Sunday 24 July 2022

We must Judge People by their Character

We generally are in the habit of forming an opinion about others very quickly. Normally our judgement of someone's character is his regularity in offering prayers, giving away alms and charities and helping others. When we such people, we often treat them is pious and God fearing. But is it enough to judge a man's character? Perhaps not true always for many a times such people who are outwardly looking nice and pure, are often found to be otherwise from inside. The same story of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Before we proceed further, let us see what character really means:
The head of the matter is good character. With respect to Allah, good character means adhering to the sound creed (aqeedah) and performing acts of worship (ibadah). With respect to people, good character means being just, merciful, forgiving, kind, and patient in our interactions with others (mu'amalat).
  • Character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
  • Britannica Dictionary definition of CHARACTER: the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves : someone's personality — usually singular. He rarely shows his true character—that of a kind and sensitive person. This is a side of her character that few people have seen.
  • Character defines who we are. So when we judge someone else, we often judge them based on character. For example, when someone always seems to do the right thing, we classify him/her as a person of high ethical standards. Likewise, when someone is constantly negative, we consider him/her to have a pessimistic view.
Whenever Allah places a man on the pedestal of prophethood, the main criterion has always been character. The same was true for Prophet Muhammad when he was being blessed with the honour of prophethood, Allah said: And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character (Surah 58. Al Qalam (The Pen)- verse 4)

Thus, while we select a person for any job, we must select him for his wealth, his outward appearance, attire or eloquence in speech. Instead, we should try to find his hidden character qualities which of course can be found out by series of tests. Though there are people who sometimes evade such tests and find inroads into a company, establishment or even as the premiers and presidents of the country.  However, they are exposed one day though at the cost of some heavy losses.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is reported to have said: “The evilest in my nation are garrulous, braggarts, and pompous. The best of my nation is those with the best character.” “Verily, the believers with the most complete faith are those with the most excellent character and who are most kind to their families.”
In the personality of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ we find an excellent role model of character which was even accepted by his harshest of enemies. Before being given the prophethood, he was a merchant and no one ever raised a finger on his honesty and handling of their goods with even an iota of doubt of his honesty and fair handling. He was truthful, upright and extremely considerate. The Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is embodiment of character qualities which if followed in true letter and spirit, no Muslim would have failings in his life for following a true faith and confessing to Tawhid, and the Sunnah, one is unable to go wrong ever.

Having just introduced the basics of character, let us now watch an enlightening video below by one of the most eminent scholars of present times,  Wahiduddin Khan and see how he defines character for a true believer:
Wahiduddin Khan (1 January 1925 – 21 April 2021) was an Islamic scholar and peace activist known for having written a commentary on the Quran and having translated it into contemporary English and talking on issues related to Islam.

Having read and seen the video above, please take a reappraisal of yourself and gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your character. And if there are failings, do take corrective measures to remove them. Likewise select people of the highest level of integrity and character qualities so that they serve us as is the right of doing so.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is our duty to convey only to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video above are those of the scholar concerned. We have shared this view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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