Establishing good character is an essential aspect of Islamic theology. Akhlaq is a broad term which encompasses a person’s character, virtue, ethics and morality.
It teaches individuals how to conduct themselves in various contexts, treat people and behave according to Islamic laws. Numerous Quranic verses and Ahadith encourage individuals to improve their characters.
As Muslims, the Quran teaches us there is no character more virtuous and praiseworthy than that of Prophet Muhammed (saw), who taught that the best of people are the ones who have good character.
Build Character in the Way of the Prophet (saw)
What was the character of the Prophet? When asked this question, Moulana Raushan Neveling quoted a lengthy narration by Hadhrat Aisha (ra), describing the nature of the Messenger as the Quran.
Ibn Rajab, a great Islamic scholar, translates this narration by stating the Prophet would display good character as defined within the Quran. He would be pleased with whatever the Quran praised. And whatever it disapproved of, he would show his disapproval.
Ml Neveling said, “When one aspires to imitate their hero, what does he need to do? Firstly, he needs to know about his hero. We come to know of Rasūl (saw) by studying the sirah. I believe in progression. Although one would love to adopt all [his] good characteristics in the shortest period of time, the best approach would [be to] always do it gradually.”
Safeguarding Your Character
As a person moulds their character according to the way of the Prophet, they become aware of Islam, the teachings in the Quran and Hadith.
They begin to see positive changes within themselves and their surroundings. They begin to speak differently, act differently and deal with people differently.
Ml Neveling said, ” When one practises the injunctions found within the Quran, one would see that it is a book for mankind. It solves every issue, whether political, economic, social etc. Emulation of the Prophet is in itself an assertion of love for Allah.”
It is crucial to safeguard one’s faith and character from vice, peer pressure and desire that is ever present in modern society.
Ml Neveling said, “Another way to safeguard one’s faith and character is to befriend those who invite us to do good, remind us of Allah, and who have the same objectives as we do.”
But building one’s character is an ongoing process. Individuals are constantly trying to improve themselves in their daily lives, school, work, or families.