Who am I? Who are we really?
I begin with a Hadeeth narrated by Abdulullah ibn Mas’ud (R.A), from Rasulullah S.A.W:-
لا يدخل الجنة من كان في قلبه مثقال ذرة من كبر
"No one who has even an atom's weight of pride in his heart shall enter Paradise." (Paradise)”
Who are we to walk on earth with our chest up and nose high, all puffed up? Walk like we own all the pathways and valleys on this earth? None of these belonged to us really!
The owner of the skies, the earth, the seas and the entire universe is Allah Ta’ala, but unfortunately we forgot that. We have forgotten the real creator who created this world.
Even our bodies are not actually ours. We will return to Allah Ta’ala, leave our bodies in the ground being eaten by the worms.
What is so great in us that we can boast about?
Nothing! Nothing at all.
A person with the slightest form of pride will not enter the Garden of Eden. This is enough to remind us of where we stand. We have no right to be proud because pride is the don of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala said:
العز إزاري والكبرياء ردائي فمن ينازعني عذبته
“Honor is My lower garment, pride is My Cloak. Thus whoever vies with Me regarding one of them, shall be tormented”
What quality are we supposed to have as humans and servants of Allah?
We must have humbleness in our heart, humility and humanity within ourselves. We know nothing in this world. We must be like the paddy, the more it fills up, the lower it will bow to the earth.
Why should we worry about people looking down on us? We know the promise of Allah:
ما تواضع أحد لله إلا رفعه الله
“No one humbles himself for the sake of Allah, except that Allah Ta’ala will raise his rank up”
We as human beings, require a good character to deal with people around us. Each of us has someone that we look up to. As believers, we have our own idol. Our idol is the most perfect man with the perfect akhlaq in this world. He is Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. It is stated in a hadeeth:
كان رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) أحسن الناس خلقاً
“Rasulullah S.A.W was the best of people in character”
Though he is no longer here for us to see or communicate, we have his speech and the stories of the Sahabahs who were the nearest to him. We have our leader, for us to follow the correct lifestyle.
We are humans and sinners in this world. No one can ever say that he’s perfect. But there’s always room for improvement.
We have to try to inculcate the good manners such as modesty, generosity, tolerance, gentleness, humility, sincerity etc. There are so many ways to show good akhlaq. Keeping our anger in check instead of venting it out is part of good akhlaq. If we hold back our anger and forgive the person, Allah will hold back His anger from us on the day of Qiyamah.
Having good character will win us people’s love. We should respect the elders and love the young ones. Always help another person in need. Remember, Allah will be in the help of a servant so long as he is in the help of his fellow brethren.
Merely having good akhlaq will gain us tremendous reward. Stated in a hadeeth that:
إن المؤمن ليدرك بحسن خلقه درجة الصائم القائم
“Verily, by means of good character, a believer attains the rank of a fasting person and person performing Qiyamullail (optional prayer at night)”
As a conclusion, let’s ponder about this one hadeeth which highlights the merit of having good character,
أنا زعيم ببيتٍ في ربض الجنة لمن ترك المراء وإن كان محقاً، وبيتٍ في وسط الجنة لمن ترك الكذب وإن كان مازحاً وببيتٍ في أعلى الجنة لمن حسن خلقه
"I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.''