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The Prophet And Good Character In The Quran: IOK Ramadan Reflections Series #29

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Allah ﷻ praises the Prophet ﷺ in the Quran saying, “And you are surely on an excellent standard of character.” Allah ﷻ Himself is describing the Prophet ﷺ has having the absolute best, beautiful, and amazing character. This is seen in every single aspect of the Prophet’s life ﷺ. 

The importance of akhlāq, or good character, in Islam can’t be overstated. In today’s society, when a person thinks of religion they think of rules and regulations, restrictions, and devotional acts of worship. Even Muslims are guilty of limiting Islam to devotional acts of worship. Generally, when a person hears the word Islam, automatically they think of praying, fasting, giving charity, and reading Quran. These devotional acts of worship are a fundamental part of Islam as way of life, but they aren’t the only part. As a matter of fact our success simply isn’t in prayers, fasting, charity, or hajj. Rather, it is in good manners coupled with these acts of worship.

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The Prophet ﷺ himself described perfecting good manners as the reason why he was sent as a Prophet. “I have only been sent to perfect good character” (Haythamī, Majmaʿ al-Zawā’id, 9:18). Through this statement the Prophet ﷺ explained that one of the primary objectives of his mission was to perfect good character. Interestingly, the acts of worship that have been prescribed in Islam help a person build good character. 

Akhlāq isn’t simply a few manners or qualities; rather, it is a group of praiseworthy characteristics and qualities that a person has. For example, generosity, forbearance, forgiveness, leniency, chastity, fairness, gentleness, humility, justice, mercy, kindness, honesty, and bravery. That is why when a person is polite and respectful to others, humble and kind to the poor and needy, they are showing good character.

The Prophet ﷺ throughout his life stressed the importance of having good character both in speech and deed. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The believers most complete in faith are those who have the best character” (Abū Dāwūd, k. al-Sunnah, b. al-dalīl ʿalā ziyādah al-īmān wa nuqṣānihī, 4682).  When asked about what deeds will lead people to Paradise, the Prophet ﷺ responded, “God-consciousness and good character” ( Tirmidhī, k. Al-birr wa al-ṣilah ʿan rasūlillah ﷺ, b. Mā jā’a fī ḥusn al-khuluq, 2004).  When he was sending Muʿādh (ra) as a governor to Yemen he ﷺ reminded him, “and show good manners in your dealing with others” ( Tirmidhī, k. Al-birr wa al-ṣilah ʿan rasūlillah ﷺ, b. Mā jā’a fī muʿāsharah al-nās, 1987).

Not only did the Prophet ﷺ encourage others to have good character but he showed them how to as well practically. The Prophet ﷺ had the best character himself. Anything he said about character he practiced himself. Allah ﷻ addressed the Prophet ﷺ saying, “And verily, you (Muḥammad) are on an exalted standard of character” ( 68:4 – وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ). Anything the Quran mentioned regarding character, the Prophet ﷺ embodied it. That is why when ʿĀishah (ra) was asked about the character of the Prophet ﷺ, she said, “His character was the Quran” (Bukhārī, al-Adab al-Mufrad, 308). Literally, he was a walking and talking Quran.

Tonight’s Ramadan Reflections Series talk was brought to you by the IOK Seminary Faculty. Catch up on previous videos or catch the next videos on the IOK Ramadan Reflections Series page.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

IOK Seminary Faculty train highly motivated and dedicated Muslim men and women in classical Islam and contemporary scholarship, giving them the tools to grow as individuals, effectively serve those around them, and preserve the Islamic tradition in the West.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tasnim

    May 7, 2022 at 10:01 PM

    https://youtu.be/oiVFGmCKEAA

    Today i saw this above video . It made me cry. Why these peope cannot see the real Mohammad pbuh… they twist and turn every detail about our prophet.i pray to Allah tahla to diminish the hatred they have and fill it with love of Allah and Prophet Muhammad pbuh.

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