The Character of a Muslim as Commanded by Allah and Our Prophet (pbuh)

It is not a Muslim name or praying 5 times a day or giving mandatory charity or keeping mandatory fast or performing mandatory hajj or sporting a beard or wearing hijab makes a Muslim a Muslim. Essentially it is the character of a believer that makes him a Muslim. Thus if a believer is a characterless person who is religious from outside but not from within - because he is not kind, not merciful, not modest, unjust, not nice to his neighbor, unfaithful to spouse et al; essentially a hypocrite - all his deeds that he does to *show* the world will be meaningless in the eyes of Allah.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "The best amongst you are those who have the best character." ~ Bukhari 3559

Here are some of the important guidelines as commanded by Allah and His Prophet (pbuh) which a believer must adhere to.

This is not an exhaustive list.

# 1 - A Muslim is Kind & Merciful

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Allah is kind and love kindness, and He rewards for kindness in a way that He does not reward for harshness or for anything else." ~ Muslim 45/99

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind." ~ Bukhari 7376

Watch the video here where a non-Muslim describes how merciful Islamic God (Allah) is.

# 2 - A Muslim is Just

One of the seven person who will be in the shade of Allah on the day of resurrection will be a just ruler. Check this out.

Quran 5:8 ~ Do not let the hatred of people prevent you from being just. Be just. 

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich." ~ Bukhari 6787

# 3 - A Muslim is Considerate

A man asked The Prophet (pbuh). "What is the best thing in Islam?" The Prophet (pbuh) said, "To feed (the poor) and greet (Salaam) those whom you know & those whom you do not know." ~ Bukhari 79/10 | Nasai 47/16

# 4 - A Muslim is Modest/ Humble & Never Proud

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty." ~ Muwatta Malik 47/2/9 
The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Modesty and belief are together. If one of them is removed, the other is removed." ~ Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 56/1313

Indeed Allah does not like those who are proud and boastful. ~ Quran 4:36 | 31:18 | 16:23
The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever has an iota of pride in his/her heart will not enter paradise." ~ Sahih Muslim. One can be proud for his knowledge, wealth, property, lineage, worship etc. 

# 5 - A Muslim does not Oppress

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Verily I have made oppression unlawful for Me and for My servants too, so do not commit oppression." ~ Muslim 45/73

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "A Muslim is the brother or another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others." ~ Muslim 2580

# 6 - A Muslim does not Waste food or water

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Do not waste water, even if you perform your ablution on the banks of a river." ~ Musnad 2/22 | Al-Albani 3292 | Ibn Majah 1/1/425

... and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance. Surely He does not love the extravagant. ~ Quran 7:31

# 7 - A Muslim does not get into False/ Evil talk

And when they hear Al-Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk), they withdraw from it and say, "To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not the ignorant." ~ Quran 28:55

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent." ~ Muslim 18/1511 

Adopt forgiveness, instruct what is right and ignore the foolish. ~ Quran 7:199 

# 8 - A Muslim does not Annoy others

And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin. ~ Quran 33:58

# 9 - A Muslim does not Insult or Abuse

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Verbally abusing a Muslim is immorality and fighting him is Kufr (disbelief in Allah)." ~ Ibn Majah 1/72 

Do not insult one another and do not call each other by (offensive) nicknames. ~ Quran 49:11

# 10 - A Muslim is not a Hypocrite 

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "There are four characteristics of a hypocrite. When he is entrusted, he betrays. When he speaks, he tells a lie. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner." ~ Bukhari 34

The hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the fire. No helper will you find for them. ~ Quran 4:145

# 11 - A Muslim does not lie or cheat

The Prophet (pbuh) said:
It is haram (forbidden) to lie except in three situations - something the man tells his wife to please her and vice-a-versa, to lie during a war and to lie in order to bring peace between people. ~ Muslim 45/130 | Tirmidhi 27/45

Destruction be to the cheaters who, when they take measure from mankind (buy from others) demand in full, (however) if they measure for people they reduce (the weight) ... ~ Quran 83:1

# 12 - A Muslim restrains from Anger & Arguments

As arguments lead to anger and that could possibly lead to fights between people, Quran advises:
Those who restrain anger and pardon people; verily Allah loves the doers of good. ~ Quran 3:134

