Communication and Human Development

Merging spirituality and religion: Developing an Islamic leadership theory

Abstract: Leadership has been much talked about in the literature of social sciences. Numerous theories seem to have confused researchers and therefore scattered ideas about leadership continue to emerge from time to time. These theories can be classified into behavioral studies, contingency studies, transactional studies, transformational studies, charismatic studies, and integrative studies. Very recently, researchers have introduced a new concept of leadership known as 'authentic leadership.' This author argues that Islam provides the most comprehensive understanding of leadership through its highly developed and modern ethical system that seeks guidelines from the Qur'Én and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad [p.b.u.h]. The author also argues that grounds for leadership have already been laid by Islamic teachings several hundred years back. Nevertheless, there is a need to understand and comprehend these teachings and integrate them into a comprehensive and elaborate theoretical model of leadership theory based on Islamic perspectives. The paper first summarizes the theological beliefs and fundamental socio-economic principles of Islam and cultural setup of society based on the Qur'Én and Sunnah. It then presents a framework of Islamic Leadership Theory. The paper also discusses the theoretical and practical implications of the proposed framework. Recommendations are also made for further theoretical development of the proposed model.JEL classification: M14, M59

Key words: Spirituality, Religion, Islamic leadership.

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