Benefit: The Importance of Good Character
In the Name of Allāh, the Ever Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
In the Name of Allāh, the All-Compassionate, the Ever-Merciful
All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of all that exists, and may He raise the rank of His last Prophet and Messenger, Muḥammad ibn 'ʿAbdillāh, and that of his family and Companions, and may He grant them all peace.
Upright moral character is an integral part of the correct implementation of the Religion of Islām. In fact, it is so essential and important that the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) said about it:
"There is nothing heavier in the Scales (on the Day of Judgment) than good character."
And the Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) was our role model and the premier example of a man who displayed the finest possible character. About him, Allāh, the Exalted, has said:
"Verily, in the Messenger of Allāh you have a fine role model" [Sūrah al-Aḥzāb 33:21].
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allāh have Mercy on him) summarized the extent of his noble manners by saying:
The Prophet (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) used to greet the children when he passed by them. Sometimes, a little girl would take him by the hand and he would allow her to lead him wherever she wanted. He (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) used to lick his fingers after eating. He (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) would be in the service of his family when at home. Never would he become angry because of something personal. He (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) used to repair his own sandals and mend his own torn clothes. He would milk his goat himself for his own family. He would feed his own camel. He used to eat with his servants, sit in the company of the poor people, and personally take care of the needs of widows and orphans. He would be the one to initiate the greeting when meeting people. He would respond to the humblest of invitations. He (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace) lived a very modest lifestyle, a man of soft manners, naturally kind, easy to get along with, having a pleasant smile on his face, gracefully humble, extremely generous but not wasteful, soft-hearted and gentle in his dealings with each and every Muslim, lowering the wings of humility to the believers, bearing their companionship in such a gentle way.
In a time when the West pushes its deficient values and misguided moral codes on the cultures of the world, it is imperative that Muslims realize the completeness of the guidance of the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace), and realize that our true honor and distinction among the nations, as well as our success in the Hereafter, lies in embracing his guidance, in all affairs of belief and action.
Based on the scholars' continual advice to the Muslim youth, comibned with the specific need that Muslims in the West have to understand and implement upright moral character, the importance of this book and the need for its translation into the English language becomes crystal clear. And what better guidebook than one based on the character of the Messenger of Allāh (may Allāh raise his rank and grant him peace), authored by an exemplary scholar like Shaykh Ibn al-ʿUthaymīn, known for his outstanding manners!
1. Found in: Jāmiʿ' at-Tirmidhī (2002); Sunan Abī Dāwūd (4766); Musnad Aḥmad (6/442,446,451-452); Musnad at-Tayaalisee (1071); al-Muntakhab min Musnad 'Abd ibn Humayd (204); Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Hibbān (481); al-Mūsánnaf (25711) of Ibn Abī Shaybah; al-Adab al-Mufrad (270); al-Sunnah of Ibn Abī ʿĀsim (783); Shu'ab al-Īmān (7638-7640); Mu'jam as-Ṣaḥābah (2/251); Sharḥ al-Sunnah (3496); Sharḥ Mushkil al-Āthār (5190); al-Jāmiʿ li Akhlāq al-Rāwī (815); ash-Sharīʿah (898); Taareekh Dimashq (57/94-95); on the authority of Abū ad-Dardāʾ (may Allāh be pleased with him). Authenticated in: Jāmiʿ' at-Tirmidhī (3/536); Kashf al-Khafá' (100); Silsilah al-Aḥādīthis-Ṣaḥīḥah (876).
2. Madaarij as-Saalikeen (3/111-112)