Youth Leadership

::: Youth Leadership (part 1) :::

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Rationale for Youth Leadership

Curriculum Model for Youth Leadership Programme

Design for the Youth Leadership Programme

Implementation of Youth Leadership Programme

Evaluation of the Youth Leadership Programme





Youth Leadership (YL) involves the education, training and development of young people to play leadership roles in their own situations and contexts as students and later as adults. YL per se is not a subject in the traditional sense. It is rather a multi-faceted programme that includes a variety of activities embracing inter alia enrichment, environmental projects, community service, recreation and tarbiyah as learning. Further YL cannot be seen as a stand-alone programme. It has to be integrated with whole school policy as well as with other academic disciplines. It therefore impacts on all persons involved with the school including the community, governing body, headmaster, teachers, support staff, students and parents.


There are several reasons why YL needs to be implemented as a foundational programme particularly in Muslim schools. The following are pointers rather than in-depth analyses.


Since the termination of the Khalifate, the Muslim world was without a central institution established by the Khulafa Rashidun. This institution symbolised the power and cohesive nature of the entire Muslim Ummah and gave effective leadership to that Ummah. However, recent attempts at leadership at the global level such as the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) have yet to deliver.

At the local level, Muslim leadership seems to be in the hands of learned Sheikhs or Imams who are predominantly providing a form of leadership largely confined to spiritual and personal matters, ignoring broader community, ideological and developmental issues. Other local leaders are often secular minded with limited understanding of the needs of the community. What seems to be lacking is a leadership that has clear vision and direction for Muslims and Islam in all walks of life.

From an Islamic perspective, it is inconceivable that Muslims should be leaderless when Allah and his Rasool (SAW) have ordained the role of Khalifatullah on earth, amirship even when there are three persons, or accountable shepherd over persons in one’s care.


It is common cause that Muslim youth are in a crisis. Negative peer pressures, negative influences and the power of the electronic media, the scourge of drugs, pornography, liberal values and powerful anti-Islamic forces combine to produce youth who are less confident about their Islam and heritage despite the influence of the school, madrassah, and other institutions in the community. Youth, both boys and girls, are frequenting shopping malls, raves and discos, and idling their time in trivial pursuits rather than being involved in constructive and worthwhile activities. This is not to ignore those few youth who are engaged in healthy pursuits. The crisis is, however, more general and affects youth not only in South Africa but also elsewhere.


Muslims as Khalifatullah on earth need to play meaningful roles at every level of society. While youth today would need to be more assertive and positively influence peers rather than succumb to negative forces, youth tomorrow would need to participate and contribute to the development of their own community and the broader community in their countries. In South Africa, Muslims must step up their contribution, participation and involvement in all spheres of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). This includes the economy, education, parliament, the professions, art and culture, famine, environment, military, science and technology, intercultural understanding, sports, civic affairs, etc.

To be able to contribute and participate as Muslims, the youth need the concepts, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values that are underpinned by Islam so that their influence may be felt as leaders in their particular situations.


One of the problems facing our youth is the manner in which Islamic culture and ideals are transmitted. Both secular and Islamic sciences tend to be content-focussed where learning takes place by memorisation and regurgitation, ignoring processes of development implicit in the learning-teaching activity. Further, our education tends to focus on particular disciplines which promote the intellectual or cognitive development of the learner, and ignores other domains of development including the aesthetic, social, moral-ethical, physical, and affective domains. Mainstream academic learning is governed by strict certification criteria. Alternative activities-based programmes that engage students in a wide variety of activities balanced across the various domains are thus needed.


Every educational programme is based on a theoretical model which informs the design of that particular programme. The YL programme is based on the process curriculum model.


The process model arose as an alternative to and contrasts sharply with the traditional model. The traditional model claims to be rooted in a scientific-empirical ‘value-neutral’ ideological position promoting ‘rule-following’ whereas the process model is rooted in an explicit qualitative values-based ideological position promoting higher order mental skills including understanding and critical thinking.

The process model carries with it strong notions of experiential and exposure learning, that is, learning through a process of engaging and being initiated into ‘worthwhile activities’. These activities are worthwhile in themselves rather than as a means towards objectives, in that they can be justified intrinsically and they illuminate other areas of life.

