Kindness in the life of the Holy Prophet (s)The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) has said, “If gentleness could have been a creature perceived by eyes then it would have been the most beautiful of all creations of Allah (SWT)”. (Bihar al-Anwaar)
“It is by Allah’s mercy that you are gentle to them, had you been harsh and
hardhearted, surely they would have dispersed from around you. Therefore, excuse
them; Plead for forgiveness for them and consult them in the affairs”. (3:159)
In the above verse, Allah (SWT) has pointed out and praised one of the most
important characteristics of His messenger (S.A.W.), which played a significant
role in attracting the people towards Islam; and that is of what has been termed
Al-Rifq in Arabic means: Kindness, Gentleness, Mildness & Friendliness.
[History tells us that the battle of ‘Uhud was the toughest battle, which the
Muslims fought against the pagans of Quraysh.
In this battle, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) had instructed the Muslims not to
leave their positions until they were told to do so. They did not follow the
instruction; They left their positions in greed of getting their hands on the
booty, and as a result, they were attacked and surrounded by their enemies; In
order to save their lives, some Muslims escaped to the nearby mountains leaving
the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and some of his companions behind to deal with the
situation; Many so-called prominent companions were among those who fled.
After the battle of ‘Uhud, these Muslims deserved to be punished. But, the Holy
Prophet (S.A.W.) did not punish them. Instead, he (S.A.W.) dealt with them
gently and with mildness.] (Tafseer-e-Namuna)
It was in regard to this behaviour that Allah (SWT) praised His Prophet (S.A.W.).
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) has said, “If gentleness could have been a creature
perceived by eyes then it would have been the most beautiful of all creations of
Allah (SWT)”. (Bihar al-Anwaar)
He (S.A.W.) also said, “Wherever gentleness is exhibited, it adorns the place”.
One of the benefits of being gentle with others is that ‘gentleness leads to
peaceful solution of problems’. Whenever two people, or two groups of people
quarrel with each other, and neither of them shows gentleness, their problem
will never be solved. As soon as one of them shows gentleness, the other mellows
down and an agreement is reached between them.
“Gentleness leads to peace” (Mizan al-Hikmah)
In olden days, it would just take a small thing to trigger a big war between two
tribes. The war would last for years killing many people and destroying
families. Islam put a stop to this by introducing the concept of being ‘gentle’
and ‘forgiving’ to each other.
[Once a Bedouin Arab came to Madina and visited the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) to
seek his guidance and advice. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said to him: “Do not
lose your temper” and said nothing more than this.
The man returned to his tribe. When he arrived among his people, he noticed a
serious problem had occurred. Few young men of his tribe had stolen some things
from the other tribe and they had retaliated. As a result, they had gradually
reached a stage of waging war against each other and had come out face to face
with their weapons for the confrontation.
He immediately sought for his armour and taking up his weapon joined his tribe
to fight against the other tribe. Suddenly, he recollected the words of the Holy
Prophet (S.A.W.), “Do not lose your temper”. He was soon in deep thoughts asking
himself: Why have I become so excited? Why have I taken up my weapon to shed
blood? What made me so furious? Thereupon, he left his weapon and came forward
to address the other tribe. He said, “What is this war for? If few ignorant men
from our tribe have committed transgression against you, I am ready to
recompense from my personal wealth. So there is no reason to jeopardize our life
and shed blood for nothing”. When the opposite side heard this magnanimous
proposition from this man, their generosity and zeal was aroused and they said
in reply: “We are in no way inferior to you. Now that it is so, we will forgo
our demands”. Consequently, both the parties retreated to their tribes.] (Usul