The Content of Character: Ethical Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad
“Can we change by listening? Can we be so touched and inspired by words that we are moved to renew and remake ourselves a better, nobler, and more merciful human beings? The impact that good words have had on humanity throughout history resoundingly declares we can. These wise sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, collected here, are designed to do just that – to guide us to the very best in ourselves. Compiled by renowned East African scholar, Al-Amin ‘Ali Mazru’i, this collection brings together sayings that encourage good character, speaks to our conscience and our heart, and moves us to become better human beings.
As a scholar, Shaykh Al-Amin Mazrui attempted to be a bridge between Islam and modernity. He argued that while Christianity became the vanguard of progress when it became more secular and less Christian, Islam was the vanguard of progress when it was more Islamic and less secular. According to Shaykh Al-Amin, progress among Muslims required not the abandonment of Islam but the recovery of the original spirit of Islamic enlightenment. Shaykh Al-Amin’s choice of these favored sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) in “The Content of Character” –translated and introduced here by the well-known American Muslim scholar Hamza Yusuf — was influenced by his effort to be a bridge–builder, especially between the values of tradition and the norms of modernity, between the wisdom of religion and the compassion of humanity.