The Fiqh of Being a Decent Person

The first results that came up after a Google search for “the fiqh of” were:

  • Marriage
  • Chillin’
  • Love
  • Marriage in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah
  • Food and clothing
  • Divorce
  • Medicine
  • Worship

All of these are important topics, but some of the subjects that are highlighted the most in the Qur’an and sunnah are left off of this list completely- including those related to character. It’s easy to get caught up in the technicalities of certain actions, while forgetting about how important our behavior towards others is. The way we should speak to and about others, how we are supposed to treat our families, and the way we are meant to act in public and in private, are all taught to us in detail by Allah and His Messenger (saws).

The Prophet (saws) said, “Righteousness is good character, and sin is whatever bothers you and what you don’t want people to know about” [Muslim]. Righteousness is good character. That’s huge. In other words, we can have the fiqh of all of the above search results down to a T, and still not be a righteous person in the sight of Allah. You can be married to your ideal spouse, wearing the most modest clothes of anyone around, praying all of your salawat with the utmost concentration and best form, or even have the whole Qur’an memorized and be leading taraweeh for hundreds of people every year, but still be failing at the most fundamental level of our faith.

Allah definitely doesn’t expect us to be like angels with flawless character, but He does expect us to try our best

Because that marriage is a failure for you if you’re treating your husband or wife poorly behind closed doors, those modest clothes mean nothing if you’re shameless with your sight and actions when nobody is looking, and your impeccable Qur’an recitation may not even be accepted while you’re bitterly holding a grudge or unjustly slandering someone.

Allah definitely doesn’t expect us to be like angels with flawless character, but He does expect us to try our best- and the best to Him, the only One that ultimately matters, is having best social and private conduct that we can, regardless of how our mood is or how other people around us are acting.

“On the Day of Resurrection, nothing will be heavier in the Scale (of good deeds) of the believer than good conduct.” [Tirmidhi]

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