Friday Khutbah : Leadership Thru Example

This was last week’s Friday Khutbah.

Dear blessed brothers,

Let us increase our taqwa to Allah s.w.t. Fulfill all of Allah’s commands and refrain from all His prohibitions. Let us continue to be guided by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet s.a.w. in leading our religious life.

My dear brothers,

Each one of us is a leader and assumes a leadership role, whether in our families, among colleagues and friends, or to anyone else who look at us for good examples through our actions. It is thus important for us to be aware of this role that we play, whether consciously or otherwise.

Allah s.w.t created Prophet Adam a.s. as His viceregent and a leader in this world. He was also equipped with knowledge to assume that role. The prophets and messengers after him were also tasked to lead humankind to the path of God.

For example, Allah s.w.t says to Prophet Abraham a.s. in surah Al-Baqarah verse 124:

“And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: “I will make you a leader to mankind.” He pleaded: “And also (leaders) from my offspring!” He answered: “But My Promise is not within the reach of those who are unjust.”

My dear brothers,

From this verse, it is clear that every leadership position signifies a covenant and promise to Allah s.w.t. Secondly, the basis and core of leadership is to strive for justice and fairness in delivering duties, and to refrain from being unjust and unfair in all matters and responsibilities.

Let us reflect upon the life of our greatest leader, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. How was his leadership in his family life, within the Muslim ummah and even beyond Muslims? Suffice for us to say that he was always loved and needed by others because of his excellent character and his merciful dealings with each and every of God’s creation.

The Prophet s.a.w showed the best examples in leadership. He fulfilled the natural needs of humankind, through attributes such as trustworthiness, truthfulness, explaining the truth, and wisdom.

According to Islamic history, even before his prophethood, leaders of the Quraisy tribe had already called the Prophet as “The Trustworthy One” or “al-Amin” because of the Prophet’s integrity when offering his service and contributions to his society. Known as such in his community, the Prophet had created love and trust of others towards him. But he earned so because the Prophet placed his community before himself, and he was a selfless leader who only sought Allah’s pleasure and blessings for all that he did.

My dear brothers,
The Prophet s.a.w said in a hadith which means, “Each of you is a leader, and each leader will be held accountable for what he has led.” (Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari)

So what can we learn and how can we improve in performing our leadership roles in life? For example, in our family life, each parent, say the father, will need to consider the needs of each family member fairly and not place his self-interest above the rest in making any decision. But more importantly, we must also be aware that real leadership in family life takes place through our own actions and behaviours. Our actions are being watched, especially by our children, and they take cue and model themselves after us, more than what we preach and say to them.

In our work life and in society, an effective leader is one who leads by example; the example of his acts and contributions. Infact, you may be an ordinary employee or worker, and you may not have any subordinates. Yet, if you are the most diligent or industrious, you will become an example to others, and with that, indirectly, you have become a very effective leader.

My dear brothers,
So let us reflect upon ourselves and ask how have we carried out our leadership role, whether back at home, or at our work places, among friends or family? Do we hold on firmly and strongly to principles, and we pursue Allah’s pleasure and blessings, or do we place ourselves and our self-interests above everything else when we make decisions? Do we only criticise others, yet do not offer alternatives? Do we only order and command, but we do not give a helping hand to those under our charge? Have we strived to become a good example for others? In other words, do we lead through example? Let’s think about it, dear blessed congregation.

Imagine the outcome for our ummah and community, if each and everyone of us is a successful leader in his or her own right. So we ask Allah that He grant us continued guidance for us to perform our roles and responsibilities successfully in the best possible manner.

Amin.

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  1. July 10th, 2009

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