Qualities of a Muslim



In his famous commentary of the Holy Quran known as Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Imam Hafiz Imaduddin has stated that Islam consists of 30 qualities. Ten are narrated in Surah Asra (Chapter 17) in the Holy Quran; five are in Surah Mominoon (Chapter 23), ten are in Surah Al -Ahzab (Chapter 33) and five in Surah Al-Ma’arij (Chapter 70). When I went over these verses I counted the total to be 39, with 15 in Surah Asra, 6 in Surah Mominoon, 10 in Surah Al-Ahzab and 8 in Surah Al-Ma’arij.

Of these, the quality of worship or prayer is mentioned five times. Two qualities are reiterated thrice. These are about guarding chastity and paying alms. One quality is reiterated twice. This is about keeping trust and covenants. After subtracting 8 reiterations, I did reach the total of 30 qualities which Imam Hafiz Imaduddin has described in Tafseer Ibn Kathir. However, this exercise did help me in showing the correct order of qualities. The quality of prayer is reiterated 5 times in these Surah. Therefore this is the most important quality of a Muslim. The next important quality is paying alms and guarding chastity because these are repeated thrice in the Surah. Then the next quality is keeping trust and covenants, which are reiterated twice, followed by 26 other qualities as follows:

I. Fifteen Qualities of a Muslim in Surah Isra (Chapter 17)

1. She/he does not worship anyone other than Allah. Verse 22
2. Is kind to parents. Verse 23
3. Recognises and fulfils the rights of relatives, the poor and those in transit during travel, and is not mean to them. Verse 26
4. Neither is paltry nor spendthrift. Verse 29
5. Does not kill his/her babies for fear of penury. Verse 31
6. Does not engage in adultery or fornication. Verse 32
7. Does not murder any human being whose blood is forbidden by Allah. Verse 33
8. Does not usurp the estate or rights of orphans. Verse 34
9. Observes correct weight and measure in business transactions. Verse 35
10. Does not insist on something he/she does not know. Verse 36
11. Is not arrogant on God’s earth. Verse 37
12. Engages with others nicely and with good manners. Verse 53
13. Stands for prayers at daybreak till darkness of night and recites Quran at dawn. Verse 78
14. Performs additional prayers at night. Verse 79
15. Thanks and Glorifies Allah. Verse 111

II. Six Qualities of Muslims in Surah Mominoon (Chapter 23)

1. They observe humility in their prayers. Verse 2;
2. Guard their prayers. Verse 9
3. Abstain from vanity and trivialities. Verse 3
4. Pay their alms. Verse 4
5. Safeguard their chastity. Verse 5
6. Are true to their trusts and covenants. Verse 8

III. Ten Qualities of Muslims in Surah Al-Ahzab (Chapter 33)

In Verse 35 of Chapter 33, Muslim men and women:

1. Submit to Allah
2. Have faith in Allah
3. Are obedient
4. Truthful
5. Steadfast in adversity
6. Are humble and fearful of Allah
7. Give alms
8. Fast for Allah
9. Guard their chastity
10. Remember Allah much

IV Five Qualities of Muslims in Surah Hujarat (Chapter 49)

1. They do not put their own likes or dislikes before that of Allah and his prophet Muhammad. (verse 1)
2. They verify any information brought to them by an ungodly/immoral person before acting upon it. (verse 6)
3. They make peace between two factions of Muslims when they are at war with each other. (verse 9)
4. They do not mock nor call others by derogatory names, for they may be better than them. (verse 11)
5. They don’t pry into the personal lives of other people, shun suspicion and do not backbite about others (verse 12)

V. Eight Qualities of Muslims in Surah Al-Ma’arij (Chapter 70)

1. They are constant in their prayers. Verse 23.
2. Take due care of their prayers. Verse 34
3. Know there is a share of beggars and dispossessed in their wealth. Verse 24-25
4. Believe in the Day of Recompense. Verse 26
5. Are fearful of the chastisement of their Lord. Verse 27
6. Guard their modesty and private parts. Verse 29
7. Keep their trusts and covenants. Verse 32
8. Are upright in their testimonies. Verse 33

The above provides a complete template of the qualities of a Muslim and enables a believer to see where he/she stands in relation to following the Commandments of Allah Subhanuhu wa Taala. Whoever follows these Commandments with sincerity and purity of thought and intention, Allah promises him/her a great reward in the noblest part of the Garden of Eden (Jannat Al Firdous) in the afterlife. Moreover, such person will neither be anxious nor worried nor feel miserable in this mortal life on earth as long as he lives in this world. (Chapter 23, Verse 11).

Wama Alaina Illal Balaghul Mubeen.

Syed Sharfuddin
London: 10 June 2016