When you waste resources, including food and water, you lack character.
When you waste your time and energy in fruitless and unproductive activities, you lack character.
When you don’t take care of your own health as well as the health of your family, you lack character.
When you fail to arrange for the best worldly and other-worldly education for all those under your care, male as well as female, you lack character.
If you don’t brush your teeth, you lack character.
If you don’t teach your children and family good hygiene and good health habits in general, you lack character.
If you don’t learn some kind of practical skill (Hunar) and don’t teach the same to your children and family, you lack character.
If you always depend on servants and others for everything, and will not do any daily chores by yourself, you lack character.
If you do not treat your servants and hired help with respect and dignity, you lack character.
If You Are Not Nice to People, You Lack of Character
If you always have an angry face and always speak rudely and harshly to people, you lack character.
If you do not sport a ready and spontaneous smile, you lack character.
If you are too caught up all the time in the minutiae – small details – of Fiqh and Masaa-il while ignoring the larger and more significant elements of the Deen, you lack character.
If you are quick to anger and slow to forgive, you lack character.
If you treat people badly, you lack character.
If you discriminate against people, regardless of why you do it, whether you do it in the name of race, religion, caste or something else, you lack character.
The list, as they say, goes on and on and on.
Jealousy and Hate Means Lack of Character
If you harbor in your heart or show through your speech or behavior jealousy or anger or hate or malice toward others for any special gifts or blessings God Almighty may have conferred upon them, you lack character.
If you will not feel happy at the achievement of your fellow-Muslims, friends and neighbors, you lack character.
If you will not offer a helping hand to others in the fulfillment of their legitimate goals, aspirations and dreams, you lack character.
Abuse of Power or Authority Is Lack of Character
When you fail to speak out against social ills such as the shameful and notorious Dowry System that plagues India’s marriages, including all too, too many Muslim marriages, you lack character.
When you will not speak the Haqq – the right thing and the truth – even when it is safe for you to do so, you lack character.
When you suppress Haqq – the right thing and the truth – you lack character.
When you commit Zulm – oppression of one kind or another – against those weaker than you in any form or fashion, you lack character.
When you misuse public funds, you lack character.
When you do nothing to educate and uplift the community, you lack character.
When you abuse power or authority, you lack character.
When you abuse your children, spouses, parents or family, you lack character.
When you do not vote in elections without a reason, you lack character.
When you sell your vote for personal gain, you lack character.
When you cannot get up for Fajr, and there is nothing physically wrong with you, you lack character.
Not Paying Zakat Shows Lack of Character
When you will not pray Faraz Namaz, you lack character.
When you will not fast during Ramadan, and you have no physical excuse or disability, you lack character.
When you will not pay Zakat even when you owe it, you lack character.
When you will treat people with contempt, you lack character.
When you will not work hard on your business or farm or trade, you lack character.
When you will not work hard on your studies, whether it is a math or science or Arabic class, you lack character.
When you will not work to get the best grades you can get in your class, you lack character.
When you make decisions of right and wrong, based not on principle but on who is or is not part of your group, nation, tribe, race or gender, you lack character.
The list, as they say, is endless. And it goes on and on and on. You must add to this list other items as you go along. But make sure you are talking about real and concrete things and not about abstract things which nobody understands clearly.
But What Is It Really: Character or Iman?
I am calling them examples of lack of character. But at the same time, are all of these examples of lack of Iman as well? Sure they are. For, Iman is at the root of everything in life. But Muslims have turned the expression Iman into a cliché. And they often use it as a way of escaping the challenges of everyday life. They invoke it to escape reality.
What Muslims need to learn to do, therefore, is to turn the expression Iman into a more real and meaningful reality in their life. They need to break Iman down into all kinds of real-life components and implications and concentrate on dealing with each one of them in a practical way.
That means Muslims – and others – need to understand their Iman, or faith if you will, as an effective practical means to get rid of the whole host of social, moral and character ills and problems I have listed above.
Therefore, if it makes you feel better – and somehow feel superior to some others – to call them flaws in your Iman or ‘Aqeedah, rather than examples of your lack of character, by all means call them that. But regardless of what you call them, rest assured that these things and Allah’s Deen do not go hand in hand.
These are all loser ways. And Allah’s Deen has nothing to do with losers – regardless of what they call themselves.
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You are invited to register for an Arabic Language Program by Dr. Pasha – Unlike anything you have ever done before.
This program will be conducted by Zoom video meetings at dates and times to be confirmed.
Prerequisite: Know how to read Arabic. If you do not, pick up a copy of our Qur’an Reader and start working on it right away. If you need help, ask us, we can help you learn to read the Qur’an in about three months.