Importance of Akhlaaq(Good Character)
by Shaykh Asif Husain Farooqi of England
Allah's Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has intimated that each ummati of his is beautiful. But this beauty is not due to colour or any such thing; rather the beauty of an ummati is from his (or her) akhlaaq(character). Allah Ta'ala has said that a person's akhlaaq is a tremendous thing.
Today I am at fault - I was late and I apologize for it. Your prayer has been delayed by 15 minutes and my conscience is reproaching me. I ask your forgiveness since apologising is also a part of akhlaaq(character). May Allah forgive us for our bad akhlaaq(character). Akhlaaq is that you do not cause the slightest suffering to the creation of Allah ; Allah's Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) himself gave a beautiful definition of it in the hadith:
"Love for your brother what you love for yourself."
What a fine criterion. Think, would you like someone to swear at your mother or to abuse your brother or sister? Whenever you are about to say something bad to anyone, then immediately think how bad you would find it if it were said to you. Similarly, if you decide that you like something then wish the same for your brother.
It is not simply a matter of performing sajdahs(prostration), reciting the Quran and staying hungry all day long. Rather in this month of Ramadhan we should try to improve our akhlaaq. We should try to improve relations with those whom we do not get on; we should seek forgiveness from those who are angry with us; and we should create such a feeling of brotherhood that the ummah becomes one in reality. Today this is the cause of the disunity which we have, though we pray in one row our hearts are filled with feeling like hate and insincerity. In fact this community of ours is so dirty that we are ashamed to ask one another for forgiveness.
Excellent akhlaaq is that of Nabi Kareem(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) . He lived in this type of society - with Christians and Jews. And he showed what is good akhlaaq - not even enemies could fault him for his akhlaaq. To this day no writer or historian has been able to criticise Nabi Kareem(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) for his akhlaaq. And this is the one sign of a good person - that their akhlaaq is excellent.
My friends from today let us make a promise to ourselves that we never let our akhlaaq fall. Let us love the young and respect the old and if we have any insincerity or bad feeling in our hearts then let us ask Allah for forgiveness. Remember Allah Ta'ala has said, "If you take less from someone in this life then I will give you more in Paradise. If you ask someone to forgive you then I will give you a higher rank then them in Paradise. The more you make yourself humble amongst creation, the more I will raise your rank in Paradise." So do we want the dunya or do we want Paradise? I say we should wander the streets looking for people and apologising to them.
Now let me say that bad akhlaaq is an illness of our inner selves. If you have heard one part of the Quran then have you become pious? Are your inner illnesses cured? The Quran is a cure for all humanity (not just the believers). And the Quran is there to cure our akhlaaq. If I place a bottle of medicine before you, it can sit there for days and it will have no effect on you - until you eat it.
When the light of the Quran and Sunnah shines on a gathering then people’s hearts melt like wax. But when a person leaves the company of the friends of Allah Ta'ala , the hearts become hard again. So is there a medicine which will keep hearts soft even after leaving the company of the friends of Allah ? Rasoolallah said that if you want to keep your hearts soft and cure the illness of bad akhlaaq then you have to perform the dhikr of Allah !
Dhikr of Allah Ta'ala is the thing to improve akhlaaq, do sincere dhikr of Allah Ta'ala and such a light will enter your heart that people will say what good akhlaq this person has.
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