Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Leadership Values and Understandings from an Islamic Perspective

Written By

Hailan Salamun and Asyraf Ab Rahman

Submitted: August 1st, 2021Reviewed: December 13th, 2021Published: January 21st, 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.101989

From the Edited Volume

Leadership in a Changing World

Edited by Muhammad Mohiuddin, Bilal Khalid, Md. Samim Al Azad and Slimane Ed-dafali

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This writing proposes the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a leadership framework for developing the concept of Rabbani’s leadership. The development of the leadership framework begins with the spiritual aspect, which is very closely related to the faith. Rabbani’s character in the leadership shown by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) so emphasizes the spiritual aspect with a different approach from ordinary spiritual values. The faith generates Rabbani’s characteristics that influence the leadership framework that emphasizes two principles, namely the vision of leadership and the impact of leadership practice. The impact of leadership as a predictor has the potential to influence leadership practices related to the appreciation of divinity, humanity, and the development of life. The Rabbani characteristics that develop in a leader will influence his vision of leadership as a manifestation of the appreciation of religious life based on faith. Both of these principles act as key factors in the creation of an organizational leadership framework that demonstrates the relationship between faith and spirituality.


  • Rabbani leadership
  • vision of leadership
  • impact of leadership
  • upholding the vision
  • social justice and humanity
  • sustainable development

1. Introduction

Over the last few years, there are organizations put the primary concern on some components of leadership values. Over 150 studies show that spiritual values, practices, and effective leadership have interconnected. Values such as integrity, honesty, responsibility, temperance, justice, courage, and wisdom have been demonstrated to influence leadership success. All the following practices have been emphasized in many spiritual teachings, and they have also been found to be crucial leadership skills.

A proposed conceptual model postulates spiritual belief (e.g., hope and faith in God) as a causal factor in the formation of Rabbani leaders’ values and behaviors. Furthermore, the model posits those spiritual practices (temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage) are a moderating variable of Islamic leadership behavior and the outcome variable, leadership effectiveness, as perceived by followers.

In Islam, the concept of leadership must act only to implement Allah’s laws on earth as the essence and primary responsibility of leaders. Leadership in Islam, as a trust (Amanah), and a sacred position that can solve the problems of humanity and guide them to the eternal betterment of here and hereafter. Although developments of several leadership models are just to solve the problem. On the other hand, leadership in Islam must think about humanity and the satisfaction of Allah the Almighty. The results of the field study indicate that there is a significant relationship between the spiritual values of leadership with Rabbani’s leadership practices. The results suggest that organizational direction requires divine or spiritual-based leadership.


2. Islam and leadership

Leadership is the position of a person responsible for showing how to determine group decisions towards the right goals. Therefore, the leader must work hard to influence others to accept the decisions and instructions determined to achieve the goals of the group or organization. This means that leaders have a very close relationship with followers so that they can contribute energy and work together to realize the organization’s goals are achieved.

In Islam, leadership describes a person or a group of people who guide and lead followers or mankind from the brink of destruction to the path of Allah. The Qur’an (the Holy Book) and the Sunnah (the actions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are the sources that determine the complete code of life for Muslims, including matters related to leadership. The leadership framework in the West is bound by rules and conditions, which are considered official duties to implement. But Islam regards leadership as a responsibility entrusted to be exercised to the followers or mankind. God’s rules and commandments are carried out with the cooperation of leaders and followers.

Chaston and Lips-Wiersma [1] argue that spirituality-based leadership is still in the early stages of study maturity. Thus, most studies of spirituality-based leadership require findings based on in-depth follower perspectives in addition to leader perspectives that highlight a two-sided leadership approach. One question arises, how to combine these two effective leader codes of conduct based on leadership principles in a holistic framework? More importantly, a holistic approach in leadership aims to transform organizations where leaders and the spirituality of their employees can be developed as human beings capable of meeting their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. In this regard, Rabbani’s leadership opens space for leadership practitioners to adhere to Shariah-compliant leadership especially to Muslims who are not interested in dealing with conventional leadership models because of religious beliefs.

The main objective of this study is to lay the foundation of Rabbani’s conceptual leadership model from an Islamic perspective based on the life of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and his approach. The construction of Rabbani’s leadership framework not only discusses aspects related to Shariah but also an understanding of Islamic values and principles that govern the practice of leadership in general.


3. Rabbani conceptual framework

In general, the Qur’an and the sunnah left by the Prophet when leading the Muslims became a reference to the construction of the conceptual framework of Rabbani’s leadership.

