10. THE RELIGION OF COMPASSION
ompassion and kindness are strong links that bind human relations together. Its power is unlimited and matchless. It can conquer even the stone hearted people. It can push open the doors of the mind and bring closer those who have gone apart closer. It can convert enemies into friends.
Compassionate minds prepare the ground for selfless acts. Sincere services spring up from internal urges. They take their birth from the compassionate minds. Therefore the religion gives strict instruction to make the minds compassionate.
Allah is merciful. His mercy has no bounds. The whole universe is filled with it. Allah declares: “My mercy extends to all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who do right, and practice regular charity and those who believe in our signs.” (Al A’araf 156)
God is kind even to those who deny Him. Despite he has power to annihilate those who deny him, he showers mercy on them. God is pleased if his servants are kind and compassionate.
The divine quality that the Holy Quran repeatedly stresses is mercy and compassion. It surpasses all other qualities. The prophet states that Allah said: “Our compassion surpasses our anger.”
Ayisha (R) reported as said by the prophet. ‘Allah is mild. He likes being mild. He rewards mildness more than anything else.’ In another context the prophet said, ‘Allah is mild. He likes mildness in everything.’
Umar ibnul Khatab reported that once a slave girl was brought to the prophet along with other prisoners of war. She ran here and there. She picked up children there around and embraced them, kissed them and suckled them. Then prophet asked: Do you think that this woman can let her child to be thrown into the fire. The prophet’s companions told that she would never be able to. Then prophet said: “Allah has several times more compassion to his servants than this woman’s love for her own child.”
One of the supplications that Quran teaches us is, “So say: “O my Lord! Grant your forgiveness and mercy for you are the Best of those who show mercy!” (Al Mu’minun 118).
“It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you do deal gently with them. Were you severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (Their faults), and ask for ((Allah)’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when you have taken a decision put thy trust in Allah. For, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).(Alu Imran 159)
If we have to win God’s compassion, we must be compassionate to people. As reported by Jareer, the prophet said: ‘He who does not show mercy to the people, Allah does not show mercy to him.’ (Bukhari/Muslim) He said: One who has not compassion will no get compassion.(Bukhari/Muslim)
‘Be compassionate to every thing on earth. Then those who are in the world above will show compassion to you.’ (Tabrani)
Compassion is the source of goodness. It makes everything beautiful. Jareer Ibnu Abdillah reported that he had heard the prophet saying “one who has been denied of mildness is denied of righteousness.”
Ayisha reported that prophet had declared that ‘the presence of mildness makes everything beautiful. Its absence makes things ugly.’ (Muslim)
The Hell is not for those who are mild. Those who do not have it, becomes heirs to the Hell. Ibnu Mas'ud reported that the prophet asked, whether he could tell (his companions) about those who were not eligible for Hell. They are those forgiving who are close to the people, mild, tolerant and. (Thirmidi)
The prophet said: The cruel hearted people are those who keep themselves away from the people. (Thirmidi)
Islam instructs that even the cruelest should be dealt with mildly and kindly. Pharaoh was the cruelest, unkind and oppressive person that the world has ever seen. When Prophet Moses (Moosa) and his brother were sent to the Pharaoh, Allah commanded: “Go both of you, to Fir'aun (Pharaoh). Verily, he has indeed transgressed (all bounds). But speak to him mildly. Perhaps he may take warning or fear.” (Taha 43 - 44)
A believer is obliged to have a sense of compassion which makes things easy for people. You make things easy, not difficult for the people. Make them feel glad and not make them unhappy. (Bukhari)
The prophet told Ayisha to show mercy. “If Allah wishes to have any family goodness, He makes them compassionate.”
Reported by Jabir, the prophet said: If Allah wishes a people to bless, He would make them compassionate.
Above all, to be a believer one must be compassionate. Prophet said: ‘You cannot be a believer until you are kind and compassionate to one another.’ Then the companions said that they were all kind. Prophet replied: Kindness is not this that you sympathize with your friends, but kindness is that you show compassion to all people and everything. (Tabrani)
The prophet said that total compassion that all the living beings on the earth will make only a small part of the compassion of Allah. God divided the whole of compassion into one hundred parts and only one part he deposited on earth. The creatures on earth show compassion to one another using it. An animal raises its feet so that it may not hit on its child is a part of it.(Bukhari)
Another statement of the prophet says: God made a hundred kinds of compassion when He created earth and sky. Each part of it is as wide as the distance between the earth and the sky. He has deposited only one part of it on earth. As a result of which a mother shows compassion to her child, and animals and birds show their kindness to one another. (Muslim)
Islam advises that the believers should accept this compassion at the mazimum which is the disposal of the earth. The prophet teaches that the compassionate approach that is derived from this should be accepted by the believer. A report of Abu Huraira says that once a villager passed urine in the mosque. People tried to prevent him. But the prophet ordered them to leave him and being a bucket of water and pour it where he urinated and he said: 'You have been appointed to make things easier, not to make them difficult.’
Once, Khalifa Umar Farooq (R) decided to appoint a person as governor. Someone informed Umar Farooq that he was not in the habit of kissing his children. He changed his decision at once and said to him. How can your mind show kindness to the people if it doesn't show kindness to your children? By God, I shall not make you the governor. Later Umarul Farooq tore off his appointment letter.
A believer is obliged to show compassion to all living beings, not only to human beings. Prophet said: “Verily, Allah has enjoined excellence (ihsan) with regard to everything. So, when you kill, kill in a good way; when you slaughter, slaughter in a good way; so you should sharpen your knife, and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably.” (Muslim)
Once, a man told the prophet that he was kind when he killed goat. Then the prophet said “If you show compassion to it Allah will show compassion to you.” (Hakim)
Umar Farooq happened to see a man dragging a goat by its legs. He said, 'woe to you, you lead it to death in a better manner'.
The prophet has said: One man was traveling in a desert. He got terribly thirsty. He saw a well, descended down it and drank to his heart’s content. When he came out he found a dog licking earth because of the thirst and hunger. The man said to himself : On account of thirst the plight of this dog is the same as was mine. He went down the well once more. He took water from the well in his shoe and holding it with his teeth and came out of the well and gave it to the dog which drank it with greed. Allah appreciated his act and forgave him for all his sins. Hearing this, the companions asked the prophet whether they would be rewarded for good treatment to animals. Prophet said “you will be rewarded in the case of all living creatures which have a living heart.” (Bukhari/Muslim)
Ibnu Umar reported as said by the prophet: A woman was punished because of a cat. He tied it up until it died of hunger. Thus she became an heir to Hell. (Bukhari/Muslim)
It is because she had not given the cat either food or water. He did not free it go out and seek its own food.
When the prophet and his companions were on a journey, one of them took an egg from the nest of a bird. The mother bird became anxious and started flying round in the sky screaming aloud. When prophet knew about it he instructed the him to keep the egg in its place and treat it kindly. (Bukhari)
Abu Huraira reported: One dog was running around the well. It was about to die of extreme thirst. An Israeli adulteress who found it took water in her shoe and gave it water to drink and she drank herself. Because of this act Allah forgave her.
The companions of the prophet lit fire to save themselves from cold while they were on a journey. The prophet who was afraid that it would burn the ants asked them to put out the fire. The prophet who was the living example of compassion did not allow even cursing the animals. He had wiped off the tears from the eyes of a camel which was weeping because of stark hunger. He prohibited throwing stones at the trees unnecessarily and said that it would pain the trees. Islam instructs to treat not only man and other living beings but the whole universe with compassion. The emotion of compassion has been considered a criterion for achieving Heaven or Hell as reward.