know that we do not eat the sadaqa". Muslim 2: 517, Chapter 400, Hadith # 2339 … "Abdul Muttalib b. Rabia b. al Harith reported that Rabia b. al Harith and Abbas b. Abd al Muttalib gathered together and said. By Allah, if we had sent these two young boys ( i.e. I and Fadi b Abbas ) to the Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) and they had spoken to him he would have appointed them ( as the collectors ) of these sadaqat and they would ( collect them ) and pay ( to the Holy Prophet ) as other people ( collectors ) paid and would get a share as other people got it, As they were talking about it there came Ali b. Abu Talib and stood before the, and they made a mention of it to him. Ali b. Abu Talib said: Don't do that; by Allah he ( the Holy Prophet ) would not do that ( would not accept your request ). Rabi b. Harith turned to him and said: By Allah, you are not doing so but out of jealousy that you nurse against us By Allah, you became the son in law of the Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) but we felt no jealousy against you ( for this great privilege of yours )/ A;; then said. Send them ( if you like ). They set out and Ali lay on the bed. While the Messenger of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) offered the noon prayer, we went ahead of him to his apartment and stood near it till he came out. He took hold of our ears ( out of love and affection ) and then said: give out what you have kept in you hearts. He then entered ( the apartment ) and we also went in and he ( the Holy Prophet ) was on that day ( in the house of ) Zainab b. Jahsh. We urged each ( of us ) to speak. Then one of us thus spoke: Messenger of Allah, you are the best of humanity and the best to cement the ties of blood-relations. We have reached the marriageable age.We have come ( to you ) so that you may appoint us ( as collectors ) of these sadaqat, and we would pay you just as the people ( other collectors ) pay you, and get our share as others get it. He ( the Holy Prophet ) kept silence for a long time till we wished that we should speak with him ( again ) and Zainab pointed to us from behind the curtain not to talk ( any more ). He ( the Holy Prophet ) said: It does not become the family of Muhammad ( to accept ) sadaqat for they are the impurities of people. You call to me Mahmiya ( and he was in charge of khums, i.e. of the one fifth part that goes to the treasury out of the spoils of war.) and Naufal b., Harith b. Abd al-Muttalib. They both came to hi, and he ( the Holy Prophet ) said, to Mahmiya: Marry you daughter to this young man ( i.e. Fadi b. Abbas ) and he married her to me, and he said, to Naufal b. Harith: marry your daughter to this young man  ( i.e.Abd al Muttalib b. Rabia the narrator of this hadith ) and he married he to me, and he said, to Mahmiy: Pay so much mahr on behalf of both of them from this khums. Zuhri, however, said: He did not determine ( the amount of mahr)". Muslim 2:518-519, Chapter 401, Hadith # 2347…..According to the narrator : Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Talib (and wife of Umar, sent to the Empress of the Byzantines perfume, drinking vessels, and cheap receptacles used for women’s things.  She inserted this into the official post (al-Barid), which conveyed it to her. (This material) having been taken from the post, the wife of Heraclius came and assembled her women, saying :” This is a gift from the wife of the King of the Arabs and the daughter of their prophet”.  She entered into correspondence with (Umm Kulthum) and requited her in Kind by sending her gifts, among them a superb necklace. Now when the official post brought (these gifts) to Umar, he ordered them to be seized and summoned (the people) together to pray.  When they had assembled, he prayed two rak’ahs with them, and then said, “There is no good in any affair of mine that is decided without consultation.  What about a gift that Umm Kulthum sent to the wife of the Byzantine Emperor, who then sent a gift to her?” Some said,” It is Umm Kulthum’s along with what she already possesses.  The Emperor’s wife is neither under a pact of protection (dhimmah) so that she should try to conciliate (you) with (this gift) nor is she under you authority so that she should fear you”.  Other said, “We used to send garments as a gift in order to get something in return; we would send them to be sold and to obtain a (certain) price”. Then Umar said, “But the envoy was the envoy of the Muslims, and the postal service was theirs.  The Muslims are vexed (to see) the necklace on her breast”.  Thus, he ordered it to be returned to the public treasury, while he paid Umm Kulthum the amount of her expenses. Tabari 15 : 28 …. “Malik related ... profit”Muwatta 32:3111, hadith # 1


