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The Current Problem of Leadership June 14, 2006

Posted by humairah in General.

I really liked this article by Abu Bakr Karolia, written about 4 years ago. This simple article explains the leadership problem in the Ummah today, and urges Muslims to rise up to the challenge. Hope you find it a good read too!

The Current Problematic of Leadership


AbuBakr Karolia

South Africa, March, 2002

In the modern era the institution of leadership is symbolized as the speculation of power and the capacity to manage and control the desires and emotions of mankind. Another explanation of leadership is to be a leader of a country or group that upholds the scope of power of an ideology or a way of life.

This ideology reflects a particular way of life in the current debate e.g. in the linear contemporary politics, the world is controlled by economic principles and wealth accumulation.

This particular ideology subtlety controls through economic power and political systems, which are designed to be seen as fair and just. Developed wealthy countries exert influence through the control of world markets and vast sums of financial capital movement. Minds are controlled through usurious economic systems, which perpetuate the concerns and oppression of ordinary people making a living.

The control of capital resources manipulates humanity through the modern free markets and purchase of cheap labor and ultimately political power. This cheap labor is the engine of the world, which is nourished by the vast sums of capital made available by the developed wealthier countries. This modern definition of leadership is broadly accepted as sophisticated tyranny but majority of mankind is unable to recognize this subtle oppression. Because it looks goods it is deceptive and you do not see the dragon that is about to pounce.

This process of material acquirement and consumerism becomes a way of life. This way of life is responsible for the protection of many ideas as nationalism, liberalism, democracy and free markets. This way of life due to its unjust individualism propounds characteristics of anxiety, depression, hatred, racism, and ethnic cleansing, class and gender inequality. This material way of life is to protect the accumulation of wealth, material goods and economic power.

In the context of a modern democratic dispensation the leadership maintains a stable government and must show open responsibility to a certain world opinion. Those that lead these forums e.g. the World Economic Forum (WEF) advocate the theory of stable and responsible government. These developing poorer countries are expected to be subservient to the economic world order, which then ensures possible access to resources and technology by developed wealthier countries.

Availability of technology and global resources are not for the benefit of the world but for an elite few. This is the modern leadership, the leadership of neo-colonialism, which ensures and upholds that the wealthy countries reap the benefit of their systems and schemes at work. Those countries that are independent or say things that do not suit the agenda of these schemes will be attacked through the propaganda of the media or brought to the knees through the currency markets. These people are generally not concerned about the alleviation of poverty, ignorance and disease. They are interested in protecting their way of life and if you are not with them then they are against you.

A further definition of world leadership is through globalization and capitalism the ‘mother’ of wealth creation, material accumulation and power.


Through the concept of globalization the power of control and leadership are nourished for the benefit of corporations and multinationals. Globalization is the birth child of colonialism and imperialism. Through this process the G8 countries with the help of the techno-usurious monetary system, banking institution such as the World Bank and the IMF has gripped the world economy and humanity, which has resulted in bewilderment, poverty and uncertainty.

Let us consider the Muslim world: Currently there are 56 countries, members of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). These countries are loosely linked and many of them do not officially accept Islam as their state religion. These countries do not cohesively pose a threat to other civilization or can be classified as developed. Almost all are lagging behind in knowledge, technological advancement and skills including effective and just governments.

Muslims make up over 1.2 billion of the world population who are divided by many of their own loyalties and difference of interpretation of Islam. The principle of Unity is in shock where Muslims are to busy fighting each other and therefore the commitment to their faith is apparently suffering. Poverty, ignorance and instability have become a common feature in the Muslim world that is dependent on the process of globalization, as instituted by the G8 countries. Affective visions and strategy for advancement is elusive and Muslim leadership grapple with critical thinking and in the lap of apathy and comfort. The issues of social justice and brotherhood are murdered in the echelons of corruption and dictatorships.

Many of these rulers have become lap dogs waiting to be thrown a few tits bits in this worldview of wealthy and militaristically powerful nations. Most of these leaders and rulers in the Muslim lands have not been democratically chosen at the ballot box.


Muslims all over the world often talk longingly of the Empire they had lost, there past greatness, and their domination of the world. They had ruled Spain for 800 years and much of Eastern Europe for almost 400 years. They even talk of their past mastery of the sciences, mathematics and the arts, their past prowess in battles and their victories. They point to the artifacts of their past glory, the astrolabe, the armour and swords of their past commanders such as, Salah el Din Al Ayubi, and the great architectural tributes to their engineering and construction skills as evidence of their worldly achievements.

And the more they think of their precarious state, the angrier they become. Frustrated, they feed on their anger, frequently getting themselves into a state of frenzy. And like most angry people they react irrationally. They resort to acts, which gain them nothing at all except to intensify the hatred others had for them.

The Qur`an says in Verse 11 of Sura XIII. "Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves." Again it must be remembered, "Whatever good comes to thee is from God; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy soul". Sura IV Verse 79.


Muslims in the last two decades as experienced an onslaught of attacks and pressure during the ending of the cold war between America and the Soviet Union. In the dismantling of the Soviet Union many ethnic groups formed new countries, which brought interference and tragedy. Countries such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania and Chechnya experience huge turbulence as Europe saw Muslim people attempting to establish their own identity and culture. Muslims experienced interference by America, Britain, NATO, the Serbs, Russia and presently many issues remained unresolved. The evolving of these new Muslim states in Europe set the world stage for a new ‘Hot war’ between Islam and the West.

