https://www.khutbah.info/good-character/ Noble morals and good qualities are highly regarded in the religion of Allah Almighty. And the relationship between the Creator and people is based on iman (faith), sincerity and following the ordainments. Relationships between people is mostly built on morals and behavior. Therefore, the Prophet ﷺinformed that righteousness is good manners. Rather, the Prophet made good manners one of the doors of goodness. AbdAllah bin Amr (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: The best of you are those best in conduct. And the Prophet was not one who was obscene, nor one who uttered obscenities. [Bukhari 3559, Muslim 2321, Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1975] And his ﷺ emphasis on good manners was only due to the greatness of its status with Allah Almighty. It is a means to get close to Allah Almighty, and to attain His love. Abu Thu’labah bin AlKhushney, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ ,نَحْمَدُهُ ,وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ , وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ – آل عمران:102
Al Imran 102 : O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.
Noble morals and good qualities are highly regarded in the religion of Allah Almighty. And the relationship between the Creator and people is based on iman (faith), sincerity and following the ordainments. Relationships between people is mostly built on morals and behavior. Therefore, the Prophet ﷺinformed that righteousness is good manners.
Rather, the Prophet made good manners one of the doors of goodness. AbdAllah bin Amr (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:
خِيَارُكُمْ أَحَاسِنُكُمْ أَخْلاَقًا.وَلَمْ يَكُنِ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاحِشًا وَلاَ مُتَفَحِّشًا
The best of you are those best in conduct. And the Prophet was not one who was obscene, nor one who uttered obscenities. [Bukhari 3559, Muslim 2321, Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1975]
And the Prophet ﷺ informed that good manners is the best of what a Muslim is given. For Usamah bin Shareek said that they asked:
يا رسولَ اللهِ ما أفضلُ ما أُعطِيَ المرءُ المسلمُ ؟ قال حُسنُ الخُلقِ
Oh Messenger of Allah what is the best thing that a Muslim is given? He said, good manners. [Sahih Ibn Habban 478]
And his ﷺ emphasis on good manners was only due to the greatness of its status with Allah Almighty. It is a means to get close to Allah Almighty, and to attain His love. Abu Thu’labah bin AlKhushney, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
إنَّ أحبَّكم إلى اللهِ وأقربَكم منِّي أحاسنُكم أخلاقًا
The most beloved of you to Allah and the closest to me are the best of you in character [Sahih Ibn Habban 482]
And the Prophet ﷺ said:
أحَبُّ النَّاسِ إلى اللهِ أحسنُهم خُلقًا
The most beloved of people to Allah are the best in character [Sahih Ibn Habban 486]
And good character is also a path that leads to the completion of iman (faith) as the Prophet ﷺ said:
أكمَلُ المؤمنين إيمانًا أحسَنُهم خُلقًا
The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character among them. [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1162]
The importance of good character is magnified so much that the person having it is in constant worship equivalent to the rank of the one who fasts and prays at night. Even though he may not be occupied with voluntary acts of worship. But he reached that through his character. The Prophet ﷺ said:
إنَّ المؤمنَ لَيُدرِكُ بخُلقِه درجةَ الصَّائمِ القائمِ
A believer will attain by his good character the rank of the one who fasts and prays at night (continually). [Sunan Abi Dawud 4798]
And good character makes one’s scale heavier at a time when he is in most need of something to make his scale of good deeds heavier. Good character is the heaviest of righteous deeds on the scale. The Prophet ﷺ said:
مَا شَيْءٌ أَثْقَلُ فِي مِيزَانِ الْمُؤْمِنِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ خُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ
Nothing is heavier on the believer’s Scale on the Day of Judgment than good character. [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2002]
And good character is the strongest reason for admission into paradise. The Prophet ﷺ was asked about that for which people are admitted into Paradise the most, so he said:
تَقْوَى اللَّهِ وَحُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ. وَسُئِلَ عَنْ أَكْثَرِ مَا يُدْخِلُ النَّاسَ النَّارَ فَقَالَ الْفَمُ وَالْفَرْجُ
Taqwa of Allah, and good character. And he was asked about that for which people are admitted into the Fire the most, and he said: The mouth and the private parts. [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2004]
And the one with good character is given a house in the highest part of paradise as a reward for his lofty and noble character. Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
أَنَا زَعِيمٌ بِبَيْتٍ فِي رَبَضِ الْجَنَّةِ لِمَنْ تَرَكَ الْمِرَاءَ وَإِنْ كَانَ مُحِقًّا وَبِبَيْتٍ فِي وَسَطِ الْجَنَّةِ لِمَنْ تَرَكَ الْكَذِبَ وَإِنْ كَانَ مَازِحًا وَبِبَيْتٍ فِي أَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ لِمَنْ حَسَّنَ خُلُقَهُ
I guarantee a house in the outskirts of Paradise for the one who refrains from quarrelling even if he is in the right, and a house in the middle of Paradise for the one refrains from lying even if he is joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for the one who made his character good. [Sunan Abu Dawud 4800]
So congratulations to the one who collects all of these houses.
There is not enough time to cover the textual evidences indicating the virtue of good character, its status in Islam and and the enumeration of its merits. But these were examples and guides that light the way for those on the path. And the virtue of good character is not limited to the hereafter. Rather it also includes the worldly life. For owning people’s hearts and attaining their admiration is only through good character. Al Ash’ab bin Qais said to his people and he was their leader, I am a man from among you, I have no virtue over you, but I relax the expression on my face for you, and spend my wealth for you, and fulfill your rights, and protect your sanctities. So whoever does like me is equal to me. And whoever does more than me, is better than me. And I am better than whoever does less than me. It was said to him: O Abu Muhammad, what drove you to say this? He said: I am encouraging them to have the best character.
