In this episode, I engage my friend Muhammad Osman on letter 53 from Nahjul Balagha, written by Imam Ali to Malik al-Ashtar. Malik was one of the closest companions to Imam Ali who was about to become a governor. Imam Ali pegs down his leadership insights and advice to Malik in this letter.

 We talk about the utopian government that Iman Ali advocated for, leadership qualities, and judgement ideologies required for good leadership in society.


[03:48] Qualities of a leader and his responsibilities.

[09;35] How to build a good reputation as a leader.

[11:50] Ways of developing a good leadership personality.

[14:40]  Integrating Imam Ali’s insights in family leadership.

[15:30] Dictatorship- the worst leadership style.

[21:33] Qualities of a good leader.

[26:11] The interdependence of different classes of people in the society.

[35:20] Leaders should be socially active and not seclude themselves from others.

[45:30] Remembering and Honoring Prophet Muhammad.

Notable Quotes.

“If we want to make a change in the world, want to go and help people, and be a leader for the people, then we have to know the history of the people that we are trying to help”–Muhammad Osman 

“The way you criticize people in their leadership style is the same criticism that you will receive when your time comes.”–Muhammad Osman

“People will judge you based on your reputation, and the way you build your reputation is by doing good deeds.”– Imam Ali

“Be flexible in your approaches and be firm with your principles”–Imam Ali

“Everyone is depended on everybody”–Muhammad Osman


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