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Adab and Akhlaq: The Foundation of Character in Islam


Adab and Akhlaq: The Foundation of Character in Islam
“Adab and Akhlaq are integral to Islamic life, guiding our behavior and interactions with others. This blog explores how these concepts shape character, promoting kindness, humility, and justice. By practicing Adab and Akhlaq, we can contribute to a more harmonious and respectful society, reflecting the teachings of Islam.”


Adab and akhlaq are two essential concepts in Islam that guide us in interacting with others. They provide a framework for our behavior, enabling us to be good in every aspect of our lives. Adab and akhlaq aren’t just rules we follow; they are the foundation of our Muslim identity.

They guide us to distinguish between right and wrong and encourage us to strive to be our best selves. This, in turn, fosters kindness and goodness toward others, bringing us closer to Allah (SWT).

Adab and akhlaq are not limited to how we treat loved ones like family and friends. They also guide our behavior in society. Following adab and akhlaq can help us form stronger bonds with those around us. Whether it’s our family, friends, or even strangers, treating them with kindness will create a more understanding and supportive community.

Understanding Adab and Akhlaq

In Islamic tradition, Adab and Akhlaq are two concepts that are closely related but have distinct meanings:

Adab generally refers to etiquette and good manners prescribed in every situation. It is about our external behavior and social interactions that reflect a person’s upbringing and respect for others.

Adab is surrounded by various behaviors, including verbal and nonverbal communication, dress, and actions. It is a way of expressing respect for others and establishing good relationships.

Akhlaq refers to inner qualities such as sincerity, mercy, patience, and discipline. It defines our character and moral disposition more broadly. Akhlaq helps us distinguish right from wrong and empathize with others. It’s not just about being good but also about striving to do good deeds and avoid evil ones.

Islam highlights the importance of good manners and character as a vital part of our faith. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) serves as a role model for us, and his exemplary manners and behavior are essential to our religious teachings.

The Prophet (SAW) said, “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” 

[Sahih al-Bukhari 3559]

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was chosen by Allah (SWT) as the final messenger of Islam to deliver the Quranic revelations. For more information, please visit this blog post: Prophet Muhammad (SAW.): Life, Revelation, and Legacy.

Why Allah (SWT) Loves People with Good Akhlaq

One of the most important virtues is good Akhlaq, which is highly respected. It is believed that Allah (SWT) loves those who display good Akhlaq and rewards them in this life and the hereafter.

Weight in the Balance of Deeds

On the Day of Judgment, our actions will be weighed on a grand scale. Good Akhlaq holds immense weight among all deeds.

Narrated by Hazrat Abu Darda (RA):

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, There is nothing heavier than good character put in the scale of a believer on the Day of Resurrection.

 [Sunan Abi Dawud 4799]

This shows how much Allah (SWT) values good Akhlaq. Similarly, good character shines brightly that day, earning Allah’s (SWT) favor and rewards.

Qiyamah, or the Day of Judgement, is an unavoidable reality. For more information about Qiyamah, visit this blog post: Day of Judgement in Islam – Signs of Qiyamah.

Kindness and Mercy

Take a few moments to reflect on times in your life when someone extended kindness and mercy towards you. Think about the situation, the person involved, and how their actions made you feel. Perhaps it was a time when you made a mistake, and someone forgave you or when someone went out of their way to help you when you were struggling.

How did it make you feel? 

Allah Almighty loves those who are kind and merciful to others. In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 195, Allah (SWT) says, “And do good, for Allah certainly loves the good-doers.”

When we exhibit helpfulness, fairness, and safety toward others, we reflect the love and compassion that Allah (SWT) possesses. Nurturing goodness in our interactions is similar to nurturing a plant by watering it and providing it with the necessary conditions to bloom. Allah Almighty is pleased when we nurture goodness in our interactions, as it reflects His divine nature.

Exemplary Character of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is a shining light, brightening our path through life’s journey. Allah (SWT) praised His (SAW) character as a guide for us.

Allah (SWT) says, And you are truly (a man) of outstanding character in Surah Al-Qalam verse 4. By following His (SAW) teachings, we walk on a path that Allah (SWT) loves.