The pedagogy employed by the process model to facilitate the process of teaching and learning is also different. The teacher plays a central role as senior learner in initiating students into worthwhile activities and acts as resource rather than an expert. Emphasis is placed on the discovery-inquiry, dialogical, interactive, and experiential approaches to learning rather than by information transmission, teacher-talk, rote-learning, recall and regurgitation.

With regard to assessment of students, the process model pursues understanding rather than grades and aims to enskill and empower. In this context the teacher is a critic, not a marker in order to help students improve their capacity to work to standards and criteria by critical reaction to work done. The model’s greatest weakness and also its greatest strength, is the teacher. Therefore, enormous emphasis is placed on teacher development.

The process model forms a workable theoretical framework to design the YL programme. The foundations of the model seem to be consistent with Islamic goals of leadership and empowerment rather than followership. For the YL programme, a shift has to be made from traditional memorisation-regurgitation learning which is based on the means-end behavioural model to a model where learning is viewed as a process of holistic development.


The term ‘design’ usually refers to the five elements of a programme. Broadly these are the idea, aims, content, pedagogy and assessment. The design elements of YL are discussed below.

4.1 IDEA

The idea of leadership development comes directly from fundamental Islamic sources. The Prophet (SAW) referred to everyone of us being a ‘shepherd’ or a ‘leader’ responsible and accountable for our flock. He (SAW) also instructed that whenever there is a group of persons, one of them should be the amir. The Qur’aan refers to human beings as ‘Khalifatullah’ and Muslim jurists have even referred to followers of Muhammad (SAW) as ‘Khalifatur Rasool’. Furthermore, because the Prophet (SAW) himself was a leader in all situations and at the same time a follower (of Allah), it therefore becomes incumbent on his followers in turn to emulate his Sunnah. This amirate is one that is muttaqi, that is, being conscious of Allah in all thoughts, feelings and actions and is reflected in the individual’s knowledge, concepts, attitudes, values, behaviour and character in all situations. It is therefore inconceivable for a Muslim not to have leaders. Leaders are needed not only in mundane matters but also to advance the broader civilisational goals of Islam as the Qur’aan says in Surah 3 verse 110:

You are the best people evolved to lead humankind commanding the ma’ruf, forbidding the munkar and believing in Allah.

From the foregoing, YL is clearly rooted in Islam and is informed by its injunctions, ethos and values and is premised on the notion that every youth has the potential to be a muttaqi leader.

4.2 AIM

The broad aim of YL is:

To develop muttaqi situational/ contextual leadership among school children from kindergarten to grade 12.

The term muttaqi implies that the learner will learn, understand and implement Islamic rather than kufr ideas, concepts and values in his/her thoughts, feelings and actions. Leadership implies that the youth must be empowered with the necessary abilities, attitudes, values and knowledge and that they must be developed holistically across all domains of the educational process so that they may play meaningful leadership roles in different situations and contexts and thereby serve Allah.

Following the broad aim of the programme, the subsidiary aims of the programme are as follows:

– to cultivate and develop team spirit in youth groups;
– to develop organisational, communication, thinking, decision making, problem solving and other leadership skills and competencies;
– to inculcate a social and community consciousness;
– to develop artistic and other creative talents;
– to encourage participation in sports, martial arts, self-defence, and other recreational activities and programmes;
– to inculcate a healthy self-image, self-concept, and the adoption and internalisation of positive attitudes, behaviour, character and values;
– to forge a closer relationship between parent, child and family through parental involvement;
– to encourage the appreciation and study of nature and natural phenomena, thereby increasing their understanding of Allah;
– to provide the youth with wide comprehensive exposure to science, technology and the world of work;
– to encourage cross-cultural encounters and contact;
– to engage in such activities that will provide optimum experience, exposure, enrichment and empowerment in the process of holistic development.

The following are examples of values and attributes that need to be built into the programme:

– self-discovery and self-knowledge;
– self-reliance and self-discipline;
– goal setting and time management;
– perseverance and determination;
– initiative, enthusiasm and creativity;
– development of purpose and constructive thinking;
– community involvement and social responsibility;
– development of personal values;
– a spirit of adventure and team work;
– physical and mental exercises;
– development of vocational, cultural and family life skills;
– international understanding and awareness;
– ukhuwa, Muslim unity;
– care for animals and the environment;
– defence of Muslims, injustice and fight against all forms of oppression;
– the promotion of compassion;
– patience, tact, determination, reliability, accountability and responsibility;
– understanding – of themselves, of those in need and of those with whom they will work;
– participation in decision-making at a level which has a real and perceptible effect on peoples lives; and
– developing an understanding of the fact that personal integrity is the essential basis of any social relationship or contribution to the community.


