Young girl asks: I have very rough character, I am irritable and quick-tempered. I can insult even to strangers, I can't suffer remarks and criticism, at once I start being rude. It was since my childhood, as long as I remember. I want to change, what should I do? with what to begin? I know the Muslim girl should be modest; after all I dishonor not only myself, but also all Muslims.
Thank you for your question and request for advice. Masha Allah, you are mature enough to realize that you have a problem and wish to remedy it. Unlike many others who fail to realize that they have a problem and refuse to remedy it. The scholars of self-reformation (Sulook) usually say that having a deficiency in good character is a problem and it needs to be rectified. When the person realizes that he has a problem and seeks to rectify it, he has already solved half the problem. Now it only remains to solve the other half of the problem.
So Alhamdulillah, you have already solved half your problem and with the help of Allah, by practicing on the following advice which is extracted from the Qur’an, Hadith and teachings of the pious predecessors, you will solve the other half of your problem, Insha Allah.
Your temperamental behavior could be stemming from a number of issues that are affecting your life. As a general guideline, you should first try to determine these factors and bring yourself to mentally cope with them. Sit down for a few days every morning before leaving home and plan your day. Together with this, refresh your conscience that Allah is watching you and He is aware of your actions, conduct and behavior and that you want to behave in a way that is pleasing to Him. Remember that the Prophet of Allah (SallallahuAlaihiWasallam) said:
مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ أَثْقَلُ فِي الْمِيزَانِ مِنْ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ
“There is nothing weightier on the scale of good deeds than good character”
(Abu Dawood, Hadith #: 4799, Narrated by AbudDardaa’)
Also remind yourself every day to think before you react or speak. By developing the habit of deliberating before you react or speak, you will save yourself from a lot of inappropriate speech and behavior. Before saying anything always remind yourself that Allah is watching and will He be pleased with what I say or do now? In the beginning, there will be times during the day where you will falter but as time goes, this will become second nature Insha Allah.
Secondly, you should make the recitation of the Qur’an and Zikr of Allah a part of your life. This will bring about a sense of calmness within yourself. And Allah says in the Qur’an:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ
“The ones who believe and their hearts are peaceful with the remembrance of Allah. Listen, the hearts find peace only in the remembrance of Allah”(Qur’an, 13: 28)
Thirdly, whenever you feel frustrated, perform two Rak’ahs of Salaah. The Prophet of Allah (SallallahuAlaihiWasallam) said:
وَجُعِلَتْ قُرَّةُ عَيْنِي فِي الصَّلَاةِ
“The coolness of my eyes lies in Salaah”
(Nasai, Hadith #: 3940, Narrated by Anas bin Malik)
If there any people that you feel hostile towards, you should mend this relationship with them by giving gifts to them occasionally according to your affordability and also make Dua for their well-being, daily. Insha Allah, this will remove ill feelings from the heart and you will have a better relationship with these people.
The Prophet of Allah (SallallahuAlaihiWasallam) said:
تهادوا فإن الهدية تذهب وحر الصدر
“Give gifts to each other; for it removes the ill feelings of the heart”
(Tirmizi, Hadith #: 2130, Narrated by Abu Hurayrah)
Yet in another narration, the Prophet of Allah (SallallahuAlaihiWasallam) said:
“Give gifts to each other, this will create love between each other”
(al-Adab al-Mufrad, Hadith #: 594, Narrated by Abu Hurayrah)
Fourthly, read about the virtues of good character from the Hadith and also study the life and conduct of the Prophet (SallallahuAlaihiWasallam) for he was the best example for us all.
Reading up on the life of the Prophet (SallallahuAlaihiWasallam) will enable you to understand how understanding and tolerant he was and will also inspire you to adopt the same qualities.
By adopting the above mentioned guidelines, it is hoped that there will be a positive change in your character and behavior Insha Allah. A person with good character is loved by the people and loved by Allah, so strive to attain such a position.
And Allah Knows Best.