Overlooked Leadership Characteristic of the Prophet (saw)

Originally posted by Dr. Hesham Alawadi

The Meaning of Great Leadership

Doesn’t it strike you that Muhammad (PBUH) never wrote and narrated an autobiography, yet the one with great number of biographies?

When you look at the sayings of Muhammad (PBUH) you hardly notice that he spoke much about himself, rather as a messenger he spoke more about the message (Islam) and the recipients of the message (Muslims). He realized that the entire mission was not about him as a person but about us and how we could please Allah. Yet, what is fascinating is that the more he did not speak about himself, the more people loved him and were even more inquisitive about knowing everything about him. The more he humbled himself, the more Allah elevated his status and made him even more important and relevant to any Muslim’s life.

True leadership has nothing to do with the ego of the leader or how “wonderful” and impressive that leader is. Rather, true leadership is how we (the led) become better human being and human resource as a result of being led by such great, self-denying leaders.

Muhammad (PBUH) was not interested in making all the companions exactly like him; rather encourage each companion to utilize his/her own potential and talent compatible to each person’s true personality. That is why we have great companions, yet different companions. That is the essence of real great leadership.


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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. He works full time in the corporate field, is a PMP, and certified Leadership Trainer through the John Maxwell Team. You can follow him on on Twitter @ibnabeeomar, and check out his latest project - The Fiqh of Social Media.

Omar UsmanOverlooked Leadership Characteristic of the Prophet (saw)

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