A considerate and mature character makes a believer's moral virtues even more valuable

Not so! All who submit themselves completely to Allah and are good-doers will find their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Sura al-Baqara, 112)

Some people who fail to give Allah due appreciation and thus are "ignorant" have interpreted religion in accordance with their distorted rationale and beliefs. In order to harbor such an aim it is essential to be someone who fears Allah and genuinely wants to attain His love and eternal friendship. Since Muslims possess such faith they regard moral virtues and taqwa (fear for Allah) as a most important religious obligation. The clarity of conscience bestowed by faith also reveals the details of moral virtues. Because greater detail and greater beauty are still possible in moral virtues in all circumstances. Muslims may be trustworthy, loyal, courageous, determined, modest and patient and may have a strong character. They may be resigned in the face of and capable of withstanding adversity. They may scrupulously avoid lying and sin and perform all their religious observances without exception. They may strive to preach the world and tell people about the moral values of the Qur’an. They may encourage Muslims to do good and avoid evil. But if they resort to crude methods in doing this, if they ignore the fine detail and pay no attention to courtesy, merely concentrating on their ultimate objective, this is a major deficiency.

Courtesy, kindness and consideration, calculating the future course of events, what may happen a few steps down the road and the possible positive or negative effect on people, being tolerant, agreeable, forgiving, affectionate and compassionate and overcoming earthly desires for the sake of the other party’s good and comfort are all very important. The behavior most compatible with the moral values of the Qur’an is to approach people who behave immaturely with maturity, and to respond to rudeness with courtesy. To regard rudeness in the face of ignorance or discourtesy as legitimate, to respond to rudeness with discourtesy, shows that, no matter what excellent characteristics a believer may have, he still has deficiencies that need to be rectified.  

One feature of a believer is that he knows how to weigh his words and resolve issues without demeaning the other party. It is the resolution of issues with love and affection and kindness, without inspiring tension in the other party, establishing a climate of tension or hurting people’s feelings. Speaking in a soothing manner and with the finest words, behaving in the most rational and courteous manner and seeking above all else to honor the other party is a virtue entirely compatible with Allah’s approval. But abandoning courtesy for the sake of ugly worldly promptings is behavior unbecoming a believer.

2009-01-01 04:55:09

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