Who is the best of us? To answer that, Abdullah ibn Amr reported, that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said, “The best of you are those with the best character” (Sahih Bukhari 3366; Muttafaqun Alayhi). In another narration, Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said, “Verily, the believers with the most complete faith are those with the most excellent character and who are most kind to their family” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2612; Sahih). Such is the importance of upright character, that the Prophet of Allah s.a.w. himself said, “Verily, I have only been sent to perfect righteous character” (Musnad Aḥmad 8729; Sahih). From these ahaadith we can understand why Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “The religion itself is entirely good character, so whoever surpasses you in character has surpassed you in religion” (Madārij al-Sālikīn 2/294).
In Singapore, there is a popular way with which some people measure success by, and that is the five C’s, namely, (1) cash, (2) cars, (3) credit cards, (4) condominiums, and (5) country club memberships (I didn’t know this before, but that’s because I live in a cave*). It is easy to equate material things to success, perhaps due to the tangibility of such possessions. However, one cannot help but ask, “Is that all? Is that all that I want in life? Will obtaining the five C’s mentioned above fulfill my needs and make me happy?” Continue reading