Our Prophet's
"And you are truly ˹a man˺ of outstanding character"
[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
What are the Pillars of Islamic Character?
By: Shaykh Zafar ul Hasan, Al Madani
And indeed, you are of a great moral character
(Surah Al Qalam, Verse 4)

The above verse is a testimony of Allah that Prophet Mohammed ﷺ was blessed with a remarkable character that influenced every segment of the society.

Definition of Islamic character

The Arabic term for character is khulq and Akhlaq is plural of khulq. According to Islamic scholars, Akhlaq includes the methodology of  a person while meeting his fellow human beings, his financial transactions, his social and personal dealings. It also covers his attitude, reasoning and speech etiquette. Akhlaq has two broad categories, and the Arabic terminology titles them as; Akhalq e Husna, a beautiful character, and Akhlaq e Sayyi’ah, a bad character.

The three pillars of  good character

According to Imam Tirmidhi, a noted scholar of Hadith,  the early Muslim scholars concluded three pillars that establish a good character.

  1. Bastul Waj’hi
  2. Kaf’ful Ada
  3. Bad’rul Ma’roof.
Describing the Pillars of Islamic Character

Bastul Waj’hi is to meet and greet people with a smiling face. A smile gives an indication that you are happy to meet the person. It leaves a strong impression of your cheerful personality and good conduct upon people, which will ultimately lead them to appreciate you.

Prophet ﷺ said:

“Meeting your brother with a cheerful smile is also registered as a charity by Allah.”
(Tirmidhi 1956)

Kaf’ful Ada stands for not causing harm to anyone; either verbally, physically, emotionally, in writing, or through our dealings.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was asked, “Which aspects of Islam are the best?” He replied,

“To prevent yourself from harming people by your tongue and hands.”
(Sunan Ibn Majah 2340)

Bad’rul ma’roof  is causing benefit to the people and the rest of the creations of Allah ﷻ too. It can be done through your efforts, money, skills, knowledge and various other modes.

Prophet Mohammed ﷺ excelled in each of the above categories and that is why the Qur’an testified his noble character.