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A Muslim's Character and Behaviour

By: Ahmed Syed

Islam is a true religion because it teaches a person everything including how to act and behave, how to sit and talk and how to care and share. A Muslim is sure of himself both in this world and in the Akhirah (the Hereafter). He/she is always striving towards "falaah" (success, prosperity) and freedom from anxiety and is not troubled with doubts and conflicts. A Muslim family eats its meals together with Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir-Rahim and ends its meals together with Al-Hamdulillah. Everyone recites the Qur'an and prays at the appropriate times. Most importantly the children respect their elders and listen to their parents.

Muslims should be good role models and should set a good example to the non-believers so that when they look at a Muslim's character and behaviour and see how great it is, they would want to be Muslims too. Muslims have to project the right image especially when they're a minority in countries such as Canada and U.S.A. They should be honest, truthful, trustworthy, modest, patient, tolerant, punctual, kind, generous, forgiving, brave and hard working. They should be good to people even if those people are not good to them. Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an "Tolerate patiently what they (the unbeliever) say and part from them in a polite manner" (73:10). Muslims should also practice forgiving people because Allah is always forgiving them. They should use the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam's example when the people of Taif threw stones at him and he forgave them.

Tawhid or belief in the Oneness of Allah helps the Muslim character a lot. Anyone who believes in Tawhid, surrenders himself completely to the Will of Allah and becomes a true servant of Allah. Tawhid gives a person a lot of respect and confidence because he knows that Allah has Power over everything and he is in His loving care. It also makes a person humble and modest. The Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam has said "Modesty is part of faith" (Bukhari and Muslim). The person is never arrogant or rude because he/she knows that everything on earth belongs to Allah and he knows that everything he/she has is from Allah, so there's no reason to be proud and boastful.

Allah says in the Holy Qur'an that Nabi Musa 'alayhissalam advised his people: "...Seek help from Allah and be patient, the earth belongs to Allah. Anyone He wishes from among His servants shall inherit it..." (7:128). The most important effect on the Muslim's character from Tawhid is that it makes a person obey and observe Allah's Commands. The person knows that Allah is always watching him and he can't escape Allah's watchful eye even for a single moment. Tawhid produces strong determination, patience and perseverance.

Believing in Allah makes a person brave and courageous. He/she will not be afraid of death because the person knows that it is no one but Allah who will cause death at the appointed time. So, unless the person disobeyed Allah's Commands he/she has nothing to worry about and can go on doing his or her duty without any fear.

You can think of this as a boat. A boat has a rudder, which guides the boat's movement. When the rudder is under control, the boat moves forward proudly over the waves, but if the rudder does not control the boat, it is tossed by every wave in the sea. It is the same thing with a person. When he surrenders himself to Allah, he can face the problems of life without any fear. But if he does not surrender to Allah alone, he has to obey false gods like the fear of danger or the fear of hunger. Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an: "If Allah helps you, then none can overcome you and if He forsakes you, then who is there to help you after Him? And the believers should rely only on Allah" (3:160)

Luqman Hakim has been mentioned in the Qur'an as an intelligent and wise man. He told his son: "O my son! Do not associate anyone with Allah. Truly, polytheism is a tremendous wrong" (31:13). He also said: "O my son! Establish Salah and command the right and forbid the evil and bear patiently whatever may befall you, for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs. Do not turn your face away in disgust from people, nor walk arrogantly in the land. Surely, Allah does not love any arrogant boaster. Be moderate in your pace and lower your voice. Truly the harshest of all voices is the voice of the ass" (31:17, 18, 19).

Muslims should read the Holy Qur'an and Hadiths about a Muslim's character and behaviour so that they could improve. Everyone makes mistakes but that does not mean that we can't improve ourselves. We should learn from our mistakes and improve. Muslims should help other Muslims by encouragement and not by exploiting their mistakes. A Muslim should think of himself as a mirror for his brother.

Hadrat Abu Hurairah (Rady Allahu Anhu) narrates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam said: "Let him who believes in Allah and the Last day, either speak good or keep silent, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest (Bukhari and Muslim). In another Hadith, Hadrat Abu Hurairah narrates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'alayhi wa Sallam said: "Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices to one another; do not hate one another, do not turn away from one another; and do not undercut one another, but be brothers, O slaves of Allah. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he neither oppresses him nor disgraces him, he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt. Piety and righteousness is here - and he pointed to his breast three times. It is evil enough for a man to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable; his blood, his property, and his honour (Muslim).

The more we help others, the better we will become as well because we mature through helping others. Islam shows how an ideal Muslim's character should be and we should act upon that so that we might save ourselves from Hell-fire and attain Paradise.

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