Civilised or Savage

The Effect of Colonialism’s Dichotomus Language on Views of Prophet Muhammad’s Leadership

  • Mostafa Hany El-Gashingi Charles Sturt University
Keywords: social psychology, Sirah, colonialism, cognitive historiography, transformational leadership


Studying the sirah (biography of Prophet Muhammad) in today’s world is more than a mere exploration into past events, but a three dimensional and timeless study that is as relevant today as it was previously and will continue to be. Integrating the fields of social psychology and cognitive historiography, this article questions whether Prophet Muhammad ‘civilised’ a ‘savage’ society by critiquing the loaded language implicit in the question. This article instead offers that Prophet Muhammad’s leadership style was consistent with psychological theories of transformational leadership and not one that was imperialistic nor used the language present in colonialism that divided people into ‘civilised’ and ‘savage.’


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