A summary of studies on leadership styles.
This chapter explores the concept and principles Islamic leadership which generate qualities. These qualities differentiate the Islamic leadership with other leadership concepts. The fundamental sources of Islamic leadership and guidance for the Muslim leaders are Al-Qur’an and Hadith. The sub-topics related to the Islamic leadership elaborate all attributes (traits, skills, power, authority) needed by the leaders. This content analysis method is based on a review of literature and other secondary data. The information in this chapter expectedly will give understanding on the importance of the Islamic leadership concept and can be useful or as a reference for further studies.
- traits and skills
- power and authority
- Islamic model of leadership
- leadership styles
- Qalb leaderships
Leadership is a subject that had been discussed by many groups of people particularly academician, practitioners and government officers/public servants. They were exploring the styles or approaches of leadership that can be adopted in various fields. However, finding the suitable one is not an easy task but must go through practical experiences of some cases and places.
The common practices of leadership introduced by the Western scholars which are applied in most of the countries including in many Muslim countries. Somehow, the Muslim neglect the leadership theories based on the Islamic perspective which were implemented earlier by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the four main leaders called khalifa ar-rasydin who governed the countries/territories for 50 years (611–661). All people were protected, served, guided, represented and inspired by their leaders during that period. These are the best concepts and examples of Islamic leadership derived from Al-Qur’an and Hadith that must be followed particularly by all Muslim worldwide.
Ironically, several options of Western leadership’s concepts are debatable and still not proven which one is the best and sustainable leadership’s construct. Some countries were adopted certain leadership’s approach because they were forced to follow or they were still trying to find the suitable one. It starts with Great Man Theory (1840s), Trait Theory (1930’s–1940’s), Behavioural Theories (1940’s–1950’s) which has related theories of The Managerial Grid Model/Leadership Grid and Role Theory, Contingency Theories (1960’s), Transactional leadership Theories (1970’s) which has related theories of Leader-member Exchange (LMX), Transformational Leadership Theories (1970s) which has related theories of Burns Transformational Leadership Theory, Bass Transformational Leadership Theory, and Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Participation Inventory. Studies were conducted ongoingly to examine the practicality and effectiveness of the mentioned leadership concepts in various countries.
This chapter conducts a qualitative method using content analysis based on a review of literature from academic research journals, websites, social media platforms, electronic databases (secondary data), and other relevant sources. This chapter expectedly can elaborate and compare comprehensively the comparisons and qualities of Islamic leadership and other leaderships’ concepts.
2. Literature review
2.1 Previous studies in the area of leadership styles
There are studies that discussed on the impact of leadership styles’ in the organization and society. Below is a summary of those studies (Table 1):
Some previous studies compared transactional and transformational leadership styles. The transactional leadership style is based on the leader’s legitimate authority that is concerned with goals and outcomes, tasks, rewards and punishments. Such leadership is said to be more appropriate to stable environments and businesses. Transformational leaders, on the other hand, seek to motivate and gain the commitment of followers. This is achieved by sharing a vision, raising expectations and creating a feeling of trust so that followers will perform to a level exceeding their own expectations of what they had considered possible . Below is a summary of those studies (Table 2):
|||United Arab of Emirates|
Furthermore, there are also some studies that compared between transactional and laissez-faire leadership styles. A study by  investigated on the transactional and the laissez-faire leadership styles and their impact on employees’ motivation within the banking sector in Pakistan (n = 278). The descriptive and correlational studies’ results have affirmed that the transactional leadership style has a positive, strong and significant association with commitment, but the motivational level was low and insignificant in the laissez-faire leadership style.
2.2 Islamic leadership
Islam is a religion that governs all matters including leadership. Leadership is an important subject that had been used to disseminate the Islamic teaching or da’wah and as the most significant instrument for the realization of an ideal society which is based on justice and compassion . Both elements are interrelated and as main reference in leadership. Leaders must enforce and promote justice continuously as it is been instructed in verse of Al-Qur’an:
“Indeed Allah commands you to deliver the trusts to their [rightful] owners, and, when you judge between people, to judge with fairness. Excellent indeed is what Allah advises you. Indeed Allah is all-hearing, all-seeing.” (An-Nisa’ 4:58)
The basis of leadership consists of religion, moral and human sources. All the three components are based on spirit of fear to God (Allah SWT) . The history of Islamic leaders give inspirations to all leaders on how they successfully lead in multiple groups of people and many territories. Leadership is about offering oneself and one’s spirit , thus in Islam, the spirituality becomes a crucial factor in addition of psychological, technical-rational and professional factors.
