Published in  
Matters of the Heart
January 2, 2021

A Window to Islamic Manners and Behaviours

All revealed religions urge and consider good morals a criterion for the progress of humanity and their civilizations. The personality of an individual cannot be observed by his level of faith, acts of worship and wealth alone or even his level of knowledge acquired. Rather, we can truly discover his true personality through his character and conduct. People will be attracted to your faith and knowledge only if your manners appeal to them.

What Do Islamic Manners Mean?

Islamic values are a set of moral conducts, rules and regulations inspired by divine revelation, (the Quran and the Sunnah) that makes up the fabric of the Islamic personality. It is needed to integrate, to make one capable of living among people, and their interactions with society. It is also needed to get along with its members in harmony and peace in various circumstances and places. Also, these sets of values are not only for a particular group of people or geographical location, rather it is a universal standard from the Creator of the heavens and the earth to preserve the heavens and the earth, including all within in it; humans, animals, nature and the environment, etc.

All revealed religions urge and consider good morals a criterion for the progress of humanity and their civilizations. Allah says:

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاءَ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِين

“And We did not create the heaven and earth and that between them in play” [Surah al-Anbiya, 16]

The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said:

اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْت، وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقْ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ

Have taqwa (fear) 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. [Tirmidhi]

The Measure of a Person in Islam:

The personality of an individual cannot be observed by his level of faith, acts of worship and wealth alone or even his level of knowledge acquired. Rather, we can truly discover his true personality through his character and conduct. People will be attracted to your faith and knowledge only if your manners appeal to them. If we become like the wide expanse of a lake of good moral conduct, people will pay no attention to whatever faith or knowledge that you may have. This is the reason that abiding by good manners is imperative and extremely important for all Muslims.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

إِنَّكُمْ لَا تَسَعُونَ اَلنَّاسَ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ, وَلَكِنْ لِيَسَعْهُمْ بَسْطُ اَلْوَجْهِ, وَحُسْنُ اَلْخُلُقِ

Verily, you do not enrich the people with your wealth, but rather you enrich them with your cheerful faces and good character. [al-Hakim]

Islam doesn’t introduce values, manners or just simply prescribe theories. In fact, Islam describes how to establish it and make it functional at a state, social, organizational, institutional and industrial level, so that people’s life can be transformed to a better one and erase corruption from them, bringing good and warding off evil. 

Allah Says:

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

“And let there be (arising) from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful” [Surah Aal Imran, 104]

وَإِلَىٰ مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ وَلَا تَبْخَسُوا النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَاحِهَا ذَٰلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِين

“And to [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb. He said, "O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord. So fulfill the measure and weight and do not deprive people of their due and cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. That is better for you, if you should be believers” [Surah al-A'raf, 85]

'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "The Prophet ﷺ was neither coarse nor loud. He used to say, 

خِيَارُكُمْ أَحَاسِنُكُمْ أَخْلاَقًا

"The best of you is the one who has the best character." [Adab al-Mufrad]

The Highest Position in Islamic Teaching

Good manners and behaviours have the loftiest position in Islam. In fact, one of the reasons and objectives behind the Prophet’s ﷺ mission was to elevate and perfect the moral character of the individual and society at large. Noble character is part and parcel of faith and belief, not only that every time Allah commands the believers to perform an act of worship, He draws their attention to its moral significance or its positive effect on the individual and society. Due to this fact, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

إِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ لِأُتَمِّمَ صَالِحَ الأَخْلاقِ

 “I have been sent to perfect good character.” [Adab al-Mufrad]

Qatadah reported: I said to Aisha, “O mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.” Aisha said, “Have you not read the Quran?” I said, “O course.” Aisha said, “Verily, the character of the Prophet of Allah was the Quran.” [Muslim]

It means that there is no such thing that is beneficial to creations except that the Quran has mentioned it and there is no such thing that is harmful for the creation except that the Quran has warned and stood up against it. Allah Says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَكُم بُرْهَانٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ نُورًا مُّبِينً

O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light [Surah an-Nisa, 174]

Allah the Almighty praised His servant Muhammad for his perfect nobility and excellent humanity. Allah Says:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيم

“And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” [Surah al-Qalam, 4]

Thus, the lofty position occupied by good morals in the Quran and the Sunnah shows how much this great religion pays attention to the issue of manners and behaviours. This great religion of Islam had set a fundamental premise of good manners and behaviours, Allah Says:

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِين

Take what is given freely, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant}[Surah al-A'raf, 199]

Scholars say that none of the Quranic ayat apply comprehensively to all good deeds like this ayah. It means to maintain good relations with those who dispute with you, to give to those who deprive you, and to forgive those who ill-treat you. In other words, this verse guided the Prophet ﷺ to forgive people and accept their apology, to treat them with leniency, and not to probe or interfere in their personal affairs. Being the person who was most adherent to the teachings of the Quran, the Prophet, ﷺ, was the best of people in character.

