In my latest interview with Paul Williams on his unique YouTube channel, Blogging Theology, I discuss the leadership of the Prophet ﷺ.
When the “leadership of Muhammad ﷺ” is mentioned, the first thing that usually comes to mind is his successful military leadership of the Muslims. Yet this spontaneous image is an unfair representation of his leadership, which transcends the military aspect. As is well known, the Messenger ﷺ he did not need to exercise military leadership in the first fourteen years of his mission, that is, for almost two-thirds of it. On the other hand, he had to exercise spiritual, social, and political leadership as soon as he was commissioned by Allah.
There are many indications in the Qur’an, Sunna, and history of the various leadership skills that Allah granted His Prophet ﷺ. But I focus in the interview on verse 159 of the Medinite chapter of Al ʾImrān. It is distinguished from other verses as it mentions several leadership attributes and behaviours of the Prophet ﷺ that were necessary for his success in spreading his Message. In fact, these are necessary for the success of any leadership. Because of this distinctive feature of this verse, I like to call it “the verse of Muhammadi leadership”. In the course of analysing this verse, I quote other verses, hadiths, and incidents from the Prophetic biography that are related to the subject of the leadership capabilities and skills of the Messenger ﷺ. This is the verse:
It is by mercy from Allah that you have been gentle with them. Had you been rude and hard-hearted, they would have dispersed from around you. So pardon them, ask for forgiveness for them, and consult them about matters. Then when you make a firm decision, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who trust Him. (Al ʾImran 3.159)