From the finest guidance of Muhammad ﷺ, from the most important aspects of his Messengership and from the most important aspects of the Deen that he brought is GOOD MANNERS AND MORALS.
Good character includes the relationship between the servant and his Lord; and the servant and other servants.
The Prophet ﷺ has said about good manners:
There is nothing which is heavier upon the Balance than good character.
[Reported by Ahmad and Aboo Daawood).
The Prophet ﷺ is our role model. He is an example of a man that displayed the finest of character.
Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much.
Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullaah) summarised in Madaarij as – Salikeen, the noble manners of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ :
The Prophet ﷺ used to greet the children when he passed by them. Sometimes a little girl would take him by the hand, he would allow her to lead him wherever she wanted. He ﷺ used to lick his own fingers after eating. He would be in the service of his family when at home. Never would he become angry because of something personal. He ﷺ used to repair his own sandals and mend his own torn clothes. He would milk his goat himself for his own family. He would feed his own camel. He used to eat with his own servants; sit in the company of the poor people and personally take care of the needs of widows and orphans. He ﷺ would be the one to initiate the greeting to the gathering. He would respond to the humblest of invitations. He ﷺ lived a very modest lifestyle. A man of soft manners, naturally kind, easy to get along with, having a pleasant smile on his face, gracefully humble, extremely generous, not wasteful, softhearted and gentle in his dealing with each and every Muslim, lowering the wings of humility to the believers, bearing their companionship in such a gentle way.
In a time where the West pushes its deficient values and misguided moral codes on the cultures of the world it is imperative that the Muslims realize the completeness of the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ . That we realize that our true honor and distinction among the nations, as well as our success in the Hereafter lies in embracing his guidance in all affairs of belief and action. Based on the advice of the Scholars to the Muslim youth, combined with the specific needs that the Muslims in the West have to understand and implement upright moral character, the importance of this topic becomes very clear to us.
On the authority of Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet ﷺ said: “I have only been sent to complete upright moral character.” (Musnad Ahmad 2/381)
Scholars say that there are two different types of ways to look at Good morals:
I. Good character is good character between a servant & his Lord.
Ways a person should implement good manners in regards to his Creator:
II. Good character is good manners when dealing with the creation.
This type of good character has been defined by some Scholars:
The saying of Hasan al-Basri
1. Refraining from Harming others
Today we see that people with sharp tongues who can make fun of people are beloved. Good Morals is refraining from harming others, whether the harm is done to their property, physical health or their honour. Whoever does not refrain from harming the creation is not considered as having good manners. Rather, he has bad manners.
The Messenger ﷺ has proclaimed the sanctity the of the Muslims and the impermissiblity of harming them.
From the ‘Farewell Sermon,’ the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Verily your blood, property and honor is haraam upon you (to violate), like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of your, in this city of yours.” (Saheeh al-Bukhaaree)
2. Performing acts of kindness
Good character is performing acts of kindness. Excusing people is from good character. However, whether people should be excused depends on the situation.
Excusing someone who has transgressed towards us is praiseworthy in Islaam. Some people may draw this conclusion, incorrectly. Excusing people is only praiseworthy when the situation calls for it. Since holding people account is praiseworthy in some situations.
“But whoever excuses (people) and corrects (their affairs), his reward is with Allaah”. [Soorah Ash-Shura(42):40]
Here excusing people is mentioned along with correcting their affairs. In some cases, excusing people is not what corrects the affair. In some cases, excusing them over and over again leads them into more corruption.
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said, “Correcting affairs is obligatory, while excusing people is recommended.”
So, when excusing people prevents correction, then a recommended deed has been given precedence over an obligation. This is something not found in the Islaamic legislation. When a person is in need of a punishment to be applied to him, then to excuse and overlook his oppression and transgression in this case does not lead to correcting his affair. It leads to him continuing on in his evil ways.
Good character includes excusing people, which is a type of kindness, since kindness means to either give something or wave a right. Excusing people is to wave your right over them.
3. Having a pleasant smile on one’s face
The Prophet ﷺ said:
“Do not look down on any act of kindness, even if it is just meeting your brother with a pleasant smile on your face.” [Sahih Muslim]
Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
“A pleasant smile causes people to become happy, wins over their love and affection, and leads to both parties having good thoughts of each other. Just try it and you will see.
However, were you to frown upon the people, they would stay away from you and not feel comfortable sitting with you nor talking to you.
You may even become afflicted with a dangerous condition: high blood pressure. Having a tranquil chest and a pleasant smile is the most wholesome remedy and the best preventative measure for this condition. For this reason, physicians advice people who have this condition to stay away from what disturbs and angers them, since those things only agitate this condition.
A pleasant smile actually has a remedial effect on this condition, since it leads to a tranquil chest, and it causes others to love you.”
Examples of Good Islamic Morals & Ethics
Morality in Islam addresses every aspect of a Muslim’s life, from greetings to international relations. It is universal in its scope and in its applicability. No other ethical system can match Islam’s one. Only Allaah, with His great wisdom, could have made such a system that teaches humans how to deal with every aspect of their lives. This is because Islam is not a manmade system; it is the religion of Allaah. He made it complete and integrated. No man has, can or ever will come up with a system that is so perfect. If you want a successful and happy life, then simply apply Islam to it, and you will have wonderful results.
A Muslim is expected to not only be virtuous, but to also enjoin virtue. He/She must not only refrain from evil and vice, but must also actively engage in asking people to eschew them. In other words, they must not only be morally healthy, but must also contribute to the moral health of society as a whole.