Kindness

Since Islam is the religion of love and friendship and the Most Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) is the one entrusted with developing this school, love and affection were constantly flowing in the ocean of his existence. The scope of his kindness was so broad that it encompassed his closest family members, companions, supporters, children, orphans, those who had been taken captive and those who were lost. This was but an example of the radiance of God's mercy that had been cast in his existence (as supported by the Qur’an ic verse stating) "Due to a mercy from God, you were kind to them."1

Here reference will be made to some examples of the far-reaching mercy of the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) that have been mentioned in books about his life:

1. His loving attitude towards servants and subordinates is a manifestation of his kindness. Anas ibn Malik has said, "I worked for the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) for ten years and not once did I even hear him say 'uff' to me and he never asked me, 'Why did you do this?' or, 'Why didn't you do that?'. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would have something to drink for ift'ar (breaking the fast) and something to drink for sahar (the meal before dawn) and sometimes he would have one drink for both.

Sometimes that drink was milk and sometimes it was bread that had been mixed with water. One night, I prepared a drink for him, but he (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) came home late that night. I thought that some of his companions had invited him [for ifṭar] so I drank that which I had prepared for him. An hour later, the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) came home and I asked one of his companions if the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) had eaten ift'ar or if someone had invited him.

The companion replied in the negative. I came to regret what I had done very much and that night, God knows, I was very upset right until morning. This was because I was expecting the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) to look for his drink any moment and not find it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) spent the whole night until morning without eating anything even though he had been fasting. Afterwards, he never asked me and he never mentioned anything about the drink."2

2. The Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) had particular affection for those who believed and loved the message he brought. "He constantly enquired as to how his companions were doing and would speak to them in an affable and encouraging manner. If he had not seen one of them for three days, he would ask about him. If they told him that he had gone on a journey, he (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would pray for him. And if he had not gone on a journey, he would go and see him. If he was sick, he would go and visit him."3

3. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) has said, "A man named Thamamah ibn Uthal, who was being held captive, was brought to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family). He was the leader of Yamamah people and it was said that his rulings were influential amongst the people of Tayy and Yemen. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) recognized him and ordered that he be treated well. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would send him food from his home every day. He (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would go and see him and invite him to accept Islam. One day he (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) went to him and said, "I will give you the opportunity to choose one of three courses of action: The first is that I kill you." He replied, "If you do that, know that you would have killed a great personality."

"The second is that you give money in exchange for your freedom." He said, "In that case, it would have to be a very large amount since my price is very high (my people would have to pay a large sum since I am a great personality)."

Then the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) said, "The third course of action is that I should be kind to you and free you (without receiving anything in return)."He replid, "If you do that, you will find me to be a grateful individual."

Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) ordered that he be set free. The man accepted Islam and said, "I swear by God, when I saw you, I knew you were a prophet but I considered you my greatest enemy in the world. Now, you are the most beloved person to me." 4

4. It was a difficult time for the Prophet's companions when his teeth were broken and his blessed face wounded and stained with blood during the Battle of Uhud. They requested to be allowed to curse the disbelievers and the enemies. But he (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) said, "I was not appointed (as a prophet) for cursing. Rather, I am the Prophet of Mercy and I will pray for them, so that God may guide my people, for they are ignorant."5

5. His method of dealing with the enemy in times of war and dealing with army personnel, demonstrated the magnificence of the soul of this ambassador of God, a soul full of kindness. Imam as Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said, "Whenever the Messenger of God (peace be upon him and his family) wanted to dispatch an army, he would request at them to come to him and he would tell them: 'Go in the name of God, the Exalted. Seek perseverance from Him and fight for His cause. Do not steal from the war booty. Do not mutilate the disbelievers. Do not kill old men, children or women. Do not kill monks who live in caves. Do not uproot trees unless you are forced to do so. Do not burn palm trees nor destroy them. Never poison the water of the idol worshippers. Do not be deceptive nor treacherous. If a Muslim gives asylum to an idol worshipper, he is a refugee until he hears the word of God and Islam is presented to him. If he accepts, he is your brother in faith. If he does not accept, he is to be returned to a safe place (amongst his own people).’6

6. The scope of the Prophet's mercy and affection was so wide that he would not even take part in hunting birds. If a bird had been hunted, he would make use of it. But he would never hunt birds himself: "The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would eat the meat of birds that had been hunted but he would not pursue them himself nor would he hunt them."7

  • 1. Surah Al ‘Imran 3:159.
  • 2. Muntaha al-Amal, vol. 1, p. 18.
  • 3. Sunan an-Nabi, p. 51.
  • 4. Sirah Rasul Allah, vol. 2, p. 1092.
  • 5. Muhajjah al-Baydha’, vol. 4, p. 129.
  • 6. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 19, p. 177.
  • 7. Ihya’ al-‘Ulum, vol. 2, p. 369.