By Raiiq Ridwan
The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “I have been sent only to perfect good character.” [Narrated by Ahmad] It shows the importance of character in Islam when the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam puts that much emphasis on building character. Unfortunately, in muslim circles today character is not seen as a very important hallmark of faith.
Character is so important in fact that Allah has mentioned about it all over the Quran. Surah Hujurat is one of the Surahs whose central theme is about the character traits of the believer and their behaviour towards others. This article will list five negative character traits that Allah has asked the believers to stay away from in Surah Hujurat.
Narrating whatever one hears
“O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful” [Quran 49:6]
Today in the age of information, it is very easy to pass on information to someone else without verifying. A lot of information passed on really is false. Things can get even worse when information is passed around about other people, causing rifts in families and a lot of pain and hurt. The Prophet said, “It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” [Narrated by Muslim] Narrating whatever we hear is considered lying, and Allah has cursed the liars over 10 times in the Quran. It is something we definitely need to stay away from
“O you who have believed, let not a group of people mock [other] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women mock [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of shamelessness after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” [Quran 49:11]
Mockery has become such a part of life these days! Allah emphatically prohibits it. We are asked to remember that perhaps those whom we mock might actually be better than us. Allah also tells us in this verse about how the name of shamelessness is wretched. This is a reminder to use good language as well. More often than not, mockery involves use of foul language.
“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] suspicion. Indeed, some suspicion is sin.” [Quran 49:12]
Many a times we are full of suspicion. Allah says that some types of suspicion is sinful. Obviously, if someone is hearing something or seeing something from someone who is known for deception, then it is ok to be suspicious. But many a times we are suspicious of everyone. Shaykh Bin Baaz says about it, “What is prescribed for the believer is to respect his brother if he offers an excuse to him, to accept his apology if possible, and to think positively of him as much as possible, striving to keep hearts free of resentment and aiming to bring about unity and co-operation in doing good. It was narrated from ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: Do not think badly of any word uttered by your brother when you can find a good interpretation for it.”
“And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” [Quran 49:12]
Backbiting has become so commonplace today that it is not even seen as something wrong! Yet Allah gives such a gruesome example of how awful it really is. It is like eating the flesh of one’s dead brother. There is a hadith which says that backbiting someone is giving them a share of our good deeds and taking a share of their sins! Who would want to do something so nasty? Other hadith rank backbiting as one of the top 7 sins!
Feeling as if we are doing Islam a service
“They consider it a favor to you that they have accepted Islam. Say, “Do not consider your Islam a favor to me. Rather, Allah has conferred favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.” [Quran 49:17]
At times we feel as if we are doing Islam a service by being Muslim. Almost as if Islam would be worse off if we did not exist. This is a very terrible trait. Islam is a gift of Allah to us, and He is free of any need. We need Islam, we need Allah, we need His Mercy. His faith will suffice without us, and His faith will shine without us.