Anas ibn Malik reported, ”I served him ﷺ for ten years, and he never said ‘Uff’ (an expression of disgust) to me. He never said "Why did you do that?" for something I had done, nor did he ever say "Why did you not do such and such" for something I had not done." [Bukhari].

Great Rewards and Virtue:

Good manners deeply affect and impact a Muslims life not in this worldly life, but also in the hereafter. In fact there are many Ayat and ahadith that state the matter and announce greatest rewards for the Hereafter. To maintain this article within its limit, I will only highlight three from among them:

1. A well-mannered person will have one of the heaviest scales on the Day of Judgment.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 

ما من شئ أثقل في ميزان المؤمن يوم القيامة من حسن الخلق، وإن الله يبغض الفاحش البذي

"Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language." [Tirmidhi]

2. Good manners will pave the way to Paradise and a good mannered person will be together with the Prophet on the Day of Judgment.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, 

أنا زعيم ببيت في ربض الجنة لمن ترك المراء، وإن كان محقاً، وببيت في وسط الجنة لمن ترك الكذب، وإن كان مازحاً، وببيت في أعلى الجنة لمن حسن خلقه

"I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners." [Abu Dawud]

3. Adherence to good manners is protection from Hellfire, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ says:

أَلاَ أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِمَنْ يَحْرُمُ عَلَى النَّارِ أَوْ بِمَنْ تَحْرُمُ عَلَيْهِ النَّارُ عَلَى كُلِّ قَرِيبٍ هَيِّنٍ لَيِّنٍ سَهْلٍ

“Shall I not tell you for whom the Hellfire is forbidden? It is every person accessible, kind, and easy-going.” [Tirmidhi]

How to Acquire Good Morals and Behaviour?

Islam comes to invite and urge humanity towards good characters and its virtues, and discourages bad characters and its vices. Islamic teachings contain treasures of such guidelines and pieces of advice.  Below we have mentioned some of them:

The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said:

الْبِرُّ حُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ، وَالإِثْمُ مَا حَكَّ فِي نَفْسِكَ وَكَرِهْتَ أَنْ يَطَّلِعَ عَلَيْهِ النَّاسُ

Righteousness is good character, and sin is what waivers in your heart and you hate for people to find out about it. [Muslim]

The Prophet, ﷺ said:

إِنَّ مِنْ أَخْيَرِكُمْ أَحْسَنَكُمْ خُلُقًا ‏

Verily, among the best of you are those with the best character. [Bukhari]

The Prophet, ﷺ said:

ما من شئ أثقل في ميزان المؤمن يوم القيامة من حسن الخلق، وإن الله يبغض الفاحش البذي

"Nothing will be heavier on the Day of Resurrection in the Scale of the believer than good manners. Allah hates one who utters foul or coarse language." [Tirmidhi]

The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said:

مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ يُوضَعُ فِي الْمِيزَانِ أَثْقَلُ مِنْ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ لَيَبْلُغُ بِهِ دَرَجَةَ صَاحِبِ الصَّوْمِ وَالصَّلاَةِ

"Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer." [Tirmidhi]

The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ was asked, “What admits most people into Paradise?” The Prophet said: 

تَقْوَى اللَّهِ وَحُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ

Fear of Allah and good character. 

It was asked, “What condemns most people to Hellfire?” The Prophet said: 

‏ الْفَمُ وَالْفَرْجُ

The mouth and the genitals. [Tirmidhi]

The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said:

إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيُدْرِكُ بِحُسْنِ خُلُقِهِ دَرَجَةَ الْقَائِمِ بِاللَّيْلِ الظَّامِئِ بِالْهَوَاجِرِ

Verily, a man may reach by his good character the rank of one who stands for prayer at night, thirsty from fasting in the heat of day. [al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr]

Good manners and behaviours can be acquired and learned; however, some of them are instinctive. Instinctive manners are those that Allah the Almighty created a person with, as a part of their innate character. An example of this is what the Prophet ﷺ, said to his Companion,

إِنَّ فِيكَ خَلَّتَيْنِ يُحِبُّهُمَا اللَّهُ الْحِلْمُ وَالأَنَاةُ

You have two characteristics which Allah likes: gentleness and deliberation.

