Sat 02 August 2014
6 Shawwaal 1435 AH  



LECTURES

Man is in Loss

Parenting

Building Personality

Muslim Personality

Marriage

Muslim Family


Ingredients of a Blessed Family

Journey to Parenthood

A New Arrival in the Family

Infancy and Pre-school Nursing

School Exposure

Adolescence

Issues of Social Ills


new lectures to follow...


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Muslim Personality (Click here for multiple questions on this Lecture)

Monks at Night and Knights by Day In the decisive battles against the Romans during the time of Caliph Umar (RA), the Muslim soldiers, although always outnumbered by the enemy, proved mysteriously indomitable and strong-willed opponents. The Roman commanders were baffled as to how could the once barbaric and irregular desert army display such vigour and chivalry against a battle hardened regular Roman army. They sent some informers to see how the Muslim soldiers spend their time, especially at night. As wining and womanising were the common practices of the conquering army, the generals were perplexed and frightened to hear that Muslims were like 'monks at night and knights by day'

Such was the characteristics of the first generation of Muslims who, within a few decades conquered the land beyond Arabia and brought out a extraordinary social revolution in the history of mankind. They made the mountains move, rivers give way in their search for human liberation and, above all, human hearts surrender to one Allah. They were the first "Qur'anic generation", as Syed Qutub of Egypt put it. They were the people despised by the then two super powers, the Persians in the east and the Romans in the west, to the extent that neither of them even felt like to take them over.

A Question to think about: What can we learn from the Muslims in the 'Qur'anic generation' in order for us to achieve success both in this world and in the hereafter?

A Unique World They created a world where a young woman could travel alone between the two distant places of Arabia without any fear for her chastity. They were the people who offered their last sip of water to their fellow Muslim brothers who they thought were more needful. They created a society where sinners, smallest in number a society can think of, rushed to the prophet to be punished in the world rather than suffering from fire in the hereafter. They are the pride for mankind and the role models for Muslims till the day of judgement. Allah, the Exalted, lovingly mentions about them, "Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him". (al-Qur'an 9:100)

Sacrifice for the Humanity They were the people who deserved this glad tiding from Allah, not because they were the 'chosen' people, but they earned it through their sweat and blood, firm belief and action, loyalty to Allah and His messenger (pbuh), passion for Akhirah and maximisation of the worldly tools. They made a conscious decision to serve humanity in their physical and spiritual need. They preferred to die for others, rather than to live for their own selves. They were the people who challenged the existing order of the Quraish aristocracy, Arab arrogance and super-power haughtiness of the Persians and the Romans. When success kissed their feet in their missions they used to prostrate before their Lord, as their success was not for their narrow self-interest but for humanity, and above all for the pleasure of Allah.

A Question to think about: What factors strengthen a Muslim's faith in Allah?

Love and Compassion Their features and characteristics are mentioned in many verses of the Qur'an. (al-Qur'an 48:29) Like compassionate physicians they lovingly cured the diseases of human souls, showing no sympathy for the disease itself. The contrasting nature of their character created in them a consummate personality that pulled everyone towards them except those who were bent on evil. Their glowing face and appearance displayed their tranquil heart and spiritual fulfilment.

Knowledge and Conviction The Muslim personality is rooted in knowledge and conviction - the knowledge that elevated human being to a status higher than other creatures, including angels, knowledge about the world, the creation, about himself, his surroundings. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has emphasised so much on knowledge that one wonders how a Muslim could be so stooped in ignorance as we are today. Knowledge widens horizon, gives conviction and creates tranquillity in mind. Conviction moves forward a man for action, gives steadfastness, patience, perseverance, dedication and consistent commitment in life.

All-Embracing Quality The Muslim personality thus has an inner reservoir of strength emanated from Allah's treasure and it has its external manifestations. It is like a strong big tree that has a strong root in the soil and wide branches spread in the sky. Muslims are the people who watch each moment of their life and ask themselves whether they are using their time meaningfully. They utilise their time in self-assured and confident manner to enjoin good and forbid evils. They use their eyes, ears and other senses to observe, learn and educate themselves every moment of the day. They use their knowledge and develop their skills to make sound judgements, honour truth and do justice to all, including themselves. They harness the material and spiritual benefits from each moment's existence through consciousness and feeling of gratitude to the Kind and Merciful Creator.

