|Reported by Abdullah ibn Amr (r) that Muhammad (S) said: “The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.” (Bukhari)
Transliteration: “Inna Min Akhyarikum Ahsanukum Khuluqa.”
Note: Islam is unequivocal in terms of ranking what it values most.
Within human dimension, character and personality (Akhlaq) are the highest priority. Proper belief (Iman), knowledge (Ilm), and consciousness (Taqwa) cannot lead to anything less than the best of Akhlaq.
What is routinely observed among Muslims is that rituals are emphasized more than the behavioral side.
Dedication to the ritualistic as well as the legalistic side of Islam without paying proper and adequate attention to Akhlaq is not desired by Islam.
Today it appears that many Muslims, due to their overemphasis on doctrinal, legal, or ritual matters, show indecency and intolerance toward other Muslims. It is not uncommon that some Muslims have branded others Muslims as disbelievers (Kaafir) or evildoers (Faasiq) based on their interpretation of “some” aspect of religion.
Yet, in every walk of our lives, in everything we do, at every level of our social interaction, whether with Muslims, non-Muslims, male or female, young or old, our manners are our best asset.
This does not mean, however, to exclude everything else Islam commands us to value, acquire, or practice in our lives such as ‘Ibadat (all related devotional matters).
It is no wonder that the Prophet (s) said: “I was sent to consummate Akhlaq.” [Imam Malik]