If you are holding a leadership position, well respected and may have some fancy title bestowed as a prefix to your name. Have you ever wondered what your leadership style is? What is your compass in leading the people under you?
What does the Quran say about leadership?
“Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish worship and pay the poor due and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity. And Allah’s is the sequel of events.” Quran, surah al-Hajj ch 22:v41
The essence of leadership, as mentioned in the Quran, is that when Allah s.w.t blesses you with the gift of leadership, it is to be held by obeying His commands, taking care of the weak and ensuring justice.
In this article I just want to share just two words from the Quran specifically from Surah Al Mutaffifin that I came across . I think these two words are very important, for those that have been blessed with leadership . Knowing these two words will help you to become an inspired leader.
But first ask yourself:
What role does the Quran play in your business, work or leadership?
We might say that we make sure that what we are doing is halal. What we really mean is we do not engage in haram activities. Well, that is hardly enough, because you are doing the minimum of what is required from you.
It is not the same thing as being mentored by Allah, through his own words. It is not the same thing as Allah clearing your path, connecting you with what you need and giving you more than you expect.
These things where divine intervention works in your favor are not fairy tales and they are not mere bonuses given to you if the economy is doing good. But it is a promise from Allah to make things easy for you when you act in a manner that shows you believe in Allah’s reward.
Unfortunately, many Muslims today are literally blocking this help and guidance from coming to them. We do this by ignoring the Quran. We think it has nothing that could help our tech problem, growing our business or solving our professional challenges. We then go and look for the popular influencer that puts out content that resonates with our hearts and minds.
How do we respond to do Quran?
We listen to it comparing which Qari’s recitation is more melodious. We read it like running a 100 meter sprint just to get it over and done with. At best we hang on the walls of our homes without understanding what it means. And devoting more effort than that, is just a waste of time.
What Gary Vee said on his social media, is treated with more reverence than the Quran. Why is this happening? We know it is the word of Allah, it came from Allah but still, we do not give it its due. The Quran single out this group of people and explain why they can’t see the Quran is the best solution.
There is a word in the Quran (Surah Al Mutaffifin) Asaathiiru which means tales or stories. This is the reason why we do not give the Quran its due respect. We may not say or even believe that the Quran is a fairy tale but we certainly treat it as such. You can look it up in Ayah 13 of Surah Mutaffifin.
As a leader we listen to a lot of Asaathiiru, from our co-workers, from our subordinates and even from our families. We had listened to our fair share of tales, or perhaps tell one or two ourselves. So we treat the Quran the same way, like it is a fairy tale.
This is the reason why we can’t see the Quran as a solution to our problems. Consciously, we do believe that the Quran is the word of Allah but it is a different story internally. Subconsciously, we do treat the Quran as a tale, that we like to listen to and even read but we take no Ibrah (lessons) from it. It is not the first thing that we refer to when we have an issue, sometimes it is not even the last place that we look.
So, even if you are an accomplished leader with countless awards from the disbelievers you are basically sick. If you treat the Quran like it is Asathiiru, we need treatment to cure you from this self-inflicted blindness. So the road to recovery began with first admitting you have a problem.
Why We Treat the Quran like a Fairy Tale
This is the cool part, Allah in the same Ayah goes on to tell why we are in this predicament. Which brings us to the second word in the Quran, this one word tells you about the cause. Allah tells us why we are treating the Quran like a tale.
The second word is Raana. Raana is the cause for treating the quran like a fairy tale. This one word tells us so much about why we suffer from the lack of confidence in the Quran.
Alright the Raana comes from the letter Ra Alif and Nun some Quran translations translate it as sealed . But if you go to the tafseer the word has been referred to as Rust. This rust has covered their heart. That is why we can’t see the solution in the Quran. Our hearts are covered and have become rusty.
Let’s think for a moment about the word rust for a moment. When does rust appear? Rust is not like a slap on the face, which happens suddenly. Rust develops over time due to constant neglect and exposure to certain conditions over a period of time.
So our hearts become blind to the hikmah and miracles of the Quran because as if it is covered by rust. How did that rust get there in the first place. I would recommend you go to the Quran and look at the Ayah 12 and 13 of Surah Al Mutaffifin. It states the issue, the cause and also the solution to it.
Why Should You Use the Quran as Your Compass?
When you are in a leadership position, you need to use the Quran as your ultimate guide, I am not saying you should not listen to your favourite influencer be it Gary Vee or Simon Sinek. I am just saying it is fatal for you to accept something just because it resonates with the problem you are going through.
But whatever information that you feel should be implemented in your company, cross check it with the Quran. I am reminding myself, my children and everyone that read this, if you are blessed with leadership and you are not using the Quran as your compass; no matter how big success you are to the world, you are heading for trouble.
As a Muslim, if you use the Quran as your leadership compass, here is what will happen. You’ll stop romanticising failure like it’s a medal for thriving against the odds.
If you don’t use the Quran as your compass then the disbelievers are your guide, because they appear to be successful. If you just read Surah Al-layl you know that their success comes at a very costly price, because Allah has promised to make their path smooth with hardship. Hence the obsession with failures. So we have insanely following the footsteps of those who Allah make things hard for them.
Allah holds the key to everything, your business, the economy, your subordinates, your in-laws (I have a great mother in law by the way). When your plans fail, you don’t need to get right up again and start sprinting you need, to realise that Allah is making a correction and perfecting your imperfect plan.
So to recap if you are in a leadership position ask yourself have you been treating the Quran like a fairy tale. Meaning, you don’t see it is worth taking the time to understand the message and how it is relevant to your challenges. Then you have to admit that your heart is covered by stains that blinds you to the truth.
Truth is the Quran is more than just about reading it like the latest trending Qari (reciter) on Youtube. The truth is the Quran is relevant to whatever problems you’re facing right now whether you are a technology start-up founder or a head of department. It will show the fastest, quickest and easiest way to solve it.
Remove the stains and every decision that you make InsyaAllah will be divinely inspired and guided. To put it simply when you shift to the Quran as your compass, you are actually shifting from a push to a pull strategy.
Shahfizal Musa is the Founder and Managing Editor of Halalop. He graduated with a Law degree from Thames Valley University London. He is an award-winning journalist covering topics such as human trafficking, Muslim research discoveries, and exceptional Muslims.