A person of character is a person of control. Ability to control our desires. Ability to control our rages. Ability to control and to abstain and to hold back, that is so much needed. Many times we want to lash out at people. Many times we want to express ourselves in a negative way.
So the Prophet (saws) would teach us, laysal qawi`u bil sur`a. He asked people who is the strong person amongst you or what is your definition of strength. So people said, a strong man is a person who is able to wrestle people down. So the Prophet (saws) said, laysal qawi`u bil sur`a, that strength is not determined by the ability to wrestle people down. He said, innamal qawi`u man yamliku nafsahu endal ghadab, truly the strong person is the one who is able to get a hold of himself when he is most angry. That is real strength. That is power. He said if you are able to do this you are a strong person. Sometimes we have urges. Sometimes we have needs. We look into it, you want to steal but there is that conscience and that control and that power to say, “no I will not do this I will hold back.” So this idea of control, you are in charge of your desires and not having your desires being in charge over you, which is not acceptable. So there is this concept of control.
And then the final one, we said, conscience, compassion, consideration, courage, and control, and the last one is confidence.
The last C is confidence.
Confidence in what? Many times doing what is right, we cannot see the results immediately and sometimes we doubt it. So we say, be confident. You need to do the right thing all the time, whether you reap the value, whether you reap the benefit, whether you see the result is irrelevant. Do what is right. Be confident that what is right needs to be done all the time, no exceptions.
And then if you see the result, alhamdulillah and if you don’t see the result then it was actually to begin with doing the right thing that was most important. So be confident and that is why the people who do the right because the right is right are never disappointed.
Let me demonstrate with a story. They said that one time this man was given a surprise bonus by his boss at work. The company had decided to give a $1000 bonus to the staff. And when people receive an unexpected windfall of money it feels good. You go there and you have your own plans, I will do this and I will buy this. So this man gets the $1000 in his hands and he is thinking to himself I am going to buy this and my wife is going to be very happy with this and I am going to buy my children this and buy them that. So he is dreaming about how to spend the $1000.
On the way (home), he was approached by a woman, she was holding a young baby in her hands and she was crying, and said, “sir, my baby is dying. I need help, I cannot afford to buy any medication for my baby. My baby is dying.” And the man was so moved by this woman and by this scene of the baby about to die, that he put his hands in his pocket, and he gave her the $1000. He went home and he told the story to his family, “you know the boss gave my $1000 today and on the way I found out that there was this woman and she came to me and she begged me and her baby was dying, so I gave her this money.” So the family looked at him and said, “Father, you have been fooled. Somebody has fooled you.” They were laughing at him (the father). The children said, “Father, idiot, you have been fooled, this women played a trick on you, you’ve been had.” So he grew very upset by the reaction of his family. And as they were watching the news, they heard the story that a woman was caught today by the police scheming people out of money. She was holding a baby saying that the baby is dying when the baby was not dying and this woman had been fooling people. So the family looked at him (the father) and said to him, “See, we told you, you have been fooled, the woman has fooled you.” And the father looked at them and he said, “this is the best news I have heard.” His family said, “What are you talking about, someone just stole $1000 from you and you are telling us that this is the best news you have heard.” He said, “don’t you get it, the baby is not dying.” He said this is what really matters, the baby is not dying.
He said, “I gave the $1000 because I didn’t want the baby to die and if I’ve received the news that the baby is not dying, then this is the best news that I have heard in the day.”
See brothers and sisters, we can speak so much Islam this and Islam that, but the beauty of Islam is when Islam is implemented. We can say all the nice things that we want, but by the end of the day, it is not what we say, but wallahi it really is about what we do.
Let me conclude by this story because believe it or not, any time, any day, we are constantly giving people clues about who we are. We are constantly displaying what kind of character we hold. So one day, a man was driving this very nice car, maybe some of you have heard of this story before, it’s a very beautiful story. He parked his car and when he came out, he found this young boy walking around his car, he was admiring the car, what a beautiful car and he was talking to the car, “Whoa, this is really beautiful, this is really nice” and he was touching the car, look at the lights, look at this, etc.. So the man, the owner of the car, came up and said, “You like it son?” and he said, I love it, this is the most beautiful car I have ever seen. So the old man said, my brother gave it to me as a gift, so the young boy immediately said, “Sir, I wish I can be like your brother.” The boy said, “I wish I can be like your brother.” He did not say I wish I could have a brother like you, isn’t that what we would say. We would all have said, “I wish I had a brother like you” but what does he choose to say, “I wish I was like your brother.” That is what we call a beautiful display of character.
Character is important brothers and sisters. Must have conscience, compassion, consideration, control, confidence, and courage. Hatha, wallahu a`lam, wa salllallahu ala nabeeyina Muhammad wa salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh.