An individual’s character is one of the most important aspects of Islam. While acts of worship hold great significance, Islam is a way of life. Everything in a Muslim’s life, including manners and personality, should be in line with Islam. Thus, proper Islamic values and traits are extremely important, not to mention relevant, in the daily lives of Muslims, even though they are unfortunately neglected at times. Muslims is well-mannered, civil, noble, and characterized by the attitudes which Islam encourages. Allah says:
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
“Indeed, in (the) creation (of) the heavens and the earth and (in the) alternation (of) the night and the day (are) surely Signs for men (of) understanding.” (Surah Al Imran 3:190)
A Muslim’s relationship with his brothers and friends is the best and purest of relationships because it is based upon love for the sake of God. The simplest way to answer these questions is to look at the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) as a role model. He Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) is the perfect example of good character. Allah says about him Sallallahu `Alayhi Wa Sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) in the Quran (what means): Allah says:
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
“Certainly, is for you in (the) Messenger (of) Allah an excellent example for (one) who has hope (in) Allah and the Day the Last, and remembers Allah much.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:21)
Islam gives great stress on having good character. It is one of the main elements which can not be ignored along with other acts of worship. The proper Islamic manners and etiquettes are highly important and they include many things. Some basics are greeting others with respect, truthfulness, justice, gentleness, gratefulness towards Allah and people, sincerity, forgiving others, patience etc. Allah says:
وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا
“And if you fear dissension between (the) two of then send an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family. If they both wish reconciliation, Allah will cause reconciliation between both of them. Indeed, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:35)
Quran Coaching also offers a course on Islamic Supplications with which you can learn how to lead a life with good character. A person cannot survive without having these positive traits in his/her life.
Some of the lessons from the Quran that apply to our general living:
- Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion, colour, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on [17/70]
- Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception [33/70]
- Choose the best words to speak and say them in the best possible way [17/53, 2/83]
- Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]
- Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious [22/30]
- Do not confound truth with falsehood [2/42]
- Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]
- Speak in a civilized manner in a language that is recognized by society and is commonly used! [4/5]
- When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative[6/152]
- Do not be a bragging boaster [31/18]
- Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]
- Do not participate in any paltry. If you pass near a futile play, then pass by with dignity [25/72]
- Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt [6/151].
- If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by you, then correct yourself expeditiously [3/134].
- Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people [31/18]
- Do not walk haughtily or with conceit [17/37, 31/18]
- Be moderate in thy pace [31/19]
- Walk with humility and sedateness [25/63]Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous leers and salacious stares! [24/30-31, 40/19].
- If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep your mouth shut. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences [24/15-16]
- When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favourable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence [24/12-13]
- Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in ignorance and afterwards repent of what you did[49/6]
- Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning [17/36].
- Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nob! only knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76]. Even the Prophet [p.b.u.h] was asked to keep praying, “O My Sustainer! Advance me in knowledge.” [20:114]
- The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another [49/10].
- Do not make the mockery of others or ridicule others [49/11]
- Do not defame others [49/11]
- Do not insult others by nicknames [49/11]
- Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy [49/12]
- Spy not upon one another [49/12]
- Do not backbite one another [49! /12]
- When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security and also when a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [4/86]
- When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment the inmates [24/61]
- Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission; and then greet the inmates and wish them a life of blessing, purity and pleasure [24/27]
- Treat kindly.” Your parents.” Relatives.” The orphans.” And those who have been left alone in the society [4/36]
- Take care of.” The needy.” The disabled.” Those whose hard-earned income is insufficient to meet their needs.” And those whose businesses have stalled.” And those who have lost their jobs. [4/36]
- 37. Treat kindly ” Your related neighbours, and unrelated! ed neighbours ” Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. [4/36]
- Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition [4/36]
- Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]
- Do not follow up with what you have given to others to afflict them with reminders of your generosity [2/262].
- Do not expect a return for your good behaviour, not even thanks [76/9]
- Cooperate in good deeds and do not cooperate with others in evil and bad matters [5/2]
- Do not try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues [53/32]
- You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practise good deeds yourself, then preach [2/44]
- Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct others] [66/6]
- Pardon gracefully if anyone among you who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and amends[6/54, 3/134]
- Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to people [3/134]
- Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently [16/125]
- Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement [6/70]
- Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless they engage in some other conversation[4/140]
- Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [4/54]
- In your collective life, make rooms for others [58/11]
- When invited to! dine, Go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too early to wait for the preparation of a meal or linger after eating to engage in bootless babble. Such things may cause inconvenience to the host [33/53]
- Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation [7/31].
- Do not squander your wealth senselessly [17/26]
- Fulfil your promises and commitments [17/34]
- Keep yourself clean, pure [9/108, 4/43, 5/6].
- Dress up in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with the exquisite character from inside out[7/26]
- Seek your provision only by fair endeavour [29/17, 2/188]
- Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions [2/188]
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“Those who remember Allah standing, and sitting and on their sides and they reflect on (the) creation (of) the heavens and the earth, “Our Lord, not You have created this (in) vain. Glory be to You, so save us (from the) punishment (of) the Fire.” (Surah Al Imran 3:191)
“The best things I or any of the prophets before me have said is ‘La ilaha ill Allah.”’Before we act or react to anything, we should ask ourselves: “What would the Prophet have done?” The prayer and fasting alone will not guarantee us Paradise. Righteous, positive character is an Islamic character. Once we develop a more positive, Islamic approach to the events that occur, we will perfect our character.