There is a study by  on Islamic leadership which conducted in the Republic of Yemen using the concept of taqwa which operationalized to two distinct components: a spirituality with three dimensions of iman (belief), ibadah (rituals) and tawbah (repentance), and a responsibility with six dimensions of emotional control, sadaqah, forgiveness, integrity, patience and justice. With a mediating influence of the trust variable, the results show that a leaders’ level of taqwa influences his/her effectiveness, where one dimension of spirituality which is belief, and three dimensions of responsibility; sadaqah, integrity and emotional control, were found to predicate business leadership effectiveness, whereas trust was found to positively influence leadership effectiveness. Moreover, trust was found to fully mediate the relationship between iman and leadership effectiveness; on the other hand, trust was found to partially mediate the relationship between responsibility and leadership effectiveness. Moreover,  mentioned that the quality of Islamic leadership can positively influence the attitudes of followers and bring higher levels of satisfaction, motivation, performance, positive energy and organizational loyalty, while  asserted that the quality of Islamic leadership serves as an important human resource that offers value for organizational performance.
2.2.1 Basic competencies of leadership
184.108.40.206 Explaining on leadership
Leaders is a man to be followed and obeyed and he must refer to Al-Qur’an and Hadith as guidance before making any decisions. Moreover, Islamic stated the characteristics to become a leader, among others must be abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess, with that can lead successfully. Below are the instructions from the verses of Al-Qur’an:
“O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messanger and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you have believed in Allah and the Last Day. That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:59)
Their Prophet said to them: “Allah hath appointed Talut as king over you.” They said: “How can he exercise authority over us when we are better fitted than he to exercise authority, and he is not even gifted, with wealth in abundance?” He said: “Allah hath Chosen him above you, and hath gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: Allah Granteth His authority to whom He pleaseth. Allah careth for all, and He knoweth all things.” (al-Baqarah 2: 247)
220.127.116.11 Identification of leaders’ requirements
In selecting the leaders, the people must do it carefully and seriously because the leaders have to protect the religion and not play with it. The leaders in Islam are encourage to learn and understand the concept of Islamic teachings, thus they keep the interests of Islam as a priority. This is had been stated in verses of Al-Qur’an below:
“O ye who believe! take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport, - whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but fear ye Allah, if ye have faith (indeed).” (al-Maaidah 5: 57)
“But the faithful, men and women, are comrades of one another: they bid what is right and forbid what is wrong and maintain the prayer, give the zakāt, and obey Allah and His Messanger. It is they to whom Allah will soon grant His mercy. Indeed Allah is all-mighty, all-wise.” (At-Taubah 9:71)
18.104.22.168 The leader’s duties and responsibilities
The leaders in Islam must deliver the mandate or amanah to whom suppose receiving it and enforce the law with justice. Both outcome of amanah and justice are the most difficult duties of the leaders and with that, the people can be governed proportionately and professionally. This is had been highlighted in the verses of Al-Qur’an below:
“Indeed Allah commands you to deliver the trusts to their [rightful] owners, and, when you judge between people, to judge with fairness. Excellent indeed is what Allah advises you. Indeed Allah is all-hearing, all-seeing.” (An-Nisaa’ 4: 58)
2.3 Leadership, power, and authority in Islam
A leader has power and authority. Both attributes are useful to influence the followers or people. A good leaders who can manage the power accordingly and authority appropriately.  mentioned that power is a contingent, multifaceted resource which involves the ability to influence or control others, while authority can be characterized as the right to wield power or to influence people.
