It is an undisputable and uncontested fact that the world today has become bereft of kindness and compassion. What we see of these is nothing but the remnants of something good that was once upon a time. Regardless of race or religion this plague seems to have gripped all and sundry.

In its place self-centredness and self-indulgence has comfortably moved in and settled. With this the gloom and doom of our world and our lives only but intensifies. Humankind has forgotten what true life and living is all about. With this we too have forgotten that love, kindness and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive and without them as a species our destruction becomes more imminent as we lose our standing in the eyes of our Creator bit by bit.

Islam takes this concept of kindness and compassion to even greater heights when it teaches and exhorts every Muslim that this is one of the best roads leading one to the proximity of Allah Ta’ala and His Messenger Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam. In fact these qualities are synonymous to Islam and being a Muslim. In over 200 verses of the Qur’aan is this message given clearly. Had it not meant something or carried a great significance in our lives and our relationship with our Creator then this would have not been mentioned so numerously.

The Qur’aan stresses that righteousness is not in precise observance of the rituals like how we have understood Islam and sadly passed on this message to the non-muslim world. Rather true righteousness is in acts of compassion and kindness.  It says that the litmus test for true belief and genuine worship is that it leads to compassionate living:  

“ It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or the West, but truly righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and spends his money for love of Him, on the kindred and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and those who ask for charity, and for ransoming the captives; and who observes Prayer and pays the Zakat; and those who fulfil their promise when they have made one, and the patient in poverty and afflictions and the steadfast in time of war; it is these who have proved truthful and it is these who are the God-fearing.”  (Suratul Baqaraah, verse:178)

For 52 Fridays in a year, in the second part of the sermon (Khutbah), Muslims all over the world hear a verse, which stresses, justice, kindness and natural mutual love:

“Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Suratun Nahl, verse:90)

Allah says that to be Godly is to be compassionate not in just ritualistic actions as we do today.  He makes His relationship to the common man, conditional to common human compassion, by claiming that those, who wish to find Him, will succeed only if they are kind and compassionate to the common people. Without these qualities the relationship is merely superficial.

“And as for those who strive in Our path — We will surely guide them in Our ways. And Indeed, Allah is with those who are of service to others. (Suratul Ankabut, verse 69)

“Indeed, Allah is with those who are righteous and those who do good.  (SuratunNahl, verse 128)

Allah says that we should be the first and take the initiative to do good to others, but, if others have been kind to us, in the first place, we have no choice, but to return the favour. In such a case the obligation doubles.

“Is the reward of goodness nothing but goodness?” (Suratur Rahmaan, verse 60)

In one of the verses, which is recited at the time of our Nikaah (marriage) ceremony, Allah links the responsibility owed to Him to kind treatment of the in-laws relationships:

“O ye people! fear your Lord, Who created you from a single soul and created therefrom its mate, and from them spread many men and women; and fear Allah, in Whose name you appeal to one another, and be mindful of your duty to Allah, particularly respecting ties of relationship. Verily, Allah watches over you.  (Suratun Nisaa, verse 2)

In the very beginning of every chapter or Surah of the Holy Qur’aan, except one, we read, “In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.”

Allah is not only the Gracious and the Merciful, but, also wants humanity to be gracious and merciful, to each other, in their every facet of life.

One of the attributes of Allah is ‘The Merciful, and as believers we are required to emulate the attributes of Allah in their limited spheres.  In a hadeeth which ties closely to the above the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi wa sallam has said”

“Those who have mercy towards us, Ar Rahmaan will have mercy towards them”

And yet in another Hadeeth we are exhorted by the words:

“Have mercy on those who are on earth, the one Who is in the skies will have mercy on you”

 And lastly as we conclude we cannot ignore the one verse that sums up all of the above. Allah Ta’ala has given us a religion of kindness and compassion and in fact has made these qualities as a cornerstone of our religion. And then to practically show us how this is done he has sent His final Messenger. In this final messenger these two qualities were the salient features of his character. Two verses of the Qur’aan attest to this.

 “And We (Allah) have sent thee (Muhammad) not but as a mercy for all peoples.”  (Suratl Ambiyaa, verse 107)

“So because (of) Mercy from Allah you dealt gently with them. And if you had been rude (and) harsh (at) [the] heart, surely they (would have) dispersed from around you. Then pardon [from] them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. Then when you have decided, then put trust on Allah. Indeed, Allah loves the ones who put trust (in Him).” (Surah Ale Imraan,verse 159)

In every step and very moment of the life of the Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam kindness and mercy was exhibited in one form or another. Whether it was his own kith and kin or whether it was the captives of war or even those who were his avowed and bitterest enemies no one was excluded. Even animals became recipients of his kindness and compassion. And thus Islam was not spread by the sword contrary to the belief of some but rather it was the wand of mercy and compassion that spread the light of Islam.

As claimants of followers of the Prophet sallallaahu Alaihi wa sallam we need to take heed! The evolutionary move needs to be from humankind to KIND! This is what our Deen teaches and expects of us!

Ramadaan saw the emergence of kindness in our lives in various ways which brought out the beauty of Islam. This needs to continue!

The world is surely a troubled one today-kindness could well be that missing ingredient which would change things around!

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