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The Concept of Good Character in Islam

Good character is a very important part of being a Muslim. 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. Quran Coaching also offers a course on Islamic Supplications with which you can learn how to lead a life with good character. A Muslim ought to embody good character traits as a means to call others to this great religion of Islam. 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)

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. Muslims are well-mannered, civil, noble, and characterized by the attitudes which Islam encourages. We should always try to be the best we can be. An individual’s character is one of the most important aspects of Islam. 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)

An act of goodness is much dear to Allah than one’s wealth and richness. We should also know from where this goodness comes. Goodness comes from the good character which is the practice of virtue, ethics, morality. Character is a tremendous thing, Quran is the source to cure our character because the Quran is for all humanity and all purposes of life.

The believer is the one in whom the following characteristics are found:

  1. Build character to the scale of deeds on the Day of Judgement
  2. Build a character that is a part and parcel of faith and belief 
  3. Build a character that will be the closest to the Prophet ﷺ 
  4. Build character to make them more than stereotypes
  5. Build character to encourage good role models
  6. Build character to permeate all acts of worship
  7. Building character is far more than success
  8. Build antagonist as fully as protagonists
  9. Build character to rules set the tone
  10. Build character by describing them
  11. Build character testimony of Faith
  12. Build your character with dialogue
  13. Build character to insist on respect
  14. Build character for caring a community
  15. Build character by showing their actions
  16. Build character to honour their obligations
  17. Build character for the importance of the family
  18. Build on what makes your character extraordinary
  19. Build your character confronts the external challenges
  20. Build your character cultures, social classes and values

Before you can effectively develop a character, you must determine the role they’ll play in your story. A Muslim is required to follow the dictates of Islamic law and observe noble character even in times of war and in difficult times, for there is no such thing in Islam as the end justifies the means. A person cannot survive without having these positive traits in his/her life. Allah says:

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا 

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad PUBH) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Surah Al Ahzab 33:21)

Good character is a major theme in the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet. The believers with the most complete faith, who are most beloved by Allah and His Messenger, are those with the best character. One must go through rigorous self-discipline, monitoring and education to reform our entire way of thinking and acting.

Amazing Virtues of Good Character:

  • Good Character is the Main Reason People Will Enter Paradise: Islam is very keen to describe the true Islamic character and it confirms the importance of its main features that are based on sound Islamic teaching.
  • Be Highest on the Scale: Islam discusses a great deal of the features of this character and its fundamentals, and its impact on the well-being of individuals and communities, so that the accurate image of true Islam, and its impact on people’s lives, may be presented.
  • Be Beloved of Allah and His Messenger: The basis of the Islamic character is the belief in Allah and His Messenger, and submission to and compliance with the rulings, principles and etiquette of Islam.
  • Good Character was the Way of the Prophet: A complete way, which includes truthfulness, honesty, chastity, modesty, good attitude, kindness to neighbours, hastening to do good, helping people to do what is right, refraining from harming others, and other aspects of a good character
  • Maintain the Most Perfect Belief: Islamic character will have high aspirations because of its faith and certainty and belief in the promise of Allah, and because it realises the honour attained by being a Muslim and a follower of the Prophets.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “Allah does not like corruption.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:205)
  • Try to make peace between husband & wife.” (Quran 4:128)
  • “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” (Quran, 68:4)
  • Forgive others, as you would like Allah to forgive you.” (Quran 24:22)
  • Do not let the hatred of people prevent you from being just…” (Quran 5:8)
  • “Adopt forgiveness, instruct what is right and ignore the foolish.” (Quran 7:199)
  • “Don’t enter homes without permission & return if refused entry.” (Quran, 24:27-28)
  • “Don’t sit with those who mock religion until they change the subject.” (Quran, 4:140)
  • “Say it’s not appropriate to talk of slander when it’s mentioned to you.” (Quran, 24:16)
  • “Punish equivalently to how you were harmed or be patient.” (Quran, 16:126)
  • “Differences in colour & language are signs of Allah, not means of superiority.” (Quran, 49:13)
  • “Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant.” (Quran, 7:199)
  • “Nay, they denied the truth when it came (to) them, so they (are) in a state confused.” (Qaf 50:5)

Being Muslim we must follow the Sunnah of Prophet (SAW) and try to show good character towards all people no matter one is Muslim or non-Muslim. Once we develop a more positive, Islamic approach to the events that occur, we will perfect our character. All religions are considered a way of life, including Islam.

Here are some practical tips on how to strive for a good character:

  • Be sincere in asking Allah to give you good character; make dua day and night!
  • Be patient and keep trying; fight your nafs to leave lying, bad words, bad environments, etc.
  • Accept advice and seek forgiveness from others; if your mother says, “my son, don’t say that”, you should listen to her, and don’t be arrogant.
  • Arrogance is rejecting truth, even if it is from your child or your wife. You will not enter Paradise if there is even a grain of arrogance in your heart. Even if it is a disbeliever who corrects your mistake, accept his advice.
  • Surround yourself with people of good character; make dua Allah brings righteous people on your path.

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَٰلِكَ أَزْكَىٰ لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

“Say to the believing men they should lower their gaze and they should guard their chastity. That (is) purer for them. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Aware of what they do.” (Surah An-Nur 24:30)

A believer is one who deserves Allah’s pleasure and for him, there will be a good life and happiness in this world and the Hereafter. A Muslim is required to follow the dictates of Islamic law and observe noble character. Once we develop a more positive, Islamic approach to the events that occur, we will perfect our character. Allah says:

الْبِرُّ حُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ وَالإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِي صَدْرِكَ وَكَرِهْتَ أَنْ يَطَّلِعَ عَلَيْهِ النَّاسُ

“Righteousness is a good character and sin is what wavers in your heart and you hate for people to find out about it.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2553)

We must craft characters that readers can believe in — characters so well-developed and realistic that they seem to spring to life on the page. Let us pray to God to enable us to act on the knowledge that we have and to mutually uphold our shared values. We should approach Allah (SWT) with beautiful etiquettes for Allah loves the one with good conduct. May Allah Almighty give us knowledge and strength to keep good relations with all mankind! Ameen