Shaykh Sayed Ahmad Rifa’i (Rahimahullah) was a direct descendant of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He was born in Basra, Iraq in the 6th century of Islam.
He once said, “A servant whom Allah Ta’ala has love for, possesses the following qualities:
1. He shows him his faults.
2. He creates within him love and compassion for all creation.
3. He makes his hand accustomed to spending generously.
4. He grants him a special enthusiasm to host people. This is a noble practice which Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to do even before Prophethood.
5. He creates great courage and determination in him as well as the ability to conceal the faults of others.
6. He grants him such awareness of his own faults that he regards himself as the lowest, most humble, most unworthy among all.
7. Through such humility, he becomes the beloved of Allah Ta’ala. Humility is a trait of a true slave. Allah Ta’ala is free from it. Allah Ta’ala loves this quality in His servants.
8. Allah Ta’ala removes from his heart the desire to be considered great by the creation and the desire to consider himself superior.
9. He displays respect to Allah Ta’ala (through obedience), which will manifest itself in him being respectful to the creation.”
Adapted from a discourse of Hadhrat Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Sb (rahimahullah) titled: “Islahe Akhlaaq (Reformation of character)”.