What does Akhlaq – manners – mean?
أخلاق Akhlaaq is the plural of khuluq.Khalq refers to external form while khulq means internal form. The definition of “Akhlaq” (morals) in the Arabic language is: it is a term derived from the word “Khuluq” meaning the character and nature, therefore a man’s character would be his qualities and his morals.
Why is Akhlaq so important?
Good character and morals have an effect on an individual and on society as a whole. Allah has praised the Prophet for his good akhlaq. Allah has said,
‘That you (Rasullullah) have the best of conduct’. (Al-Qalam -The Pen 68:4)
And it was these characteristics, this good conduct that made people fall in love with him (Peace be upon him).
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,
“I was sent to perfect good character”.
(Muwatta Imam Malik: Hadith 1643)
Manners of social discourse
Aisha Radiyallahu ‘Anha reports, that:
“It was not the nature of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam to talk indecently, nor did he engage himself in the use of obscene language. Nor did he shout and talk in the bazaars (which is against dignity). He did not avenge a bad deed with a bad one, but forgave it, and thereafter did not even mention it”. (Tirmidhi: Hadith 330)
Some of the key lessons from this are:
- He obstain from obscenity
Today, just to liven the gathering/atmosphere up we engage in evil talk. We don’t think about what we say, we just say it. Anyone who has this bad habit is not taken seriously and people will not respect him.
- He did not go walking around shouting
The markets are usually a place where there is noise and people tend to shout at each other. The prophet never used to go to the markets shouting but with وقار (dignity) he used to enter and speak with softness and humbleness in his voice.
- He did not avenge a bad deed with a bad one
The prophet never retaliated for his personal gain. He never took revenge. Our principles today are ‘man don’t know what he’s coming against. ‘This was not the way of our beloved Prophet’.
- He used to forgive and let the matter go
Today we don’t forgive and we definitely don’t let the matter go. So many problems will be solved if we learn to implement the Akhlaq-e-nabawiyyah in our lives.
Manners of tolerance
Hadhrat Anas say’s
‘I served the Prophet for ten years, and he never said to me, “Uf” and never blamed me by saying, “Why did you do so or why didn’t you do so?”‘
This is noble conduct. Despite Anas being his young servant and often making mistakes, the Prophet never once reprimanded him, showed pride or flexed his power as a Master and employer.
Manners to take note of
- حسن معاملہ – a broad reaching term which includes fulfilling promises, having soft character, not cheating and speaking the truth.
- حیاء – often termed modesty, although it relates not only to themselves but also others.
- کظم غیظ – to control your anger. It is a sign of a muttaqi (pious person) and the prophet said the strongest person is he who controls his anger.
- محبت – warmth and love. Ibn Qayyim mentions محبت brings life to the heart and it is sustenance for the soul and whoever’s heart is free from mohabbat is dead and his soul is also dead.
- کذب – Lying is a sign of a munafiq. Lying destroys a person and it darkens the heart. Break ups, anger, hatred, backbiting are all the results of lying.
- غیبت – backbiting such a sin that it is a ticket to jahannam. The noor (spiritual light) of imaan fades from a person that does غیبت.
- تکبر – Looking down upon everyone is pride. The Prophet and the sahaba had humility and they hated pride. The Prophet said he who has pride in him the size of mustard seed will not enter jannah. (Haakim)
How do we improve our Akhlaq
- Imitation- One way to learn how to do something is to pick a master at that particular thing and learn from him. And indeed in Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him) we find that excellent example.
VERILY, in the Apostle of Allah you have a good example [33:21]
- Keeping company with the pious and learned who possess high morals. The company we keep has a significant impact on our behaviour.
- Reading the seerah (life) of our beloved Nabi and how he used to conduct himself.
– By Mawlana Numan Mahmood