Leaders are not born. All of us are born with the same opportunities to become leaders. We acquired good or bad qualities throughout our life according to the environment that we are exposed to. Environment upon which we are exposed to is the means upon which our belief and mindset are set. Our belief and mindset will influence our qualities or behaviours. Everyone is born with equal opportunities, but it is their parents who create the environment which will shape the belief and the mind of their child. The belief and mind of the child will influence the behaviours of the child. The behaviours of the child will influence his or her destiny. The environments in which we are brought up when we are small are created by our parents. Whatever our parents do and talk, will influence our belief and mind. According to many research, by the time we are eight years old, our belief and mind are set. This set belief and mind will influence our behaviours and qualities. A child reared by animals will have the behaviours of animals, although the child is a normal human being. Whatever the child sees and talks influence the child belief and mindset. A child will talk according to what the child has heard from their guardians. A child reared by animals will not be able to talk as other normal human beings are talking and will not be able to behave as other human beings are behaving. A child reared by animals may look like a human being but they will behave and talk like other animals. In order to produce leaders, we must produce good qualities human being. In order to produce a good quality human being, the human beings have to be brought in a good environment. A good environment is the environment where there are many people with good qualities.
Prophet Muhammad saw was not brought up in the environment of good parenting. Prophet Muhammad saw parents died during the time when the Prophet saw was still at a very young age. His father, Abdullah died while he was still being conceived by Siti Aminah and Siti Aminah his mother died when he was at the age of six years old. Allah purified the heart of Prophet Muhammad saw by sending Gabriel to come down to operate the heart of the Prophet saw and took out the impurity from the heart of the Prophet saw. According to traditions, Prophet Muhammad saw was operated twice during his young age. With the operation, impurities from the heart of the Prophet Muhammad saw were taken out. Allah used the abnormal ways, to purify the heart of the Prophet saw. During that time even those who were in the inner circles of Prophet were not good peoples. Both the Prophet saw parents and grandparents were not brought up in the environment of good peoples .The entire humanity during that time had sunk into the depth of darkness. Everywhere there was darkness and the Prophet saw was born in the environment of darkness. During the time Prophet saw was born, everything was evils. Prophet Muhammad saw was sent to the whole mankind, destined to be the last Prophet sent by Allah to the entire mankind. He was sent about six hundred years after Prophet Jesus. During those six hundred years, humanity had degraded to the lowest level of civilization when man and women circle the holy and scared place of Kaabah (tawaf) naked. All the Prophets are chosen peoples whom Allah had given them special training in order to become leaders of the world. Some of the Prophets were born in a good environment with parents who were also Prophets while some of them were specially trained and guided by Allah and Allah give them good qualities in order to become the leader of mankind.
In my opinion the first qualities that all leaders must have is the quality of being just and fair at all times. A leader must be able to put everything at the correct place at the correct time. He must be able to do the correct thing to the correct person and at the correct time. He must be able to decide on every matter justifiably. A leader must be just and fair at all time. In order for a leader to be able to do that; the leader must have the correct knowledge, at the correct time, at the correct person. No one will be able to do that unless the leader is guided by Allah. In order to have the knowledge to know at a particular times what is the actions most love by Allah, one must be given knowledge by Allah and this is known as ilmu. In order to be able to do the correct actions and to give correct decision at any particular times is known as hikmah. No one will be given ilmu and hikmah by Allah, unless that person is loved by Allah. None is loved by Allah unless they have the correct iman and amal. A leader with the qualities of ilmu and hikmah is known as a just leader. Contrary to a just leader is unjust leader. An unjust leader is the one who does not have ilmu and hikmah and certainly are devoid of iman and amal. A man with correct iman and amal is the man who always speak correctly and they speak nothing but the truth. A man who speak correctly and truth will have the correct heart and mind. A man with the correct heart and mind will have the correct actions and certainly a man with the correct actions is love by Allah. A person loves by Allah will certainly be given by Allah, Ilmu and hikmah.
In order to execute the truth, a leader must be brave and he must not be coward. He must be strict on the execution of truth yet he is soft and gentle. He will not get angry on anyone but he is angry with his own weakness in the execution of truth. He always put the blame on his own shortcoming and wrong actions and not on others. He always resorts to the help of Allah, whenever he is face with any difficulties. He smiles in front of peoples during the day and he cried in front of Allah during the night. He always smiles and seldom laughs. He is strict on the execution of the truth yet his softness and gentleness overpower his strictness. He forgives those who genuinely seek for his forgiveness and he will not repel evils with evils but he will repel evils with good actions. Whenever he has any needs he will ask from Allah and whenever anyone asks for their needs from him, he will try his level best to fulfil it. He is generous but he is not the one that spends extravagantly. Whenever he has anything more than his needs, he will spend it on others. He does not hoard money or save money for future use. He spends his money generously. He spends money carefully on things which are essentials and he is not stingy. He does not use public properties for his personal use. He will use public properties only for public use and occasionally he use even his personal properties for public use. He spends public money generously for public use. He has the philosophy that money is meant to be spent and not to be kept. He will never use public money for his own personal use or to use his power to hoard public money and use it personally. He does not like to be served but he likes to serve others and he always regard himself as a servant to Allah and he serve peoples because peoples are creation of his beloved Allah. He likes to meet the general public and to find out himself, what are their problems. He will not listen to complains only from one side and make a decision based on one side but he will listen to both sides. He likes to gives presents to others but will not accept presents from others except from those who used to give him present when he has no power. All presents given to him, will be given to the peoples and used by the peoples. He regards all the present given by anybody to him, when he is holding office is actually, presents given to the peoples. Simplicity will be his mode of actions and he will try to make everything simple. Humbleness will be his trait and he regards everything good that he has done is in reality is done by Allah. When peoples are praising him for the good actions that he has done; he will remind the person to praise Allah. His believe that, there is no one that can gives benefit or harm except Allah and none can do except with the permission of Allah is very strong and it is as strong as the mountains. He has the full belief that only by following the practices of Prophet Muhammad saw a person will gain the love of Allah and when that person get the love of Allah, only then that person will be successful. In his heart there is the love of the entire humanity and he regards everyone is the ‘children of Allah’ and he does not associate peoples with their race but with their qualities. Inviting peoples to good and forbidding peoples from evils is his main work and to perform five times daily prayers with congregation is his habit.
Can nowadays Muslims have a leader with the above good qualities? Even Hazrat Umar, Allah is pleased with him had difficulty in finding leaders of the correct qualities to replace him. We can imagine how difficult it is to have leaders with good qualities when even at the time of the Righteous Caliph of Hazrat Umar, a leader with good qualities were hard to find. What about now? In my opinion, it is almost impossible to find leaders with such good qualities now. Abu Bakar may Allah be pleased with him appointed Hazrat Umar as his successor as the Caliph of Islam without consulting other companions and when he was asked why he had appointed Hazrat Umar, Abu Bakar may Allah be pleased with him, answered, I know about him more than all of you know him. Hazrat Umar may Allah be pleased with him said a good leader must be strong but not proud, soft but not weak, generous but not overspend and punctilious in spending but not stingy. Hazrat Umar could not find all the four good qualities in even in one the companions of the Prophet saw during his time. Do you think we can find one during our times? Companions of the Prophet saw was brought up by Prophet Muhammad saw himself and yet among the companions other than Hazrat Abu Bakar and Hazrat Umar there were none having all the good qualities mention by Hazrat Umar may Allah be pleased with him.
Prof. Dr. Nasoha Saabin
Dean of Faculty of Optometry
International University College of Technology Twintech
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia