Islam urges us
البِرَّ حُسنُ الخُلُقِ
“VIRTUOUS INNOCENCE IS GOODNESS OF CHARACTER…”
That is what the messenger of god has once said. Islam always urges us to be good and to do good, and at the same time Islam urges us to fight evil and help prevent it. Thus, Islam wants to see us build strong moral character, and to be decent, helpful, and useful in the society. Yet, at the same time we are to desist and fight evil be it desires within ourselves, or seeing or perceiving some bad things happening around us. You see, Islam is a way of living, and if it is put into full use, we become of great moral character, of excellent conduct, and most useful to society. This way, we will certainly earn the highest goal, and that is the pleasure of Almighty God, thus we will deserve eternal life in heaven.
But we ought to have GOOD INTENTIONS first and foremost which will lead us into doing our various deeds and acts. That is why the goodness of our intentions count so high in Islam.
How is that?
With having good intentions, leading to your deeds, the Almighty know that you have intended them in a good way, and He will reward you accordingly. You see, your salvation is your good deeds and acts in this world and your following Islam, you religion, as it should. These good deeds come out of good intentions. But good intentions ought to come out of a pure good and virtuous heart, i.e. meaning well. Such an endeavor will go a long way toward gaining merits with the Almighty.
Let s see what Almighty god has said in the Quran:
قَد اَفلَحَ مَن تَزکی
“HE HAS WON, HE WHO HAS PURIFIED HIMSELF”
(AL –QURAN LXXXVI-14)
Thus, to have good intentions, and to have good clean hearts toward others, be it your brother, sister, relatives or other people, is an essential requisite for a good Muslim.
The messenger of God, Muhammad (P.B.U.H), has said:
اِنما الاَعمالُ بانیاتِ و اِنما لِکُلِِِ امرِیٍ ما نَوَی
“ACTIONS ARE JUDGED ONLY BY MOTIVES, AND A MAN SHALL HAVE WHAT HE INTENDS…”
He also said:
اِنَ اللهَ تَعالیَ طَبیبٌ ، لا یُقبَلُ الا طَبیبا...
“GOD IS PURE AND LOVES PURLTY AND GOODNESS.”
Thus, we are reminded if how very important it is to have purity of heart, to mean well, to be good and clean inside. These qualities are so important as to see the Prophet saying:
“THEY WELL BE IN THE GARDEN OF BLISS, THEY WHO HAVE A TRUE, PURE AND MERCIFUL HEART.”
Is that all what you have to be to enter heavens?
When you have a true, pure and merciful heart, you have had an excellent beginning, “the good base” so to speak. By being so, and by following the teaching of Islam, you will have attained the noble status and you will have earned well in the sight of the Almighty.
Having merely pure and good intentions, but at the same time neglecting your Islamic teaching and duties, will not get you far.
So, you see a good Muslim tries his best to be pure hearted i.e. pure in his intentions, pure in his feeling and pure in his actions.
Mental and spiritual cleanliness and purity should be associated with bodily cleanliness too. Look for example, at the wudu, and how it is to remind us of keeping a clean body. Our fresh and clean body is to remind us of a better cleanliness inside, and that is our purity at heart.
A Good Muslim Will Remember:
1. To do his best to be pure in thoughts and intentions.
2. To do his best to be pure in deeds and actions.
3. To do his best to be clean hearted.
4. And so it is to be fresh and clean in his every day affairs, his dealing, and in his habits.
Yet on the contrary:
A desire to wish ill, to be sneaky, to have intentions of doing harm or hurting others is a terrible thing, and we ought to fight such desires and such thoughts. Even the efforts in fighting such bad and evil desires are rewarded by the Almighty. Pollution of the Spirit is to be resisted, and it is to be prevented with the best of our resources.
Thus we are commanded to be TRUTHFUL:
We are urges, as good Muslims, to say the truth and be truthful. We are to be strict about that, to do our best in expressing ourselves in a truthful manner. Sometimes to say the truth can be painful and can even hurt the feelings of certain people. Yet, it is still much better to have the wisdom of saying the truth.
Lying can lead to more lying to cover the first lie. It can lead to a lot of embarrassment, and the Almighty can see us, and he knows what is in our heart. He witnesses every move we take, and every decision we take. So we better say things in a straightforward manner as if we see the Almighty in front of us.
See what the Almighty has said in the Quran:
وَلا تَلبِسوا الحَقَ بِالباطِلِ وَ تَکتُمُوا الحَقَ وَ اَنتُم تَعلَمُونَ
“NEVER TRY TO MIX UP WRONG WITH RIGHT AND DON’T CONCEAL THE TRUTH INTENTIONALY.”
(AL – QURAN 11-42)
یا اَیُها الذِینَ امَنُوا لِمَ تَفعَلوُنَ
کَبُرَمَقتَاً عِندَ الله اَن تَقوُلوُامَالاَ تَعلَموُنَ
“O YOU WHO BELIVE! WHY DO YOU SAY THAT WHICH YOU DON’T DO? GRAVE IT IS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD THAT YOU SAY WHAT YOU DON’T DO.”
Thus, we are ordered to be truthful, and not conceal or hide the truth even if we may suffer because of it. God also urges us to do what we promise to do, rather than neglect our promises. It is a grave thing in the sight of God if we don’t take our promises seriously and fulfill them conscientiously.
Truth leads to virtue, and virtue leads to heavens. See what the Messenger of God, Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has said:
اِنَ الِصِدقَ یَهدِی اِلی البِرِّ وَ اِنَ البِرَّ یَهدِی اَلیَ الجَنَةَ
“UNDOUBTEDLY THE TRUTH LEADS TO VIRTUE, AND VIRTUE LEADS TO HEAVENS…”
آیَةُ المُنافِقِ ثَلاثٌ اَذا حَدَّثَ کَذَب
وَاَذا وَعَدَ اَخلَفَ وَاِذا اوتُمِنَ خَان
“THE SIGNS OF A HYPOCRITE ARE THREE: WHEN HE SPEAKS, HE LIES; AND WHEN HE MAKES A PRIMISE, HE BREAKS IT; AND WHEN HE IS CHARGED WHIT A TRUST, HE DECEIVES.”
He also said:
“SAY WHAT IS TRUE, ALTHOUGH IT MAY BE BITER AND DISPLEASING TO THE PEOPLE.”
“STRIVE ALWAYS TO EXCELL IN VIRTUE AND TRUTH.”
Thus, we are commanded explicitly to be truthful in what we say, and to avoid lying. Sometimes saying the truth may hurt the feelings of a friend or the people around us. Even in such a situation, we better be brave enough to tell the truth no matter what. Telling the truth may lead us to punishment, or disgrace, however, even in such a situation it is better to stick to it.
A Good Muslim Will Remember:
1. If he tells a lie, he will keep lying to cover the first lie.
2. To tell the truth means to be truthful in his actions, in his feelings and in his intention. In being so, he is keeping himself pure.
3. The messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was the best example of being truthful and pure.
4. By being truthful and to say the truth, a good Muslim can avoid a lot of difficulties and embarrassments, and he will be highly respected and very much liked and trusted by his friends and the people he deals with.
5. So, we are asked to be truthful, and we will try our best to be so.