Having good Akhlaq is a divine gift that is universally understood. It serves as a beautiful reminder in every moment and every interaction.

Islamic Commandments on Adab and Akhlaq

There are many teachings and commandments in Islam that highlight the significance of cultivating good manners and character.

Hazrat Jabir (RA) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“Indeed, the most beloved among you to me and the nearest to sit with me on the Day of Judgment is the best of you in character.” 

[Jami at-Tirmidhi 2018]


One of the most important principles in developing good manners and character is the concept of “Taqwa.” Taqwa involves being aware of Allah’s (SWT) presence and striving to act according to His (SWT) commands and teachings.

Taqwa in Islam means being conscious and fearful of Allah (SWT). For more information, check out this link: Taqwa in Islam: A Strong Connection with Allah (SWT).

Respect for Parents and Elders

Islam emphasizes the importance of respecting parents and elders. The Quran instructs believers to treat them with kindness and respect, regardless of their beliefs or actions. (Quran 17:23-24)

Being Trustworthy

Islam teaches the importance of speaking truthfully, being sincere, and avoiding lying in interactions.

Developing Self-Discipline

We are encouraged to practice self-discipline and avoid harmful behaviors such as gossiping and backbiting, which are considered major sins.

Controlling Anger

Islam teaches us to control our anger and remain patient. Practicing patience and staying calm, even in unfavorable situations, avoids hurting others and keeps us out of trouble.

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reported:

Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The strong man is not the one who wrestles, but the strong man is, in fact, the one who controls himself in a fit of rage.” 

[Riyad as-Salihin 646]

These Commandments serve as a guidebook for living virtuously. By adhering to them, we can become kinder, more responsible, and happier in our communities.

Examples of Good Manners in Islam

We must follow the examples of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the perfect role model for all of us. Here are some examples of Adab and Akhlaq from the life of the Prophet (SAW).

Kindness towards Children 

Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA) reported that Hazrat Al-Aqra bin Habis (Ra) saw Allah’s Apostle (PBUM) kissing Hazrat Hasan (RA). He said:

I have ten children, but I have never kissed any one of them, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: He who does not show mercy (towards his children), no mercy would be shown to him.

[Sahih Muslim 2318a]

Kindness towards Animals

Once, a Bedouin was rough with his camel, pulling on its reins too hard, upsetting the camel. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) stepped in and told the Bedouin off. He (SAW) him that it’s not right to mistreat animals. Prophet (SAW) said we should treat them well and only make them do what they can handle. Animals deserve kindness and respect, too.

Forgiveness towards Enemies

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) faced a lot of hate and trouble from some people, but he always chose to forgive them instead of seeking revenge. One of the most significant examples of this was after the Conquest of Mecca. Even though the people there had hurt him and his followers before, He (SAW) forgave them all. This act wasn’t just about being kind—it showed how powerful forgiveness and making peace can be.

There are many inspiring examples from the lives of the Sahabah that are inspiring to us. For instance, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) was known for his humility and compassion towards others. Hazrat Uthman (RA) was known for his extreme generosity and selflessness, while Hazrat Ali (RA) was known for his bravery and righteousness. The life of Hazrat Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA) was Known for his wisdom and justice. He (RA) was given the title of Al-Farooq, meaning ‘the one who distinguishes between right and wrong.’ These examples from the lives of the Sahabah remind us to strive towards good manners and character and to follow the teachings of Islam in all aspects of our lives.

The Power of Good Manners and Character

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was known for his excellent manners and character, which he showed in how He (SAW) behaved and in his dealings with others. Prophet (SAW) good behavior was key in making Islam more popular because it helped him earn the respect and affection of people from different backgrounds. His example demonstrates the importance of being well-mannered and respectful in our interactions with others.

One of the most significant examples of the Prophet’s (SAW) graceful character was during the incident of Taif. Despite being stoned and injured, He (SAW) showed unwavering compassion towards the people by praying for them. The Prophet’s (SAW) kindness and empathy towards his oppressors reflect his remarkable character.

