The Best in Islam #06 – Good Character

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Bilal Philips

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Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Allah's peace and blessings beyond each and every one of you, I'd like to welcome you to another in our series, the best in Islam. In this series we're looking at a compilation of texts from the Quran, as well as from the Sunnah from the revelation from Allah subhanho wa taala. And from the explanations and actions of Prophet Muhammad, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, which have clarified for us in a variety of different aspects of human life.

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What, in fact, is considered to be the best in Islam in those particular circumstances, or governing those particular people or places etc. In this episode, we'll be looking at the characteristic of good character, the prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him,

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spoke about

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the believers, saying, as reported by a banal model of the many in our center home colocar the best believers are those with the best character. This hadith was collected by the manager and his authentic

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also have been Amira quoted the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him as saying, hey, Otto come, Arsenal come after laka

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the best of you are the best in character, and this is collected also by Achmed. Ibni humble.

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And we can also find it in Sahih al Bukhari and sahih, Muslim in both of these Hadith,

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stress is placed on

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goodness,

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that state of being the best

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depending on our character, and this is in keeping with the general summary, which Prophet Muhammad may God's peace and blessings be upon him gave with regards to Islam in its totality.

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He summarized the whole of Islam, pillars of Islam, pillars of human faith. He summarized it all in terms of good character. He said, in a well known Hadith, which we've mentioned in an earlier session. in Namibia, it's too late to tell me Mama caramel o'clock, I was only sent to perfect for you, the highest of moral character traits. So the best of the believers are those with the best character, best moral character, the best of the people of the Ummah, who make up the Ummah, are those with the best character. And we said that character has a moral character has relevance on three basic levels. The most important level is that of one's moral character with regards to God,

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how does one relate to God, the morally correct way of dealing with God is to worship Him,

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to submit our wills to him.

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He is the Creator, sustainer maintainer of this universe, everything that we have has come from him, and we should be grateful for what He has given us. So, the primary relationship should be one of gratitude

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towards God, and that is why we find in our daily prayers, and the Muslim daily prayers, the very first word

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deserve our daily prayers are Alhamdulillah

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all praise, all, thanks all gratitude is due to Allah. Because this is the most critical characteristic of the believer in order to be able to function effectively in this world.

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Because this is the world of trials, we have trials on a daily basis, within our families, with our neighbors, in our communities, in our societies, from country to country, there are always conflicts, which need to be resolved, problems which need to be solved, etc. But how do we function in this world of difficulty? Trials?

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To be like tribulations? How do we function in this world, we have to be able to recognize that God has blessed us regardless of whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. There exists in our lives, blessings from God. And by being grateful to God for our

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circumstance. This gives us the fortitude, the strength, the ability to handle the trials that are around us. This is critical. Most people or many people, when trials and difficulties come, they fall apart, they cry, they scream, they complain, they can't take it. They fall into depression, spiraling downwards.

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can't handle it.

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Why? Because they can't understand what is going on. Why did I lose my job? Why was my boss so unfair? Why were my co workers harming me? Why why? We can't find answers. So we internalize and implode, we're not able to rise above, and to recognize God's mercy in our lives, regardless of our circumstance, where we're able to recognize it and understand it, then we're able to handle those difficulties. And that's why the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him, had said that their fear of the true believer is amazing.

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And this is only in the case of a true believer in God.

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When good times come, he or she

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is thankful to Allah.

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And Allah blesses them for it. And when difficult, bad, evil times come, they are patient.

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And Allah rewards them for it.

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It's a win win situation. For the true believer,

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regardless of what the circumstances, he or she remembers, God

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is thankful. Or they're patient with dealing with the difficulties that they found in their life.

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But it is that gratitude which gives them the strength to be patient. So the primary relationship that one should have with God is one, based on gratitude, being thankful to God, worshiping Him alone, directing the various acts of worship which he has prescribed, for us to remember him and I live, it should all be directed to him alone, not to statues,

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objects of worship,

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not to nature,

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not to human beings, as many people have diverted their understanding. And I've understood now that God has become a man amongst us who walked the earth or he's walking the earth today, depending on what system of beliefs you have, of course, to believe that a human being can be God is completely illogical, when God is without beginning and human beings have beginnings. God is without and that human beings haven't. God is not a man.

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He's never been a man. He never will be a man.

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It's a contradiction in terms. So we need to know who God is so that our Ma

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role, character relationship with Him is correct, worshiping Him alone,

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not worshiping Him in His creation, carving something out of rock,

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creating it out of iron, or brass statues, idle idols that we worship.

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This is not God. God never told us to represent himself in these ways we have never seen God

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in his life, no one has ever seen God. So we cannot represent him.

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Whatever we have represented, is of ourselves of our own world. And to represent God in this way, is immoral. It is of bad character, though a person might be a nice person, otherwise, they're kind, generous, etc. But with regards to God, they are of bad character, to represent God, through His creation, to worship God in His creation. This is an insult to God and it debases human beings, to have carved an object, and then now worship it, call on it, seek guidance from it, seek blessings from it, and we made it with our own hands. What is the logic of all of that?

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What is the sense in all of them?

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So this is bad, moral character. We should know who God is, beyond this creation,

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not a part of it.

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Who is the master of it all. He alone deserves our worship, we worship Him alone.

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This is good moral character with regards to God.

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And we're going to take a small break

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before going on to look at moral character with regards to our fellow human beings and the world in which we live. So I'll see you after the break. Salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah? Don't you want to experience the joy of teaching your child to read and write?