The content of YL differs markedly from the content of traditional subjects. YL focuses on structured, worthwhile activities to provide experience and exposure across the holistic spectrum of domains (cognitive, aesthetic, spiritual, conative, ethical, physical, affective, social). These activities include a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities in the categories of enrichment, leadership and life skills, tazkiya/tarbiyah, arts and crafts, sports and recreation, and service. The activities are connected to Islamic spirituality and designed to promote concepts, ideas, values, attitudes, skills, knowledge, character and behaviour. The activities would need to be age level appropriate, catering for complexity and depth and developed on the basis of several criteria.

For example, students may be initiated into an activity involving the study of birds in flight. The justification and spiritual connection of this activity may be the following verse from the Qur’aan (Al-Mulk 67:19) as it implores humankind to study birds and inquire into the concept of flight:

Do they not observe the birds above them, Spreading their wings and folding them in? None can uphold them, except The Most Gracious: Truly it is He that watches over all things.

To engage in activities involving this exemplar, the initiation could be through activities from any one or more of the abovementioned categories to enrich the experiences. The values embodied in this activity are: * observation, awareness and admiration of the creation of Allah and its diversity; * observation and study of birds as a learning imperative from the Qur’aan, reinforcing the Qur’aan as a source of guidance not only to matters strictly spiritual but also including knowledge of science, technology, ecology, geography, ethics, and morality which are nonetheless spiritually linked; and * the glorification of Allah as Creator of the universe, reaffirming Tawheed, iman and ibadah. Exemplars from the Qur’aan, Sunnah and Shari’ah are therefore an integral part of every worthwhile activity.


A clear shift is made from information transmission, ‘chalk and talk’ and teacher-centred modes of teaching and learning. The pedagogy in YL is experiential learning or learning by doing, implying a pedagogy including inquiry-discovery, independent research and expression, and critical thinking. Students engage with various activities designed in collaboration with them where the teacher takes the role of facilitator/mediator rather than an expert and authority. S/he acts as a guide/mentor in promoting underlying values and in encouraging leadership roles.

In the example quoted above about birds in flight, the materials to be used are as follows: worksheets, pencils, felt pens and blank paper. Resource material such as videos, slides, audio cassettes, nature magazines, selection of library books, documents, articles, models and artefacts could also be made available to the discussion groups to promote understanding of an issue or situation as it unfolds in discussion. The activity is planned as an after-dawn activity on an adventure camp and is organised as follows:

A group of 25 students (ages 10-14) are taken to a Nature Reserve for an overnight adventure camp. They would awake before dawn to perform the fajr salat. Thereafter in groups of 5, they would proceed to the bird hide and observe the variety and activity of bird life for about 15 minutes, making notes and sketches of their observations.

Next they would proceed to a suitable area within the precincts of the reserve for further engagement with the activity.

1. Each group is asked to appoint a member as leader or alternatively, the mediator may choose a leader from the group, asking the group to select a scribe to write down points discussed by the group for presentation at a plenary session.

2. The groups are asked to find exemplars in the Qur’aan and Hadeeth relating to birds/flight from a selection of several photocopied exemplars.

3. Each group may ask a volunteer to recite the relevant verse from the Qur’aan in Arabic. Another may volunteer to read the verse in English.

4. Students are then asked to study the worksheets, discuss them in groups and collectively complete them. The worksheet guides discussion on adaptation, diversity of the Creation of Allah, flight and balance, types of feathers and their various functions, bone structure, various parts of the bird – created by Allah for specific functions and how flight is applied in science and technology.

5. At a plenary session, the mediator as chairperson, directs each group to send their representative to present their findings. A general discussion may ensue.

6. Each student is asked to do a drawing of his/her favourite bird, or one of the birds he/she observed.

7. Other activities that they may engage in includes: writing a short poem, composition, or song around birds; designing and constructing a paper/plywood plane; writing a letter to a friend describing the camp and event; students may be asked to make an audio visual presentation with slides and cassettes or a video recording. Students could also be shown a video on the flight and migratory patterns of various birds. The opportunities for activities are limited only by the imagination of the mediator.