“It is not for a human (prophet) that Allah should give him the Scripture and authority and prophethood and then he would say to the people,” “Be servants to me rather than Allah,” but (instead, he would say), “Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied.” (3:79)

The word “Rabbani” is an Arabic word derived from the word “rabb” and adds the letter “Alif” and the letter “Nunn” is pronounced with Rabbani which refers to the most gracious God. When the word Islam is associated with Rabbani, it carries the meaning that Islam has a relationship with the rights possessed by Allah almighty. In this case, the framework of rules and laws derived from Islam is based on the principles of values derived from Allah almighty. Many Tafsir scholars such as Tafsir al-Baidhowi [2], and Al-Alusi [3], interpret Rabbani’s words as a person of knowledge and wisdom in managing human rule who has a close relationship with leadership.

Ibn Hisham (213H) describes Ibn Abbas’s (3 SH–68 H) interpretation of the events that took place in verse 79, surah Ali Imran. He explained that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not sent to invite Jews and Christians to worship him. This explanation proves that the call of Prophet PBUH is to guide mankind to the generation of Rabbani. In this case, Rabbani’s words are closely related to human beings who use their understanding and superiority to invite others to worship Allah.

Rabbani’s leadership is focused on the effort to invite goodness by doing the things God has commanded, and abandoning the things God has forbidden. The measuring stick of good and bad is referred to the Book of Allah and the Hadith of the Prophet. In this case, the honesty of the leader is inviting his followers to carry out God’s commands sincerely can be translated through a fair and just relationship.

The strength of Rabbani’s characteristics of a leader is linked to what the leader does and the personality of the leader. Someone who is deeply concerned about the leader’s behavior and its relationship to the well-being of his followers. In any decision-making situation, the issue of religion is implicitly involved. The choices made by leaders and the way they respond in each situation reflect the strength of their Rabbani characteristics.

The nature of Rabbani is part of the nature of Islamic leadership that colors the pattern of leadership in organizations that have strong paradoxical and practical values. Despite its novels and paradoxes, Rabbani’s basic ideas, and prescriptions of leadership can contribute to the development of an Islamic approach in leadership to determine the direction of a group or organization. Praise for Rabbani’s conceptual framework came from a variety of well-known writers, including Al-Baidhowi [2], Alusi [3], and Al-Haj Maulana Fazlul-Karim [4].

A study of the life of the Prophet Muhammad saw during the events of the migration from Mecca to Medina reveals how the behavior of the Rabbani leader was translated into the responsibilities and practices of effective leadership. Rabbani leadership reveals a framework of leadership practice that has a close relationship with leadership character. The behavior and decisions of the leader will have a direct impact on the system and work culture of the organization being led. Rabbani’s leadership model has three main characteristics, a relationship with divinity; humanity; and human development.

The Rabbani leader is not only a person who is able to lead, knowledgeable, and wise to adapt to the demands and needs of life in this world and the hereafter. The Rabbani leader is also able to share responsibility with his followers by giving full responsibility to carry out the trust that is driven by the spiritual aspect. By doing so, Rabbani leaders are able to cultivate noble values (Ihsan) which are fundamental principles while promoting follower capacity building, group unity, cross-cultural knowledge, and natural resource development.

Rabbani’s leadership specifically reveals a framework of ideas about the role of leaders to determine the true direction and morals of an organization based on shariah-compliant. Iehsan [5] explains that the methodology of Rabbani education delivered must be based on an understanding of the real role of human beings living in the world to be servants of Allah (al-Zariat: 56), human beings as caliphs (al-Baqarah: 30), and human beings living will through a test given by Allah (al-Mulk: 2) [6]. Man is responsible for undergoing a philosophical framework (Hablum minAllah wa hablun min al-Nas) in his life based on surah Ali Imran (3: 112) as the basis of happiness in this world and the hereafter [7]. Adibah Rahim [8] explains that behavior in Islam has a good relationship between Khaliq (Creator) and makhluq (creatures), and between humans and other creatures.

Thus, Rabbani’s leadership is in two broad domains namely the concept of leader behavior and the concept of leader character. Al-Ghazali [9] explained that human beings consist of two forms, behavior, and character. Behavior refers to the physical form of man while character refers to the spiritual form of man. Thus, Islamic ethics from Al-Ghazali’s point of view is rooted in the soul and manifests itself through human actions. Such character can be acquired through practice and training. Adibah Rahim [8] combines both the domains of behavior and character in one word, referred to as Islamic ethics.