The ultimate power is possessed by Allah Almighty, while the power of the leaders is for temporary moments which will end after certain period. The power in Islam is useful in bringing prosperity for the ummah (society) and protecting people from harmness. As an example shown by the second caliphs of Islam; Umar bin Khattab, although he has dominant power in some continents but he always to take care each individual and ensure that he/she receives an adequate food or decent place to live. The power makes Umar bin Khattab more down to earth and humble person. The more power he has, the more lower he put himself in front of others or adherents. Everyone knows how strong he is, how tough he is and how sturdy he is but he will use those superiorities only for the enemy of Islam and not for his people. He never abuse his power for individual or family matters. All of these contributions of Umar bin Khattab acknowledged by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) particularly on how he used his power according to the Islamic teachings which then the Prophet (PBUH) told His companion that “If there is an upcoming Prophet after me, He will be Umar bin Khattab.”
Moreover, the authority of the Prophet (PBUH) and four caliphs comprises many aspects, not only as a leader who in charge of government administration but include religion, education, financial, sciences, agricultural, water, and economy affairs. Their authority is legitimated and monitored by Allah SWT and the adherents, means that they are responsible in this world and the here after. Authority is related to amanah which is an important element in Islamic leadership concept. One of the caliphs, Abu Bakar As-Siddiq also called al-Amin, means that a person who always hold an amanah. Although he only leads the Muslim for 2 years (632–634) but he left a legacy of proceeding the mandates of disseminating Islamic teachings in sad and bad situations after the death of the Prophet (PBUH). He is a companion and adviser to the Prophet (PBUH) who spent his life in distress and pleasure moments. He received and kept the authority accordingly till he was handed over to Umar bin Khattab. This is a good reference for Muslims leaders in their approaches, decisions and actions or called as referent authority.
As it is mentioned by , the Prophet (PBUH) was an extraordinary human being - spiritual leader, judge, political reformer, governor, orator and arbiter. The hadith obviously captures the struggles, triumphs, wit and humanity of the man - and his charisma shines through the texts. Muslims consider the Prophet (PBUH) to be the perfect example of a human being, and the greatest of all leaders, as proved by the genuine zeal and astonishment with which adherents around the world excerpt His words and examples . Below is a chart of the history of great leaders in Islam (Figure 1).
2.4 Leadership traits and skills
Numerous researches of leadership emphasize on specific attributes [37, 38, 39]. Those attributes can be used to distinguish the effective and ineffective leaders . Therefore, some researchers focus on social and historical relations [40, 41] and based on a relational and perceptual phenomenon [42, 43, 44] as the important contexts in leadership concept.
Ref.  revealed the importance of traits and qualities of leaders in Islamic thoughts. He elaborated based on the past history in the Islamic state that the Muslim leaders possess distinctive attributes as shows below:
|Ability to reason or act rationally||Not appointing the non-faithful as deputies||Free from hatred and envy||Not listening to slanderers and backbiters|
|Knowledgeable (Ma’rifah)||Generous||Flexible||Being cunning|
|Mentally stable||Wise (wisdom)||Abiding by promises||Patient (Sabr) and endurance|
|Courage and determination||Forgiving||Honest||Thankful|
|In control of desires||Caring||Able to keep secrets||Diplomatic|
|Acting decisively||Humble||In control of his temper||Relying on evidence|
|Following up and processing work||Receptive and willing to give advice||Attentive||A good organizer|
|Rewarding and recognizing achievers||Respectable in their appearance||Begin from the possible||Enterprise (Iqdam)|
|See advantage in disadvantage||Turn minus into plus||Eloquence (Fasah)||Justice (Al-‘Adalah) and compassion|
|Superior communication||Humility||Leniency (Lin)||Conviction (Yaqin)|
|Gradualism instead of radicalism||Morality and piety (honesty and trust)||Equality (Al-Musawat)||Self-sacrifice (Tadhyah)|
|Mutual consultation and unity (fraternity and brotherhood)||Faith and belief||Sovereignty (Al-Siyadah)||Lifelong endeavor|
|To be pragmatic in controversial matters||Freedom (Al-Hurriyyah)||Commitment and sacrifice||Gratitude and prayers|
|Enjoining the right and forbidding the evil||Make a friend out of an enemy||Encourage the power of peace||Not to be a dichotomous thinker|
Meanwhile, in the commercial context,  provided two categories of traits and qualities that a leader must have moral discipline. However, these attributes associated with moral, must be accompanied by the attributes related to the avoidance. Below is a figure positioned the attributes (Figure 2).
