Hazrat Anas (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Through good conduct a person will reach high ranks in the Hereafter and the upper ranks of Jannah even though he may not have much optional good deeds, and through poor conduct he will recede to the lowest level of Jahannam.” (Mu'jamul Kabeer of Tabrani)
These narrations highlight the virtue of adopting good conduct with people. Whilst optional good acts are virtuous and generally a lot of emphasis is placed on optional acts, we find that good character can gain one similar or even greater ranks.
Hasan Basri (Rahimahullah) says, “Good character is a smiling face, generosity and desisting from causing harm.” (Mirqatul Mafatih)
Wasiti (Rahimahullah) says, “It is understood that a person does not instigate nor retaliate in an argument because of his immense recognition of Allah Ta'ala.” (Mirqatul Mafatih)
Sahl (Rahimahullah) says, “The least of good character is tolerance, relinquishing the right of retribution, compassion for the oppressor, seeking forgiveness for him and kindness towards him.” (Mirqatul Mafatih)
May Allah grant us all the ability to develop and adopt good character.