The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
“انما بعثت لاتمم مکارم الاخلاق”
“I was sent only for completing the moral virtues.”
In Arabic language “اِنَّما” means “this is the only”; so the sentence is interpreted that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had been sent only for completing the moral virtues. That is true that the Prophet was sent for some other reasons too, but those reasons all were in the direction of moral virtues which was the most principal reason. Removing racial discrimination, establishing brotherhood and equality, and other issues like these are in the direction of completing the moral virtues which were propounded by the Prophet.
We should be careful that good ethical behaviors are different from moral virtues. Good ethical behaviors are relative, i.e. something between good and better. But moral virtues are the base of ethical behaviors. The Prophet had admirable human ethics in a superior level. What about us? How much do we concern about ethics? It is our duty to think about ethical behavior and act to them completely, because it was the Prophet’s purpose.
One of moral virtues, for example, is beneficent. Beneficent and generous persons are those who do kindness to people. In principle, generous person is referred to one who you ask him/her to give you something and he/she response your demand. But beneficent person is one who gives you what you want or need while you have not asked him or her for it.
One of other moral virtues is “Movasat”. What dose Movasat means (in Arabic language)? Suppose that I have something that someone else has not, If I give him/her something which is mine, It’s named “sacrifice”. But I have something that someone else has not, and because of physical distance or interval in time I cannot give him/her what I have; so I forbear to have that thing. This is called “Movasat”. There was an instance of Movasat at Ashura. Imam Hussain (PBUH) told his brother, Abbas (PBUH), to bring some water from the Euphrates for thirsty children. He went toward the river and achieved water but He did not drink water although he himself was thirsty too much. He had something that the other members of his family did not have; so he forbore to drink water. This is called “Movasat” which is more valuable than sacrifice.
some cases of moral virtues which are expressed by Imams are consist of chastity, competent, patient, praise, modesty, generosity, courage, fervor, veracity, charity, payment of debt, certitude, good-tempered, chivalry, And they said if you don’t have these characters try to imitate them. Even, they said, ask Allah to help you to achieve these characters by mourning.
Once someone asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) what is the religion?
Prophet replied: “Having good-tempered.” He repeated his question several times and each time he got the same answer: “Good-tempered.” At the end he stood behind the Prophet and asked again: “O Prophet, what is the religion?”The Prophet turned to him smilingly and said: “Don’t you understand the religion is that you should not become angry and you should not be angry with other people?”
One day Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked someone: “Why don’t you benefitto people?” He answered that he hadn’t money to pay them. Prophet said:“Smile at them. At least, you can offer them your smile.”
The Prophet (PBUH) was always trying to encourage people even in hardship. He was always seen smilingly and he was warning Satan wants to spoil good-tempered among believers. Islam emphasizes on good-tempered very much; so that in some cases it is ordered to behave toward animal in a good manner (refer to article section, animal rights) let alone about human.
There is an interesting story about the Prophet (PBUH). There was a Jewish guy in prophet neighborhood. Whenever the Prophet passed by his house he shed some ashes on head and clothes of the Prophet to bother him. Even though washing clothes wasn’t as easy as today, he always passed without saying a swear word and washed his clothes later. Once the Prophet noticed there were not the man and his ashes anymore. He asked about him and found out he was ill and resting in his house. The Prophet got upset, so, He went to the man’s house to visit him. That was then; the man felt regret because of his behavior, afterward, he became Muslim only for the Prophet kindness.
Proud and hypocrisy are the result of bad-tempered which lead to destruction of human. But moral virtues purify human spirit. When you have pure spirit you will enjoy praying; so you will have the best relationship with Allah and other human beings.
The Prophet (PBUH) said when a man sits next to his wife, he should take her hand and treats her kindly, and then; Allah rewards him more than when he says pray in the Prophet Mosque in Medina. Islam intensively orders Muslims to express their love toward their spouse; since it prevents many divorces which as a result lead to a healthy society.
One of Prophet’s behaviors was being kind to children; so that when he returned back to city, the children were the first who welcomed to Prophet. Then the Prophet kissed and hugged them and ordered his companions to do that. He was sitting when he saw a child, in order to be as tall as the child, and then was kissing him, fondled the child and talked to him. He always carried some refreshments; whenever he saw a child, he gave him some refreshments. The Prophet always said hello to children first. He said: “saying hello to children is one of those things which I never give up until the death time.” He recommended to talk to children as the same as themselves, and play with them; so in this way you can grow up your children properly.
Once, Imam Hassan (PBUH) and Imam Hussain (PBUH) entered the mosque when they were children. The Prophet was saying the prayer Salah (نماز) and he was in prostration position. Then, they went up his back and started to play. The Prophet lengthened his prostration until they themselves came down. There is another narrative too. Once, in a congregation pray, the Prophet said the third and fourth section of pray faster than usual, after finishing, the prayers asked for the reason. The Prophet said: “Didn’t you hear a baby was crying? There was a baby among the women who was crying. I finished the prayer faster in order to caring the baby by the mother.”
Ethics always have been the purpose of the Prophet Mission. Religion and Ethics are nothing but what the Prophet and Imams have said. Worldly positions, titles, material, and claims would not show ethics. What shows ethics is the performance which each person does, weather virtues or vice. If someone does virtues, he or she is in the straight path and If not, they are in Satan path.