Morality and Good Character


     قال الله تعالى: { إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ} سورة النحل، آية 90.

      Allah -the Exalted- says: { Verily, Allah orders justice, kindness, and giving (help) to the relatives.  And Allah forbids immoral sins, evil, and oppression.  He admonishes you that perhaps you may take heed} (Surah 16, verse 90).

     وعن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه أن النبيَّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ أَثْقَلُ في مِيزَانِ المُؤْمِنِ يَوْمَ القِيَامَة مِنْ حُسْنِ الخُلُقِ، وإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبغِضُ الفَاحِشَ البَذِيءَ» .  رواه الترمذي وابن حبان.

     Narrated Abu Ad-Darda’ -may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “There is nothing heavier in the Scale of the faithful (Mu’min) on the Day of Judgment than good morals (Husn Al-Khuluq).  And Allah dislikes the indecent, foul mouthed.”  Related by Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban.


Good morals and conduct is what distinguishes the son of Adam from other creatures.  While the law of the jungle gives the power and authority to the strongest and may entail violating the rights of the weak and old (a lesson from we which we can learn), the rules of Islam and religion dictate fairness and justice to each individual and in every aspect of the human life.  Not only is the Muslim supposed to have the best morals and code of honor, but he is also supposed to protect the rights of the weak and the old as well.  Thus, not only is the Muslim a fair and just person who strives to be good and do good to others, but the whole community is composed of individuals who take care of each other and look after one another.

As the above hadith shows good morals are one of the greatest good deeds in Islam.  Islam encourages the Muslim to have good morals in every aspect of his life, and with every person with whom he deals.  The true Muslim is characterized by honesty, truthfulness, patience, generosity, justice, kindness and good manners.  These characteristics give the Muslim his identity and reflect his true inner faith in God.

       A true believer or Mu’min is someone who firmly believes in the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment; therefore, he strives to have good morals and rid himself of bad characteristics or vices.  The believer knows the blessed effects of good morals both in this life and in the Hereafter, and therefore tries hard to cultivate his good morals.  Good morals lead to peace and happiness in this life, and to Paradise in the Hereafter.  A Muslim with good morals not only leads a happy contented life, but also projects that happiness and contentment to others around him.

On the other hand, the Muslim understands the effects of vices on one’s faith and the recompense of such a bad deed both in this life and the Hereafter.  As for faith, vices and bad characteristics work to weaken faith, until the person becomes immoral and loses his moral sense.  This leads the person to immorality and sin, which leads to misery and different kinds of anxieties and depression.  In the Hereafter, vices and bad characteristics lead to Hell-fire, as much as they destroyed one’s sense of morality and faith.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned that as time passes by and we draw near to the Day of Judgment, faith will weaken, and immorality will appear and become widespread.  What used to be considered wrong before starts to be considered right; what used to be considered shameful before starts to be accepted; what used to be considered socially unacceptable before starts to be seen commonly; what used to be considered unjust before starts to be practiced by many; and so forth.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- warned that when such a time appears, then torments and disasters would appear as well.

Indeed, when basic values and principles are no longer respected and applied, when the laws of God are no longer followed, and when the commands of God are violated, then natural forces are given permission to take their course and that may lead to natural disasters and calamities.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- warned against this inversion of morality and values, and talked about the consequence of such actions in the following hadith: 

   وعن أبي هريرة  رضي الله عنه عن النبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: «‏ إِذَا اتُّخِذَ الفَيْءُ دُوَلًا، ‏وَالأَمَانَةُ مَغْنَمًا، وَالزَّكَاةُ ‏مَغْرَمًا،‏ ‏وَتُعُلِّمَ لِغَيْرِ الدِّينِ، وَأَطَاعَ الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ، ‏وَعَقَّ ‏‏أُمَّهُ، وَأَدْنَى صَدِيقَهُ، وَأَقْصَى أَبَاهُ، وَظَهَرَتِ الأَصْوَاتُ فِي المَسَاجِدِ، وَسَادَ القَبِيلَةَ فَاسِقُهُمْ، وَكَانَ زَعِيمُ الْقَوْمِ أَرْذَلَهُمْ، وَأُكْرِمَ الرَّجُلُ مَخَافَةَ شَرِّهِ، وَظَهَرَتِ ‏القَيْنَاتُ ‏‏وَالمَعَازِفُ، وَشُرِبَتْ الخُمُورُ، وَلَعَنَ آخِرُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ أَوَّلَهَا، ‏‏فَلْيَرْتَقِبُوا ‏‏عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ رِيحًا حَمْرَاءَ، وَزَلْزَلَةً وَخَسْفًا ‏‏وَمَسْخًا ‏‏وَقَذْفًا، ‏‏وَآيَاتٍ ‏‏تَتَابَعُ ‏ ‏كَنِظَامٍ ‏‏بَالٍ ‏قُطِعَ سِلْكُهُ فَتَتَابَعَ» .  رواه الترمذي.


   Narrated Abu Hurairah -may Allah be pleased with him- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “

  • When the booty (public money) is taken by some people apart from others,
  • When the trusted item is taken as a loot,
  • When charity is regarded as penalty,
  • When the knowledge (of religion) is acquired for other purposes,
  • When the man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother,
  • When the man brings close his friend and keeps away his father,
  • When people speak loudly in the houses of worship,
  • When the dissolute sinful person dominates over his tribe,
  • When the most vile person becomes the ruler of his people,
  • When the man is honored for fear of his evil,
  • When female singers and music instruments become prevalent,
  • When wines are drunk abundantly, and
  • When the late of this nation curse the early of this nation,
  • Then let them watch and wait for a red wind, earthquake, landslide, figure deformation, pelting from the sky, and successive signs that will appear like falling beads from an old necklace that has broken so its beads continue to fall one by one.” Related by Al-Tirmidhi.


          Thus, Good Morals and conduct not only create a peaceful and just society that lives in peace and prosperity, but good morality also dispel calamities and disasters and keep them at bay.  The Muslim should always strive for good morals and should cultivate good characteristics such as justice, patience, kindness, forgiveness, and others.  The Muslim should also try to rid himself of bad characteristics or vices like pride, injustice, jealousy, greed, covetousness, and others.   Good morals is the identity of the true Muslim and reflects his inner true faith.  And Allah knows best.




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