Leadership in Islam - what is the quality of a good leader?

02 Jun 2022 11:01am
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Good governance requires effective, strong leadership.

What is leadership in Islam and how do we choose the correct leader to lead us? In a previous talk with Sinar Daily, Sheikh Dr Isam Rajab said Islam has given us examples of what leadership is all about.

He said that when one intends to be leader, the first thing they should do is to think about others.

For example, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has already earned his place in the highest level of jannah (heaven) - he didn’t have to worry about his ummah, but he is full of concerns for us, he prays for us and tirelessly worked for the benefit of the ummah.

Sheikh Dr Isam Rajab
Sheikh Dr Isam Rajab

“Leadership is to lead from the front. When Allah SWT tested Ibrahim AS with certain commandments, he perfected them.

“As a result, he was made a leader. Leadership is earned, not demanded,” he said.

“As a leader, you would want everyone to follow your footsteps or become even better.

“Would a mother hate it when she sees her children becoming better than her? No, because she loves them and that’s what a leader does,” he said.

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As for choosing the right leader, the community has a shared responsibility to choose the best, but keep in mind that humans aren’t perfect.

“Sometimes choosing the lesser between two evils is the solution not because we like it but because that’s the best option available,” he said.


Sheikh Dr Isam Rajab was born in Kuwait and graduated with a bachelor degree in Sharīʿah from the Islamic University of Madinah.

He also holds a masters and Ph.D in Islamic Studies from California University and is the founder and director of Arees University.