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Khutbah at MAS Center Sarmad Bokhari April 6, 2012

The Importance of Character

Prophet(sas) said those of you who will be closest to me on the Day of Judgment will be those who possess the best of character (akhlaq)

Prophet(sas) also said I have been sent to you to perfect good character (akhlaq) In another hadith, the Prophet(sas) said The most complete of believers in iman (faith) are those who are best in character. The best Muslims in the history of Islam were known for their character (akhlaq) o Prophet(sas) Sadiq Al-Ameen o Sahaba o Salahudeen known for his character even by his enemies So what is akhlaq? There are three aspects of a Muslim: Faith iman 6 articles of faith Which manifests itself in worship Worship ibadah 5 pillars of Islam Faith AND worship would manifest itself in good character Character akhlaq Your character is shown by the way you deal with people Faith should impact our worship Faith and Worship should impact our character. We need all THREE: faith, worship, AND character Scholars say the problem today is that we have two polar extremes that each of us needs to look within ourselves and fix:

One extreme is that you have a group of people who have excellent worship, but they deal with people very rudely, theyre very judgmental On the other extreme, group of people very nice, very easy to get along with, but they have no relationship with Allah Which is better? Scholars say asking this question is like asking Should I take out your right eye or your left eye?? Neither, of course!

We cannot be those who have a strong relationship with Allah(swt), but have terrible character. Nor vice versa! Sadly, nowadays people are more concerned about their reputation than their character. While in actuality people can ruin your reputation but only YOU can ruin your character. Reputation who you seem to be (to others and in the presence of others) Character who you truly are We understand this from the following incident during the life of the Prophet(sas). The Sahaba asked about two woman who prayed often but was rude to her neighbors (about whom the Prophet said, if she continues on this path her destination would be hellfire) vs woman who fulfilled the obligatory (prayed 5 times a day and fulfilled her obligations to Allah) but treated others with kindness (about whom the Prophet said, if she continues on this path, her destination would be jannah) What does this teach us? The 5 pillars of Islam are means, not goals. Each and every pillar is meant to allow us to achieve a higher goal. Anytime we mix our goals and our means, thats a recipe for disaster. We will become complacent if we think they are goals (because we will begin simply doing the physical performance, and not caring about the quality of that performance). Prayer is a means to purify our hearts Prophet(sas) told us o (the one whose prayer doesnt stop sin, [it is as if he] has no salaah) Paying zakah is a means to purify our wealth and to eliminate poverty in society Fasting during the month of a Ramadan is a means to attaining taqwa Hajj is a means to unite the Muslims and teach them to rid themselves of arrogance o Ex of Malcolm X

Faith should manifest itself in worship, and our worship should manifest itself in character, the way we deal with and treat people, Muslims AND non-Muslims, human beings Sh. Yassir Fazaga There are 6 essentials characters that a Muslim must master Six C's of Character

1) Conscience (dameer) Moral Compass o The ability to tell right from wrong Allah(swt) has given every human this ability o Companion Wasibah: what is righteousness and what is sin? Oh Wasibah, if you want I can answer your question before you ask it, or if you want I can answer your question after you ask it You are here to ask me what is righteousness and what is sin? o (al-birru husnulkhuluq) "righteousness is having good character, and sin is that which pricks in your heart and you don't want others to know about it" It doesnt feel good, it doesnt feel right o beware that your moral compass doesn't get broken every time you ignore it, your conscience becomes desensitized Surah Hashr Be not like those who forgot Allah, as a result Allah caused them to forget themselves (59:19) 2) Compassion (rahma) o The ability to feel for others o for those who dont even feel for you o It is not compassion to be nice to those who are nice to you, it is not compassion to be good to those who are good to you o Real compassion is when it is least expected o Ex of Prophet(sas) in the year of sorrow o Prophet(sas) leaves the city of Taif dripping in blood o Yet when the two angels come to him to ask him if he(sas) wished for them to crush the people of Taif, the Prophet(sas) says no, perhaps someone from their children will accept Islam o Ex of Abdullah ibn Umar o Goes to market, find out he doesnt have money o Oh people, Ibn Umar has been robbed, so make dua that Allah destroys the person who stole his money o Ibn Umar raises his hands and says Allahumma in kaan muHtaajan fabaarik lahu feema akhadh Oh Allah if this person was in need, bless him in what he took Wa in kaan saariqan faj3al akhir dhunubih Oh Allah if he is a professional thief, make this one the last of his sins o It is easy to be kind to those who are kind to you. Real compassion is to show compassion to those who many not even deserve it Ex of the opening of Mecca o Muslims should be known for their compassion o Salahuddin Ayoubi was known for his compassion not only among the Muslims, but even among his enemies o Those who are compassionate in this world, Allah will be compassionate to them in the hereafter

