A predictable character | The Sunday Guardian | July 10, 2011 | Page 15
According to the Quran, a true believer is one who has a predictable character. In the chapter Al-Baqarah (The Heifer) the Quran says: "Virtuous are those who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travellers and those who ask (for charity), and to set slaves free, and who attend to their prayers and pay the alms, and who keep their pledges when they make them, and show patience in hardship and adversity, and in times of distress. Such are the true believers; and such are the God-fearing" (2:177). This Quranic verse tells us what kind of moral qualities a true believer has. The summing up of these qualities is that he is a predictable character. In every situation, you can believe with certainty that he will do this and he will not do that. For example, if he promises you something in the course of his dealings with you, you can feel convinced that he will not break his word. He will certainly fulfil his promise. If you are in his neighbourhood, you can believe with certainty that he is not going to create any problems for you. Being predictable in character is the best description of a true human being. Man is a social animal: he lives in a society and every time he is with other people he must exhibit the best human traits, the most important of which is his predictability. He must always fulfil predictions about himself and live up to the expectations of others regarding his speech and behaviour. His dealings will invariably be fair and just according to the accepted social norms. Moreover, a predictable character, in projecting a better image of your personality has many benefits. It is the source of all kinds of social good.