Following are short explanations of some of the praiseworthy charachteristics along with the method of acquiring them from “Good Character” by Shaykh Maseehullah Khan (Raheemahullah).
Tawheed – Oneness of Allah
Essence: To firmly believe in the Oneness (Unity) of Allah subhaanahu wata’ala: Omnipotent and the Creator of the whole universe; He can accomplish anything without the assistance of His creation an without His will the creation can accomplish nothing.
Acquisition: Contemplate and meditate on the helplessness of creation; on the fact that no created matter can create itself and is totally dependant on Allah subhaanahu wata’ala for its existence; on the fact that Allah subhaanahu wata’ala is Infinite and Perfect in all His Attributes and Qualities.
Ikhlaas – Sincerity
Essence: The sole intention in one’s obedience to Allah ta’ala should be to please Him and attain nearness to Him. The pleasure of others or their happiness for reasons other than the above, the satisfaction of desires, the acheivements of material gain or any ulterior motive should not enter one’s mind. Ikhlaas has different degrees: a) Complete Ikhlaas where the intention is to please Allah ta’ala only Ikhlaas of a lower degree is where the intention is to please others without ant motive of personal benefit. c) The lowest degree is the absence of any intention , being “empty minded”. This is also Ikhlaas but is very close to Riyaa.
Acqusition: 1. Remove Riyaa 2. Concentrate on the quality of deeds and not on their quantity. Where a deed is performed with complete sincerity, the rewards are proportionately greater.
Yaqeen – Conviction
Essence: To have Tawheed firmly rooted in one’s self, leaving no room for doubt.
Acqusition: Contemplation and meditation will strengthen Tawheed at the intelectual level and executing the orders and instructions of Allah will complete the process at a practical level.
Tasleem – Acceptance
Essence: Complete acceptance of Tawheed and total submission to its requirements.
Acqusition: same as for Yaqeen
‘Ilm – Knowledge
Essence: It is basic and essential to know what Allah ta’ala’s orders and instructions are. Without this knowledge it is impossible to defferentiate between good and bad, right and wrong, essential and non-essential, permissible and non-permissible etc.
Acqusition: The basic sources of knowledge are the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Rasoolullaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam. These are to be studied from recommended literature, gatherings and courses of those scholars who have studied these themselves – namely the Ulama (Scholars).
Sidq – Veracity/Honesty
Essence: Sidq is to pursue and develop a particular activity sincerely and to its logical conclusion, to a stage of perfection. Sidq is a general term encompassing activity in three spheres : speech, action and condition. A Siddeeq would be a person who has acheived perfection in all three spheres. A Saadiq is one who has acheived perfection in only one sphere. Saadiqul aqwaal: a person who speakes the truth , keeps his promises and acts in conformity wit his intentions under all circumstances. Saadiqul af’aal: a person whose actions are in conformity with the Sharee’ah. Saadiqul ahwaal: a person whose condition or state is in accordance with the Sunnah.
Acqusition: 1. Knowing of what constitutes perfection is an essential prerequisite 2. Continued and close watchfulness on eone’s deficiencies 3. Active and repeated correction of these dificiencies 4. Firmness and constancy in one’s efforts
Acquisition: When being confronted with an event which is in conflict with one’s liking then immediately think that it is an act of Allah and most assuredly there is wisdom and goodness in it. In the beginning it will be difficult to acquire this attitude. However, constant reflection produces the annihilation of effort and then this attitude assumes a natural condition in the Ahlul-laah (the Auliyaa)
QANA’AT– Contentment: means in this regard abstention from desires. Contemplating about the transitory and perishable nature of the world inculcate Qana’at.
HILM-Perseverance: means to hold in check the nafs in the face of events which are distasteful to one. This quality of Hilm is acquired by the eradication of anger. One has to contemplate constantly about the remedies for anger.
These are just some of the praiseworthy characteristics that we can work towards acquiring…