“His Character was the Qur’an”: Ibn Kathir

In part of his work dedicated to the seerah of the Prophet (ﷺ), the famous historian, mufassir, and muhaddith al-haafidh Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir included the following at the beginning of one chapter:

فصل ـ أخلاقه الطاهرة

Chapter: His Purified Character

وأما أخلاقه الطاهرة، فقد قال الله سبحانه: {ن والقلم وما يسطرون * ما أنت بنعمة ربك بمجنون * وإن لك لأجرا غير ممنون * وإنك لعلى خلق عظيم} ، وفي الصحيح عن عائشة رضي الله عنها أنها قالت: كان خلق رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم القرآن. ـ

As for his purified character, Allah said:

ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ * مَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ * وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرًا غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ * وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

Noon. By the pen and what they write * By the favor of your Lord you are not a madman * and indeed there will be an uninterrupted reward for you * and you are indeed of great moral character [68:1-4]

And in an authentic hadith, ‘A’ishah said:

The character of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was the Qur’an.

ومعنى هذا أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم قد ألزم نفسه ألا يفعل إلا ما أمره به القرآن، ولا يترك إلا ما نهاه عنه القرآن، فصار امتثال أمر ربه خلقاً له وسجية، صلوات الله وسلامه عليه إلى يوم الدين. ـ

The meaning of this is that he (ﷺ) committed himself to not doing anything other than what the Qur’an instructed him to do and not leaving anything off other than what the Qur’an forbade him. So conforming to his Lord’s command became his very character and nature – may the salutations and peace of Allah be upon him until the Day of Recompense.

وقد قال الله تعالى: {إن هذا القرآن يهدي للتي هي أقوم} فكانت أخلاقه صلى الله عليه وسلم أشرف الأخلاق وأكرمها وأبرها وأعظمها ـ

And Allah also said:

إِنَّ هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ

Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable [17:9]

so his character (ﷺ) was the most honorable, the most noble, the most righteous, and the most tremendous of characters.

[Fusool fee al-Seerah al-Rasool 1/264-265]

See also: “Say, ‘If you love Allah, then follow me’”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Prophet is Closer to the Believers than Their Own Selves: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

One thought on ““His Character was the Qur’an”: Ibn Kathir

  1. Pingback: The Prophet is Closer to the Believers than Their Own Selves: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

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