By Imam Kamil Mufti
The human society cannot function without the institution of promises and assurances of their fulfillment. It is obligatory to fulfil promises and covenants, and it is haram to break them and act in a treacherous manner. Allah says,
“And fulfil (every) covenant. Indeed! the covenant, will be questioned about.” (Quran 17:34)
Fulfilling promises is a means of attaining security in this world and preventing bloodshed, and of protecting the rights of people, both Muslims and non-Muslims, as Allah says:
“but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, and Allah is the All-Seer of what you do” (Quran 8:72)
Without any doubt the level of one’s punctuality tells us how much respect he/she has towards time. Punctuality includes being respectful of other people’s time. When one gives someone a time to meet or do something, then he/she should be prompt in fulfilling it.
On a community level, if there is a program it should start as scheduled and those who reached on time should not have to wait for the late comers. Likewise the program should end on time to allow people to leave for other engagements they may have planned, instead of detaining them longer than they expected.
The day of a Muslim is built around prayers which need to be performed at specific times, and this gives a Muslim a fairly good practice to be punctual. Allah’s other creations like sun, moon, night, and day follow a disciplined course,
“See you not that Allah merges the night into the day, and merges the day into the night, and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running its course for an appointed term; and that Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” (Quran 31:29)
3.Being polite and respectful
To be one of those who are successful, Islam requires that each individual learns to obey the Creator and thus treat humankind, the environment, the believers, and ourselves with respect.
Respect involves staying completely away from the major sins of backbiting, lying, slander, and gossip.
Respect for humanity means staying away from sins that will sow discord among the people and lead to destruction. Respect includes loving for our brothers and sisters what we love for ourselves. Respect involves treating others the way we expect to be treated and the way we hope Allah will treat us –with compassion, love and mercy.
A Muslim who truly understands the teachings of his/her religion is gentle, friendly and likeable. He mixes with people and gets along with them. He understands that keeping in touch with people and earning their trust is ‘Muslim-like’. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:
“Shall I not tell you who among you is the most beloved to me and will be closest to me on the Day of Resurrection?” He repeated it two or three times, and they said, ”Yes, O Messenger of Allah.“ He said: “Those of you who are the best in attitude and character.”
Some reports add: “Those who are down to earth and humble, who get along with others and with whom others feel comfortable.”
Self-control is a quality that is embedded in the religion of Islam. We are faced with choices and temptations in every direction. We are asked to lower our gaze, to control our anger, and to consider our words before speaking. The fasting month of Ramadan is an exercise in self-control. We refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. We might be hungry and thirsty but we exercise self-control in order to please Allah and to build our resilience. Following our own desires is not something that Islam encourages.
“…they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah?” (Quran 28:50)
6.Being helpful and cooperative
Let’s work together: on the playing field, at the office, raising children. Humankind cannot live except by cooperating with others. We need one another. Every professional needs the assistance of others. By cooperating life continues smoothly; but if there is no cooperation, life will come to a standstill. Islam calls for cooperation and urges the Muslims to cooperate in order to retain their unity. Allah says:
“Help you one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in sin and transgression.” (Quran 5:2)
Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand and share the feelings of others, like walking in someone else’s shoes. Is empathy encouraged in Islam? Absolutely! Consider this verse about our Prophet Muhammad:
“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; (he is) concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.” (Quran 9:128)
Our Prophet would always feel our suffering and is praised by Allah for his empathetic nature.
The Prophet himself also encouraged us to feel empathy for one another, he was reported to have said:
“The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.”
All prophets and messengers encouraged modesty, as the Prophet said:
“Indeed from the teachings of the first prophets which has reached you is, ‘If you do not have shyness, then do as you please.”
Modesty as a sense of shame or shyness in human beings is the shrinking of the soul from foul conduct, a quality that prevents one from behaving badly towards others or encouraging others to behave badly towards you. Islamic ethics considers modesty as more than just a question of how a person dresses, and more than just modesty in front of people; rather it is reflected in a Muslim’s speech, dress, and conduct: in public in regards to people, and in private in regards to Allah.
Ikhlas (sincerity) is to do everything, internal and external, only desiring the pleasure of Allah. It is to forget the eyes of the people, and whether they view your deeds or not, with the only thing on your mind that Allah is watching you. There are beautiful verses in the Quran in this regard, where Allah describes the righteous in Paradise:
“They (are those who) fulfill (their) vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread. And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, (saying), “We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.” (Quran 76:7-9)
10. Repelling evil with good
Allah has praised those who respond to evil with good deeds. Those who repel evil with good will find that their enemies will become their friends. Allah says,
“Not equal are the good deed and the bad deed. Repel evil by that which is better, and then the one who is hostile to you will become as a devoted friend. But none is granted it (this quality) except those who are patient and none is granted it except one having a great fortune.” (Quran 41:34-35)
Allah has reminded the believers in several verses to repel evil with good by being patient, merciful, and forgiving.
Footnotes: Musnad  Saheeh Al-Bukhari  Saheeh Al-Bukhari