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Attributes of a True Leader

By Ayesha Akhtar

A TRUE LEADER is a living illustration of his teachings. Only then we can be inspired to learn a true leader’s philosophy when we see that a leader’s personal life exemplifies his philosophy. And if a leader does not stand by his own words, we cannot trust him.

It is useless for a leader to be a visionary in the abstract; It is essential for a true leader that he must be an effective communicator whose vision can be interpreted into definite, applicable principles – not knowledge for the sake of knowledge, but knowledge that can truly help improve the world. A true leader must have devotion, uniqueness, courage, strength, and humbleness in his personality.  When God chose Musa (A.S) to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt, Musa (A.S) replied, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh?” (Exodus, 3:12). Indeed, “Musa (A.S) was humbler than any man on the face of the Earth” (Numbers, 12:3).

When Egypt was concurred during the caliphate of Umar Bin Khattab (R.A), one of senior most companion of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H), all the wealth gathered by his soldiers and commanders was honestly submitted to the state. On that occasion, the companion of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H), Ali bin Abu Talib (R.A) said, the morality and trustworthiness of the soldiers is owing to the honesty of the Caliph Umar (R.A). During the years of drought, Caliph Umar (R.A) lived same life as the people without having any facility and food. On occasion of rejecting proposal of expedition during drought, Umar (R.A) is reported to have said: “Life of my one soldier is dearer to me than a million Dirham”. These are the attributes set by a true leader.

An example of true leadership also seems in today’s world as Jacinda Ardern, current prime minister of New Zealand has appeared to be a sincere sympathizer to all the Muslims by not just giving verbal speeches after terrorism attacks on mosques in New Zealand but practically going to Muslims(who are minority in New Zealand) in their dress and grieving with them by reading the verses of Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H).

Ardern expressed her feelings on the mosque shooting accident. She said that many of the Muslims affected in that accident may be the migrants to New Zealand. They belong to some countries, but they have chosen New Zealand to live there and make it their home. She presented herself as a true leader by supporting Muslims in this sorrow by practically proving that there is no place for such kind of extreme and violence acts in New Zealand. She made a promise to bring the terrorist to justice, to degrade him, to ruin recognition of his desire to be seen, recognized, and fought. The opposite of terror is not victory, courage or even justice, and it is surely not “war on terror.” The opposite of terror is disregard for the terrorist.

The leaders in our country have always considered themselves and their colleagues to be true leaders but practically proven themselves to be far away from the attributes of a true leader. Only Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan (First Prime Minister Islamic Republic of Pakistan) have so far proven to have qualities of true leaders after independence in our history. Mao Zedong also known as Chairman Mao, was a revolutionary leader, wore same dress thirty long years a measure of austerity. Zhou Enlai (First Premier of the People’s Republic of China) always rode bicycle during his tenure of almost thirty long years. And leaders of China wore same dresses as their labourers until China progressed. These are the attributes of a true leader.

History has witnessed many true leaders who do not want others to follow them. They made themselves an example for everybody. As a result of their true attributes and leadership qualities people themselves followed those leaders.

A true leader does not want extreme control rather he wants truth. He does not impose his leadership on others rather he tries fulfilling his people needs and make its country successful and a leading one.

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