By Imam Kamil Mufti
When asked about the best of the believers, the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied, “They are those who have the best character and manners.”
Good character will be the heaviest righteous deed to be placed on a person’s scale of deeds on the Day of Judgement.
The Prophet Muhammad said, “No deed that will be placed on the scale of deeds (on the Day of Judgement) will be heavier than good character. Indeed, a person with good character will attain the rank of those with a good record of voluntary fasts and prayers.”
Islam teaches that truthfulness is far more than having an honest tongue. In Islam, truthfulness is the conformity of the outer with the inner, the action with the intention, the speech with belief, and the practice with the preaching. As the Prophet Muhammad related:
“I order you to be truthful, for indeed truthfulness leads to righteousness, and indeed righteousness leads to Paradise. A man continues to be truthful and strives for truthfulness until he is written as a truthful person with God. And beware of falsehood, for indeed falsehood leads to sinning, and indeed sinning leads to the Fire. A man continues to tell lies and strives upon falsehood until he is written as a liar with God.”
2.Honesty and integrity
Honesty, an essential ingredient of the Muslim character, includes being truthful towards Allah by worshipping Him sincerely; being truthful to oneself, by adhering to Allah’s laws; and being truthful with others by speaking the truth and being honest in all dealings, such as buying, selling and marriage. There should be no deceiving, cheating, falsifying or withholding of information, thus a person should be the same on the inside as he is on the outside.
The Quran states,
“Woe unto those who give short measure, those who, when they are to receive their due from people, demand that it be given in full but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due.” (Quran 83:1-6)
Although Muslims might disagree with other ideological systems and religious dogmas, it should not prevent them from tolerant and respectful interaction with non-Muslims:
“And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say we believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Quran 29: 46)
Islam through the course of its history has granted the people of other faiths the highest degree of tolerance by allowing them to follow their way, although some of their practices might have been in conflict with the religion of the majority.
Even among themselves, Muslims should generally be tolerant of their differences.
4.Being kind and merciful
Kindness is a hallmark of a Muslim. Allah says about Himself,
‘Indeed, Allah is kind and merciful to the people.’ (Quran 2:143)
Allah has described the Prophet Muhammad as kind in the Quran (9:128). The Messenger of Allah said, “The believer is kind and gracious, for there is no goodness in one who is neither kind nor gracious. The best of the people are those who are most beneficial to others.”
He commanded even his wives to be kind, “O Aisha, Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all matters.”
An important part of the noble Islamic character is being trustworthy. Prophet Muhammad was known, even before his prophethood to be Al-Amin (the trustworthy one). Being trustworthy implies being honest, fair in dealings and punctual as well as honoring trusts and keeping promises and commitments.
Prophet Muhammad said,
“Allah says, ‘There are three people whom I shall be their opponent on the Day of Judgment: A man who was given something in My Name and then betrays; a man who sells-off a free man (as a slave) and consumes the price; and a man who hires a laborer, makes use of his service then does not give him his wages.’”
Humility is one of the greatest blessings Allah can bestow on a human being. It allows one to achieve genuine submission to Allah. Humility comes from knowing about Allah and recognizing His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and it comes from knowing about oneself and one’s own faults, and weaknesses. Allah gives this characteristic to those who struggle to become close to Him through deeds of piety and righteousness. Prophet Muhammad said,
“Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and God increases His slave in honor when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before God but God will raise him (in status).”
A Muslim is expected to respect others and be humble with them.
7.Being fair and just
In the Islamic worldview, justice denotes placing things in their rightful place. It also means giving others equal treatment. The Prophet of Islam declared:
“There are seven categories of people whom God will shelter under His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His. [One is] the just leader.”
Allah spoke to His Messenger in this manner:
“O My slaves, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you. So avoid being unjust to one another.”
Generosity was among the countless good qualities of the Prophet Muhammad. He was the most generous of people and he used to be most generous in Ramadan.
Some people came to the Prophet Muhammad and asked, “If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot find even that?” He replied, “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He replied, “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.”
A Muslim is always grateful to Allah for all His countless blessings. There are many ways to express gratitude to Him. The first and foremost way is to worship Him in the manner that He has prescribed. The Five Pillars of Islam were ordained upon us by Allah and they guide us to worship Him easily. The believer also expresses gratitude by giving charity. Allah says,
“Therefore, remember Me (by praying, glorifying, etc.). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” (Quran 2:152)
A Muslim is also appreciative and grateful to those people who favor him. Allah says,
“Is there any reward for good other than good?” (Quran 55:60)
Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever does you a favour, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him.”
Forgiveness means to relinquish the right of retaliation that you have over somebody for something wrong done to you. Allah offers innumerable rewards for those who forgive. He says in the Quran,
“Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 24:22)
“But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow.” (Quran 42:43)
“… (those) who repress anger and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the doers of good.” (Quran 3:134)
The inability to forgive can affect us deeply, emotionally, spiritually and even physically. It causes stress and ill health.