The Exemplary Leadership of Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H.

By Machfud Ifan Husen

The Messenger of Allah was sent by Allah to bring us a perfect message. This treatise should be fulfilled perfectly and become the provision of human life. Islam as rahmatan lil’alamin has indeed come to bring mercy to all of nature without exception. Although he was the leader of Muslims, Rasulullah had a leadership approach that was accepted by all multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-religious communities.

As a man of faith or a Muslim who is obliged to obey His Messenger. In carrying out his or her social life, every Muslim is obliged to imitate the character of the Prophet (pbuh). The exemplary attitude of the Prophet (pbuh) must be a benchmark for Muslims in performing their daily activities, including in their roles as leaders, either when leading themselves, or in leading many people in various fields of life.

Thus, the leadership of the Prophet Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam, as a leader started from the bottom and from all corners of various cultures that converged into one community – Ummatan wahidah that consists of people who are believers and are pious. The Prophet’s exemplary leadership could be found through the success of the Muslims in the battle of Badr. It was when they were able to defeat the Quraysh Jahili army, thus gaining victory, not because of a miracle of the Prophet (pbuh) but more because of the leadership of the Prophet who succeeded in instilling faith, piety, loyalty, and the fighting spirit in his people to defend the truth and defend rights in addition to getting help from Allah Azza wa jalla.

Being a leader is a trust. It is not just a trust that can be played with, but a trust that must be accounted for. It can be guessed that the principles that the Prophet (pbuh) carried out were simple principles, namely instilling akhlaqul karimah (good character and behavior) in his leadership.

But that is not all that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) emphasized when carrying out his leadership. There is a very well-known leadership strategy of the Prophet (pbuh), that starts from oneself. Before the Prophet led his people (read: Sahabah), he led himself first before leading others through his exemplary personal qualities.

Before implementing tasks and orders to his people, he applied good characteristics first and lived them first, perfecting what he was doing and then becoming a good example for his people. The first step in this strategy was that he adopted the personal qualities of a leader to the fullest. As a leader he is known for having 4 basic characteristics, namely: Amanah, tabligh, siddiq and fathanah.

Amanah means trustworthiness. Before asking people to be trustworthy he first gave an example that he was a leader who can be trusted. Not only by giving promises to the people but also by fulfilling them. And never once did he underestimate the people’s trust in his leadership.

Secondly, Tabligh is conveying as it is all that the people really need to know. In the current language this would refer to the transparency of a leader. It is clear that before experts in leadership discovered the importance of transparency in a leader, the Prophet (pbuh) used this principle first.

Thirdly, Siddiq means honesty. This is the most important thing that must accompany the qualities of trust and tabligh. It means not covering up what is real. Mention good news if what really happened is good and tell the truth if the situation is really difficult.

The last one, Fathanah or intelligence, if seen, a leader will not be able to undergo the 3 traits without them being accompanied by high intelligence. Intelligence when solving problems, finding solutions and communicating to the people.

Therefore, after these four qualities exist in a human being with the responsibility to lead, then other traits will be born and present in realizing the character of a good leader; that who is exemplary, and wise in making decisions. Also, many systems will emerge through a just, democratic, and developed government in the application of existing laws. ***

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