Rabbani’s concepts related to leader behavior is further divided into two types: concepts that emphasize the consequences of a leader’s actions and those that emphasize the vision and mission that govern the actions of leaders. In assessing the consequences, there are three different approaches to making decisions about the conduct of Rabbani leadership: Divinity, Humanity, and the Development of human life [10].


4. The vision of leadership

A leader who leads an organization certainly has a vision that must be fulfilled. Leaders will share their dreams and determine the direction of the organization to drive the goals and actions of employees or followers. Islam provides a complete framework of life; Therefore, it introduces the two main sources of the Qur’an (Holy Book) and the Sunnah (the actions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) as the life principles of an individual as well as society [11].

Rabbani’s leadership begins with a natural feeling (fitrah) that one wants to cultivate goodness among his followers through charming communication to transform the purpose of the individual into the goal of the ummah. Rabbani leaders always strive to increase piety, where they act without disregarding sharia and ethics, regardless of the expectations of other individuals. A person with full awareness always aspired to lead others to obey all the commands of Allah so that it becomes the highest priority in accordance with the principles of Maqasid Shariah. Thus, Rabbani’s leadership is a framework for elevating oneself and his followers to the highest level of moral development because leadership behaviors reflect a personality that can adapt to the development of life in this world and the hereafter. This approach would show that Rabbani leaders tend to move towards superior development, which involves held personal values and standards (e.g., integrity, justice, and caring for the good of society). To clarify Rabbani’s leadership for practitioners, there is something important in the development of spiritual values.

4.1 Devinity: courage and justice

Courage refers to an individual’s ability to be a visionary leader for an organization, sharing an explanation of his or her mission and leadership direction. This approach goes beyond thinking to deal with daily activities because it focuses on the “big picture.” The courage of revelation-based leaders will emphasize the value of justice that equips Rabbani leaders to respond to complex organizational problems in creative ways, enabling them to address the intricacies of the organization in relation to its long-term goals.

Hence, a leader must be seen as someone who was not afraid to face danger when he delivered Tawhidand revelation to the community. The leader involved articulating, communicating, and inspiring a vision to his followers in the organization. He was showing courage and the ability to take calculated risks were essential attributes of a leader. These attributes describe Rabbani behavior, which promoted the concept of Tawhid by cooperation, creativity, and innovation through informal and formal sharing of divinity (al-Qur’an). The Rabbani leader employed divine teaching to reshape the culture and climate of humanity. The Rabbani’s teachings addressed the soul that was the most important component of humanity.

4.2 Humanity: temperance and justice

A common theme that occurs through Rabbani’s leader perspective is the sense of simplicity of the leader-follower relationship as emphasized in ethical leadership. In addition, this perspective emphasizes the need for leaders to pay attention to the diverse needs of followers. Temperance a state that is naturally inclined morality to do what is right within the right way shows the balance of the faculty of appetite by reason and law. In an Islamic perspective, the actions of leaders are morally correct if they express concern in protecting followers who have been known to need help and hope for well-being. Caring ethics is very important in organizations because it is a key element in building trust and collaborative relationships.

Thus, good communication between leaders and followers is an interactive process that includes the transmission and reception of messages such as speaking and listening. The decency of a revelation-based leader will be accompanied by a feature of justice that complements Rabbani’s leader “standing in the place” of others and striving to see the world from that person’s point of view. The empathetic Rabbani leaders show that they truly understand what their followers think and feel. When a Rabbani leader shows empathy, it affirms and confirms his followers. In addition, Rabbani leaders were concerned with the personal well-being of their followers. They support followers by helping them overcome personal problems. Rabbani’s leaders are committed to helping everyone in the organization grow personally and professionally.

4.3 Human life: wisdom and justice

Wisdom is an award that qualifies a person to know in-depth to produce precise and balanced actions when making conscious decisions. This action will generate the confidence to have high motivation, inner strength, and enthusiasm to interact and speak convincingly. The qualities in Rabbani leaders make them very familiar and accepting of their physical, social, and political environment. This includes understanding oneself and one’s impact on others. With divinely controlled wisdom, it will be accompanied by justice that equips Rabbani leaders who can step out and see their own views and their own perspectives in the context of a larger situation. The knowledgeable person inherits the wisdom that will use his skills in dealing with challenging situations and strive to unravel each problem with his knowledge, beliefs, and skills shared with his followers in the organization.