Most of the above qualities and traits used to help the leaders in attaining their objectives. The qualities of the leaders in Islamic thoughts meant for nurturing healthy organizations and resulted the followers become united and faithful. The identified qualities seem to be crucial leadership traits, although not all leaders show these qualities simultaneously. In fact, the history of successive Muslim states had been adopted essential qualities of mercy, kindness, and justice.
All the leaders’ qualities in Islam dedicated to serve the adherent or followers, and this is an ibadah to gain pleasure (ridha) from Allah SWT. It is true that the leaders reflect the quality of their people. One possible trigger that can create qualities among the leaders is by possession the knowledge. A qualified leader through education may have decent quality to lead the followers. They can learn the situation and handle many problems calmly especially when they always see all matters are under their responsibility that one day will be asked by the God (Allah SWT) in the here after.
2.5 Islamic model of leadership
This model introduced by [18, 55] that explains two primary types of leaders. The model has four elements: personalism, idealism, great expectation and culture. Personalism is related to the tendency of person in communicating with others in a friendly and warm manner. This is importantly needed to have a high value on personal relationships, reputation in the community and societal norms. Meanwhile, idealism is defined as an aspiration to attain and an infatuation with the highest possible state of existence or perfection. In idealism, absolute perfection is sought and considered to be a virtue. The interplay of personalism and idealism produces great expectations within society. Moreover, in a culture that is characterized by deeply held and widely shared beliefs and values the great expectation generates an environment conducive for positive and clear vision, involvement and cohesiveness, receptiveness and tolerance. In a weak culture where beliefs and value are not widely and deeply shared, great expectations are more likely to translate into apathy, indifference, frustration and fragmentation. Below is a figure of Islamic model of leadership (Figure 4).
2.6 Qalb leadership
This Qalb leadership approach is more on the purposes of the leaders which derived from the heart. Heart is Arabic term is Qalb. The leaders in Islam must begin with a good intention (niyyah) from their heart to fulfill the responsibilities from the God (Allah SWT) and the men that appointed the leader. If the leaders lead their followers based on brain or other factors/fundamentals, it bring burden for them where they try to satisfy all expectations and requests. However, when the leaders lead with their heart, they will plan and decide based on their limitation and shortcomings. It is not easy to accomplish the mandate (amanah) which given through the trust.  asserted that the leadership in Islam centers on trust and amanah. It represents a psychological contract between leaders and their followers that they will try their best to guide, protect, and treat their followers justly. It revolves on doing good deeds for the sake of Allah SWT, the Muslim community and humankind.
Ref.  added that the leadership in Islam must oriented on Al-Imamah Taklif Wa La Tashrif, means that leadership is a responsibility an not an honor, thus no leaders will not abuse their power. The leaders also should undertake or endure in whatever tasks and functions which bound with the basic principle of fulfilling the trust/amanah bestowed upon mankind as vicegerent. Allah SWT says:
We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;—he was indeed unjust and foolish. (Al-Ahzab 33: 72)
Meanwhile, Al-Qur’ān has described the criteria of a good leader. Allah SWT said:
“And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us”. (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 73)
“When they entered upon David and he was alarmed by them? They said, “Fear not. [We are] two adversaries, one of whom has wronged the other, so judge between us with truth and do not exceed [it] and guide us to the sound path”. (Sad 38: 22)
“And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs”. (As-Sajdah 32: 24)
“The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.“ And those are the successful”. (An-Nur 24: 51)
“And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient”. (Al-Maidah 5: 47)
The responsibility of the leaders must follow the main principles or the usul al-din of Islam and not against it. This is been reminded many times by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about disobedience and its grave punishment. One of these hadiths, as narrated by Imam Muslim r.a.:
He who refused obedience on a leader, disavowed the Jama‘ah (the mainstream Muslims), and then died, died on Jahiliyyah. And he who fought blindly under a banner, getting angry for a prejudicial group, inviting to blind solidarity, or helped a prejudicial group and was killed then, his death was a Jahiliyyah death (n.d. Hadith no. 4892. Vol. 6. p. 20)
Thus, identifying desirable, stable, and effective behaviors of leaders are important in Islam. In today’s modern era, the understanding of leadership in Islam has always be confused with the misbehaviours of Muslim leaders’ themselves. Most importantly, the behaviors of leadership in Islam should also be consistent with the positive behaviors of organizational leaders that have been found on multiple observations conducted in organizations across the globe .