The companion asked: Have I acquired them or has Allah created (them) my nature? He replied:

بَلِ اللَّهُ جَبَلَكَ عَلَيْهِمَا

No, Allah has created (them) in your nature. He then said: Praise be to Allah Who has created in my nature two characteristics which Allah and His Apostle like. [Abu Dawud]

However, the Prophet ﷺ was a perfect living model to be followed and learned from, and he left behind golden legacies of moral standards carried by his followers today. He used to ask Allah the Almighty to help him acquire good manners, a masterpiece of his everyday supplication to the Lord was, "O Allah, guide me to the best of characters for none can guide to it other than you, and deliver me from the worst of characters for none can deliver me from it other than you." [Muslim]

Below are the factors that may help one to acquire good manners and conduct

1. Sincere determination and a gradual approach towards changing one's manners, and striving to achieve righteousness promised by Allah and the Messenger ﷺ, as they will only change slowly, but surely.

2. Keeping oneself in the company of well-mannered people, so they direct you to good, show you your faults and rectify your behaviour. The company of righteous people makes everyone imitate their morals.

3. Adherence to the straight path by uttering what Allah and His Messenger ﷺ prescribed and avoiding what has been prohibited. These will definitely aspire towards every superior quality and direct his determination towards it, since Allah the Almighty loves high moral standards and hates low ones.

4. Reading and studying the lives of the Prophets, especially the Seerah of last final prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and the biographies of righteous generations i.e. (Companions, Scholars and pious presiders) who are the best models for good manners.

5. Studying under noble teachers and seeking knowledge continuously, indeed knowledge is light and purity, for sure it will help to erase darkness and impurity.  

6. Early upbringing plays a major role in forming one's moral constitution and it is also a crucial factor in one's readiness to be redirected towards good manners.

7. Finally, continue engaging to seek Allah’s guide and help through supplications and prayers, charity and thanking Him and seeking His nearness by actions that He loves most.

Some Aspects of High Moral Standards in Islam:  

The Prophet ﷺ was the epitome of good character and personal integrity. When Aishah, the mother of the believers was asked about the character of the Prophet ﷺ, she replied, “His character was the Quran.” [Muslim]

This means he translated the noble teachings of the Quran into reality, and transformed nations and society to a moral standard that they lead the world, history will recognize their nobility and greatness till the end of times. Let us go through some of the distinguished manners without details:

1. Humility

A Muslim should be humble and characterized by simplicity in his actions, movements and expressions. He should be prompt in responding and respect all members of the society regardless of their circumstances and conditions.  Once Prophet ﷺ declared,

لاَ يَدْخُلُ النَّارَ أَحَدٌ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ حَبَّةِ خَرْدَلٍ مِنْ إِيمَانٍ وَلاَ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ أَحَدٌ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالُ حَبَّةِ خَرْدَلٍ مِنْ كِبْرِيَاءَ

“None shall enter the Fire (of Hell) who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of Iman and none shall enter Paradise who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride.” [Muslim]

2. Mercy

Mercy in Islam is embraced in countless aspects. A Muslim should practice mercy towards children and the elderly, towards women and the weak folk of the society, not only that, in fact, Islam ordered us to be merciful towards all living creations. The Prophet ﷺ said,

الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمْ الرَّحْمَنُ ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ

“The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.” [Tirmidhi]

3. Justice

A Muslim should uphold justice under  all circumstances and judge by Allah’s rule even if that was against himself or one of his closest family members, Allah Says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَن تَعْدِلُوا وَإِن تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرً

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort (your testimony) or refuse (to give it), then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted [Surah an-Nisa, 135]

He should not accept interference from any noble or notable individual to spare the punishment or judgment for any member of the society if it is against the prescribed law. A civilized and cultivated society in Islamic estimation is one in which the weak can claim their rights without fear or hesitation. The Prophet ﷺ said “Woe to the nation whose individuals do not give the weak his due in full.” [Ibn Majah]

4. Generosity

A Muslim should be generous towards all around him, especially to his close kinship and neighbours, should take part in charitable works and helping others, should not deny any request by anyone according to his capacity, in particular, during prescribed virtual season when the rewards are multiplied.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur'an with him. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) then used to be more generous than the fast wind (which comes with rain and prosperity). [Bukhari]

5. Truthfulness

Truthfulness is far more than having an honest tongue in speech. In Islam, truthfulness is the conformity of the outer with the inner, the action with the intention, the speech with belief, and the practice with the preaching. As such, truthfulness is the very cornerstone of the upright Muslim’s character and the springboard for his virtuous deeds.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ related: 
إِنَّ الصِّدْقَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْبِرِّ، وَإِنَّ الْبِرَّ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَصْدُقُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ صِدِّيقًا، وَإِنَّ الْكَذِبَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْفُجُورِ، وَإِنَّ الْفُجُورَ يَهْدِي إِلَى النَّارِ، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَكْذِبُ، حَتَّى يُكْتَبَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَذَّابًا

"Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." [Bukhari]

6. Courage and Braveness

Courage and bravery are qualities required of every Muslim, male or female. The Islamic meaning of these terms as summarized from what we read from Imam An-Nawawi and Imam Ibn Hazm: Courage (and bravery) means to stand up to defend the truth even in the face of possible opposition and to call people to goodness and forbid evil and racing to do good deeds. It also means to be steadfast upon following the religion of Islam and being steadfast in fighting the enemies of Islam and the Muslims with the pen, the tongue and the sword, and doing all of this whilst expecting a reward from Allah.

A man asked the Prophet ﷺ, when he had put his leg in the stirrup: “Which kind of Jihad is best?'” He said: 

أَفْضَلُ الْجِهَادِ كَلِمَةُ عَدْلٍ عِنْدَ سُلْطَانٍ جَائِرٍ

“The best jihad is a just word spoken to an unjust ruler.” [Ibn Majah]

7. Cheerfulness and Cleanliness

Islam always encourages us to be cheerful, teaches us to be happy and to spread happiness to others and give good news. A Muslim should be concerned about his cleanliness and hygiene, and his looks; not for the purpose of showing off but rather to make everyone around him comfortable and feel better. Islam considers cleanliness and hygiene to be a part of faith whether it’s in the physical or spiritual terms.

Abdullah bin Harith reported, “I have never seen a man who smiled as much as the Messenger of Allah ﷺ “ [Tirmidhi]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 

لا تحقرن من المعروف شيئاً ولو أن تلقى أخاك بوجهٍ طليق‏

"Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face". [Muslim]

8. Patience and Perseverance

One of the central concepts in Islam is that this life is a test. This means that human beings should expect to face trials and tribulations and that they should endure them with patience and perseverance. This point is repeated throughout the Quran and the Sunnah. Patience and perseverance in the face of difficulty are traits that believers strive to embody. This willingness to accept and endure does not mean that Muslims should be defeatists and refuse to work towards alleviating problems. But they should accept the test, call on God for assistance in being patient, and move forward.

The Almighty Allah praised and gave glad tiding for those who practice extreme patience in the time of challenges and obstacles,

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِين
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُون
أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُون

“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, ‘To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.’ They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance.” [Surah Al- Baqarah, 155-157]

9. Love and Kindness

Muslims are taught to always show love and kindness. They are encouraged to love for others what they like for themselves, give preference to others needs over theirs, and to extend kindness to all. The Madinan society will remain exemplary in human history where the best ever level of love and kindness was practiced under the leadership of the Prophet ﷺ himself, as a result, they changed the whole world within 23 years.  

Allah Says:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِين

“O Messenger of Allah! It is a great Mercy of God that you are gentle and kind towards them; for, had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would all have broken away from you” [Surah Aal Imran, 159].

10. Gentleness and Leniency

One of the most used methodologies by the Prophets of Allah was their trait of understanding the people of their nations, tyrant rulers and their arrogance, its proven leniency makes difficulties bearable and eases the harshness of situations.

As the famous saying goes: Through gentleness, goals are achieved. Through gentleness, difficulties become easy [to bear]. The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said: “Verily, the most beloved to me are those of you with the best character, soft in nature, friendly and befriended. The most hateful of you to Allah are those who spread tale bearing and gossip, who cause discord between loved ones, seeking misery for the innocent.” [al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ]

11. A Good Word

A courteous expression can win one friendship and goodwill while a discourteous one can cause many complications and bickering. A bad word hurts both the mind and heart while a weapon only hurts the body. A wound caused by a weapon may be treated and can heal up and get cured but an injury to the mind and heart goes so deep that it may never be cured and extremely difficult to forget.

Islam has recorded utmost attention and given encouragement to speaking good and what is beneficial, at the same time it has issued warning, caution and to be careful in what one say, lest one say something that is harmful or false. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 

‏من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر، فليقل خيرًا، أو ليصمت

"He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent." [Muslim]

It is part of a Muslim’s faith to speak the truth and to say things that bring about benefit to others. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدً
يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمً

“O you who believe! Fear God and speak a word that is right. He will set right for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys God and His Messenger has certainly attained a great achievement.” [Surah al-Ahzab, 70-71]

Allah informs us as well in the Quran some of what constitutes good in our speech and benefits other people. He says:

لَّا خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمً

“No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right, or bring reconciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking God’s pleasure, then we shall grant him a great reward.” [Surah An-Nisa, 114]

When we have nothing beneficial to say, silence is golden.  Once, Mu`adh b. Jabal asked the Prophet to inform him of some good work that would admit him into Paradise and distance him from the Hellfire. The Prophet mentioned to him the virtues of many good deeds, then said:

“Shall I inform you of the foundation of all of that?”