Omar’s courage: about the black stone: Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabi’a: ‘Umar, came near the Black Stone and kissed it and Said, “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone.  Had I not seen Allah’s apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you”. Bukhari 2 : 390 - 391, hadith #667


Omar at home:  simple eating: I did this and came to the commander of the Fateful as he was feeding lunch to the people, leaning on a stick, as a shepherd does, and walking round the huge bowls, saying, “Some more meat for this lot, Yarfa’ some more bread for these; some more soup for these. “When I was pushed [through the crowd] into his presence, he told me to sit down.  I did so among those people nearest (to him].  There was some rough food -- even the food I had with me was better.!  When the people had finished, he told Yarfa’ to take away his bowls,  then he tuned away.  I followed and he entered the room of a house.  I asked permission to enter and gave my greetings.  He gave me permission, and I entered to where he was.  He was sitting on a hair cloth leaning against two leather cushions stuffed with palm fibers.  He threw one over to me and I sat down on it, [finding myself] in a space inside a vestibule in which there was a compartment with a small curtain. [‘Umar] asked [his wife], Umn Kulthum [to bring us] our lunch.  She brought out to him a piece of bread with some olive oil by the side of which was some underground salt.  (‘Umar) asked Umm Kulthum to join us and eat some of this [food] with us.  She replied, however, that she could hear the voice of a man with (‘Umar).  He confirmed that this was true, [adding that] he did not think he was a local.  The (messenger) added that this was when he realized that (‘Umar) did not know him. (Umm Kulthum) said, “if you had intended me to come out to join the men, you would have dressed me up, as Ibn Ja’far does his wife, as al-Zubayr does his wife, and as Talhah does his wife!” “Is it not enough for you”, replied (‘Umar), “that you are called Umm Kulthum, daughter of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib and wife of the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Umar?!” [Tome] he said, “Eat if she were willing [to join us], she would have given you better food than this!” (The messenger) continued: So I ate a little, but the food I had with me was better than this!  he ate, and I have never seen a heartier eater than he.  No food stuck to his hand or his mouth! Then he asked for drink, and they brought a bowl of a barley-meal drink.  “Give the man a drink”, said (‘Umar). (The messenger) continued: So I drank a little -- the barley-meal drink I had with me was better than this !  Then he took hold of it and drank down to the dregs, saying, “Praise be to God who has filled us up with food and quenched our thirst!”. Tabari 14: 85 - 86


Omar refuses personal gift: Salamah spotted an ornament among the spoils and said to the men, “You are not interested in this.  Are you willing to send it to the Commander of the Faithful?” They replied that they were [... missing ...]” I took out my casket.  But when he saw the gems, red, yellow and green, he leapt up, put his hand on his waist and said, “May God never, (if I were to accept this,],fill ‘Umar’s belly again!” (the messenger) continued:  The womenfolk thought I was intending to assassinate him, so they came to the curtain.  He said (to the messenger), “keep what you brought.  Yarfa’, strike him on the neck!” So I was [rearranging my casket, while he was striking me on the neck.  I said, “Commander of the Faithful, my camels are exhausted. I need replacements”.  He replied, “Yarfa’, give him two baggage camels from the alms.  If you meet anyone who has a greater need of them than you, hand them over to him”. I said I would obey his orders. He added, “ I swear that, if the Muslims disperse to their winter quarters before this is distributed among them, I shall certainly bring about calamity for you and your master!” (The messenger) continued: “So I left and came to Salamah and said, May God not grant His blessing for what you have done to me in this particular case!  Distribute this among the men before some calamity befalls us both”.  So he did A gem was sold at 5 and 6 dirhams, although it was worth more then 20,000 ! Tabari 14 : 87