So what is good character and how can it be attained? The Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, was asked about good character and he said, to not get angry and carried away. And he also said, to bear what comes from the people.
He characterized good character in not getting angry or carried away. Because anger and getting carried away breed destructive aggression, and harming by the tongue through insulting and cursing. And they could result in backbiting, slander and lying. And all of that is incompatible with good character.
And Al Hassan and Ibn Muburak, may Allah have mercy on them, said that good character is a relaxed face, providing favors and eliminating harm. And Waasatee, may Allah have mercy on him, said that it is not to initiate or engage in quarrelling, because of his great knowledge of Allah.
And Asafaareeny mentioned that good character is for a Muslim to love for a Muslim what he loves for himself. And to be humble before them. And to not be prideful over them. And to not cheat, and to not be arrogant and conceited. And if someone is arrogant with him, then he should bear it and treat them kindly. And to venerate the elderly and to have mercy for the children and youth. And to fulfill the rights of all, to have a pleasant face and receive others well. To be always cheerful and gentle and have good companionship. And have gentle speech and mend matters between his brothers, and to check up on his friends. And to not listen to what people say about one another. And do favors for them only for the sake of Allah and not for any other purpose with protecting their honor. And to overlook people’s mistakes and answer their invitations. And to not be accusing. And to be forbearing for the one who was ignorant towards him. And to forgive whoever wrongs him.
This is the weight of good character in the religion of Allah Almighty. And these are the limits and attributes of good morals. So let each one of us gauge his character against this scale, so whoever has a deficiency in their character, should improve and rectify it, and whoever has good character, let him praise Allah Almighty, and ask Him for steadfastness.
وَلا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلا السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ * وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ * وَإِمَّا يَنْزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ-فصلت:34-36
Fusilat (41) 34-36: (34) And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon, the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. (35) But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good]. (36) And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allāh. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin. So seek forgives from Him, Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ, وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ , وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَاْ إِلَهَ إِلَّاْ اَللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَاْشَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ
All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, and I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
Be conscious of Allah and improve your character. For most of what admits people into Paradise is consciousness of Allah and good character. Indecency, obscenity and bad character indicate a lack of consciousness of Allah.
One of the goals of the mission of the Seal of the Prophets ﷺwas to call to virtuous morals. The Prophet ﷺ said:
إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ صَالِحَ الأَخْلاقِ
I was sent to perfect good character. [Ahmad 8952, Sahih Al Jami’ 2349]
And the Prophet ﷺ commanded adherence to the good character. To strive to adorn oneself with it. And it is not an excuse for a person with a bad character to say: it is a nature that I have been born with, as morals are acquired through training and conditioning. And the evidence for that is when Muadh, may Allah be pleased with him, when he intended to travel said, Oh Messenger of Allah advise me, he ﷺ said:
يا رسولَ اللهِ أوصِني قال اعبُدِ الله لا تُشْرِكْ به شيئًا قال يا رسولَ اللهِ زِدْني قال إذا أسَأْتَ فأحسِنْ قال يا رسولَ اللهِ زِدْني قال استَقِمْ ولتُحسِّنْ خُلُقَك
Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him, he said Oh Messenger of Allah give me more, he said, when you do wrong do a good deed, he said Oh Messenger of Allah give me more, he said, be steadfast and improve your character [Ibn Hajar 132]
And in another Hadith the Prophet ﷺ said to him:
اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْت، وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقْ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ
Be conscious of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people. [Tirmithi 1987]
This indicates that good character is acquired. Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy upon him, commented on this Hadith by saying, “and behave well towards the people” is from the characteristics of taqwa (consciousness of Allah). And there is no taqwa (consciousness of Allah) except through it. And he singled it out for mention due to the need for clarifying it. For many believe that taqwa (consciousness of Allah) is fulfilling the rights of Allah without fulfilling the rights of His servants. So he commanded him to be kind to the people. For he had sent him (Muadh) to Yemen as their teacher, jurist and judge. And whoever is like that, then he needs to interact with people with good manners, which is not needed by others whom the people have no need for and do not mix with.
And often those who strive to fulfill the rights of Allah, are completely negligent in fulfilling the rights of the people or fall short. And the combination of fulfilling the rights of Allah and the rights of His servants is very challenging, attained only by His Prophets and the steadfast affirmers of the truth.
How much people are in the need of good character. Indeed we do not accommodate the people through our wealth or our influence. Rather we accommodate them through our good character. Those who interact with us want nothing else from us other than a kind word, a beautiful smile, overlooking faults and excusing them.
So treat people in the best possible fashion. And know that nothing remains for the person in this worldly life except for the good mention. So have good conduct with the people so that you attain the love of Allah and their love. And so that you are mentioned in a good fashion while you are alive and when you pass.
Oh Allah just as you have perfected our forms, perfect our character. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.
هَذَا وَصَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى نَبِيِّكُم كَمَا أَمَرَكُمْ بِذلِكَ رَبُّكُمْ , فَقَالَ
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon your Prophet as your Lord commanded:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Al Ahzaab (33) 56: Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنا فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنا فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنا فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لنا فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنا شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لَنا خَيْرًا
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good
عِبَادَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
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