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Salam aleikum, welcome back from the break.

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As we continue to look at the Hadith of the Prophet, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, in which he identified the best of the believers, the best of human beings anywhere and everywhere, as being those who have good character who have the best character. But

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we have to understand that character is not limited to our dealings between ourselves. And that's what we looked at. In the previous segment. We looked at dealings with regards to God, this is where good character begins, that we are morally sound in our relationship to God. And this is why when people oftentimes ask, how can you consider such and such a person to be doomed to hell? When they did so much good for their fellow human beings, they've done so much good. But that person didn't believe in God. They rejected God. They claim that God did not exist, or they worship God as a man or they had idols statues that they worship,

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though they did a lot of other good, that is the most critical area of good in terms of character, which each and every human being must arrive at. If we are to succeed

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In this life to have benefited from what this life has to offer, then we must grasp this point. So this is the starting point.

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But having recognized God accepted him in our lives, the true God, worshiping Him alone. Following that, then we have to transfer our moral character into our dealings with our fellow human beings. And the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him, had stressed this when he said, because we spoke about the importance of gratitude to God, this is the starting point we should be grateful to God. The prophet went on to say, may God's peace and blessings be upon him. Man, lamb Yosh Quran NAS, la escuela whoever is not thankful to people, is not thankful to Allah.

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So he linked the two, that being grateful to fellow human beings, is a part and parcel of gratitude to Allah, it is necessary for people to be motivated to continue to do good, that we thank them.

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If you do good for somebody, and then

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they don't respond, they don't thank you. They just take it and go, What are you going to think this is an ungrateful person.

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If the time comes for me to be able to do good for them again, I will probably not do it. Because I remember how they treated me how they responded to my generosity, previously. So in order to take care of this need, that human beings have the need to be thanked, the prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him, made it a condition for thankfulness to God, we have to be thankful to the human beings around us because when God helps us, in many cases, it is done through the human beings around us. So it's a part and parcel of the benefits, the blessings, the

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goodness that we find in life, it is coming from God through His creatures, so we have to be thankful to them also. And this extends to the other areas of good character in terms of our dealing with others, that we should be pitiful to others, we see people in dire straits hard circumstances, we should feel pity for them. And we should show pity to them through being generous to trying to help them. No, because our being concerned about their suffering, and trying to help them is an expression of our gratitude to God for what He's given us, not putting us through that circumstance. We show our gratitude by helping others who are in need. And that's also why the Prophet may God's

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peace and blessings be upon him and said, Man, lie or hum, liar hum, whoever is not merciful to others will not receive the mercy of God. God will not be merciful to them, the two are linked. So whatever correct Mar relationship, we established with God, where we seek His mercy, we seek His pleasure through being grateful, then this must be reflected in our actions with his creatures. So we should be also merciful to the creatures and the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him at once said that whoever is not respectful to our elders, and merciful to our young ones, is not a true Muslim. That means that they're only saying they're Muslim, they claim

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but they're not living what it means to be a true Muslim. Why? Because they are not transferring those values, which they have developed in their relationship with God. They're not transferring them to the life that they live on a day to day basis. Because the faith is a living faith. We have a duty to God's creatures. We depend on them. And they depend on us. So we have to act in a moral way with regards to them. Part of it is respecting their property. Nothing

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paying their property, but respecting it. That's part of the morality, being truthful, being honest, being fair, all of these characteristics which we all know to be the higher moral characteristics, Islam insists that we must show this to the rest of the creatures as we expect it from God, we expect God to be fair, as he said in the Quran, walleye of limbo rabuka shahada, your Lord will not be unfair to anyone.

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So as we expect God to be fair with us, we should be fair with his creatures. Then, the third level of moral behavior, good moral character is in how we deal with the environment. polluting the environment is bad, moral character,

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destroying, destroying the animals which God has created for our benefit, beauty, etc. To just devastate nature, this is an evil way. This is not

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a good character. This is not pleasing to God. So Islam prohibits the killing of animals for sport.

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The idea that came out of European civilization dominated the rest of the Third World, European hunters would come and shoot kill massacre, huge numbers of elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, and all these other animals, exotic animals that would kill them. So they could cut off their heads and stick them on the walls in their house, bring them back to Europe and America and show off to their friends who were not engaged in hunting for sport. They brought this and then after they've killed off most of these animals, then they made laws, no, you can no longer kill in the third world, you can no longer go and kill rhinoceros or whatever. But they already did it. They already decimated,

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polluted,

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destroyed to build their civilization, they didn't follow these principles. They're trying to apply it now. And of course, third world is struggling because they want to catch up with the first world. And they want to be able to build the factories and do all these different things. But they're creating all this smog and all this as the first world did before, but now they've banned it. So it's not really fair. But the reality is, of course, that the environment should be protected, we should not pollute the rivers, this is bad character, this is immoral behavior,

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we should look after the atmosphere, we should look after the vegetation etc. And not cover up everything in concrete and all this kind of thing. All of these things have to do with character. So this episode, which is focused on good character, is one in which we should reflect on our responsibility to God to our fellow human beings, and to the world in which we live. If we reflect correctly, and act correctly, act morally, then that makes us the best of humankind makes us the best of those who believe in God. And we hope that this message which the Prophet may God's peace and blessings be upon him, conveyed to us is absorbed, is understood is internalized and is acted

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upon by all of us dear viewers. And with that, we're going to be closing this episode, hoping that you will continue to follow our series of the best in Islam. See you in the next episode. Salaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi wabarakatuh