Omar careful with public funds and property: According to al-Harith-Ibn Saud-Muslim b. Ibrahim-Sallam b. Miskin-’Imran When ‘Umar b. al-Khattab was in need, he would go to the treasurer and ask him for a loan.  Sometimes he was short of money, and the treasurer would come to (‘Umar) and demand payment of his debt and would insist on its payment.  So ‘Umar would use his wiles against him.  At other times his stipend was disbursed (to him), so he paid back (the debt). Tabari 14: 113 …  According to Abu ‘Amir al-’Aqadi-’Aqadi-’Isa b. Hafs-a man of Banu Salimah-Ibn al-Bara’ b. Ma’rur : ‘Umar went out one day to go to the minbar.  He complained of being sick and some honey was prescribed for him, there being a skin receptacle [full of it] in the treasury.  He said, “If you give me permission [to take] it, I shall do so; otherwise it is forbidden to me”. Tabari 14: 118


Forgiving the foolish: Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Uyaina bin Hisn bin Hudhaifa came and stayed with his nephew Al-Hurr bin Qais who was one of those whom ‘Umar used to keep near hi, as the Qurra (learned men knowing Qu’ran by heart) were the people of ‘Umar’s meetings and his advisors whether they were old or young.  ‘Uyaina said to his nephew, ‘O son of my brother!  You have an approach to this chief, so get for me the permission to see him”.  Al-Hurr said, “I will the permission for you to see him”.  So Al-Hurr asked the permission for ‘Uyaina and ‘Umar admitted him.  When ‘Uyaina entered upon him, he said, “Beware O the son of Al-Khattab!  By Allah, you neither give us sufficient provision nor judge among us with justice”.  Thereupon ‘Umar became so furious that he intended to harm, but Al-Hurr said, ‘O chief of the Believers!  Allah said to His Prophet:- ‘Hold to forgiveness: command what is right; and leave (don't punish) the foolish (7:199) and this (i.e. ‘Uyaina) is one of the foolish”.  By Allah, ‘Umar did not overlook that Verse when Al-Hurr recited it before him: he observed (the orders of) Allah’s Book strictly. Bukhari 6:132, Hadith #166




Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following attributes of good leaders:


(a) Religious dimension:

Taqwa, deep spirituality, Islamic and refined personal manners, adherence to the sharia


(b) Intelligence and wisdom:

Intuition, intelligence, flexibility, clear mission and goals, master of detail


(c) Strong, genuine and likeable personality:

Will-power & decisiveness, stamina, deep belief in principles, acting on principle, not following the crowd, decision stickability, knows and uses strengths, accepting and compensating for weaknesses, courage, a sense of humor, ability to keep secrets, genuine personality, simplicity, good listener, honesty, credibility


(d) Commitment, motivation and responsibility:

Sacrifice, participation, commitment and dedication, a high sense of personal responsibility and accountability, assuming responsibility for mistakes, dependability, high and self- motivation, enthusiasm, positive attitude, optimism, risk taking, truthfulness


(e) Physical and emotional well-being:

Good health (physical and mental), emotional balance & security, energy, hard work, energy, positive attitude


(f) Self-control and balance:

Self-discipline, self-control, non impulsiveness, firmness in crises and under stress, perseverance & patience, self-leadership, self-sufficiency, action-oriented, being always prepared


(g) Knowledge:

Basic knowledge of Islam, history, current affairs, specialized knowledge as needed




                                                                LOWER                 MIDDLE                UPPER







The following list contains items that may not fit the label of values. Some values are repeated. Please scrutinize the list and draw up one correct list by eliminating some items or combining others. Write 1-3 sentences about what you understand by each item. You may give examples or explain how they help make the leadership process more effective:












Social responsibility-



Ihsan (efficiency)

Ikhlas (sincerity)

Passion for excellence

Continous self-evaluation

Always mindful of the almighty






Keeping promises










Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following. You may give examples or explain how they help make the leadership process more effective:


Excessive love of the world

Excessive love of wealth


Excessive love of influence





Intellecxtual/conceptual attributes





Setting goals

Caution and prudence



Ummatic view

Unity in diversity



Knowledge before leadership

Knowledge is basis for selection of leaders

Learning from mistakes and not repeating them

Admitting ignorance and accepting correction

Omar and fore-sight, wisdom, and judgment:

