how can i acquire good qualities?
praise be to allaah
first of all, a good attitude is the distinctive quality of the best of the messengers and is the best action of his straight successors. this is without a doubt, half of the religion, the fruit of the efforts of the pious and the practice of devout worshippers. and the bad qualities are a lethal poison that lead to the most shameful consequences.
the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said: "i have not sent but to perfect the best of human nature". narrated by al - bukhaari in al - adab al - mufrad, to 273 and graded as authentic by al - albani in as-silsilah as-sahihah (45).
it was narrated that abu hurayrah (may allaah be pleased with him) said: "the messenger of god (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) was asked about what would be the cause of admission of the majority of the people of paradise and he replied: 'fear god and a good attitude'."
narrated by at-tirmidhi (2004); he said: "is strange but authentic (saheeh garib)". at-tirmidhi was classified as authentic by al - albani in saheeh.
why islam makes much emphasis on establishing the general guidelines for treating diseases of the heart (i.e. spiritual diseases) and ways to acquire good manners, which is considered one of the most important duties, because no heart is safe from these diseases. if the heart is neglected, the disease accumulates. no soul is exempt from inclinations that if they are released and they are not restricted, will lead to the condemnation of the person in this world and in the hereafter.
this kind of medicine requires a deep knowledge of the reasons and causes, and then you need a hard work to remedy it and put things in order, to achieve a successful outcome. allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"that indeed that will realize the success [in this life and the afterlife] who purify his soul [away from sins]," (ash-shams 91: 9).
the prophet (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) used to pray asking for a good attitude, saying: "oh allah, you've taken my beautiful appearance, therefore beautiful beam also my internal attitude". narrated by ibn hibban in his sahih (3/239), and graded as authentic by al - albani in irwa' to al - galil (75).
secondly, if a person knows what its defaults, you can correct them, but however many people are not aware of his faults and failures. a person can see the mote in the eye of foreign and do not see the beam in their own. the person who wants to know their own faults can do four things:
1 - you can sit front a shaykh who observes and corrects the faults of the people, and has a subtle awareness of their problems, to learn from their knowledge and good manners.
2 - you can ask a sincere friend have wisdom and religious commitment that you observe and correct his behavior, so you can draw attention to any unpleasant behavior, and show him his faults both internally and externally. this is what the best and biggest imams of islam used to do. ' umar (may allaah be pleased with him) used to say: "that god have mercy on the man who point me my faults".
3 - you can learn about their faults and breaches of the lips of their enemies, because the eye who is resentful will always notice your bad qualities. a man can benefit more than one enemy which wants to cause problems and mentions his faults, from a friend who praised him and overlooked his faults.
4 - you can mix with the people. everything you see as objectionable among the people, is that of what care should be in your inner selves, because the believer is the mirror of his fellow believer, and in the faults of others, one can see their own faults. he asked jesus (peace be upon him): "who taught you?". he replied: "nobody taught me;" "i saw the faults of the ignorant and eschewed them."
thirdly, attitudes reflect how think and feel a person in their internal jurisdiction. as well as, in general, the external appearance of a person cannot be beautiful if your eyes and not your nose, your mouth or her cheeks are beautiful, and everything should be beautiful so that the external appearance is beautiful, so also are the four requirements for inner beauty, which must meet all to demonstrate a good attitude and beautiful ways. if all four requirements are met and balanced, is then acquire good qualities, which are: a strong and solid knowledge, self-control in times of tension and anger, control of desires and instincts, and an appropriate balance between these three aspects.
with respect to a solid knowledge, a good knowledge means to understand the difference between telling the truth and lie between the true faith and superstitions, between beauty and the coldness, etc. if this knowledge becomes strong, it becomes wisdom, and wisdom is the cause of good attitudes.
with respect to self-control in moments of tension and anger, its beauty lies in being used according to the wisdom which dictates. the same applies to the desire; its beauty and its strength should be controlled by the wisdom, meaning by reason and islamic law.
with respect to the balance, it means an appropriate control of desires and the anger, under the supervision of wisdom and islamic law.
the reason is as a sincere adviser. justice and balance is power, and who makes dictates you what the reason is. the ira should be controlled.
who acquires and balances these features is a person of good character in general, and that depend on all the good qualities.
no one reached a perfect balance of these four qualities except the messenger of god (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him); after him, people vary in how close or distant they are from your character. each one that is close to its qualities is closer to god, to the point that is close to the messenger of god.
fourthly, this balance can be achieved in two ways:
1 from the blessings of god, as part of our inherent nature.
