By Junaid Ahmed, East London Mosque

Leadership is a multifaceted journey, influenced by many factors, from personal experiences to cultural backgrounds. However, one of the most profound influences on leadership is faith. As someone deeply rooted in the teachings of Islam, I've found that my faith has been a guiding compass, steering my decisions, actions and interactions in my personal and professional life.

Islam emphasises the principles of justice, compassion, humility and integrity. These principles are not just religious tenets but vital leadership traits. When leaders embody justice, they ensure fairness in all their dealings, making decisions that benefit the collective rather than a select few. Compassion allows leaders to connect with their teams on a deeper level, understanding their challenges and aspirations. Humility keeps leaders grounded, reminding them they are part of a bigger picture and there's always room to learn and grow. Lastly, integrity instils trust, a foundational element in any leader-follower relationship.

Drawing from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who exemplified unparalleled leadership, we learn the importance of leading by example. His life was a testament to the power of leading with empathy, always putting the community's needs before his own. Such a leadership style fosters loyalty and inspires others to emulate these admirable traits.

Moreover, faith provides a sense of purpose. When leaders are anchored in their faith, their vision becomes more evident. They are driven not by personal gains but by the desire to make a positive impact to serve a higher purpose. This unwavering commitment and dedication often resonate with those they lead, inspiring collective efforts towards shared goals.

In today's increasingly secular world, it's easy to compartmentalise faith as a personal belief, separate from professional conduct. However, authentic leadership transcends this dichotomy. It draws from all aspects of one's identity, including faith. By integrating the timeless wisdom of religious teachings with modern leadership practices, leaders can navigate challenges with grace, inspire trust and leave a lasting legacy.

Faith plays a pivotal role in shaping authentic and impactful leadership. We can lead with purpose, compassion and integrity by grounding ourselves in our beliefs and values, making a meaningful difference in our communities and beyond.