3) Consideration o To be mindful of others dont be blind o It means you think before your act or before you speak o Ex from the life of the Prophet(sas) o Sahabi who had a plate of grapes and was eager to share some with the Prophet(sas) o Sahabi breaks the grapes off the vine and feeds them to the Prophet(sas) with his own hands o Prophet(sas) smiles and accepts his generosity and brotherly gesture o Sahabi does this twice or three times, then takes some grapes for himself o Moment he bites the grapes he spits them out and says Ya RasulAllah Oh Messenger of Allah were the grapes I fed you this sour? o Prophet(sas) replies because I didnt want to spoil the joy and happiness I saw on your face o A Muslim is one from whose hands and whose tongue others are safe o Thats why Prophet(sas) said if three of you are together, two of you should not whisper amongst each other, so the third doesnt feel uncomfortable This is a reminder for me and for you to have the best of character I say what you hear and I ask Allah(swt) for forgiveness for me and for you and the rest of the Muslims, for indeed Allah(swt) is all-forgiving, so seek his forgiveness. 1. Conscience 2. Compassion 3. Consideration 4) Courage o To stand up for what is right, even if its inconvenient o Have the courage to do what is right, all the time even if that negatively effects your reputation o Imagine being an honest person living in an environment of cheaters o Know that your reward is with Allah o Story of woman and mother o The Lord of Umar sees us o Because of her taqwa, Allah(swt) gave her the honor of being the grand-mother of the 5th rightly guided Khalifa Umar ibn Abdul Aziz 5) Control o To have control of your desires o To have control of your anger o Who is the one who is strong? o It is not the one who is able to wrestle someone else down

o It is the one who in a moment of anger is able to control himself his/her hands and his/her tongue o In the Sunnah of the Prophet(sas) the one who become angry while he is standing, sits down lies down o The Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) said: He who gave up disputing while he is right, a palace of high rank in Paradise will be built for him. (al-Tirmidhi who declared it as hasan) 6) Confidence o Have confidence in trusting Allah o "You are the BEST nation produced for mankind..." o

o A Muslim should be known for his character o Be honored to know that Allah(swt) has chosen you over EVERY one else to be a Muslim (wa lillahil3izzatu wa liRasoolihi wa lilMumineen) o Know that the greatest honor is "being used for" in the service Islam Story of Umar ibn Khattab(ra) One of the books of Sheikh Salman al Awdah: Once, In one of the homes of Madinah, Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, was sitting with a group of his companions. He asked them: Make a wish, one of them said, I wish to have as much gold as would fill this whole house, s o that I could spend it in Jihad; then again Umar asked: Make a wish, another man said, I wished that this house was full of jewels and pearls so that I could spend it all in Jihad and charity for the sake of Allaah; Umar asked for the third time: Make a wish, his companions said: We dont know what to say, O leader of the believers; Thereupon Umar said, I wish that this house was full of men like Abu Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarraah, Muaadh bin Jabal and Saalim who works for Abu Hudhayfah in order to use them to spread the word of Allah o Be honored to be a Muslim and to serve Islam, be honored to be in the service of Islam to be used for the benefit of Islam and the Muslims The Six Cs: 1. Conscience 2. Compassion 3. Consideration 4. Courage 5. Control 6. Confidence