Muslims are ever vigilant of what is happening around them and the wider world. They read the signs of Allah in nature and learn by looking closely at the technological development of the world and its impact on human life. Muslims are not only fully aware of modern man's latest gadgets, such as internet, mobile telephones and other high-tech tools, but can effectively utilise them for the benefit of mankind. The hall mark of Muslim personality today is to shape their life in the image of the companions of Prophet (pbuh), rather than to pander to the whims and fancies of people engrossed in Jahiliyah.

A Question to think about: Why is it paramount for Muslims to be constantly vigilant of current affairs and modern developments in the wider world?

A Distinct Attitude

A Muslim thus has a distinct attitude toward life. This dictates his moral character and external manners. His personality shines through his look and behaviour. In fact, they become imbedded in his nature. Everything he does has characteristic features of an emissary of Allah on earth. As he is conscious of his assignment in the world he illuminates himself with the light of virtue and good manners. The prophet's emphatic call upon Muslims to attain and exercise good manners is a weighty one. Here are some of the examples of what he said on this;

Usama bin Shareek narrates : We were sitting in the presence of Allah's messenger so quietly as if birds were perched on our heads. Nobody had the courage to open his mouth. In the meanwhile a person came and asked the prophet, "among Allah's slaves who is the dearest to Him?" The prophet replied; "One who has the best moral character". (Ibn Habban)

The prophet was asked, "which Muslim has the perfect faith"? He answered, "he who has the best moral character".(Tirmidhi)

Abdullah ibn Amr narrates : I have heard the prophet saying, "should I not tell you who among you is the most likeable person to me and who will be the nearest to me on the Day of the Judgement"? He repeated this question two or three times. The people requested him to tell them about that person. He said, "he who among you has the best moral character". (Ahmad)

The Prophet has said, "I have been sent only for the purpose of perfecting good morals". (al-Muatta)

The Prophet has also mentioned, "my Lord has taught me good manners and He has mannered me well". (al-Sam'ani)

A Question to think about: For what reasons is it nearly impossible for Muslims to shape the life of Western society?

Best Training with best Trainer Building a Muslim personality needs constant and conscious training and practice. It is not merely a collection of do's and don'ts. Effective training requires competent trainers with excellent qualities on whom people can put their trust and confidence in. A trainer possessing exemplary character can infuse emotional attachment to the learning process. Who else other than the Prophet himself possesses this perfect character? The Prophet is the perfect example, the role model, of the good moral character to be emulated till the end of the Day. Allah, the Merciful Himself, has testified his perfect character in the Qur'an. (al-Qur'an 33:21, 9:129) Abdullah ibn Amr says : The messenger of Allah was neither ill-mannered nor rude. He used to say that the best among you are those who are best in their moral character. (Bukhari)

Rights of Allah and Creation

Religion is a contract between a servant and his Creator. In Islam this contract entails two types of relationship - one between man and Allah, and the other, between man and the creation. This relationship has the essential rights and responsibilities. A Muslim life is essentially a life of continuous effort, struggle, to implement Allah's divine will on earth. A servant's success or failure depends on effective dissemination of that will. He only makes effort to the best he can. Whether he succeeds or fails in the world is immaterial to him. His ultimate gain lies in the Hereafter. That does not meant that he carries his job with lethargy and inefficiency.

The Present Challenge Muslims in the West have probably little chance in the near future to see Islam shaping the life of the western society. Given the extent of Jahiliyah in the western psyche and the weaknesses of the Muslim community it is a near impossible, an arduous and mountainous, job. However, if the Muslim parents become cautious of their present obligations to their children and can focus on a challenging future, there is definitely hope in the new generation of Muslim youth.

A Question to think about: What qualities are needed for effective training of a good Muslim personality?

But, time is running fast. The Muslims are now running a great risk of being ghettoised or assimilated in the melting pot of a universal neo-Jahiliyah. Here comes the crucial role of the Muslim parents who simply can not afford to ignore their obligation toward their sons and daughters. To a Muslim every moment is a gift from Allah and as such a test. The Prophet has mentioned, "He whose two days are equal is a sure loser". (Sunan Daylami)

Features of a Muslim

What are then the features of a Muslim? Among the endless but coherent list, mentioned in the Qur'an and Ahadith, there are some the Muslim parents can easily remember and instil in their children. A simple acronym, FEATURES, may prove a useful checklist.

F for Friendliness
E for Efficiency
A for Adaptability
T for Trustworthiness
U for Uncompromising (in principles of Islam)
R for Reliability
E for Expertise
S for Sociability