Leadership Lessons from the Qur’an
Surah Aali Imran:159
فَبِمَا رَحۡمَةٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمۡۖ وَلَوۡ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ ٱلۡقَلۡبِ لَٱنفَضُّواْ مِنۡ حَوۡلِكَۖ فَٱعۡفُ عَنۡہُمۡ وَٱسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ وَشَاوِرۡهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَمۡرِۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمۡتَ فَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
And by the Mercy of Allâh, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh¬hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allâh’s) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allâh, certainly, Allâh loves those who put their trust (in Him).
- Follows the ayaat addressing the battle of Uhud. During the battle of Uhud, Prophet (S) had given very specific insturctions to the Sahabah. He told them not to leave the post until the Prophet (S) said so. They ended up abandoning the post and opened up a strategic opening for the mushrikeen.
- Prophet (S) was not very harsh – he treated people kindly, benevolently. He forgave them and made du’aa for Allah to forgive them.
- Sequence and grammar of the ayah gives the meaning that it was only due to, only because of Mercy of Allah P(S) was soft.
- 1) Doesn’t mean the Prophet (S) was weak – he had the capacity to hold people accountable. He was firm and capable of holding them accountable. He was merciful to them and this mercy came from Allah.
- 2) ONLY because of the mercy of Allah P (S) was soft – they were not deserving of mercy – they had disobeyed a direct commandment! It was due to the mercy of Allah again. They deserved a rebuke but were showered with mercy.
- Linta lahum – you were kind to them – something that is soft and very easy. Just like silk is soft, that’s how soft and gentle and kind and easy-going the P (S) was to the believers.
- Fadhun – someone who is very harsh in their speech and words. They use harsh language.
- Ghaleedh – something that is rough and abrasive (ex thorns, gravel).
- You can see the imagery of the softness of the Prophet vs the harshness of someone else
- Infadhu – literally means to break off. Shows that if you’re extremely harsh and hard with someone, you end up severing or breaking that relationship with that person. They will leave, broken.
- “The wound that is inflicted by the tongue never heals.”
- This was a very fragile moment so if you were harsh with them, they would’ve been broken off completely. They would’ve lost that friendship and love they had for the Prophet – by being nice, they stayed on the side of the Prophet.
- Compassion is a really powerful tool to rehabilitate a person.
- Harsh in tone and harsh in the heart – both are mentioned because both are reprehensible. You cannot speak to people in a harsh way or tone – doesn’t give you an excuse.
- Forgive them – let it go – and seek forgivess in Allah for them. Still include them in consultation.
- Step- by-step process for a group of people who may have had a difficulty!
- 1. Forgive them – let it go. 2. Then asking Allah to forgive them, it removes any negative feelings in your heart. 3. Your heart is cleared so now show them by consulting them in affairs.
- Then put your trust in Allah
- This teaches us for ANY position of leadership in any place it may be. It teaches you what to do then.
- First was soft, gentle, understanding. No punishment. No ill feelings in heart. Include them in inner circle – consulted. This is how the Sahabi stayed connected with the Prophet and each other. This builds a solid community
- Consultation – mushwara, shoora – is something very valuable which should be implemented in the Qur’an.
- Mashwara – to make something apparent, clear. Also same word used to extract honey to the bee hive. Element of danger – have to be cautious of pulling out pure, beneficial from the dangerous.
- A lot of things can go wrong in making decision, but when making shoora, and then tawakkul, inshaAllah, you get a pure decision.
- Prophet (S) didn’t need to consult with people but Allah swt commanded him to do so so that this would be a set practice, and people would do it after.
- When people consult with others in making a decision, then Allah guides them to making a correct decision.
- Prophet (S) used to make shoora that most.
- Shoora was made a source of mercy by Allah for the Ummah. Whoever makes it a regular practice, will find good in whatever he does. Whoever doesn’t do so, that person will constantly find themselves in a position of difficulty.
- Ayah after this – if Allah helps you, no one will ever be able to overcome you.
Any extra lessons?