Omar khalifah and not king

Omar doing manual labor



Knowledge is basis for selection of leaders

Learning from mistakes and not repeating them

Admitting ignorance and accepting correction





Vision: A leader must have a vision. The vision is developed from wide consultation and is refined by practical application. The vision must be maintained in easy and difficult situations. The followers must be convinced about the vision. The vision must be focussed and in conformity with organizational culture. A good vision must be backed up by positive values. A distinguishing characteristic of great leaders is ability to see farther than the followers and to see the big picture. The bigger the vision, the greater the leader.


Setting goals: An effective leader sets goals and is an example to the followers on how to reach those goals. The best leaders lead by example.


Caution and prudence: A good leader will avoid too much speculation and will know the difference between taking a risk by an individual and by an organization. An individual may take more risks because if things go wrong the damage is limited. A leader in charge of a group will be more prudent because an error will have more consequences.


Knowledge: Knowledge both basic and specialized is necessary for leadership. No one should become a leader without the basic knowledge needed to carry out responsibilities in the particular leadership situation. A religious leader must know at least the basics of the religion. A business leader must know the fundamentals of business. A leader however need not be a specialist. He can always employ people with specialized knowledge for particular tasks. The leader must be honest with himself and know the limits of his knowledge. Some deficiencies can be corrected by more education. Others can only be compensated for by relying on people who have the necessary knowledge.


Commitment: A leader must be committed to the organization he is leading and the followers. He must be committed to certain values and to a vision. He must respect his promises and decisions and must be committed to carrying them out.


Ummatic view: An ummatic view is needed so that the leader is not parochial or provincial. Local issues should be been in a wholistic context of the whole ummah if they are to be understood well. However when it comes to solutions the leader should be more local in approach in order to succeed. The only precaution needed here is not to create problems on the macro level while solving problems on the micro level


Unity in diversity: A leader must accept diversity. Try to get consensus only on a few really strategic issues and then allow people to exercise their initiatives. You however must continuously monitor the trends in opinions to be able to detect serious deviations from the overall strategy. The vision and unity of purpose must be maintained at all costs despite the diversity.






Knowledge is basis for selection of leaders: "Omar said...chief" bukhari 1:82, hadith # 16 … "Amir b. Wathila reported that Nafi b. Abd al-Harith met Umar at Usfan and Umar had employed him as collector in Mecca. He ( hadrat Umar) said to him ( Nafi ): Whom have you appointed as collector over the people of the valley? He said Ibn Abza. He said: Who is Ibn Abza? He said: He is one of our freed slaves. He ( Hadrat Umar ) said: So you have appointed a freed slave over them. He said: He is well versed in the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Great, and he is well versed in the commandments and injunctions ( of the Shariah). Umar said: So the Holy Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said: By this book, Allah exalts some peoples and degrades others."  Muslim 1: 389, Chapter 288, Hadith # 1780 …. "Amr b. Salamah reported on the authority of his father ( Salamah ) that they visited the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ). When they intended to return, they said: Apostle of Allah, who will lead us in prayer? He said: The one of you who knows most of the Qur'an, or memorizes most of the Qur'an ( should act as your imam). There was none in the clan who knew more of the Qur'an than I did. They therefore, put me in front of them and I was only a boy. And I wore a mantle, whenever I was present in the gathering of Jarm ( name of his clan ), I would act as their imam, and I lead them in their funeral prayers until today". Abu Daud 1:155, hadith # 587


Learning from mistakes and not repeating them: "Abu Huraira reported that Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) said: The believer does not allow to be stung twice from one ( and the same ) hole. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Abu Haraira through another chain of transmitters". Muslim 4: 1541, Chapter 1238, Hadith # 7137