It is possible to use this exemplar in an activity involving aeronautics and physics because it lends itself to examining an idea or application of an intellectual process to a new setting as in the notion of transcendence. The learning imperative is from the Qur’aan and therefore spiritually connected.

During his/her engagement with students, the mediator imbibes values of tolerance, empathy and has a sincere and caring attitude. By personal example, the mediator purposefully promoted the ethos and aims of the programme, participating in the salat and other group activities. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “The learner and the learned are partners in Taqwa …” (Quoted in Al-Ghazali 1987 : 19). Teachers responsible for the implementation of YL need to be trained in the processes involved.

The above activity complies with the following pedagogical aims and standards: it involves the student holistically; it allows for leadership opportunities; it is cross curricular; it allows for active roles rather than passive roles; it encourages research; it involves communicative competence; it allows question posing and expression of views; it promotes spirituality; it allows for team work; the mediator assumes the role of partner, resource, senior learner, facilitator and mentor; it allows for creativity; and it allows for reflection on and illumination of other areas of life.


Unlike traditional subjects in which assessment largely focuses on memorisation, regurgitation and measurement approaches where students either pass or fail, the YL assessment is largely subjective and qualitative. Students are assessed on participation in an activity, qualities displayed and deeds done. Assessment would include monitoring leadership qualities and roles played by the student, both inside and outside school, using several techniques including self-assessment, peer comments, parent feedback and observation. A data-base of student assessment should be maintained for evaluating long term success of the YL.

::: Youth Leadership (part 2) :::


Implementation here refers to the process of putting the YL programme into practice. YL is not viewed as a a stand alone only, on the contrary, it is viewed as a programme that affects every teacher and the ethos and policies of the whole school. YL also connects with parents and the community. Implementation of the YL programme involves three phases, namely initiation, installation, and continuation and expansion.


The initiation phase involves the initial preparatory work prior to installation. It is assumed here that the schools concerned will play their part in initiating the process by requesting assistance from the Association of Muslim Schools (AMS) for the implementation in individual schools. The initiative may also come from any parent, principal, teacher or any person at school level. Having taken that first step, the following needs to proceed:

5.1.1 Presentation

The concept of YL, its rationale, characteristics and requirements needs to be presented to key participants at a meeting with a view to involving them in the decision to implement the programme. This presentation could be made by a representative of the Youth Leadership Committee of the International Education Conference or any other competent person. This 3-4 hour meeting would need to be prearranged in conjunction with a single school or a group of schools in a particular area or region. The presenter could use OHP slides, videos, pamphlets and other literature as handout material.

5.1.2 Decision

After having made shura and discussed YL thoroughly with persons that may be affected at school level, a clear decision must be made with the support of key role players. Because the programme involves long term commitment on the part of the school, all queries should be cleared. The decision here is one of principle to implement YL in the school as a foundational programme.


This phase refers to the actual operationalisation of the programme in a school and also includes a number of steps.

5.2.1 Organisational structure

Implementation cannot proceed unless there is a clear organisational structure within the school with clear lines of communication and delegation of responsibility. No single organisational structure will suit the needs of every school and each school should decide on its own structures according to local contexts. However, the following is a suggested guideline:

– Appoint/elect a YL committee.

This committee should include the principal, teachers, parents, students and community. The main purpose of this committee will be to provide the necessary support for the implementation process, to ensure its continuity and growth in the school, and to receive regular feedback and reports.

– Appoint/elect a YL Co-ordinator

The co-ordinator may be the principal or teacher who is given the overall responsibility for the implementation of YL. He/she is the link between teachers, students, parents and the YL Committee. He/she will be responsible for organising regular INSET programmes for teachers, assisting with the planning of programmes, supporting teachers with ideas and the development of activities. The YL Co-ordinator will also investigate school policies and ethos to align them with the whole school approach to YL.

– Appoint specialist YL teachers/facilitators

YL teachers will be responsible for dedicated stand-alone YL programmes. This may be the Guidance teacher in the school whose teaching brief may be converted to YL. The specific responsibility of YL teachers would be the development of a programme for the year in conjunction with students, parents and community and specific activities of the programme.

– Bring other teachers on board for cross-curricular implementation

Because YL is intended to impact on other teachers as well as their disciplines, they would need to be brought on board.

5.2.2 INSET

INSET refers to the initial and ongoing training and development of persons involved in the implementation process, particularly teachers. Teachers would need to be given time-release for attendance where necessary.