Hence, the leader has persistent communication that convinces others to change. As opposed to coercion, which utilizes positional authority to force compliance, persuasion creates change using gentle nonjudgmental arguments. The advantage of a Rabbani leader is the ability to know the future based on what has happened in the present and what has happened in the past. A high sense of responsibility can engender a far-sighted view by a leader because of the willingness to take risks on every decision and action that can lead to failure that can be reasonably expected.


5. The impact of Rabbani’s leadership

Based on the framework of this writing will describe the practical dimensions of Rabbani’s leadership which include the behavior of leaders such as the divine aspects that produce the values of courage and justice; aspects of humanity that produce the values of decency and justice; aspects of human life that prioritize the values of wisdom and justice; and its consequences on leadership responsibilities. There are three important responsibilities that every leader can fulfill throughout their tenure of leadership, and make decisions that have consequences.

5.1 Upholding the vision (Tawhid)

Al-Tauhid is a key element in the concept of the Islamic worldview. Muslims are very monotheistic and vehemently reject any attempt to make God visible or human. Islam rejects all forms of idolatry, even if the purpose is to “get closer” to God and reject the Trinity or any attempt to make God human. The teachings are based on the holy book of religion which is the holy book of the Qur’an and sunnah. It compresses the seen and the unseen world. Tauhid or the doctrine of tauhid shows that only He (Allah) is worthy of worship. An obedient person is a human being who lives a life to surrender his soul and body as a servant of Allah [12].

Discussions on the concept of Islamic leadership are rooted in the life of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Rabbani is an attribute shown by Prophet as a leader and bestowed on a person who claims to be a servant. In fact, the way a person emerges as a leader is by first becoming a servant of God. Leaders should begin the move by setting a direction to drive their followers to work fulfilling the vision of the organization. In addition, a leader must have the courage to defend the truth for the sake of the survival of the organization. The vision of the organization is actually very important to be shared with all employees in order to inspire followers to make improvements in the organization. A leader who dares to defend and fight for idealism is embodied in the skills of speaking, communicating, inspiring all his followers to make improvements. Courage accompanied by justice can have such a profound effect on followers that they are willing to sacrifice time and energy to perfect the vision of the organization. This spirit was actually inspired by the example set by the Prophet when he called on the people of Mecca and Medina to make changes in all areas of life.

The qualities highlighted by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) leading the companions to maintain their beliefs, implement religious teachings, and build a nation reflect Rabbani’s behavior. All decisions to determine the goals and actions of defending and fighting for religious life are based on monotheistic beliefs that emphasize God and glorify him. These attributes with cooperation, creativity, and innovation through informal and formal sharing of divinity (the Qur’an). The Prophet (peace be upon him) used divine teachings to reshape the culture and climate of mankind. The teachings of the Prophet touch the soul which is the most important component of mankind. He taught with wisdom and changed the souls of individuals among the companions like Umar bin Khatab. Therefore, the process of learning gradually so as to be able to develop a culture of knowledge in the Muslim community is a reflection of Rabbani’s leadership. This approach contributed to changes in the lives of his followers and as a result, they have stopped doing things that are forbidden in Islam such as stopping drinking alcohol, killing, civil war, etc. [13].

5.2 Social justice and humanity

In Islam, the leader is entrusted to guide his people to surrender their entire lives to gain the pleasure of Allah by carrying out all of his commands and abandoning all of his prohibitions. Islam introduces a framework of life that connects the soul of the servant to Allah in every action to meet the necessities of life. The freedom of action of a human being to live the life of the world must be bound in scope as a slave who has a relationship of life in the hereafter.

In matters related to efforts to uphold universal justice, Rabbani leaders must be able to emphasize justice in the governance of the organization. If there is a problem or conflict and reconciliation, a leader should refer to the guiding principles given in the Qur’an and Sunnah (the actions of the Prophet Muhammad) on contemporary world issues [11]. A leader can spend his leadership time teaching and guiding his followers in the virtues and values of Islam. In this case, the leader should be able to help his followers to see something beyond their self-interest, and he himself strives to emphasize universal brotherhood, prioritizes virtue, goodness, justice, and strives against the influence of selfishness in himself.

Accordingly, Rabbani’s leadership can guide and control change to achieve the stated contextual objectives. Empowerment is the willingness to enable people with the skills and knowledge to use their talents and energy to be more effective. When people are empowered, they are able to solve job-related problems and make decisions, preferably as a team unit. Rabbani’s leaders constantly encouraged his followers to practice what they believed in. He urged his followers to practice Islam even when situations are contrary to personal desire and gain [13].

