The Character Traits of the Chosen One
The Akhlaaq’l-Mustafa (the Character Traits of the Chosen One) by Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` is an exposition upon the personality of the most perfect creature that ever existed, our master, Muhammad ibn Abdullahi, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
The title of the text is taken from the singular phrase ‘khuluq’ with the letter laam inflected with the damma, which means – one’s personal way of life, nature, and natural disposition. Ibn al-Mandhuur said:
“The reality of character is the inward form of a human, which is his reality, his inner attributes and the meanings which specifically define him and has the same place inwardly that his physical nature (khalq) has outwardly, in terms of his outer attributes and meanings. Both the inward personality (khuluq) and the outward shape (khalq) have excellent and repulsive traits. However, recompense and punishments which are associated with one’s inward traits are far greater than the recompense and punishments associated with the outward physical traits.”
Imam al-Qurtubi said:
“The reality of the expression character linguistically is what a human takes upon himself as a form of courtesy. It is named ‘character’ because in him it becomes just like his physical nature.”
The author named the text Akhlaaq’l-Mustafa (the Character Traits of the Chosen One) in order to clarify the inner attributes of our master Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, his personal courtesies, natural personality and disposition.
Allah ta`ala says:
“And you are upon an immense character trait.”
This means that he, upon him be blessings and peace was upon the courtesies of the Qur’an, as Ali ibn Abi Talib and Atiyya both said that it was a reference to his compassion and generosity towards his Umma.
It is for this reason that A`isha said:
“His character was the Qur’an.”
Meaning that he, upon him be blessings and peace adhered to the Qur’an in its courtesies, commands, prohibitions, and what it embraces from nobility, uprightness, and benevolence. The Imam of the circle of the Sufis, al-Junayd al-Baghdadi, may Allah be pleased with him said:
“His character was called immense because he, upon him be blessings and peace, had no endeavor besides to please Allah ta`ala.”
For there was no one more excellent in character then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, because no praiseworthy character trait can be discussed except that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace had the greatest share of it. He once said:
“Indeed Allah sent me to perfect noble character.”
In another narration he said:
“I was sent to perfect noble character.”
“There is nothing on the Scales which is weightier than excellent character.”
“That which causes people to be entered into Paradise the most is; fearful awareness of Allah, and excellent character.”
“A servant can realize by means of the excellence of his character the rank of those who fast and pray constantly.”
“The most perfect of the believers in faith are those who are the most excellent of them in character.”
There are many other prophetic traditions narrated regarding the praise of excellent character and its recompense. The scholars have composed treasured text regarding the character traits of the Chosen Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
Among the best of them are the as-Shifa bi Ta`reef Huquuq’l-Mustafa of the tradititionist, and Imamal-Qaadi Abu’l-Fadl `Iyad ibn Musa, may the mercy of Allah be upon him; the as-Shimaa’il ‘n-Nabawiyya wa’l-Khasaa’il ‘l-Mustafawiyya of Imam Abu `Isa Muhammad ibn Sura at-Tirmidhi, may the mercy of Allah be upon him; as well as the as-Shimaa’il as-Shareefa of Imam Jalaal’d-Deen Abd’r-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr as-Suyuti, may Allah be merciful to him.
This concise text, Akhlaaq’l-Mustafa of Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` is an abridgment and summarization of these blessed texts, and constitutes the foundation of the fundamental elements of the science of tasawwuf regarding the transformation of character.
The Sankore` Institute of Islamic-African Studies International is honored to present the full text in Arabic, English, French and Spanish so that people can examine the personality of the best of creation, his nobility, courtesies, benevolence and compassion, which entitles him to be called ‘the mercy to all the worlds.’
It is our intention, if Allah ta`ala wills, of composing a commentary upon this blessed text entitled Nayl as-Safaa’ Fee Sharh `Ala Akhlaaq’l-Mustafa (the Realization of Purification Regarding the Commentary upon the Character Traits of the Chosen One), composed on behalf of my son, Alfa Umar, particularly, my other children in general, as well as for those whom Allah ta`ala wills from our loved ones, and the believers; as an explanation that the foundation of the Path to Allah ta`ala and Gnosis of Him is constructed upon adherence to the character traits of our master Muhammad, upon him be the best blessings and most perfect peace.
Shaykh Muhammad Shareef bin Farid