INSET will need to focus on the following areas:

– What is curriculum?
– How do children learn?
– Behavioural objectives or process learning?
– Process learning guidelines in an Islamic environment
– Practical application of process learning undergirded with Islamic values
– The rationale for YL
– Ideological basis for YL
– Policies of YL
– Aims of YL
– Content of YL
– Pedagogy of YL
– Assessment of YL
– Characteristics of the Teacher/Facilitator
– Developing programmes and activities
– Cross-curricular implementation
– Development of school policy and ethos
– Evaluation
– Resources needed (human and material)

Teachers themselves would need to become competent in the above areas so as to reduce dependency on outside aid. However, the YL co-ordinator may draw on the experience of others in the process. Ideally one school in a region should become a model YL school so that other satellite schools in the region could draw on the model school for support.

5.2.3 School resources

The YL co-ordinator together with assistance from the school board would need to do an audit of school resources both inside and outside the school. Resources refer to funding, buildings, camp sites, equipment, materials, community organisations and environmental groups that are accessible to the school because activities will be determined to some extent by what is available and what additional resources are needed. Where possible, existing resources should be used.

5.2.4 Time Tabling

The YL programme is flexible and each school may decide on the most suitable time-tabling strategy. A combination of three options is available:

– create space within the existing timetable perhaps by combining YL with Guidance

– outside the time-table on weekdays, and over weekends; and

– during school holidays.

The total time required for the implementation of YL based on international experience seems to be about 75 hours per annum. This could translate to about 2 hours per week. Actual time-table time may be less. Consideration should be given to holding day and overnight camps within the available time.

5.2.5 Planning and development of activities

At this stage, the YL programme would need to be planned and activities developed. The YL co-ordinator needs to plan with teachers, guiding them about the categories of activities, the balance, holistic development, and the criteria for developing activities. Teachers are ultimately responsible for the development of specific activities.

5.2.6 Engagement

The next step involves engaging students in the activities. Students will also need to be briefed on the whole programme including its design dimensions so that they enter the programme with a measure of understanding. Students should be encouraged to provide feedback about activities. This could be done during language lessons, at assemblies, and via individual and group discussions.

5.2.7 Assessment

The final part of the implementation process is the assessment of individual students. As indicated previously, the assessment involves various techniques. A practical way would be to introduce a personal YL diary system wherein the students record their activities and short evaluations. The facilitator would need to examine the diaries on a regular basis.


The implementation of the YL programme needs to be sustained on an ongoing basis. This implies close monitoring of the programme and ensuring that problems are rectified as soon as possible. New ideas should be filtered through from the feedback and personal evaluations obtained from various participants. INSET programmes will need to be organised on a regular basis so that there is personal growth and development on the side of the teachers as well. Parents may also be involved in the various activities so that the YL programme becomes a partnership and link with parents. The more commitment and enthusiasm the school can generate, the more enduring the programme will be.


Ultimately, the school would want to know whether the programme is succeeding in terms of the broad aims of the programme. Evaluation should determine the successes and failures of the programme rather than that of the students. The programme can only be evaluated in terms of the long term achievements of students over several areas rather than only in terms of achievement in examinations. What is sought here is ‘muttaqi leadership”. This implies student behaviour, character development, attitudes and achievements. This is not a simple task. A confidential data-base of student development and assessment should be kept in the long term, based on the broad leadership criteria. The evaluation focus is on quality rather than on quantity.

The following is a sample of some criteria that may be used:

Has the student chosen an appropriate career?
How is the student contributing to society?
Is the student assuming leadership roles in society?


The YL Task Group of the International Workshop on Islamic Education resolved that:

– YL be given the emphasis it deserves in the school curriculum and be instituted as a matter of priority in a structured and sustained manner for all Muslim youth including the disabled;

– YL be viewed as central and fundamental to the ethos of the whole school, incorporating all disciplines and policies; and

– the International Islamic Education Conference actively promotes and supports Youth Leadership as a programme among Muslim schools. Madrassahs, NGO’s and other community organisations engaged with youth.

For the implementation of YL in local schools, clearly the above resolution needs the support and commitment of all the key role players at school level. The importance of YL as a strategic intervention in Muslim schools cannot be underemphasised nor can potential outcomes be underestimated. Please note that Youth Leadership (YL) is compatible with outcomes-Based EducationIt (OBE) and should fit with curriculum 2005. It must also be clearly understood that this YL programme is still in the developmental phase and may be adapted to suit local requirements. The more widespread the implementation, the greater the wealth of experience that will be accumulated and enable all its users to share. Insha’Allah.

