Qualities to Cultivate
Every virtue that we are to develop in ourselves through our actions towards others has its origin and perfection in God.
“Let us turn again to the Divine Names, this time recalling our discussion of what Islam requires of man. As we make our way through the Qur’an, we are reminded persistently of the attributes of God and the qualities that we are supposed to cultivate in ourselves. It is not long before it dawns on us that there is considerable intersection between the two, for almost every virtue that we are to develop in ourselves through our actions towards others has its origin and perfection in God. For example, we are to grow in beneficence, benignity, bountifulness, clemency, compassion, faithfulness, our willingness to forgive, generosity, gentleness, givingness, graciousness, honorableness, justice, kindness, knowledge, love of others, mercy, peacefulness, protectiveness of the weak, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and wisdom. Yet, these originate in God as His attributes of perfection. Thus, by developing these attributes in ourselves, we are actually growing nearer—to use a Qur’anic term—to their infinite source. Hence, the more we come to possess these qualities, the more we may come to know God. Since it is possible for human beings to experience and acquire these virtues at higher levels than other creatures, they have the potential to relate to God in a uniquely intimate way.”
(Jeffrey Lang, Even Angels Ask, Amanah Publications, USA, 1997, p.47)