Admitting ignorance and accepting correction: "Narrated Ubaid b Umair. Abu Musa asked Umar to admit him but he was not admitted as Umar was busy, so Abu Musa went back. When Umar finished his job he said, "Didn't I hear the voice of 'Abdullah bin Qais? Let in come in." Umar was told that he had left. So, he sent for him and on his arrival, he (Abu Musa) said, "We were ordered to do so (i.e. to leave if not admitted after asking permission thrice). Umar told him, "Bring witness in proof of your statement." Abu Musa went to the Ansar's meeting places and asked them. They said, "None amongst us will give this witness except the youngest of us, Abu Sa'id Al Khudri. Abu Musa then took Abu Sa'id Al Khudri (to Umar) and Umar said, surprisingly 'Has this order of Allah's apostle been hidden from me?' (Then he added), "I used to be busy trading in markets.". Bukhari 3:158-159, hadith #277…  "Narrated Abdulla : The Prophet prayed ( and the subnarrator Ibrahim said, " I do not know whether he prayed more or less than usual " and when he had finished the prayers he was asked, " O Allah's Apostle ! has there been any change in the prayers? He said, " What is it? The people said, " You have prayed so much and so much." So the Prophet bent his legs. faced the Qibla and performed two prostrations ( of Sahu ) and finished his prayers with Taslim ( by turning his face to right and left saying; As-Salamu Alaikum - Warahmat-ullah "  When he turned his face to us he said, " If there had been anything changed in the prayer, surely I would have informed you but I am a human being like you and liable to forget like you. So if I forget remind me and if anyone of you is doubtful about his prayer, he should follow what he thinks to be correct and complete his prayer accordingly and finish it and do two prostrations of Sahu". Bukhari 1;238-239, hadith # 394


Omar and fore-sight, wisdom, and judgment: “Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Amongst the people preceding you there used to be Muhaddithun (i.e. persons who can guess things that come true later on,  as if those persons have been inspired by a diving power) and if there are any such person amongst my followers, it is Umar bin Al-Khattab”. Bukhari 4:449, Hadith # 675 …. Narrated ‘Umar (bin Al-Khattab) My Lord agreed with me in three things: (1)   I said, “O Allah’s Apostle, I wish we took the station of Abraham as our praying place (for some of our prayers).  So came the Divine Inspiration: And take you (people) the station of Abraham as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers e.g. two Rak’at of Tawaf of Ka’ba(. (2:125) #2 And as regards the (verse of) the veiling of the women, I said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle !  I wish you ordered your wives to cover themselves from the men because good and bad ones talk to them’.  So the verse of the veiling of the women was revealed. #3 Once the wives of the Prophet made a united front against the Prophet and I said to them, it may be if he (the Prophet) divorced you, (all) that his Lord (Allah) will give him instead of you wives better than you’.  So this verse (the same as I had said) was revealed”. (66 : 5) Bukhari 1 : 239 - 240, Hadith # 395. …. “Ja’ala llaahu al haqq ala lisaan Umar wa qalbahu”.


Omar khalifah and not king : According to Al Harith Ibn Sad Muhammad b. Umar Qays b. al-Rabi Ata b. al-Saib Zadhan Salman : Umar said to him, Am I a king or a caliph ?  Salman replied, If you collect from Muslim territory dirham or less or more then you put it to use other than for what it is by right intended, you are a king, not a caliph.  Omar wept”. Tabari 14 : 118


Omar doing manual labor : “According to khallad b. Aslan a client of Uthman b. Affan : I was riding behind Uthman b. Affan one hot day when there was an extremely hot wind blowing and he came to the alms-animal pen. There was a man wearing a waist wrapper and an upper garment with another wrapped around his head.  He was driving camels into the pen; that is, the alms-camel pen.  Uthman said, Who do you think this is?  We finally reached him and he was Umar b. al-Khattab (Uthman) said, He is indeed the strong, the trustworthy one”.





Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following conceptual attributes of leaders:


(a) Vision:

Ummatic outlook, ability to see the whole picture, positive vision, thinking big, broad perspective, long-term vision and ability to articulate it, understanding maqasid al sharia, belief in success, set high standards


(b) Goals and objectives:

ability to identify and focus on specific goals and objectives, not being distracted by daily problems, consistency, sense of direction, identification with organizational goals


(c) Objectivity and reality:

reality, realism, accept change, living in the present, correct sense of timing, learning from failures


(d) Creativity:

originality in thought and action, initiative, resourcefulness, Understanding and using synergistic relationships          











Planning and execution

Leading teams

People skills





Practical skills of leaders




Communication: Communication is an important skill for a leader to convey his vision and plans to the followers.