::: Youth Leadership (part 3) :::




The core, inviolable and foundational Islamic value is Tawheed. Al Faruqi (1982) says on page 8: ‘There can be no doubt that the essence of Islamic civilization is Islam, or that the essence of Islam id Tawheed…’ Tawheed literally means that there is no ilah but Allah, the One Being, Supreme Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Allah ‘occupies the central position in every Muslim place, every Muslim action, every Muslim thought. The presence of Allah fills the Muslim consciousness at all times.’ (Al Faruqi, 1982, p1). Every value will therefore be underpinned, interwoven and interconnected with the core value of Tawheed and all its dimensions. Only then can it qualify to be an Islamic value. It follows then that any Islamic value based curriculum design must of necessity be informed by this basic and master value of Tawheed.

In the South African and global context, this concept is powerful, liberatory and revolutionary because it makes a paradigmatic shift from socially constructed ideologies to a divinely revealed world view; from the subjugation of insan by insan to the voluntary acceptance of the subjugation of insan to Allah, the All-Powerful and Supreme, for peace and happiness; from human bondage to the bondage and servitude of Allah.

Patience and perseverance
Determination and persistence
Kindness and compassion
Accountability and responsibility
Love and obedience to Allah, His Prophet (sollallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), Parents, Leaders and teachers (Reverence and Obedience)
Autonomy and inter-dependence
Self-reliance and self-sufficiency
Marriage and family life
Acquiring knowledge and skills
Thinking and understanding
Moderation and balance
Mutual respect
Humility and modesty
Human dignity
Generosity and philanthropy
Health and hygiene
Repentance and forgiveness
Animal and plant care and welfare
Work ethic, trade and commerce, entrepreneurship
Proactivity in promoting good forbidding evil
Morality and ethics
Children and youth
Freedom from any form of oppression
Caring and sharing
Desiring for others what you desire for yourself
Protection of interests
Critical and lateral thinking
Positive change and transformation
Positive attitudes and dispositions
Privacy and Confidentiality
Positive self concept, self esteem, self-image
Positive attitude in inter-personal relationships
Good neighbourliness
Order and Organisation
Abstention from intoxicants and injurious substances and from promiscuous behaviour
Abstention from other prohibited actions as enunciated in the Qur’aan and Hadeeth (Riba, fornification, etc.)
Hereafter – Resurrection – Jannah and Jahannam


A leadership programme must develop students holistically across all domains. Activity planning and preparation should therefore consider the following domains:

CONATIVE: Tawheed, risalah, Islam as din, anti-Islamic/Jahili Forces, philosophy

COGNITIVE: critical thinking, reflection, understanding, (Tafakkur) (Furqan)

PHYSICAL: health, fitness

AFFECTIVE / PSYCHOLOGICAL: self-esteem, identity, self-image, confidence

AESTHETIC: appreciation, talents, development (arts, drama, etc.)

ETHICAL: right, wrong

SPIRITUAL: taqwa, relationship with Allah, allegiance, loyalty, service

SOCIAL: relationships with peers, friends, family, school, community, environment, service, leadership, followership, teamwork

ECONOMIC: career and finance, work




* Qualities:
The leader is expected to be:

1. Morally sound 14. Enthusiastic
2. Imaginative 15. Energetic
3. Management-minded 16. Coaching minded
4. Fair to all concerned 17. Expressive (speech and writing)
5. Varied in interests 18. Logical
6. Instruction minded 19. Mentally keen, alert
7. Emotionally mature 20. Responsible
8. Planning minded 21. Improvement minded (Practising Ihsan)
9. Respectful towards self and others 22. Resourceful
10. Studious 23. Initiating, hard working
11. Decisive 24. Loyal to all concerned
12. Organised 25. Humane
13. Dependable

* Knowledge:
In more formal groups and organisations the leader should have knowledge of:

1. Aims, principles and objectives of his/her group/organization
2. Organization structure and orientation
3. Duties and responsibilities
4. Organization policies, practices and procedures
5. Basic economics
6. Scientific management principles and methods
7. Planning, scheduling and control
8. Quality requirements and control
9. Basic mathematics, language and science
10. Pertinent legislation
11. Professional standards (in their field)
12. Personal strength and development needs
13. The art and science of creative thinking
14. Human relations principles and methods
15. Communications

