Friday, 20 November 2015

The importance of having good character

At our Tuesday halaqa (circle), our beloved ustadha Umm Abdullah joined us through Skype to teach us about the importance of nurturing good characters among ourselves and our loved ones.

I took some notes. Below I have just shared some of the lessons I have learnt from the talk. So it is not her exact words. The post is based on my understanding of her talk. And I have added my own notes based on the books I am reading for last couple of weeks alhamdulillah.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the most forgiving. Sinners can be completely forgiven on the day of judgement. But there are some sins which will not be forgiven without sincere repentance. The sin of Shirk i.e associating partners to God, harming other creations are very serious sins. Disbelief (Kufr) is the biggest sin which is the opposite of Shukr (Gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciating the blessing of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala).When we deny Allah’s existence, we deny the very fact that we are here only because of Him. We are nothing without His Grace and Mercy on us. We won’t even survive even a second without His continuous blessings on us. So being humble and grateful to Him is really crucial for us as human beings. 

When we read about the prophets in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our beloved Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wa sallam, we always find them as the most humble and polite people on this earth.  Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala mentions them as his grateful slaves. The most honourable title someone can get as a Muslim is to be called the slave of Allah (Abd-Ullah or Amat-Ullah). Our beloved Rasulullah‘s most honourable title is to be mentioned as the slave of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has so many attributes and we must try our best to instil those attributes in our life. Allah is witr (odd number) and He loves odd numbers. According to Sunnah, we try to worship (ibadah) in odd numbers. For example, we do zikr in odd numbers. We like to repeat the actions of wadu (purification) in odd numbers. Allah is compassionate and He loves the compassionate ones. Allah is the Gentle one and He loves the gentle slaves. He is forgiving and he loves the forgiving ones. Our Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wa sallam accepted any excuse given by the people (companions and non-Muslims). He was so gentle and forgiving to people subhanallah. Allah will treat us the way we treat others around us. He will forgive the ones who forgive others. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala hide our faults. Do we hide peoples’ faults? As parents, do we hide our children’s fault? How many of us enjoy talking bad about our spouses when they are not around? As parents and spouses, do we accept the excuses given by our loves ones? Time for serious reflection I believe.

Whoever shames other people, Allah will shame him/her. When we deal with people with mercy, forgiveness, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will deal with us with the same qualities. When we ease someone’s hardship, Allah will give ease to us on the Day of Judgement. So in a nutshell, if we want Allah subhananu wa ta’ala to treat us with His Ridwaan i.e Pleasure, we must do our best to incorporate His attributes in our day to day life.

So we need to make pledge with ourselves. When we write down the pledge, it becomes a firm agreement. So let us make pledge to be grateful and thankful, to be merciful and forgiving to others, to hide the faults of others, to be gentle and caring, to be helpful and supportive of others, to serve others with ihsaan and ithaar InshaAllah! Ihsaan means to be worshipping Allah with a firm feeling that I can see Him or He is watching me. And Ithaar means to prefer others over us and our needs even if our needs seem greater than the others’. Our beloved Rasulullah is a great example of Ihsaan and ithaar. He always helped others even when he was in bigger need. He even borrowed to give charity! Subhanallah what an amazing human being! I believe he is the best of creations for a reason. The more we know about him, he more we love and cherish him, sallallahu alaihe wa sallam.

This pledge must start with a sincere dua to our Rabb to enable us to fulfil the pledge. Because without His help and mercy, we can never achieve anything in life. It always reminds me of one of the most powerful verses from the Qur’an: La hawla wa la quwwata illah billah which roughly means there is no power of might except with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. This powerful ayah (verse) reminds me that I am not able to do any good deed with Allah swt’s Help and I cannot stay away from an evil deed without His Help. It keeps you grounded alhamdulillah. There is no scope of being proud when I perform a good deed or feeling completely hopeless when I commit a sin.
Ustadha did mention a very beautiful quote from a scholar. I believe we can use it as a motto inshaAllah.

“If we cannot gladden someone, let us not sadden them. If we cannot benefit someone, let us not harm them. If cannot speak well of someone, let us not speak ill of them."

Allah is Al-Halim, the Forbearing one. He tolerates with goodness. Even when we are disobedient to Him, He blesses us with so many blessings. The life on earth (dunya) is not easy but our Rabb wants us try our best. Every evil is based on our ego. Our ego always tells us to react in a wrong way. It is a huge temptation. But we must control our ego. And to achieve that, first we must ask Allah to help us. O Allah! I seek Your refuge from the evil of my nafs (ego), ameen!

Why has Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala taught us His beautiful names and attributes? So that we can instil the beautiful qualities. We have the potentials to follow his attributes. By following the last prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihe wa sallam inwardly and outwardly we can improve our characters. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala enable us to follow His attributes and be the righteous ones, ameen! Nothing is impossible with His Help.