Also The Prophet (pbuh) said,
The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger. ~ Bukhari 8/135

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "I guarantee a house in heaven for one who gives up arguing, even if he's right." ~ Abu Dawud 1/630

# 13 - A Muslim is Faithful to His/Her Spouse

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Whoever guards what is between his jaws (tongue) and legs (private parts), I shall guarantee him paradise." ~ Bukhari 8/481

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and preserve their chastity..." ~
Quran 24:30. Before the Quran commands women to wear hijab, this verse specially instructs men to lower their gaze as the root of molestation or rape starts with a man taking a stare at a woman. Staring at a woman (which is forbidden in Islam; also called 'zina' / adultery of the eyes) arouses interest and then translates into desire. Allah commands a man to lower his gaze the moment a man's thought starts getting wild. 

# 14 - A Muslim maintains Harmony with people from other religions

Click here to read how Non-Muslims were protected and flourished in Islamic history.

Do not insult those whom they worship besides Allah. ~ Quran 6:108

If confronted, a Muslim states:
To you be your religion, and to me my religion. ~ Quran 109:6

# 15 - A Muslim believes in Forgiving others

A kind word and forgiveness is better than charity followed by hurt. ~ Quran 2:263

Indeed Qiyamah is approaching, so pardon (those who wrong you) with most graceful pardon (without revenge). ~ Quran 15:85

The believers are brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy. ~ Quran 49:10

# 16 - A Muslim maintains ties with his his near & dear ones

Cutting off ties with kith and kin is a major sin in Islam. Here's an exclusive post on this topic

The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Anyone who cuts off relationship from his nearest relatives will not enter Paradise." ~ Abu Dawud 9/141

And give the relative his right, and (also) the poor, and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. ~ Quran 17:26

# 17 - A Muslim is caring and kind towards Animals

More than 1400 years ago before the modern animal rights movement began in 1975, with the publication of Peter Singer’s book "Animal Liberation", Islam demanded kindness to animals. It also warned that cruelty to animals will be a sufficient reason for a person to be thrown into the Hell Fire!

Don't miss our exclusive post on Animal Rights in Islam.

The Prophet (pbuh) said,
A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger." Allah's Messenger (pbuh) further said, (Allah knows better) Allah said (to the woman), 'You neither fed it nor watered when you locked it up, nor did you set it free to eat the insects of the earth. ~ Bukhari 42/13

While a man was walking on a road, he became very thirsty. Then he came across a well, got down into it, drank (of its water) and then came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. The man said to himself, "This dog is suffering from the same state of thirst as I did." So he went down the well (again) and filled his shoe (with water) and held it in his mouth and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him."

The people asked, "O Allah's Messenger (pbuh)! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He said, "(Yes) There is a reward for serving any animate (living being)." ~ Bukhari 78/40

# 18 - A Muslim follows Prophet Muhammad's Instructions 

Last but not the least, a Muslim cannot complete his faith unless he loves The Prophet (pbuh), who was sent by Allah as a mercy to entire mankind. And if a Muslim loves Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he will ensure that he follows all Sunnah to the core. One gets close to The Prophet (pbuh) through their actions, not words. 

The Prophet (pbuh) categorically stated, "None of you is a believer till I am dearer to him than his child, his father and the whole of mankind." ~ Muslim 1/76 | Ibn Majah 1/1/67 | Nasai 47/29

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah. ~ Quran 4:80

There are certain aspect in life that The Prophet (pbuh) commanded his community to do, while there are certain rulings that are desirable to be done by a Muslim. The ones that The Prophet (pbuh) commanded becomes Fardh (mandatory) on Muslims, which includes the hadith above, which includes keeping the beard by men, which includes him commanding men to treat their women with kindness, and others.

Read our exclusive post on 'For those Muslims who do not take Sunnah seriously'.

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As mentioned above this is not an exhaustive list. Islam is a way of life and anyone who gets tuned into Islam must sincerely follow this framework, and fear none but Allah. If he does then, if Allah wills, he will be successful in this world and in the Hereafter.


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