3 Things that Leaders Do in a Clash of Opinion

Listening to Al Raheeq ul Makhtoom yesterday, I noticed how the Companions of Syedna Muhammad S.A.W behaved when they experienced a clash of opinion. The passage in the book offered me a few lessons. Here are a few simple to seem yet very hard to do things; things that can assure you that you will have a great relationship even after having a difference of opinion:

  1. Never take it personally.  It was a Sunnah of Dear Muhammad S.A.W to ask Syedna Abu Bakkar Siddique R.A. to give an opinion on a matter and then to ask Syedna Umer R.A. If the two had same opinion, he S.A.W would never seek anyone else’s opinion. But if they differed, he S.A.W would ask other Sahaba’s. On asking what to do with the prisoners of war (Ghazwa e Badr), Syedne Abu Bakkar R.A. suggested to take fidya (ransom) and free them while Syedna Umer R.A. suggested to kill them. Tie. Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. sought opinion of other Sahaba R.A. and it was decided to accept ransom. Syedna Umer R.A. did not fight with/got angry at any other Companions for their different opinion.
  2. Do NOT argue directly.If the opinion is sought in a meeting chaired by a head, give opinion to the head. Leaders do not argue directly.
  3. Behave elegantly if your opinion is supported or not:Its a loser’s behavior to celebrate when their opinion is selected because it is a win-lose approach. A leader accepts the final decision of the jury/chair elegantly and does not polarize the party. Its not the final deal, remember story begins after taking decision and your opinion can still be proved wrong (if selected earlier) to prove right (if earlier turned down). Allah later mentioned in Quran that it was not the right decision to accept ransom rather the Prophet S.A.W. should have killed them.

“It is not for a prophet to have captives [of war] until he inflicts a massacre [upon Allah ‘s enemies] in the land. Some Muslims desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”

Surah Anfal, Verse 67

Now that I know the value of difference of opinion, I wish I behave more humbly next time my suggestion is accepted and more gracefully next time my opinion is turned down.


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