Leadership Qualities Part 3

With elections in South Africa just over, we continue from our main article in the last issue, examining qualities of a good leader as opposed to a ruler:

A leader derives his appeal from humility, a ruler appeals for superiority
In his first speech as Khalifah (leader) of the Muslims, Abu Bakr said: ‘I have been appointed as ruler over you although I am not the best among you. I have never sought this position nor has there ever been a desire in my heart to have this preference to anyone else… If I do right, you must help and obey me; if I go astray, set me right…’

A leader’s hallmark is mercy, a ruler’s hallmark is authority
And We have not sent you (Muhammad ) except as a mercy to the universe. (Qur’aan 21:107) Such was the compassion of the Prophet that he said: ‘I start the prayers, intending to lengthen them. I then hear a child crying so I make them shorter, knowing that a mother will be distressed by her child’s cries.’

A leader is reliable, a ruler is reliant
‘There are three signs of a hypocrite: When he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is trusted, he betrays his trust.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

A leader elects people of expertise, a ruler elects people for expediency
‘Whoever delegates a position to someone whereas he sees someone else as more competent (for the position); verily he has cheated Allah and His Prophet and all Muslims.
(Ibn Taymiyya)

Jamiatul Ulama of South Africa