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DR. SHARAF ADMONISH US ON GOOD CHARACTER




By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

There is a video trending on the social media where our noble teacher, Dr. Sharafdeen Raji Gbadebo حفظه الله advised all adherents of sunnah on good character. It was a brilliant admonition as usual, for us all because we must be careful of shaytaan in whatever we are doing. Shaytaan hardly care about people who are already misled from the path of the sunnah, people who don't care about the sunnah, and people who place their desires over the sunnah. Shaytaan is more interested in misleading the adherents of Sunnah because they are his avowed enemies. Part of the strategies shaytaan uses is to make an adherent of the sunnah play down the importance of akhlaaq (good character) in the practice of his religion. 

No one is above error, only Allaah is perfect! Due to the fact that, some adherents of sunnah are more concerned about 'aqeedah and 'ibaadah, they fall into the mistake of belittling excellent character. Whereas, the sunnah places great importance on akhlaaq (good character) just like 'aqeedah and 'ibaadah. Although 'aqeedah is the most important aspect of our deen, yet, other aspects of it are not of less important. If any of them is missing or suffers setback in the life of an adherent of sunnah, his deen will be diminished.

The essence of good character in the life of an adherent of the sunnah is that it is what people first look out for when they meet you. Once a sunni appears at a gathering or function, what people want to see in him is good character and high standard of behavior. That is why we need to learn the akhlaaq of the salaf very well. As for someone who doesn't understand the sunnah, people don't expect much of good character from them. But if an adherent of sunnah displays bad character, they would rebuke him instantly, they would call him names. The reason for this is obvious. They want to see the exemplary character of the Messenger of صلى الله عليه وسلم in him. Allaah, in Suratul Qalam described the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم with the best of character. 

So, if someone claims to be an adherent of the sunnah, and yet his character is bad, he is only deceiving himself because one of the best qualities of the people of sunnah is sound character in manner of speech and behaviour towards all manners of people. Without good character, a preacher of 'aqeedah and 'ibaadah would lose respect and audience. To be able to preach true 'aqeedah and sunnah compliant 'ibaadaat more effectively, we need more of excellent character that would draw people towards our da'wah. Sheikh Abdur-Raafi Al-Imaam حفظه الله was emphasizing this when we met him on one of his visits to Ilorin. And he doesn't stop mentioning it anytime we have the opportunity of chatting or talk on phone. What Dr. Sharaf said in the video was true, brilliant, timely and appropriate. It constitutes a kind of da'wah within da'wah for us and we accept it as such. May Allah continue to bless our shuyuukh.

However, the funny thing is that you will see some people who nurse some hatred for salafiyyah sharing the video here and there with the motive of mocking the people of sunnah, saying things like "they don't have good character". That is the way of the people of innovation. They share what favours them, and hide what is against them. We believe an-naseehah is for everyone (kuffar, ahlu bid'ah, ahlu sunnah). The said Dr. Sharaf's video was edited in a way that it addresses the ahlus sunnah alone. No problem. But by his nature, Dr. Sharaf does not advise the ahlus sunnah without advising the ahlu bid'ah, so that he would not be misunderstood. He always strive to make clarifications. But the ahlu bid'ah would not share the aspects of the admonition that affects them. 

For instance, someone sent the video to one of my Ustadhs alleging that "those people ascribing to sunnah are arrogant", "they don't want to bow to greet elders". My Ustadh had to send him a video of the same Dr. Sharaf حفظه الله condemning the attitudes of the people of bid'ah and more specifically, where he condemned bowing to greet with stern advise to Muslim parents. The man was shocked and he couldn't say anything. The people of bid'ah would not share that kind of video because it is against their desire

May Allah guide us aright

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