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The Leadership of Muhammad

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The Leadership of Muhammad is a very personal study of the life-story and leadership skills of the Prophet. John Adair served with a Bedouin regiment in the Arab Legion and this story is full of fascinating detail of desert life and Bedouin beliefs. A business book that crosses boundaries it highlights the key leadership skills displayed by Muhammad and allows you to share in his wisdom. John Adair weaves the story of Muhammad's life together with aspects of Bedouin culture and ancient proverbs to provide key points for leaders and aspiring leaders. He discusses tribal leadership and essential attributes such as integrity, moral authority and humility.

Learning and leadership go hand in hand. You are not born a leader, but you can become one and it is never too late to learn. John Adair's study or Muhammad and the tribal tradition of leadership is an essential addtion to the leadership debate.

144 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2010

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About the author

John Adair

137 books81 followers
John Eric Adair is a British academic who is a leadership theorist and author of more than forty books (translated into eighteen languages) on business, military and other leadership.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for Sahar.
301 reviews242 followers
November 2, 2021
“𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗹 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗽𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝗽𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝗛𝗶𝗺 𝗼𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗻.” [𝟯𝟯:𝟮𝟭]

A prominent academic and theorist in the leadership development community, John Adair’s insightful and informative work challenges the common misconceptions many Westerners hold regarding the leader of the second largest faith in the world.

More than just a historical account exemplifying Muhammad (ص)’s leadership prowess, this book functions as an instructive guide for both the lay reader and the aspiring leader. Each chapter recounts aspects of Muhammad (ص)’s life—his boyhood, adulthood and prophethood—providing a simplified yet well-rounded picture of his earthly life and the preparation of his mission. His leadership qualities are compared to that of other prominent historical figures. Each chapter is concluded with a “key points” section, recapping the qualities a good leader should possess.

The book did get a bit repetitive at times and though the tangents about figures from other faiths/traditions were insightful, I would’ve liked more detail solely on the Messenger (ص). That being said, it is still very much an uplifting read and supplements other seerah books quite well as it provides an acute focus on a significant aspect of the Messenger (ص)’s prophetic disposition. A great read for all regardless of creed and simple enough (imo) for teens.

Be mindful that the author does posit personal thoughts/reflections regarding certain aspects of the Messenger (ص)’s life. It’s interesting to observe the high esteem with which some non-Muslims hold the Messenger (ص), despite lacking the depth and reverence Muslims hold.

4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
2 reviews
May 27, 2012
As a Muslim, I grew up being taught of the perfection of this great man. And always, all the accounts of him, being narrated by Muslims, are naturally very compassionate of him.

However, the author of this book, totally lacked that love of the man. But it's not a bad thing. In fact, it was a refreshing perspective. A perspective that was devoid of love for the Prophet but at the same time, managed to paint the man as THE model of a leader. It only added evidence of the greatness of the prophet.

Also, doesn't matter if you're a Muslim or not, this book highlights so many tips on leadership which are relevant and applicable in the olden days until now and for the future to come. In fact, this tips would be useful even for daily face-to-face interactions.

Verdict: Must read
Profile Image for Suad Shamma.
689 reviews155 followers
November 7, 2013
I found this book very impressive, and concise. John Adair did a really good job in collating some of the most important points about leadership and using the prophet as a fine example. It was really interesting reading the stories of Muhammad (pbuh) and highlighting all the positive leadership aspects, even more so was the fact that things that applied thousands of years ago still apply today.

A lot of the points made in the book are things that all of us know and should be acting upon, however it's always good to remind yourself of these things so take it as a refresher, if anything. This book will definitely point any aspiring leader to the right direction, in fact, even parents could learn a lot from this book.

I finished reading it in one sitting, and walked away feeling inspired. One of the points that resonated with me most was the idea of leading by example, something that is truly lacking today.

Very well written book, in clear, simple English. I can guarantee you there are many lessons to draw from this read and it is well worth the money spent on it.
Profile Image for Ramez Al-fayez.
4 reviews4 followers
March 21, 2011
الكتاب رائع
العجيب أن شخص غير مسلم يستطيع الحصول على مثل هذه الدروس من حياة الرسول وبعض المسلمين لم يقرأ حتى سيرته
Profile Image for Mariam.
127 reviews30 followers
April 22, 2012
I had read the Arabic Translated version of this book.

