Characteristics of a Muslim

We often assume that there is a specific type of role we must exhibit in order to be the best Muslim. Many people believe that a Muslim man must be firm and not shy of speaking the truth where ever and whenever opportunity presents. Many people also believe that a Muslim woman must be reserved, soft-spoken, and shy.

If we continue to believe these types of misconceptions, the entire ummah will be full of hypocrites.

You don’t have to change your personality to please Allaah, azza wajal.

Consider the two greatest companions of Rasool Allaah, salAllaahu a’alayhi wasalam, Abu Bakr and Umar, radiAllaahu anhum. Their personalities were nearly worlds apart. The former was much more soft-spoken whereas the latter appeared much more harsh outwardly. 

But what’s extremely important to understand is that despite their personalities being different, they shared the characteristics of a pious Muslim. Although Umar seemed harsh, he was just as forgiving as Abu Bakr. And although Abu Bakr was very soft-spoken, he still held his ground and was completely firm upon the truth and spread it without hesitation. 

It’s crucial to understand that our personalities don’t have to hold us back from practicing Islam and pleasing Allaah. If you’re a hyper, social Muslim woman, it is completely acceptable for you to be as long as your talkativeness doesn’t make you careless of your speech. If you’re a quiet Muslim man that doesn’t want to express anything, that’s also completely acceptable as long as you don’t shy away from the truth and spreading it when necessary.

So stop feeling like you need to change your personalities. In order to attain the characteristics of a Muslim, you don’t need to fake your personality. Because once you do, you’re no longer sustainable.

Being humble (a characteristic of Islam) doesn’t mean being quiet (personality trait). Being modest (a characteristic of Islam) doesn’t mean you must be reserved (a personality trait).

We need all sorts of personalities in the ummah so that we become a mosaic of talents - a community that has a little bit of everything so it can remain balanced and long-lasting. We don’t need a million of the same type of person. We need to accept that the characteristics of a Muslim are presented in a variety of ways due to the personality of the person - but that doesn’t take away from the characteristic itself.

Be honest to yourself about who you are. Otherwise you will continue to seek sincerity and never will you find it. I pray that you do, ameen. I pray we all attain the pleasure of our Creator, ameen. May He guide us and increase us in understanding and wisdom, ameen.

Shaikh ’Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on him, said,

“A person must prepare to meet Allaah عزوجل and know how he will meet Allaah— will he do so in a condition that pleases Him عزوجل or the opposite? So examine yourself and know what state you are in.”

—  [Sharh al-Arba’een an-Nawawiyyah, p. 478]
The goals of dawah are to remove people from darkness and bring them to the light, to guide them to the truth so that they can accept it and be saved from the fire and the anger of Allah. (Also from the goals) are to remove a disbeliever from darkness and disbelief to the light and guidance. Likewise, removing an ignorant person from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge, and additionally to remove a sinner from the darkness of his wickedness to the light of obedience, this is (indeed) the goal behind dawah.
—  Shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz (rahimahullaah) [Majmu’ah Al-Fataawa (1/348)]

In the Arab and Muslim world, facial hair means far more than just style and grooming. It’s a sociological signifier, a shorthand that often tells you who you’re dealing with and what they’re all about before they can even speak. There are a couple of different styles in play, and as a journalist you learn to develop a sort of internal chart.

In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood members generally tend to go with the full but well-groomed beard and moustache. However Salafists - the ultraconservative fundamentalist Muslims - like to let their beards grow long and wild, often leaving their upper lip clean-shaven as a nod to how the Prophet Mohammed wore his own beard 1,400 years ago.

Some within the Salafist camp take things an extra step and dye their beards with henna, producing a range of colours from maroon to bright pumpkin orange.

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And what would you lose if you bit your tongue and held back out of patience? And what would you lose if you woke up a little earlier for tahajjud? And what would you lose if you forgave them for their mistakes? What would you lose? An argument, a little sleep, a little pride? But, subhanAllaah, you have all of the gardens of paradise to gain! Such a thing that is so priceless has been made so easy for you to achieve! So what would you really lose?
—  Within this Soul