Decision-making: Decision making and problem solving are primary managerial functions that every leader must undertake. Failure to make correct decisions on time or solving problems timely will lead to leadership failure


Planning and execution: Leaders undertake managerial functions of planning, setting goals & objectives, clarification of the vision, and evaluation,


Leading teams: Leaders form and lead work groups. They cooridinate their work and make decisions on tasking.


People skills: Dealing with people involves:  conflict resolution, motivation, maintaining relations with superiors and subordinates.




Omar and Hormuzan: [Hormuzan w as a persian  noble who had been defeated in war, was captured and was brought to Madina where he accepted Islam and stayed]  Abu Sabrah dispatched a delegation (to Medina) among whom were Anas ibn Malik and al-Ahnaf ibn Qays, and he sent al-Hurmuzan with them.  They arrived in al-Basrah in the company O Abu Musa: then they (alone) sent out for Medina).  when they were about to enter the city they arrayed al-Humuzan in his own finery, dressing him in his brocaded garment stitched through with gold thread.  On his head they placed a crown that was called al-Adhin and that was encrusted with rubies.  They put on his jewelry so that Umar and the Muslim would see him in his regalia.  Then they paraded him in front of the people on their way too Umar’s house.  But they did not find him there, so they inquired after his whereabouts.  They were told, “just now he was sitting in the mosque to receive a delegation that had come to him from al-Kufah”.  So they left to look for him in the mosque, but they did not find him there either.  When leaving, they passed by some local boys who were at play and who asked them”, What are you walking in and out for?  If you want to speak to the Commander of the Faithful, he is asleep in the right part of the mosque with his cloak folded under his head for a pillow”.  Umar had sat there to receive the delegation from the inhabitants of al-Kufah dressed in hooded cloak.  When he had finished talking to them and they had risen from the audience and left him alone,  he took off his had risen from the audience and left him alone, he took off his cloak, folded it to make a pillow and went to sleep.  So the people from al-Basrah, together with the bystanders, went to look for him.  Then, when they spotted Umar they sat down at a little distance from him.  No one else, asleep or awake, was in the mosque (at the time).  His whip was dangling from his hand Al-Hurmuzan asked, “Where is Umar? “There he is,” they said, whereupon they gave a sign to the people to keep quiet.  Heeding their order, al-Hurmuzan nonetheless asked, “But where are his guards and attendants?”  “He has neither,”  they answered, “Nor clerks, nor a chancellery for that matter”.  Then he must be a prophet, “al-Hurmuzan exclaimed”.  No, he is not, but he does the things prophets do, “was the reply, Meanwhile, the number of onlookers had greatly increased and Umar awoke because of the din that they made.  He sat upright, spotted al-Hurmuzan and asked, “Is that man al-Hurmuzan” “Yes, was the answer.  Umar looked closely at him and at what he was wearing, and then he said, “I seek my refuge with God from Hellfire  and Him I ask for succor.  Praise be to God,” he went on, “who has humbled this man and his followers through Islam.  Hold on this religion, my fellow Muslims, and be guided by the guidance that your Prophet has given you.  Let this material world not make your reckless, for it is a treacherous world”.  Then the delegation said.”  This is the king of al-Ahwaz, speak to him”.  “No” Umar answered,” not as long as there remains a single item of finery in his body”.  So they stripped him of everything he was dressed up in apart from some piece of clothing that covered his nakedness and they made him put on a coarse garment. Tabari 13: 137 - 140.