Rabbani leaders are able to teach followers about the concept of love and brotherhood, which is the value of caring while dealing with each other in their daily lives. Rabbani leaders strive to unite followers of the values of togetherness, starting from the individual, family, and community levels. He clarified the rights for each category and ensured that carrying out joint duties should be upheld in society. Followers are able to sacrifice their wealth to others for the sake of Allah and work together as believers to achieve the goals of the Ummah [13].

Islam aims to build an organization or society based on religion, morality, and social justice [14]. The Rabbani leader is actually a leadership framework for realizing social justice through the teachings of revelation. Rabbani’s leaders built the foundation of developing society with the guidance of revelation to be able to face the challenges of finding solutions. Rabbani’s characteristics become more apparent when a leader enthusiastically invites his followers to appreciate the teachings of the Qur’an. This leader does not consider himself to have an advantage over others but always considers his followers as brothers so willing to work together to help advance the organization. Social justice is strengthened through the concept of brotherhood to create a sense of belonging. This spirit of brotherhood makes a follower responsible for fulfilling the trust given and cooperating with each other. This commitment develops by itself to be seen as a key element that can evoke a spirit of helping each other and caring for the basic needs of those in need [15].

5.3 Sustainable development

Prophet Muhammad PBUH provided an example of community and national life while laying the foundation stone for the construction of the state of Madinah. The Prophet PBUH gave an example to his ummah on how to deal with various backgrounds such as religion and race to create the spirit of patriotism referred to as ummah. The Prophet saw made a fair decision when granting minority rights to different religious groups through treaties. This treaty is considered an important document that binds the diversity of ethnic and religious groups to live together to defend the homeland from being invaded and damaged. This attachment also opens space for all parties to contribute energy, thoughts, and strength to contribute towards the development of the country. The leadership of the Prophet succeeded in creating a new system that could manage balanced development to meet both the spiritual and material growth of the different religious groups that were able to survive under Islamic rule. The framework of state life shown by Prophet Muhammad PBUH is recognized by many historians as a method that can deal with the lives of people of different backgrounds in order to live together under the auspices of the Islamic State of Madinah [16].

The wisdom of Rabbani’s leadership shown by the Prophet has been able to formulate a good strategy. Prophet Muhammad managed to choose among the companions to contribute their expertise to help develop a nation. In this regard, a Rabbani-characterized leader should have the advantage of managing by mobilizing his followers to contribute expertise to develop an organization. A knowledgeable person inherits wisdom that may describe his skills in dealing with situations he faces because of his knowledge, beliefs, and skills. Many hadiths suggest the importance of knowledge and skills. These changes describe determination, the people who aspired to a civilized society. Every single follower plays an important role in managing natural resources and developing them for the benefit of their lives. Human development approaches to addressing religion and spirituality at work and its surrounding.

The word Adl in the Arabic language defines as developed and excellence. The word Adl in Arabic is defined as advanced and growing. Justice brings the principle of balance to produce the inner motivation of the self that contributes to the production of quality and excellence shrouded in moral values. Islam encourages its people to be committed to contributing energy towards development without neglecting the ethical elements that can affect the development of individuals and society. A good individual will give birth to a good society in general [17].

Islam teaches human beings to value good relations among human beings and their environment. This sense of responsibility will cultivate a sense of always accepting and protecting all life in the world as a good value. This attitude can cultivate a passion for preserving and conserving the environment that contributes to the ecological balance of nature. A good environment can be utilized to meet the economic and social needs of human life. The right to use and utilize natural resources, which God has bestowed on human beings necessarily involves an obligation on the part of human beings to conserve them quantitatively and qualitatively. In this case, the leader should be able to inspire his followers or his community to be responsible for preserving and conserving the environment for the sake of survival [15].

Adibah Rahim [8] argues that most people see ethics as a less important part and rarely combined with other sciences, such as law, politics, science, economics, and others. This situation has an impact on modern science-based knowledge that is seen as empty and soulless. Therefore, ethics should be a basic principle in every development of values ​​such as justice, freedom, equality, and rights and should be ensured to exist and be used in all disciplines. Without ethics, every evolving discipline of knowledge will face various problems and ultimately affect the harmony of human life and its environment. Similarly, skills are seen to have a certain importance in every discipline of knowledge that contributes to quality and prosperous life. The balance of disciplines of knowledge accompanied by values, and skills is actually an important element that contributed to the life of the Prophet, especially during the migration from the city of Mecca to the city of Medina.