* Skills:
The leader should have skills in the areas of:

1. Creative thinking
2. Planning, organizing, executing and following up
3. Teaching, training and coaching
4. Assigning work
5. Keeping people informed
6. Controlling quality
7. Reducing or eliminating waste
8. Controlling costs
9. Carrying out policies, contracts and procedures
10. Co-operating with others
11. Keeping people informed
12. Handling emergencies
13. Maintaining good housekeeping
14. Studying for continued improvement
15. Keeping informed and keeping in shape
16. Setting a good personal example

Other qualities of leaders expressed as desirable by followers:

1. Thoughfulness 7. Courage
2. Impartiality 8. Directness
3. Honesty 9. Decisiveness
4. Proficiency 10. Dignity
5. People knowledge 11. People interest
6. Control 12. Helpfulness


According to Stephen Covey highly effective people have seven unique endowments which empower them to be effective leaders. These are

Primary Human Endowments Associated Habits

1. Self awareness of self knowledge Be Proactive
2. Imagination and conscience Begin with the end
3. Volition or will-power Put first things first

Secondary Human Endowments

4. Abundance mentality Think win-win
5. Courage and consideration Seek first to understand then to be understood
6. Creativity Synergise
7. Self-renewal Striving to improve or strive for excellence


Sixteen traits of leadership were identified in students in a study. Each trait was categorised as cognitive (C), Affective (A) or both (B):

1. Assertive decision making (B)
2. Altruistic (B)
3. Persuasive/innovator (A)
4. Sensitivity to the needs of others (A)
5. Ability to be a facilitator (B)
6. Goal orientated (C)
7. Strong communication skills (B)
8. Integrity (A)
9. Organization ability (C)
10. Resourceful (B)
11. Risk taker (B)
12. Charisma (A)
13. Competence (knowledge) (B)
14. Persistence (A)
15. Accepts responsibility (B)
16. Creativity (B)

The authors note that only two traits were rated as cognitive indicating the importance and complexity of the affective characteristics in leadership.



All other things being equal, one activity is more worthwhile than another:

1. If it permits children to make informed choices in carrying out the activity and to reflect on the consequences of their choices.

2. If it assigns to students active roles in the learning situation rather than passive ones.

3. If it asks students to engage in inquiring into ideas, applications of intellectual processes, or current problems, either personal or social.

4. If it involves children with realia (i.e. real objects, materials and artefacts).

5. If completion of the activity may be accomplished successfully by children at several different levels of ability.

6. If it asks students to examine in a new setting an idea, an application of an intellectual process, or a current problem which has been previously studied.

7. If it requires students to examine topics or issues that citizens in our society do not normally examine and that are typically ignored by the major communication media in the nation.

8. If it involves students and faculty youth in ‘risk’ taking – not a risk of life or limb, but a risk of success or failure.

9. If it requires students to rewrite, rehearse and polish their initial efforts.

10. If it involves students in the application and mastery of meaningful rules, standards or disciplines.

11. If it gives students a chance to share the planning, the carrying out of a plan, or the results of an activity with others.

12. If it is relevant to the expressed purposes of the students.

13. If the activity complies with the Shari’ah in enjoining the maruf and prohibiting the munkar and does in fact embody Islamic values and promotes and enhances the students concepts.

14. If it is enriching, empowering, enabling and enskilling.

15. If it encompasses the student holistically through all the domains of development: cognitive (mental), psycho-motor (physical), affective (heart), social, aesthetic, moral-ethico, conative and spiritual.

16. If the activity helps to promote any of the aims of this programme – singularly or collectively.

17. If the activity draws the student closer to his ultimate purpose of being of service to Allah, the Ummah, humanity and all creation.

18. If it enhances, equips and helps the student to build and internalise muttaqi leadership qualities, skills, attitudes, knowledge and values.

19. If it develops in the student respect for all other cultures, people and religions.

20. If it develops in the student a love for Allah and His creation.

21. If it leads the student to strive for excellence.

22. If the student is empowered to transform his/her attitudes, behaviour, values and character in alignment with Islamic values.

23. If it involves the student in studying, appreciating and living Islamic art, culture, history and civilization; and critically respecting and appreciating their own and other foreign and diverse cultures and civilizations.

24. If it provides for and engages students in appropriate leadership roles.



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