Khutbah Reflections: Lessons from the Sunnah of Rasulullah s.a.w. in Developing Leadership of the Ummah
The khutbah on 25th January 2013 spoke about 3 main points about Rasulullah(S)’s leadership that we can all learn from.
1. Open Communication
2. Encourage Critical Thinking
3. Allow Questioning of Decisions
When we hear the word “leader”, several things come to mind; A person of authority, someone that can make decisions or perhaps someone that significantly affects the success or failure of a group. For some, a negative connotation of that word would be someone who does not listen to the opinions of others and whatever decisions that person has made are final and non-negotiable. While there are such instances, that is not the case with our beloved Rasulullah(S).
Rasulullah(S) would often seek the views of the companions in his decision making and this created an environment for healthy discussions in which they would share their thoughts and concerns. Each and every input regardless of whom it came from was taken seriously and factored into whatever decision that Rasulullah(S) made which was not a revelation from Allah.
The way I see it, this made everyone feel important; that their input mattered.
Encourage Critical Thinking
Many a time when a companion would seek advice from Rasulullah(S), he would make that person think deeply about what he said instead of just simply giving advice. In doing so, Rasulullah(S) helped to develop critical thinkers amongst the companions. This in turn helped Rasulullah(S) in making sound judgement after getting input from the companions and also nurtured future leaders who would become the khalifah after the death of Rasulullah(S).
Allow Questioning of Decisions
When Rasulullah(S) made a decision that was not a revelation of Allah; it was open for anyone to ask him why he made such a decision or even disagree with it. Any feedback on it was welcomed and not viewed as a sign of disrespect.
The khatib relates to us one occasion during the Battle of Badar in which Khabbab Bin Al-Munzir questioned Rasulullah(S) about his decision to set up base near the well of Badar. When Rasulullah(S) told him that the judgement was based on his opinion and not a revelation of Allah, Khabbab told him that the place they had set up base was not a good one and then they moved their base to someplace else at Rasulullah(S)’s instruction.
These are great qualities to have in a good leader which we can learn to incorporate when we’re at school, work or even at home. Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean that your decisions are made alone and they are the best but decisions should be made with careful consideration. One person might not be able to see all the angles which is why feedback from others should be taken with an open mind.[divider]
Fadhuli is an aspiring writer and believes in putting in the time and effort into meaningful causes. He strives to improve himself as a person and as a Muslim.