Accordingly, of course, knowledge, skills accompanied by ethics and values have a positive impact on efforts to manage and develop natural resources. Zulkifli Mohamad [18] pointed out that in fact many hadiths and verses of the Qur’an that touch on the importance of knowledge, skills, and values as human capital to manage all forms of human life needs. The man should always refer to the code of ethics to monitor his relationship with God, with family, with fellow human beings in society so that his life finds happiness and goodness.

Accordingly, human beings should not neglect the code of ethics in the affairs of life when making decisions or actions. In terms of human relations, it is clearly mentioned in the Qur’an that Muslims are brothers. Therefore, one should have ethics in association, such as being helpful, kind, generous, and polite to each other. The forgetfulness of a person who is willing to release the bonds of self and life from the code of ethics can affect the well-being of life. This condition can upset the balance of life which will eventually plunge a person towards ruin and stray from the religious life [19].


6. Core principles of effective leadership (Maqasid Shariah)

Hence, Rabbani concept has inspired the objective of the organization’s policy that emphasizes certain divinity thinking derived from religion. Rabbani leadership may inspire the practicing Islamic teaching for selecting and producing quality human capital.

6.1 Cultivating benevolence (Deen)

The notion of religious belief as a source of knowledge and guidance is well-known as the basis of the Islamic worldview. The concept of Tawhid or belief in the oneness of God is at the core of the Islamic worldview. The Islamic faith of oneness of God (tawhid) promotes the spirit of integration and inseparability in man and nature, and of a human fraternity, which concerns of unity for the mutual good in guiding individual action. The challenges with the current idea from other religions are behind the growing relevance of secularism when dealing with individuals, and theology is only one part of identity. Muslims are strictly monotheistic and fiercely reject any idea to make God visible. The obedient person whose life is governed by the principles of Tawhidthat lead a divinely inspired life.

According to the Islamic view, leadership position has a relationship with trust and responsibility, rather than as a privilege [10, 20]. Leaders must uphold the principles of leadership that is virtuous based on faith or belief. The values of trust and responsibility will motivate employees or their followers to emulate the nature of a leader and work with a full sense of responsibility. A leader who devotes himself to guiding his followers will produce obedient workers. Leaders not only determine the direction of the organization but are also able to protect and deal with followers fairly. In this case, the leader always communicates directly with his followers in matters relating to work affairs and also in relation to God. This approach will encourage employees to always be concerned about matters related to the affairs of worldly life and the hereafter.

The leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) proves some of the leadership practices shown involve example, good speech, guidance by inspiring his followers (the companions). His courage in carrying the message of God had to be paid for with the sacrifice of his whole soul and body, as well as the lives of his followers. Successful leaders are those who are willing to take risks to achieve their vision and mission. Leaders not only instruct followers to perform tasks but at the same time help their followers by setting direction, good guidance as well as being role models who can inspire their followers [21].

An organization that has a clear vision, can help every member of the organization to learn and understand the assigned task better. A good understanding can smooth the work entrusted to be carried out according to the given guidelines. If all members of the organization feel valued for having been involved together in determining the vision or mission of the organization. Of course, the trust given by the organization will be seen as a responsibility that must be fulfilled with good and quality results.

6.2 Empowerment (livelihood)

The approaches of humanitarian relationships may offer a viable solution that empowerment is one of a mechanism to encourage employee commitment in any organization. In the Islamic view, empowerment signifies a form of discussion which is known as Syuratic. This discussion aims to make decisions that are applied at all levels, both in the administration and management of the organization collectively. While leaders play a major role in articulating a vision, the emergence of a vision comes from both the leader and the follower. This means they build a framework that can develop an identity of attachment to the organization. These leaders deliver a direction that can develop their organizational values and norms.

In Islam, a way of life is defined as religious life. People who are religious are those who have a system of beliefs and laws that affect life have a relationship with God. Religious life does not set aside material demands from spiritual demands or vice versa. However, the religious life is to drive the desire for materialism which is accompanied by a spirituality that has to do with the teachings of religion. Accordingly, thoughts or ideologies that do not associate religion with the way of life are actually contrary to the notion of religion itself. They may reject ideological doctrines that isolate religion in matters of life such as secularism, humanism, and liberalism because they contradict Islamic beliefs.