2 acquiring these qualities through the effort and training, i.e., pressing himself to perform the actions which dictate us the desired qualities.
the messenger of god (peace and blessings of allaah be upon him) said: "knowledge is acquired by looking for it, and the patience is acquired by striving to be patient." "who strives to achieve the good will be given, and who strives to protect against the evils will be protected." narrated by al - khatib and others a report of abu al - darda'; classified as well by al - albani.
if a person wants to achieve the quality of generosity, the way to achieve it is striving to perform the actions that would make a generous person, who is giving of their wealth. then the person insists persists in that, working against their own inclinations, until it becomes second nature and becomes easier for him, and thus becomes generous.
in the same way, if a person wants to achieve the humility when the inclination of being arrogant, way of doing this is to persist in taking the attitudes and actions of a humble person for a long time, its efforts and pushing himself until that becomes one of its characteristics and a second nature, and it is easy.
all the praiseworthy qualities of character that are prescribed in islam can be acquired in this way. religious characteristics never miss the soul roots unless the person becomes accustomed to the good attitudes and purchase habits, if not also leaves all their bad habits and persists in doing good works as if amara them and enjoy making them and loathe bad acts as if you are dolieran.
this can be explained with examples:
who wants to become skilled in writing, so that this becomes one of its features and writing beautifully become second nature and something simple for him, has no other way to achieve this to take in their hands the same calamus using the prolific writers and persist in it for a long time, trying to imitate his way of doing this, and keep doing so until it becomes something laid down in his personality.
and then finally, beautiful writing will become second nature.
similarly, if a person wants to become a lawyer, he has no choice that do what lawyers do, that is to persist in the study of topics of jurisprudence until his heart develops a love for the craft.
and if a person wants to be generous and refrain from asking people, and becomes patient and humble, you must persist in performing those actions that performs this kind of people until it becomes second nature for him. you must not despair of reaching these qualities if fails on its first night of study, because it will not be able to achieve in a single night of study. perfecting the soul and ennoble it with good works will not come with the worship of a single day, and one shall be not deprived of all his faults in a single day. but giving up for a day can lead to giving up another day, and then slowly one can adapt to laziness.
fifthly, the way to treat the soul to rid it of its poor qualities and achieve to reach good qualities, it is the same as for treating the body when trying to release it from an illness and attract good health.
although the humors are usually balanced, the stomach can become sick because of the food, beverage or other circumstances. in the same way, each one is born with a natural balance, but their parents do a jew, christian or magician, i.e. training him and teaching him certain characteristics.
as well as the body was not created perfect in the first place, but that it is perfected by raising and food, in the same way the soul is also created imperfect but with the potential to be perfected, and can only be improved through education, discipline and vocation for knowledge. if the body is healthy, the role of the doctor is to show the way to keep in good health; if you are sick, then the work of the doctor is to restore health. the same applies to the soul; if it is pure and healthy, then one must strive to preserve it, strengthen it, and acquire good qualities; and if it is imperfect, then one must strive to improve it, and purify it.
the disease that causes an imbalance in the body only can be treated by its opposite, so if the disease is caused by the cold, should be treated with heat, and vice versa. in the same way, the bad qualities, which are diseases of the heart, are treated by applying is its opposite. therefore the remedy for the disease of ignorance is to seek knowledge, and the remedy for the disease of greed is to strive to be generous, and the remedy for the disease of arrogance is to strive to be humble, and the remedy for the disease of gluttony and eating too is auto to impose abstinence.
as well as it is essential to deal with the bitterness of the medicine and show patience to refrain from what one wants when treating physical illness, so also is essential to overcome the bitterness of the effort and be patient in dealing with diseases of the heart; rather this is more important, because one can get rid and get rid of diseases of the body when he dies, but diseases of the heart (god forbid it) can persist after the death and continue eternally.
these examples show you how to treat diseases of the heart, and demonstrate the integral method to treat them with its opposite, whatever the inclination to take. god has summarized them all in your sacred book, when he said (interpretation of the meaning):
"instead, who feared the appearance before his lord and preserved his soul to follow their passions, indeed paradise will be his abode" (an-naazi'at 79: 40-41).
what matters to strive to accomplish this, finally, is the firm decision. if a person takes a firm decision to abandon their desires, then you must show patience and persist, because if the person it is customary to leave what he has because he has decided that will lead it to corruption. "if this happens and does not comply with what had been resolved to achieve, then should auto imposed a penance to cause why, because if he is not frightens itself with a punishment, his evil action exceed and it will be dragged by their auto-indulgencia and desires, and the fruits of their efforts will be damaged".
summarized and adapted from ihia ' ulum ed-din by al - ghazali (3/62-98).
and allaah knows best.
islam q & a