Noble Characteristics of the Prophets in the Qur’an
One of the methods of guidance contained within the Qur’an is description of the examples of the Prophets. Several prophets are mentioned in the Qur’an, and from reading the verses about them, we can gain an understanding of their noble characteristics that we should seek to emulate. The Qur’an is the ultimate guidebook for a believer. One of the methods of guidance contained within it is description of the examples of the Prophets (peace be upon them all). Several prophets are mentioned in the Qur’an, and from reading the verses about them, we can gain an understanding of their noble characteristics that we should seek to emulate. Five of their many noble characteristics described in Qur’an are mentioned in this article.
1. Submissive to God
“So if they argue with you, say, ‘I have submitted my will to God, and [so has] he who follows me.'” (3:20), Holy Prophet
“When his Lord said to him, ‘Submit!’, he said, ‘I submit to the Lord of all the worlds.'” (2:131), Prophet Abraham
2. Gentle, Tender-hearted, Compassionate, Kind, and Merciful
“It is by God’s mercy that you are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hardhearted, surely they would have scattered from around you.” (3:159), Holy Prophet
“Indeed Abraham was most tender-hearted and forbearing.” (9:114)
“…and a compassion and purity from Us.” (19:13), Prophet John (Yahya)
“Grievous to him is your distress; he has deep concern for you, and is most kind and merciful to the faithful.” (9:128), Prophet Muhammad
“…and to be good to my mother, and He has not made me self-willed and wretched.” (19:32) Prophet Jesus (Isa)
“Grateful [as he was] for His blessings, He chose him and guided him to a straight path.” (16:12), Prophet Abraham
“Indeed he was a grateful servant.” (17:3), Prophet Noah
“Indeed, today [onwards] you are honored and trustworthy with us.” (12:54), Prophet Joseph (Yusuf)
“Indeed I am a trusted apostle [sent] to you.” (26:162), Prophet Lut; (26:143), Prophet Saleh; (26:107), Prophet Noah; (26:125) Prophet Hud; (26:178), Prophet Shu’ayb; (44:18) Prophet Moses
“In You do we put our trust, and to You do we turn penitently, and toward You is our destination.” (60:4), Prophet Abraham
“I turn to You in penitence, and I am the first of the faithful.” (7:143), Prophet Moses
“Indeed he was a penitent [soul].” (38:17), Prophet David; (38:30), Prophet Solomon
“…and my success lies only with God: in Him I have put my trust, and to Him I turn penitently.” (11:88), Prophet Shu’ayb
The above is only a sampling of the descriptions contained in Qur’an of the good characteristics of the prophets that are mentioned as examples to us. But rather than try to find all of the numerous examples provided in Qur’an and gloss over each of them, perhaps it would be better to focus on only a few, in the model of reflection advised for believers.
Each of us could now take a meditation over our intentions and actions in regards to these five characteristics: submission to God, gentleness, gratefulness, trustworthiness, and penitence. We should think about how we behave toward different people in our lives – perhaps we are gentle with coworkers but not as much with our siblings, for example. Maybe we are not very grateful to our parents for things they have done that we just expect or demand of them. Perhaps we are penitent privately but publicly we wear a different face. We can each make a goal for a specific action to improve one or more of these characteristics in ourselves so that by the end of the month of Ramadan, it is a natural, engrained aspect of our natures.
In order for the Qur’an to be a guidebook for us, we have to read it, think about it, and seek knowledge from those who are experts in it. We have to approach it with a ready heart, and then figure out how to apply the lessons to our own selves. This process can be conducted throughout life and in a course tailored individually for us, by us. It is strongly advised that we each read even just a little of Qur’an each day and reflect on it as a regular habit.