The position of a leader is different referring to the hierarchy in an organization that has many areas of duties and responsibilities. Worldly missions emphasize that leadership can place commitment in fulfilling responsibilities. A leader can determine certain needs to be implemented collectively for the welfare of an organization by doing good (‘Amr Bil Maroof) and preventing evil (Nahi-Al-Munkar). Accordingly, the Islamic leadership model should provide a vision that can be shared with followers. Each follower will work according to a set task to fulfill a shared vision in the organization. The vision of ideal leadership in any organization certainly wants the existence of a developed society to be able to provide welfare and prosperity. At the same time, a leader will ensure that the well-being of society is not affected by elements of discrimination, oppression, and exploitation.

Leaders should be able to guide their followers or people to know and understand Islam as a whole. Leaders should be prepared to serve Muslims by providing comprehensive guidelines on the management of personal and professional affairs. Leaders are willing to establish good and unique relationships with trusted followers through family activities (“usrah”). In this regard, Islam sees good work as a virtue and a form of worship. Every job or trust given is a responsibility that must be fulfilled and it is obligatory for every Muslim to complete the task. Satisfaction will be born after every trust and work entrusted can be completed perfectly. This effort can actually cultivate the blessings of life.

6.3 Brotherhood (offspring)

Brotherhood in Islam is like a human being with a perfect body. If one limb is sick, then the whole body will be sick. Therefore, there needs to be a bond between individuals with one another in a team. Cooperation, consideration, solidarity may strengthen the bond of brotherhood. There must be a high determination in each member of the organization to express the meaning of commitment in the organization. An understanding of religious life, with an emphasis on morality and fighting for social justice, is the main spice for developing a competitive socio-economy society [22].

In the view of Islam, the development will be born when human needs, natural and social resources can be preserved from the elements of lust that only pursue the pleasures of life to boast of wealth and luxury. The spirit of brotherhood built in a society will be able to guard against greed. Members of the community can live a life that prioritizes a spirit of cooperation, consideration, and even solidarity with other less fortunate members of the community. Charity and knowledge become an added value to human life that binds progress and the pursuit of happiness as part of the human responsibility of living on earth. Community life on the principle of brotherhood will actually be able to develop a society that lives in harmony [23].

Rabbani leadership designed the framework of social justice to bring harmonies life through his moral teachings [14]. The effort led to restructure the resources to settle down the problem faced during the administration period. The only reliable way to do by launching the concept of Islamic brotherhood so that they started to think of every follower as their brother regardless of the color, caste, and clan. This notable policy showed Rabbani leader is a successful leader, undoubtedly. The notion of Islamic brotherhood is an optimal solution for this problem that unity is the foundation for the harmonious life of society. This work provided proof that binding the humanitarian relationship between multi followers’ social backgrounds may grow up a positive way as a progressive society.

Rabbani leaders do the pervasiveness of coalitions or set alliances with any agencies as mechanisms of upgrading the organization’s influence, by convincing peers, subordinates, superiors, and outsiders to join forces to pursue their common interests. This approach shows a move that officially marked the start of the development collaboration between the followers and outsider agencies.

6.4 Knowledge management culture change

Knowledge management culture change that stimulates followers to be creative and innovative Aqal (intellect) is regarded as the starting point of knowledge. Islam forbids the practice of drinking alcohol because it can damage the mind that can affect its function to acquire knowledge. This type of leadership supports followers as they try new approaches and develop innovative ways of dealing with organizational issues. It encourages followers to think things out on their own and engage in careful problem-solving.

In this regard, preservation of the mind may avoid things that can impair the function of the mind which can disrupt the harmony of social life. The preservation of the intellect must be accompanied by faith that provides the direction of the reason for the truth. Faith requires the mind to adjust to a shariah understanding of the current context and environment. In general, Islam guides its people to preserve the main source of human intellectual development capable of knowing Allah Almighty.

Leaders should have a philosophy of monotheistic values to be translated through leadership practices. This confidence will be able to give birth to the basic principles for handling all human affairs and organizational development efforts. Leaders will always set an example by showing a good example of personal life to their followers. Leaders always keep promises and give high commitment when in social activities with their followers. This practice will strengthen the identity and bonding relationship between leaders and followers in an organization. Rabbani leaders encourage others and celebrate their accomplishments and lead followers’ feel better about themselves and their contributions to the greater common good.

