Good character, good deeds and correct beliefs are at the very core of Islamic teachings. A recurrent advice in the Holy Quran is: Believe and do good; establish prayers and pay the poor tax. Following are some illustrations. Where the quotes are from the Quraan, the Surah and verse references are given in parentheses.
“This Reading (Quran) guides to the best path, and brings good news to the believers who lead a righteous life, that they have deserved a great recompense.” (17:9)
Always Respond to a ‘Greeting':
“When greeted with a greeting, you shall respond with a better greeting or at least an equal one. GOD reckons all things.” (4:86)
Always Say ‘Good’ things:
“Do you not see that GOD has cited the example of a good word as a good tree whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches are high in the sky. It produces its crop every season, as designed by its Lord. GOD thus cites the examples for the people, that they may take heed.” (14:24-25)
Be ‘Humble’, and speak ‘Lightly':
“Walk humbly and lower your voice, the ugliest voice is the donkey’s voice.” (31:19)
Invite to God with wisdom and kindness:
“Invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones.” (16:125)
Be Kind to your parents:
Suppress Anger & Forgive People:
“who (the righteous) give to charity during the good times, as well as
the bad times. They are suppressors of anger, and pardoners of the
people. God loves the charitable.” (3:134)
Counter Evil with Good:
“They steadfastly persevere in seeking their Lord, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), spend from our provisions to them secretly and publicly, and counter evil with good. These have deserved the best abode.” (13:22)
Do NOT Say ‘Bad’ things:
“And the example of the bad word is that of a bad tree chopped at the soil level; it has no roots to keep it firm.” (14:26)
Do NOT be ‘Arrogant’ or ‘Carefree':
“You shall not treat the people with arrogance, nor shall you roam the earth carefree. God does not like the arrogant showoffs.” (31:18)
Do NOT engage in ‘ignorant’ talk:
“The servants of the Almighty are those who tread the earth gently, and when the ignorant speak to them, they only utter peace.” (25:63)
Do NOT Curse the Idolaters:
“And do not curse those who call on other than GOD, lest they blaspheme and curse God, out of ignorance. We have adorned the works of every group in their eyes. Ultimately, they return to their Lord, then He informs them of everything they had done.” (6:108)
Do NOT Make fun of others, or call them names:
“O you who believe, no people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you mock one another, or call each other names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining faith. Anyone who does not repent after this, these are the
Do NOT be suspicious, or spy on one another, or backbite:
“O you who believe, you shall avoid any suspicion, for even a little bit of suspicion is sinful. You shall not spy on one another, nor shall you backbite one another; this is as abominable as eating the flesh of your dead brother. You certainly abhor this… ” (49:12)
Do NOT be ‘Racist':
“O people, We created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is Omniscient, Cognizant.” (49:13)
Sayings of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.)
A man giving in alms one piece of silver in his lifetime is better for him than giving one hundred when about to die.
To meet friends cheerfully and invite them to a feast are charitable acts.
To extend consideration towards neighbors and send them presents are charitable acts.
To acquire knowledge is binding upon all Muslims whether male or female.
The ink of a scholar is holier than the blood of a martyr.
He who travels in search of knowledge, to him God shows the way of Paradise.
Acquire knowledge, because he who acquires it in the way of the Lord, performs an act of piety; who speaks of it praises the Lord; who seeks it, adores God, who dispenses instruction in it, bestows alms; and who imparts it to its fitting objects, performs an act of devotion to God.
Knowledge enables its possessor to distinguish what is forbidden from what is not; lights the way to Heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our companion in solitude, our companion when bereft of friends; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is our ornament in the company of friends; it serves as an armour against our enemies.
With knowledge the creature of Allah rises to the heights of goodness and to noble position, associates with the sovereigns in this world and attains the perfection of happiness in the next.
Keep yourselves far from envy, because it eats up and takes away good actions like the fire that eats up and burns wood.
Suppression of Anger
Whoever suppresses his anger, when he has in his power to show it, God will give him a great reward.
He is not strong and powerful who throws people down, but he is strong who withholds himself from anger.
Deal gently with people, and be not harsh; cheer them and condemn not.
Much silence and a good disposition; there are no two works better than these.
The best of friends is he who is best in behavior and character.
One who does not practice modesty and does not refrain from shameless deeds is not a Muslim.
Parents and Family
Paradise lies at the feet of thy mother.
He who wishes to enter Paradise must please his father and mother.
No one who keeps his mind focussed entirely upon himself, can grow large, strong and beautiful in character.
Remembrance of God
Whoever loves to meet God, God loves to meet him.
