Undeniably, changing one’s morals for the better is the toughest change for the human being, but it is not impossible. There are many ways and methods to help one acquire refined morals, which include the following:
Having a pure creed is a serious matter, as one’s conduct and behavior are, very often, the fruits of one’s creed and ideology. A person’s conduct is the practical translation of what he believes in. Accordingly, any sense of deviation in behavior is the result of a defective creed. The Prophet said:
“The believers who are the most perfect in respect of their faith are those who have the best morals.”
Indeed, supplications are a great means to attain refined morals; once Allah The Exalted Accepted a person’s supplications, he will be showered with bounties and graces.
Hence, he who aspires to be well-mannered, giving up his bad morals, should resort to supplication. In fact, the Prophet used to implore Allah The Exalted to Grant him good morals. He used to supplicate:
“Allahumma Ihdini li Ahsan Al-Akhlaq, la yahdi li ahsaniha illa anta, wa Isrif ‘anni sayi’aha, la yasrifu ‘Anni sayi’aha illa anta.”
(O Allah, Guide me to the best morals, as none can guide to the best morals except You, and Save me from bad morals, as none can save me from bad morals except You).”
Acquiring refined morals is a form of guidance that one acquires through exerting great effort. Allah The Exalted Says (what means):
“And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah Is with the doers of good.”
(Quran 29: 96)
This can be done through self-criticism; whenever one commits a reprehensible deed, he can adopt the carrot-and-stick principle.
Reflecting on the implications and fruits of refined morals and pondering over its good consequences is one of the greatest reasons that drive one to strive to acquire that quality. Moreover, bear in mind that the harder the deed is, the greater its reward becomes.
Pondering on the consequences of bad morals:
This reflection brings to mind the evil consequences of bad morals: they give rise to pain, grief, worry, misery, regret and hatred in the hearts of people.
Indeed, patience is one of the major moral bases of the Muslim character and is one of the fundamental refined morals. Patience helps people to endure and accept calamities, restrain their anger, adopt forbearance, kindness, sympathy, and shun recklessness and haste.
Justice urges one to maintain a balance in terms of morals, i.e. to be moderate in one’s morals and not to be excessive or lax; not to be cowardly or reckless, or lenient, in a negative sense, and angry.