The book is short and light, however, i don't think the 90% focusing on the leadership of Prophet Muhammad. Sometime, I find the author got the chance to mention other stories that's is not related, yes it is related to leadership concept but not under the leadership of Muhammad.

I thought the book subject should be change to something more generic like The leadership of Muhammad and other Arabs/leaders Maybe.

However, the book is good :)

Profile Image for Zainab.
57 reviews10 followers
June 8, 2019
An invaluable resource that focuses on how the Prophet Mohammed's (s) upbringing in Bedouin Arabia prepared him to take up the leadership position ordained by God. It goes through his key characteristics demonstrating his capability as a leader, relaying stories and narrations that some Muslims may be less familiar with. I personally found it fascinating. It's a straightforward, short read, written from a non-Muslim, Leadership Studies perspective.
Most facts and narrations are backed up with references, but there are a few remarks made in passing which were questionable, and where the author doesn't make an effort to state differences in opinion among Islamic scholars. For example, one of the lines state it is strange that the Prophet didn't appoint a successor. Despite this, there is a good range of quotes included, from Nahjul Balagha to Ibn Khuldun.
Profile Image for Shaoola.
186 reviews14 followers
March 15, 2013
A light small book yet a treasurable one that is well and eloquently written...
It sheds light on prophet Mohammad as a leader, a shepherd and above all a human being. It's fun to read and quite informative as you find different quotations from different people from different nations through different eras.
I loved how the writer keeps on including Arabic words as well as Greek ones and others and adds its meaning which adds to the whole context of narration.

"Humble people know their limitations: they know that they know, and they know what they do not know; they know what they can do or be, and they know what they cannot do or be"

I also loved how he concludes with

Ma' as-salama, Go in peace ^_*
Profile Image for Obeida Takriti.
394 reviews43 followers
December 29, 2014
كتاب بسيط يحكي عن القيادة في المجتمعات العربية القبلية..
عنوان الكتاب مبالغ به ربما بهدف التسويق فالكتاب لا يتكلم كثيراً عن الصفة القيادية في الرسول
بل في القبائل العربية..

الكتاب يحلل بشكل جميل طبيعة القادة في زمن الرسول وربما حتى الآن في الجزيرة العربية..
ومن ثم يحدد بعض الميزات التي يمكننا تعميمها على القيادة في كل زمان ومكان كالتواضع والقيادة بالمشاركة وغيرها..

كتاب صغير للمهتمين بلمحة سريعة عن القيادة مع قصص صغيرة عن القبائل والرسول..
بس برأيي في كتب أهم عن القيادة وعن الرسول :)
Profile Image for Zafar A.
11 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2021
Very good but Muslims should read Joel Hayward's new book, The Leadership of Muhammad. Hayward is both a Muslim and an historian, something John Adair is not. This gives Hayward a huge advantage in terms of the Islamic sources he uses as well as his intimate knowledge of Rasul Allah's (s) blessed life. Having said that, I did find Adair's book really nice to read (I read it in one evening, to be honest), and it taught me a lot, not about Rasul Allah (s) but about the Bedouin lifestyle.
Profile Image for Mohammed Alsharekh.
28 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2012
قيادة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم، اكثر ما يمكن ان تقول عنه بأنه رائع و يجذبك حديث الكاتب البروفيسور جون ادير وكلامه عن المصطفى
July 15, 2018
i love that it shows Muhammad SAW as a perfect role model, not just spiritually but also, in this context, as a leader. there were times that the writes did not focus on Muhammad, which is weird given the title of the book. nevertheless i still like the book.
Profile Image for Mohamed AlSharqi.
15 reviews8 followers
July 20, 2013

ركز المؤلف على الأحداث من حياة الرسول (ص) المتعلقة بموضوع القيادة، وهذه الأحداث تشتمل على ما قد حصل قبل وبعد البعثة .. ولقد وجدت الآية ((وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَى عَيْنِي)) التي جاءت في وصف رعاية وحفظ الله لموسى عليه السلام مناسبة لوصف الأحداث التي سبقت البعثة، فهي كانت بمثابة رعاية وحفظ وهداية الله للرسول (ص) حيث بسببها تشكلت تجاربه وقناعاته وأخلاقه الكريمة، فتحدث المؤلف عن عمل الرسول (ص) في التجارة ورعي الأغنام وتأثير الحياة في الصحراء وعلاقتها بتشكيل قدرته القيادية.

