In Part 1 of this article, four of the ten characteristics of believers were discussed by the author.

Whatever the situation a believer does not change, a believer is loving and caring of believers, a true believer is a well-mannered person and reciting the Quran is a requirement for the believer .

In this second part, we continue with the remaining six traits.

5. A True Believer Does not Outbid His Brother

“A believer is a brother to another believer. It is therefore not lawful for him to outbid his brother in buying something, or to propose to a woman when his brother has done so, unless he gives him permission.” (Ibn Majah, 2331)

This is a sign of true belief: If a Muslim brother buys or sells something, then you should have nothing to do with that transaction until it is done.

If you heard that your brother got a good sale bargain, and you outbid him by offering the buyer a lower and more competitive price, this would not make you a true believer.

Our righteous ancestors would not do so; if a buyer came to a merchant, he would sell to him properly, but if another buyer came, he would tell him “I’ve already sold to a buyer, please go and buy from my neighbor” (wanting to benefit his neighbor). This is among the characteristics of true believers; you shouldn’t outbid your brother, or propose to a woman that has been proposed to by your brother as this conduct conflicts with true belief.

6. A Believer should be Shrewd

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

“A believer is not bitten from the same hole twice” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim, 27)

It has been said:

“A believer is shrewd, careful and cautious.”

Imam Al-Shafi’i said: “I never give my enemy a chance to cheat me twice”

Allah the Almighty says:

{O you who believe! Take your precautions.} (4:71)

A true believer should be smart, cautious, and can’t be deceived easily, as Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I am not sly, and a sly man can’t deceive me.

It means that I’m not vicious to cheat and harm people. On the other hand, I’m not naïve to be deceived easily.

7. Glad Tidings for the Believers

If there is a person who is described as “a righteous believer”, as he always does good deeds, it is normal that people will praise his deeds and love him, this is not hypocrisy; but the nature of his faith indicates his righteousness, patience, humbleness, and mercy; this is the early glad tidings that a believer will receive for the good he does.

This means; if Allah loves you, He makes people love you too, because the hearts of the servants (of Allah) are between the Fingers of the Most Beneficent (Ar-Rahman).

8. A Believer is not Somebody who Curses

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“A believer is not somebody who curses..” (At-Tirmidhi, 2019)

The believer should control his tongue; he shouldn’t curse, insult, or say something obscene or ribald.

Some people say that you should be tough in order to be a real man…….. Is that really among the characteristics of a true believer?

Of course not, because you’ll contradict the Sunnah. Whatever the situation is, you should not say anything vulgar or harsh, just remember the Prophet’s saying (peace be upon him): “A believer is not somebody who curses, insults and neither is he vulgar and obscene.”

Obscenity means to reach to an unbearable extent of harsh words, slander, curses, and defamation.

9. What Does the Soul of the Believer Get Attached to?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The soul of the believer is chained to his debt until it is paid on his behalf” (At-Tirmidhi, 1079)

It means that the matter of debt is something related to the rights of the servants (of Allah).

Some Islamic scholars said: “The rights of Allah are based on leniency and pardon, whereas the rights of human beings are incontestable.”

Most people conceive that if they go to Hajj, they will return as a newly born baby [free of all sins]…. Well, this is true to some extent with concern to the sins that are between you and Allah, but that doesn’t apply to the sins that are between you and the servants (of Allah), because these sins will not be pardoned, except by settlement and forgiveness.

Some people don’t duly settle their debts intentionally, because they think that the creditor is a very rich man and this amount of money will not affect his fortune, so they procrastinate their debt settlement. This is not the characteristic of true believers because the soul of the believer is chained to his debt until it is paid on his behalf. Even for the martyr, who sacrifices his soul for the sake of Allah, Allah forgives all his sins except his debt.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was praying for his (dead) companions, he used to say:

“Does he have any outstanding debts?” If they said yes, he said “pray for your (dead) companion”, but if someone took the responsibility for paying the debt, the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed for him.

Jabir narrated that a man died and they washed him, perfumed him and shrouded him. Then he was brought to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) to lead the funeral prayer for him.

They asked, “Could you pray for him?”

He took a step forward then asked: “Does he have any outstanding debts?”

It was answered: “Two dinars.”

He said: “Make the funeral prayer for your companion,” and began to leave. Abu Qatadah took responsibility for [paying] the debt, saying, “The two dinars are my responsibility.”

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) asked:

“Will the creditor be taken care of and will the dead person be absolved from them?”

He replied, “Yes,” so the Prophet (peace be upon him) led the funeral prayer for him.

A day later he asked Abu Qatadah: “What was done about the two dinars?

He replied, “He only died yesterday!”

The following day he returned to the Prophet and said, “I have paid them off.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Now his skin has become cool.” (An-Nasa’i,1962)

This means that survival from the grave torment can be achieved by settling the debt not just by words.

10. Excellence is among the Believer’s Characteristics

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer.” (Muslim, 2664)

There are several types of power; there is the power of money, the power of influence…etc. A strong believer can do a lot of good deeds that the weak one can’t achieve. A rich believer can do many charitable and beneficent deeds that the poor one can’t do. A Muslim scholar is more beneficent to people than the uneducated Muslim.

Excellence is one of the characteristics of a true believer, the strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than the weak believer, but the Prophet (peace be upon him), who had been given wisdom, said: “and there is good in each.”; this means that there is good in all believers whether they are weak, poor or uneducated ones, but by financial, administrative, and intellectual powers and abilities, you can achieve many good and beneficent deeds.

Don’t Bear a Grudge

For example: If a tender father beats his son with a stick, will the son bear a grudge against the stick? Of course not, similarly for a believer who considers that any person who harms him or causes him injury a discipline tool in the hand of Allah in order to bring him back to the right path.

Allah Almighty says:

{And you (Muhammad) threw not when you did throw but Allah threw} (8:17)

{The Hand of Allah is over their hands} (48:10)

When you believe in the oneness of Allah Almighty, you don’t bear a grudge, because the basis of the grudge is polytheism. Allah Almighty says:

{So invoke not with Allah another ilah (god) lest you be among those who receive punishment.} (26:213-14)


All of the above mentioned hadiths are authentic ones, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said, in order to be a standard measure for us.

I’ve mentioned in the beginning of the lesson that the human being generally flatters and praises himself; as he complains about his livelihood, but praises his intellect, so in order not to fall in this trap and misjudge ourselves (to think that we are so good, but actually we are not), I’ve mentioned some of the characteristics of true believers as described by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge.

By Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi