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This paper explores Islamic perspectives on leadership and the lived experiences of imāms and role players in Masājid in the Western Cape. Firstly, it draws on the Qur’ān, hadīths and the rightly guided caliphs. Secondly, it examines academic literature to extract a theoretical understanding of Islamic leadership. Built on this understanding, it develops a model of variables and relationships in the context of this leadership. It explains how “individual leadership style” is affected and influenced, and how it impacts an imām’s (Muslim liturgical leader) effectiveness in his community and Masjid1. Through interviews with experienced Masjid administrators, imāms, and community members, the aim of this paper is to unearth traits, principles, and variables essential for imāms to understand, internalise and apply in their roles as imāms if they want to be effective in their communities and Masājid. Finally, it recommends a model that yields more significant levels of accountability and resilience in the Masjid.
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