وفي فصول الكتاب استشهد الكاتب بالعديد من الأحداث وشرح كيف تعامل معها الرسول (ص) من أجل أن يعمل لتحقيق غايته في نشر الدين الصحيح وترسيخه والعمل على وحدة واجتماع المسلمين والتعامل مع احتياجات الأفراد الشخصية أيضاً؛ فوجد المؤلف كل أدوار ووظائف القائد الأساسية في الرسول (ص) .. كما أن تطرق المؤلف الي التحدث عن بعض الصفات الأساسية التي يحتاجها كل قائد كالأمانة والحلم والتواضع وغيرها.

كمسلم يقرأ الكتب المتعلقة بالدين عامةً وبالسيرة النبوية خاصةً استطعت من خلال قراءة هذا الكتاب أن أتعلم من السيرة دروس كبيرة وجليلة، كما أنني استطعت الاستشهاد بالكثير من الأحداث الأخرى والأحاديث النبوية الشريفة التي لم تذكر في هذا الكتاب كدلائل لدعم الحقائق التي توصل إليها المؤلف. وان شاء الله سأتبع قراءتي لهذا الكتاب مشاهدتي برنامج أسرار القيادة النبوية لطارق السويدان الذي عرض في شهر رمضان من العام السابق.

ورغم أن المؤلف ليس من المسلمين، أرى أن المواقف التي استشهد بها صحيحة واسلوبه في طرحها كان خالياً من التعصب والانحياز لأي رأي مسبق، فاشكره على انصافه

Profile Image for Mariam Hamad.
276 reviews293 followers
April 16, 2015
لا شك أن القيادة صارت هدفاً يسعى إليه الكثيرون وخصوصا في المجتمعات المتقدمة حيث تلعب القيادة دوراً هاما في عملية التغيير وعملية دفع عجلة التنمية والتأثير في المجتمع من جميع النواحي، لذلك صارت دورات القيادة ودورات صناعة القادة رائجة جداً وكذلك كتبها. من هذا المنطلق جاءت أهمية هذا الكتاب الذي قدّم الكاتب فيه دراسة موضوعية عميقة للمواقف القيادية لخاتم الأنبياء محمد ﷺ رغم أنه غير مسلم، وذلك ليس بغريب فكل من يقرأ في سيرة النبي العطرة ﷺ لابد وأن يُعجب بهذه الشخصية الاستثنائية التي كانت نموذجاً يُقتدى به في كل نواحي الحياة المختلفة. من يقرأ في السيرة يجد مواقف كثيرة جداً تنم عن حنكة وذكاء ورفق النبي ﷺ كقائد عكسري، وقائد اجتماعي، وقائد روحي وهذا ما قدمه أستاذ القيادة المحترف جون أدير في كتابه هذا.

في عصرنا الحالي حيث شوه الإعلام صورة الإسلام وصورة نبي الإسلام وانتشرت قناعات مغلوطة عن الإسلام والمسلمين عند الغرب خصوصا، وجدت هذا الكتاب كشعلة مضيئة تقدم الصورة الحقيقية للنبي ولخلقه وحكمته ورسالته الحقة لجمهور غالبه غير مسلم متعطش للاقتداء بنماذج متميزة من القادة.

في بعض الفصول ابتعد الكاتب عن هدف الكتاب مثل فصل قاطنو الصحراء حيث تحدث بإسهاب عن الجمل ودوره في حياة البدوي وصفاته العديدة ما وجدته إبتعادا لا مبرر له عن فكرة القيادة. يتضح من الكتاب إعجاب الكاتب الكبير بالبدو وصفاتهم ونمط حياتهم فهو قد عاش بينهم لفترة من الزمن وهذا في الغالب ما جعله موضوعيا في دراسته لسيرة النبي ﷺ .

كتاب جميل وخفيف أنصح بقراءته.
Profile Image for Adil Hussain.
46 reviews14 followers
February 23, 2020
I had high expectations for this book after listening to a talk by the speaker introducing it and after receiving recommendations from friends who had read it before me. Reading it, however, I couldn't help feel a little disappointed. It's a small book (this I knew before I bought it) and, even then, the mention of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and his examples of leadership are few and far between. Each chapter (there are eight) takes one concept of leadership exemplified by Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), elaborates on why it is important and explains how it ties to the Bedouin/Arabian society that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) lived within. Overall, a great idea for a book and not a bad book, but not quite living up to its potential and my expectation.
Profile Image for Atif Ali.
35 reviews3 followers
August 31, 2010
The book describes critical leadership traits, extracting them from the life of Muhammad (PBUH) .

