If there is anything an honest and true Muslim learns from life, it is the great value of having good manners and paying sincere attention to one’s character in front of Allah. Many a well spoken and intelligent person manages to acquire a sound reputation only to lose it quickly due to subsequent shallow and hideous behavior. Loss of repute is bad but not quite as calamitous as the harm done to the noble cause of inviting others to Islam and to a godly life. As a result, attitudes harden both towards those who try to promote the faith and those who seek to live by it. This breeds contempt and despair. However, the greatest loss is for the individual who learns and talks about Islam but fails to personally improve in gracious and benevolent character. Such people concentrate on teaching and advising others without adequately looking at their own hearts. They can quote material and use jargon that gives them an air of sophistication and allows them to cheat the public into accepting them as knowledgeable for a while. However, real knowledge nurtures honouring Muslims and others appropriately and prevents one from being rude. One can be rude in many ways, such as being judgemental, harsh, presumptuous, selfish, pretentious, sectarian and so on. Indeed, real knowledge makes a person humble, mature in outlook and careful when dealing with others. Real knowledge, when lodged in the heart, changes a person to appreciate goodness wherever it is found and value creation with gratitude to Allah.
This book offers a glimpse into the lives of those who have been praised by both Allah and His Messenger in general. Written in easy English and specially adapted for those who speak it as a first language, it is an invaluable aid to developing one’s character in the footsteps of those who lived and worshipped Allah honourably. It is based on an original Arabic compilation and has been checked for authenticity. People of all ages and learning should be able to benefit from this book. The style facilitates vitally needed reflection on this topic and makes for a great gift to anyone for whom we care.
Previously titled "From the Characteristics of the Salaf."
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