List of Good Manners in Quran

A valuable list of good manners in Islam is derived from various verses in the Quran. Here’s a brief reflection on each:

  • Don’t lie. (22:30)
  • Don’t spy. (49:12)
  • Don’t exult. (28:76)
  • Don’t insult. (49:11)
  • Don’t waste. (17:26)
  • Feed the needy. (22:36)
  • Don’t backbite. (49:12)
  • Keep your oaths. (5:89)
  • Don’t take bribes. (27:36)
  • Honour your treaties. (9:4)
  • Restrain your anger. (3:134)
  • Don’t spread gossip. (24:15)
  • Think good of others. (24:12)
  • Be pleasing to guests. (51:24-27)
  • Don’t harm believers. (33:58)
  • Don’t be rude to parents. (17:23)
  • Turn away from ill speech. (23:3)
  • Don’t make fun of others. (49:11)
  • Walk in a humble manner. (25:63)
  • Respond to evil with good. (41:34)

These principles are the foundation of a just and peaceful society that values kindness, honesty, and respect.

How to Improve Your Akhlaq

Here are some practical steps and tips to help improve Adab and Akhlaq:


  • Reflect on your behavior and identify areas for improvement.
  • Keep a journal to track your progress and setbacks.
  • Be honest with yourself and acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses.

Seeking Knowledge

  • Read the Quran and the Hadith to understand Islam’s moral and ethical teachings.
  • Attend lectures, seminars, and study circles focusing on character development.
  • Learn from the Seerah (life) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to emulate his Akhlaq.

Surrounding yourself with People of Good Character

  • Surround yourself with individuals who can help you learn and cultivate those qualities within yourself.
  • Look for mentors and role models who can offer advice and assistance.
  • Engage in community service and volunteer work as a way to practice humility and selflessness.

Practicing Good Manners Consistently

  • Make a conscious effort to practice patience, honesty, generosity, and kindness in daily dealings.
  • Address others with respect and use polite language.
  • Acknowledge and apologize for mistakes and strive to make changes.

Making Dua (Supplication)

  • Regularly ask Allah (SWT) for guidance and strength to improve your character.
  • Pray for the ability to exemplify the virtues taught by Islam.

By following these steps, you can improve your Akhlaq. This can benefit you personally, positively impact those around you and create a more balanced and forgiving environment.

Good Manners and Right Conduct in Broader Society

Adab and akhlaq, which means good manners and proper behavior, are not limited to our individual actions. They also significantly impact our interactions with society. By following Islamic etiquette in our dealings with others, we can contribute to creating a more respectful and peaceful society in many ways.

Cordiality and Making Room for Others

The Quran encourages making room for newcomers in gatherings.

(Surah Al-Mujadila verse 11)
“O believers! When you are told to make room in gatherings, then do so. Allah will make room for you (in His grace). And if you are said to rise, then do so. Allah will elevate those of you who are faithful and (raise) those gifted with knowledge in rank. And Allah is all aware of what you do”. (Surah Al-Mujadila verse 11).

This simple act of making space for others fosters unity, peace, and a sense of welcome. It reflects the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) teachings and promotes a positive environment.

Promoting Humility and Discouraging Arrogance

Islamic manners discourage arrogance and pride. Humility is valued, regardless of one’s social status. When we practice humility, it leads to more respectful relations, reduces conflicts, and promotes equality.

Ethical Business Practices

Islamic ethics require honesty, transparency, and fairness in economic dealings. Businesses that adhere to these principles build trust, and society benefits from ethical business.

Promoting Justice and Fairness

Islamic etiquette emphasizes fairness and justice in all interactions. Such conduct fosters social stability and a sense of security.

By following adab and akhlaq, we improve ourselves and make society more respectful, peaceful, and united.


Adab and Akhlaq are two foundational elements of Islamic life. We represent our character and conduct and serve as a guide for us to strive for higher character and manners. This pursuit is a lifelong journey of self-improvement and spiritual development. It requires consistent effort, reflection, and a sincere intention to embody the noble qualities that Islam promotes. We are encouraged to take this pursuit seriously and make it a priority in our lives. By doing so, we can become better individuals and contribute positively to our communities.

Let us take inspiration from the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions and make a combined effort to improve our Adab and Akhlaq. By doing so, we honor their legacy and contribute positively to our communities and society.

May we reflect the beauty of Islam through our actions and interactions.







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