The preservation of the intellect is not limited to the avoidance of harmful acts, but also to the development of the faculties of the intellect that contribute to the cultivation of knowledge. The exploration of knowledge should be encouraged by providing for all the needs of knowledge development and identifying factors that may hinder its smoothness. Rabbani leadership can contribute elements of the knowledge management culture change that are in line with common sense goals. In this case, political leaders should be willing to harness the power to shed light on the importance of knowledge in life. In addition, political leaders can also organize programs that stimulate the community’s desire to gain knowledge. The sensible mind can accept the facts of truth without being influenced by emotion and bigotry. The sensible mind also readily accepts the rules and laws set by Allah Almighty. On the other hand, unhealthy minds cannot accept the good or prevent the damage described from the sources of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet PBUH.

6.5 Management (resources)

Islam sees natural resources as the greatest gift from God to all human beings. Natural resources are sources of sustenance allocated to human beings to be utilized. Thus, part of the objective of the development of an economic-social system is to emphasize the collective responsibility in utilizing, allocating, and preserving this whole universe. Islam emphasizes efforts towards environmental protection, taking and utilizing natural resources for business purposes, and the importance of social sustainability. Therefore, the leader is responsible for guiding the followers or the people to utilize the natural resources they have for the needs of life and maintain the balance of the environment. The categories of human needs are many, and they are classified in terms of variance of goods, individual and social services related to health, employment, education, housing training, building relationships, and including the environment to ensure an acceptable standard of living for all (Khalfan, 2002).

The creation of man is a combination of spiritual and physical elements. Both of these elements actually influence the hopes, desires, and needs of human life. Humans always need something to meet the demands of a member’s life. At the same time, human beings also need spiritual elements to meet the needs of internal elements such as intellect, lust, and even spirit. All three internal elements feel empty if one has not yet discovered or known God [15, 24]. In this case, the leader should be able to take care of all the living needs of his followers or his people well. Good management will produce the equipment needed fairly and equitably. This agenda can cause followers to appreciate the leader’s efforts by highlighting positive self-expression. This situation will be able to bind the relationship of leaders and followers who are guided to fulfill the vision of the organization. Good management opens up space for leaders to express high expectations to followers and help them gain confidence and self-efficacy. In short, Rabbani’s leadership works because it binds followers and their self-concepts to organizational identity.


7. Conclusion

In summary, Rabbani’s leadership model produces three components that influence the perspective of the leadership framework: The vision of leadership, The impact of leadership, and the core principles of effective leadership (Maqasid Shariah). The main focus of the approach is the impact of leadership that nurtures Rabbani’s leadership: Upholding the vision (Tauhid); Uphold social justice and humanity; and Sustainable Development. Certain cultures and contexts, the nature of the leader, and the followers ‘acceptance of leadership can influence the degree of ups and downs of Rabbani characteristics in leadership. Leaders who have Rabbani characteristics, it is likely to contribute to increased outcomes at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

The Rabbani leadership approach works differently than many of the prior theories we have discussed. Rabbani leadership focuses on the behaviors leaders should exhibit to put followers concerned the faith and shariah’s compliance for the mutual good in guiding individual action to support followers’ personal development. It is concerned with how leaders treat subordinates and the outcomes that are likely to emerge. It begins when a leader begins to focus on the development of spiritual values by exhibiting honesty when interacting with them, and treating them fairly. The leader of Rabbani prioritizes his followers to obey the commands of Allah and abandon all prohibitions when dealing with any party. Leaders can realize the importance of maintaining a religious life to build good relationships among human beings and the environment throughout life. A good relationship built between a leader and a follower allows the leader to understand the abilities, needs, and goals of the follower. This information is very important, as the main source to motivate followers to strive to the maximum extent of developing the potential of followers. When many leaders in an organization adopt Rabbani’s leadership orientation, work culture of harmonizing others inside and outside the organization is created.

Finally, Rabbani’s leadership actually has the opportunity to make a difference to individuals, followers, and employees in an organization. Leaders who care about individuals and groups will inspire employees to be more committed in developing organizations that care about their needs. Organizations that practice a Rabbani leadership culture are committed to helping those in need while operating outside the organization.



This study is part of the project under a research grant (FRGS-59280) funded by the Ministry of Higher Education (KPT). The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, for the financial support granted towards the success of the research project.


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Written By

Hailan Salamun and Asyraf Ab Rahman

Submitted: August 1st, 2021Reviewed: December 13th, 2021Published: January 21st, 2022