Death of omar and appointment of an electoral council: That morning Umar went out to prayers;  he used to assign certain men to ... [missing] the lines [of those praying]and when they were straight, he would come and proclaim. “God is great!”  Abu Lu’lu’ah slipped in among the people carrying in his hand a dagger with-two blades and its heft in the middle.  He struck Umar six blows, one of which was below his navel, and this was the one which killed him.  (Abu Lu’lu’ah) also killed Kulayb b. Abi al-Bukayr al-Laythi, who was behind (‘Umar).  When (‘Umar) felt the heat of the weapon, he fell and said, “Is ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Awf among the crowd?” They said, “Yes, Commander of the Faithful, he is here”.  (‘Umar) said [to ‘Abd al-Rahman], “Come forward and lead the people in prayer”.  So ‘Abd al-Rahman led the people in prayer, while ‘Umar lay prostrate.  Then he was carried away and brought into his house.  He called for ‘Abd. al- Rahman b. ‘Awf and said, “I want to appoint you my successor; ‘  He replied “Indeed, Commander of the Faithful, I accept.  If you order me, I shall accept [the appointment] from you. “(‘Umar) said, “What do you want?”  I’Abd al-Rahman) said, “I beseech you by God.  Do you order me to accept his (appointment)?” (‘Umar) replied, “No, indeed”. (‘Abd al-Rahman) said, “I shall never have anything to do with [accepting] (the appointment)” (‘Umar) said, “Give me some peace and quiet so that I can appoint those who still met with the Messenger of God’s approval when he died.  Call ‘Ali for me, ‘Uthman, al-Zubayr, and Sa’d”.  [When they had arrived, he said],  “Wait for your brother Talhah for three [nights].  If he does not come, do what you have to do.  If you should take authority over the people, ‘Ali, I implore you not to bring them under the power of banu Hashim.  If you should take authority over the people, ‘Uthman, I implore you not to bring them under the power of Banu Al-Mu’ayt.  If you should take authority over the people, Sa’d, I implore you not to bring them under the power of your relatives.  Of you go!  Consult together, then do what you have to do.  Let Suhayb lead the people in prayer”.


Then he called for Abu Talhah al-Ansari and said, “Stand at their door and do not let anyone enter into their presence.  I commend to the caliph after my death the Helpers,  ‘Who have made their abode in the city [of the Prophet] and in the Faith,’  that he do good to him who does good among them and forgive him who does evil among them.  I commend to the caliph after my death the Arabs-- for they are the very substance of Islam -- that what is their due of alms be taken and assigned to their poor.  I commend to the caliph after my death the covenant of the Messenger of God that (non-Muslims) be given a compact faithfully fulfilled.  O God, have I done what I ought to do?!  I leave the caliph after my death in a cleaner [condition] than the palm of the hand. ‘Abdallah b. ‘Umar, go and find out who has murdered me”.  He replied, “Commander of the Faithful, you have been murdered by Abu Lu’lu’ah, slave of al-Mughirah b. Shu’bah (‘Umar) exclaimed, “Praise be to God who has never put my fate into the hands of someone who has bowed down to Him on one single occasion!  Go to ‘A’ishah, ‘Abdallah b. ‘Umar, and ask her to permit me to be buried with the Prophet and Abu Bakr.  If the council is divided.  ‘Abdallah b. ‘Umar, you should vote with the majority.  If they are [split] three against three, follow the action that ‘Abd. al-Rahman supports.  Allow the people to enter, ‘Abdallah.”  So the Emigrants and the Helpers came in to see him, offering him their greetings.  He would ask them if the [assassination] was the result of some conspiracy among them and they would reply, “God protect us!

Tabari 14 : 91 - 92




Write 1-3 sentences on what you understand by each of the following practical attributes of leaders:


(a) Planning and goal-setting:

Goal-orientation, prgamatism, orientation to detail


(b) Communication:

Communicating goals effectively, good communication, active listening,


(c) Team-work, motivation, coaching:

Understanding and appreciating the different natures of human beings, effective meeting management, teaching and coaching others, management of conflict within the group and between groups, seeking and using advice


(d) Decision-making and problem-solving:

Soundness of judgement, rational thought, quick but not hasty decisions, consultation and involvement of others


(e) Organizing and managing:

Ability to prioritize, effective time management, ability to follow through,




Go to Part III 

Omar Hasan Kasule Oct 1998