Leadership in Islam is part of prophethood.
As a result, leadership in Islam is somewhat different from leadership elsewhere.
In Islam, leadership is not sought or pursued. It is given or conferred freely by the People.
Key considerations are a person’s character, education, ability and skills, and not money, connections or power.
Qualified individuals are carefully sought out and then asked to accept the responsibility of leadership.
To make this work, Islam first builds an upright and honest society consisting of upright, honorable and intrepid citizens, who are driven more by a sense of duty and right and wrong and not by overarching personal ambition or greed.
Such sincere, honest and committed citizens then select the best individuals among them and offer them the role of leader. These selected individuals are then elected by the People in free, fair and transparent elections.
Once elected, these leaders are not beholden to party powerbrokers or to individuals and institutions with money and influence. They act freely, independently and fearlessly to do the right thing and to implement the will of the People in society and the world.
In this, they are heirs to God’s own chosen prophets, even though, unlike the prophets, they are chosen by the People in popular elections, and not directly appointed by God.
The four successors of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, were among such leaders. So was Umar bin Abdul Aziz, three decades or so later.
Such leaders walk in the path of the prophets. They often suffer greatly and make enormous personal sacrifices to serve the People, society and the entire human race, and, above all, God Almighty.
Islam came into the world to show humanity the path to this kind of noble, honest, incorruptible and selfless leadership.