Muadh said: “Certainly.”

The Prophet took hold of his tongue and said: “Restrain yourself from this.”

Muadh then asked: “O Prophet of God! Are we held to task for the things that we say?”

The Prophet replied: “May your mother be bereaved of you, O Mu`âdh! Does anything topple people headlong into the Hellfire save the harvests of their tongues?” [Tirmidhi]

We should avoid speaking ill of others. We must be vigilant not to speak falsehood. We must think about what we are saying and the possible consequences of our words before we go ahead and speak. We are living in a time where spreading lies and falsehood is just a fingertip away. These divine guidelines must enter our ears and mind before we become supreme losers.

The Prophet said ﷺ: 
إن الرجل ليتكلم بالكلمة من رضوان الله تعالى ما كان يظن أن تبلغ ما بلغت يكتب الله له بها رضوانه إلى يوم يلقاه، وإن الرجل ليتكلم بالكلمة من سخط الله ما كان يظن أن تبلغ ما بلغت يكتب الله له بها سخطه إلى يوم يلقاه

A man speaks a good word without knowing its worth, Allah records for him His Good Pleasure till the day he will meet Him; and a man utters an evil word without realizing its importance, Allah records for him His displeasure till the day he will meet Him. [Tirmidhi]

12. Forgiving and forbearance  

A Muslim should not get caught up in the illusion of pain given by the people that you fail to see the bigger picture. By forgiving and forbearing you are actually accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to live in a state of resolution with it. This life is a test. Allah is going to test us through other people too. But the best among us are the ones who live and mingle within us yet forbear our fault and forgive us. The Prophet ﷺ said

لا تباغضوا، ولا تحاسدوا ولا تدابروا، ولا تقاطعوا، وكونوا عباد الله إخوانًا، ولا يحل لمسلم أن يهجر أخاه فوق ثلاث

“Do not harbor grudge against one another, nor jealousy, nor enmity; and do not show your backs to one another; and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to avoid speaking with his brother beyond three days.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيم

…and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you?… [Surah an-Nur, 22]

13. Honesty and Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness and honesty are two ingredients that enhance the integrity and sound moral conduct of the society. Being trustworthy implies being honest, fair in dealings and punctual (in terms of both regularity and timeliness) as well as honoring trusts and keeping promises and commitments. An important part of the noble Islamic character is being trustworthy. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was known, even before his Prophet-hood to be known as Al-Ameen (the trustworthy one).

Honesty implies a lack of deceit while trustworthiness entails honouring and fulfilling commitments, promises, trusts and covenants. It covers moral, social, legal and religious obligations. Allah praises the believers who uphold trustworthiness and promise them Paradise.

“Those who are faithfully true to their amanah (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts, etc.) and to their covenants...these indeed are the inheritors. Who shall inherit Paradise. And dwell therein forever” [Surah Al-Muminun, 8-11]

Trustworthiness and honesty are equally important in fulfilling duties and responsibilities with perfection and professionalism, regardless of your position and status in organization and society, from top to bottom, all  should abide by these two noble characters in order to establish a noble, respectful and corrupt free environment we are all looking forward to achieve by the help of Allah.


To conclude, the above is an extremely important subject that we have discussed in brief.  I would like to give the readers an exclusive summary that scholars and expert have agreed upon in regards to manners and behaviours.

Noble Morality is based on four essential pillars: patience, chastity, courage and justice. This is because patience leads to endurance, restraining anger, and avoiding offending others; chastity protects one from falling into vices; courage propels one towards self-respect and favouring high moral standards; and justice teaches moderation and practicality.

On the other hand,

Bad manners or immorality are founded on four basic pillars: ignorance, injustice, desire, and anger. Ignorance drives a person to view what is good as bad; injustice causes one to place things in the wrong place; desire incites covetousness, stinginess, miserliness, vices and blemishes; anger gives rise to pride, spite, envy, aggression, and foolishness. One should be aware of these four characteristics, in order to get rid of bad manners because knowing that these traits are the root of all disliked manners makes it easy to eradicate them.

May Allah make us capable and guide us to follow the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, for he is indeed the epitome of excellent moral character in all aspects of life.

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