A Real Man

Touarag man praying in the Moroccan desert.

Touarag man praying in the Moroccan desert.

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

::*:: What is a “Real Man”? ::*::

Answer: A real man is humble before God. He fears for his aakhirah (hereafter). He works to clothe and feed his family, and to lead them to Jannah (Paradise). The Messenger of Allah (sws) said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” (Sahih Muslim).

A real man does not rule his family with an iron fist.  He would never raise a hand to strike. He is tender with his wife and children, and hard against anyone who would hurt them. He respects his parents, and honors blood ties. He loves the Ummah and considers all Muslims brothers and sisters.

Beyond that, a real man respects the human rights of all people, regardless of religion, nationality, or race. The Prophet (sws) said: “Allah, Most High, has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting in ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust.” (Abu Dawud)

A real man respects women. “The most perfect in faith among believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife.” – Prophet Muhammad (sws), Sunnan of Abu Dawud.

A real man is dedicated to the truth, even against himself. He keeps promises. He doesn’t lie or cheat. He doesn’t gossip or betray anyone’s trust.

He never mocks people. “O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames.” – Quran 49:11.

He is not needlessly suspicious of others. “O you who have believed, avoid much suspicion. Indeed, some suspicion is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other…” – Quran, 49:12.

A real man keeps himself clean. He dresses modestly, and represents himself well as a Muslim. He exercises and eats well. He takes care of his body because it is a trust from Allah.

He’s not greedy. He pays zakat and gives sadaqah, knowing it will come back to him. Allah says in the Quran (2:262), “Those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah, and then do not follow what they have spent by demands for gratitude or insulting words will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow.”

A real man does not hurt or exploit the weak; he protects them. Animals too.

A real man fights for something genuine. He does not fight for status. He walks away from verbal insults, because he understands that honor comes from the heart, not the fists.

A real man knows he doesn’t have all the answers. He listens before he speaks. When he makes a mistake he admits it. He studies and grows. He worries more about who he is than what people think.

A real man doesn’t whine about his circumstances.  He takes whatever abilities Allah has given him and applies them. When times are hard he forges ahead and finds a way. He knows that success and failure come from Allah, so he is humble and grateful, and never stops making dua’.

Am I this real man?

Just now I had this conversation with my daughter Salma, who is six years old:

Me – “How would you define a real man?”

Salma – “He’s strong, he’s confident, and he does stuff.”

Me – “What about me, am I a real man?”

Salma – “You’re mostly a silly man, because you tell silly jokes.”

I won’t put the question to my ex-wife.

Seriously though, I’m not there yet, and maybe I never will be. It’s a lifetime trip. But I do think I’m closer than, say, five years ago. I teach martial arts, and I tell my students, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Instead, compare yourself to yourself. Ask yourself, ‘Have my skills improved in the last year? Has my character improved?’ If the answer is yes, then you have succeeded.

I’m not asking you to be a perfect man. Just a real man.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , Read 266 articles by
9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Wael says:

    To complement this piece, I invite any Muslim sister to write an article about ‘a real woman”.

  2. Muhammad Kaleem says:

    I so heartily agree with you, particularly the bit “he knows he doesn’t have answers to all questions”; answer is very simple; no one have but coming to term with this realization takes time. Indeed bettering/improving oneself is life long journey and only ceases when we close our eyes forever to start another journey.

    Thanks for this wonderful article:).


  3. Hina says:

    Assalam o Alaikum. Your daughter Salma is soooo cute, i like your conversation with her :). I pray for her bright future, under Allah’s rehmat. Aameen.

  4. Nouha says:

    MashALLAH another beatiful inspirational article
    A real man “understands that honor comes from the heart, not the fists”-very true..

  5. Kinchisha says:

    … Nicely said and finely made with passion. Seriously got hooked up with your other articles too.

    My Allah grant you and your family all the good things in life. Assalalamualaikum….

    Surely I’ll keep myself posted and updated.

  6. Faisal Addul Ghaffar says:

    masha’Allah brother its such a nice full of imam artical. Allah always bless you and your daughter and brother keep this sinful person(Faisal ) in your dua’as Ameen !!!!

  7. cheerful says:

    Asalam Alaikum,

    does such men really exist?

  8. Soegih Harto says:

    I like your Article/Tausiyah.

    Thanks. 🙂

  9. María says:

    As salamu alaykum,

    Thank you very much for this inspiring article, when I read it, this dua written in the Fortress of the Muslim comes to me, I hope you don´t mind I share it…

    “O Allah, place light in my heart, and on my tongue light and in my ears light and in my sight light, and above me light, and below me light, and to my right light, and to my left light, and before me light and behind me light. Place in my soul light. Magnify for me light, and amplify for me light. Make for me light and make me a light. O Allah, grant me light, and place light in my nerves, and in my body light and in my blood light and in my hair light and in my skin light.1

    Reference: 1 Up to this point was reported by Al-Bukhari 11 / 116 (Hadith no. 6316) and by Muslim 1/526, 529-530 (Hadithno. 763).

    To love and respect unconditionally, to repent, to forgive, …to put ourselves in other shoes, to have a transparent Heart, clean thoughts, words and acts, being when and where we are needed, knowing who we are, follow the straight path and much more that you can share, shows how deep is our commitment and our consciousness of where we want to go, and only God can switch on that Light in our Hearts and keep it shining.

    This world we are living in is the real world, all of us that live in this world are real people that strive to be that “real being”full of Light that is mentioned in the article. May Allah(swt) awake us to strive to be that real being full of Light.

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