Once we comprehend that the name of Muhammad means worthy of praises, and his name Ahmed means the most praising and grateful (to Allah), it becomes conspicuous why our great prophet is an inspiration. The morals of the Prophet were so magnificent and praiseworthy that God has regarded them as great. `And truly you (Muhammad) possess great morals’ (68:4).
The Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم of Islam possessed the sublime status of prophecy and divine leadership, but his manners in dealing with the people and his way of life were so simple and gentle that when he was among the people and a newcomer wanted to know about him, he had to ask, `Which one of you is the Prophet’? Muslims everywhere look to him as their role model, the exemplar Muslim, the best of all creation, and a mercy to mankind. It was Allah Almighty who appointed Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as the leader of the Muslims of Madina and also for the rest of the Muslim Ummah:
“And We made them into leaders to guide people in accordance with Our command, and We inspired them to good works, and to establish Prayers and to give Zakah. They worshipped Us alone” (Quran 21:73).
Authentic and Consultative approach: One key attribute with the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was his consultative and authentic approach towards people and issues. The Prophet established this principle among his followers by counselling them even about his personal affairs, The Prophet said; “whoever takes counsel, does not regret it in the end.” He consulted with his companions before Badr, their first major battle. The Muslim forces consisted of 305 or 313 soldiers, whilst the Meccan army was around1000 men. Representatives from the Emigrants and the Helpers declared their obedience to follow the Prophet wherever he led them. Despite this, the Prophet consulted with them about the battle at Badr.
Conflict resolution &peace making approach: Being an effective leader requires enduing relationships and facilitating an intrinsic motivation within followers to cooperate and themselves proactively engage in peace-seeking method when overcoming conflict, (achieves the love and reliance of their people and is supported in as much as they solve their problems and the challenges and problems can be individual, social, private or public political, economic or social affairs. Throughout history, despotic rulers have been found to resort to power, oppression, censorship, prohibitions, punishments, and torture to solve their problems. However, such solutions have only short-term benefits, whilst additionally creating more widespread problems and disarray in the long term. Once, Husayn, an eloquent speaker famous for his convincing and effective speech, came to the Prophet and tried to defeat him in a debate. Muhammad (pbuh) listened respectfully to the arguments put forward by Husayn and after he asked the following questions to him: – Husayn, how many gods do you worship? – Eight; one in the Heavens and the others on Earth. – Which one do you call upon when misfortune befalls you? – The one in the Heavens. – Which one do you call upon when your wealth and property are gone? – The one in the Heavens. – Which one do you call upon when there is no rain? – The one in the Heavens. – Which one do you call upon when there is famine? – The one in the Heavens. The Prophet continued to ask similar questions and received the same answer to each question. After that, he said, “According to your answers, the one in the Heavens alone meets all your needs; however you associate partners with Him. Isn’t this what I have been teaching?”. The Leader Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم assessed the mentality of his addressee and talked to him in his level. As a result, he gained the hearth of Husayn with a friendly conversation.
Emotional intelligence: Another noteworthy characteristic of an effective and leader is to be able to shift the deeply held paradigms amidst a diverse range of followers, whose social intelligence and interpersonal relationships are acute. For instance, the deeply held notions of racial vilification and racism whilst prevalent in Pre-Islamic Arabia was almost eradicated with the leadership of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم . On one occasion when there surfaced a residual effect of such an attitude, the following took place. Abu Dharr, (Arab Companion of the Prophet) insulted Bilal in anger: “You son of a black woman!” Bilal came to the Messenger and reported the incident in tears. The Prophet reproached Abu Dharr: “Do you still have a sign of jahiliyyah (ignorance)?” Full of repentance, Abu Dharr laid down on the ground and said, “I will not raise my head (meaning that he would not get up) unless Bilal puts his foot on it.” Bilal forgave him, and they were reconciled. Such level of sensitivity reflective of a deeply rooted paradigm to readily overcome and effectively addressed is indicative of a mentoring and leadership potential whose understanding of his people and engaging with them at levels that transformed their characters and outlooks to peaceful and cohesive ways is insightful of the leader’s social competence, and deep understanding of his people, context and thereby his delivery of his message. Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم himself prohibited verbal abuse of unbelievers. Abu Jahl (father of ignorance and impudence) died before embracing Islam, despite all the Prophet’s efforts. Due to his unbelief and extreme enmity towards Muslims, the title Abu Jahl was given to him. Despite his constant hostility and attack on Islam and Muslims, Prophet Muhammad once admonished a Companion who had insulted Abu Jahl while his son Ikrimah was present: “Do not hurt others by criticizing their fathers.”
Views of Non -Muslims scholar: Not only Muslims but also many eminent non-Muslims scholars, over the centuries have given due recognition to his greatness:
Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was “the only man [we can say leader] in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level”, says Michael Hart in his book The 100
J. H. Denison
J. H. Denison writes in his book, Emotions as the Basis of Civilisation, pp. 265 9:
In the fifth and sixth centuries, the civilised world stood on the verge of chaos. The old emotional cultures that had made civilisation possible, since they had given to man a sense of unity and of reverence for their rulers, had broken down, and nothing had been found adequate to take their place. ….. It seemed then that the great civilisation which had taken four thousand years to construct was on the verge of disintegration, and that mankind was likely to return to that condition of barbarism where every tribe and sect was against the next, and law and order were unknown ……. The new sanctions created by Christianity were creating divisions and destruction instead of unity and order …. Civilisation like a gigantic tree whose foliage had overreached the world ….. stood tottering ….. rotted to the core …. Was there any emotional culture that could be brought in to gather mankind once more to unity and to save civilisation? … It was among the Arabs that the man was born who was to unite the whole known world of the east and south.
REV. BOSWELL SMITH
Talking about the immense influence of Muhammad on world history he wrote: In the year 565 Justinian died, master of a great empire. Five years later Muhammad was born into a poor family in a country three-quarters desert, sparsely peopled by nomad tribes whose total wealth could hardly have furnished the sanctuary of St. Sophia. No one in those years would have dreamed that within a century these nomads would conquer half of Byzantine Asia, all Persia and Egypt, most of North Africa, and be on their way to Spain. The explosion of the Arabian Peninsula into the conquest and conversion of half the Mediterranean world is the most extraordinary phenomenon in medieval history.
Lamartine a French historian, writes in his book, History of Turkey, p. 276: Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, the restorer of rational dogmas, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may ask, is there any man greater than he?
If greatness of purpose, the smallness of means, and outstanding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, and empires only. They founded, if any at all, no more than material power which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man merged not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties but millions of men in one-third of the inhabited world, and more than that, moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls on the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law. He created a spiritual nationality of every tongue and of every race. (Historie de la Turquie,, Vol. 2, page 76-77)
Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم will always be the most effective and influential personality for Muslims. He provided morals and ethical values that can be applied everywhere regardless of time and conditions. His resilience and a strong focus on protecting and fostering human rights sent a strong message which promotes peace and acceptance. Prophet Muhammad resolved conflicts with ease with effective leadership. His conflict resolution may inspire modern scholars in promoting interfaith dialogue in promoting world peace. His teachings meant that sincere love for humanity could and will be achieved by respecting all people from different colours, ethnic backgrounds, faiths, cultures and nations. Thus it is now the responsibility of Islamic states’ leaders to pursue the exemplary leadership style of Muhammad as the lifestyle to follow, emulate and imitate.
Hina Zahoor Istanbul Gelisim university