The situation in Palestine and Kashmir remains unresolved since their occupation in 1948 by Zionist Israel and India respectively. The disrespect of Human rights, integrity and the freedom of people must rest on the shoulders of institutions as the UN and countries as America and Britain by their continued interference and support of illegitimate states such as Israel and the corrupt leaders of Muslim countries.

Since 11 September 2001 terror in America, Muslims has been further estranged by the attack of Afghanistan by the Global alliance formed by the US. This Alliance headed by the US and Britain blamed Afghanistan of this terror attack without a shred of sustentative evidence. Since 1998 The US and Britain has strategize to build a pipe a line to the Caspian Basin, rich in Fossil Fuel. The hidden agenda of the US and Britain has brought tragedy and hardship for the Muslims in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan in the 21st century has become the latest nation state which is unfolding in front of our eyes. The UN, the Northern Military Alliance a group that fought the Taliban with the help of the US and Britain are orchestrating a new dispensation which will be recognize worldwide due to the mechanism of the modern politics in the world. The new dispensation is being systematically maneuvered so that future of Afghanistan will be under the control of the US much in the same way many other Muslim countries have been influenced in the last century. The United Nations, The World Trade Organisations, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are representative of the developing countries and the Techno-Usurious system that is Globalization.


The challenge for Muslims to lead the way forward must be clarified as to what constitute a leader in Islam. It is beyond the scope of the present paper to give all the solutions but let us begin the debate to form concrete solutions, which will Insha-Allah enable future movements. Questions presently for Muslim is the necessary understanding of the process that can constitutes this institution of Leadership possibly through individual and collective transformation.

The process of individual transformation in the perfection of the self or Insaan al Kamil’ or the perfect man. This transformation has potential for leadership quality when an individual transcend and gains knowledge of the Qur`an and lives according to way of the Prophet of Islam. This knowledge is firstly for the individual’s benefits, which requires sharpening and the criterion for deep understanding of the Creator so that he becomes closer to Him. These two principles coupled with the capacity to serve humanity enables the potential of a leader. Muslims must transcend to the character of Rasulallah as a ‘mercy’ for the worlds.

This potential to serve humanity needs the necessary ingredients of selflessness and through compassion “to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil” The principle of justice is superceded by mercy but the character of a potential leader must be nourished by Taqwa, sincerity, honesty, transparency, accountability and justice for the pleasure of Allah (SWT). To be conscious and totally aware of The Almighty and to worship Him as though one sees Him and if he does not see Him, know that The Almighty sees him. This understanding and behavior is the crux of the individual’s transformation and his behavior and attitude is heightened cautious awareness and complete accountability to the Divine Laws. This process is significant in that it inculcates companionship and service to humanity for the pleasure of Allah (SWT). We must be the best people nourishing our hearts, nourishing each other in the education of the surrender to the will of ALLAH (S).



Decisive action, strategy and planning correctly is crucial for successful leadership and Shura [Please also view 'Shurah – A Vehicle for Mutual Consultation, An Act of Ibadah (Worship)'], which means mutual consultation, is the divine instruction for joint decision and advice. When a person consults and fears Allah (SWT) and makes a mistake, Allah (SWT) gives him one blessing, but when he makes the correct decision Allah gives him two blessings.

The Hadith of our Noble Prophet further elucidates this, when Allah (SWT) loves his servant, so that He becomes his eyes with which he sees and His hand with which he touches. When His servant walks to Him Allah (SWT) runs to him. This illustrate the character of the individual when his knowledge of The Almighty is as explained in a Hadith Rasul (S) which says that to know oneself is know ones Creator.

The process of ‘Shura’ and to individually and collectively establish ‘Taqwa’ without assuming it are the vital conceptual tools for the development of leadership and the decision making process.

Our educational and welfare institution and Masajid should not become idols but they should be vehicles for the worship of Allah (swt). These are places of Ibadah and action, which must develop the new leadership. Our homes and abodes should not only be places of rest but they should take the lead in the reeducating of the Muslim leadership with love, care and a proper curriculum. Amen

You can find other articles by this author on Nuradeen.



1. Kafi - September 19, 2006

Excellent article. Very suggestive of the fact that Muslim ummah is facing problems lacking the proper leadership. May Allah help us understand our position and act accordingly.

I liked Mr. Mahathir Mohammad, the true leade who addressed the current problems the ummah is facing. Specially his speech at PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia: http://www.bernama.com/oicsummit/speechr.php?id=35&cat=BI
is remarkable.

Thank u for the wonderful article.

2. Leadership Challenges in an Ever-Shrinking World | The Sentient Scholar - October 27, 2010

[…] [xiii] Karolia, A. B., (2002). The Current Problematic of Leadership., Leadership in Perspective, Retrieved from: https://theleadership.wordpress.com/2006/06/14/the-current-problem-of-leadership/ […]

3. oluwapelumi tobi - August 18, 2011

his the problem of Nigeria that of leadership and forlowership

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