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Three Conditions to Acquire Excellent Character
Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Excerpted from his Risâlat-ut-Tabûkiyyah

This is one example of the excellent character with which Allâh, the Exalted, has equipped his Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He described him as,

“Verily, you (Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.” [Al-Qalam (68): 4]
‘Â’ishah (radiyAllâhu ‘anhâ), described him as,

“His character was just [a reflection of] the Qur’ân.”[1]

Such excellent character cannot be attained without three conditions:

  1. The foundation must be good. If one has a rough and dry nature, it will be hard for him to submit to this [excellence of character] through knowledge, will, or practice. On the other hand, a mild and smooth nature will be ready and willing to receive the plowing and the seeds [to prepare it for character excellence].
  2. The soul must be strong and capable of conquering calls of laziness, transgression, and desire. Those matters contradict perfection, and souls that cannot defeat them will always be defeated and conquered.
  3. [One must possess] a discerning knowledge of the truth of matters, enabling one to put them in the rightful position, and to distinguish between flash and cancer - between glass and jewels.
If these three qualities are present in a man, and Allâh’s facilitation helps him, then he will be among those whom the best (husnâ) has been decreed and for whom Allâh’s care has been secured.

[1] Muslim, Abû Dâwûd, Ahmad

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