The five stated prayers erase the sins which have been committed during the intervals between them if they have not been mortal sins.
God is not merciful to him who is not so to humankind.
He who is not kind to God’s creation and to his own children, God will not be kind to him.
Whosoever visits a sick person, an angel calls from Heaven: “Be happy in the world and happy be your walking; and take your habitation in Paradise.”
Wordly Love and Materialism
The love of the world is the root of all evils.
Wealth properly employed is a blessing; and a man may lawfully endeavour to increase it by honest means.
Imam Hussain’s advice: Staying away from sins
A man came to Imam Hussain (a.s.) and said, “I frequently disobey Allah and cannot prevent myself from sins; therefore, please, give me an advice O son of the Prophet so that I may keep away from sins.”
Imam: “Do five things and then commit sins as much as you want.”
Sinner: “Please tell me what those five things are.”
Imam: “(1) Do not eat from the provisions of Allah, and then do whatever you like.”
Sinner: “Then what will I be able to eat because whatever there is in his universe is from Allah!”
Imam: “(2) Then leave the earth of Allah, and then do whatever you like.”
Sinner: “O Imam, this is even more difficult than the first! If I leave the earth, then where would I live-all belongs to Allah.”
Imam: “(3) Then find a place where Allah cannot see you, and then do whatever you like.”
Sinner: “But, O Imam, nothing is hidden from Allah.”
Imam: (4) Then do one thing, when the angel of death comes to you, keep him away from yourself, and then do whatever you like. And if you cannot do that, then lastly, (5) do not enter the Hell when God sends you into it. If you can do that, then go and commit whatever sins you like.”
Sinner: “That’s it, O son of the Prophet! From today, Allah will not find me in a situation which He dislikes.”
Kindness to Parents
The Holy Prophet [s] said: “The pleasure of Allah lies in the pleasure of one’s parents (in the case that it is right), and His wrath lies in their wrath.”
Mustadrak-ul-Wasa’il-ush-Shi’ah, vol. 15, p. 176
Imam Sadiq [a] said: “The best deeds are: punctual prayer, kindness to parents, and contributing to the Holy War (against the pagans) in the path of Allah.”
Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 85
Imam Sadiq [a] said: “He who wishes Allah, Almighty and Glorious, to lighten the agonies of death, he should have regard for his kinship, and treat his parents with goodness. Then, when a person does so, Allah will make the agonies of death easy for him and he will not be stricken by poverty in his life at all.”
Safinat-ul-Bihar, vol. 2, p. 553
Imam Sadiq [a] said: “He who glares at his parents with wrathful eyes, although they have been unjust to him, Allah will not accept his prayers (unless he repents).”
Usul-i-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 349
Imam Sadiq [a] said: “Do treat kindly your parents so that your children do the same to you; and be pious unto the wives of people so that your wives remain pious.”
AI-Kafi, vol. 5, p. 554
Imam Sadiq [a] said: “Once a person came to the Prophet [s] and asked him about good treatment to parents. Then, he [s] said ‘Treat kindly your mother, treat kindly your mother, and treat kindly your mother; be kind to your father, be kind to your father, and be kind to your father but begin (that kindness) with your mother before your father’.”
Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 162
Telling the Truth
Telling the truth is a very good habit. If you always speak the truth, you can save yourself from a lot of trouble! Here is a story of a man who did a lot of bad things, but his promise to tell the truth saved him.
Once a man came to the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and said, “Oh prophet of Allah, I have many bad habits. Which one of them should I give up first?” The prophet said, “Give up telling lies first and always speak the truth.” The man promised to do so and went home.
At night the man was about to go out to steal. Before setting out, he thought for a moment about the promise he made with the prophet. “If tomorrow the prophet asks me where have I been, what shall I say? Shall I say that I went out stealing? No, I cannot say that. But nor can I lie. If I tell the truth, everyone will start hating me and call me a thief. I would be punished for stealing.”
So the man decided not to steal that night, and gave up this bad habit.
Next day, he felt like drinking wine, when he was about to do so, he said to himself, “What shall I say to the prophet if he asks me what did I do during the day? I cannot tell a lie, and if I speak the truth people will hate me, because a Muslim is not allowed to drink wine.” And so he gave up the idea of drinking wine.
In this way, whenever the man thought of doing something bad, he remembered his promise to tell the truth at all times. One by one, he gave up all his bad habits and became a good Muslim and a very good person.
If you always speak the truth, you can be a good person, a good Muslim whom Allah likes and favors. If Allah – our Creator – is pleased with us, He will reward us with HEAVEN, which is a place of happiness and joy.