Saturday, March 23, 2013

Leadership qualities and Dhul Qarnain

It is well-known that a very small percentage of mankind go on to become leaders who rule over their masses. Yet, those who do, exercise considerable influence (good or bad) during their tenures. This story of Dhul Qarnain that Allah has narrated in the Quran serves to be a beacon for anyone who occupies, or intends to ascend to, a position of authority and leadership over a large number of people.

There are scores of articles and blot posts on the Internet that list and describe desirable leadership qualities for the benefit of the innumerable, young, ardent and wannabe ladder-climbers out there, which list the prerequisite innate as well as acquired traits of successful leaders.

Life coaches, authors, motivational speakers and corporate trainers have made lucrative careers out of giving conferences on sustainable leadership, and “how to become successful managers/CEO’s” et al. No surprise that self-help books on this topic penned by so-called gurus abound online and in print, many of them going on to become bestsellers.

The greatest book of all, the Quran, also throws light upon just what it practically means to be a leader, by narrating this story of Dhul Qarnain in Surah Al-Kahf, without mentioning any of his traits in the form of a list that we can all immediately start to incorporate into ourselves, but rather, by describing his actions and behaviors during his successful conquests; in particular, how he dealt with the people he came to rule over.

These people included those he had never even met before, nor (as in one particular case), whose language he even understood; people whose towns he traveled hundreds of miles to reach and eventually preside over.
Yet, Dhul Qarnain was so successful in influencing his subjects, that he was able to convince them to submit to and worship Allah as the only god,- and he did this without shedding any blood!
Sadaf Farooqi in her blog. Here

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