According to , Qalb leadership traits as relatively stable and coherent integrations of personal characteristics that are based on the correct functions of Qalb that cover the right understanding of being and actions. These characteristics are reflected by the conditions of heart which consist the components of god awareness, motives, intelligence, and understandings of being and actions, and values . The Qalb leadership traits embedded in the framework of Imam Ghazali’s ‘On Disciplining the Soul’, a specific chapter in his book ‘Revival of Islamic Sciences’, soul is a concept that stands on the four basic virtues. This provides the basis of important universal leader traits or wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance which provide the foundations of other effective leadership traits. Examples of the behaviors and practices of the leaders are wise decision making (wisdom), clear in direction (wisdom), articulating the right thoughts (wisdom and courage), supporting equality (justice) and establishing positive work environment (temperance and wisdom).
With the comprehensive explanations of Islamic leadership concept, the leaders can be an idol, a reference or a role model that give good impression to all the followers/adherents. They are holding the amanah based on the given trust, thus do not abuse their power. They realized that the power is given temporarily to bring maslahah to the society (not only Muslim population) and will hand it over to someone else at anytime.
There are studies explored the comparison of the three leadership styles; transformational, transactional and laissez-faire in various countries. Some of these styles have relationship to the effectiveness of leadership in organization and some are not. Meanwhile, the Islamic leadership approach give a positive impact to the leaders, followers and the organization. It is revealed that the Islamic leadership concept is superior than other leadership concept that consist of the current and future purposes. The current purpose refers to the interests in this world, while the future purpose associated with the here after. Moreover, the Islamic leadership emphasized on establishing trust and delivering amanah which then made the people/adherents can support the leaders to create conductive and sustainable environment.
Ref.  added that the leadership in Islam must oriented on Al-Imamah Taklif Wa La Tashrif. It tells that the leaders are carrying responsibilities and not an honor. Leaders should serve the people and not expecting to be treated. As the leaders, there are tasks to be completed in certain situation and time. The success of completing the tasks depends on the relationship of the leaders with men and their God (Allah SWT). Men or people will help the leaders if they are sincerely guide and lead them to the betterment. While God (Allah SWT) will always guide the leaders in their leadership based on their good intention (niyyah) and obedience to the Islamic law or shariah.
Islam also concern on the power and authority of the leaders. Both attributes must be used accordingly which give as much benefits to the society (ummah). The principles of Islam are strictly highlighted the use of power and authority which been shown by the Prophet (PBUH) and four caliphs (khulafa ar-rasyidin). Meanwhile, numerous researches of leadership emphasize on specific attributes [37, 38, 39, 58, 59]. Those attributes can be used to distinguish the effective and ineffective leaders .  asserted the importance of traits and qualities of leaders in Islamic thoughts. He mentioned based on the past history in the Islamic state that the Muslim leaders possess distinctive attributes There are authors highlighted the traits and skills of Islamic leaders such as [18, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 60, 61].
Moreover  introduced the two primary types of leaders in his model of Islamic leadership. The model has four elements: personalism, idealism, great expectation and culture, which can be adapted by particularly the Muslim leaders. Meanwhile, the basic thought of heartful leadership approach which drawn by the Imam Al-Ghazali, back 900 years ago, suggested the leaders to behave based on Justice, Wisdom, Courage, and Temperance. With these elaborations of this Islamic leadership concept, the Muslim leaders must be guided and adopted all attributes, principles and models to attain the goals in this world and the here after.
There are many aspects related to Islamic leadership need to be explored especially on the leaders’ traits and behaviors. Meanwhile, the challenges of the leaders in this 4.0 industry era will make them more careful in planning and organizing the team and its resources. Islam should has a comprehensive guidance on capitalizing or more involvement in this era, thus every Muslim shouldn’t worry about the shariah compliance on it. Muslim leaders will be asked to balance up and accommodate certain barriers to have a smooth transformation. This elaboration on qualities and comparisons of Islamic leadership can be used as a reference for all the readers.