How Muhammad (PBUH) grew his leadership skills from being a shepherd and a caravan leader . Learning the skills of achieving a task , by unifying the teams and taking care of their individual needs.

I specially enjoyed the reference and backdrop of Arab culture and values like their hospitality , humility , love for camels and horses . The book also left me wonder how the in past the Arabs having the leadership embedded in their values and culture , yet seek for leadership.

It was a quick read , definitely recommended.

Profile Image for Ahmad Qassab Bashi.
123 reviews24 followers
January 26, 2016
العنوان اكبر بكثير من المضمون كنت انتظر اكثر من الكتاب. الفصل الأخير جيد اما بعض الفصول الاخرى نجد الكاتب يتحدث عن بعض العلماء او الشخصيات بشكل لم يكن مترابط بالنسبة لي على الاقل. لم يكن هناك عمق كافي في الكتاب يركزعلى قيادة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مثلا الصفات القيادية و ربطها بالنظريات الأدارية فقط ركز الكاتب على موضوع الراعي و اسقط بعض الاحداث عليها . احترت هل اعطيه نجمة واحدة و نجمتين
Profile Image for Malak.
64 reviews11 followers
July 31, 2012
This is my second time reading about prophet Muhammad peace be upon him by non Muslim writer.
This book is brilliant! I loved the writer's analysis. Too much thoughts are summarize in an elegant way :)
Definitely recommend reading. It won't be my last book for the writer.
June 9, 2015
كتاب ممتاز يركز على جانب معين من سيرة نبينا صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو جانب القيادة.
الكاتب متخصص في المجال ياحدث عن خبرة ولديه تاريخ طويل مع العرب وهو يعرف طبائعهم جيدًا وهذا يثري كتابه ويجعله قريبًا جدًا من الواقع.
Profile Image for Imran.
123 reviews23 followers
March 13, 2018

Overall a good learning experience and knowing something different for a person, whose life provides an example for a Muslim in all matters of life.

The topic of 'leadership' appears to get popularity these days. Number of articles are published in various magazines and professional bodies are arranging workshops and seminars on this topic.

Attending one such workshop arranged by ICAP, I got some recommendations for books to read. One being 'The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad' by Tariq Ramadan. Tried to locate that in Library, but it was borrowed by someone else for the time being. While searching I came across this book, which was fortunately available for borrowing.

A small book of 120 pages, covers different aspects of Prophet's life and what leadership lessons one can get from Prophet. The book has some beautiful parts including much discussed aspect that 'each prophet worked as a shepherd in his life'. The role of shepherd for herd and its linkage with leadership styles has been explained in a convincing way. There are some parts in the book like a long chapter on camel and its utility in desert life, which has nothing to do with the topic, but it does not bore you.

Profile Image for Anas Safar.
7 reviews16 followers
March 28, 2018
A leader is among the people, not over them.

The ship that has two captains will sink.
Profile Image for Yousef.
42 reviews3 followers
October 11, 2018
Excellent book for leadership. It uses simple examples to explain/show big ideas.
Profile Image for Laras.
12 reviews6 followers
February 1, 2019
bagus banget. ini pinjem dari romi tapi jadi pengen beli :")
Profile Image for Khalillaher.
43 reviews
August 18, 2019
It is in Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) role as a Prophet, that we today still can witness what is meant to be a  great leader.
Profile Image for Faisal.
45 reviews9 followers
October 3, 2019
Scattered ideas here and there. The book's title is the Leadership of Muhammad while most of the content is about Bedouins and Arabs.
15 reviews
December 15, 2019
Interesting even though not the best book on prophetic leadership to my opinion
Profile Image for Muhammad Fakhruddin.
135 reviews17 followers
March 24, 2020
Buku yang mudah dibaca dan pengarang memfokuskan inti/pelajaran kepimpinan daripada beberapa cuplikan sirah Baginda S.A.W di setiap penghujung bab.
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