Discipline is a way of life

Importance of Character in Personality Development

Good character is not merely recommended or secondary to issues of doctrine. Rather, good character, morals, ethics, and manners are the spirit that breathes life into our doctrines. It is the very essence of righteousness spoken about throughout the Quran. This dynamic change all begins at the individual level. 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. Allah says:

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ وَاتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلًا

“And who (is) better (in) religion than (one) who submits his face to Allah and he (is) a good-doer and follows (the) religion (of) Ibrahim (the) upright? And Allah took Ibrahim (as) a friend.”  (Surah An-Nisa` 4:125)

Islam is a way of life; as a result, while worship and core rituals are extremely important, so are the purity of one’s character, the quality of one’s interaction with others, and one’s contribution to their surroundings. After all, one’s good character will impact others and therefore improve society as a whole. It is accessible to our innate rational nature, as Allah has bestowed upon all of us the power to recognize righteousness and sin even without the aid of revelation. Allah says:

الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ أُولَٰئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

“Evil women (are) for evil men, and evil men (are) for evil women. And good women (are) for good men and good men (are) for good women. Those (are) innocent of what they say. For them (is) forgiveness and a provision noble.” (Surah An-Nur 24:26 )

Allah made the character a cause for admission to Paradise. The proper Islamic manners and etiquettes are highly important and they include many things. Those who cultivated good character and manners will be the closest to the Prophet and the righteous on the Day of Judgment, whereas those who indulged in bad manners will be the furthest from them.

Here are some ways, to implement good character in our lives:

  1. Allah ﷻ commands the believers to perform an act of worship
  2. Prophet’s mission elevate and perfect the moral character 
  3. Good character will be the heaviest righteous deed
  4. Islam stresses the importance of the family
  5. Islam warns traders who deal with fraud
  6. Islam urges to honour their obligations
  7. Islam provoke about good moral character
  8. Islam advises workers of ethical principles
  9. Allah ﷻ does not forbid you from being good 
  10. Islam instructs us the general welfare of mankind
  11. Islam gives great stress on having good character
  12. Islam instructs us to make the world a better place
  13. Islam urges traders to show kindness and leniency
  14. Allah ﷻ has in store for those who observe a good character 
  15. Allah ﷻ commands us to kindness and courtesy to everyone

Good character is a key to pleasing Allah and his beloved prophet. By maintaining a good character, one can be a beloved servant of Allah. As Muslims and as humans, we should always follow Prophet Muhammad so as to become amongst the most effective of Muslims with the most effective potential manners as a stepping nearer to ALLAH and a permanent resting abode in Paradise. Allah says:

لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

“Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you on account of your religion nor driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. Allah loves those who are just.” (Surah Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8)

The believers with the most complete faith, who are most beloved by Allah and His Messenger, are those with the best character. Good character and behaviour are an integral part of most faiths and Islam is no different. Good character is the very essence of righteousness spoken about throughout the Quran. Allah says:

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ

“Every soul (will) taste [the] death. And We test you with [the] bad and [the] good (as) a trial, and to Us, you will be returned.” (Surah Al-Anbiya` 21:35 )

It is accessible to our innate rational nature, as Allah has bestowed upon all of us the power to recognize righteousness and sin even without the aid of revelation.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
  • Be Kind, as Allah has been kind to you.” (Al-Qasas 28:77)
  • “Don’t call someone a disbeliever without knowing.” (Quran 4:94)
  • “Seek permission before entering someone’s room.” (Quran 24:59)
  • “Know your enemies can become your close friends.” (Quran 41:34)
  • “Consider the wives of the Prophet like your mothers.” (Quran 33:6)
  • “And We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything.” (Quran 16:89)
  • “… be good to your parents, relatives, orphans, and the very poor. Speak good words to people…” (Surat Al-Baqara: 83)
  • “Guidance for mankind and clear evidence and discrimination (between wrong).” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185)

Islam orders good character and encourages Muslims to be trained in that, developing it in their hearts, nurturing faith in the worshiper through the virtues of the soul, and Islam through good character. There are no exceptions whatsoever when it comes to talking about a good moral character in Islam. Allah says:

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“And let there be among you [a] people inviting to the good [and] enjoining the right and forbidding from the wrong, and those – they (are) the successful ones.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:104 )

A Muslim is required to follow the dictates of Islamic law and observe noble character even in times of war and in difficult times. Allah says:

وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ 

“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious.” (Surah Al ‘Imran 3:133)

However, it must all begin with faith: the essential character of a Muslim. One’s good character and good Akhlaq are the reasons that take him closer to Allah Almighty which ultimately takes him closer to Jannah. Good character is a very important part of being a Muslim. Allah says:

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَيُوَفِّيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الظَّالِمِينَ

“And as for those who believe[d] and did [the] righteous deeds then He will grant them in full their reward. And Allah (does) not love the wrongdoers.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:57 )

We should always try to be the best we can be. It is for this reason that Islam has laid down rules. May God help us be of the best character and manners for our families, friends and all the people around us.